Accounting and Finance and Economics

Accounting and Finance - BA (Hons)

UCAS code N400

2018

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

2018

Overview

Kent Business School has expert accounting staff from the business world and our links with global business ensure that our teaching is always internationally relevant.

Our Accounting & Finance degree responds to the needs of the profession and is accredited by the UK’s accountancy bodies. We also offer a qualifying taxation module, which is not available at many other universities.

Kent Business School (KBS) is a top 20 UK business school for academic teaching, student satisfaction and graduate employment prospects. We provide a friendly, student-focused environment, which helps you to make the most of your studies. Based in our brand-new building, you also benefit from up-to-date teaching facilities. 

Our degree programme

The programme begins with an introduction to accounting, including computer-aided systems, economics and, if you choose, business law. You then go on to focus in greater depth on subjects such as strategic management, investments and the role of the accountant in international markets.

You can choose from a wide range of accounting and finance options in your final year of study, allowing you to develop specialist knowledge.

Year in industry

You have the option to take this programme with a year in industry. For details, see Accounting & Finance with a Year in Industry.

Extra activities

Kent Business and Kent Enterprise are two of our student-run societies. Their activities have included events with guest speakers from industry and support for budding entrepreneurs.

Kent Business School also puts on special events and schemes. These may include:

  • workshops and seminars
  • business challenges
  • enterprise initiatives, including the Business Start-Up Journey
  • networking events.

Professional network

At Kent Business School, we pride ourselves on the strength of our global connections. These include links with:

  • BBC
  • Barclays
  • Cummins
  • IBM
  • KPMG
  • The Bank of England
  • Kent County Council.

Kent Business School also has excellent links with business schools globally, including in China, Hong Kong, France, Germany, Spain, Finland and Italy.

Independent rankings

In the National Student Survey 2016, 86% of Accounting students were satisfied with the overall quality of their course.

Accounting & Finance at Kent was ranked 16th for graduate prospects in The Complete University Guide 2017 and 18th in The Times Good University Guide 2017

Of Accounting students who graduated from Kent in 2015, 94% were in work or further study within six months (DLHE).

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

Modules may include 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

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The law affects the commercial world in many ways. This module focuses on its impact on how businesses conduct transactions; how they are structured; how they operate; how they employ staff, and how they manage and avoid disputes. By enabling students to become familiar with those parts of the law they are most likely to encounter in their careers and in business the module will help them better understand the obligations that parties have to each other in law.

The module covers the following topic areas:

• The English Legal System, Legal Process and Dispute Resolution;

• Law of Contract – formation, terms, vitiating elements, discharge and remedies;

• Law of Negligence – general principles and negligent mis-statement, particularly the issues faced by accountants in the area of negligent advice;

• Law of Business Organisations - classification of business organisations; main principles applying to general and limited liability partnerships and registered companies; directors' duties, and insolvency;

• Employment Law - the general scope of the legal obligations owed by employers to employees, including the employment contract, discrimination and dismissal

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The following topics will be taught:

• Summarising data with frequency distributions, measures of central tendency, spread and skewness. Visual representation of data in the form of graphs and charts.

• Probability: The relationship between probability, proportion and percent, addition and multiplication rules in probability theory, Venn diagrams.

• Distributions: Discrete (Binomial, Poisson) and Continuous (Uniform, Exponential, Normal).

• Sampling and hypothesis testing and its use in inference; applications of sampling in Quality Control, business and accounting.

• Regression and correlation: scatter plots; simple regression.

• 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.

• Linear Programming – problem formulation and the graphical solution method.

• Calculus: The concepts of differentiation and integration, and their relationship; stationary values.

• Financial mathematics: Logarithms and exponential functions. 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.

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A synopsis of the curriculum

• Role and evolution of accounting; single entry accounting

• double entry bookkeeping

• financial reporting conventions

• recording transactions and adjusting entries

• principal financial statements

• institutional requirements

• auditing; monetary items

• purchases and sales

• bad and doubtful debts

• inventory valuation

• non-current assets and depreciation methods

• liabilities

• sole traders and clubs; partnerships; companies

• capital structures

• cash flow statements

• interpretation of accounts through ratio analysis

• problems of, and alternatives to, historical cost accounting

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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 another degree programme or as part of a future professional qualification.

