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Accounting and Finance (CIMA Gateway)

Designed in collaboration with the CIMA, we’ll prepare you for a successful career in finance by enhancing the skills and knowledge you need to succeed at management and strategic level within any organisation.

Next Start Date: January, September

Degree type: MSc

UCAS Code: Apply direct

Duration: 1 year (full-time), 2 years (part-time)


Please note, this programme will be taking its first entry in September 2018. January entry will commence in 2019.

Organisations around the world are looking more and more for financial experts with the expertise and critical decision-making skills to add value to their service. In many of these, top-level financial skills are a pre-requisite for those with boardroom aspirations. Likewise, high-end leadership, business, technical and people skills are vital in today’s ever-changing business world, given the speed and volume of information and the need to make informed decisions, fast.

Our Accounting and Finance master’s is one of the few programmes in the UK to provide an accelerated route to becoming a chartered accountant whilst delivering insight into how to master all of the qualities and skills mentioned above. You’ll received significant exemptions from the CIMA professional examinations resulting in a fast-tracked route to the Strategic Level of the CIMA Qualification Framework. International students will typically complete in one year a qualification that would take 3-4 years in their home countries. The ability to leapfrog contemporaries together with the saving in study and living costs are compelling reasons to choose this programme.

Those that would prefer to work can study part-time and complete the qualification in two years.

On joining the programme, you will:

  • Develop a thorough and contemporary knowledge of the accounting and financial processes of an organisation and the ability to forward plan and effectively manage risk.
  • Gain knowledge of environmental challenges and trends, the opportunities and constraints these create, and how they impact on organisational decision-making and resource allocation.
  • Build on key skills associated with employment in high-performance organisations.
  • Work towards a Management Accountant qualification while completing your master’s degree.
  • Receive significant study support from CIMA. Your programme fees will include CIMA registration, your first year’s CIMA subscription fees, an attempt at the CIMA Management Case Study Exam, and access to and CIMAconnect online.

CIMA logo

What you study

Our programme comprises of six core accounting and finance modules, one optional module from two options, and a dissertation in a relevant area.

Core modules:

  • Advanced Financial Reporting and Analysis
  • Advanced Management Accounting for Decision Making
  • Case Studies in Management Accounting
  • Advanced Performance Management
  • Project Management
  • Research Methods

Optional modules:

  • Strategic Risk Management
  • Contemporary Issues in Financial Accounting

On graduating from the programme, you will know how to:

  • Critically understand the underlying principles and theories of financial reporting and analysis in the international context and demonstrate extensive knowledge with the recent development of international accounting and reporting standards and practices.
  • Assess current developments in strategic financial accounting, management accounting and social, environmental and sustainability accounting in theoretical, practical and historical contexts.
  • Critically understand the principles and underlying theories of corporate finance and equity investments.
  • Apply appropriate strategic management accounting techniques for strategic planning, control and performance management and analyse a business project and identify where improvements could have been made.
  • Identify, conceptualise and define a research question(s) and justify its relevance to practice and its significance as a potential contribution to existing knowledge.
  • Critically evaluate a range of complex scenarios and generate evidence-based solutions using contemporary research methods/methodologies in the context of relevant accounting and finance theories and sound organisational management principles, especially in the area of financial and management accounting. 
  • Interpret, assess and communicate knowledge and information effectively using a range of analytical tools for presenting, communicating and assessing financial and accounting strategies with academic, professional or practical contexts, both as an individual and as part of a team.

Guest lectures will be a significant feature of the programme. Topical, international case-based and research material will be used to encourage learner autonomy, empowerment, the development of higher order thinking skills and cooperative group activities, such as team presentations. At the start of modules you’ll be given more directed tutor support and will be encouraged to provide peer support and constructive feedback.

Traditional lectures, seminars and tutorials will also feature throughout the programme.


'Live' business problems with a wide range of organisations across different market sectors will be used as assessments in several of the modules and you’ll be required to provide recommendations.

You’ll also be assessed using a variety of other methods, including report and essay writing and closed book examinations.

Entry routes

Applications to this course are open all-year round for September or January entry (programme begins Sept 2018).

Applicants should have:

  • An undergraduate accounting degree (2:2 or better). Students who have an ordinary degree and are CIMA accredited to ‘Operational Level’ or above are also eligible for entry.
  • A desire to focus on management accounting and progress towards a professional qualification with CIMA.


All applicants are required to provide certified proof of competence in English Language. The university's minimum requirements are:

Overseas and EU: IELTS 6.0 (no individual test less than 5.5).

English Language Requirements

Information can be found on our English Language Requirements page.

We also offer English Language Courses which help you reach a standard suitable for studying at Abertay.

Visa Information

For information on how to apply for a student visa, please read our preparation for study page and our overseas pre-arrival guide.    

Fees and scholarships

Fees for 2018 entry will be confirmed in due course.

Further info

Programme Academics

Helen Smith  FCMA CGMA FAIA (academic) SFHEA (Programme Leader)
Professor Reza Kouhy
Greg Bremner
Peter Morrison
Dr Mo Yan
Dr Aminu Hassan
Bibek Bhatta

'We’re pleased to be able to introduce this rare and exciting joint programme with CIMA. This course offers students the ability to enhance their academic qualifications while also improving their professional standing. We look forward to working closely with students and industry professionals on this new and innovative course.'
Helen Smith FCMA CGMA FAIA (academic) SFHEA

Industry Links

Abertay’s Dundee Business School has great links with local, national and international organisations and there will be an opportunity for you to undertake a placement to further enhance your employability should you wish. You’ll also have plenty of exposure to industry to develop practical professional skills, working through ‘Live’ business problems in peer groups and engaging in Q&A sessions with guest speakers.

Career Opportunities

In the current financial climate there has been an increase in demand for accountants with a detailed knowledge of the environment in which a business operates and the ability to forward plan and effectively manage risk.


Your qualification will be the gold standard of financial expertise and recognised globally. Should you wish to work overseas, within the UK or locally, you will be highly sought after by employers in the public, private and third sectors.

The knowledge, understanding and skills developed on the programme will enable you to understand key issues, which relate to strategic decision-making within business and provide essential input for the success to global organisations.

We provide a range of support services for career development - find out more here.

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