Master of Science in Accounting

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1 Programme Syllabus for Master of Science in Accounting 120 higher education credits Second Cycle Established by the Faculty Board of the School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, on November 14, 2006, last revised on April 28, Graduate School School of Business, Economics and Law at University of Gothenburg Vasagatan 1, PO Box 695, SE Göteborg, Sweden , (fax)

2 2 / Decision and Guidelines The study programme for the Master of Science in Accounting, 120 higher education credits, hec, (equals 120 ECTS credits), was established by the Faculty Board of the School of Business, Economics and Law, on November 14, 2006 and last revised on April 28, The programme syllabus applies as from autumn term of General Objectives Second cycle education shall according to the Swedish Higher Education Act (HEA) build on knowledge that students acquire in first cycle education or corresponding knowledge (see Appendix 1, HEA, ch. 1:9) The general objectives for a Master (120 credits) are stated in Appendix 2, the Higher Education Ordinance (see Appendix 1). 3. Programme Specific Objectives (learning outcomes) 1. After successfully completing the programme the student should be able to take part in conceptual discussions in the broader area of accounting, and effectively communicate conceptual arguments orally, as well as in writing. The student will also be able to analytically structure and analyze accounting issues. 2. Furthermore, after completing the programme the student will be able to work with advanced tasks within the broader area of accounting. This entails both the ability to apply conceptual reasoning to specific professional tasks, and the ability to identify issues in settings of limited information. 3. Upon completion of the programme the student will have the ability to relate accounting to broader issues, such as the impact of accounting on inter or intraorganizational behaviour, as well as its impact on economic relations between different entities. 4. After completing the programme the student will also have acquired the following general skills: Communication skills, including writing, oral presentation, and communication in group work situations. Project management, such as the ability to autonomously plan, execute, and conclude a large project. Information search, including the ability to find and filter information from databases and other information sources.

3 3 / Organisation All Graduate School programmes are managed by the Dean of the Graduate School while the operational responsibility rests with the Director of Studies. Each Graduate School programme has a programme coordinator and an advisory programme committee responsible for programme and course content. 5. Programme Disposition and Content Year 1 Period General track Auditing track ** Autumn Term GM0310 Strategic Management Accounting, 7.5 hec Period 1 GM0314 Operational Management Accounting, 7.5 hec Autumn Period 2 Spring Period 3 Spring Period 4 Term Term Term GM0309 Applied Enterprise Systems*, 7.5 hec GM0313 Business Intelligence*, 7.5 hec GM0303 Advanced Financial Accounting, 15 hec Elective, 7.5 hec GM0305 Accounting Communication in Practice*, 7.5 hec GM0316 Advanced Course in Commercial Law II, 15 hec GM0317 Tax law I, 15 hec Year 2 Period General track Auditing track Autumn Term GM0304 Financial Statement Analysis*, 7.5 hec Period 1 GM0312 Research Methods in Accounting*, 7.5 hec Autumn Term GM0311 Advances in Accounting Research, 7.5 hec Period 2 GM0315 Methods in Accounting Research, 7.5 hec Spring Term GM0360 Master Degree Project, 30 hec Period 3 and 4 *May be replaced by possible electives under certain circumstances ** Currently only available to Swedish speaking students. Please note there are specific prerequisites to be qualified for GM0316 and GM0317. See separate course syllabi. The electives are tentative depending upon faculty changes and number of registered students and may vary from year to year.

4 4 / 10 The programme covers four academic terms of full-time study (120 hec) including three terms of courses (90 hec) and one term of Master Degree Project 30 hec (thesis writing). The programme comprises core courses, including methods, elective courses and Master Degree Project. Core courses are programme specific and include courses in methods with emphasis on qualitative and quantitative analysis. Elective courses from other Master programmes, or in special cases, and only after permission granted by the Graduate School, second cycle courses at other universities may be an option. Each term is divided into two periods, and each course is 7.5 hec, except where noted. Core courses Strategic Management Accounting Operational Management Accounting Advanced Financial Accounting Advances in Accounting Research Methods in Accounting Research Master Degree Project Auditing Track Advanced Course in Commercial Law II Tax Law I Financial Statement Analysis Research Methods in Accounting General track Applied Enterprise Systems Business Intelligence Financial Statement Analysis Accounting Communication in Practice Research Methods in Accounting As the programme has a number of elective courses, students are able to tailor their education to specific needs which means that students can acquire different profiles within the programme. The programme coordinator will provide students with suggested electives for different specializations. In addition, the programme provides a basis for those who want to enter a doctoral programme. 1 st term Strategic Management Accounting (core course, 7.5 hec). The course focuses on the relationship between business strategy and the design and use of management accounting systems. Strategic management accounting integrates elements of strategic and marketing management into management accounting. Here, management accounting is viewed as a generic approach to accounting for strategic positioning, which includes gathering, refining, analyzing, and presenting data that originate in the competitive environment and thus encompass both customers and competitors.

