Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 2 (Taught over 2 semesters)
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 20 Hours lectures and 5 hours of help classes
Seminars / Tutorials 8 Hours.
Lecture 5 hours of lecture/help sessions


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Exam 3 Hours   Unseen Exam  80%
Semester Assessment 2000 word essay  20%
Supplementary Exam 3 Hours   unseen examination  Repeat Failed Elements or equivalent  80%
Supplementary Assessment 2000 word essay  Repeat Failed Elements or equivalent  20%

Learning Outcomes

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

1. Analyse the development and theoretical basis of modern auditing and assurance with reference to both private and public sectors.
2. Critically analyse the evolving legal, regulatory, professional and social contexts of auditing, and the responsibilities these place on auditors.
3. Examine the interaction between external audit and systems of governance, internal control and internal audit.
4. Explain the audit process and the concepts and methodologies that it embodies.
5. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of practices providing audit evidence and supporting the expression of an audit opinion.
6. Critically appraise contemporary developments and issues in the practice and regulation of audit.


This elective module contributes to the contextual, conceptual and applied knowledge base specified in the QAA 2007 Benchmark Statement for degree schemes in Accountancy. It introduces undergraduates to one of the main pillars of the accounting profession, and is designed to achieve further accreditation from professional accountancy bodies, specifically the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales; the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland.

Insofar as a rationale is required for continuing to teach auditing at all, it is as follows:
As economic and social life has become more complex, there has been a growth in the demand for transparency and accountability in a number of areas. Auditing in its most general sense is an important mechanism for addressing these demands. Historically, financial auditing of some kind has existed wherever economic resources have been entrusted to third parties. Today it has evolved into a significant tool for regulating economic activity in both the private and the public sector, and at entity and broader levels.
Financial auditing in the private sector takes place at the level of the client entities (PLCs etc) but at another level underpins the credibility of the financial infrastructure itself, the financial markets. High-profile failings in private sector accounting and auditing in North America and Europe have highlighted both the importance of audit within the context of corporate governance and also its strengths and weaknesses. As a result, an interest in the practices and context of auditing is far from being confined to the auditing firms and profession: regulators, legislators, company directors, analysts, lenders and shareholders all have direct interests in effective audit.
Audit, including forms of audit beyond financial audit, has also become increasingly important in the public sector. Here financial audit often meets value-for-money or performance audits, raising issues about the extension of the role of audit and potential tensions between the accountability and managerial functions of these more broadly defined audit functions.

Brief description

This module examines the role and practice of audit in both private and public sectors, in the context of modes of regulation and the dominant corporate governance framework. It provides an overview of audit practice, relevant to those interested in a career in auditing or accounting, while the contemporary issues it addresses are of interest to a wider spectrum of professionals and others using audited information.


The following broad areas will be covered:

1. The context of audit:
a. Principles and theory of financial audit;
b. Regulation and ethics;
c. Governance and accountability;
d. Public sector audit and the expansion of the audit role.
2. The practice of audit:
a. methodology, materiality & risk;
b. internal controls and systems;
c. obtaining and interpreting evidence - audit testing, sampling, review;
d. Completion and reporting.
3. Contemporary issues e.g.
a. Auditor’s Legal Liability;
b. Auditor Independence;
c. Competition in the Audit Market.

Transferable skills

The requirement to prepare for and make presentations at classes encourages both the development of critical and conceptual thinking and also the ability to communicate ideas and thoughts to others. The coursework assessment is designed to make students engage in individual research and knowledge gathering via web and other sources and the requirement for a word processed essay aids computer literacy and the development of analytical writing skills.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Evaluation of numerical problems in lecture examples and appropriate examination questions.
Communication Applied in seminar class discussion.
Improving own Learning and Performance In preparation for, attending and participating and reflecting on seminar classes. Preparing and producing an assignment and preparing for assessment in examination
Information Technology Appropriate accessing of electronic and internet materials and use of word-processing skills in assignment.
Personal Development and Career planning Preparation for seminar tasks will encourage initiative, independence and self-awareness.
Problem solving Scenario-based problems treated in lectures and applied in seminars, assignment and examination.
Research skills Obtaining, selecting, assimilating information from research literature, professional and regulatory sources for use in seminars, assignment preparation and examination.
Subject Specific Skills Skills relevant to the practice of a regulated profession specifically interpretation of international auditing standards and practice notes (as applicable to the UK and Ireland), and UK Ethical Standards. Studying auditing engenders a focus on evidence and the meaning of professionalism, ethics and independence that is relevant to other professional settings.
Team work Group work in preparation for and during seminars.

Reading List

Recommended Text
Gray, I and Manson, S (2011) The Audit Process Available for purchase as an ebook at 5th Edition Cengage Learning EMEA Primo search Porter, B., Simon, J. and D Hatherly (2008) Principles of External Auditing 3rd Edition Wiley. HF 5667.P8 Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 6