Professional Accountancy (MSc and PGCert)

Overview

Gain a University of London master's degree and your ACCA professional qualification at the same time

  • If you're a current student of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), you'll gain a master's degree alongside your accountancy qualification.
  • If you've already completed your ACCA exams, top-up your qualification cost-effectively with our prestigious master's degree.
  • Our route prepares you for senior roles and helps you to stand out from the crowd.
  • Study in your home country. You'll also save time and money compared to taking these two types of award separately.
  • Receive guaranteed study support, including the option of teaching centre support in four countries (Singapore, Hong Kong, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka) [PDF] and additional support in London [PDF].

Programme details

There are two pathways to achieve the master’s degree, depending on which entrance requirements you have met. Because you complete the degree with as few as two modules, both options are very competitively priced compared to other academic degrees.

Award Pathway Designed for You study Study period Indicative cost
MSc  Pathway 1  ACCA students with P1 to P3 3 modules 6 months - 5 years Up to £1,545 per module
(See 'Fees')
Pathway 2  ACCA Members and Affiliates 2 modules
Postgraduate Certificate  ACCA students without P1 to P3 2 modules

How it works

Pathway 1: ACCA Students

The University of London grants you credits towards the master's degree for the three ACCA modules you study for your ACCA qualification (P1 to P3). The ACCA accepts the two optional modules you take on this degree as part of your professional qualification.

Main benefits:

  • This is the only master's degree with ACCA recognition. These modules exempt you from professional exams.
  • It's fully supported online.
  • Assessment is a combination of coursework and exams, providing a rounded study experience.

Pathway 2: ACCA Members

If you're a qualified ACCA member with all your professional exams, you take just two modules and earn a prestigious University of London master's degree.

If you completed your last exam more than five years ago, you'll need to take a preparation course before you register (cost $49) for Pathway 2. Upcoming sessions for the preparation course are here: 

Preparation course starts Preparation course ends
13 September 2016  31 October 2016
27 September 2016   14 November 2016
11 October 2016   28 November 2016
25 October 2016  12 December 2016
8 November 2016 26 December 2016
22 November 2016 9 January 2017

You will need to register for the preparation course by 11 October 2016 to have enough time to complete it to register in time for the January 2017 degree session.

If you haven't taken Professional Level exams, contact ACCA about your eligibility.

Main benefits:

  • Take just two modules and earn an academic master's degree.
  • Benefit from huge cost advantages to equivalent academic programmes.
  • It's fully supported online.
  • No exams. Both modules are assessed by coursework, so you don't face the pressure of sitting exams or arranging time away from work.

Prestige

The modules have been developed by University College London, which was ranked seventh in the world for 2015/2016 (QS Worldwide University Rankings). 

How you study

Our online learning resources include reading materials, multimedia content, formative assessments, learning activities, and facilities for you to interact with your tutor and fellow students.

You are guaranteed tutor support, either online or face-to-face at a local teaching institution (where available). Tutors are there to respond to your queries, introduce the modules, and provide guidance on your assessments.

Your time commitment

Study at your own pace, either part-time or full-time. You can complete the MSc in as little as six months or take up to five years.

Each module is studied over a 22-week session, requiring an average of 12 hours of study per week. Modules run twice per year starting in January and July.

Summary of key dates

Professional Accountancy January 2017 session July 2017 session
Applications/registrations open
5 September 2016 (11.00am GMT)
10 April 2017 (11.00am GMT)
Applications close 28 November 2016 19 June 2017
Registrations close 5 December 2016 26 June 2017
Compulsory induction courses are provided after you are fully registered
and must be completed before the programme starts
Programme starts 9 January 2017 10 July 2017
Final assessments take place week commencing 5 June 2017 week commencing 4 December 2017

 

Structure

Structure and syllabus

There are two pathways to the MSc in Professional Accountancy:

  • Pathway 1 is for ACCA students who have completed papers P1-P3. We will give you 90 credits in recognition of the assessments that you have completed for ACCA papers P1-P3. To complete the MSc in Professional Accountancy you must pass three 30 credit modules.
  • Pathway 2 is for ACCA members and affiliates. We will give you 120 credits in recognition of the assessments you have completed to become a member or affiliate of the ACCA. To complete the MSc in Professional Accountancy you must pass two 30 credit modules.

