Accounting and Finance BA | Coventry University

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Accounting and Finance BA (Hons) 2018/19 entry

Course code:


Study options:

3 years full-time
4 years sandwich


Coventry University


January 2019



Get in touch

For questions regarding study and admissions please contact us:

+44 (0) 24 7765 2222


Understanding the financial world can lead you down many career paths, and a degree in Accounting and Finance can give you the best start.

If you are interested in current financial issues and are considering a career in either accountancy or finance, this course lets you sample the essentials of both disciplines to help you choose with interests you most. 

Since almost every management job requires an understanding of budgeting and financial administration, this degree can open up much broader career opportunities as it will equip you with a solid foundation of knowledge and skills in financial management within a business context. As part of our focus on your career prospects, we will also help you develop the skills often quoted by employers as lacking in graduates – critical evaluation, self-direction and problem-solving – incorporating analysis, presentations and negotiation techniques into your studies.

It’s one of many reasons why our graduate employability levels are so good – with 87% in work or further study after six months (DLHE 2014/15) ; and why student satisfaction is high, 96% in the latest National Student Survey (NSS) 2016.  

Why Coventry University?

An award-winning university, we are committed to providing our students with the best possible experience. We continue to invest in both our facilities and our innovative approach to education. Our students benefit from industry-relevant teaching, and resources and support designed to help them succeed. These range from our modern library and computing facilities to dedicated careers advice and our impressive Students’ Union activities.

Global ready

An international outlook, with global opportunities


Career-ready graduates, with the skills to succeed

Teaching Excellence

Taught by lecturers who are experts in their field

Course essentials

A degree which offers you more, at no extra cost

Accreditation and Professional Recognition

This course is accredited and recognised by the following bodies:

Association of International Accountants (AIA)

Certified Practising Accountants (CPA) Australia

Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)

Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)

Chartered Association of Business Schools (CABS)

As a mark of our quality and international perspective, Coventry Business School is also an active member of the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD) and Chartered Association of Business Schools (CABS), as well as being signatories to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Management Education (UN PRME) initiative. Our experiences and involvement with these organisations will enhance the quality of your educational experience.

Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW)

What our alumni say

This course allowed me to secure offers from high profile multinational companies even before graduation. I also spent a year in Rotterdam studying with students from around the globe."

Natalia Wawrowska, BA (Hons) Accounting and Finance, graduated 2014, now Buyer at Aston Martin Lagonda

Course information

A key advantage of our degree is the flexibility that comes from gaining a wide breadth of knowledge across both disciplines of accounting and finance, with the opportunity to choose from a large range of optional modules on topics like corporate governance and ethics, auditing or pensions.

As well as simulation and practical exercises, such as preparing accounts or assessing financial investment options, you will apply theory to real-life scenarios that you might encounter on a day-to-day basis as a professional. In the past, students have analysed the detail of corporate accounts from supermarket giants’ Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons; they’ve also looked at the competencies and skills of Easyjet in comparison to its competitors to try to ascertain what has contributed to its financial success.


Ranked in the top 13 universities in the UK

Guardian Good University Guide 2019

Course specification
Download PDF (516Kb)



In the first year, you will study a range of topics that cover the basics of accounting and finance, including: financial accounting, management accounting, personal finance mathematics, statistics and business economics. We will also begin to cover statistical analysis, ensuring you have the appropriate numeracy and mathematics skills needed for the quantitative methods you will explore from Year Two.


  • Introduction to Personal Finance

  • Accounting Fundamentals A

  • Academic and Professional Training

  • Mathematical Techniques for Accountants

  • Introduction to Business Economics

  • Accounting Fundamentals B

  • Statistical Analysis for Finance and Accounting


During the second year, there is a greater emphasis in the areas of accounting and finance within a business context.

You can begin to look at specialist subjects, such as accounting information systems, which provides great exposure to SAGE and SAP, the two leading systems used widely by small businesses and major global companies. We will examine financial strategies used by businesses and the role played by the external environment on financial decisions, considering, for example, the impact of interest rates or currency differences on borrowing and investment. Case studies will provided real-world examples, so you may find yourself investigating a business of your choice to determine which of Porter’s generic business strategies are being incorporated – high or low cost, broad or niche market focus or differentiation.

Wherever possible, we try to incorporate topical issues from the news and have, in the past, studied BP’s accounts to assess the impact of court cases and payments following the notorious Gulf oil spill. Another popular example is a look at premier league football clubs and particularly the impact of expensive players when they are playing more games on financial forecasts.


