POSTGRADUATE PROGRAMME SPECIFICATION

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1 POSTGRADUATE PROGRAMME SPECIFICATION Programme Title: Awarding Body: Teaching Institution: Final Awards: MSc International Accounting and Financial Management Staffordshire University Staffordshire University MSc International Accounting and Financial Management Intermediate Awards: Post Graduate Certificate in Accounting and Finance Post Graduate Diploma in International Accounting and Financial Management Mode of Study: UCAS Codes: QAA Subject Benchmarks: Professional/Statutory Body: Full-time/Part-Time N/A Business and Management Masters (2007) N/A Date of Production: May 2013 Date of Revision: If you require this document in a larger text or a different media please contact us. 1

2 EDUCATIONAL AIMS OF THE PROGRAMME The MSc International Accounting and Financial Management offers an advanced programme of study in Accounting and Finance. The emphasis of the programme throughout is to prepare you for a career in business where accounting and financial management knowledge and skills form key components. The objective is to develop your capacity to deal with real world issues in an intellectual manner. Detailed learning outcomes for all modules are given in the module descriptors. The programme aims to develop your academic and practical skills and equip them to apply these in a business context. The programme aims to: Develop an advanced, Masters level knowledge and understanding of concepts, models, principles, practices, technical application, tools and contemporary issues relating to the discipline of international accounting and financial management, from a theoretical and practical perspective. Enable you to use and critically analyse financial information and data for financial and portfolio management decision-making. Prepare you to evaluate corporate investment and financing decisions from both strategic and international perspectives. Develop your understanding and ability to apply a range of learning and research methodologies and strategies which are appropriate to the field of International Accounting and Financial Management. Raise your awareness of the contributions of accounting and finance to the success of a business and for them to recognise the importance of integration of the Accounting and Finance functions with the wider business strategy. Develop your abilities to critically evaluate the impact of accounting theory in resolving major international financial reporting issues and the importance of relevant academic research to the area. Develop your critical analysis and evaluation skills and to utilise effectively the academic literature and other forms of research output that inform current debates within the fields of International Accounting and Financial Management. Develop your abilities to analyse and synthesise different techniques and approaches used in the field of International Accounting and Financial Management and critically evaluate these within a business context. Enable you to acquire and demonstrate a range of transferable skills and competencies necessary to operate effectively and efficiently in a constantly changing and highly competitive financial environment. What is distinctive about this programme? Staffordshire University MSc International Accounting and Financial Management offers the following distinctive features: A significant level of added value in terms of academic achievement and increased employability across national boundaries. A vocational ethos, with employability, enterprise and entrepreneurial aspects as key elements throughout the programme. A fostering of your ability to analyse and critically appraise all types of financial information for in the context of International Accounting and Financial Management. A rigorous preparation for the progression to further studies (such as doctoral programmes and higher level professional accountancy qualifications), with added depth and contemporary relevance to existing professional accountancy qualifications via academic research. Technology to enhance learning and allow you to practice fund management in a risk-free, safe environment. 2

3 PROGRAMME STRUCTURE, MODULES AND CREDITS Programme Structure for MSc International Accounting and Financial Management This programme will give you a solid foundation in international accounting and financial management. The first semester of the programme will provide an advanced level of study of the broad disciplines of international accounting and financial management plus a study of business research methods. The second semester modules will focus on the specialist areas within international accounting and financial management. The final semester will conclude with an investment game module and an individual dissertation. Block 1 Financial Reporting and Analysis 15 credits Management Control and Internal Audit 15 credits Advanced Corporate Finance 15 credits Business Management Research Block 2 International Finance International Corporate Reporting Economic Analysis of the Firm Option Block 3 Dissertation (International Accounting and Financial Management) (45 Credits) Investment Game 3

