Postgraduate taught 

International Accounting & Financial Management MAcc

Issues in Accounting Research ACCFIN5034

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: Adam Smith Business School
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

The Issues in Accounting Research course will offer MAcc in International Accounting and Financial Management students the opportunity to develop their understanding of the main research traditions, approaches, methods and techniques (both quantitative and qualitative) commonly applied in accounting research. The knowledge of core accounting research literature gained will support students in the development of their own research ideas and practice.


The course is delivered by means of approximately 20 lectures hours (normally 2 hours per week during semester 2) and 4 tutorials of one hour (spread throughout semester 2), giving a total of approximately 24 contact hours.

Excluded Courses

Issues in Accounting Research (ACCFIN5211)




A group presentation in the context of a debate (20%) and a portfolio of group written assignments (80%), with assignments related to tutorials.

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? No

Reassessments are 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

The course aims to:

■ Introduce students to the nature of accounting research and the importance of critical evaluation of accounting research literature;

■ Expose students to a range of current themes and methodologies in accounting research and

■ Develop students' skills and ability to critically evaluate this literature and identify gaps in it.


The development of these skills is expected to assist them in the identification of their own topic and research question(s) for their dissertation, the articulation of a well-structured argument about the contribution their dissertation project will make to the existing knowledge, and the selection of an appropriate methodology to achieve this end.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

1. Identify and apply distinct streams of accounting research and recognise current themes and issues in these bodies of literature;

2. Critically evaluate these streams of accounting research from an empirical, a theoretical and a methodological point of view;

3. Recognise appropriate research designs and methods of data collection and data analysis for particular research questions and contexts in accounting research;

4. Critically evaluate the relative merit, strengths and weaknesses of the different research designs, methods and approaches to data collection and data analysis (both quantitative and qualitative) encountered in accounting research.

5. Construct and sustain reasoned and coherent arguments about accounting theory and research;

6. Employ effective communication, presentation and literature search/research skills.

7. Work collaboratively in a group to produce a combined output, by liaising with other class members, allocating tasks and co-ordinating group meetings.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components of the course's summative assessment and students may only submit assignment components related to the tutorials that they attend.