5 5 / 10 Operational Management Accounting (core course, 7.5 hec). The course focuses on the relationship between strategic and operational management accounting. An insight in management accounting is the importance of the design and use of management accounting models that facilitate the implementation of strategy and strategic change. The course focuses on management accounting models under different strategic and operational contingencies. The course also examines the role of management accounting in value adding processes. Further, we discuss and develop an understanding for management accounting change from different perspectives. Applied Enterprise Systems (core course General track 7.5 hec) The course addresses the use of standardized, IT based business solutions such as Enterprise Resource Planning Systems as a strategic resource. Specific solutions are approached through a wide range of perspectives such as investment, implementation and integration. The course includes exercises and assignments that involve the use of several state of the art IT solutions. Business Intelligence (core course General track 7.5 hec) The course covers IT based solutions for strategic and operational management accounting. Specifically, the course focuses on the design and use of IT solutions for planning, decision making and control from a management accounting perspective. The course includes exercises and assignments that involve the use of several state of the art IT solutions. Advanced Course in Commercial Law II (core course Auditing track 15 hec) Currently this elective is only offered in Swedish. The course aims to give the students an in depth knowledge of contract law, the use of different types of agents, contract writing and contract interpretation, in particular in the light of the extensive use of standard contracts. The course aims to give: 1. an in depth knowledge of the sales contract of movable and immovable property and other types of agreements, such as service, rental and leasing contracts. 2. an in depth knowledge of company law with a special emphasis on limited liability companies, non-trading partnerships and partnership/limited partnership as well as combinations of the same 3. an in depth knowledge of the rules regarding the various forms of credit securities 4. knowledge of voluntary and coercive measures in connecting with payment difficulties and insolvency such as chords, corporate restructuring, liquidation and bankruptcy.

6 6 / knowledge of criminal law relating to property offences with particular emphasis on crimes against creditors. 6. a basic understanding of how regulatory frameworks are used in practice within the company. 2 nd term Advanced Financial Accounting (core course 15 hec). The course covers regulatory issues in accounting, as well as specific accounting issues. Within accounting issues the focus is on advanced and currently debated issues such as financial instruments, pensions, provisions, leasing, etc. Issues for both listed and unlisted companies are discussed. In addition, the issues are contextualized through a discussion of how they affect different parties in the financial accounting setting. This is partly done by relating the issues to accounting theory and research. There is also a section on fundamental issues in auditing, such as the role of independence, judgment and integrity. These issues are discussed in terms of auditing practice. Accounting Communication in Practice (core course 7.5 hec). The course emphasizes the communication of accounting information from a producer and investor relations perspective, serving the information needs of investors and other stakeholders. Specific situations involving accounting communication will be examined to provide students a set of tools and communication strategies when companies are in crises, merge or listing on a stock exchange. Tax Law I (core course Auditing track 15 hec). Currently this elective is only offered in Swedish. The course focuses on income taxation. The three categories of income are; 1. Business income, 2. Employment income and 3. Capital income. Special emphasis is on business income and its relation to the laws relating to accounting. An exposition is given of the regulations relating to the valuation of assets and liabilities according to the current taxation regulations. Within the framework of the course an overview of social legislation and legislation relating to value added tax (VAT) is provided. The course also describes the regulations relating to tax law suits and, in connection with this, the fiscal sanctioning system.

