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Undergraduate Courses 2016

Accounting and Finance - BA (Hons)



Accountants are best known for validating company accounts – auditing – but they also devise and operate financial systems, conduct investment analysis, advise on business start-ups, company takeovers and company rescue schemes, and handle individuals’ and corporations’ tax affairs.

At Kent Business School, our Accounting & Finance degrees respond to the needs of the modern accountancy profession. We offer the opportunity to spend a year on work placement, or to combine accounting with related subjects as part of a dual degree. For more information on undertaking a work placement, see Accounting and Finance with a Year in Industry, in the related courses menu below.

Our approach to teaching gives you the confidence and skills you need to follow the path that most interests you.

We have an excellent record of graduate employment with our graduates moving into a range of careers, including professional training in public practice (chartered accountancy) or in industry, commerce or the public sector, or financial services or general management.

Our programme is accredited by the professional accountancy bodies and provides several exemptions from professional accounting examinations. We also offer a qualifying taxation module, which is not available at many other UK universities.

About Kent Business School

Studying at Kent Business School is an exciting life experience, especially if you are moving away from home. We have combined a solid academic portfolio with excellent accommodation options, as well as hosting plenty of social and cultural activities.

Kent Business School delivers a high standard of business education and is the largest department at the University of Kent. Our academic research and links with global business inform our teaching, ensuring a curriculum that is both rigorous and current.  We are a top 30 UK business school for our academic teaching and student satisfaction.

Independent rankings

In the National Student Survey 2015, Accounting was placed in the top 20 in the UK for student satisfaction. In The Complete University Guide 2016, Accounting and Finance was ranked 4th overall in the south-east and in The Guardian University Guide 2016, it was ranked 12th in the UK for graduate career prospects.

Course structure

The course structure provides a sample of the modules available for this programme. This listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.  Most programmes require you to study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also have the option to take ‘wild’ modules from other programmes offered by the University in order that you may explore other subject areas of interest to you or that may further enhance your employability.

Stage 1

Possible modules may include:

AC300 - Financial Accounting I (30 credits)

This is the foundation module for the Accounting programme.

This module introduces you to the principles and practices of financial accounting, the discipline within accountancy which is concerned primarily with recording financial events and preparing and interpreting financial reports for parties outside the organisation. A computer-based learning package is used to support the teaching of double entry book-keeping. Lecture topics will include the following: Role and devolution of accounting; Single entry accounting; Double entry book-keeping; Financial reporting conventions; Recording transactions; Adjusting entries; The principal financial statements; Instituitional requirements; Introduction to auditing; Monetary Items; Purchases and Sales; Inventory; Fixed Assets; Liabilities; Sole traders and clubs; partnerships; Companies; Capital strudture of enterprises; Funds and cash flow; Interpretation of financial statements; Measurement problems in traditional accounting.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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CB314 - Quantitative Models and Methods for Accounting and Finance (30 credits)

The current curriculum embodied in the module deals with the following topics. The texts and module materials show the level of treatment of the topics.
• Fundamentals of computing: Operating systems, Computer communications, Word-processing, Databases.
• Spreadsheets: Features and functions of commonly-used spreadsheet software: workbook, worksheet, rows, columns, cells, data, text, formulae, formatting, printing, graphics and macros. Charts and graphs, what-if analysis, Solver. Data management facilities. Data validation. Spreadsheet security and documentation.
• Summarising data with frequency distributions, measures of central tendency and dispersion (standard deviation, variance).
• Probability: The relationship between probability, proportion and percent, addition and multiplication rules in probability theory, Venn diagrams,
• Distributions: binomial, Poisson; uniform, exponential, normal, Pareto.
• Sampling and its use in inference; applications of sampling in business and account¬ing.
• Analysing data: histograms, bar charts, hypothesis testing, summary measures of central tendency and dispersion for both grouped and ungrouped data.
• Regression and correlation: scatter plots; simple and multiple regression; interpreting computer output.
• Forecasting using spreadsheets.
• Decision making: payoff tables and decision strategies; decision trees; the Bayesian approach.
• Functions, equations and inequalities: linear functions, solving linear equations and solving simultaneous linear equations graphically; simple polynomials such as quadratic and cubic functions; manipulation of inequalities.
• Applications: Linear Programming. Modelling and the graphical method.
• Calculus: The concepts of differentiation and integration, and their relationship; stationary values.
• Logarithms and exponential functions. Linear interpolation.
• Financial mathematics: Simple and compound interest, annuities and perpetuities, loans and mortgages, sinking funds and savings funds, discounting to find NPV and IRR and interpretation of NPV and IRR.
• Use of spreadsheets for financial mathematics.
• Project Management.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EC302 - Introduction to Economics (30 credits)

