Auditing, Governance and Risk Management

This information is for the 2017/18 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Liisa Kurunmaki KSW 3.04, Dr Nadia Matringe KSW 3.05 and Dr Julia Morley OLD 3.09


This course is available on the BSc in Accounting and Finance, BSc in Business Mathematics and Statistics, BSc in Econometrics and Mathematical Economics, BSc in Economics, BSc in Statistics with Finance and Diploma in Accounting and Finance. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit and to General Course students.


Students must have completed Elements of Accounting and Finance (AC100) or Elements of Financial Accounting (AC102) or Elements of Accounting, Financial Institutions and Financial Management (AC104).  Elements of Management Accounting and Financial Management (AC103) is recommended to complement AC102, but not required.

Course content

The course provides a critical analysis of auditing practices and their role in organisational governance and risk management. Auditing is demanded by, and provides assurance to, a variety of internal and external stakeholders, including corporate shareholders and regulators. As societal demands for accountability have increased, auditing has become both more important and more regulated itself. Auditing also remains controversial and this course will address contemporary debates.

The course addresses the theoretical basis of auditing, its role as a risk management function, its practical methodologies and its legal, professional and social environment. The course is divided into four modules.

Internal Control and Risk Management critically examines recent developments in risk management and internal control practices, including the role of internal auditing and the problem of reporting on the effectiveness of control systems.

Corporate Financial Audit provides a basic overview and introduction to corporate auditing theory and practice. The module investigates the roles of corporate financial audit in contemporary society; discusses issues related to the collection of audit evidence and assurance of audit quality; and analyses recent national and international developments in audit regulation and standard setting.

Public Sector Auditing and Accounting considers variants of the audit function in the public sector context, such as value for money auditing.

Sustainability Accounting and Auditing addresses the broader accountability framework of the corporation and related environmental and social accounting and auditing issues. While the primary focus of the course is upon UK practice, international comparisons will also be made. There is also an intention to run a small number of practitioner lectures during the 2014-15 session. Further details will be provided at the start of the session.


15 hours of lectures and 8 hours of classes in the MT. 10 hours of lectures and 8 hours of classes in the LT. 2 hours of lectures in the ST.

There will be a reading week in week 6 of both MT and LT.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce a minimum of four written essays per year and one class presentation. All students will be expected to contribute to class discussion. Feedback on performance and progress will be provided during class, on written homework assignments, and during office hours.

The two written assignments with the highest marks will count towards the final mark for the course.

Indicative reading

No one book covers the entire syllabus. In addition to professional and academic journals, reading will cover the following:  Gray I,&  Manson S, The Audit Process, Thomson, 2011; and refer to Power M, The Audit Explosion, Demos, 1996 and The Audit Society, OUP, 1999, Flint D, Philosophy and principles of auditing : an introduction, Macmillan Education,1988. Background reading for the fourth module may be found in Henriques, A, Corporate Truth: The Limits to Transparency (Earthscan 2007). Students will also be provided with relevant examples of corporate and other reports and referred to relevant websites. Detailed course programmes and reading lists will be distributed at the first lecture of the course.


Exam (80%, duration: 3 hours) in the main exam period.
Other (20%) in the MT and LT.

The exam will be in the main exam period; the other 20% of the mark will be based on two of the four formative written assignments submitted during the year. The two assignments with the highest marks from the four submitted pieces of work will each count for 10% of the final mark for this course.


AC340 Mazars Prize

The international accounting firm, Mazars, sponsors a prize for the best examination performance in AC340. The prize has a value of £200 and is awarded at the end of the examination period each year.


Student performance results

(2014/15 - 2016/17 combined)

Classification % of students
First 16
2:1 53.8
2:2 28.3
Third 0
Fail 1.9

Key facts

Department: Accounting

Total students 2016/17: 27

Average class size 2016/17: 12

Capped 2016/17: No

Lecture capture used 2016/17: Yes (LT)

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

PDAM skills

  • Leadership
  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Communication
  • Commercial awareness
  • Specialist skills

Course survey results

(2014/15 - 2016/17 combined)

1 = "best" score, 5 = "worst" score

The scores below are average responses.

Response rate: 96%



Reading list (Q2.1)


Materials (Q2.3)


Course satisfied (Q2.4)


Lectures (Q2.5)


Integration (Q2.6)


Contact (Q2.7)


Feedback (Q2.8)


Recommend (Q2.9)