BSc Accounting and Finance (Including Foundation Year)

Overview

Our BSc Accounting and Finance (including foundation year) is open to Home and EU students. It will be suitable for you if your academic qualifications do not yet meet our entrance requirements for the three-year version of this course and you want a programme that increases your subject knowledge as well as improves your academic skills.

This four-year course includes a foundation year (Year Zero), followed by a further three years of study. During your Year Zero, you study four academic subjects relevant to your chosen course, preparing you for a further three years of undergraduate study, as well as a compulsory English language and academic skills module.

You are an Essex student from day one, a member of our global community based at the most internationally diverse campus university in the UK.

After successful completion of Year Zero in our Essex Pathways Department, you progress to complete your course with Essex Business School.

Our BSc Accounting and Finance degree provides access to our virtual trading floor, where you make use of real-world Bloomberg Market Data Feed (B-PIPE), information and analytics to practice trading stocks and securities in the type of environment found in City finance firms.

You study a wide range of topics and develop your quantitative skills, giving you the flexibility to pursue a career in finance, accounting or business management after graduation. You’ll explore areas such as:

  • the preparation of financial statements and budgets
  • accounting standards and corporate governance
  • financial theory
  • portfolio management
  • options and futures markets
  • risk management

BSc Accounting and Finance includes an introductory first year to familiarise you with wider business topics, such as management, marketing and economics.

In your final year, you have the opportunity to put your knowledge into practice by completing an in-depth, independent research project or dissertation. This will give you the chance to further develop vital employability skills in areas of research, time management and critical thinking.

The University of Essex is one of just three UK universities to have received Q-Step Affiliate status, including for our BSc Accounting and Finance course, to support the way we develop the quantitative skills of our graduates.

This means we can provide work placement bursaries to develop your skills in evaluating numerical evidence, analysing data and designing research. We also offer the opportunity to follow a specialised degree path, where you graduate with enhanced quantitative skills. These are evidenced on your degree transcript, to help give you the competitive edge in the graduate job market.

BSc Accounting and Finance is taught at Essex Business School. Our finance group is one of the largest and most respected in the country and our students and staff join us from all over the world.

We not only teach you how financial information underpins leadership, strategy and planning, but how financial decisions can impact society and the economy. We develop your understanding of governance and ethics, so you can take actions for the good of organisations and the wider world.

Essex Business School is an Investment Management Certificate (IMC) Advantage Partner and this course is aligned to the IMC syllabus, the industry’s benchmark entry-level qualification.

Our expert staff

You learn from academics and industry practitioners whose research continues to have a real-world impact. Many of our highly qualified and enthusiastic team are published in world-leading journals and publications.

Our staff specialise in areas including:

  • accounting and economic development in the public and third sectors
  • regulation and corporate social responsibility
  • finance and banking
  • accounting and finance in emerging economies
  • corporate governance in developing countries
  • contemporary financial markets and their participants

Our staff embed the latest research into your course, so you learn about real-world issues affecting business right now.

Professor of Banking and Finance, Claudia Girardone, leads the way in finance research as Director of the Essex Finance Centre (EFiC), our long-established and world-renowned teaching excellence and research centre in finance and banking. Professor Girardone is also Director of Research for Essex Business School and leads on embedding EFiC group research in the curriculum. You will benefit from her application of banking sector performance indicators and corporate governance in our finance programmes.

Specialist facilities

Our BSc Accounting and Finance is based at our Colchester Campus.

In our landmark Essex Business School building – the first zero carbon business school in the UK – you’ll see our sustainable approach to business first-hand. Set around a lush winter garden, are a wealth of inspiring teaching and study zones.

Our custom designed building provides you with superb facilities:

  • a virtual trading floor with Bloomberg Terminals offering direct use of Bloomberg data, information and analytics
  • access to X_TRADER, industry-leading software for trading multiple markets from a single screen
  • light and spacious lecture theatres with ‘listen again’ recording to aid your study
  • study pods and innovation booths for group working
  • a café and adjacent foyer to enjoy on-site fresh food and drink
  • study skills support provided by the Essex Business School Learning Team

Your future

The dual disciplines of accounting and finance means that you will be well suited to sector specific roles in chartered accountancy and management accountancy as well as more generalist roles such as management consultancy or financial management.

