1. INTRODUCTION - University of Sunderland

Programme Handbook
Full Time Degree
BA (Hons) Accounting and
Faculty of Business and Law - 2014/15
Programme Leader: Philip Dodds FCCA
Handbook Contents
Welcome Letter from The Programme Leader
Academic Calendar
The Team
Programme Delivery, Structure And Curriculum
Studying And Learning Support
Student Support And Guidance
Information Services
Programme Specification
Welcome to the University of Sunderland Business School
On behalf of all staff here, may I welcome you to the University of Sunderland
Business School. I hope that your time here in the school will be rewarding
and enjoyable.
Embarking upon your specialist programme in higher education can be an
anxious and exciting time. The first couple of weeks you will find yourself
being presented with varying amounts of information about the programme,
the Business School and the University. Therefore there may be some
confusion, but you do not need to panic. Whatever your concerns may be, the
staff are here to help and will be happy to answer any queries that you may
have. Within this handbook there are contact details of relevant people who
can help you, whether it is to do with the University or outside organisations.
We want you to enjoy your course and complete it successfully. If you find you
are having problems or not enjoying the course, please talk to us. Remember
that everyone needs help and support at some time. Asking for help is not a
sign of failure - in fact it is strength of character and may help you to succeed.
Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers.
Following the small increase in graduate vacancies in 2013, it is very encouraging
that the organisations featured in The Times Top 100 Graduate Employers are now
planning to expand their graduate recruitment programmes substantially – by an
average of 8.7% in 2014 – the highest annual increase in graduate vacancies for four
years. (The graduate market 2014)
This means it is even more important to obtain the highest classification you
can as well as the exemptions from ACCA.
The biggest growth is at public sector employers, accounting & professional
services firms, retailers, investment banks and engineering & industrial companies,
which together expect to offer almost 1,200 additional positions in 2014. (The
graduate market 2014)
Several of the team have published papers. Some of these are on display in
the Business School.
Phil Dodds
Undergraduate Accounting and Finance Programme Leader
Draft Academic Year Calendar for 2014/15
S1 & T1
Semester 1 Teaching Starts (12 WEEKS)
Semester 2 Teaching Starts (9 WEEKS)
S2 & T3
Semsester 2 Teaching Continues (3 Wks) - overlaps 1 week of exam period
TERM DATES – 2014/15
All Students - Autumn Term
All Students – Spring Term
All Students – Summer Term
15th September 2014 – 12th December 2014
5th January 2015 – 27th March 2015
20th April 2015 – 10th July 2015
Below are the contact details for the Undergraduate Programme Finance
team. The teaching team are based various pods and we work with an “open
door” policy, however all members of the team do not have normal 9-5 hours,
it is often best to email or phone in order to arrange an appointment. I will as
programme leader hold weekly drop in sessions to allow you to drop in and
discuss anything you need. If anything is urgent, the staff will always try to
see students when there is an emergency, which cannot wait.
Academic Staff
Programme Leader Accounting and Finance
Phil Dodds
Room 203E Reg Vardy Centre, Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St. Peters
Tel: 0191 515 3056
Head of Accounting Team:
Rob Hall
Room:203A Reg Vardy Centre, Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St. Peters
Tel: 0191515 2403
Lecturing Team
Phil Dodds
Tel: 0191 515 3108
Jeff Evans
Tel: 0191 515 3353
Rob Hall
Tel: 0191515 2403
Kaeren Jacobs
E Mail:
Tel: 0191 515 3134
Andy Turton
Tel: 0191 515 3653
Kristina Brown
E Mail:
John Davison
E Mail:
Tel: 0191 515 3773
Support Staff Contacts
Below are the relevant contact numbers for the administrative staff of the Business School.
Business School Reception:
Room: 107 Reg Vardy Centre, Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St. Peters
Tel: 0191 515 2311
Fax: 0191 515 2308
Email: business.reception@sunderland.ac.uk
Enterprise, Marketing and Recruitment Team:
Room: 107 Reg Vardy Centre, Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St. Peters
Tel: 0191 515 2311
Fax: 0191 515 2308
Email: emrteam@sunderland.ac.uk
Student Academic Advice Team
All based in
Room: 107 Reg Vardy Centre, Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St. Peters
Victoria Rafferty
Email: fbl.academicadvice@sunderland.ac.uk
Tel: 0191 515 3342
Andrew Fishburn
Email: fbl.academicadvice@sunderland.ac.uk
Tel: 0191 515 2320
Helen Charlton
Email: fbl.academicadvice@sunderland.ac.uk
Tel: 0191 515 3253
Technical Staff
Below are the relevant contact numbers for the technical staff in the Business School.
Technical Help Desk:
Room: Terrace David Goldman Centre, Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St. Peters
Tel: 0191 515 3783
Email: cet-ic-helpdesk@sunderland.ac.uk
Other Staff Contact
Situated under the Tom Cowie Lecture Theatre, Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St. Peters
Tel: 0191 515 2028
Delivery and Structure
The BA (Hons) Accounting and Finance degree
is our newest degree and offers exemptions
towards the Chartered Association of Certified
accountants (ACCA) professional membership.
Successful completion of this degree will allow 9 exemptions from the
ACCA. They are:-
ACCA Designation
ACCA examination Title
Accountant in Business
Management Accounting
Financial Accounting
Corporate and Business Law
Performance Management
Financial Reporting
Audit and Assurance
Financial Management
Module Information
Structure of the Programme
Students will study 120 credits worth of modules every year, through a
combination of modules.
