Masters in Accounting in UK: Subject Guide for International Students

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    Komal Yadav

    Study Abroad Expert

    Masters in Accounting in UK is a 10-12 months graduate program offered on a full-time and part-time basis.  Among all the top universities in the UK offering masters in accounting, the University of Cambridge offers only a part-time program of 2 years duration. The average annual tuition fee of universities offering masters in accounting in UK is 25,000 GBP.

    Pursuing a career in accounting in UK can earn you handsome salaries, which may depend on the type of work you pursue. Accountants in practice earn 55,030 GBP while industry accountants earn an average of 68,004 GBP, hence, constituting a 24% difference. As per Prospects.UK, 70% of the accounting graduates choose to work as an employee in an organization. 

    • The average annual salary offered to accountants is the highest in London ie. 79,207 GBP, while Wales has the lowest average salary, of 41,129 GBP, in comparison to the overall average of 62,042 GBP.
    • The program covers a wide range of topics within the disciplines of accounting and finance, including corporate reporting, auditing and assurance, taxation, finance, business strategy, business management, and professional ethics
    • Applicants for admissions to masters in accounting in UK are required to have an upper second class bachelor’s degree in relevant subjects. (60% or more). 

    Why Study Masters in Accounting in UK?

    • Around 8 universities of UK are ranked among the top 50 global universities for accounting & finance programs, according to QS News Ranking.  
    • An additional demand of 80,000 accounting professionals is expected by the end of 2050. (Prospects.UK)
    • Masters in Accounting from the UK can progress careers in one of the best and largest sectors in the world, the London financial sector
    • The annual salary of entry-level accountants ranges from 35,000 GBP to 45,000 GBP, with an increase to 70,000 GBP within four years of employment and 100,000 GBP for senior roles.
    • Accounting professionals in the UK can earn up to 122,000 GBP annually as federal/government employees. In the private sector accounting professionals can earn up to 117,000 GBP. 

    Masters in Accounting in UK: Top Universities

    Some of the top accounting schools in UK offering a master's degree are briefed below along with the program details and fees. 

    Global Subject-Wise Ranking-20 University Program/Duration Total Program Fees (GBP)
    4 London School of Economics MSc Accounting and Finance (9 months);
    MSc Accounting, Organizations and Institutions (10 months)
    21 University of Manchester MSc Accounting (1 year);
    MSc Accounting and Finance (1 year)
    29 Imperial College London MSc Finance and Accounting (1 year) 35,900
    44 University of Edinburgh MSc in Accounting and Finance (1 year) 31,350
    47 University of Warwick MSc Accounting and Finance (1 year);
    MSc Business with Accounting and Finance(1 year)
    51 – 100 City University of London MSc in International Accounting and Finance; 1 year 29,500
    51 – 100 Lancaster University MSc Accounting and Financial Management; 1 year 23,000
    51 – 100 University of Birmingham MSc International Accounting and Finance; 1 year 22,500
    51 – 100 University of Bristol MSc Accounting and Finance (1 year);
    MSc Accounting, Finance, and Management (1year)
    101 – 150 Cardiff University MSc Accounting and Finance; 1 year 81,000

    Note: University of Cambridge, ranked at 6th position, offers a 2-year part-time degree in Master of Accounting

    Masters in Accounting in UK: Admissions Process

    MAcc in the UK requires international applicants to submit certain additional documents and fulfill specific eligibility criteria. The details of the same are further discussed in this section.

    How To Apply for Masters in Accounting in UK

    Students can apply for masters in accounting in UK directly through the university’s application portal. For applying to UK universities, you are required to do the following:

    1. Make an account with the university
    2. Choose the program of study
    3. Make sure you fulfill the eligibility criteria
    4. Apply via university portal/online application form
    5. Submit documents and proofs required
    6. Submit application fee
    7. Submit the application form

    Eligibility Criteria for Masters in Accounting in UK

    Applicants are required to fulfill the following general and university-specific requirements to study in the UK

    • Educational background of 16 years, with a breakup of 10+2+4
    • A 4-year bachelor's first-class degree in a relevant field from a recognized university is always preferred.
      • If you have a bachelor’s degree in any other field with proficiency in the fundamentals of accounting, you can still apply for the program. 
    • Fulfill minimum test score requirements to demonstrate proficiency in the English Language
    • Work experience in accounting, audit, finance, computer science, engineering, applied mathematics or other relevant fields is an added advantage to secure admission to the program

    Minimum eligibility criteria for applying to top universities of UK is tabulated below: 

