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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Business School : Common Courses (Management School)

Postgraduate Course: The Accounting Profession (CMSE11366)

Course Outline
SchoolBusiness School CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeOnline Distance Learning AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course is designed to offer historical and contemporary insights to issues such as: the problematic organisation of the accountancy profession; the power of accountancy firms; the changing scope of professional work; shifting boundaries with other professions; the accountancy profession in the global economy; exclusion from the profession on the basis of class, gender and race; diversity and equality; threats to accounting professionalism; and challenges to professional ethics.
Course description The aim of the module is to provide students with critical insights to the accounting profession. The course looks beyond the technical knowledge and skills acquired previously and instead focuses on the individuals who apply that knowledge and skill as members of professional organisations working in accountancy firms, industry and the public sector. The inclusion of subjects such as ethical decision making adds a vocationally relevant dimension to the course.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Describe and discuss critically the principal theories which seek to explain and interpret professionalization projects.
  2. Relate and discuss the structure and development of the accountancy profession including the power of the multinational accounting firms, and assess the impact of commercialisation on accounting professionalism.
  3. Understand and critically discuss the importance of recruitment and socialisation processes to the construction of the professional accountant.
  4. Understand and critically discuss the significance of class, gender and race as barriers to recruitment and career building in the accountancy profession.
  5. Analyse critically the changing patterns of professional work and professional ethics in Accountancy, and interfaces with other professions.
Reading List
There is no specific textbook for the course. A reading list for each topic will be given in the weekly study plan released on Blackboard Learn. These readings will mainly comprise articles from academic journals which will be available from e-journals through the online resources of the University of Edinburgh library, together with books and documents from the websites of organisations such as the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), and the Professional Oversight Board.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Intellectual Skills:
- Identification and utilisation of relevant information
- Analysis of qualitative data
- Critical evaluation and interpretation of information
- Synthesising and communicating findings

Discipline Specific Skills:
Critical awareness of:
- Behaviour of accountants, accounting firms and professional organisations
- Composition and application of accountancy practice
- Contexts in which professional work is conducted
- Threats and opportunities facing the accounting profession
- Nature of accounting professionalism
- Inter-professional boundaries

Transferable skills:
- Independent self-directed learning skills
- Analytical and synthesising skills
- Enhancement of technology skills through use of online tools and resources for student learning.
Course organiserProf Stephen Walker
Tel: (0131 6)51 5543
Course secretaryMrs Kelly-Ann De Wet
Tel: (0131 6)50 8071
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