Master’s programme in Accounting and Finance

MSc in Business and Economics | 1 year | 60 credits

Course content

The programme of study is divided into two semesters and further subdivided into four study periods.

The programme structure is flexible in that much of the course work consists of elective courses. This allows participants to design a preferred specialization within the broader area of accounting and corporate finance.

To facilitate consecutive enhancement of participants’ knowledge, elective courses in period 3 may build on and enhance knowledge and skills covered on specific courses in period 2. As a result, the choice of elective courses in period 3 may in certain combinations be constrained by the chosen elective courses in period 2. This is highlighted in the course presentations.

Elective courses may be subject to variation.

Study period 1 (September–October)

In study period 1, all participants follow three common core courses.

Corporate valuation: focuses on analyzing businesses, corporate performance, and financial reporting. Participants will gain in-depth knowledge of valuing companies, primarily using cash-flow-, income-, and comparables-based valuation methods.

Course code: BUSO97 | Download syllabus

Management control: gives participants thorough understanding of advanced management accounting and control issues from both a theoretical and a practical perspective.Throughout the course, participants are confronted with the latest developments in management accounting and control in research as well as practice.

Course code: BUSN71 | Download syllabus

Perspectives on accounting: focuses on the understanding of corporate financial reporting and how it is used by different actors in the information environment. It aims to provide insights into the theory and practice of accounting in corporations, and how this information is disseminated to investors and other interested parties including financial analysts and credit institutions for business analysis and valuation purposes. It also provides students with the knowledge and foundation to critically analyze developments in accounting.

Course code: BUSO74 | Download syllabus

Study period 2 (November–January)

In study period 2, participants choose two courses. Available elective courses may be subject to variation, but examples include:

Corporate fraud and forensic accounting: provides participants with enhanced and deepened knowledge and understanding of accounting, financial reporting, and assurance practices. It introduces participants to the nature and implications of fraud as a point of reference, both to illustrate the importance of reliable financial reporting and auditing and as catalyst in triggering new regulatory initiatives that could have global consequences.

The course covers prevention, detection, and investigation of fraud through the examination of internal and external control systems and evaluation of the role of gatekeepers and the regulatory environment. Case-based instruction is adopted to advance participant understanding and critical thinking as to how accounting is more than a collection of technical routines, but is socially constituted and shaped by its institutional contexts.

Course code: BUSO75 | Download syllabus

Designing finance: focuses on the optimization of corporate capital and risk structures through active capital management. The course provides applied knowledge of how to assess and design corporate financing transactions, including venture capital, equity, straight, hybrid, and structured fixed-income securities and insurance products. It also trains participants in assessing credit risk and doing corporate credit ratings.

Course code: BUSO96 | Download syllabus

International accounting: examines and analyzes accounting practices and principles in, and differences between countries. It enhances participants’ understanding of the choice of accounting treatment for complex transactions and events, not least in accordance with IFRS and US GAAP, and strengthens their abilities to analyze business transactions. The course also analyzes and compares the work of leading accounting standard-setting bodies, such as IASB (the International Accounting Standards Board) and FASB (the Financial Accounting Standards Board), to increase participants’ abilities to keep up-to-date with the fast-paced development of the area.

Course code: BUSN61 | Download syllabus

Performance measurement and management: provides participants with advanced knowledge about the use of performance measurement to improve decision making and the motivation of individuals. The process of collecting, analyzing, and reporting financial and non-financial performance may relate to an individual, group, organization, or system. This process may be guided by a balanced scorecard approach or similar framework, linking performance measurement with objectives and strategies. Special emphasis is given to how biased decision-making related to assessment of performance can be avoided, and how different forms of financial and non-financial incentive schemes influence individual motivation.

Course code: BUSN76 | Download syllabus

Strategic cost management: provides participants with deepened and thorough knowledge of investment analysis, credit analysis, and costing within a strategic framework. It provides participants with tools to investigate business problems, specialized knowledge about investment planning and costing on an aggregate level, and detailed knowledge about model building. The course also familiarizes participants with major and recent literature in their field as well as introduces important research techniques.

Course code: BUSN64 | Download syllabus

Theory of corporate finance: provides advanced knowledge of corporate finance, covering topics such as the interaction between internal and external financing and risk management, contracting between a firm and its management and stakeholders, dividends and stock repurchases, and ownership structures.

Course code: BUSN81 | Download syllabus

Study period 3 (January–March)

In study period 3, participants choose three courses. Available elective courses may be subject to variation, but examples include:

The course aims to provide students with a deepened and thorough understanding of why and how organizational characteristics and objectives, as well as market and societal factors in which an organization operates, influence the appropriate design of management control.

Specific contexts covered in the course include: management control to support innovation and change; management control in the context of knowledge-based organizations and professional service firms. Special emphasis is given to complex situations that require the design and use of management control systems to be balanced against competing demands

The course assumes that participants have followed the course "Performance Measurement and Management" in study period 2 (or hold equivalent knowledge).

Course code: BUSO72 | Download syllabus

The overall goal of the course is to combine advanced theoretical and practical perspectives of Digital Accounting (DA) to provide an understanding of data- and information flows in organizations, DA architecture including validation and risk management including the COSO model.