Stage 1
This stage leads you towards knowledge and understanding of the field of
accounting and finance through analysis of its practical application and
theoretical underpinning. The modules have been specifically selected to
enable you to start your accounting knowledge from the basics so even if
you have no previous experience the course is designed to provide you
with all the necessary education. The role of accounting and finance in
the business environment is examined from both the financial and
management accounting perspective with management, law, quantitative
methods and economics also present to provide context and broaden
Successful completion of Stage 1 will entitle the student to take the interim
award of a Certificate in Higher Education.
Stage 2
The Diploma stage encompasses the role and scope of accounting and
finance in a global environment and expands the breadth and depth of
your academic, creative and technical skills. The financial and
management accounting streams are continued. Additional knowledge
and skills in the important specialised areas of corporate finance, audit
and taxation are explored. Business management is studied further to
continue the contextualisation of the core discipline within the wider
business environment.
Successful completion of Stage 2 will entitle a student to take the interim
award of a Diploma in Higher Education.
Stage 3 (optional Placement)
This year will be undertaken whilst you are on placement and as such
draws largely upon your independent learning skills. The placement year
is an excellent developmental opportunity which provides a great
opportunity for you to enhance your organizational & specialist
knowledge, capabilities & skills, and ability to self reflect. These elements
are crucial to this stage, the remainder of your programme, your final
degree classification and subsequent career progression. The focus is on
your professional experiences, development, engagement and
contribution – individually, within the organizational context and as a
contributor to the organization’s operational and strategic success.
During your placement (normally a minimum of 48 weeks duration), you
will be supported by an allocated Academic Placement Mentor and a Host
Supervisor at the employing organisation. Both will formally and informally
monitor your progress and development via a variety of mechanisms
(electronic & practical) regularly throughout the year. Delivery will use
both a mixed-methods approach and utilize technology to support learning
and interaction, especially if you are unable to attend workshops, for
example those working overseas. At suitable points in the module, you will
be required to attend Placement Development Sessions at the Business
School where you will have the opportunity to discuss issues raised by
Academic Placement Mentors and to share placement experiences and
good practice with each other. Your studies will take the form of a 120
credit module The Applied Placement Portfolio 1 which will require you to:
a. Understand the strategic environment of the host organisation
b. Undertake a practical study or project
c. Develop and enhance their reflective and reflexive practices
Stage 4
This stage focuses on the international dimension of accounting and
finance and examines contemporary theories, models, debates and
issues which globally affect the core disciplines of accounting and finance.
Financial and management accounting and the corporate finance function
are followed in depth, looking at the strategic business decision making
and building on previous stages. Project management and business
modelling provide a practical forum for extending and applying your
acquired knowledge and skills within these disciplines while
Contemporary Business Developments places the models and theories
within topical and contextual parameters.
Teaching and Learning Strategies
Students will attend on a regular basis for tutor-moderated activities designed
to support learning.
The activities will include group-based activities, and assessment preparation
workshops. They will study 6 modules normally over 2 semesters, taking 3
modules per semester. The duration of the Programme Study will be in line
with the norms expressed in the Universities Undergraduate Programme
Regulations and will not normally exceed 9 years or 12 years with the
placement option.
The teaching and learning strategy encourages participative learning whereby
students bring prepared knowledge from directed reading and activities to
workshops, either physically or virtually, and deepen this learning through
interaction with the tutor and other students. All students will be developed as
independent learners and will be encouraged to take responsibility for their
own learning. Activities within the contact time will require students to analyse
scenarios and data and draw conclusions. Students will make use of case
studies with questions designed to develop analysis and critical appraisal
Whilst passive teaching is employed in lectures, other more interactive
activities will play a major role in the teaching and learning strategy. Learning
through case studies in contact time will develop students’ intellectual and
work related skills. For example, students may work in small teams to explore
issues or a problem in a financial/management situation in an organisation.
This exploration aims to allow students to establish what knowledge is needed
in order to resolve or manage a situation. Activities will be participative and
student centred. Students will be required to find data, analyse and draw
conclusions. Provision of feedback will enable them to check their own
Student guides are available and have several functions: they enable the
student to plan learning around prior reading and also include further
information on the subject areas to integrate activities and information from
the text. All modules will be supported by core texts. Learning achieved
through reading and reflection is tested through the workshop activities.
The diversity of teaching and learning approaches is designed to impart
knowledge, to encourage understanding and critical appreciation of business
& financial principles and practices, and to foster enthusiasm within the
student body. The use of the teaching and learning methods and their
employment will vary with the Stage of the Programme so as to reflect in part
the academic essence of the particular Stage.
Module Information
At Stage 1 you will undertake 120 credits of which all modules compulsory
and divided between business and accounting themed modules.
Level 1
All Core:
UGB 105 Introduction to Financial Accounting
UGB 106 Introduction to Management Accounting
UGB 107 Introduction to Business Management
UGB 108 Quantitative Methods for Business
UGB 109 Economics
1.1.3 Year 2 - Module Information
UGB 110 Business Law
(20 credits)
(20 credits)
(20 credits)
(20 credits)
(20 credits)
(20 credits)
At Stage 2 you will undertake 120 credits of which all modules are compulsory
and equally divided between business and financial themed modules.
Stage 2 All Core
UGB 221
UGB 222
UGB 223
UGB 224
UGB 225
UGB 238
Financial Accounting
Management Accounting
Business Finance
Business Management
Business Taxation
Audit and Assurance
(20 Credits)
(20 Credits)
(20 Credits)
(20 Credits)
(20 Credits)
(20 Credits)
At Stage 3 you have the option to take a placement. This will be a placement
for 48 weeks and there is a single core module.
