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BSc Accounting (Including Foundation Year)

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  • We equip you with the necessary knowledge and skills to succeed at Essex and beyond.
  • Our international students benefit from a single visa for all four years of study.
  • Small class sizes allow you to work closely with your teachers and classmates.

Course options2017-18

UCAS code: N401
Duration: 4 years
Start month: October
Location: Colchester Campus
Based in: Essex Pathways
Fee (Home/EU): £9,250
Fee (International): £11,750
International students: The standard undergraduate degree fee for international students will apply in subsequent years
Fees will increase for each academic year of study.
Home and EU fee information
International fee information

UCAS code: N401
Duration: 4 years
Start month: January
Location: Colchester Campus
Based in: Essex Pathways
Fee (Home/EU): £9,250
Fee (International): £11,750
International students: The standard undergraduate degree fee for international students will apply in subsequent years
Fees will increase for each academic year of study.
Home and EU fee information
International fee information

Course enquiries

Telephone 01206 873666
Email admit@essex.ac.uk
Live chat

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About the course

Our BSc Accounting (including foundation year) is open to Home, EU and international 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 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. To us, accounting means more than cutting costs and managing transactions. It’s vital for ensuring accountability by encouraging sound, ethical decision making.

Our BSc Accounting is accredited by professional accounting bodies and provides the essential knowledge and skills for a rewarding, fast-paced career.

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.

You study 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 career aspirations.

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

Essex Business School is ranked in the UK's top 20 (Chartered Association of Business Schools). You join an international community of students and staff, working to make organisations better places to do business.

Professional accreditation

Essex Business School courses provide you with accreditations and exemptions from a range of professional bodies including:

  • The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)
  • The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW)
  • The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)

This means that you are able to gain a professional qualification by taking fewer exams when you graduate, giving your career a head start.

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

We are home to industry renowned figures, including Professor of Accounting Prem Sikka, whose work on tax avoidance is frequently cited in The Guardian, The Huffington Post and The Independent.

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

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Specialist facilities

By studying within our Essex Pathways Department for your foundation year, you will have access to all of the facilities that the University of Essex has to offer, as well as those provided by our department to support you:

  • We provide computer labs for internet research; classrooms with access to PowerPoint facilities for student presentations; AV facilities for teaching and access to web-based learning materials
  • Our new Student Services Hub will support you and provide information for all your needs as a student
  • Our social space is stocked with hot magazines and newspapers, and provides an informal setting to meet with your lecturers, tutors and friends

Accounting is taught at our Colchester Campus, where our Essex Business School building is the first zero carbon business school in the UK, set around a lush winter garden and Eden-style dome that gives the building its own micro-climate.

We provide excellent learning and socialising facilities:

  • a virtual trading floor with Bloomberg Financial Market Labs; use Bloomberg data, information and analytics to learn about trading stocks and securities
  • a state-of-the-art lecture theatre, with seating for 250 students
  • study pods and innovation booths for group working
  • a café with an adjacent sun terrace
  • 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

Today’s graduate job market is competitive, with employers looking for candidates who understand how business works. An Essex education prepares you for the world of work, with 80% of our students entering work or further study after graduating.

Our graduates can develop rewarding careers in a range of disciplines including financial analysis, management, public administration and accountancy. Many work at high-profile organisations across the globe:

  • PWC
  • IBM
  • Deloitte
  • EY
  • AVIVA
  • Bank of England
  • Hiscox
  • John Lewis Partnership

You benefit from a range of career support and employability opportunities from the School and the University’s Employability and Careers Centre, including information about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.

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Example structure

We offer a flexible course structure with a mixture of compulsory modules and options chosen from lists. Below is just one example of a combination of modules you could take. For a full list of optional modules you can look at the course’s Programme Specification.

Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field, therefore all modules listed are subject to change.

Year 0

What are the key concepts in business management today? Explore core elements within the field of business management, covering topics in banking, finance, management and accounting. Apply theoretical concepts to key organisations, companies and institutions. Develop your analytical skills and practical knowledge of this dynamic sector.

