Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 1
Registered on the MSc Accounting and Finance
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 10 x 2 hours
Seminars / Tutorials 10 x 1 hour


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Assessed Essay 3000 word  25%
Semester Exam 3 Hours   75%
Supplementary Assessment Repeat failed elements or equivalent  25%
Supplementary Exam 3 Hours   Repeat failed elements or equivalent  75%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

Describe, explain, illustrate, compare and contrast: alternative drivers of and perspectives in financial accounting; alternative paradigms in financial accounting research; alternative financial reporting conceptual frameworks, standards and practices; and alternative drivers and mechanisms for earnings management.

Explain, assess, criticize and appropriately apply theory/models to answer questions and numerical problems in economic approaches to income theory, signalling and market clearing information, and financial accounting-based corporate valuation.

Explain key extant financial accounting academic literature; and assess that research in terms of importance and novelty, research questions, methodological approach and data, results, conclusions, achievement of objectives, and gaps for future research.

Integrate and synthesize between module topics to discuss and explain financial accounting theory, research and practice; explain, comment on and engage with associated current debates; and suggest potentially fruitful directions for subject area development.

Brief description

This module focuses on developing key theoretical and practical topics in financial accounting, and considers the role and impact of financial information in an uncertain world. Albeit based in theory and the extant financial accounting academic literature, we emphasise important issues that face accountants and accounts’ users in practice, and the development of an understanding of how different contexts/paradigms impact on accounting and financial reporting.


1. Overview of advanced financial accounting
2. Normative accounting theory
3. Consolidated accounts
4. Earnings management, earnings quality and associated models
5. Accounting for assets including intangibles: deprival value and asset impairment
6. Market value relevance of accounting numbers: current research and its relevance to standard setters
7. Economic income and wealth concepts
8. Accounting for financial instruments
9. Positive accounting theory and economic consequences

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number • Develop an easy familiarity with numerical data sources and numerical data • Apply numerical data to problem solving with care and accuracy • Assess the reasonableness of and interpret numerical solutions • Support assertions/arguments with appropriately developed and presented numerical data
Communication • Develop confidence in and clarity of oral communication via seminar/example class participation • Develop clarity and focus of written communication via production of coursework essay • Develop and use appropriate subject-specific vocabulary in oral and written communication
Improving own Learning and Performance • Identify and distil the key issues covered by lectures, seminars and directed self study • Identify and use a range of learning resources • Investigate benefits of small group working on self study • Structure study to accommodate intensive learning
Information Technology • Use a variety of electronic web- and library-based resources to review available information and retrieve pertinent information • Use various software packages for the production of the coursework essay (text, numerical tables and analysis, graphics) • Use software to complete elements of the self study (e.g., spreadsheets for ease of tabulated numerical calculations, production of summary statistics, production of graphs, etc.)
Personal Development and Career planning • Develop knowledge and skills in financial accounting theory and financial reports’ interpretation and usage which are useful/essential in a number of different occupations • Identify a variety of potential career opportunities within the academic, financial and professional services sectors
Problem solving • Identify the precise problem to be solved • Assess which data are pertinent to the problem • Recognize that alternative solution methods might be available • Select and apply appropriate methods for solving the problem • Assess the reasonableness of problem solutions and interpret those solutions
Research skills • Identify which information sources are available to: o facilitate module study (understanding, wider reading) o provide data which allow application of module learning in a real world context o provide raw input to the production of the coursework essay • Select the most pertinent information for retrieval • Retrieve information • Re-assess the pertinence and assess the credibility of retrieved information • Properly reference/attribute information sources
Subject Specific Skills • Develop skills in retrieval, assessment and criticism of the financial accounting academic literature • Develop skills in interpretation and usage of financial reports • Develop competence to engage in ongoing debates on the development of financial accounting
Team work • Develop experience of team work and develop team working skills via small group working on self study

Reading List

General Text
(DU) Deegan, C. & Unerman, J. (2011) Financial Accounting Theory European Edition 2nd ed McGraw Hill Primo search Alexander, David (c2009.) International financial reporting and analysisDavid Alexander, Anne Britton, Ann Jorissen. 4th ed. Cengage Learning Baxter, W. (1984) Inflation Accounting Philip Alan Primo search Beaver, W. (1998) Financial Reporting: an Accounting Revolution 3rd edition Prentice Hall Primo search Bromwich, Michael (1992.) Financial reporting, information and capital markets. Pitman Primo search Christensen, J. and Demski, D. (2002) Accounting Theory: an Information content Perspective McGraw-Hill Primo search Glautier, M., Underdown, B. & Morris, D. (2011) Accounting Theory and Practice Financial Times Press Primo search Hopwood, A. and Mililer, P. (1994) Accounting as Social and Institutional Practice Cambridge University Press Primo search Kothari, Jagdish. (2011.) Advanced financial accounting :an international approach /by Jagdish Kothari, Elisabetta Barone. Financial Times Prentice Hall Primo search Lee, T. (1985) Income and Value Measurement: Theory and Practice 3rd edition Van Rostrand Reinhold Primo search Parker, R. H. (1986.) Readings in the Concept and Measurement of Income. New ed. P.Allan Primo search Scott, W. (2008) Financial Accounting Theory 5th edition Prentice Hall Primo search Sunder, S. (1997) Theory of Accounting and Control South-Western College Publishing Primo search Watts, R. and Zimmerman, J. (1986) Positive Accounting Theory New York: Prentice Hall Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 7