This module has been designed for students who need to study what is often described as a Principles of Economics course. Each economics topic is introduced assuming no previous knowledge of the subject. The lectures and related seminar programme explain the economic principles underlying the analysis of each topic and relate the concepts to the real world. In particular, many examples are taken from the real world to show how economic analysis and models can be used to understand the different parts of the economy and how policy has been used to intervene in the working of the economy.

This module aims to introduce you to the basic principles of Economics, to the main ways in which economists think about problems and to the important current economic issues in the United Kingdom, the European Union and the world economy. The module is self-contained, so that if you do not study Economics further, you should have a basic understanding of economic methods and debates. It is also suitable as a basis for further modules that you may take in economics, either as part of an Economics degree or as part of another degree programme or as part of a future professional qualification.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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WSHOPEMP - Employability Workshop (0 credits)

Credits: 0 credits (0 ECTS credits).

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LW502 - Business Law (30 credits)

The introductory weeks of the first term involve an examination of the basic principles of the English legal system and legal reasoning. This provides students with an initial insight into the principal system of law-making in the United Kingdom, the structure of the primary legal institutions and the techniques required for the analysis of legal problems.

In the following weeks the focus moves to the private law of obligations (contract and negligence, more particularly, negligent misstatements). This section of the module begins by looking at the rules governing the formation of contracts in the business environment. It examines the circumstances in which the commercial relationship breaks down and what remedies are available to the parties, as well as the development of the contract form in response to evolving market criteria. The section concludes by looking at the more specific problems faced by accountants in practice, in relation to the making of statements.

In the spring term, the focus shifts to examine the specific nature of association for the purposes of trade, especially the partnership and the incorporated company with limited liability models. This unit looks at the issues surrounding the incorporation of companies, corporate governance and the duties of directors and auditors of a company. In addition, there is consideration of the remedies available to shareholders and third parties dealing with the company in the event of mismanagement by directors and insolvency of the company.
Following an examination of Company Law, the module moves to explore the world of employment, examining, specifically, the scope of the legal obligations owed by employers to employees.

Finally, the module includes a brief foray into the world of Intellectual Property Law, ensuring that students are conversant with current legal regulation in the fields of copyright, patents and trademarks.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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CB311 - Business Skills & Employability (15 credits)

Topics the module will cover include:

• Orientation to studying at university, time management and learning styles.
• Research and cognitive development (writing essays and reports in higher education, research and referencing, plagiarism, how to make a reasoned argument, literature searches and introduction to critical and analytical thinking).
• The theories underlying personal skill development needed to achieve success at university and in the workplace (i.e. effective communication; working in groups, teamwork, problem solving, creative thinking, conflict management and negotiation).
• Personal Development Planning for Employability (including career search, CV writing, and making sense of employer skills requirements).

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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CB312 - Introduction to Management (15 credits)

The module introduces students to theories of management, beginning with classical management systems through to contemporary management concepts. It will illustrate the continuities and transformations in management thinking throughout the 20th and 21st century. The main topics of study include:
• Scientific Management
• The Human Relations School
• Bureaucracy
• Post Bureaucratic Organizations
• The Contingency Approach
• Culture Management
• Leadership
• Decision-Making
• Managing Ethically

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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Stage 2

Possible modules may include:

AC508 - Principles of Finance (30 credits)

This module is concerned with the principles which underlie the investment and financing decision making process. Before a rational decision can be made objectives need to be considered and models need to be built. Short-term decisions are dealt with first, together with relevant costs. One such cost is the time value of money. This leads to long term investment decisions which are examined using the economic theory of choice, first assuming perfect capital markets and certainty. These assumptions are then relaxed so that such problems as incorporating capital rationing and risk into the investment decision are fully considered. The module proceeds by looking at the financing decision. The financial system within which business organisations operate is examined, followed by the specific sources and costs of long and short-term capital, including the management of fixed and working capital.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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AC520 - Management Accounting 1 (30 credits)