What is economics? And what are the main economic theories and principles? Build your understanding, studying topics in microeconomics and macroeconomics. Develop your knowledge of economic implications and build your analytic skills in using simple mathematical techniques and economic diagrams.

Want to use mathematical techniques to solve problems? And to calculate basic statistical measures? Develop mathematical skills like number work, algebra, geometry, probability and statistics that can be used on any course requiring mathematics above Higher GCSE standard. Learn to solve relevant problems and know how to present data clearly.

Academic Skills covers the key areas that you will experience during your degree, preparing you for aspects of academic study at undergraduate level. The module enables you to develop and enhance your existing abilities by focusing on the core skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking in an academic context. It does this with both generic texts and also, crucially, those related to your subject area. Academic Skills provides strategies for successful communication and interaction through independent and collaborative learning offering opportunity to further enhance your research skills. The content is designed to ensure that you acquire a range of transferable employability and life skills.

Year 1

Discover the nature and role of accounting, discussing who uses accounting information and for what purposes. You learn about the processes used to record, summarise and present accounting data, using the computerised accounting package MyAccountingLab. You also investigate the development and role of regulation in governing accounting practice.

Discover the applications of quantitative techniques in accounting, finance and management. You explore maths revision, the time value of money, rates of change, probability and statistics, making extensive use of Excel for applying statistical techniques. You also study the financial system, instruments and markets and ideas about finance concepts and problems. The topics covered include investment companies, return and risk, and behavioural finance.

Explore the most significant issues in management theory and practice. You draw out some of the connections and disjunctures between management theory and management practice. You also consider the ethics of managing, and how to balance a business’s priorities with the organisation's wider responsibilities to society and other stakeholders.

How are firms organised? What are the economic implications of this? And how does it affect the markets in which they operate? Develop an understanding of the central concepts of economics, then learn how to apply these principles to economic problems.

This module encourages you to become an active, independent learner, with the ability to reflect on business situations and form your own opinions. We cover areas designed to help you adjust to a university business education so you can perform to your full academic and professional potential. We explore the importance of referencing, constructing a coherent argument and developing writing skills for a variety of purposes, such as academic essays, exams and reports. We develop your analytical skills, critical thinking, presentation and communication skills to help you get the most from your time at university.

This compulsory module aims to help you excel in your academic studies by introducing you to effective study techniques and tools, including the study skills support and resources available to you within Essex Business School. You receive guidance on your academic progress, as well as your personal and professional development. These sessions offer you the opportunity to meet and develop networks and connections within the School and provide key support throughout your first year by helping you to develop the skills and learning strategies needed throughout your degree.

Year 2

Extend your knowledge of financial accounting by mastering the preparation and analysis of the published financial statements of limited companies operating on their own, or within group structures. You investigate the regulation of financial reporting, the function and content of the main published statements, and problems connected with the treatment of taxation, depreciation, and specific aspects of the asset-expense distinction.

Management accounting enables you to provide three key areas of information to any business: costing, decision-making, and planning and control. In this module you focus on costing, but also see how this area overlaps with the other two, as all three areas always interact. You also develop your knowledge and understanding of management accounting and the context in which it operates.

Explore how financial theory can aid financial decision-making in corporations. You discover how to apply the value maximization principle to corporate decisions, such as investment decision, borrowing decisions, and dividend decisions.

This module links subject understanding to employability, ensuring you’re prepared to take advantage of graduate opportunities at the point they’re advertised. You gain an understanding of the graduate labour market and recruitment processes, as well as timelines for recruitment and interview and assessment centre techniques. You also learn about options for postgraduate study.

Develop your understanding of the role of management accounting in organisational decision-making and control. You explore the uses of management accounting information in facilitating planning, control and decision making by managers.

What is the appropriate measure of risk for a particular security? How might an investor decide on the weightings of different assets in his/her portfolio? How can we identify mispriced stocks? Should you invest your savings in an actively managed fund or in a passive fund? You consider the main theories of risk and return and explore the implications of these theories for investors' decisions.

This module aims to give you an insight into UK and EU law. You explore the criminal and civil court structures, contract law, how to apply Legal Method and conduct legal research. You acquire essential information needed to ensure that your business operates within the law and satisfies professional accounting body requirements.