    University Minimum UG Grade Equivalents Other Requirements TOEFL IELTS
    Imperial College London 2:1 level or 75% or CGPA:8.5/10 Work experience preferred iBT:100 7.0
    London School of Economics 2:1 level or 65% or CGPA: 7.5/10 GMAT: 650 iBT:100 7.0
    University of Edinburgh 2:1 level/1st Class degree (60%+) Work experience preferred iBT:100 7.0
    University of Manchester 60% - 80% GMAT/GRE recommended iBT:100 7.0
    University of Warwick High 2.1 or 1st rank achieved in a relevant subject at UG GMAT (700) recommended iBT:100 7.0
    City University of London 2:1 degree GMAT of 600 -800 (recommended) 90 6.5
    Lancaster University 2:1 degree - 100 7.0
    University of Birmingham 2:1 degree in accounting or related field - 88 6.5
    Cardiff University 2:2 degree in accounting, economics or finance 5 years of work experience 80 6.0


    • Candidates unable to meet the academic criteria can enter the program after completion of a pre-Masters pathway program in the respective universities.
    • 2:1 Degree Equivalents: Upper Second Class which means a grade equivalent to 60-69% as per UK standards. 
    • 2:2 Degree Equivalents: Lower Second Class which means a grade equivalent to 50-59%

    Documents Required for Masters in Accounting in UK Admission

    As part of the online application, international students need to submit the following supporting documents:

    • A copy of officially completed degree certificate
      • Official academic transcripts, detailing the subjects studied and grades obtained
      • Official English translations of the certificates and transcripts, if required. 
    • Reference letters: Mostly 1 to 2 reference links are required while application. 
    • University specified statement of purpose/personal essay
    • Updated Curriculum Vitae highlighting professional work experience and relevant skills.
    • Proof of English Language proficiency
    • GRE/GMAT scores (if required)
    • Official ID including passport 
    • Financial affidavits as proof of funding

    Admission Decisions for Masters in Accounting in UK

    The admission to the Masters in Accounting is highly competitive. Hence, the UK universities recommend international students to apply at the earliest to enhance chances of securing admissions to the program. Before enrolling prospective students need to have a strong background in statistics, business, or econometrics with high academic standing, and proficiencies in your professional life are added advantage to secure admission to the program. 

    The submitted application should be complete including the receipt application fee and all necessary supporting information. They are then reviewed by the respective admissions committee and the decisions are made based on the submitted documents. The admission decisions are emailed to the students. Students can also check the status of the application through the student’s portal. The selected students should confirm the acceptance offer within 3-6 weeks and pay the initial deposit as specified by the university as a commitment fee.

    Masters in Accounting in UK: Cost of Study

    The tuition fees and living costs account for most of the expenses while pursuing a masters in accounting in UK. However, international students incur additional expenses in the form of pre-admission expenses apart from other postgraduate expenses. Complete detail of such expenditures is discussed below. 

    Pre-arrival Expenses (h3)

    Type of Expense Cost (GBP)
    Application Fees* 150-200
    IELTS Exam 162-180
    TOEFL Exam 120-190
    Airfare 300 (minimum)

    These expenses may vary depending on various conditions. Exams cost may vary depending upon the location and application fees may vary as per university. 

    Masters in Accounting in UK: Tuition Fees

    Cardiff University, although ranked between 101 -150 among world universities offering accounting programs, has the highest annual fees of 81,000 GBP. 

    Tuition Fees

    The tuition fees for an Indian would range between 20 Lakhs to 75 Lakhs per annum. To bear this heavy sum of amount, you can look for scholarships available to study in UK or other financial aids.  

    Cost of Living in the UK

    UK Student Visa requirements mandate international students for funding of nearly 1015 GBP/month to meet the expenses while staying in the UK (anywhere outside London). While in London the expenses account for 1265 GBP/month. Tabulated below is the bifurcation of the cost of living in the UK for an international student. 

    Type Expenses/month (GBP)
    Accommodation 350-500
    Travel 40-50
    Food 120-150
    Books 30
    Phone 15
    Other expenses 50

    International students planning to study in UK are expected to have at least 1015 GBP annual expense in their bank accounts to stay in UK. However, the cost of staying in London is a bit higher, which is 1265 GBP a month. 