  • Principles of Financial Investment

  • Decision Management

  • Financial Reporting and Analysis

  • Academic Research and Employment Skills

  • Optional modules

    2 of the following:

    • Economics of Banking and Finance
    • Accounting Information Systems 
    • Principles of Taxation 
    • Financial Services 
    • Law of Business and Business Organisations 


After the second year, you have the option of taking a sandwich year on an industrial placement or spending 12 months studying abroad to broaden your international perspective. Your dedicated Employment Personal Tutor (EPT) will provide support in finding a suitable placement and, in recent years, we have seen increasing numbers of placements with PWC, Ernst & Young, Deloittes, Microsoft, IBM, Jaguar Land Rover and the NHS, as well as positions with a large number of small firms based in the West Midlands.

The placement provides an excellent opportunity to obtain appropriate discipline-specific work experience on a much more significant scale than vacation or part-time work.


In the final year of study, a wide range of optional subjects are available to further tailor your studies – from portfolio management to corporate governance and ethics. You will be required to write a dissertation to demonstrate your understanding of accounting and finance; students often choose a specific contemporary issue of interest to them.

One former student followed up his placement working at the NHS by studying in-depth the option to build a new hospital using a private finance initiative (PFI), another studied the impact of financial fair play regulations introduced by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) in 2009, which prevent professional football clubs spending more than they earn and getting into financial difficulties.

We’ve even had one student try to determine whether or not the position of the moon affects stock market performance – and incredibly it did!


  • Corporate Financial Management

  • Advanced Studies for Accounting and Finance

  • Optional modules

    4 of the following:

    • International Corporate Reporting
    • Audit and Internal Control 
    • Investment Analysis
    • Portfolio Management
    • Corporate Governance and Ethics
    • Performance Management
    • Business Strategy
    • International Finance
    • Insurance and Pensions 

We regularly review our course content, to make it relevant and current for the benefit of our students. For these reasons, course modules may be updated.


satisfaction for the quality of this course in the National Student Survey 2016

In more detail...

  • Outstanding facilities include our trading floor featuring 42 dual screen Bloomberg terminals.
  • Exceptionally high levels of student satisfaction of 96% overall in the National Student Survey (NSS) 2016.
  • With around 5,000 students and 300 staff, Coventry Business School is one of the largest in Europe, rated as ‘excellent’ by Eduniversal.
  • Strong record of employability – with 87% of graduates in work or further study after six months (DLHE 2014/15), almost three-quarters of those employed in professional level roles.
  • Exemptions from up to eight papers of the professional qualifications from the UK’s leading professional accounting bodies, whose representatives have visited our students in the past to speak about the professions and give advice and guidance on how to secure a job.
  • Practical focus includes preparing and analysing corporate accounts, as well as studying the impact of finance on real businesses through case studies of a diverse range of organisations, from sole trader partnerships to large corporations like Easyjet, Ryanir and Ben & Jerry’s.
  • Designated Employment Personal Tutor (EPT) to work with you throughout your course. All our EPTs have previously worked in industry and have experience of being a recruiter; they understand the labour market, the skills employers look for and the processes used by employers to select candidates.
  • Opportunity for all students to apply for an internship or sandwich placement, typically as a trainee accountant or in management accounts, which previously has included companies such as Tesco, the NHS, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), IBM, Toys R Us, as well as a large number of small to medium-sized accountancy firms and organisations.

Opportunity for all students to apply for an internship or sandwich placement, typically as a trainee accountant or in management accounts, which previously has included companies such as Tesco, the NHS, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), IBM, Toys R Us, as well as a large number of small to medium-sized accountancy firms and organisations.

Our main study themes are:

  • Accounting and finance fundamentals: The basic principles, rationale and methods used in analysing, recoding, planning and managing accounts or finances.

  • Taxation and law: Study of relevant business and competition law, as well as essential knowledge of tax initiatives, such as company, valued added, personal and inheritance tax.

  • Economics and business: Understanding how businesses operate within the external environment and the impact on finance of things like competition or overseas tax legislation on profit and loss.

  • Statistical analysis and quantitative methods: Essential numeracy skills and analysis for financial reporting, forecasting and modelling, for example, evaluating how much debt a company can afford or the optimum percentage sales growth. 