The financial services sector is highly competitive but it also a huge employer of graduates and the skills you will gain in quantitative analysis, accountancy practices, commerce and market analysis will make you an attractive prospect.

Many of our graduates go on to graduate accountancy or financial associate roles straight after graduation as Essex Business School prepares you for the world of work from day one.

The BSc Accounting and Finance curriculum taught here embeds transferable employability skills in analysis, critical thinking, presentation and communication across all modules.

The Study Skills module in year one will develop your academic skills, while the Student Success modules in year two will build on what you learned in year one and so that you can easily step up to meet the growing academic demands of your second and final years. The Successful Futures module in year two will foster your professionalism and introduce you to the graduate recruitment process, including practical advice to excel at interviews and assessment centres.

Recent graduate destinations include:

  • Junior Tax Consultant at Deloitte – the multinational and financial services network
  • Treasury Analyst at Hiscox, a multinational business insurance and home insurance provider
  • Junior Consultant – Valuation & Advisory at Cushman & Wakefield – commercial property and real estate consultants
  • Private Client Tax Senior Associate at PwC – a multinational professional services network
  • Global Finance & Business Analyst at J.P. Morgan – global financial services provider

The School will support you with a range of skills and careers opportunities, including: skills development workshops; employer talks; skills events and careers conferences.

BSc Accounting and Finance students can also take advantage of the services offered by the Student Development Team, including: careers advice; work experience; internships; placements; and voluntary opportunities.


Why we’re great

  • We equip you with the necessary knowledge and skills to succeed at Essex and beyond.
  • At Essex Business School, we teach you to be accountable, act ethically and make financial decisions that positively impact both organisations and society.
  • Small class sizes in year zero allow you to work closely with your teachers and classmates.

Structure

Course structure

The structure of this course provides you with an in depth look at key areas of both accounting and finance. As well as modules focussing mainly on the numbers you’ll also put these into perspective and learn how managers use accounting and financial information to make decisions.

Year zero provides with you the necessary skills and knowledge in order for you to progress onto your chosen area of study. Successful completion of year zero guarantees you entry to the first year of your undergraduate degree course.

In the first year our current students cover wider business topics that every manager needs to know. However, we are planning some changes to our first year and we’ll be tailoring it more closely to your chosen course. In the second and third year you’ll have optional modules and by picking certain modules you’ll be able to maximise the number of exemptions available to you from bodies such as ACCA.

We offer a flexible course structure with a mixture of core/compulsory modules, and optional modules chosen from lists. ?Please be aware that we are planning changes to our first year to make it more relevant to your chosen course.

Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field. The course content is therefore reviewed on an annual basis to ensure our courses remain up-to-date so modules listed are subject to change.

Teaching and learning disclaimer

Following the impact of the pandemic, we made changes to our teaching and assessment to ensure our current students could continue with their studies uninterrupted and safely. These changes included courses being taught through blended delivery, normally including some face-to-face teaching, online provision, or a combination of both across the year.

The teaching and assessment methods listed show what is currently approved for 2022 entry; changes may be necessary if, by the beginning of this course, we need to adapt the way we’re delivering them due to the external environment, and to allow you to continue to receive the best education possible safely and seamlessly.

Teaching

  • Your teaching mainly takes the form of lectures and classes, the latter involving about 20 students
  • You can contribute and interact in lectures through the use of smart technology
  • A typical timetable includes a one-hour lecture and a one-hour class for each of your four modules every week
  • Any language classes involve language laboratory sessions
  • Our classes are run in small groups, so you receive a lot of individual attention

Assessment

  • Your assessed coursework will generally consist of essays, reports, in-class tests, individual or group oral presentations, and small scale research projects

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