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.
What you will study?
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.
- Jon Evans, course leader
- Rebecca Bushell
- Jia Cao
- Gareth Davies
- Kristy Elias
- Holly Evans
- Brian Telford
- Chibuzo Amadi
- Andrew Baker
- Peter Eden