MSc Professional Accounting (with ACCA tuition)

Our innovative MSc Professional Accounting (with ACCA tuition) combines advanced academic study with a professional accounting qualification. This accounting masters is aimed at students who have completed the Fundamentals Level papers of the ACCA Professional Qualification (applied knowledge and skills papers), or those who are exempted from these ACCA papers by virtue of studying an accounting degree, recognised and accredited by ACCA.

Taught by award-winning tutors from our Platinum-accredited ACCA programme, modules are aligned with the final Strategic Professional Level of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) Qualification. 

Students are prepared to sit the four ACCA Strategic Professional external exams shortly after the completion of internal Masters assessments. USW's accounting course therefore offers a study regime that is highly efficient in terms of both cost and time, with professional and academic Masters study occurring concurrently. On the full-time course students can obtain a Masters qualification and sit all ACCA exams in one year. Download our Accounting brochure. 

Students who have already passed some or all of the ACCA Strategic Professional Level papers may still be able to join the MSc -please contact Rhian Gosling for further details. For example, students who have passed all exams and who have one year of post-qualification work experience can join our Fast-Track version of the Masters, which involves the completion of an in-depth Dissertation.

2020/21 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 Newport City C
Part-time 2 Years January Newport City C
Part-time 2 Years September Newport City C

The MSc Professional Accounting (with ACCA tuition) course provides the 'best of both worlds' - a rigorous Masters level education from both academic and professional perspectives. It provides the advanced work-based skills of a professional course and the advanced critical evaluation of subject areas and research literature of an academic Masters course.

The modules you will study are as follows (note that their names mirror the names of the ACCA external papers):

Strategic Business Reporting (40 credits)

This module aims to develop knowledge, understanding and application of contemporary corporate reporting principles, standards, practices and toolkits in a range of business contexts and situations, which will require advanced evaluation and synthesis skills. The module will also foster critical questioning of the development and content of such areas, including a focus on current and future reporting issues. Students will be prepared for internal masters assessments (assignment & exam) plus an external ACCA examination.

Summary of syllabus areas:

  • Fundamental ethical and professional principles
  • The financial reporting framework
  • Reporting the financial performance of a range of entities
  • Financial statements of groups of entities
  • Interpretation of financial statements for different stakeholders
  • The impact of changes and potential changes in accounting regulation

Advanced Financial Management (40 credits)

This module aims to develop students’ knowledge, understanding, application and critical evaluation of contemporary financial management and corporate finance principles in a range of business contexts. Further, it aims to develop students’ abilities to critically evaluate existing practice and current developments. It will require advanced evaluation and synthesis skills and will foster critical questioning. Students will be prepared for internal masters assessments (assignment & exam) plus an external ACCA examination.

Summary of syllabus areas:

  • Role of a senior financial adviser in a multinational organisation
  • Advanced investment appraisal
  • Acquisitions and mergers
  • Corporate reconstruction and reorganisation
  • Treasury and advanced risk management techniques

Advanced Performance Management (40 credits)

This module aims to develop students’ knowledge, understanding, application and critical evaluation of contemporary performance management principles in a range of business contexts. Further, it aims to develop students’ abilities to critically evaluate existing practice and current developments. It will require advanced evaluation and synthesis skills and will foster critical questioning. Students will be prepared for internal masters assessments (group assignment & exam) plus an external ACCA examination.

Summary of syllabus areas:

  • Strategic planning and control
  • Impact of risk and uncertainty on organisational performance
  • Performance measurement systems and design
  • Strategic performance measurement
  • Performance evaluation and corporate failure

Strategic Business Leader (40 credits)

This module aims to prepare students to:

  • critically evaluate the theory and practice of business strategy, corporate governance, risk and ethics;
  • evaluate and synthesize information in realistic case study scenarios; and
  • make and present professionally effective leadership decisions by applying the appropriate blend of technical, ethical and professional skills.

Students will be prepared for an internal masters assessment in these areas (exam) plus the external ACCA Strategic Business Leader case study examination.

Summary of syllabus areas:

  • Leadership & ethics
  • Governance and agency systems
  • Technology and data analytics
  • Evaluation of risk profile, internal control and audit systems
  • Evaluation (including financial) of strategic position, options and actions
  • Application of solution strategies
  • Innovation, performance excellence and change management


Business Research Project (20 credits)

The module aims to prepare students to undertake an individual Business Research Project that can be of real practical relevance to organisations. It includes tuition sessions on Research Methodology.


ACCA Requirements 

Ethics and Professional Skills module

ACCA recommends that students complete their Ethics and Professional Skills module before attempting any Strategic Professional level exams.