In the course we also focus on the role of DA in decision making, including end-user development of DA for Business Intelligence and Business Analytics. Students shall acquire an ability to argue for their standpoints on business process development and DA both orally and in writing.

Course code: BUSO67 | Download syllabus

The main objective of the course is to provide students with thorough and practical understanding of corporate finance and valuation applied to corporate restructurings and how to analyze the need for restructuring and choosing restructuring tactic.

Through cases and assignments, the course gives students the opportunity to analyze complex and unstructured practical financial situations and problems. Students learn the analytical techniques necessary to make financial decisions under uncertainty. The idea is to put theory to work in complex situations, thereby gaining a deeper understanding of corporate restructurings.

The course offers a rich learning experience, by exposing students to a number of real-life situations and giving insight into a variety of corporate restructurings. The course will help students to master different models for evaluating companies, with main focus on employing corporate valuation techniques to varying types of corporate restructurings, such as mergers and acquisitions, leveraged buyouts, spin offs, and carveouts.

Course code: BUSO84 | Download syllabus

The main purpose of the course is to give the students a deep understanding of pros and cons of corporate risk management, as well as different strategies for valuecreating risk management. It is a course in applied corporate finance that emphasizes practical applications of analytical models.

The course is divided into two parts: Treasury Risk Management, and Enterprise Risk Management.

The first part of the course, Treasury Risk Management, deals with financial risk management from the perspective of a Chief Financial Officer. It includes methods for calculations of exposure to market risks, different financial instruments for risk management, as well as liquidity risk.

The second part of the course, Enterprise Risk Management, takes the perspective of senior management and the board of directors on risk management. Risk management is viewed as a part of the firm’s overall financial policy, whose goal is to support strategic risk-taking (investment). Different ways to organize an enterprisewide risk management function effectively are covered.

Course code: BUSO85 | Download syllabus

The course aims to provide working knowledge of econometric methods for analyzing accounting and corporate finance data. Through exercises and assignments, the course trains students in analyzing and undertaking empirical investigations on crosssectional and panel data and limited dependent variables.

Emphasis is put on choosing and using appropriate models by means of econometric software. This is not a theory course and the focus is on learning the econometric intuition behind the methods studied and how to use them properly on econometric exercises rather than deriving asymptotic properties of estimators.

Econometric methods covered primarily include techniques for analyzing crosssectional and panel data and limited dependent variables. Topics include parameter estimation, hypothesis testing, and diagnosing misspecification, event studies, causality and mitigating endogeneity using instrumental variables, natural experiments, and matching methods.

Empirical applications primarily revolve around corporate governance-related accounting and corporate finance questions.

Course code: BUSO76 | Download syllabus

The course focuses on the textual communication of the accounting numbers presented in financial reports. In order to understand such communication it is necessary to also understand principles for solving advanced accounting problems, i.e. to have an understanding of the origin of the performance measurements that is reported in annual and interim reports, annual meetings, press releases etc.

The course is organized in a course introduction and different communication themes. The introduction covers financial discourse and communication in general. The following themes cover specific theoretical approaches to financial communication, such as accounts, intertextuality, linguistic hedging, metaphors and narrative or storytelling.

Course code: BUSO73 | Download syllabus

Study period 4 (April–June)

Degree project in Accounting and Finance (15 ECTS)

Study period 4 is devoted to the degree project where participants conduct their own research and demonstrate their ability to independently apply the knowledge gained from the course work. In the project work, participants further enhance their knowledge and understanding of accounting and corporate finance. The degree project is written in pairs. The subject for the degree project is chosen and initial work on the project is initiated during period 3. The work with the project is then continued full-time in period 4. A supervisor will be assigned to each degree project.

Examples of course combinations

The programme structure is flexible in that much of the course work consists of elective courses. This allows participants to design a preferred specialization within the broader area of accounting and corporate finance.

This is a preliminary course list, and is intended as guidance only. The course list may be subject to change.

Certain electives may be very popular; although we can grant most students access to the desired electives, there are no  guaranteed places. Electives may also be cancelled due to insufficient student demand.

Examples of possible course combinations include:

Focus on corporate finance

  • Designing finance
  • Theory of corporate finance
  • Corporate restructurings
  • Corporate risk management

Focus on financial accounting

  • Corporate fraud and forensic accounting
  • International accounting
  • Digital accounting
  • Financial accounting and communication

Focus on financial analysis

  • Designing finance
  • International accounting
  • Corporate restructurings
  • Financial accounting and communication

Focus on internal auditing and control

  • Corporate fraud and forensic accounting
  • Performance measurement and management
  • Digital accounting
  • Corporate risk management

Focus on management control

  • Performance measurement and management
  • Strategic cost management
  • Digital accounting
  • Accounting and management control for innovation and professional service firms

Focus on treasury management

  • Designing finance
  • Strategic cost management
  • Digital accounting
  • Corporate risk management

Case studies and guest speakers

The teaching methods used focus on the critical analysis of the course content with the use of real case studies wherever possible. International guest lecturers and speakers from business, government, NGOs and research regularly feature as part of the curriculum to further connect studies to the professional world