This course is available on a three-year full-time basis or a four-year sandwich basis, where between Years Two and Three there is one year of supervised work experience or a 12-month period studying abroad. The Faculty’s Employability and Placements Unit will assist you in finding a suitable placement, preferably in an accounting or finance-related position in a private, public or charitable organisation. 

We also use a range of innovative practical exercises, such as trade games to reinforce the integrative nature of accounting assessment. Throughout the course, you will focus on a particular company, analysing its performance at each stage, depending on which financial principles or theory you have studies, culminating in a group presentation to summarise financial performance and future options.

Wherever possible, we introduce professionally relevant coursework and experiences. This may be a simple discussion about recent legislative changes or, for example, a look at whether a company’s commitment to environmental accounting, such as planting trees to offset their impact on global resources, is genuinely making a difference or just a marketing ploy. As part of the Taxation module, you may be tasked with defending a fantasy budget, debating contemporary tax issues like transfer pricing and horizontal monitoring. We also take part in an annual ‘Tax Week’, together with universities in Italy, Belgium and Germany, where students work together to tackle European-wide tax problems. Previously, for example, they have presented findings and recommendations on behalf of a UK company with overseas subsidiaries, which requires knowledge of international corporate reporting, UK and overseas taxation and management reporting. 

Your academic personal tutor (APT) will review and discuss your progress with you and will be available for advice throughout your time on the course. In the National Student Survey (NSS) 2016, 95% of our students were satisfied with the advice and support they received during their studies and 93% had been able to contact staff when needed.

Teaching methods include:
weekly lectures, small group seminars and tutorials.

Meet our staff

Philip McCosker

Philip McCosker is a Senior Lecturer in Accounting.

Read full profile

This course will be assessed using a variety of methods which will could vary depending upon the module. Assessment methods include coursework, tests, essays, group work and presentations.

The Coventry University Group assessment strategy ensures that our courses are fairly assessed and allows us to monitor student progression towards the achieving the intended learning outcomes. Assessments may include exams, individual assignments or group work elements.

On successful completion, you should be able to:

  • Demonstrate sound knowledge and understanding of: the fundamental functions of and contexts in which accounting and finance operates; the impact of statutory and regulatory legislation and their impact.
  • Evaluate contemporary theories and empirical evidence concerning the operation of accounting and finance in the wider contexts of capital markets, business and society.
  • Communicate accounting and finance concepts, models and techniques in a clear and precise style through written and oral work.
  • Analyse and draw reasoned conclusions concerning structured and unstructured problems from sets of data drawn from a range of sources.
  • Analyse and discuss contemporary accounting and finance issues using appropriate accounting and finance principles and conventions.
  • Synthesise and critically evaluate relevant qualitative and quantitative data in the areas of accounting and finance from a range of sources.
  • Record and summarise transactions and other economic events in accounting systems for presentation and decision-making purposes.
  • Prepare and analyse financial statements through the use of recognised accounting conventions, statistical methods and computer-based techniques.
  • Analyse and produce financial solutions to complex business decisions.

In a typical teaching week, you will have up to 14 ‘contact’ hours of teaching.

This generally breaks down as:

  • Personal tutorial/small group teaching: 2 hours of tutorials or, later, project supervision, each week.
  • Medium group teaching: 6 hours of practical classes, workshops or seminars each week.
  • Large group teaching: 6 hours of lectures each week.

In addition, you will be expected to undertake a further 30 hours of self-directed studying and revising in your own time each week, including some guided study using handouts, online activities etc.

You will have the opportunity to take part in a number of overseas field trips, some of which have previously been subsidised by the University. In the past, our students have had the opportunity to visit universities in China and Malaysia to study alongside students, see how finance is taught internationally, appreciate the issues in different countries and broaden their perspectives.

Closer to home, you can participate in European field trips as part of the annual Tax Week initiative. We are also planning to introduce an annual Audit Week in partnership with universities in Germany, where students would work collaboratively on related projects.

Global ready

Did you know that we help more students travel internationally than any other UK university according to data from the experts in higher education data and analysis, HESA?

In 2016/17, we were able to provide a total of 3,482 experiences abroad that lasted at least five days.

Much of this travel is made possible through our Global Leaders Programme, which enables students to prepare for the challenges of the global employment market, as well as strengthening and developing their broader personal and professional skills.