The work of accountants permeates all aspects of management and accountants provide information that is relevant for both managers and external stakeholders in the context of planning and controlling an organisation. This module will introduce and develop the principles and techniques used to provide appropriate financial information for managers to enable them to make better informed decisions. Topics may include:
• An introduction to management accounting
• The role of management accountants in an organisation
• Cost terms and purposes
• Cost determination
• Cost-Volume-Profit (CVP) analysis
• Measuring relevant costs & revenues for decision making
• Job order costing
• Cost allocation
• Activity based costing
• Joint and by-product costing
• Pricing, target costing and customer profitability analysis
• Motivation, budgets and responsibility accounting
• Flexible budgets, variances and management control
• Value based management and strategic management
• Performance management and management control
• Environment cost accounting: Sustainability

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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AC506 - Financial Accounting II (30 credits)

The conceptual framework of financial reporting; the financial reporting environment; the regulation of financial reporting; long-lived tangibles; long-term contracts; leases; capital instruments, provisions and contingencies; deferred tax; research and development; intangibles; group accounting; merger accounting; foreign activities; associates and joint ventures; off-balance sheet financing; reporting financial performance; earnings per share; the theory of capital and income; review of historical cost accounting; price-level accounting.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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CB547 - Strategic Management (30 credits)

Strategic Management aims to provide an understanding of strategic analysis, strategic decision-making and strategic processes within and between organisations. The module content combines approaches to strategic management, concepts and frameworks, and issues in strategic management. In particular, the themes covered include: internal and external environment analysis, strategic options, selection and evaluation, organisational structure, the role of culture, knowledge, technology and innovation, not-for profit and social enterprises, corporate social responsibility, international strategies, and strategic change. Case studies, which are used throughout the module, provide a vehicle for exploring the relationship between theory and practice in organisations and how that relationship affects the strategies of firms.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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Stage 3

Possible modules may include:

CB513 - Taxation (30 credits)

Synopsis of the curriculum

This module introduces students to:

  1. The UK tax system including the overall function and purpose of taxation in a modern economy, different types of taxes, principal sources of revenue law and practice, tax avoidance and tax evasion.
  2. Income tax liabilities including the scope of income tax, income from employment and self-employment, property and investment income, the computation of taxable income and income tax liability, the use of exemptions and reliefs in deferring and minimising income tax liabilities.
  3. Corporation tax liabilities including the scope of corporation tax, profits chargeable to corporation tax, the computation of corporation tax liability, the use of exemptions and reliefs in deferring and minimising corporation tax liabilities.
  4. Chargeable gains including the scope of taxation of capital gains, the basic principles of computing gains and losses, gains and losses on the disposal of movable and immovable property, gains and losses on the disposal of shares and securities, the computation of capital gains tax payable by individuals, the use of exemptions and reliefs in deferring and minimising tax liabilities arising on the disposal of capital assets.
  5. National insurance contributions including the scope of national insurance, class 1 and 1A contributions for employed persons, class 2 and 4 contributions for self- employed persons.
  6. Value added tax including the scope of VAT, registration requirements, computation of VAT liabilities.
  7. Inheritance tax and the use of exemptions and reliefs in deferring and minimising inheritance tax liabilities.
  8. Introduction to international tax strategy, implementation, compliance and defence.
  9. The obligations of taxpayers and/or their agents including the systems for self-assessment and the making of returns, the time limits for the submission of information, claims and payment of tax, the procedures relating to enquiries, appeals and disputes, penalties for non-compliance .

    Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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CB611 - Futures and Options Markets (30 credits)

This module is concerned with International Investment Banks’ products and strategies that involve the description and analyses of the characteristics of more commonly used financial derivative instruments such as forward and future contracts, swaps, and options involving commodities, interest, and equities markets. Modern financial techniques are used to value financial derivatives. The main emphasis of the module is on how International Investment Banks value, replicate, and arbitrage the financial instruments and how they encourage their clients to use derivative products to implement risk management strategies in the context of corporate applications.