We also offer a PGCert in Professional Accountancy from which you can transfer to the MSc:

  • The Postgraduate Certificate is for current ACCA students who have passed or gained exemption from ACCA papers F1-F9. To complete the Postgraduate Certificate in Professional Accountancy you must pass two 30 credit modules. You can transfer from the Postgraduate Certificate to the MSc in Professional Accountancy - Pathway 1 when you have completed ACCA papers P1-P3.

See the study routes [PDF 429kB] to check the pathways open to you.

MSc in Professional Accountancy - Pathway 1
MSc in Professional Accountancy - Pathway 2
Postgraduate Certificate in Professional Accountancy
Study materials

How you study

You can study this programme from anywhere in the world.

We provide comprehensive learning material that is delivered online and supplemented by a choice of tuition options. During the 22 weeks that each course runs you study 20 topics with a cohort of fellow students supported by a tutor. You can choose to be supported either by the University’s online tutors or face-to-face at a Teaching Institution where this is available locally. 

Study materials

When you register we will provide you with all of the resources and study materials you need to successfully complete the course. You can access the resources digitally through the virtual learning environment (VLE) on desktop computers, e-readers, tablets and other portable devices.

Each module contains all of the material that you need. The modules are divided into 20 topics, each with its own set of reading and learning activities. The essential reading is drawn together by the module leaders from published texts and formatted into a single document for each of the topics so that you do not have to refer to different books.

Each module also includes a range of content and tools designed to help you succeed such as:

  • learning outcomes and topic objectives with an introduction of the key concepts by video(s) and podcast(s) so that you understand the syllabus and are clear about what you need to learn 
  • activities and exercises to test your understanding including discussion forums facilitated by tutors, multiple choice quizzes with automated feedback, reflective exercises and self-assessment questions
  • supplementary text or video from the module leader to highlight important aspects of the syllabus
  • further reading which optional but is recommended if you have time. All of the further reading is available in the University of London Online Library. 

Tutor support - either online or at a local teaching institution

All students receive tutor support and feedback while studying this programme either from our online tutors (web-supported learning) or face-to-face at a local teaching institution (institution-supported learning). All tutors introduce the modules, provide guidance on tackling the assessments, respond to queries, monitor discussions and provide interventions at key points for each module.

Web-supported learning

If you register for a module as a web-supported learner you will join an online tutor group with a tutor who will provide support using email and discussion groups. If you register in this way you pay the web-supported learner fee.

Institution-supported learning

If you choose to enrol for a module with a local teaching institution, you will have a tutor who will give face-to-face classes. We are currently working with teaching institutions in Hong Kong, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Pakistan, as well as offering tuition ourselves here in London. We expect this number of Teaching Institutions to grow and will update the list as more institutions offer support. If you enrol with a teaching institution for tuition you pay the institution-supported learning fee to the University, as well as a fee to the local teaching institution for the tuition they provide.

Tracking your progress

For each module we provide tools to help you track and monitor your progress. These include:

  • a reflective exercise workbook that provides a record of the reflective exercises for each module and your completion of them across all topics
  • a topic objective tracker that displays how confident you are that you understand each topic objective
  • a learning outcomes profiler that gives you a progress report for the module learning outcomes. 

When you register you get access to two free short interactive modules that help you get the most from your studies. You can refer back to these at any time during your studies.

Getting started and improving your study skills

When you register we give you access to two short induction courses Getting Started and Study Skills that get you ready to study.

Getting Started is an induction course that introduces you to the information and processes that you need to know about to successfully complete the Professional Accountancy degree. It teaches you how to use the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) where you will find your study materials, submit your coursework, discuss relevant course-related issues with other students (and with tutors if you choose the web-supported learning option), and monitor your progress. It shows you how the VLE is used for your assessment. It shows you how to create an electronic portfolio that you can use for personal development planning and setting personal study and work-related goals, for accumulating evidence of life-long learning and to display your achievements, competencies and skills.

Getting Started also explains how to use the University of London Online Library which provides access to a wide range of resources similar to those available in a physical library, including all of the further reading for each module. There are links within each module to the Online Library and other resources. These enable you to access online journals and other text and digital artefacts. They are populated from the recommended readings for each module, as well as supporting research skills for the Project.