The business world is increasingly global, complex and fast changing. While some organisations are consistently successful over a long period of time, many fail and are forgotten forever. In theory it should become consecutively easier to imitate the strategies of winning companies and dissipate their profits. In practice, however, only a few firms become long-term leaders. In this course, you explore why that is.

Final year

What does accounting do and why, and what is done in the name of accounting but might not be accounting? Does accounting enable us to talk or does it erect barriers around issues so that the debate is silenced or limited? Who should make accounting standards? Should it be the state, professional bodies or some private interests? These are some of the key issues facing producers, consumers, and regulators of corporate financial reports.

Management accounting serves the purpose of identifying, measuring and communicating economic information to permit management and workforce make informed judgements and decisions. Investigate the technical issues in cost management and performance measurement systems, and wider issues concerning the role of management accounting in shaping management structures and decisions in manufacturing and service contexts.

In this module, you evaluate contemporary developments and research in the field of management accounting, using real-life business case studies. You explore management accounting within economic, political, social and cultural contexts, exploring issues such as deregulation, globalisation and increasing customer demands. You examine strategic issues such as cost management, performance measurement and management controls and explore how organisational and technological changes are impacting the discipline both nationally and internationally.

Develop your legal knowledge by studying Partnership Law, followed by various aspects of Company Law (including professional negligence), together with the rules of Agency, Insolvency principles, the offence of Insider Dealing and Employment Law.

What are the key concepts and issues in auditing? You are introduced to the role of the auditor, followed by an analysis and evaluation of the two main audit approaches: audit risk-based auditing and business risk-based auditing. You then discover key auditing concepts such as the true and fair view, evidence and independence.

Consider accounting and financial analysis in a global context, exploring the accounting practices of a wide range of countries. Discover the benefits and costs associated with recent initiatives to promote international harmonisation of accounting practices, the emergence of International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), the organisation of the IFRS Foundation, and the standards setting procedures.

In this module you study the derivative market, in particular, futures and options markets. You explore various futures markets including the stock index, FX, commodities and interest rate contracts, how they are priced and hedged, and different trading strategies; as well as considering different option positions, the relationship between call and put option prices, and trading strategies.

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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Qualifications

UK entry requirements

A-levels: DDD, or equivalent in UCAS tariff points, to include 2 full A-levels.
GCSE: Mathematics C

International and EU entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Email admit@essex.ac.uk for further details about the qualifications we accept. Include information in your email about the high school qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.

English language requirements

English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 5.5 overall. Specified component grades are also required for applicants who require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK.

Other English language qualifications may be acceptable so please contact us for further details. If we accept the English component of an international qualification then it will be included in the information given about the academic levels required. Please note that date restrictions may apply to some English language qualifications

If you are an international student requiring a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK please see our immigration webpages for the latest Home Office guidance on English language qualifications.

If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.

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Applying

Applications for our full-time undergraduate courses should be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Applications are online at: www.ucas.com. Full details on this process can be obtained from the UCAS website in the how to apply section.

Some of our EU and International students who are still at school or college can apply through their school. Your school will be able to check and then submit your completed application to UCAS. Our other international applicants (EU or worldwide) can also apply online through UCAS Apply.

The UCAS code for our University of Essex is ESSEX E70. The individual campus codes for our Loughton and Southend Campuses are ‘L’ and ‘S’ respectively.

Visit us

Open days

Our Colchester Campus events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex. In 2017 we have three undergraduate Open Days (in June, September and October). These events enable you to discover what our Colchester Campus has to offer. You have the chance to:

  • tour our campus and accommodation
  • find out answers to your questions about our courses, student finance, graduate employability, student support and more
  • meet our students and staff

Check out our Visit Us pages to find out more information about booking onto one of our events. And if the dates aren’t suitable for you, feel free to get in touch by emailing tours@essex.ac.uk and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.

Virtual tours

If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tour allows you to explore the Colchester Campus from the comfort of your home. Check out our accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.

Exhibitions

Our staff travel the world to speak to people about the courses on offer at Essex. Take a look at our list of exhibition dates to see if we’ll be near you in the future.

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