Postgraduate Taught

Accounting and Finance with CIMA - MSc

Do you currently work in accounting and finance and want to gain a master’s qualification and an accelerated route to chartered status? Do you have a business-related degree and want to move into a career in accounting and finance? This MSc in Accounting and Finance with CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants) could be for you.

The course will provide you with both the necessary technical skills expected of a part-qualified management accountant and the critical analysis skills expected of a master’s degree graduate. 

This course has been developed in collaboration with CIMA, the world’s leading and largest professional body of management accountants. We are one of the few UK universities to fully collaborate with CIMA, enabling students to graduate with both a postgraduate qualification, the CIMA Advanced Diploma in Management Accounting, and maximum exemptions from CIMA professional examinations.

The course is delivered either full time or part time.

Why QMU?

  • Designed in collaboration with a professional body which qualifies you both academically and professionally: This collaboration with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) offers the opportunity for students to obtain a master’s degree, a prestigious professional qualification (CIMA Advanced Diploma in Management Accounting) and the maximum 11 exemptions from CIMA’s certificate, operational and management level examinations.
  • Teaching expertise and care: The course is taught by professionally qualified chartered accountants and academics with industry and research expertise. With the small class size, you will be able to learn from a caring team of finance professionals who have your career development as a priority. Our recent (2023), QSS results rated postgraduate teaching quality on MSc in Accounting and Finance (with CIMA) at over 97%.
  • Diverse career opportunities: By collaborating with CIMA, we are opening up our students to a host of roles in a professional capacity and you are not obligated to becoming an chartered accountant. This management accounting qualification is broad enough to lead to key roles in the areas of information management, consultancy, operations, commercial, executive and, of course, finance.
  • Flexible study options: We offer full-time, part-time and single module study options.
  • An accessible route to a new career: This course has been designed in a way that allows students without a finance degree to apply but relevant accounting and finance working experience is preferred.
  • Great location: QMU is located in the UK’s second largest financial centre. Not only does this pave the way for career opportunities on graduation, but also enables us to offer field trips and enlist guest speakers to enhance your learning experience.
  • Access to our on-campus Business Gateway and Business Innovation Zone (BIZ): This provides business incubation space for student/graduate-led start-up companies with access to: desk space, a QMU business address, meeting facilities, Business Gateway support and advice, a profile for your company on the QMU website, support with marketing materials, and access to entrepreneurial networks within QMU and other universities, for example, Enterprise Campus, Scottish Institute for Enterprise, Sporting Chance and Converge Challenge.
  • Professional links: The Queen Margaret Business School is a member of the Chartered Association of Business Schools (CABS). and a signatory member of The Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME). Our courses are designed with close collaboration with professional bodies including Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and Digital Marketing Institute. This means our qualifications are recognised by these bodies and upon successful completion of our courses, you can fast track your professional qualification should you wish you achieve one.  

Queen Margaret Business School - Hands on Experiential Learning

Accounting and Finance with CIMA (MSc): More information and what you will achieve

  • Students graduating with the MSc will have expertise in the key areas of financial reporting, management accounting and corporate finance and will also have critical awareness of how these areas contribute to a company’s strategic management.
  • You will develop your employability skills such as teamwork, leadership and communication skills.
  • You will be exposed to the financial professional environment to start your career transition while you study at QMU.

How will I be taught?

Structure and exit awards

You can opt to study for the full MSc (180 credits) or a PgDip (120 credits) or a PgCert (60 credits).

You can also register as an associate student to complete a single module for CPD. On completion of a single module, you may wish to complete further modules and progress your studies to a named award.  Contact Dr Mo Yan for further information on single module study.

Teaching, learning and assessment

Teaching comprises a combination of lectures, seminars, guest speakers, tutorials, case studies, software demonstrations, field trips and projects. Independent learning is also important, allowing you to prepare for classes and develop your research skills.

Additionally, you will carry out a dissertation or a Business Consultancy in Practice project.

Your performance on the course will be assessed by essays, reports, reflective logs, exams, presentations and a dissertation.

Teaching hours and attendance

Each module will require you to attend classes and carry out independent work. Most modules consist of two to three hours of class time each week of the semester.

Class sizes

It is anticipated that the cohort size for this course will be approximately 30 students. However, a number of the modules for the degree will be shared with other courses, so class sizes will vary.

Teaching staff

You can read more about the teaching staff on this course at the bottom of this page. Please note that teaching staff is subject to change.


