MSc
1 year full time, 2 years part time
Starts September 2017

International Accounting and Corporate Governance

This course brings into focus the themes of:

  • sustainability
  • ethics
  • corporate and social responsibility.

You gain a rigorous foundation in the application and critical evaluation of management accounting, and the regulation and content of International Accounting Standards.

You also develop the managerial and technical analytical skills required by employers in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors.

I was encouraged to think critically and independently in my tutorial groups. This has helped me in my work as a researcher and analyst.”Francis Fairhead
International Accounting and Corporate Governance MSc

Key facts

  • Our courses are carefully designed to prepare you for senior roles in finance and management.
  • Studying with people from all over the world will give you the expertise and confidence to do global business.
  • You'll learn from academic experts whose interdisciplinary research addresses current issues relating to risk management, performance and control in private, public and non-profit organisations.

How will I study?

You’ll study core modules and options in the autumn and spring terms. In the spring and summer terms, you work on a research-based dissertation. A research methods module runs throughout the year.

Assessment is through coursework, essays, group and individual reports, and presentations. There are also unseen examinations.

Full-time and part-time study

You can choose to study this course full time or part time. Find the modules for the full-time course below. 

For details about the part-time course structure, contact us at bmec@sussex.ac.uk

What will I study?

  • Module list

    Core modules

    Core modules are taken by all students on the course. They give you a solid grounding in your chosen subject and prepare you to explore the topics that interest you most.

    • Corporate and International Finance

      15 credits
      Autumn Teaching, Year 1

      This module covers the most important topics in corporate finance such as: capital investment decision-taking; financing andcapital structure; risk management; and portfolio theory. You will then analyse issues in international finance including: models of exchange rates; efficiency in foreign exchange markets; monetary unions; and international financial crises.

    • Global Business

      15 credits
      Autumn Teaching, Year 1

      The module will widen the perspective of aspiring managers regarding the strategic implications of global change and facilitate more informed strategic planning and implementation within companies. The module is introductory and wide ranging in scope. A balance is sought between theory and practice with seminars placing an emphasis on contemporary case studies.

    • Management Accounting & Control

      15 credits
      Autumn Teaching, Year 1

      The main aim of this module is for you to critically reflect on how and why management accounting techniques changed during the 20th century and beyond, the theoretical controversies explaining this, and the practical ramifications for designing and using management accounting systems. By the end of the module you will understand how and why:

      • traditional management accounting techniques such as product costing, budgeting, standard costing and economic theories of decision-making emerged during the twentieth century and their theoretical underpinnings in bureaucracy, Taylorism, mechanistic organisation, and economic rationality; and assess their applicability, strengths and weaknesses
      • new techniques of management accounting, including accounting for customers and flexible manufacturing, strategic management accounting, activity-based costing/management and balanced scorecards emerged, define their essential features, and assess their applicability, strengths and weaknesses 
      • new rational theories of management accounting have been developed, especially contingency and agency theory, to address limitations of traditional theories, and be able to assess their worth with respect to control system design and behavioural problems in specific circumstances
      • the theoretical assumptions of the above techniques and approaches have been criticised for their neglect of subjective, institutional, and political considerations, and the latters implications for identifying other roles and consequences of management accounting within organisations and society.

      On completion you will have gained a basic understanding of most practical techniques of management accounting, including contemporary practices; how and why their multiple aims and the changing socio-economic environments in which they operate give rise to difficult design and operational decisions; and be able to analyse these practical issues using the major theories employed in contemporary management accounting research.

    • Corporate Governance

      15 credits
      Spring Teaching, Year 1

      This module aims to introduce you to the roles and functions of boards of directors as well as the organisational structure of different types of firms, such as those within extended family networks and those of an entrepreneurial nature. This will involve developing understanding of information management systems and accounting techniques that assist effective board-level decision making as well as in the assessment of board and CEO effectiveness. The relevance of different boards structures will be discussed through a comparison of split boards and supervisory boards and the module will cover contemporary issues such as shareholder activism, the role of family and corporate block-shareholder control. Equally, the importance of worldwide differences in legal and institutional settings and their impact on corporate structure and governance will be discussed. While you will gain appreciation into contemporary issues effecting management structure of major corporations you will also be expected to apply this in real-life topical settings.