Stage 3 Placement option
All Core
FBL204 Applied Placement Portfolio 1
(120 Credits)
At Stage 3 or Stage 4 with placement option you will undertake 120 credits:
Stage 3 or Stage 4 with Placement option
All Core
APC 310
APC 314
APC 315
APC 316
SIM 335
SIM 337
Business Modelling for Decision Making
Financial Management (Professional)
Strategic Management Accounting (Professional)
International Financial Reporting (Professional)
Managing Projects
Contemporary Developments Business Management
(20 Credits)
(20 Credits)
(20 Credits)
(20 Credits)
(20 Credits)
(20 Credits)
Module Sessions
Lectures are used extensively on all stages of the Programme as a
resource efficient means of outlining areas of knowledge, indicating
methods of tackling problems and demonstrating methods of analysis and
synthesis of materials. They are used to provide a foundation upon which
seminars and workshops can build.
Seminars and workshops will allow students to build upon the knowledge
acquired from lectures and will allow for a more interactive dialogue
between lecturer and students. A number of modules make use these
sessions by including simulations/role play exercises giving students
learning opportunities and practice in a range of skills before being
required to demonstrate competence in the working environment. These
methods will allow for the analysis and evaluation of key concepts, the
examination of the relationship between theory and practice and will clarify
and explore subject specific areas building upon the foundations provided
by the lectures. The opportunity will also be provided for students to reflect
on work completed both individually and collaboratively.
Case studies are commonly in use throughout the Programme on each
stage and are intended to enable students to develop diagnostic skills,
apply subject specific knowledge to a realistic and/or practical context, and
to develop the ability to produce relevant recommendations for action.
Group work will be utilised throughout the Programmes, particularly in
seminar and workshop sessions. This will allow students to experience
both the benefits and problems that can arise with collaboratively activity
and will further encourage students to reflect on the views of others and to
deal with disagreement in a positive fashion.
The School is committed to facilitating the development of independent,
life-long learners. Students are encouraged to take responsibility for their
own learning and modules place great emphasis on the importance of
directed and self-directed study, particularly at the diploma and degree
Stages of the Programmes. This encouragement is further demonstrated
in the front-loading of contact hours – these being greater at Stage 1 than
in Stages 2 and 3.
Directed study is again used extensively across the Programmes and
involves students preparing seminar and workshop exercises, group
activities, revision and completing formative and summative assessments.
Whilst students are encouraged to determine for themselves the time and
manner in which these activities are undertaken, thereby taking
responsibility at least in part for their own learning, there will be extensive
guidance, particularly at Stages 1 and 2, within the Module Guide
indicating ‘Required’ and ‘Additional’ reading.
Self-directed study, allows students to take a greater responsibility in
respect of their learning experience. Students will be encouraged to
engage independent research using the directed and additional reading as
starting points. This time can also be used to allow students, particularly at
Stage 3 to establish informal learning groups, which can provide mutual
peer support.
Virtual Learning Hour, each of the Stage 1 modules will have a 1 hour elearning hour via a variety of methods including through Sunspace.
The use of WebCT (Sunspace) will support the learning process to varying
degrees across the Programme. All modules will have at least a minimum
WebCT (Sunspace) presence, but WebCT (Sunspace) use on the
Programme will be guided and monitored through the learning
enhancement processes within the School.
Recommended Reading
 The Programme’s modules require key texts, journal articles or
equipment. Individual reading lists are noted in module guides.
 Please refer to the individual module guides for any particular books or
equipment needed for modules.
Practical Considerations
As a full time student you are expected to attend lectures, seminars and
workshops. For each of the 20 credit modules there are 200 learning hours,
with 152 hours set aside for directed reading and assessment.
If you have a part-time job ensure that it does not affect your studies.
If you require advice on how to manage your study time, in order to get the
best possible results, contact a member of academic staff or the Programme
Working through Learning Materials
All of the modules have module guides which you will receive at the very start
of each module. These guides will outline the structure of the weekly
sessions. It is important that if you have to prepare work for a session that you
complete this before you attend. If you require further information, advice or
guidance with regard to a particular module you can contact the Module
Leader/Module Tutor, whose contact information should appear in the relevant
Study Skills
The University has a Learning Development Services department situated in
the Murray Library at the Chester Road Campus. They can give you advice
and guidance about relevant study skills support.
If you would like to see a tutor please email paula.devlin@sunderland.ac.uk to
make an appointment.
Study Support
Support will be provided as required within particular modules, e.g. writing
academic essays, referencing, report writing, quantitative techniques and
presentations. For those students who require further support, there is a
dedicated Student Academic Advice Team within the faculty of Business and
Law, delivering a range of study skills’ workshops. These workshops include
plagiarism and referencing, essay and report writing and critical thinking.
If you would like to find out more information and reserve a place on a
workshop, the Academic Advisers are based in room 107 (reception) within
the Reg Vardy building.
You can also follow the Academic Advise team and get further information
through e-mail, Twitter and Facebook:
E-Mail - fbl.academicadvice@sunderland.ac.uk
Twitter - www.twitter.com/saatatfbl
Facebook - type saatatfbl into the search option.
As well as the academic advice team, tutors may also direct students to the
Effective Learning pack where appropriate.