Explore our international experiences

1st for

international experiences

Sending more students overseas than any other UK uni (HESA 2016/17)


Student experiences

The number of student trips abroad for at least 5 days in 2016/17


and counting

The number of students we’ve helped travel internationally so far


global programmes

As well as trips, we offer other opportunities like language courses

What our alumni say

This course allowed me to secure offers from high profile multinational companies even before graduation. I also spent a year in Rotterdam studying with students from around the globe."

Natalia Wawrowska, BA (Hons) Accounting and Finance, graduated 2014, now Buyer at Aston Martin Lagonda

Entry Requirements

University Course Code: BESU041
A Level BTEC IB Diploma GCSE requirement
ABB-BBB DDM 31-30 points 5 GCSEs at grade A*–C including English, Mathematics, or specified equivalents


A-Level applicants are required to have three
 A2 Levels. Coventry University may include AS grades within an offer for certain courses, but we are not able to accept two AS Levels in place of one A2 Level. In some courses it may be necessary for entrants to have passed specific A2 Levels in nominated subjects. Please see the course pages for more information.

Access Diplomas

The Access Diploma to include 30 Level 3 credits at Merit, plus GCSE English Language and GCSE Mathematics at grade C or above.

Coventry University welcomes applicants who have completed, or who are studying, the Access to HE Diploma developed by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA). Successful completion of the course will require you to gain 60 credits with at least 45 to be achieved at Level 3 (with the remainder at Level 2). In some cases we will require you to have gained Merit or Distinction grades in a number of units or in nominated subjects. For more information on the entry requirements for your chosen course please see the relevant course pages.

BTEC Level 3 Diplomas

The University will accept the BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma for entry to most courses. In some cases we will require applicants to have studied either certain named modules or a specific named Diploma. The appropriate course page will have full information on the entry requirements. The University also accepts the BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma and BTEC Level 3 Diploma for entry to degree programmes, provided that they are studied in combination with other qualifications that provide a total volume of study that is equivalent to three A2 Levels. For example, you could be studying a BTEC Level 3 Diploma plus an A2 Level, or a BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma plus two A2 Levels. Where a specific A2 or BTEC subject is required for entry then you must be offering this as part of your combination of qualifications.

Please visit our page on European entry requirements for more information about specific country information.

English as a Foreign Language: An IELTS of 6.0 overall. Pre-sessional English is available if required.

Our International Student Hub offers information on entry requirements for your country, as well as contact details for agents and representatives should you need more advice.

More detail

Select your region to find detailed information about entry requirements:

English as a Foreign Language: This course requires IELTS 6.0. Pre-sessional English is available if required.

Our International Student Hub offers information on entry requirements for your country, as well as contact details for agents and representatives should you need more advice.

More detail

Unconditional offers

We want to recruit the best students to Coventry and having assessed applicants' past, current and predicted performance and commitment to the course we feel that it is appropriate to reward consistently high-achieving students with an unconditional offer from a top university. It is a commitment from us with regard to an applicants’ potential as an excellent undergraduate and we hope that this will encourage such applicants to join the Coventry community.

Personal statements and references will also be taken into account and, for some degree courses, an interview will form part of the assessment. The criteria for unconditional offers will vary across the University as entry requirements for specific courses differ and not all degree courses will be taking part in the Scheme. The unconditional offer will be confirmed once a selected applicant has made Coventry their firm choice.

Coventry University has assessed that you are capable of achieving excellent grades and we have demonstrated this belief by making you an unconditional offer. This is our commitment to you so then we ask that you reciprocate this commitment by selecting us as your ‘firm’ choice and activating your unconditional offer.

We will consider other qualifications for a pre-result unconditional offer providing that you have an appropriate proven performance at GCSE (or equivalent) level and predicted grades in line with grades that we expect to see at A-level. Other qualifications that we may consider for a pre-result unconditional offer include: The International Baccalaureate Diploma, BTEC Level 3 qualifications, Cambridge Pre-U and combinations of qualifications (e.g. BTECS plus A-levels).

An unconditional offer is what it says it is. So, if you don’t meet your predictions then your place at Coventry is still guaranteed. However, we would hope and expect that you continue to work hard to make the most of your potential and be best prepared to study at university level.

We can’t but our experience over the years has shown us that students like you with a track record of high grades and excellent predictions are very likely to achieve those grades. Our assessment takes into account all elements of your application to allow us to take a holistic view of your potential. There is still the opportunity to gain one of the Coventry University Scholarships if you achieve the required grades so there is a financial incentive to aim high. Unconditional offers are only made to individuals who have demonstrated their commitment so we believe their focus and determination is unlikely to waver in the final stages of their qualifications.

