BSc Accounting

Overview

What’s the difference between financial and management accounting? How can accountants help improve business for the better?

Accounting informs almost all areas of business, from strategy to outsourcing and operational planning to environmental policies. At Essex Business School, accounting means more than cutting costs and managing transactions. It’s vital for ensuring accountability by encouraging sound, ethical decision making so that you can make a positive impact in the workplace.

From an undergraduate accounting degree at Essex you gain a firm understanding of the financial drivers underpinning business leadership, strategy, planning, governance and ethics. You explore both financial and management accounting and use case studies to apply theory to practice, skills which will be in an increasingly high demand from employers over the coming years.

You’ll gain a broad understanding of accounting and benefit from academic expertise in a range of areas, studying topics such as:

  • preparation and analysis of financial statements
  • regulation in governing accounting practice
  • principles of cost accumulation
  • financial and management accounting theory
  • providing information to managers to assist their decision making

We ensure you gain a fully-rounded business education by introducing you to subjects such as finance, management, marketing and economics in your first year. In your second and final years, you can choose from selected optional modules to tailor the programme to your accounting career aspirations.

In your final year of your accounting degree, 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.

You join an international community of students and staff, working to make organisations better places to do business.

Study abroad

The four-year version of this course enables you to study abroad during your third year. In all other areas, this version of the course remains identical to the standard three-year variant.

You can study abroad with one of our exchange partners in the United States, Europe, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Latin America, the Middle East, Hong Kong and Japan. In doing so, you experience other cultures and languages, meet new people, and gain intercultural skills that are sought-after by employers.

Placement year

You may decide to opt for a placement year, where you develop your professional skills and build a network of business contacts. A placement year can give you a career advantage by showing future employers that you are a dedicated and experienced professional.

The Student Development Team can offer bespoke support throughout the process of researching, applying and interviewing for placements. However, it is your responsibility to apply, prepare for and secure your own role. Most recently, our students have gained placements with organisations such as BMW, Samsung and Cummins.

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 developing economies
  • contemporary financial markets and their participants
  • corporate governance in developing countries

Dr Silvia Gaia, Lecturer in Accounting at Essex Business School, researches the fields of Corporate Governance, financial and social-environmental reporting. She has publications in academic journals such as Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, British Accounting Review, Journal of Business Ethics and International Business Review.

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

Specialist facilities

Our BSc Accounting 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 EBS Learning Team

Our Colchester building is located on the Knowledge Gateway, an innovation park housing some of the East of England’s most exciting science, technology and creative businesses. Parkside Office Village sits on the site, providing potential opportunities for networking, internships and work experience directly on campus.

Your future

Skilled and agile accountants are in high demand in the graduate job market.

Many of our graduates go on to work as trainee accountants straight after graduation as Essex Business School prepares you for the world of work from day one.

The BSc Accounting 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
  • Audit Associate at EY – a multinational professional services firm
  • Executive at PwC – a multinational professional services network

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 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

  • This course gives you exemptions from many professional exams, giving your career a head start
  • You’re taught by industry renowned academics and practitioners
  • We teach you to be accountable, act ethically and make financial decisions that positively impact both organisations and society

Structure

Course structure

The course structure is designed to cover everything a future accountant would need to know, as well as taking a wider look at the industry. Some modules will focus mainly on the numbers whilst others will put these into perspective and teach you how managers use accounting information to make decisions.

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 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, helping you on the way to achieving chartered status. There’s also flexibility to study non-accounting modules through your options.

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 receiv

Placement

On a placement year you gain relevant work experience within an external business or organisation, giving you a competitive edge in the graduate job market and providing you with key contacts within the industry. The rest of your course remains identical to the three-year degree.

Year abroad

On your year abroad, you have the opportunity to experience other cultures and languages, to broaden your degree socially and academically, and to demonstrate to employers that you are mature, adaptable, and organised. The rest of your course remains identical to the three-year degree.

Teaching

  • Teaching includes a combination of lectures, seminars and computer-based lab sessions
  • Modules delivered by experts in the field as well as guest speakers
  • Contribute and interact in lectures through the use of smart technology
  • Lecture presentations and notes are uploaded online beforehand to help you prepare in advance
  • Complete your final-year project in consultation with a personal supervisor

Assessment

  • Assessed through traditional methods of end-of-year exams and multiple choice questions in class tests and essays
  • Plus more innovative and creative assessments include laboratory work, poster presentations, real-business case problems and group presentations
  • Your first year marks do not count towards your final degree

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