The module introduces students to advanced ethical and professional skills and they are exposed to realistic business situations via an interactive environment. The module supplements a student’s technical knowledge by helping them develop the ethical and professional behaviours that they will need to successfully complete the Strategic Professional exams.

Please note the module is charged at a one-off fee of £60 which is payable to ACCA. See more information on the ACCA website

Practical Experience Requirements

In addition to completing their exams and the Ethics & Professional Skills module, all ACCA students are required to complete the PER (Practical Experience Requirement) before they can become a full ACCA member. The PER is where students demonstrate relevant skills and experience within a real work environment.

Completion of PER involves:
• achieving 36 months of supervised experience in a relevant accounting or finance role(s)
• completing nine performance objectives
• recording progress online in MyExperience
• having the experience signed off by a practical experience supervisor

Students are responsible for arranging their own PER usually via their normal place of work.

Please note that it is the responsibility of students to enter external ACCA exams (see the ACCA website for further details).


Teaching methods ensure that students are prepared for both the ACCA Strategic Professional Level externally set exams and for internal Masters assessments (assignments and examinations) in an integrated fashion.

The Strategic Business Reporting, Advanced Financial Management and Advanced Performance Management modules each attract 80 teaching hours, and these are typically split as follows:

  • 60 hours of preparation for external ACCA examination and internal MSc equivalent examination (development of advanced technical competencies; application to complex practical scenarios; development of professional skills)

  • 20 hours of critical academic evaluation of the subject area.

The Strategic Business Leader module is taught for 90 hours. The Business Research Project includes classroom-based Research Methodology sessions plus one-to-one supervisor support when students reach the project phase. All modules are taught in a workshop environment that includes lecture, seminar/tutorial, simulation, individual research and group work elements.


ACCA exams require students to focus on the complex practical scenarios that a professional accountant will face and the advanced technical competencies they will require to tackle these. Internal MSc exam-based assessments replicate the structure and style of the external ACCA exams.

They are typically sat two weeks before the external ACCA exam and thus act as mock exams on which feedback is quickly given, as well as accruing MSc credits in their own right. Internal MSc written and oral assignments have a different emphasis, focussing on the critical evaluation appropriate for an academic Masters qualification.

Please note that it is the responsibility of students to enter external ACCA exams (see the ACCA website for further details).


Alongside your Masters qualification, you will be prepared to sit ACCA’s final four Strategic Professional exams. On passing these exams and undertaking ACCA's online ethics and professional skills module, you will be able to qualify as a Chartered Certified Accountant, subject to satisfying ACCA’s practical work experience requirements.


An undergraduate finance, accounting or audit degree from a UK university, class 2:2 Honours or higher;

OR an undergraduate business degree from a UK university with an appropriate level of financial content, class 2:2 Honours or higher;

OR equivalent accredited international or professional qualifications (such as direct passes in ACCA Fundamentals Level papers applied knowledge and skills).

Note that as a minimum students joining this course must (a) either be exempt from ACCA Fundamentals Level papers applied knowledge and skills by virtue of their undergraduate degrees or (b) must have passed these papers directly, and hence be ready to commence ACCA study at Strategic Professional Level.

Students wishing to join the course must have applied for student membership with ACCA before the start date and obtained confirmation of their exemptions. Details are available on the ACCA website (

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 2020 - July 2021 Fees

  • Full-time UK and EU:  £9750

  • Full-time International:  £14270 

  • Part-time UK and EU:  £1083 per 20 credits

August 2021 - July 2022 Fees

  • Full-time UK and EU: TBC

  • Full-time International: TBC

  • Part-time UK and EU: 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.

* Obligatory

Item Cost
ACCA membership *
Students will be required to pay separately for ACCA student membership, exemption and external examination fees. For the latest information, visit:


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.

Our Careers and Employability Service

As a USW student, you will have access to advice from the Careers and Employability Service throughout your studies and after you graduate.

This includes: one-to-one appointments from faculty based Career Advisers, in person, over the phone or even on Skype and through email via the "Ask a Question" service. We also have extensive online resources for help with considering your career options and presenting yourself well to employers. Resources include psychometric tests, career assessments, a CV builder, interview simulator and application help. Our employer database has over 2,000 registered employers targeting USW students, you can receive weekly email alerts for jobs.

Our Careers service has dedicated teams: A central work experience team to help you find relevant placements; an employability development team which includes an employability programme called Grad Edge; and an Enterprise team focused on new business ideas and entrepreneurship.