Study Skills is another short induction course that helps you to get the highest benefit possible from your learning through important guidance and tips on how to study effectively. It covers the following key areas: successful reading and writing strategies, critical thinking skills, time management approaches and exam preparation techniques.

Time commitment

Studying for a University of London degree in Professional Accountancy is a rewarding experience but requires a significant amount of time and effort. Each module represents about 300 hours of study. This includes reading, note-taking, writing, thinking and completing assessments. So, on average, you will need to devote about 12-15 hours of study every week for the 22 week session that each module runs, although it may be more in some weeks and less in others. Each topic represents about 10 hours of study although in the weeks where you are writing assessments, such as coursework or projects, you will probably need to spend more than 10 hours studying. You must also keep to the assessment deadlines associated with coursework and projects during the study session.

You have flexibility in how quickly you complete the degree. Modules take six months to complete and each module runs twice per year with sessions from January to June, and July to December. It is your choice how many modules you take in each session and which sessions you choose to enter. However, when you commit to starting a module it is expected that you will complete that module in the six month session that it runs. We will allow you to defer taking an examination once (there is a charge for this) but we will not allow you to defer submitting any coursework or projects. Successful students tell us that a regular study routine, in a place where you can concentrate, is key to success.

Fees

Fees

The fee you pay depends on:

Fee per module2017 study sessions
Web-supported learning in a Band A country£ 1,340
Web-supported learning in a Band B country£ 1,545
Institution-supported learning in a Band A country£ 1,235
Institution-supported learning in a Band B country£ 1,440
Other fee (as applicable)
Module continuation fee (if you do not complete the module in the six month study session)£ 620
Examples of total fees for the MSc and PG Cert
Total fee for the MSc (3 modules for Pathway 1, Web-supported, Band A)£ 4,020
Total fee for the MSc (2 modules for Pathway 2, Institution-supported, Band B)£ 2,880
Total fee for the PG Cert (2 modules, Web-supported, Band A)£ 2,680
ConvertGBP x 1

Disclaimer: the currency conversion tool is provided to you for convenience only and does not constitute an endorsement or approval by the University of London; the exchange rates are provided dynamically via a third-party source, consequently, the University of London International Programmes is not responsible for their accuracy.

The fees per module listed above are for the January 2017 and July 2017 study sessions only. Fees are subject to annual review.

The examples of total fees listed above are calculated using 2017 fees and only relate to fees payable to the University. They do not include any of the other costs listed below and assume completion without examination deferral or retaking of assessments which would incur the Module continuation fee.

What the fees cover

The module fee for web-supported learning is paid to the University and includes all the study materials, entry into the assessments, and support from a University of London online tutor. It does not cover the fee charged by your local examination centre if the module has a written paper examination.

The module fee for institution-supported learning is paid to the University and includes all the study materials and entry into the assessments. It does not include the separate support fee that you will pay to directly to the teaching institution for face-to-face tuition. You should contact the local teaching institution to ask what their support fee will be. Nor does it cover the fee charged by your local examination centre if the module has a written paper examination.

The module continuation fee is payable, per module, if you defer an examination or need to retake an element of assessment. The module continuation fee includes all the study materials, entry into the relevant assessments, and support from a University of London online tutor. It does not cover the fee charged by your local examination centre if the module has a written paper examination.

See also this checklist for calculating the cost of your programme [PDF 315Kb]

Other costs

In addition to the fees payable to the University, you should also budget for:

  • The fee charged by your local examination centre if the module you are taking includes a written paper examination. Examination centre fees are not included within the fees set out above and where payable are made direct to your local examination centre. This fee will vary from centre to centre. You should contact your proposed examination centre for details of their fees to factor them in to the overall cost of completing the programme. You can find contact details for all our examination centres on our website. The University of London is only responsible for the examination centre fee charged at its London centres. You will be charged £60 per sitting when using London examination centres.
  • The fee charged for local face-to-face tuition (where available) by your teaching institution if you choose to take modules with institution-supported learning.
  • Your ACCA subscription as a student, affiliate or member. Your subscription with ACCA must be paid up to date when you register for the programme.