The Effective Learning pack and Information Skills study packs, which give
additional information and support, can be obtained from the St. Peter’s
Learning Resource Centre
All students are required to submit assessed work through Turnitin. All
students are normally required to submit two copies of their assessed work.
One copy must be submitted though Turnitin and one paper copy should be
submitted to the Learning Resource Centre. All students must submit a
Turnitin receipt with the paper copy submission. The penalty for students who
do not submit their assessed work through Turnitin is that their mark is
withheld and the assessment board may deem the work to have failed.
Students may submit drafts through Turnitin prior to submission and generate
reports prior to submission. The last submission prior to the deadline will be
deemed to be the final submission for assessment purposes.
Within the Business School there are a number of student support and
guidance systems. They are all listed below.
Programme Leader
The Programme Leader has executive responsibility for the operation and
development of the programme, which includes:
(a) Being available for the students to talk to about their experience on the
programme as a whole. This is achieved formally through student
representation at all Stages on the Programme Studies Board.
(b) Liaise with the Module Leaders about the delivery or development of
modules to meet the needs of the programme, including teaching and
learning methods.
(c) Advising Programme Boards.
(d) Counselling students with respect to their choice and progress within the
programme and where necessary, approving changes of module choices.
(e) Collecting information relating to extenuating circumstances claimed by
students to have affected their performance and transmitting this
information to module leaders.
Module Leader
(a) A Module Leader has responsibility for the operation and development of
the module including:
(b) Being there for students when needed and responding to any particular
inquiries or points that are made.
(c) Effective communication to students on the module either through notices
in lectures or through the module guide. Communicating with other
members of staff who are also teaching the module regarding all the
learning and assessment procedures and schedules.
(d) Ensuring that any extenuating circumstances affecting
performance are reported to the Module Assessment Board.
(e) Development of methods of teaching and learning.
(f) Liasing with the Programme Leader about delivery or development of
modules to meet the needs of programmes for which they are core/option.
Personal Tutors
The Business School will allocate each student to a personal tutor. The
personal tutor will provide a point of contact and information. Many of the
student support functions will be carried out by University wide services (e.g.
student counselling, financial advice, and welfare services). The personal tutor
will direct the student to the relevant support services.
Administration Department
The Business School reception opening times are as follows:
Monday – Thursday
8:30am – 5.00pm
8:30am – 4.00pm
Reception can assist students with:
Transcript requests
Submission of mitigation
Student queries
Changes of home or term time address
Changes of course
Library and information services are delivered through three site libraries – St.
Peter’s, Murray and Ashburne – and increasingly over the campus network.
Considerable emphasis is placed on exploiting a balanced provision of
traditional and electronic information sources. We aim to ensure our stock
and services are freely and fairly available to all readers and that the libraries
are pleasant and safe places to work.
Information Services has its own web pages within the University web site.
The web address is: http://www.library.sunderland.ac.uk
Joining the Library and induction
Students may become Library members by joining at any of the three site
libraries. A University course registration number is required. Members agree
to abide by the Library Regulations and the University’s IT Regulations.
Copies of these Regulations are available on request. Library cards are valid
at all three site libraries.
Students are given an induction to the library and a copy of the Information
Services Handbook summarising key information about using library facilities
and services.
Communication with Students
A professional member of staff is always available in each site library to
assist students
Subject librarians attend staff-student consultative committees
Students are encouraged to complete feedback forms, either in hard copy
or electronically via our web site
Questions about the importance of and satisfaction with library services
are included in the University's student questionnaire
Learning Support
Access to other Libraries
Academic staff, researchers, part time students, distance learners,
postgraduates on taught courses and students on placement may also use
other University libraries participating in the Sconul Access scheme. There are
well developed regional networks which provide staff and students with
access to a range of other libraries. The Libraries Access Sunderland Scheme
(LASh) gives students access to the college and public libraries in the City of
Sunderland, and through Tyne & Wear Information Resources for Learning
(TWIRL), to all the further education college libraries in Tyne and Wear.
Inter-library Loans
All students may use the interlibrary loans service through which items not in
the library stock are obtained from the British Library Document Supply
Centre. Journal articles are sent via Secure Electronic Delivery, so students
and staff can download the document via an encrypted email. Undergraduate
and postgraduate students are allowed 25 and 65 requests respectively in any
academic year.
Assignment Services
University Library Services provides assignment services for students and
staff at Murray Library and St Peter’s Library. Both offer facilities for the
submission and collection of student work and the sale of learning support
materials. Each site has a ‘blog’ that provides students with information on
the status of assignments to be collected.
Information skills training
Information Services provides information skills training for both academic
staff and students. There are timetabled sessions embedded within some core
modules and sessions are also provided on request.
St. Peter’s and Murray libraries are open 24/7 on a staffed and self service
Term time opening hours at St. Peter’s Learning Resource Centre are:
Monday to Thursday:
10.30 a.m. to 6.30 p.m.
10.30 a.m. to 5.00 p.m.
Integrated learning support
Information Service’s also plays an active role in University developments
such as using the Virtual Learning Environment to provide a web-based
integrated learning and teaching environment.
The Student Gateway acts as the first point of contact in dealing with any
of the common enquiries that students may encounter within their time at
the University of Sunderland.
The Gateway is a unique concept in accessibility, placing all of the student
support departments under the same roof. This not only enables students
to manage multiple enquiries in only one visit, but also adds a
reassurance that if there is anything which may be of concern, then the
Gateway will be able to deal with it.