4 Award Outcomes PG Certificate Accounting and Finance (exit award) 60 Credits On completion of the PG Certificate in Accounting and Finance participants will be able to demonstrate the following learning outcomes. 1. Demonstrate a systematic awareness, understanding and knowledge of contemporary international accounting and finance theory, research and professional practice within a local and global context (Knowledge and Understanding) 2. Demonstrate intellectual and entrepreneurial skills in the application of accounting and finance knowledge, together with a practical understanding of how established techniques of accounting and finance are used in analysis, performance evaluation and decision making at a strategic level (Application) 3. Demonstrate the capacity to learn independently and critically and to take responsibility for continuing professional development. Contextualise, analyse and learn from experience or simulated environments taking a global perspective upon contemporary developments and research in the field of accounting and finance. (Learning) Award Outcomes PG Diploma International Accounting and Financial Management (exit award) 120 Credits On completion of the PG Diploma in Accounting and Financial Management participants will be able to demonstrate the following learning outcomes. The PG Certificate in Accounting and Finance Award Outcomes plus: 4. Generate innovative and enterprising solutions and applications of knowledge which inform decision making, develop ideas and propose accounting and finance solutions taking into account the needs of stakeholders in a competitive and challenging global environment. (Problem Solving) 5. Articulate complex information based on critical awareness and knowledge, adapting to different audiences and circumstances using a variety of communication tools and methods. (Communication) 6. Demonstrate the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of initiatives and personal responsibility, self-direction and originality in tackling and solving finance problems and act autonomously in planning and implementing tasks at a professional level. (Reflection) Award Outcomes MSc International Accounting and Financial Management On completion of the MSc Accounting and Financial Management, you will be able to demonstrate the following learning outcomes. 1. Demonstrate a systematic awareness, understanding and knowledge of contemporary international accounting and financial management theory, research and professional practice within a local and global context (Knowledge and Understanding) 4

5 2. Demonstrate intellectual and entrepreneurial skills in the application of international accounting and financial management knowledge, together with a practical advanced understanding of how established techniques of accounting and finance are applied to complex financial management situations within businesses. (Application) 3. Generate innovative and enterprising solutions and applications of knowledge which inform judgements, develop ideas and propose financial solutions taking into account the needs of stakeholders in a competitive and challenging global financial environment. (Problem Solving) 4. Demonstrate the ability to learn independently and to take responsibility for continuing professional development. Contextualise, analyse and learn from experience or simulated environments taking a global perspective upon contemporary developments and research in the field of International Accounting and Financial Management. (Learning) 5. Devise and apply valid research and investigative methods to access existing data and information, and also where necessary generate new data. Demonstrate understanding of the location of chosen methodologies within major international accounting and finance research paradigms. (Enquiry) 6. Demonstrate a conceptual understanding and critical awareness of current accounting and finance research and advanced scholarship. Evaluating the rigour and validity of research and its relevance to contemporary situations. (Analysis) 7. Articulate complex information based on critical awareness and knowledge, adapting to different audiences and circumstances using a variety of communication tools and methods. (Communication) 8. Demonstrate the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of initiative and personal responsibility, self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems and act autonomously in planning and implementing tasks at a professional level. Demonstrate personal effectiveness through critical self awareness, personal reflection and self management and a keen desire to learn through reflection on practice, real case study scenarios and experience. (Reflection) 5