    Masters in Accounting in UK with Scholarships

    Studying in the UK can be an expensive affair. The costs can be managed if an international student applied for scholarships available to study in the UK. The merit and need-based university specific financial aid offered to international students pursuing masters in accounting in UK are as tabulated:

    University Scholarship Details
    Imperial College London Women in Finance Scholarship;
    Trendhim Scholarship
    Up to 2000 GBP for 1 year;
    Up to 2000 Euro for 1 year
    London School of Economics Graduate Support Scheme;
    LSE Master’s Awards

    5,000 to 15,000 GBP;

    Variable from £5,000 to a full award

    University of Edinburgh International MSc Scholarships;
    Positive Action Scholarship
    Variable from 4,000 to 10,000 GBP;
    10,000 GBP for 2
    University of Manchester Master Scholarship for Indian residents 2020 7500 GBP reduction towards tuition fee
    City University of London Chevening Scholarships Variable
    University of Birmingham Birmingham Master Scholarship 2,000 GBP

    Masters in Accounting in UK: Scope & Prospects

    A master's degree in accounting boosts the career path towards a higher-level position in banking, taxation, insurance or any company with a financial division. 7 of the Top 10 jobs for accounting graduates are related to their degree subject. The following graph compares the employment distribution of accounting graduates in various sectors.

    Employment in Various Sectors

    After completion of masters in accounting from the UK, an international student can apply for the following jobs and earn a cushy salary. The base salary and senior-level salary for some of the accounting jobs in UK is tabulated below: 

    Designation Base Salary Salary Range with Experience
    Chartered Accountant 30,000 84,500-100,000
    Chartered Certified Accountant 25,000 40,000-100,000
    Chartered Management accountant 32,000 46,000-129,000
    Company Secretary 20,000 83,000-130,000
    External Auditor 28,000 50,000-70,000
    Forensic accountant 24,024 40,223-68,069
    Stockbroker 25,000 100,000-150,000

    The potential recruiters of the accounting graduates in the UK include the Big Four accounting firms Price water Coopers, Deloitte, EY and KPMG and the top tier banks including JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, Citi, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America Merrill Lynch. 

    The annual salary in the junior ranks of the top tier banks and Big Four accounting firms are almost similar starting at 28,000 GBP inside London and nearly 25,000 GBP outside London. On completion of the ACA (Associate Chartered Accountant Program) exams, the salary range rose to nearly 44,000 GBP to 50,000 GBP. 

    The following table compares the average annual salary of 2018/19 in the junior auditor and partner-level positions of the Big Four accounting firms:

    Auditing Firm Junior Auditor (GBP) Partner level (GBP)
    Deloitte 28,000 882,000
    PWC 30,000 765,000
    Ernst & Young 30,000 679,000
    KPMG 28,000 640,000

    As per record, the salaries in 2019 for accountancy and related fields are 3% higher than those of 2018. This suggests a continuous growth in the field making a graduate degree in accounting a lucrative course to pursue. It has also been noted that a rise of 29% is observed in the average salary of accounting graduates post completion of a master's degree. A master's in accounting is considered an apt fit for a student who is numerate, logical, well organized, and analytical. Pursuing the program from UK will allow you to explore careers abroad and earn better salaries.   


    Ques. What are the top universities for pursuing masters in accounting in UK?

    Ans. Some of the top universities in the UK that offer masters in accounting (MAcc/MSc Accounting) are the University of Cambridge, London School of Economics, Imperial College of London, University of Glasgow, Durham College, University of Liverpool, etc. 

    Ques. What is the scope after pursuing masters in accounting in UK?

    Ans. International students pursuing masters in accounting in UK can expect a minimum salary of 20,000 GBP (18 Lakhs INR). Some of the potential recruiters include the Big Four accounting firms and the top tier banks including JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, Citi, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Big fours offer their junior auditors a handsome package of 28,000 GBP. 

    Ques. What are the basic eligibility criteria for pursuing masters in accounting in UK?

    Ans. An applicant must hold a bachelor's degree in a related field with a percentage score of 60-69% minimum (may vary in universities). International students must also have proof of English proficiency. Work experience and GMAT scores may be an added advantage. 

    Ques. How much does a masters in accounting in UK cost?

    Ans. A one-two year program at popular universities can cost you around 23,000-49,000 (GBP). This is nearly equal to 21 Lakhs to 45 Lakhs in INR.

    Ques. How long does a masters in accounting in UK take?

    Ans. Masters in accounting in UK is usually a program available for a study of 9-months to 2-years depending on whether you apply for a FT-coursework or PT-coursework. In most universities in UK, it usually is a one year program.

    Ques. Is masters in accounting in UK difficult?

    Ans. The British-curriculum is known to be a little more tough. However, students with relevant interests and a drive to pursue the program will be able to complete the program with putting in the hardwork and effort.