Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

Ethics in Accounting and Business ACCFIN4002

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: Adam Smith Business School
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

The course will provide students with the opportunity to explore critically the ethical foundations upon which accounting practice is based and to examine issues of contemporary interest and debate in the field of accounting and business ethics.


Lectures: 10 x 3 hours per week

Please refer to MyCampus for timetable.

Requirements of Entry

Normally D3 or above in Financial Accounting 2 or equivalent

Excluded Courses

ACCFIN4002 - Accounting & Business Ethics 3 (superseded)



Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable

Reassessments normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course aims to give students the opportunity to examine a number of different ethical theories and to apply those theories in the analysis of accounting and business ethics dilemmas. Students will explore the ethical foundations upon which accounting and business practice are based and aims to enable students to evaluate critically the role played by the accountancy profession in maintaining ethical standards in accounting and business contexts.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

  At the end of the course students will be able to:


1. Evaluate critically a range of ethical theories that can be applied in the analysis of accounting and business issues and dilemmas.

2. Discuss the ethical foundations upon which accounting and business practices are based, including the role these play in ethical decision making within the context of accounting and business organisations.

3. Analyse critically a range of topical issues drawn from accounting and business contexts from a variety of ethical perspectives.

4. Evaluate critically the role played by the accountancy profession in maintaining ethical standards in accounting and business contexts.

5. Locate relevant literature to incorporate into critical analysis of issues of current discussion and debate in relation to an accounting and/or business dilemma of an ethical nature.

6. Work collaboratively in a group to produce a combined piece of coursework, by liaising with other class members, allocating tasks and co-ordinating group meetings.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits