Not available in 2019/20
AC312      Half Unit
Contemporary Issues in Management Accounting

This information is for the 2019/20 session.

Teacher responsible



This course is available on the BSc 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.

Available to students on other undergraduate/Diploma programmes with the permission of the Accounting Departmental Tutor.


Students must have completed Elements of Accounting and Finance (AC100) or Elements of Management Accounting, Financial Management and Financial Institutions (AC103). Accounting Theory and Practice (AC200) is recommended to complement either AC100 or AC103, but not required.

Course content

AC312 addresses contemporary issues in management accounting by providing in-depth analyses of the nature and application of management accounting and control systems in selected but pertinent current, state-of-the-art contexts. Specifically, AC312 focuses on the applications of management accounting and management control systems in a certain set of organisations (e.g., start-ups, partnerships, joint ventures) across a variety of sectors (e.g., non-profits, the gig economy, financial services), illustrating various contemporary practices (e.g., data analytics, algorithmic management). As such, the course provides students with valuable insights, aided by case studies, on the design of management accounting and control systems, and the implications arising from their use in a contemporaneously pertinent set of contexts. Because of the in-depth analyses of the nature and application of these systems, the exact composition of the topics will vary from year to year driven by the latest developments in management accounting and related debates (e.g., on the implications of extensive use (or “over”-use) of data and artificial intelligence for decision-making but also stakeholder monitoring and privacy).

The course quintessentially relies on active student participation and discussions, and critical evaluation, of contemporary management accounting and control concepts and practices within their organisational, sectoral, economic, political, technological, social, and cultural (including national culture) contexts. The course thereby aims to critically debate and evaluate how management accounting and control systems are designed and maintained by organisations to influence behaviour towards the achievement of organisational goals and objectives.


22 hours of lectures and 10 hours of classes in the LT. 1 hour of lectures and 1 hour of classes in the ST.

Formative coursework


Case studies and applications will be used extensively. Students will be expected to present cases and contribute to in-class discussions. 

Indicative reading

Detailed reading lists will be distributed at the start of the course. Illustrative references include: Bhimani and Bromwich, Management Accounting: Retrospect and Prospect, Elsevier/CIMA (2009); Bhimani, Contemporary Issues in Management Accounting, OUP (2006); Olson, Guthrie & Humphrey (Eds), Global Warning: Debating International Developments in New Public Financial Management, Cappelan Akademisk Forlag As, Oslo (1998); Merchant & Van der Stede, Management Control Systems: Performance Measurement, Evaluation and Incentives, Pearson (2017).


Exam (75%, duration: 2 hours, reading time: 15 minutes) in the summer exam period.
Coursework (25%) in the LT.

The exam duration is 2 hours and 15 minutes. The first 15 minutes will be reading time.

The details of the coursework will be made available on Moodle nearer the scheduled start time of the course.

Key facts

Department: Accounting

Total students 2018/19: Unavailable

Average class size 2018/19: Unavailable

Capped 2018/19: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Leadership
  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Commercial awareness