    • Research Methods (Finance, Accounting and Banking)

      15 credits
      Spring Teaching, Year 1

      Provide students with the necessary training to undertake research.
      Provide students with an understanding of the relevance and importance of alternative epistemological positions in the social sciences and the nature of both qualitative and quantitative approaches to research.
      Develop students understanding of the nature of research in the social sciences by examining the study skills necessary to manage and undertake a research project.
      Provide students with opportunities to be familiar with frontier empirical and theoretical research.
      Provide students with a good foundation for undertaking a dissertation.

    • Research Project (International Accounting and Corporate Governance)

      30 credits
      Summer Teaching, Year 1

      In this module, you carry out a research project - demonstrating that you know how to apply theories, conduct research at Masters level, and interpret and apply research findings.

      You will explore a topic indepth, develop and test an hypothesis and evaluate a theory.

      You also develop skills in:

      • critical analysis
      • interpretation
      • application.

      During the module, you show that you can plan, conduct, analyse and interpret your research.

    Options

    Alongside your core modules, you can choose options to broaden your horizons and tailor your course to your interests.

    • Accounting, Organisations and Society

      15 credits
      Spring Teaching, Year 1

      The major aims of this module are several. The first is to increase your knowledge of controversies over what constitutes legitimate accounting knowledge and practice, research methods, its social role, and how practice and policy, research, and methodological assumptions are intertwined. The second is to raise awareness of how and why accounting impacts constituencies beyond organisations and their management, and to evaluate possibilities of its reform in the public interest. The module is research led, entails considerable self-reflection and guided self-study, and is interdisciplinary in nature.

      The module commences with an intensive lecture series (weeks one to four) that will outline why and how accounting research has adopted a variety of conflicting social science theories and methods, detail their fundamental assumptions and findings, and illustrate how they raise or cast fresh light on important issues on the role and effects of accounting upon individuals, organisations and society.

      The second half of the module (weeks five to eight) will be less structured as you will embark on research essays chosen from a variety of topics drawn up by the course convenor. These may change over time due to faculty interests and expertise, your choices and preferences, and emergence of new issues. An indicative list would include: does accounting merit the status of a profession? Have accounting practices contributed to the rise of an `audit society'? Can accounting address issues of ecology and sustainability? Are the structures and processes of standard setting in the public interest? Are the assumptions of modern finance theory and positive accounting theory justifiable and why have they become influential and to what effect? Have accounting reforms in poor countries enhanced their economic development? Can accounting provide `a true and fair view'? To what extent is culture, either nationally or locally, important for the design and operation of accounting systems? Why is accounting integral to `New Public Sector' management and has its effects met the aims of policy-makers?

      For the workshops you will be grouped according to common interests in a topic. The workshops will be relatively unstructured and devoted to refining individual essay titles/topics, advice on literature and searches, and helping you construct a suitable essay that should: identify and review a selection of significant research articles on their topic, compare and contrast their assumptions about ontology, epistemology, and involvement in social change; which topics they investigate, and their empirical findings on these and common topics, clearly justify and identify the methodological criteria adopted by the writer to evaluate this work and make reasoned and considered choices and recommendations for changed practices and policies or justify why they are unnecessary.

    • Bank Risk Management

      15 credits
      Spring Teaching, Year 1

      In this module, you study the different risk management techniques used to assess and control risk in the banking sector.

      You look at:

      • Value-at-Risk (VaR)
      • risk control techniques including limit setting and risk budgeting
      • Debit and Credit Value Adjustments (DVA and CVA)
      • credit risk assessment
      • credit lines
      • bank stress tests, which are designed to detect weak spots in the banking system so that preventative action can be taken.
    • Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility

      15 credits
      Spring Teaching, Year 1

      This module is aimed at students on the range of 'conversion' type of MSc programmes across the department and is delivered in the International Accounting and Governance programme as a core. The focus is on contemporary perspectives and practices within the broadly defined areas of Corporate Social Responsibility and Governance.