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Stage 2

Modules may include 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 and culture, the role of knowledge, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship, not-for profit and social enterprises, corporate social responsibility, international strategies, strategic change and building a cohesive strategy. Case studies, which are used throughout the module, provide a vehicle for exploring the relationship between theory and practice in organisations and analysing the implications for strategic direction.

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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

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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

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The module will aim to cover the following topics:

• the conceptual framework of financial reporting

• the financial reporting environment

• the regulation of financial reporting

• group accounting

• the International Accounting Standards Board

• content and application of International Accounting Standards as appropriate

• accounting standards

• accounting for transactions in financial statements

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Stage 3

Modules may include Credits

This module is designed to build upon financial accounting topics taught in previous modules and assess them at a more advanced level. It will also introduce topics, not previous taught.

The following is an indicative list of topics to be covered:

• Accounting for complex transactions in financial statements

• Analysing and interpreting financial statements

• Valuation and forecasting

• Preparation of financial statements including those for complex groups

• Content and application of International Accounting Standards, as appropriate.

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This module begins with a focus on the financial system of the UK, including the major players in the markets and key interrelations. It then proceeds to cover key topics, including: advanced portfolio theory, the capital asset pricing model, arbitrage pricing theory, the implications and empirical evidence relating to the efficient market hypothesis, capital structure and the cost of capital in a taxation environment, 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.

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This module will cover the following topics:

• The historical development of auditing

• The nature, importance, objectives and underlying theory of auditing

• The 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 hypothesis

• The statutory and contractual bases of auditing, including auditing regulation and auditors' legal duties and liabilities

• Truth and fairness in financial reporting

• Materiality and audit judgement

• Audit independence

• The nature and causes of the audit expectation gap

• Auditors' professional ethics and standards

• Audit quality control, planning, programming, performance, supervision and review

• The nature and types of audit evidence

• Principles of internal control

• Systems based auditing and the nature and relationship of compliance and substantive testing

• The audit risk model and statistical sampling

• Audit procedures for major classes of assets, liabilities, income and expenditure

• Audit reporting.

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The module examines contemporary management accounting issues at an advanced level. It takes an interdisciplinary perspective and draws on the knowledge and techniques acquired in Stages 1 and 2 core modules. The module explores the role of management accounting within the context of strategic management and management control. The module traces and evaluates recent major changes in management accounting and aims to increase students' awareness of how management accounting is used in managing organisations and the impact of organisational and social context on management accounting practice and effectiveness.

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A synopsis of the curriculum

The module will aim to cover the following topics:

• 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.

• 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.

• 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.

• 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.

• 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.

• Value added tax including the scope of VAT, registration requirements, computation of VAT liabilities.

• Inheritance tax and the use of exemptions and reliefs in deferring and minimising inheritance tax liabilities. Introduction to international tax strategy, implementation, compliance and defence. An understanding of principles of normative ethics in business and in taxation from local and global perspectives.

• 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.

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This module will cover the following topics:

- Features of debt instruments and risks associated with investing in these instruments

- Debt and money markets (participants, operations, trading activities)

- Fixed-income instruments (Government bonds, corporate bonds, credit ratings, high-yield bonds, international bonds, mortgage-backed securities, etc.)

- Money market instruments (Treasury bills, commercial paper, repurchase agreements, bills of exchange, etc.)

- Fixed-income valuation (traditional approach, arbitrage-free approach, yield measures, volatility measures)

- Term-structure of interest rates and classic theories of term structure, derivation of zero-coupon yield curve

- General principles of credit analysis (credit scoring, credit risk modelling, etc.)

- Fixed-income portfolio construction and management strategies (portfolio's risk profile, managing funds against a bond market index).

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This module will examine how Excel can be used for financial data analysis.

A brief revision of each financial concept will be presented. The syllabus will typically cover:

Introduction to Excel:

• Basic functions, mathematical expressions

Data Analysis with Excel:

• Data analysis, charts, solver, goal seek, pitot tables and pivot charts

Financial Valuation:

• Applications of time value of money

• Applications of capital budgeting techniques in Excel (IRR, NPV, Scenario Analysis, Monte Carlo simulation)

• Company Valuation Models

Portfolio Analysis and Security Pricing:

• Portfolio models, calculations of efficient portfolios, variance-covariance matrix

• Beta coefficient estimations and security market line

• Bond Valuations

• Binomial option pricing, Black-Scholes model.

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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.