The staff in the Gateway are dedicated to resolving any student enquiries,
however simple or complex, in a professional and friendly manner.
There is a Gateway at both the Chester Road and St Peters' Campus.
Contact details
Learning resource services staff are always happy to help you. Please do not
hesitate to ask for assistance.
St. Peter’s Learning Resource Centre
Prspect Building
Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St. Peter’s
University of Sunderland
St. Peter’s Way
Tel: 0191 515 3318
The Murray Library
University of Sunderland
Chester Road
Tel: 0191 515 2644
Features specific to St. Peter’s Library
Black and white photocopying
– 5p per A4 page; 10p per A3 page
Colour photocopying
– 20p per A4 page; 40p per A3 page
Submission of assignments for marking
Students should hand in assignments to the Campus learning resource
service designated by the module leader. St. Peter’s Library staff will accept
assignments outside the opening hours of St. Peter’s LRC. Assignments may
be submitted in advance of the hand in date set by the module leader. Early
completion and submission of work is good practice and may help you to
avoid queues at busy times. On the final day for submission of assignments,
please observe the following specified hand in times which are intended to
ease congestion:
At St. Peter’s Learning Resource Centre
Full time students taking Business School modules should hand in before
How to submit your assignment
All students are normally required to submit two copies of their assessed
work. One copy must be submitted though Turnitin and one paper copy will
be submitted to the Learning Resource Centre with a completed assignment
cover sheet available from learning resource services. Ensure you use the
cover sheet appropriate to the module, i.e., if the module is a Business School
module, use the Business School cover sheet. You should complete all details
as required, including your University student registration number (student id),
module code and date your assignment is due to be handed in. The cover
sheet will be date stamped and signed by learning resource services staff at
the point of hand in and part of the cover sheet will be returned to you as proof
of handin: please keep your receipt in a safe place.
All students must also submit a Turnitin receipt with the paper copy
submission. The penalty for students who do not submit their assessed work
through Turnitin is that their mark is withheld and the assessment board may
deem the work to have failed. Students may submit drafts through Turnitin
prior to submission and generate reports prior to submission. The last
submission prior to the deadline will be deemed to be the final submission for
assessment purposes.
Late submission of assignments
Assignments may be handed in at the designated learning resource service
after the set hand in date but will be marked as a late submission. If you wish
to enter mitigation, please refer to the appropriate School office (the mitigation
process is administered by Schools).
Collection of marked assignments
The University standard for making marked assignments available to students
is four working weeks from the date of hand in (the four week period is
extended by the duration of Christmas and Easter vacation periods). Most
marked assignments are returned to students through learning resource
services: the remaining assignments are returned to students directly by
academic staff. Please note that some assignments are retained by Schools
for the purpose of external moderation. Students should collect marked
assignments from the Campus learning resource service designated by the
module leader. You must collect marked work in person and have valid
photographic id (e.g., Student Union membership card); it is also advisable to
bring your assignment cover sheet receipt.
Please consult the Assignments Returned file at the Murray Library or the
equivalent Assignments Ready for Student Collection file at St. Peter’s LRC:
check for your module code in order to establish that the marked assignments
for your module have been received and processed by learning resource
services staff. Then present your photographic id and state the module
code(s) of the assignment(s) you wish to collect. Marked assignments for
return to students via the Murray Library and St. Peter’s LRC are retained and
made available for collection for a minimum of four weeks. Notices are
displayed prior to the disposal of uncollected assignments.
Past projects and dissertations
Examples of past projects and dissertations are presented to learning
resource services by academic staff and placed on open access for students
to consult primarily for the purpose of receiving guidance on style and
structure. They are for reference use only: they must be consulted within the
Murray Library or St. Peter’s LRC and may not be photocopied or otherwise
reproduced in any way.
Special services: Disability support
Information Services Disability Support Service provides information, help and
advice on using the library and its services. Students who register with the
library as a student with a disability or specific learning difficulty have access
to a number of services including:
Use of assistive technology (password protected)
Extended loan periods (1 week loans only)
Postal loans and photocopying
Searching the catalogue and retrieval of items
Further information is available at www.library.sunderland.ac.uk by clicking on
Library Services, Disability Support. If you have any enquiries or require
assistance please contact the Information Services Disability Support CoOrdinator, Christine Stevenson, at:
Disability Support Co-Ordinator
St. Peter's Library
St. Peter's Way
Tyne & Wear
Tel: 0191 515 3317 (minicom voice and text)
Fax: 0191 515 3061
Email: pam.slaughter@sunderland.ac.uk
Technical Department
The Technical Help Desk is available for all students experiencing problems
with computers or any technical equipment. The technical staff will be more
than glad to help you with any queries you may have. Their contact details are
available in an earlier section in this handbook.
Changing or withdrawing from your course
If you are considering changing course or leaving your course help and advice
is available at
Careers guidance and planning
At the university we have a dedicated team to offer advice and planning on
your career. For full information go to
Student Representation
The Faculty wishes you to have the best possible experience here at the
University. We are very keen to hear what you have to say about your
studies, the School, the Faculty and your all-round experience. You can tell
us what you think at any time, of course, but you will have a number of
opportunities to feedback in a more formal way and we would hope that you
would do so.
You will also have to chance to provide feedback as the year progresses via
the Student-Staff Liaison Committee. This is a group of students and staff who
meet every now and then to talk over any issues with your courses. You will
have the chance to be a representative on that group if you wish. We would
encourage you think about undertaking these roles – you are given training,
you gain a lot of experience and you can help to directly influence how your
programme develops. Each degree programme chooses 1 or 2 student
representatives for each year-group who meet in a Student-Staff Liaison
Committee (SSLC) at least once a term. This is an important way for you to
get your views across to us and gives us the chance to ask your opinion about
changes which will affect your degree programme.