In particular, students will first cover the topics related to forward, futures and swap contracts. They will then be introduced to options and various strategies thereof. Valuing options using Black-Scholes model and binomial trees is also an important part of the module. The important finance concepts of no-arbitrage and risk-neutral valuation and their implications for pricing financial derivatives are also covered in the module. This will help students to learn the techniques used in valuing financial derivatives and hedging risk exposure.

Successful completion of the module will provide a solid base for the student wishing to pursue a career in International Investment Banking and Treasury Management. The students will have the knowledge of essential techniques of risk management and financial derivative trading.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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CB617 - Financial Statement Analysis and Valuation (30 credits)

This module deals with the interpretation of financial statements, valuation models and implications of market based accounting research. A brief summary of topics under interpretation of financial statements includes: foundations of financial statement analysis, economic and sector performance, the financial reporting model, critique of financial statements, standardising financial statement information, ratio analysis.

A brief summary of topics under valuation models includes: economics of valuation, dividend based model, income based model, asset based model, cash flow based model, abnormal earnings, risk.

A brief summary of topics under implications of market-based accounting research includes: market efficiency, value relevance, agency theory, clean surplus, governance, evaluation of managerial performance, bankruptcy.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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AC502 - Business Finance (30 credits)

The course begins by looking at the financial system of the UK, including the major players in the market. It then proceeds to cover key topics, including: advanced portfolio theory, the capital asset pricing model, arbitrage pricing theory, the efficient market hypothesis, capital structure and the cost of capital, interaction of investment and financing decisions, decomposition of risk, options and pricing, risk management, dividends and dividend valuation models, mergers and failures and evaluating financial strategies.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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AC504 - Auditing (30 credits)

The nature, importance, objectives and underlying theory of auditing; philosophy, concepts and basic postulates of auditing, the regulatory and socio-economic environment within which auditing process takes place; auditing implications of agency theories of the firm; auditing implications of the efficient markets hypotheses; the statutory and contractual bases of auditing, including audit regulation and auditors' legal duties and liabilities; truth and fairness in financial reporting, materiality and audit judgement; the historical development of auditing; audit independence; the nature and causes of the audit expectation gap; auditors' professional ethics and standards; the nature and extent of auditors' legal liability; audit quality control, planning, programming, performance, supervision and review; principles of internal control; the nature and types of audit evidence; systems based auditing and the nature and relationship of compliance and substantive testing; audit risk and statistical sampling; audit procedures for major classes of assets, liabilities, income and expenditure, audit reporting.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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AC507 - Management Accounting II (30 credits)

The module provides an insight into contemporary management accounting issues. It takes an interdisciplinary perspective and builds on the knowledge and techniques acquired in Stages 1 and 2 core modules. In particular, the module explores the role of management accounting within the context of strategic management and management control. It also traces and evaluates recent major changes in management accounting and shows how management accounting may be used in managing organisations.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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You have the opportunity to select wild modules in this stage

Teaching & Assessment

Usually you spend eight hours in lectures and four hours in seminars each week. Some modules have a number of workshops or sessions in computer laboratories. Most of your modules involve individual study using Library resources.

Most modules have an end-of-year examination that contributes 70% to the final module mark; your coursework provides the remaining marks. Both Stage 2 and 3 marks count towards your final degree class

Programme aims

The programme aims to:

  • develop an understanding of some of the contexts in which accounting operates
  • introduce aspects of the conceptual underpinning to accounting
  • provide knowledge, understanding and skills, predominantly from a UK perspective, relevant to a career in accounting or a related area and professional training in accounting
  • offer the opportunity for students to obtain a range of exemptions at the initial stages of professional examinations
  • develop cognitive abilities and intellectual and transferable skills
  • examine aspects of the roles and functioning of accounting from a range of social scientific perspectives.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • some of the contexts in which accounting operates
  • aspects of the conceptual underpinning to accounting
  • the main current technical language and practices of accounting in the UK
  • some of the alternative technical languages and practices of accounting.

Intellectual skills

You gain the following intellectual abilities:

  • critically evaluate arguments and evidence
  • analyse and draw reasoned conclusions concerning structured and unstructured problems
  • numeracy skills.

Subject-specific skills

You gain subject-specific skills in the following:

  • record and summarise economic events
  • prepare financial statements
  • analyse the operations of business
  • undertake financial analysis and prepare financial projections.