ACCA members and affiliates who took their professional examinations more than five years ago will need to take an online preparation course, Keeping up with Change: Issues for the Finance Professional before registering for the MSc. The fee charged by Coursera to take this course is currently $49.

When to pay

The Programme Fees above refer to modules which commence during the 2017 session only and are effective from 5 September 2016 when registration opens for the first module sessions to start in January 2017. You must have paid your fees (module and/or module continuation fees) by the registration closing date for your chosen study session. The first registration closing date is 5 December 2016.

You can either pay the whole fee for the MSc or PGCert in a single payment when you first register, or buy module(s) as you progress. You can pay the whole fee by selecting all the modules for the MSc or the PGCert when you register.

How to pay

You can pay your fees using the online payment facility when you register. However we recognise that you may not be able pay online and so a range of alternative methods are available. Further details are given in payment methods.

All University fees must be paid in pounds sterling (GBP). The University accepts:

  • Western Union - Quick Pay
  • Credit/debit card (Visa, MasterCard, Maestro, Electron, JCB)
  • Sterling banker's draft/cheque
  • International money/postal order.

Note

Fees are subject to annual review and the University reserves the right to amend previously announced fees, if necessary. For a full list fees that may be applicable, please see the fee schedule.

Assessment

Assessment methods

Each module includes a mix of formative and summative assessments. Formative assessments include activities such as quizzes, moderated forums and reflective exercises. These help you to measure your progress and understanding but do not count towards your grade. Summative assessments, which do count towards the final grade, consist of a combination of coursework, and either a project or a written examination.

All elements of the assessment must normally be completed in the same study session. The coursework and projects must be submitted through the VLE by the deadlines in the study calendar. Where there is a written examination, all students take the same examination on the same day. The grade awarded for each module is based on a weighting of all of the elements of summative assessments.

See the assessment table [PDF 15Kb] for information about how the modules are assessed and the weighting of the assessment elements.

If you have to take a timed written examination, these take place locally at the end of the study sessions in June and December. You do not have to come to London to take your examinations because we have over 400 examination centres worldwide as well as in London. We arrange the examinations mainly through Ministries of Education and the British Council.

Assessment dates

These are the deadline dates for submitting coursework and the examination dates for modules in the July 2016 study session. The time of day for these events is given in the student portal.

Module Coursework 1 Coursework 2 Final Assessment
Strategic financial management 19 August 2016 7 October 2016 9 December 2016 (Exam)
Strategic performance management 26 August 2016 14 October 2016 5 December 2016 (Exam)
Global issues for the financial professional 29 August  2016 17 October 2016 9 December 2016 (Project)
Strategic financial project 26 September 2016 Not applicable 9 December 2016 (Project)

 

 

 

Requirements

Academic Requirements

Qualifications required for the MSc in Professional Accountancy under Pathway 1

To qualify to register for the MSc under Pathway 1 you must be a current ACCA Student and have:

  • passed all the ACCA F1 to F9 papers or gained exemptions approved by ACCA, and
  • passed the ACCA P1, P2 and P3 papers (or their equivalent*).

Qualifications required for the MSc in Professional Accountancy under Pathway 2

To qualify to register for the MSc under Pathway 2 you must be a current ACCA Member or Affiliate and have:

  • passed all the ACCA F1 to F9 papers or gained exemptions approved by ACCA, and
  • passed all the ACCA P1, P2 and P3 papers, and
  • passed two of the ACCA P4-P7 option papers (or their equivalent*).

Members who have not passed any of the ACCA Professional Level exams should contact ACCA to ask about their eligibility before doing anything else. If you passed the last of the ACCA Professional level papers more than five years ago, you must be able to demonstrate that your Continuing Professional Development (CPD) record is compliant with the ACCA policy on CPD since you became a member, which includes an up to date CPD declaration for the current year. Additionally you will be required to pass a certified online preparation course, Keeping up with Change: Issues for the Finance Professional, before you can register.

You can find out more from these 'questions and answers' with Dr Sarah Warnes who is one of the course instructors. The course runs throughout the year in an online learning environment and takes about 3-5 hours a week over four weeks, although you can study over a shorter period if that suits. There is a small fee (US$49) to take the test and receive the certificate that shows that you have completed it.

