module specification

AC6P08 - Issues and Controversies in Accounting and Finance (2023/24)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2023/24
Module title Issues and Controversies in Accounting and Finance
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 30
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 300
254 hours Guided independent study
46 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 10%   Group presentation on a critique of an accounting journal article
Coursework 20%   Individual piece of coursework critiquing an accounting journal article
Coursework 20%   Three individual presentations
Coursework 50%   Two 2000-word write-ups chosen from the three topics presented
Running in 2023/24

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
No instances running in the year

Module summary

The module is a Level 6 30 credit core module which is the designated Honours degree Project module for BA(Hons) Accounting and Finance degree students.

Module aims :

1.  to develop critical evaluation of arguments and evidence in the context of current problem areas in accounting and finance
2.  to develop the capacities for independent and self managed learning and the ability to engage in professional reflection on personal strengths and weaknesses and professional practice
3.  to engage with academic sources and the accounting literature and to be effective in acknowledging and referencing of these sources
4.  to be effective in giving presentations relevant and appropriate to an intended audience
5.  to develop employability and professional practice skills relevant to the accountancy profession
6.  to understand and critically appraise developments in corporate governance and corporate social reporting


Students will in the first twelve weeks of the module through critiques of professional frameworks and journal articles examine developments in corporate governance and corporate social reporting.   LO1

Students will critique an accounting journal article and prepare a self-evaluation report identifying strengths and weaknesses and reflecting upon employability skills.  LO2

Students will then select three areas in international financial reporting, management accounting and finance, taxation, audit and social and environmental reporting to conduct research and prepare for the presentations and write-ups.  LO3

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

The Accounting and Finance degree Project module is designed to develop research, presentation, independent learning, employability and academic writing skills through plenary sessions, group workshops, presentation weeks and group and individual feedback sessions between tutors and students.

There are opportunities for reflective learning through the critiquing of the journal articles, the self-evaluation report, the presentations and the write-ups.

Learning outcomes

On completing the module students will be able to :

1.  critically review academic journal articles in the fields of corporate governance and corporate social reporting and relate issues to the professional accounting frameworks
2.  critically assess and evaluate a range of diverse accounting and related business academic literature and from this develop and perform a structured presentation relevant to an intended audience
3. critically evaluate current issues in accounting and finance and compile  two research papers on current accounting and finance problem areas which will examine strengths, weaknesses and limitations of accounting theory and practice

Assessment strategy

The module will be assessed using one group presentation on a critique of an accounting journal article (10%), an individual piece of coursework critiquing an accounting journal article chosen by the student in the area of corporate governance, corporate social reporting or business ethics,  ( 20% ), three individual presentations (best two marks from three) on issues and controversies in accounting and finance, ( 20% ),  and two 2000-word write-ups chosen from the three topics presented , ( 50% ).

The three themes for the presentations are international financial reporting, management accounting, finance and decision making and corporate social reporting, corporate governance, business ethics, auditing and taxation.

These assess the subject-specific knowledge and skills from the QAA Accounting subject benchmark statement, specifically, knowledge of contemporary theories and empirical evidence concerning the operation and effects of accounting and the ability to critically evaluate such theories and evidence.


Textbooks :

No core textbook

Other Texts :

Smith M. ( 2017 )   Research Methods in Accounting  Fourth Edition  Sage

Employability and Reflective resources :

Cottrell, S (2010) Skills for success: the personal development planning handbook  2nd Ed, Palgrave Macmillian, Basingstoke
Kirton B (2012) Brilliant workplace skills for students and graduates Prentice Hall, Harlow
Lumley M and Wilkinson J (2014) Developing employability for business Oxford University Press, Oxford
Moon J (2004) A Handbook of reflective and experiential learning: theory and practice Routledge Falmer, London
Rook S (2015) Work Experience, Placements and Internships  2nd Ed, Palgrave Macmillian, Basingstoke


Library Journal Databases :  Academic Search Complete, Business Source Ultimate, Emerald Management, Science Direct


Financial Reporting Council         
ICAEW online journal                   
Accountancy Age                         
Financial Times                            

Electronic Databases:  FAME