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

Postgraduate Course: Accounting and Society (CMSE11394)

Course Outline
SchoolBusiness School CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits15 ECTS Credits7.5
SummaryThe aim of the course is to provide theoretical perspectives through which students can understand and critically reflect upon, accounting practice in its social, organisational, economic and political contexts. The topics covered will include, accounting's roles in slavery and war (to encourage a deeper evaluation of the ethical implications of accounting); insolvency practice; accountability and transparency; privatisation; football and the financial crisis. The course will reflect upon the power of accounting and its impact on our everyday lives.
Course description Academic Description
Accounting as an academic discipline is rather different from most other academic subjects because of its complex relationship with a powerfully coherent and socially influential profession with its own discourse. This class aims to provide students with different contemporary theories with which to interrogate accounting from a wider social, economic and political context. The theories dealt with in the class are in various ways concerned with discourse and/or semiotics and so can be seen as important tools for analysing the discourse of accounting in various contexts, as well as its performativity. Specifically the course will critically evaluate accounting's claims to provide neutral information to business, government and society in general.

Outline Content
This course is concerned with the use of various social theories in the interrogation of accounting practice. The course begins with a general introduction to social theories in accounting in order to situate the different theoretical perspectives in relationship to each other. It then, through considering how they are used in academic research, enable the insights they may or may not offer to accounting practice, practitioners and students.
The course will cover an array of arenas including insolvency practice, football, slavery and war, accounting profession diversity, the financial crisis, accountability and transparency and privatisation.

Student Learning Experience
This course will be structured around a mixture of formal lecture and discussion topics. Each new topic will be covered in the lecture; students will then be expected to undertake the readings for the week, and prepare a group presentation on the topic. Thus topic 1 will straddle weeks 1 and 2, topic 2 will straddle weeks 2 and 3, and so on.
This course is very demanding in the sense that the readings are challenging.
This course is structured in an evolutionary manner so that an understanding of earlier topics is required for latter ones.
While the course aims to provide a deeper understanding of accounting, it is intended, also to enable students to hone their deeper-order learning skills.
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. critically understand different contemporary theoretical frameworks and discourses to evaluate accounting practice;
  2. critically evaluate contemporary claims made about accounting within a broader historical context; and
  3. develop original and creative responses to some of the ethical problems confronting accounting practitioners.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Intellectual Skills and Personal Development
- Expand knowledge of the social implications of accounting
- Consideration of innovative and creative approaches to problems set within particular contexts.
- Discuss academic contributions to understanding financial reporting, management accounting and performance metrics
- Undertake and process research into accounting and critically analyze these contributions to knowledge
- Understand practical (social, economic, and organisational) implications of research
- Effectively and efficiently communicate findings resulting from critical reflections and observations, both orally and in writing

Subject Specific Skills
- Use suitable theories to interrogate reporting and related regulation
- Understand and reflect on the nature of accounting regulation and its implications
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserProf Christine Cooper
Tel: (0131 6)51 5077
Course secretaryMrs Kelly-Ann De Wet
Tel: (0131 6)50 8071
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