7 7 / 10 3 rd term Advances in Accounting Research (core course 7.5 hec). The course is intended to link existing accounting research with issues in accounting practice. Methods in Accounting Research (core course 7.5 hec). The course will link scientific method to the actual Master Degree Project performed by the students. Research Methods in Accounting (core course 7.5 hec). This advanced course in Research Methods in Accounting aims at providing students with an in-depth understanding of the various methodological approaches to the study of Accounting. The course provides a deep insight into practical training in the design and implementation of research projects. This includes data collection methods, sampling techniques, survey design, interview techniques, observation methods, analysis, interpretation and how to write scientific reports. This course is given jointly with other Master Programmes. Financial Statement Analysis (core course 7.5 hec). The course has a user perspective, focusing on external analysis of companies. Among the topics of interest are strategy and strategic change; business development and innovation in large corporations; evaluation of intangible assets, and innovation and R&D. A number of empirical cases of companies operating in various industries are studied. Only students with very good study results at the Graduate School, excellent English language proficiency and a clear purpose for their exchange period may be permitted to study as exchange students at our partner universities. 4 th term Master Degree Project (Master thesis) 30 hec The fourth term is devoted to full time Master Degree Thesis writing (30 higher education credits) under the supervision of a faculty member.

8 8 / Tuition and Examination The language of instruction is English. Courses will include lectures, seminars and case studies. The students will also work together in small groups, according to educational principles such as problem-based learning, experiential learning and action learning. Group reports will be assessed and graded individually, as will individual term papers and individually written exams. The courses will be examined separately. Each course is graded with Pass with Distinction (väl godkänd, VG), Pass (godkänd, G) or Fail (underkänd, U). The Graduate School is obliged to offer the exam at least five times during the course of each two year period. Students who have made five unsuccessful attempts to pass an exam have lost the possibility of obtaining the Master of Science Degree. 7. Admission Requirements and Selection Process General Entrance Requirements The applicant must hold the minimum of a Bachelors Degree 1 (i.e. the equivalent of 180 higher education credits, (hec)) with a major subject, from an accredited university. The university has to be listed in the latest edition of the International Handbook of Universities/World List of Universities and other Institutions of Higher Education 2 (the UNESCO-based worldwide association of higher education institutions). All credits in the Degree need to be from an accredited university. The applicant s university education must also include a thesis, term paper or equivalent proof of proficiency in academic writing. 1 The equivalent to a Swedish Bachelors Degree depends on 1) Length of education 2) grade/division/class of your total degree. 2

9 9 / 10 English Proficiency Requirements The applicant must prove English proficiency by one of the following: I. English language test TOEFL IBT (internet based) test result of at least 90 points, with score of at least 20 in written test TOEFL (paper based) test result of at least 575 points, with score of at least 4.5 in written test IELTS test result of at least 6.5 with no individual score below 5.5 The test result must not be older than 2 years on the last date for application. II. III. IV Bachelors Degree, based upon at least 3 years of full-time studies, from an education with English as the only language of instruction (with the exception of students from Pakistan and Bangladesh). (Please note! Language of instruction must be indicated on official degree certificate/transcript of records/diploma supplement or on the University s official website). Bachelors Degree with a major in English language. English level B at the Swedish Upper Secondary School. Programme Specific Entrance Requirements Master of Science in Accounting The applicant s university education must include Business Administration as a major subject (a minimum of 90 hec), with a specialization in Accounting. Business Administration related subjects may be included in the requirement. In addition the education must include a minimum of 15 hec in Statistics, or 7.5 hec in Statistics and 7.5 hec in quantitative methods and/or Mathematics. The admission requirements listed above apply for admission to the programme. For continued studies within the programme individual courses might have specific requirements, as provided in each course outline.

10 10 / 10 Selection Process In order to be eligible the applicant must meet the General Entrance Requirements, the English Proficiency Requirements as well as the Programme Specific Entrance Requirements. The selection of eligible students is based on GMAT result or GRE General Test result. The GMAT or GRE General Test result must not be older than 5 years on the last date for application. Should the situation arise that a group ties due to equal qualifications, selection is made according to the applicant s first choice of programme. If this process does not resolve the tie, a final selection is made by ballot. 8. Degree Certificate and Degree Title Upon completion (receiving a minimum grade of Pass) of all the courses and the degree project, and fulfilment of the requirements given above, students will receive a Master of Science (120 credits) with a Major in Accounting. See the requirements to become a chartered accountant on the website for The Supervisory Board of Public Accountants. 9. Programme Evaluation All courses in the programme will be anonymously evaluated by the students upon completion. The results of the evaluation will be communicated to the students and will function as a guide for the development of the course and of the programme.

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