Please help us by:
 filling in questionnaires when you are asked to do so;
 voting in the election for student reps for your programme;
 standing for election as a rep if you would like to do so;
 using your reps constructively - tell them what you think, let them know
if something isn’t working, or if there is good practice which we should
use more widely.
 Inevitably some of the time you will be helping the students who come
after you – but please remember that the students before you gave us
their opinions and this helped us to improve things for you.
In your last year of study undergraduates will also be asked to fill in the
National Student Survey (NSS). This is a survey administered nationally
across all universities by a survey agency. It is independent of the University –
although obviously we get the results so that we can act on the feedback it
provides. We discuss this feedback with our student reps to try to understand
better what the data is telling us. The NSS results are used nationally to
inform future students about the quality of the student experience at different
universities and they are also used by newspapers to compile league tables
and by other stakeholders such as employers and funding bodies. When your
turn comes, please make sure that you do complete the NSS. If you would like
to look at the results to date, log onto www.unistats.ac.uk
Note that Student-Staff Liaison Committee will only deal with issues relating to
your programme – if you have problems with other aspects of your student
experience please speak to the relevant Service provider. If you don’t know
who that is you can contact Julie Carolan, the Student Representation Coordinator at the Students’ Union: Julie.carolan@sunderland.ac.uk,
tel ext 3790 (0191 515 3790)
University of Sunderland Students’ Union
The Students’ Union exists to provide support designed to help you make your
University experience valuable for life. The Union is run by a team of elected
students, which means the student voice can really be heard and directly
shapes the work that we do.
There are loads of ways you can get involved with the Union, from trips out to
exciting places on our Connect scheme and a wide range of volunteering
opportunities, to representing your fellow students as a Student Rep or at
Union Council or even helping other students settle in as an SU Buddy.
We’re here to support you throughout your University life and we offer
professional, confidential and friendly advice on a range of different issues
 Housing
 Loans
 Benefits
 Visas
 Consumer rights
We can also provide support if you:
 Feel homesick and lonely
 Want to meet new people and make friends
Are wondering whether you have chosen the right course
Are unsure whether Sunderland or the University is right for you
Have missed lectures/deadlines and don’t know what to do about it
Visit our website www.sunderlandsu.co.uk for more information on all of our
different services and to find out how you can get involved. You can also find
us on Facebook (The University of Sunderland Students’ Union) or Twitter
Key Contacts
Welfare Advice
Academic Advice
Student Representation
Students’ Union Contact Officers
General Enquiries
Cheryl Klein/Stephen 2413/2741
Gillian Davison/Ben 2944/2950
Julie Carolan
Spalek/Tracy 3582/4117
Adam Gawne
Hub Team
To e-mail for an enquiry or to book an appointment please e-mail:
For Student Executive contact details, please visit our website.
Assessment Strategies
The assessment strategy is integral to the teaching and learning
philosophy described. The assessment strategy aims to allow
students to demonstrate knowledge, understanding and application
of accounting, finance and its principles and concepts, placing it in context
within the environment in which it operates. It also aims to allow students to
demonstrate skills of criticality and evaluation. The use of informal formative
assessment allows students to take risks and test theories with the aim of
extending knowledge and confidence without fear of failure, thus encouraging
a deep approach to learning. Assessment methods aim to allow students to
demonstrate breadth and depth of directed and independent research.
The assessment strategy at Stages 1 and 2 is based on an assessment
approach which allows for formative feedback throughout the modules. The
process of formal and informal formative assessment will be supported by
feedback to increase confidence and complement the summative assessment
tasks. Detailed assessment criteria will support each assessment to guide
both students and tutors. At Stages 2 and 3 assessments will involve students
synthesising and applying a number of concepts. As well as including
academic investigation into accounting and finance-specific issues based on
reading, analysis and evaluation of academic papers, students will 'research'
in the general sense of finding out and then applying, evaluating, analysing,
comparing and recommending. At Stage 3 the emphasis will be on an
individual summative assessment, however this will be supported by informal
non-assessed formative assessments throughout the module to ensure
students are fully prepared for the summative work required of them.
Many of the students who take this programme will wish to move on to a
career in accounting and there is expected to be a significant proportion of
students who continue on to professional accounting qualifications. As such
the assessments are largely based around exams supported by formal
formative assessments in order to give students the opportunity to gain
maximum exemptions from such professional bodies as the Chartered
Institute of Certified Accountants.
It is vital that deadlines for assessment adhered to unless there are
extenuating or mitigating circumstances. Non submission will be classed as a
The Regulations
The regulations are applicable to all undergraduate programmes for students
entering the University with effect from the commencement of academic year
(Sept) 2008/09. The regulations will almost certainly apply to your overall
study and assessment criteria. Again please note that your 2nd year is now
very important i.e. 20% of your year 2 (Stage 2) marks will be integrated into
year 3!
This is the Extract from the new regulations……..
“6.4.2 Bachelor’s Degree with Honours
An Honours degree is awarded on the basis of a weighted mean average of:
the marks for the best 100 credits obtained at Stage 2
the marks for the best 100 credits obtained at Stage 3.