      The module starts from the premise that CSR is a contested, problematic and developing area of study. There is an acceptance that an understanding of ethical frameworks is required to inform debate on this subject and that research generated evidence and insights are necessary to substantiate assertion.

      The focus is also practical, and you will individually undertake research into an organisation's orientation and practice towards its stakeholders. A critical and questioning approach to this will be encouraged and required to 'see beyond' the often platitudinous veneer that can characterise this relationship.

      Throughout the module the emphasis will be on devloping your own coherent and informed view of matters such as corporate and governance, together with issues of professional ethics within a globalised context. In particular, we examine the extent to which corporate governance practices are moving towards convergence.

      The coursework requires you to work individually to produce a case study analysis of contemporary stakeholder issues and to thereby further your understanding and exercise research skills and judgement. Supporting and underpinning this is a week by week seminar programme requiring you to ascertain and appreciate your own and others' 'ethical profiles', locate and interpret research-based insights and undertake case study analysis of organisational practices and professional ethical dilemmas.

      An examination will test your grasp of relevant concepts, theory and ability to apply insights.

    • Entrepreneurial Finance

      15 credits
      Spring Teaching, Year 1

      This module provides you with an understanding of the role finance plays in the survival and growth of small firms. It begins by discussing the challenges of characterising firm growth and how firms use capital to grow, drawing upon empirical evidence on the topic. It then covers the variety of sources firms may use for external capital, including (but not limited to) banks, business angels, venture capitalists and small cap stock markets, and how these investments are valued. It concludes by discussing differences in funding environments for small firms in different countries, and covers the challenges faced by policymakers in developing policy tools to provide support for small firms.

    • Globalisation and Integration

      15 credits
      Spring Teaching, Year 1

      This module explores the globalisation and the integration of the business environment from a long-run perspective. It charts the beginnings of the current wave of globalisation, in the mid to late 20th century and explores the various themes and forces that helped create a distinctive business environment by the early years of the 21st century. The themes explored include the divergence and integration within the global economy, globalisation of culture, the 'death of distance', development of global value chains, technology and technology transfer, 'deep' integration and strategic alliances, and the challenges and opportunities posed by shifts in demographic patterns. The module considers several questions of interest to you if you are a student of international management including: what is the significance of the 'Rest' catching-up with the 'West'? How does the global geography affect international firms? How significant is the emergence of multinationals from emerging markets? Do firms manage a 'global culture' or manage across cultures globally?

    • Information Systems and Management

      15 credits
      Spring Teaching, Year 1

      You study how Information Systems are used by organisations in commerical, public and voluntary sectors.

      You explore how Information Systems, including cloud computing and social networking, link technology and business strategy, and help to provide sustainable competitive advantage to businesses.

      You develop an understanding of the systems, technologies, concepts, tools, and frameworks needed to deploy, manage, and evaluate technology strategies, and processes, as well as the resources needed to gain competitive advantage.

    • Money and Banking

      15 credits
      Spring Teaching, Year 1

      In this module, you study: 

      • bond, stock and foreign currency markets
      • the role of banks and financial intermediation
      • competition and regulation in banking
      • financial crises
      • the role and policy tools of central banks
      • the role of money and banks in the broader economy.
    • Multinational Financial Management

      15 credits
      Spring Teaching, Year 1

      The main aim of this module is to evaluate the financial decision-making of companies operating internationally, providing an understanding of global capital markets, in the context of international trade patterns, international monetary systems, exchange rate regimes and foreign exchange markets, as well as tax rules and legal and institutional complexities. You will also develop competences in the appraisal of international capital expenditure choices and in the effective implementation of multinational management control systems. In addition, the module considers the political risks faced by multinational enterprises, including firm-specific risk, country risk, and global risk, together with an assessment of the origins and repercussions of the current credit crisis, including the international scale of securitization, and the impact of market failure in international interbank markets on multinational financial management.

      Summary outline: currency regimes and markets and the management of foreign exchange risk; measuring and managing exchange exposure; international financing and capital market integration; the cost of capital for foreign investments; capital budgeting for the multinational corporation; working capital management; taxation and transfer pricing; country risk analysis and the implications of the financial crisis of 2007-09 and module resumé.

