BSc Accounting & Finance

The 2022/2023 academic year

The structure for this course depends on which modules you take throughout the three years, giving you the option to focus your studies around accounting, finance or a mixture of both. If you choose to study the BSc Accounting & Finance with Placement Year you will complete your work placement within your third year, find out more.

Year One:

Term 1: Study four core modules introducing you to the fundamentals of accounting, finance and business management. You will take exams for Term 1 modules in January.

Term 2: Study two more core modules and then choose between ‘Business Analytics’ and ‘Management Organisations and Society’ for your eighth module.

Term 3: Revision and exams.

Year Two:

Terms 1 and 2: Study five core modules in accounting and finance, and choose three modules from both subject areas either to specialise, or continue to study a combination of the two.

Term three: revision and exams.

Final Year:

Terms 1 and 2: You will study one core module in Term 1 and choose seven electives, of which four must be from an accounting or finance discipline. With the remaining three, you can either choose from a list of Business School subjects, or take modules from other departments e.g. Economics, or Languages.

Term 3: Revision and exams.

How will I be assessed?

Throughout the study programme you will be assessed by a mix of examinations, essays, reports, case-study analyses and group work.

Study Abroad

We also support student mobility through study abroad programmes and all students have the opportunity to apply for an intercalated year abroad at one of our partner universities.

Year 1

CORE: Foundations, Skills and Debates

Foundations, Skills and Debates is a pivotal module for all first year students which supports the transition from formal education to the business school environment. Engage with other students and develop essential WBS attributes that are not only fundamental for your time here, but sought after by top employers. You will work on creativity, presentation and teamwork skills as well as negotiation, complex problem solving and debate.

Introduction to Financial Accounting

Explore the basic concepts, theories and context that underpin and influence accounting and its development. Learn to record and summarise accounting transactions and events, to integrate and understand the impact of accounting adjustments into the accounting records, and prepare and present financial statements. Develop a broad awareness of the influence of elements of the UK system of taxation on business decisions and financial reporting practice.

Foundations of Management Accounting

Develop an understanding of the sources and uses of accounting information within organisations. Explore the design of accounting control systems and decision-making techniques both for manufacturing and service organisations, and for profit or non-profit, public or private sector. 

Financial Management

This module introduces you to the key concepts of Financial Management and prepares you for more advanced study of Finance by encouraging you to develop a critical understanding of the main theories and models. This module will encourage you to reflect on, and engage in critical discussion of, what you are reading in the financial press and to make links with what you are learning in the classroom. You will critically reflect on the importance of ethics, the need for regulation and the impact of politics in financial services provision.

Economics for Business

Apply analytical techniques to real world problems, especially in the business context, gain an understanding of fundamental concepts in micro and macroeconomics; and develop a range of appropriate analytical skills, including descriptive, graphical and elementary mathematical methods.

Business Law 1

Explore the importance of contract law in the world of business. Consider the ways in which legal systems work. Develop an understanding of the main sources of law and the procedures involved in creating law. Learn to analyse legal problems.

Introduction to Statistics

The ability to use and make sense of quantitative information is an essential skill for any student taking a business or management degree. Introduction to Statistics provides you with a basic knowledge of probability and statistical concepts, including the ability to be critical of reported quantitative information - skills that are essential for other modules and careers in business.

Teaching is through a flipped classroom approach, via online pre-recorded lectures and smaller group tutorials and workshops. There is an emphasis on solving real-world problems, using case material where appropriate, and mastering basic statistical tools. You will be encouraged to analyse data in a spreadsheet environment where possible.

The tutorials and workshops offer you the opportunity to work in groups to apply the concepts outlined in lectures and to see how the techniques are used in practice.

Management, Organisations and Society or Business Analytics

You will either choose Management, Organisations and Society, or Business Analytics in your first year.

Management, Organisations and Society

Explore the historical emergence of large organisations, management and of the ‘organisational society. Be introduced to key social science concepts for understanding Management, Organisation and Society. Learn about topics such as: motivation, knowledge and learning, leadership and change, culture and identity. 

Business Analytics

Business Analytics is used by companies committed to data-driven decision-making. It is the practice of methodical and intelligent exploration of an organisation’s data to gain insight and drive business strategy and operational decisions. Extend your understanding of probability and statistical concepts and further develop your competence in the use of a variety of quantitative tools and techniques. Apply these tools and techniques to solve real-life problems using case study material.

Year 2

CORE: Global Environment of Business

Understand the business responses of global firms to the features and influences of the business environment. Appreciate the importance and impact of political, economic, social and cultural factors. Read, analyse, and compare different theoretical perspectives on globalisation, convergence and varieties of capitalism, strategic management, and the role and influence of multinational corporations in both the developed world and in developing countries.

CORE: Entrepreneurial Mindset

This module will facilitate students in developing an entrepreneurial mindset, attitude and skills through a combination of lectures, case study and creativity exercise sessions. Learn the practical steps needed to establish a new business venture and enable valuable creation.

Financial Reporting 1

Providing you with an understanding of some of the major theories of accounting, the regulatory environment for financial reporting, the techniques underlying current reporting practice. It will also enable you to prepare, read, critically evaluate and interpret financial statements, assess profit performance and understand the information requirements of investors.