The mean average for the best 100 credits at each Stage is obtained and then
weighted so that the Stage 2 marks are worth 20% and the Stage 3 marks are worth
80%. A final mean average is obtained on the basis of this weighting and this
determines the degree classification.
Please go to the following URL and acquaint yourself with these regulations:
The University uses a percentage-marking scheme for assessment of each
module taken. Individual Module Assessment Boards award percentage
marks in accordance with the following table:
Equivalent Degree
70 % +
60 – 69.99 %
50 – 59.99 %
40 – 49.99 %
< 40 %
The Module Leader/Module Tutor will be the point of reference regarding
any assessment for their module. For the University’s Generic
Assessment Criteria
Borderline cases
These are defined as those in which the weighted average mark is within 2%
below the boundary for the next higher classification, so 38-39.99%, 4849.99%, 58-59.99%, 68-69.99%. Weighted average marks falling within these
ranges must be reviewed to consider whether the student should be awarded
the next highest classification or a Distinction as applicable.
The Programme Assessment Board should take into account:
the requirements of PSRBs where applicable;
exit velocity (remembering that the weighted average for degree
classification already includes an element of exit velocity);
the profile of marks including the range and spread of marks and the
nature of the modules in which the student has performed better or
Compensation between Modules
Where you have attempted each module but failed up to 20 credits at that
Stage you will be compensated at programme level, providing that you have:
achieved at least 35% in the module concerned;
submitted all assessments for that module;
has an average mark across all other modules at that Stage of at least 45%.
The Board has the discretion to compensate a further 20 credits (for a
maximum of 40 credits overall, in any combination of module sizes), again
provided that the student has achieved at least 35% in the module concerned,
has submitted all assessments for that module, and has an average mark
across all other modules at that Stage of at least 45%.
Undertaking Assessments
For each module there will be assessment(s). The types of
assessment you should expect are:
(a) Written reports/essays
(b) Presentations
(c) Time-Constrained Assignments (examinations)
(d) Case Study Analysis
(e) Group Work
Assessment Regulations
Please see the Student guide to the Academic Regulations available via the
University Web site.
Please see the University Academic Regulations available via the University
Web site.
What happens if I fail a module or several?
Students who fail a module or modules overall at the first attempt will usually
be referred in the assessment of that module. This means they will be
expected to retake the assessments at the next assessment period. Students
who fail a module for the second time will usually be expected to retake the
whole module with attendance, at cost if appropriate. Students are permitted a
maximum of four attempts to pass each module. If a student fails an option
module four times, they will be asked to transfer to another module. If a
student fails a core module four times they may be required to transfer to
another programme or even to withdraw from the University. Referred
assignments are capped at 40%.
Extenuating / Mitigating Circumstances
If you are affected by any extenuating circumstances that hamper your
studies, for example illness or severe personal difficulties, you must inform
your personal tutor or programme leader immediately. If your assessments
are affected you should submit a mitigation form, available from reception.
Mitigation forms must be accompanied by appropriate supporting evidence
such as a sick note from your GP. Mitigation applications are considered by a
standing panel 3 times per year. Each case is considered individually. During
the last year there have been some changes to the mitigation rules. The main
changes are:1. A 'fit to sit' policy has now been included which covers both coursework
submissions and examinations. Students cannot submit work on time/sit an
examination AND submit mitigation for that work/exam. The only exception for
this is where a student becomes ill during an examination and where they
advise the invigilator accordingly.
2. Late mitigation will no longer be accepted. If a student fails to submit
mitigation by the published dates prior to the mitigation panels, their only
course of action will be a formal academic appeal.
3. Module leaders are now given the discretion to offer up to a 72 hour
extension where there is good reason to do so (work pressure/computer
failures/disc problems do not constitute good reason). The 72 hours includes
weekends and bank holidays.
Referred assignments are capped at 40%.
In order to progress to the next Stage of the programme students
usually require a minimum of 100 credits.
Students failing to meet progression requirements will be required to remain at
the same stage of their programme until they have made up the deficiency.
Students may not usually progress to the final Stage modules until they have
completed all required modules at Stage 1. Students must successfully
complete all pre-requisites before moving on to modules at the next Stage.
Please consult the University Academic Regulations for a more detailed
explanation of the referral process and programme progression requirements.
Please check the University Academic Calendar for dates of assessment
periods. It is imperative that you are available to attend University during the
entirety of each assessment period, including the summer referral period, in
case you fail a module. It is unwise to make any arrangements to return home
or to make holiday arrangements until you are certain that you have passed
all your assessments each semester.
Module Specific Regulations
For information on Module Specific Regulations please refer to individual
module guides.
University Academic Integrity and Misconduct Policy
The University requires that students do not submit work for assessment
which contains someone else’s words, ideas, observations or conclusions
without due acknowledgement. The full regulations can be found at
Academic Appeals
An academic appeal is a request for a review of an academic decision made
by an Assessment Board. You cannot submit an academic appeal until the
Assessment Board has considered and approved all marks. There are two
grounds upon which an appeal can be made;
(a) unconsidered extenuating circumstances and
(b) material procedural irregularity (the procedural irregularity must have
affected the mark).