    • The Business Context in East Asia

      15 credits
      Spring Teaching, Year 1

      The main aims of this module are to explore the international business environment in East Asia, to provide an overview of the various East Asian economies, their interrelationship, and their importance in the world economy, and to examine the lessons which may be drawn both from the economic success of the East Asian economies, and from the Asian financial crisis.

    • The Business Context in Europe

      15 credits
      Spring Teaching, Year 1

      The main aims of this module are to explore the international business environment in Europe, to provide an overview of the various European economies, their inter-relationships, and their importance in the world economy. Attention will be paid not just to the major member States of the European Union, but to newer member States and other European economies.

Find out about studying business and management at Sussex, including finance, banking, logistics and entrepreneurship

Entry requirements

An upper second-class (2.1) undergraduate honours degree or above which contains modules in accounting, or an equivalent professional qualification

English language requirements

Standard level (IELTS 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each section)

Find out about other English language qualifications we accept.

English language support

Don’t have the English language level for your course? Find out more about our pre-sessional courses.

Additional information for international students

We welcome applications from all over the world. Find out about international qualifications suitable for our Masters courses.

Pre-Masters in Management and Finance

Need to boost your academic skills for your taught course? Find out more about our Pre-Masters in Management and Finance.

Visas and immigration

Find out how to apply for a student visa


Fees and scholarships

How much does it cost?

Fees

Home: £10,250 per year

EU: £10,250 per year

Channel Islands and Isle of Man: £10,250 per year

Overseas: £17,450 per year

Note that your fees may be subject to an increase on an annual basis.

How can I fund my course?

Postgraduate Masters loans

Borrow up to £10,280 to contribute to your postgraduate study.

Find out more about Postgraduate Masters Loans

Scholarships

Our aim is to ensure that every student who wants to study with us is able to despite financial barriers, so that we continue to attract talented and unique individuals.

Chancellor's Masters Scholarship (2017)

Open to students with a 1st class from a UK university or excellent grades from an EU university and offered a F/T place on a Sussex Masters in 2017

Application deadline:

1 August 2017

Find out more about the Chancellor's Masters Scholarship

Postgraduate Economics Scholarship for African students. (2017)

The scholarship is for a student from a sub-Saharan African country studying for either the Development Economics MSc or the Economics MSc

Application deadline:

1 July 2017

Find out more about the Postgraduate Economics Scholarship for African students.

SPRU 50th Anniversary Scholarship (2017)

Five £10,000 scholarships for outstanding applicants who have accepted a place on one of SPRU’s five MSc courses.

Application deadline:

1 July 2017

Find out more about the SPRU 50th Anniversary Scholarship

St. Kovachev Scholarship for International Marketing MSc (2017)

The scholarship is for a UK/EU student studying for the International Marketing MSc.

Application deadline:

1 July 2017

Find out more about the St. Kovachev Scholarship for International Marketing MSc

St. Kovachev Scholarship in Economics MSc or International Business Economics MSc (2017)

The scholarship is for a UK/EU student studying for the Economics MSc or International Business Economics MSc

Application deadline:

1 July 2017

Find out more about the St. Kovachev Scholarship in Economics MSc or International Business Economics MSc

Sussex Graduate Scholarship (2017)

Open to Sussex students who graduate with a first or upper second-class degree and offered a full-time place on a Sussex Masters course in 2017

Application deadline:

1 August 2017

Find out more about the Sussex Graduate Scholarship

Sussex India Scholarships (2017)

Sussex India Scholarships are worth £3,500 and are for overseas fee paying students from India commencing Masters study in September 2017.

Application deadline:

1 August 2017

Find out more about the Sussex India Scholarships

Sussex Malaysia Scholarships (2017)

Sussex Malaysia Scholarships are worth £3,500 and are for overseas fee paying students from Malaysia commencing Masters study in September 2017.