Qualifications required for the Postgraduate Certificate in Professional Accountancy

To qualify to register for the Postgraduate Certificate you must be a current ACCA Student and have:

  • passed all the ACCA F1 to F9 papers or gained exemption from these papers approved by ACCA (or their equivalent*).

English language requirements

You will meet the English language requirement if you:

  • have passed the English version of ACCA F1 to F9 papers (or gained exemption by completion of an English-medium undergraduate degree approved by ACCA), or
  • have passed the English version of ACCA P1, P2 or P3, or
  • are a current ACCA Member or Affiliate.

Applicants who have not met any of the above must have passed one of the following tests of proficiency in English language at the appropriate mark/grade within the past three years:

  • (IELTS) International English Language when an overall score of at least 6.5 is achieved with a minimum of 6.0 in the Written sub-test.
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic) score of 59 or above, with at least 59 in both Reading and Writing elements and at least 54 in Speaking and Listening elements.
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English.
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English, provided grade C or above is achieved.
  • (TOEFL) iBT Test of English as a Foreign Language overall score of 92 or above with at least 22 in both Reading and Writing Skills sub-tests and at least 20 in both Speaking and Listening sub-tests.

Computer specification and internet access

All students must have regular access to a computer (or mobile device**) with an internet connection to access the following resources: 

  • The Student Portal
  • University of London email account
  • Student record, module registration and examination entry
  • Programme resources on the VLE
  • The Online Library
  • Programme resources on the University of London International Programmes website
  • The Programme Specification and Regulations
  • The University of London International Programmes Student Charter.

The computer should have at least the following minimum specification: 

  • a web browser (the latest version of Firefox, Chrome or Internet Explorer). This must accept cookies and have JavaScript enabled
  • screen resolution of 1024 x 768 or greater
  • sufficient bandwidth to download documents of at least 2 MB
  • a speaker.

and the following applications installed:

  • a word processor that accepts Microsoft Word formats (.doc and .docx)
  • Microsoft Excel with the ability to run macros
  • a pdf reader
  • software for playing mp3 and mp4 files.

Students with specific access requirements

The University of London International Programmes welcomes applications from students with disabilities and/or specific access requirements. It aims to provide the appropriate support to enable students with specific access requirements to have the same chance as all other students to successfully complete their studies.

Every reasonable effort will be made to ensure that both the application procedure and the programme itself are organised and delivered to offer all students the opportunity to participate fully. Students with a disability or others who may need special arrangements to assist in taking examinations (such as separate room or special aids) should complete the relevant section of the application form, or contact the Inclusive Practice Manager. Requests will be considered by a University panel, which aims to ensure that students with specific access requirements are neither advantaged nor disadvantaged when compared with other students.

* "Equivalent" refers to earlier accepted forms of the stated ACCA papers. This does not refer to non-ACCA papers.

** Full mobile access to VLE resources is not available for all programmes.  

Academic leaders

University College London

The School of Management at University College London is responsible for the academic direction.

The research performed in the School of Management over the last six years has been rated as “world-leading” in the Research Excellence Framework 2014, a system for assessing the quality of research in UK universities.

The department offers programmes in management, technology entrepreneurship, information management for business, management science and business analytics.

Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)

ACCA is the world’s leading body for professional accountants, with over 110 years of experience, innovation and excellence. ACCA has 170,000 members and 436,000 students in 180 countries.

ACCA champions opportunity within accountancy, demonstrates excellence through its qualifications, and acts as a driving force within the accounting profession to constantly improve working practices. ACCA qualifications are recognised by key regulatory and education authorities around the world and ACCA also has joint membership of other international accountancy bodies.

Apply online

Teaching Institution support

The latest teaching institutions [PDF: 1pg, 104KB] offering support for Professional Accountancy.

Introduction video

You can get a master’s degree and your ACCA qualification at the same time, watch our video for more info. The video is also available on our Facebook page or YouTube portal:

MSc in Professional Accountancy: Your opportunity

The MSc in Professional Accountancy enables you to gain a Masters degree from the University of London, and your ACCA professional accountancy qualification at the same time.