You cannot appeal simply because you disagree with the mark. You may feel
that the work you submitted deserved a better mark, but the mark awarded is
a matter of academic judgment. By the time you receive your final marks i.e.
after the Assessment Board has sat, assessments will have been internally
reviewed and for work at Stage 2 and 3, it will also have been reviewed by an
external examiner. If however you feel that we have not carried out one of our
procedures properly and as a result this has affected your mark, you can
appeal on the basis of a material procedural irregularity. Similarly, you can
submit an appeal if there is extenuating circumstances which have affected
your ability to engage with the assessments. Please note however; you
cannot submit extenuating circumstances when you have also submitted the
assessment. By submitting an assessment, you are declaring yourself fit. In
addition, if you are submitted extenuating circumstances only once you must
have a good reason why you did not submit your extenuating circumstances
prior to the assessment board sitting at the end of the Semester. Finally, you
must appeal within two weeks of the publication of your results following the
Assessment Board. It is therefore important that you check your results and
make sure they are accurate i.e. that you have a mark for each piece of work
that you have submitted. If there is a mark missing, you need to follow this up
as quickly as possible and not leave it until the end of the year or the end of
your programme. Appeals are considered at first instance by the Chair of the
Assessment Board and you should receive a response within 10 working
A copy of the Academic Appeals Procedure is available at
Student Complaints
The Student Complaints Procedure exists to allow you to raise matters of
proper concern about your satisfaction with a particular service or other
aspect of University provision. If your intention is to seek the modification of
an academic decision, then you should submit an Academic Appeal. If there
are issues of complaint which need to be decided upon before it is possible to
judge whether an appeal has valid grounds, those will be considered through
the Complaints process and the outcome of that will then inform the Appeal.
At first instance, you should take the matter to the member of staff best able to
deal with it as soon as possible. If a resolution of the matter is not possible,
you may then enter a formal complaint in writing. A complaint should be made
as soon as possible but it must be made within a reasonable time following
the matter which prompted your complaint. This must be not later than 2
months after your complete the year of study in which the complaint arose or
within three months of the date of withdrawal or beginning of an approved
leave of absence whichever is the earlier. If your complaint is about the quality
of your dissertation/project supervision, you must take this up at the time and
cannot leave it until after you have submitted your dissertation or major
A complaint will be investigated by a senior member of staff unconnected with
the complaint itself. Usually this will be a team leader for the staff involved or
in may be an Associate Dean. You can expect a response within 20 working
If you are a student studying with one of our partner institutions, then you
must initially raise a complaint using that institution’s complaints procedure. If
you remain dissatisfied or do not receive a response, you can then submit a
request for a Complaint Review using the University’s Complaints procedure.
A copy of the Student Complaints procedure together with the relevant forms
is available at
All students give an undertaking at enrolment to abide by the rules and
regulations of the University, including those relating to conduct and discipline.
Students who face allegations of misconduct may obtain advice and support
from the Students' Union. The full regulations can be found at
Published lists of external examiners and their reports
All external examiners reports are available from
Programme Specification
Programme Aims:
The programme aims to:1. Enable students to demonstrate relevant knowledge and understanding of
accounting and finance and the environment in which they operate.
2. Develop and maintain an awareness and understanding of accounting and
finance in regional, national and international contexts.
3. Develop students with a range of accounting and finance-specific as well
as transferable skills which will prepare them for a career within a wide
range of commercial and not-for-profit organisations and business start-up.
4. Develop independent life-long learners.
5. Deliver a programme which is attractive to employers at regional, national
and international levels
Programme Learning Outcomes
Learning Outcomes Stage 1 – skills
S1. Employ a range of subject specific skills in relation to the world of
accounting and finance.
S2. Exercise judgement in the planning and control of tasks.
S3. Accept responsibility and accountability within pre-determined
parameters for the achievement of outcomes.
Learning Outcomes Stage 1 – knowledge
K1. Demonstrate a broad knowledge base incorporating theoretical
concepts within the field of accounting and finance and/or its
K2. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of financial information
K3. Have awareness of the business legal environment in which financial
affairs operate.
Learning Outcomes Stage 2 – skills
S4. Command wide ranging specialised academic, technical and
creative skills with regard to accounting and finance.
S5. Diagnose problems, design solutions in a range of accounting,
finance and management areas.
Learning Outcomes Stage 2 – knowledge
K4. Demonstrate understanding within the field of accounting and
finance and its environment.
K5. Have awareness of the role and scope of accounting and finance in
the global business environment.
Learning Outcomes Stage 3 – skills (Optional Placement)
Ability to identify, consider and effectively analyse organisational
issues and their impact within the external and internal environments
Ability to evaluate of the practices of the organisation
Appropriate project management or practical research skills
The application of a range of reflective practice tools to develop and
increase self-awareness, and insight as aspiring professionals
Learning Outcomes Stage 3 – knowledge (Optional Placement)
Understanding & appreciation of organisational objectives, principles
and practices in relation to their internal and external environments
Understanding of organisational initiatives and issues through
investigation, examination or project management in the practical
Application of suitable investigative methods and business
techniques to examine and evaluate stated areas of organizational
An appraisal, evaluation and reflection of skills, competencies,
behaviours, and attributes developed during the placement
experience, and of evolving professional identity through the use of
multiple reflective practices and tools
Learning Outcomes Stage 3 or Stage 4 (Optional Placement) – skills
S10 Critically apply a range of accounting and finance theories in an
international context.
S11 Integrate and critically evaluate a range of financial models and
concepts in an international context.
S12 Apply financial skills in resolving a range of business problems.
Learning Outcomes Stage 3 or Stage 4 (Optional Placement) –
K10 Appreciate the significance of the global environment on accounting
and finance issues.
K11 Demonstrate critical understanding of relevant contemporary
theories and concepts in accounting and finance and its
K12 Integrate and critically evaluate a range of debates and issues within
the international financial arena.