Transferable skills

You gain transferable skills in the following:

  • locate, extract and analyse data from multiple sources
  • undertake independent and self-managed learning
  • use communications and information technology in acquiring, analysing and communicating information
  • communicate effectively
  • work in groups and apply other inter-personal skills.


We will give you the tools you need to build a successful career. This includes communication skills, the ability to work in a team and independently, and the ability to negotiate effectively.

We have an excellent record of graduate employment, with many of our graduates joining firms such as ABN Amro, KPMG, Ernst & Young and PwC.

Professional recognition

The number of professional exemptions available to Kent graduates is a key benefit of the programme. For instance, our optional 'Taxation' module confers an important exemption, which is not available at most universities.

Successful completion of the BA (Hons) Accounting & Finance programme typically provides exemption from the following papers:

The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)

  • F1 Accountant in Business
  • F2 Management Accounting
  • F3 Financial Accounting
  • F4 Corporate and Business Law
  • F5 Performance Management
  • F6 Taxation
  • F7 Financial Reporting
  • F9 Financial Management

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)

  • C1 Fundamentals of Management Accounting
  • C2 Fundamentals of Financial Accounting
  • C3 Fundamentals of Business Mathematics
  • C4 Fundamentals of Business Economics
  • C5 Fundamentals of Ethics, Corporate Governance and Business Law
  • P1 Performance Operations
  • F1 Financial Operations

The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW)

  • Accounting
  • Business & Finance
  • Law
  • Management Information
  • Financial Management
  • Business Strategy
  • Principles of Taxation

Entry requirements

Home/EU students

The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications, typical requirements are listed below, students offering alternative qualifications should contact the Admissions Office for further advice. It is not possible to offer places to all students who meet this typical offer/minimum requirement.

Qualification Typical offer/minimum requirement
A level



Mathematics grade B

Access to HE Diploma

The University of Kent will not necessarily make conditional offers to all access candidates but will continue to assess them on an individual basis. If an offer is made candidates will be required to obtain/pass the overall Access to Higher Education Diploma and may also be required to obtain a proportion of the total level 3 credits and/or credits in particular subjects at merit grade or above.

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC National Diploma)

The university will consider applicants holding BTEC National Diploma and Extended National Diploma Qualifications (QCF; NQF;OCR) on a case by case basis please contact us via the enquiries tab for further advice on your individual circumstances.

International Baccalaureate

34 points overall or 16 at HL, including Mathematics 4 at HL or SL (Mathematics Studies 5 at SL)

International students

The University receives applications from over 140 different nationalities and consequently will consider applications from prospective students offering a wide range of international qualifications. Our International Development Office will be happy to advise prospective students on entry requirements. See our International Student website for further information about our country-specific requirements.

Please note that if you need to increase your level of qualification ready for undergraduate study, we offer a number of International Foundation Programmes through Kent International Pathways.

Qualification Typical offer/minimum requirement
English Language Requirements

Please see our English language entry requirements web page.

Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes through Kent International Pathways.

General entry requirements

Please also see our general entry requirements.


Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. Details of our proposed funding opportunities for 2016 entry can be found on our funding page.  

General scholarships

Scholarships are available for excellence in academic performance, sport and music and are awarded on merit. For further information on the range of awards available and to make an application see our scholarships website.

The Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence

At Kent we recognise, encourage and reward excellence. We have created the Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence. For 2016 entry, the scholarship will be awarded to any applicant who achieves a minimum of AAA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications as specified on our scholarships pages. Please review the eligibility criteria on that page. 

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Key Information Sets

The Key Information Set (KIS) data is compiled by UNISTATS and draws from a variety of sources which includes the National Student Survey and the Higher Education Statistical Agency. The data for assessment and contact hours is compiled from the most populous modules (to the total of 120 credits for an academic session) for this particular degree programme. Depending on module selection, there may be some variation between the KIS data and an individual's experience. For further information on how the KIS data is compiled please see the UNISTATS website.

If you have any queries about a particular programme, please contact information@kent.ac.uk.

The University of Kent makes every effort to ensure that the information contained in its publicity materials is fair and accurate and to provide educational services as described. However, the courses, services and other matters may be subject to change. Full details of our terms and conditions can be found at: www.kent.ac.uk/termsandconditions.

*Where fees are regulated (such as by the Department of Business Innovation and Skills or Research Council UK) they will be increased up to the allowable level.

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