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. 

2021/22 update: Blended learning approach for USW courses.

[Update excludes online-only courses].

The wellbeing and health and safety of our students and staff is paramount to us. We are committed to delivering all of our courses and services as safely as possible. Due to the pandemic, the methods and activities adopted for the coming year may differ from those previously published and may be subject to further change through the course of your study if such change is necessary due to public health concerns, health and safety guidance or in response to Government Guidelines. USW is committed to providing you with a fantastic student experience and a wealth of support, and you can hear how students have benefitted from this approach here: Learn more about blended learning.

Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
Full-time 1 Year September Treforest A
Part-time 2 Years September Treforest A
Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
Full-time 1 Year February Treforest A
Full-time 1 Year September Treforest A
Part-time 2 Years February Treforest A
Part-time 2 Years September Treforest A

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.


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 2021 - July 2022 Fees

  • Full-time UK:  £9000

  • Full-time International:  £14300 

  • Part-time UK:  £1000 per 20 credits

August 2022 - July 2023 Fees

  • Full-time UK: TBC

  • Full-time International: TBC

  • Part-time UK: TBC

Additional Costs

Students have access to a wide range of resources including textbooks, publications, and computers in the University’s library and via online resources. In most cases they are more than sufficient to complete a course of study. Where there are additional costs, either obligatory or optional, these are detailed below. Of course students may choose to purchase their own additional personal resources/tools over and above those listed to support their studies at their own expense. All stationery and printing costs are at a student’s own expense.



Funding to help pay for/cover tuition fees and living costs

Whilst you’re studying you’ll have two main costs – tuition fees and living costs. You can get a range of funding to help with these costs.

There are a number of ways to fund your postgraduate study. This can be through student finance, bursaries or help from grants, trusts and charities (see Alternative Funding), or a combination of all three.

Click here to find out more about funding your postgraduate tuition fees and living costs.


USW Alumni Postgraduate Discount 

The University of South Wales is offering a 20% reduction in tuition fees for all University of South Wales graduates studying a postgraduate course from September 2021 (this includes students starting their course in January/ February 2022). T's and C's apply.

Click here for more information about the USW Alumni Postgraduate Discount


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.