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You have the opportunity to select wild modules in this stage

Teaching and 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:

  • recording and summarising economic events
  • preparing financial statements
  • analysing the operations of business
  • undertaking financial analysis and preparing financial projections.

Transferable skills

You gain transferable skills in the following:

  • locating, extracting and analysing data from multiple sources
  • undertaking independent and self-managed learning
  • using communications and information technology in acquiring, analysing and communicating information
  • communicating effectively
  • working in groups and applying other inter-personal skills.

Careers

Graduate destinations

Our graduates move into a range of careers within the world of business. Many go on to become chartered, certified or management accountants. The degree can also prepare you for a career in financial services (such as banking, insurance and investment) or in general management.

Recent graduates have taken up positions with a wide range of companies, including:

  • ABN AMRO
  • Accenture
  • Burgess Hodgson
  • Baker Tilly
  • Deutsche Bank
  • Ernst & Young
  • Fidelity Investment
  • HSBC
  • KPMG
  • PwC
  • Royal Bank of Scotland.

Help finding a job

Kent Business School has good links with businesses globally. This network is very useful when looking for work in industry.

Our friendly Careers and Employability Service can also give you advice on how to:

  • apply for jobs
  • write a good CV
  • perform well in interviews.

Career-enhancing skills

You graduate with an excellent grounding in the main concepts and practical methods of accounting and finance.

To help you appeal to employers, you also learn transferable skills that are useful in any career. These include the ability to:

  • think critically
  • communicate your ideas and opinions
  • manage your time effectively
  • work independently or as part of a team.

You can also gain extra skills by signing up for one of our Kent Extra activities, such as learning a language or volunteering.

Professional recognition

This degree is accredited by the UK’s professional accountancy bodies. If you’d like to become a chartered accountant, this accreditation allows you to gain several exemptions from your professional accounting exams. (The number of exemptions depends on which modules you choose.)

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

Independent rankings

Accounting and Finance at Kent was ranked 16th in the UK for graduate prospects in The Complete University Guide 2017.

According to Which? University (2017), the average starting salary for graduates of this degree is £24,000.

Kent is consistently ranked highly in university league tables, which is testimony to the high academic standards achieved by its graduates.

Christine Livingston Accounting and Finance BA

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 us for further advice. 

It is not possible to offer places to all students who meet this typical offer/minimum requirement.

New GCSE grades

If you’ve taken exams under the new GCSE grading system, please see our conversion table to convert your GCSE grades.

Qualification Typical offer/minimum requirement
A level

ABB

GCSE

Mathematics grade B

Access to HE Diploma

The University will not necessarily make conditional offers to all Access candidates but will continue to assess them on an individual basis. 

If we make you an offer, you will need 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 for further advice on your individual circumstances.

International Baccalaureate

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

International students

The University welcomes applications from international students. Our international recruitment team can guide you on entry requirements. See our International Student website for further information about entry requirements for your country.

If you need to increase your level of qualification ready for undergraduate study, we offer a number of International Foundation Programmes.

Meet our staff in your country

For more advice about applying to Kent, you can meet our staff at a range of international events.

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. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme. 

General entry requirements

Please also see our general entry requirements.

Fees

The 2018/19 regulated UK/EU tuition fees have not yet been set. The University intends to set fees at the maximum permitted level for new and returning UK/EU students. Please see further information below.

As a guide only the 2017/18 full-time UK/EU tuition fees for this programme are £9,250 unless otherwise stated: 

UK/EU Overseas
Full-time TBC £15200

For students continuing on this programme, fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* 

Your fee status

The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.

General additional costs

Find out more about accommodation and living costs, plus general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent.

Funding

University funding

Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. See our funding page for more details. 

Government funding

You may be eligible for government finance to help pay for the costs of studying. See the Government's student finance website.

Scholarships

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 2018/19 entry, the scholarship will be awarded to any applicant who achieves a minimum of AAA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications (including BTEC and IB) as specified on our scholarships pages

The scholarship is also extended to those who achieve AAB at A level (or specified equivalents) where one of the subjects is either Mathematics or a Modern Foreign Language. Please review the eligibility criteria.

Viththiya Nagendram

There’s great variety in the modules, and I think this must help give you a more open choice of careers. 

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.

Teaching Excellence Framework

Based on the evidence available, the TEF Panel judged that the University of Kent delivers consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its students. It is of the highest quality found in the UK.

Please see the University of Kent's Statement of Findings for more information.