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Accounting and finance


Accounting and finance are concerned with more than just computational skills. Both subjects are central to the way in which management, shareholders and various other stakeholders understand and seek to change and control the nature of organisations, as well as to how the market allocates finance to firms. 

Features of LSE courses

Our programme is widely regarded as being at the forefront of international teaching in the field. Our aim is to give you an understanding of accounting and finance that will be useful throughout your career. This means that, unlike professional courses, we teach accounting and finance techniques to enable our students to critically evaluate their suitability and usefulness in different contexts. 

Our staff includes internationally acknowledged leaders in both academic research and in professional accountancy and the financial markets.

We will encourage you to adopt a critical and flexible viewpoint and to analyse the subject from a variety of perspectives, including the international dimension. 

The Department of Accounting strongly supports the activities of the LSESU Accounting Society, an enterprising group of students within the School. 

Degree structure

The degree involves studying 12 courses over three years, plus LSE100. Half of these are in accounting and finance, and half in related disciplines. You will have the opportunity to specialise in various fields within the subject area.

Teaching and assessment

You will usually have about 12 to 15 hours of lectures and classes each week but you will also have to work hard on your own - reading, writing essays or working on class assignments. You will have an academic adviser from the Department of Accounting. The adviser's role is to follow your progress and deal with any concerns you might have.

You will usually be assessed by written examinations at the end of each academic year. Some courses are assessed partly by essays or other work submitted during the year. To progress through the degree you will need to pass the appropriate examinations.

Professional training

If you successfully complete the degree then, depending on the options you have taken, you may obtain exemptions from some examinations of the professional accountancy bodies. However, professional syllabuses are subject to frequent revision and it is not possible to specify now what exemptions may be available when you graduate. Further information can be obtained from the Department or from the professional accountancy bodies themselves, including the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS), the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) and the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA). 

Preliminary reading

If you wish to gain further insight into the subject we suggest that you look at one of the following books:

  • P Atrill and E McLaney Financial Accounting for Decision Makers (7th edition, FT Prentice Hall, 2013)
  • A Bhimani, C T Horngren, S M Datar and M V Rajan Management and Cost Accounting (5th edition, FT Prentice Hall, 2012)
  • Z Bodie, R Merton and D Cleeton Financial Economics (2nd edition, Prentice Hall, 2009)
  • W Clarke How the City of London Works (7th edition, Sweet and Maxwell, 2008)
  • P Howell and K Bain Financial Markets and Institutions (5th Edition, FT Prentice Hall, 2007)

Graduate destinations

Recent graduates have gone on to work in the areas of professional accountancy, investment banking, investment analysis, management consultancy and financial management, as well as further academic study.