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MSc Forensic Accounting

Gain insight into forensic accounting on a course which covers the two main subject areas of investigations and dispute advisory services. You increase your knowledge of the legal framework as it relates to the law of evidence, and choose from a range of modules covering other forensic related areas such as financial analysis.

Course length 1-2 Year(s)
Location City and Collegiate

Course description

Develop the specialist accounting skills and knowledge needed to pursue a career in forensic investigation and dispute resolution on this master's course. A forensic approach to accounting is often used in the workplace and this course allows you to specialise in this field.

Through the two forensic accounting modules, the course gives you specialist insight into the forensic analysis of financial accounts and methods used in dispute resolution. The electronic crime module shows how new media can be exploited in financial fraud and how such actions can be traced.

You also gain an understanding of the legal issues in a forensic context. Part of your study involves increasing your knowledge of the legal framework in relation to the law of evidence and studying accounting in a legal context.

The corporate governance and ethics module shows you the importance of good governance and ethics to organisations and society throughout the world, so you can apply these ideas in your future career.

Your module choice allows you to tailor your study to an area of interest.

The financial analysis module gives you the ability to understand and utilise financial and other information in connection with identifying manipulation of financial statements.

The innovation in the digital enterprise module prepares you for a role in leading and enabling change in contemporary organisations through the use of strategic information systems and modern digital technologies.

The financial regulations and supervision module gives you an insight into the legal framework and working practices around accounting in financial institutions and markets.

You also do a dissertation, an extended piece of research, which you design and carry out under the direction of an academic tutor.

You gain transferable skills relevant to the current national and international business world, in areas including problem solving, communication and information technology.

The team delivering the course has strong links with the Associationof Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants(CIMA) and Association of CorporateTreasurers (ACT).

Professional body membership
Your student membership fees for Association of Certified Fraud Examiners for your year of study are paid by the University allowing you to have full access to their member resources to help you complete your specialist modules.

Professional recognition

We are a member of the Anti-Fraud Education Partnership with the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.

Entry requirements

2017 entry requirements

Normally students must have an undergraduate degree in a relevant field. If you don’t have a degree you may be considered if you have at least five years’ professional accounting experience. You also need two appropriate references. You may also be able to claim credit points which can reduce the amount of time it takes to complete your qualification at Sheffield Hallam. Find out more

If English is not your first language you typically need an IELTS 6.0 score with a minimum of 5.5 in all skills or equivalent. If your English language skill is currently below IELTS 6.0 we recommend you consider a Sheffield Hallam University Pre-sessional English course which will enable you to achieve an equivalent English score.

We may ask you for an interview before admissions are finalised. International students may be interviewed by telephone or e-mail.

International and European entry qualifications

If you are an International or non-UK European student, you can find out more about the country specific qualifications we accept on our international qualifications page.

Course structure

Full-time – typically one year
Part-time – typically two years
Starts September

Typical modules may include

Core modules

Forensic accounting
You develop an appreciation of forensic accounting work, including the nature and extent of financial crime and financial dispute resolution. You also participate in identifying problematic situations and inherently weak systems in organisations, and design and recommend solutions to minimise risks. You gain an understanding of the methodologies used by organisations and individuals in the management of risk associated with financial exposures.

The expert witness in criminal litigation
This module provides a grounding in the law of evidence and develops your ability to research legal cases and present legal argument. The module considers the investigative process from the initial court hearings through to the completion of the trial. You address subjects including the rules and principles of expert testimony, the burden of proof and the rules governing advocacy and trials. It allows you to make and justify decisions about evidence which are complex and ambiguous, and to devise and sustain an argument supported by valid and evaluated evidence. Criminal litigation is essentially the steps required to take a criminal case to trial. This module involves examining the initial stages of an investigation, covering police powers, criminal procedure rules and pre-trial hearings. It teaches the core skills required with emphasis on research and legal reasoning.

Methods of enquiry: research and consultancy in finance
You gain analytical and technical research and consultancy skills. You develop knowledge and a reflective understanding of methodological and philosophical issues in research and consultancy with specific reference to finance.

Forensic accounting applications
This module develops the theoretical knowledge gained in the first forensic accounting module and considers the practical application of such knowledge. You develop an appreciation and understanding of the application of techniques used in forensic investigation engagements. You also develop dispute resolution techniques such as the identification and quantification of admissible evidence and the quantification of damages.

Electronic crime
You develop an understanding of the major software applications most commonly used for accounting, finance, business management and international commercial networks, especially in relation to applications used in the fight against crime. You also learn how to identify the major types of electronic crime and use computer security to control these situations. You develop an appreciation of risk assessment processes for electronic systems and an understanding of the collection of electronic information for evidence production purposes.

Corporate governance and ethics
This module allows you to understand corporate governance within an international perspective, to consider a variety of ethical theories, and encourages ethical reflection throughout the module and beyond. You consider the historical development of international corporate governance, particularly in the light of political, social, cultural and economic influences.

Research methods
This module develops your ability to critically evaluate published research and develop your own research skills. It provides the key steps in developing your understanding of the nature of the postgraduate dissertation and approaches to undertaking one. After completing the module you are able to draw up research proposals and undertake your own dissertation research project. This module allows you to demonstrate researcher skills at masters level. You produce a persuasively argued piece of writing that demonstrates knowledge and skills, researcher competence and the ability to work independently.

You complete a major research-based project on a topic relevant to your future career development or academic interest. It enables you to demonstrate the skills and knowledge gained on the course and develop your research skills.

Optional modules

One from • financial analysis • financial regulation and supervision • innovation in the digital enterprise

  • assignments
  • examinations
  • dissertation


Our forensic courses allow you to find work as a specialist in your named area. You can find careers in any accounting related-profession, including providing advice and guidance with reference to how accounts may be manipulated. You can specialise in detecting financial fraud through forensic investigation.

Graduates from this course are equipped with the knowledge and skills needed for professional roles in accounting and finance, such as • accountant • finance or accounting manager • financial controller • financial analyst • financial consultant • researcher or educator.

You can also use the course to help your career development if you are in the police, legal and penal professions.


Home / EU student

Please note tuition fees may increase in each subsequent academic year of your course, subject to government regulations on fee increases and in line with inflation. More information can be found in the ‘Tuition Fee Increases’ section of our Fees Regulations (PDF, 2.10 MB)

2016/17 academic year

Full-time – typically £6,300 for the course

Part-time – typically £2,100 for year one and £4,200 for year two

Postgraduate loans of up to £10,000 are available across the majority of subject areas.

2017/18 academic year

Full-time – typically £6,400 for the course

Part-time – typically £2,130 for year one and £4,270 for year two

Postgraduate loans of up to £10,280 are available across the majority of subject areas.

International student

2016/17 academic year

Typically £12,800 for the course

2017/18 academic year

Typically £13,250 for the course

Additional course costs

This link allows you to view estimated costs associated with the main activities on specific courses. These are estimates and, as such, are only an indication of additional course costs. Actual costs can vary greatly depending on the choices you make during your course.

Additional costs information

How to apply

Complete an application form.

Any offer of a place to study is subject to your acceptance of the University’s Terms and Conditions and student Regulations.

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