MSc Forensic Audit and Accounting
Forensic accounting and the related discipline of forensic audit are fast-developing areas in the commercial world. Major professional accounting firms now have departments offering forensic accounting and audit services, and the demand for expertise in this area is growing exponentially.
USW's respected Forensic Audit and Accounting masters course - the only course of its kind in the UK - has been running for over ten years and provides specialist skills in fraud investigation, valuations, assist in dispute resolution, expert reporting and cyber investigations.
Employment opportunities are numerous, from specialist firms of forensic accountants to dedicated forensic/fraud departments within accountancy firms. Forensic audit and forensic accounting are important areas for national governments, regulators and anti-financial crime bodies, particularly in developing countries.
Please note, due to the high volumes of applications received, we are no longer accepting new applications from international students who wish to start this course in January or February 2023. Applications from students in the UK or EU are still being accepted. For more information, please visit our International website. Any new international applications received for the January/February 2023 intakes will be withdrawn.
However, International students can apply to study this course from September 2023. Whilst there is no set deadline to apply, we would recommend making an application as soon as possible.
Learn more about Accounting and Finance courses at USW:
The MSc Forensic Audit and Accounting will build your confidence in the forensic audit of business data and provide you with advanced analytical, evaluation and problem solving skills. You will learn how to evaluate the principles of good corporate governance and the integrity of management, and to understand the role of computer forensic techniques in an investigatory and legal context.
- Forensic Financial Analysis
Provides an introduction to and overview of financial analysis and includes areas such as valuation (assets, businesses, liabilities), financial statement analysis, hidden asset identification, asset recovery, and the quantification of losses arising from breach of contract and disaster situations. In this module there is also an emphasis on uncovering and detecting financial statement fraud.
- Audit, Governance and Risk Management
Explicitly links governance and fraud and gives emphasis to (fraud) risk management and internal controls. Also focuses on forensic audit as opposed to generic statutory audit skills.
- Research Methods in Accounting and Finance
This module introduces students to the methods and methodology of academic research – with a focus on finance and accounting. Coverage includes constructing a literature review, referencing, information sources, the research paradigm, collecting primary data, analysis of quantitative data including the use of descriptive and inferential statistics.
- Cyber and Digital Investigations
Overview of the tools, techniques and practice of digital forensics. Whilst it is recognised that Forensic Accounting students do not need to be technical experts; they need an awareness of the techniques available and when to call in expert help. Module also covers the law relating to digital forensics, cybercrime and mitigations.
- Financial Crime and Expert Witness
This module focuses on the role of the expert witness and dispute resolution. In addition the work of Regional Asset Recovery Teams, Regional Organised Crime Units and associated legislation including the Proceeds of Crime Act, Money Laundering regulations etc. and various other aspects of financial crime are examined.
- Fraud Examination
Fraud examination methodologies from planning to litigation, engagement to report writing and investigation techniques.
Advanced fraud related topics, including, but not limited to: the psychology of the fraudster; fraud schemes; interviewing and investigative techniques; profiling; evidence gathering and management and cybercrime.
- Dissertation – Accounting and Finance
The Forensic Audit and Accounting masters course is delivered full-time through a combination of lectures, tutorials, computer workshops, case study analysis and discussion groups.
You will be exposed to real-life situations and given the skills and opportunities to find practical solutions.
You will have the opportunity to use state-of-the-art computer forensic and data analysis software.
Our experienced tutors are accounting, legal and computing professionals with extensive industry and academic experience. They maintain strong links with professional bodies and employers and a number are qualified ACFE Fraud Examiners.
Students benefit from having employers regularly on-campus through CPD talks and guest lectures.
Assessment methods include examinations and coursework and practical assignments.
Our dedicated trading simulation room powered by leading industry software and you will also learn the latest audit and computer forensic software.
We regularly revalidate courses for quality assurance and enhancement
At USW, we regularly review our courses in response to changing patterns of employment and skills demand to ensure we offer learning designed to reflect today’s student needs and tomorrow’s employer demands.
If during a review process course content is significantly changed, we’ll write to inform you and talk you through the changes for the coming year. But whatever the outcome, we aim to equip our students with the skillset and the mindset to succeed whatever tomorrow may bring. Your future, future-proofed.
A minimum 2:2 Honours degree in accounting, audit or finance. Alternatively, a minimum 2:2 Honours degree in business with an appropriate level of financial content, from a UK university.
Equivalent accredited international or professional qualifications are acceptable. The course welcomes international applicants and requires an English level of IELTS 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each component or equivalent.
Please note that whilst this course does not require a DBS Check for entry, some professions will not consider candidates who have certain types of criminal convictions. Therefore, if you have a criminal conviction and you are considering a particular career path we would recommend that you check with the relevant professional body or refer to their recruitment policy to make sure that your conviction will not disadvantage you.
Full-time fees are per year. Part-time fees are per 20 credits. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course.
August 2023 - July 2024 Fees
Full-time UK: £9500
Full-time International: £14950
At the University of South Wales, you’re investing in so much more than a degree. We strive to provide our students with the best possible experience, no matter what you chose to study. Whether it’s access to top of the range mac books and PCs, state-of-the-art facilities packed with industry-leading equipment and software, masterclasses and events led by industry experts, or a wide range of clubs and societies to meet likeminded people, better tomorrows start with extra perks.
Each course also has their own unique student benefits to prepare you for the real word, and details of these can be found on our course pages. From global field trips, integrated work experience and free course-related resources, to funded initiatives, projects working with real employers, and opportunities for extra qualifications and accreditations - at USW your future, is future-proofed.
As a student of USW, you’ll have access to lots of free resources to support your study and learning, such as textbooks, publications, online journals, laptops, and plenty of remote-access resources. Whilst in most cases these resources are more than sufficient in supporting you with completing your course, additional costs, both obligatory and optional, may be required or requested for the likes of travel, memberships, experience days, stationery, printing, or equipment.
Funding to help pay for (or cover) course tuition fees and living costs
Whilst you’re studying, you’ll have two main financial obligations – tuition fees and living costs. There’s lots of financial help available from the University of South Wales and external funding sources, that may provide loans (which have to be paid back) and grants, scholarships and bursaries (that don't).
To learn about course fees, funding options, and to see if you are eligible for financial support, visit our Fees and Funding pages.
USW Postgraduate 20% Alumni Discount 2023/24
The University of South Wales is offering a 20% reduction in tuition fees for all University of South Wales* graduates starting a taught/online*** MA,MSc, LLM,MBA or DBA course from September 2023 (this includes students starting a course in January/February 2024). T's and Cs apply. Click here for more details and eligibility criteria: USW Postgraduate Alumni Discount 2023/24
Forensic Audit and Accounting is a growing, niche area with audit and accountancy firms looking for specialist skills.
It is also an important area for national governments, particularly in developing countries. As a result, employment opportunities are numerous, from specialist firms of forensic accountants to specialist departments within accountancy firms.
There are many opportunities in the public and regulatory sectors, as well as employment prospects in commercial organisations, as part of investigatory, internal audit, and compliance departments.
Recent graduates are employed in the forensic accounting department of a ‘Big Four’ accountancy firm, and as a Fraud Investigator for a national public sector auditor.
As a USW student, you will have access to advice from the Careers and Employability Service throughout your studies and after you graduate.