Application deadline:

1 August 2017

Find out more about the Sussex Malaysia Scholarships

Sussex MBA Scholarship (2017)

The Sussex MBA Scholarship is available on a competitive basis to UK, EU and international applicants who have been offered a place on The Sussex MBA.

Find out more about the Sussex MBA Scholarship

Sussex Nigeria Scholarships (2017)

Sussex Nigeria Scholarships are worth £3,500 or £5,000 and are for overseas fee paying students from Nigeria commencing a Masters in September 2017.

Application deadline:

1 August 2017

Find out more about the Sussex Nigeria Scholarships

Sussex Pakistan Scholarships (2017)

Sussex Pakistan Scholarships are worth £3,500 and are for overseas fee paying students from Pakistan commencing Masters study in September 2017.

Application deadline:

1 August 2017

Find out more about the Sussex Pakistan Scholarships

The Hornsey Scholarship (2017)

A £10,000 award for an outstanding student on the MSc in International Accounting and Corporate Governance.

Application deadline:

31 July 2017

Find out more about the The Hornsey Scholarship

How Masters scholarships make studying more affordable

Living costs

Find out typical living costs for studying at Sussex.


Faculty

Meet the people teaching and supervising on your course.

  • Faculty profiles

    Prof Katie Bailey
    Professor Of Management
    K.Bailey@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Change Management, employee engagement, gender and employment, HRM in the public sector, Human resource management, knowledge-intensive firms, meaningful work, strategic human resource management

    View profile

    Dr Bruce Hearn
    Senior Lecturer in Accounting & Finance
    B.A.Hearn@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Corporate finance, corporate governance, Finance, Financial Management

    View profile

    Dr Norifumi Kawai
    Senior Lecturer in International Business
    N.Kawai@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: corporate social responsibility, expatriate management, global strategy, managerial economics, strategic human resource management

    View profile

    Dr Andreas Kornelakis
    Visiting Senior Research Fellow
    A.Kornelakis@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Banking Sector, Collective Bargaining, Comparative Studies, Employee Voice, Europe, Flexibility, Human resource management, Labour relations, Pay Determination, Pay Systems, Political economy, Telecommunications, Work

    View profile

    Dr Mike Osborne
    Senior Lecturer in Accounting & Finance
    M.J.Osborne@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Capital budgeting, Corporate finance, Finance, Fixed income mathematics, Interest rates, Investment appraisal, Project analysis, Retail finance, Time value of money

    View profile

    Dr Dimitra Petrakaki
    Reader in Information Systems
    D.Petrakaki@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Information Systems, Information technology and organisational change, Organisational theory, Science And Technology Studies, Sociology, sociology of health, sociology of technology

    View profile

    Dr Josh Siepel
    Senior Lecturer in Management
    J.Siepel@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Design Innovation, Economics, Entrepreneurship, entrepreneurship policy, Financing Innovation, Firm growth, Innovation Creativity and Design, Innovation policy issues, skills and employment, Small Business Policy, SMEs; SME finance; SME public policy

    View profile

    Dr Jie Wen
    Lecturer in Finance
    J.Wen@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Corporate finance, financial market microstructure, Financial regulation

    View profile

The MSc is an opportunity to explore accountancy and governance issues in the 21st century. Students develop a unique perspective on accounting, organisations and society.”Professor Alan Sangster
Course Director, International Accounting and Corporate Governance

Careers

Graduate destinations

95% of students from the Department of Business and Management were in work or further study six months after graduating. Our graduates have gone on to jobs including:

  • payments coordinator, American Express
  • accountant, Focus
  • management information analyst, Credit Suisse.

(HESA EPI, Destinations of Post Graduate Leavers from Higher Education Survey 2015

Your future career

This course opens up an array of career opportunities in management consultancy and international accountancy, as well as with large international financial bodies such as the World Trade Organization or the World Bank.

Some of our recent graduates have gone on to work as financial analysts or controllers with companies such as Aviva and BMW, or work as consultants for a range of international and national partnerships.

Others have taken up management positions in the public sector. Some are pursuing doctoral studies at other prestigious universities. 

Working while you study

Our Careers and Employability Centre can help you find part-time work while you study. Find out more about career development and part-time work