6 Teaching and Learning HOW WILL I BE TAUGHT AND ASSESSED? Teaching and learning strategies used to deliver this curriculum are designed to provide a critical view of best practice set into the context of the latest theories, models and frameworks, as well as in an international and vocational context. They are designed to develop the critical and innovatory abilities of the participants. The methods of teaching and learning used will vary according to the nature of the subject matter but will have a wide diversity from lectures to student centred activities including seminars, case studies, management games, group work, learning sets, simulations, learning support material, empirical and desk based research. We recognise that different people learn in different ways and utilise a range of different teaching methods and situations, for example, lectures, guest lectures, tutorials, seminars, workshops, case studies, project work, role-plays and virtual learning environments to supplement the modules. In all classes, emphasis will be placed on active, experiential learning, including lectures which encourage active participation from you. The key tactic used on the MSc programmes is Learning Teams. These are introduced at the induction stage and progressed throughout the programme, culminating in teams working effectively together on a practice based simulation module in fund management. Therefore, the Learning Teams become Fund Managers. Each team will manage an on-line 100 million portfolio of investments as part of the Investment Game module. This module will develop your transferable skills -whilst bonding together as learners. Many students are used to a higher power-distance relationship between students and staff in their previous study, so this link hastens educational-cultural adjustment. Significant emphasis will be placed on the personal and skills development experience through presentations, role-play and personal reflective exercises. Portfolio investing teams will be organised in order to practice decision making for investing purposes over the course of the study of the simulation of portfolio investing module. These teams are organised to represent diverse cultural and gender backgrounds to encourage you to be independent learners within a team framework. This prepares them for the fully independent learning phase when they undertake personal research, guided by their dissertation supervisor. Directed study supports and builds upon the knowledge and skills learnt in class to provide a fuller understanding of the subject. Personal and module tutors are on hand to provide support to you to discuss any queries, for advice on plans, etc. The curriculum is structured so that skills and knowledge developed in core modules can be transferred, re-applied and further developed. The Personal tutorial system and the continuous emphasis on PDP ensure that you are constantly reflecting upon, adapting and enhancing their learning. The VLE plays a key role in ensuring communication is maintained and direction is provided to ensure a depth and breadth of learning which complements and enhances the direct contact experiences. All modules have VLE presence, and many are adapted to provide groups of students with a series of online learning and assessment packages, including videos, formative tests, questionnaires and direction to potential websites for individual learning. 6

7 Assessment This is informed by professional-based assessment guidelines and QAA benchmark standards Skills for all Masters programmes. In essence these are a demonstrable appropriate range of cognitive, critical and intellectual skills, research skills, and relevant personal and interpersonal skills. They are designed to prepare participants for professional practise, so graduates should be able to demonstrate these professional competencies. Assessment types A wide variety of both formative and summative assessment vehicles facilitates testing of the Learning Outcomes. Methods include presentations, individual and team projects, individual reports, debates and examinations. Assessment methods vary between modules but the overall strategy is to have a balanced set of assessments across a variety of methods that will include examinations, assignments, group and/or individual presentation, open analysis cases, portfolios, projects and dissertations. The above provides an overview of the types of teaching, learning and assessment which will be utilised to enable the you to achieve their full potential and demonstrate the outcomes of the programmes. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION Entry Requirements Candidates for admission will normally be expected to have: A UK 2.2 Honours degree (or equivalent) in a relevant discipline and evidence of satisfactory English language skills is required for international candidates where English is not their first language, such as: o IELTS overall score 6.0 (with a minimum of 5.5 in Speaking, Writing, Reading and Listening); or o TOEFL overall score 87 (minimum of: 23 Speaking, 21 Listening, 22 Reading and 21 Writing); or o Pearson s overall score 51 (minimum of: 51 Speaking; Listening, reading and Writing). o A booster Pre-course English Language is available. An overall assessment of an applicants' educational background, experience and potential to benefit from the scheme will be made when considering the suitability of a candidate for our Masters programmes. For non-standard applications - Candidates may be admitted to the award with advance standing on the basis of exemptions from previous studies, including full or part completion of professional accountancy qualifications or have acquired postgraduate credits from similar awards whether at Staffordshire University or from other Higher Education institutions. Disability Statement Staffordshire University operates a policy of inclusive teaching and learning to ensure that all students have an equal opportunity to fulfil their educational potential. Details about how to apply to have your needs assessed can be found at: 7

8 AWARD SPECIFIC INFORMATION The Postgraduate Assessment Regulations The MSc International Accounting and Financial Management assessment regulations will conform to the University postgraduate regulations but in addition will include the following award specific regulations: 1. It is required that no part of the assessment within the module falls below 30% Any individual element that falls below 30% will automatically be required to be re-sat and the maximum mark that can be achieved for this element will then be 50%. 2. The Examination Board has the discretion to compensate and award credits for a module in which a fail at 47-49% has been recorded. The final decision lies within the Examination Board. A 15 credit Level 7 may be awarded a compensated pass when the candidate has passed 45 credits after studying 60 credits. No compensation may be applied until at least 45 credits have been passed (that is, 50% is achieved). 3. No compensation is permitted for the Masters Dissertation or Business Management Research. Further information about the award can be found in the relevant Student Handbook and on the University Website. This includes information about optional modules, student support, and academic regulations. ==================================== 8

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