No, the unconditional offer is only available to those who will take up their place in 2018.

What our alumni say

This course allowed me to secure offers from high profile multinational companies even before graduation. I also spent a year in Rotterdam studying with students from around the globe."

Natalia Wawrowska, BA (Hons) Accounting and Finance, graduated 2014, now Buyer at Aston Martin Lagonda

Tuition Fees

We pride ourselves on offering competitive tuition fees which we review on an annual basis and offer a wide range of scholarships to support students with their studies. Course fees are calculated on the basis of what it costs to teach each course and we aim for total financial transparency.

For more information, please visit our Finance pages.



January 2019

£9,250 (per year)


If you're a truly outstanding undergraduate candidate we may be able to offer you a Coventry University Scholarship.

Coventry University Scholarships are awarded to recognise truly exceptional sports achievement and academic excellence.



January 2019

£9,250 (per year)


For the September 2018 intake we're investing in a range of EU Academic Excellence scholarships for high achieving and enterprising students. Fulfil your potential this academic year with Coventry University!



January 2019

£12,600 (per year)


For the September 2018 intake we're investing in a wide range of Academic Excellence scholarships for high achieving and enterprising international students. Fulfil your potential this academic year with Coventry University!

Course essentials at no extra cost

We're committed to communicating study costs clearly to make sure you're not faced with having to make any unexpected payments.

This is why our ‘Flying Start’ package provides you with a few course essentials. Your full-time fee for an undergraduate degree will cover the following:

UK field trips

Any mandatory site visits and trips within the United Kingdom.

Key material

This can include core textbooks, software and equipment.

Laser prints

1,000 A4 sides of black and white laser printing credits per year.

Optional year

Pay no tuition fees for optional work placements or study abroad trips.

The following are additional costs not included in the fees:

  • Any optional overseas field trips or visits: £400+ per trip

What our alumni say

This course allowed me to secure offers from high profile multinational companies even before graduation. I also spent a year in Rotterdam studying with students from around the globe."

Natalia Wawrowska, BA (Hons) Accounting and Finance, graduated 2014, now Buyer at Aston Martin Lagonda

Career prospects

Our degree is designed to give you the practical skills and experience so that you can enter employment with the confidence to give sound financial advice and make effective financial decisions. 

You’ll also benefit from a wide range of desirable professional skills, including: team working; critical evaluation; self-directed learning; problem-solving; action planning and organising; written and oral communication; presentation; questioning and listening. The following personal qualities will also be addressed in each of the skills modules: achievement orientation; initiative and creativity; self-confidence; decisiveness; reflectiveness; adaptability and flexibility.  

On successful completion, you should be well placed to pursue a wide variety of careers in finance, management, accounting, banking, personal and corporate finance, business, marketing, education or IT in private, public and third sector organisations. Alternatively, this degree could set you on the path towards professional qualification as a Chartered Accountant, if you decide to follow specialist financial roles as an accountant, auditor, business analyst, investment consultant, stock controller or tax assistant. 

Alternatively, you may decide to continue your studies at postgraduate level to further enhance your employability. Here at Coventry, we offer the MSc Accounting and Financial Management.

Coventry University is committed to preparing you for your future career and giving you a competitive edge in the graduate job market. The University's Careers and Employability team provide a wide range of support services to help you plan and prepare for your career.

Where our graduates work

Our graduates have gone on to work as a personal financial advisor, trainee chartered accountant, finance assistant, finance advisor, business buyer, local authority system and improvement performance manager and trainer in maths for organisations as diverse as PWC, Grant Thornton, KPMG, Aston Martin and DHL Supply Chain.


of students in work or further study six months after finishing this course (DLHE 2014/15)

What our alumni say

This course allowed me to secure offers from high profile multinational companies even before graduation. I also spent a year in Rotterdam studying with students from around the globe."

Natalia Wawrowska, BA (Hons) Accounting and Finance, graduated 2014, now Buyer at Aston Martin Lagonda

By accepting your offer of a place and enrolling with us, a Student Contract will be formed between you and the University. The Contract will detail your rights and the obligations you will be bound by during your time as a student and will contain the obligations that the University will owe to you. We encourage you to read the Contract before you accept an offer of a place and before you enrol at the University. A copy of the 18/19 Contract can be found here.