Financial Reporting 2

Building on Financial Reporting 1, this module aims to develop your understanding of the theories of accounting, the regulatory environment for financial reporting, corporate governance, the structure of group accounts and models of asset valuation; and to develop your ability to prepare, read, critically evaluate and interpret published annual reports in the light of the information requirements of the various stakeholder groups in the business.

Finance 1: Financial Markets

You will learn how to use quantitative tools for pricing stocks, bonds and derivatives, and for measuring risk and return. You will develop a sound understanding of the main theories and models for valuing financial market instruments, and will become aware of key empirical tests of asset valuation models and their implications.

Accounting & Finance Electives x 3

In your second year, you will begin to shape your degree by choosing three accounting or finance elective modules, allowing you to continue to focus your studies around accounting or finance or a mixture of both. Examples of the modules you could study are shown below:

Issues in Management Accounting

The module builds on core concepts introduced in Year 1 and will further your understanding of how accounting is used within organisations for the planning, control and evaluation of activity with a special focus on the manager's role.  The module covers 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.

Business Law 2

Build upon your knowledge of contract law from Business Law 1, conduct independent research of set issues using a range of sources and work in teams to prepare and present reasoned arguments. Evaluate current law and reform proposals.

Finance 2: Corporate Finance

You will learn to critically assess the factors that determine the optimal investment, financing and pay out decisions of a firm. Compute the cost of capital of a firm under alternative assumptions. Use alternative methods for valuing firms to gain important insights into value drivers. Discuss the main motives for mergers and acquisitions. Identify the reasons why firms raise capital. Solve structured numerical problems and write informed critiques of important topics in Corporate Finance theory.

Economics of Strategy

Understand fundamental concepts in micro and macroeconomics, as relevant for the study of strategic decisions of firms. Develop a range of appropriate analytical skills, including descriptive, graphical and elementary mathematical methods used in the economic analysis of strategy. Develop your capacity to apply analytical techniques to real world business problems and strategy choices.

Placement Year

If you choose to study BSc Accounting & Finance with Placement Year you will complete your work placement within your third year.

Our new BSc Accounting & Finance with Placement Year course enables you to put your studies into practice while learning about a particular industry. Employers often look for workplace experience as part of their recruitment process and many make graduate offers to students as a direct result of placements so this can be a great way to kick start your career!

With established links to employers across all business sectors both in the UK and abroad, our dedicated CareersPlus team are on hand to support you through the process.

The advantages of taking a placement year

  • Professional placements are valued by employers
  • You have the chance to try out a career
  • You can gain essential workplace skills
  • You can potentially secure a graduate-level role
  • You have the opportunity to gain an advantage in a competitive job market
  • You can begin professional training*

*Through our Undergraduate Partnership Programme you can start your professional ACA qualification on your placement year with the ICAEW by taking a 12-month work placement with an ICAEW member organisation. Depending on the organisation, you may also be able to take professional ACA exams during the placement which will form the first year of the ACA training contract. You can work in the UK or overseas, before returning to WBS for the final year of the course. The programme forms 10% of the overall degree classification.

Finding the right placement for you

As part of the BSc Accounting & Finance with Placement Year course, you will spend your third year doing a work placement and our CareersPlus Team will help you:

  • Find the right placement
  • Complete your applications
  • Prepare you for interviews and assessment centres.

Whether you want to ask a question about writing applications or wish to explore your placement year options our dedicated careers team are here to offer their support both online and in person.

Through our online careers platform (which you gain access to once you enroll) you will be able to book onto workshops, webinars, and events that will give you an overview of all aspects of the placement year application process, from creating your CV to preparing for interviews and assessment centres.

The team can also help with your personal development such as how to make a great impression with employers, career decision making, and how to get the most out of your university experience when applying to placement year opportunities. Where possible, we will also help you to access advice from returning placement year students, our ‘Placement Pros’, to share their tips for success.

Improving your employability

Our undergraduate courses are designed to give you the skills you need to succeed in the business world. By completing our BSc Accounting & Finance with Placement Year you can put your skills to the test and make your mark by demonstrating yourself as a stand-out candidate for future career opportunities.

Many of our students who have successfully undertaken a placement year have gone on to either secure a graduate role with the same company or elsewhere with another organisation.

Here are some examples of the companies our students have worked at while on their placement as part of their BSc Accounting & Finance course:

  • Accenture
  • Deloitte
  • Enterprise Rent A Car
  • EY
  • GE Aviation Services Ltd
  • Goldman Sachs
  • Grant Thornton
  • IBM
  • Lloyds Bank
  • Mazars
  • Nationwide Building Society
  • Porsche
  • PwC
  • Samsung.

Final Year

CORE: Critical Issues in Management

This module will present you with a range of contemporary business-related issues and problems in the management of modern organisations with a particular focus on situations which are relatively unstructured and where there is no "one right answer". You will work in syndicate groups to deliver presentations or critically discuss the presentations of other groups.

Accounting & Finance Electives x 4

In your final year you can really shape your degree by choosing four accounting or finance elective modules, allowing you to continue to focus your studies around accounting or finance or a mixture of both.

Electives Modules x 3

In your final year you will choose two elective modules from a range of subject areas such as: marketing, strategy, entrepreneurship, human resources, customer service management, industrial relations, law as well as accounting and finance. Alternatively you can choose from modules offered through other University departments such as Economics or a language.

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