Programme description

MSc Programme in Accounting provides students with in-depth expertise in issues concerning the production and use of financial information of business firms and other organizations. The content and focus of the programme differ according to its two optional areas of specialization.

The focus of financial accounting is on topics relating to the preparation and use of financial statement information serving the needs of firm’s outside stakeholders, especially the decision making of debt and equity holders. The core contents in this area of specialization include theories of financial statements, international and national accounting standards, issues in group accounting and consolidated financial statements, as well as auditing theory and practice.

The focus of management accounting is on topics relating to the preparation and use of financial and non-financial information serving the needs of managerial control and decision making. The core topics in this area of specialization include accounting for management control, strategic management accounting, capital investment decisions, and management accounting information systems.

In addition, MSc Programme in Accounting offers students relevant knowledge of and expertise in financial statement analysis, company law, financial institutions, corporate governance, as well as different research methodologies.

The MSc Programme in Accounting is tuned to address the challenges of the digital age, where managers and decision-makers often become overwhelmed by masses of data, dubious sources of knowledge and misleading pieces of information.  Reliable, valid and focused financial information, for both financial accounting and management accounting purposes, is increasingly important in an age where more “information” is often synonymous with chaos and confusion. Accounting remains a powerful instrument in the creation of relevance - in the often turbulent contemporary organizations of our time. Competence in accounting leads to the right questions. It assists us in identifying the most strategic issues or the most urgent operational problems. It makes visible the risks that may loom ahead. And accounting is the invaluable tool for finding financially sound, workable solutions in today’s often complex and ambiguous managerial instances. Moreover, accounting knowledge is a shared “language” of business: It mobilizes people – making them think, act and perform - across global distance, national borders, functional segments or organizational boundaries.   

MSc Programme in Accounting provides students with know-how in production and use of financial information of business firms and other organizations. Students graduating from the program know how to generate, analyse, interpret and communicate this information for the needs of outside stakeholders and for managerial purposes. They are also able to contribute effectively to the development of management information systems. Furthermore, as experts in accounting, they are prepared to participate in management’s strategic and operative decision making.

The general management skills the programme aims to foster include the student’s analytical ability, teamwork, and problem solving skills. The student will also have the opportunity to consider challenging issues in business ethics and to develop his/her international business communications skills at an advanced level.

Career opportunities
Upon graduating from the MSc Programme in Accounting, the students are typically employed as business controllers, chief financial officers, financial analysts, loan officers, business consultants, auditors, and similar occupations requiring high level professional expertise in accounting. The programme also offers prerequisite knowledge to pursue post graduate doctoral studies in the subject area (accounting).

Programme director
Prof. Juhani Vaivio

Programme committee
Juhani Vaivio, Kari Hoppu, XX, (corporate rep.), Katriina Kirjalainen (student rep), Jenni Wilen (student rep).

Additional information
Department of Accounting website

Degree requirements 120 cr

1. Programme studies 84 cr

Mandatory studies 54 cr


Financial Statement Analysis 1)

6 cr



Research Methods in Accounting

6 cr



Capstone: Accounting

6 cr



Master's Thesis

30 cr



Master's Thesis Seminar

6 cr



Maturity Test

0 cr


1) If the course is included in the old B.Sc. Degree, it can be replaced with any of the E-level courses in Accounting.

Elective studies 30 cr

Choose five courses from the list below:
(specialization areas are suggestions only)

Courses in financial accounting


Financial Accounting Theories (book exam) 2)

6 cr




6 cr



International Accounting *)

6 cr



Auditing – Theory and Practice

6 cr



Cash Flow Analysis

6 cr


Courses in management accounting


Strategic Management Accounting

6 cr



Capital Budgeting

6 cr



Accounting as Social and Institutional Practice

6 cr



Accounting for Management Control

6 cr



Cost Accounting and Financial Planning

6 cr


Other advanced studies


Corporate Governance

6 cr



Accounting for Sustainability

6 cr



Student Business Project

6 cr



Accounting studies at another university or
another Aalto School 3)

6-12 cr


2) This course replaces course 22E00200 Theories of Financial Statement Analysis and only of the courses can be completed.

3) The course has to meet the requirements of the programme and must be agreed in advance with the programme director.

*) The course is lectured at Hanken in the II period. Please see the registration and teaching times in WebOodi.

2. Minor studies 24 cr

Students should choose a minor that compliments their academic profile. Please note that it is not possible to take Accounting as a minor.

Minor Studies are chosen from relevant business school disciplines, from other study modules at Aalto University or other available minor studies programmes, for instance, based on studies in a foreign university as an exchange student.   Students must complete the minor studies module to complete the degree. The following options are available:

1. minor studies offered by the Aalto University School of Business, see study guide for options.

2. minor studies offered by one of the official partner universities of the Aalto University School of Business student exchange programme, or an equivalent foreign university. Please see Internalisation and studies abroad for more information.

3. minor studies from other schools of the Aalto University. Please see Aalto Minors guide and internal mobility for more information.

4. minor studies at another Finnish university, as a JOO student. The JOO agreement allows a degree student at a Finnish University to apply for a temporary study right at another Finnish university. Please see JOO-Studies for more information.

3. Electives 12 ECTS

Master's degree includes 12 ECTS credits of Electives. This can consist of for example:

  • additional studies in the degree programme
  • additional studies in the minor study module
  • language and communication studies
  • studies at another Aalto University School
  • studies at another university through the flexible study right agreement (JOO studies)
  • internship (6 cr).

More information is provided under the titles Language and communication studies and Internship.

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