  • Financial Reporting (20 credits):This module is designed to build your understanding of mid-level financial reporting knowledge, improve your financial analysis skills and help you learn to prepare basic financial statements. The field of financial accounting is vast and with many specialty areas. This module does not require advanced specialised knowledge of any given area of financial accounting (such as taxation, auditing, etc.). Instead, this module attempts to build your general knowledge of financial reporting, to further your understanding of the most fundamental building blocks of the accounting and finance world. 
  • Accounting for Managers (20 credits): This module develops critical understanding of essential management accounting and finance topics within a business environment, to develop critical understanding of the importance of managing customer value parameters (cost, quality, and time) through management accounting practices for value creation. 
  • Advanced Management Accounting (20 credits): This module is designed to improve your expertise in strategic management accounting, somewhat based on your learning in Accounting for Managers. CIMA is the world's largest management accountant professional body. To become CIMA qualified, you need to have a high level of understanding in the specialty area of strategic management and cost accounting. This module is also crucial to your success in passing the global Management Level Case Study set by CIMA after your study is finished with QMU.
  • Fundamentals of Corporate Finance (20 credits): This module aims to introduce students to relevant concepts in finance. Students will learn about the function of capital markets, the trade-off between risk and return, how to price financial assets and the importance of the way a firm finances its operations. The module is designed to develop numeracy and analytical skills.
  • Research Methods* (20 credits): The Research Methods module aims to provide students with a deep understanding of the way that research is designed, conducted, and communicated and to use this to develop a viable proposal for future research.
  • Strategy and Leadership (20 credits): In this fast-paced module, students will critically evaluate the concepts, frameworks and techniques of strategic management and leadership decision-making. Furthermore, students will synthesise competitive conditions, appraise corporate capabilities and consider strategies that lead businesses towards a sustainable and competitive advantage within contemporary industry.

If studying for an MSc, you will also complete a Capstone module (60 credits). This takes the form of either a 12,000-word Dissertation, a Business Consultancy in Practice project, or a Business Incubation Programme.

  • Business Consultancy in Practice (60 credits): This is a hands-on practical project where you will work with a business on a live project, determine the project parameters, manage the project, and deliver a consultancy report recommending actions the company can implement. The module aims to develop excellent project and client management skills alongside high-level writing skills that include excellent reflective abilities.
  • The Business Incubation Programme (60 credits):The aim of this module is to critically evaluate a range of nascent, micro and family businesses and to develop, through inception, investigation and planning, a new start-up business or social enterprise of your own design. You will work with mentors, QMU’s Business Innovation Zone (BIZ) and the on-campus Business Gateway to take your business from idea to reality
  • Accounting or Finance Dissertation (60 credits): To enable students to develop, plan and critically evaluate a piece of research in the relevant degree subject related area, written up in the form of a dissertation. This offers the opportunity to conduct a substantial academic research project around a topic of choice.

*Students need to complete Research Methods as a  core module unless they have an equivalent on their student transcript. In such circumstances, students will be offered an optional module from a prescribed list.

NB The modules listed are correct at time of posting (October 2023) but this course is due for re-validation in 2023/24 and it is likely that this will result in some changes to the course. The updated course will be launched in time for the September 2024 intake and updates will be posted here when available.

Career opportunities

We expect our graduates to find employment in businesses, financial services, public sector organisations, consultancy practices and accountancy firms. Example job titles include: Accountant, Finance Manager, Finance Director, Investment Analyst, Risk Manager, Finance Planning Analyst, Wealth Manager. Additionally, students can start up their own businesses during the course with support from the University. (See a video featuring a recent graduate case study on this page.)

Accounting and Finance with CIMA (MSc): Entry requirements and application information

Entry requirements

Applicants should have a UK honours degree or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard in a related accounting/finance/business management area.

We also welcome applicants with an ordinary degree who can show a period of relevant post-graduation work experience in accounting and finance or additional capabilities.

International: You will be required to provide evidence of English language competence at no less than IELTS 6.0 with no individual component score less than 5.5.

Accreditation of prior learning: You may be granted exemption from studying a module or modules up to a maximum of 60 credit points, provided you can demonstrate successful achievement of all the learning outcomes.

Other information

Fees for this course are calibrated to incorporate the CIMA registration fee, and the exam fee for the first attempt of the CIMA Management Level Case Study. You will  have access to a one-year subscription of CIMA study materials for exam preparation. The fees also cover all transport and activities on field trips as well as practical classes. See Fees and Charges page.

Disability/health conditions

If you have a disability, long-term physical or mental health condition, or learning disability, it should not stand in the way of your studying at QMU. However, if you are not sure whether your disability might be a barrier in your studies or in relation to the professional standards, please contact the disability service who will be able to have a conversation with you about reasonable adjustments and supports available to you.

Applying for this course

For more information on applying, or to apply for this course, please follow the links in the 'Start your application' box at the top right of this page.

Application deadline

Home: End of August for September 2024 start and December for January 2025 start.

International: 26th July for September 2024 start and end of October for January 2025 start.

Terms and Conditions

The delivery of this course is subject to the terms and conditions set out in our 2024/25 Entry - Terms and Conditions (Postgraduate).

More information and QMU contacts

Contact Dr Mo Yan (Programme Leader) or contact Admissions 

We would be delighted to arrange a visit to the University when we can tell you even more about the courses and facilities.

Interview with Ben Nicol

Interview with Mujtaba Mahfooz

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Course Overview

On campus at QMU
1 year full time OR 2-7 years part time (or 18 months full-time with a January start)
Start Date
September 2024
Start Date
January 2025
School of Arts, Social Sciences and Management
Subject Area
Fees & Funding
SCQF Level

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