AC201-Management Accounting

Module Provider: Business Informatics, Systems and Accounting
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn and Spring (Double presentation)
Pre-requisites: AC105A Introductory International Financial Accounting A or AC101 Introduction to Accounting and AC106 Introduction to Management Accounting
Non-modular pre-requisites: To take this module you must have taken AC106 and either AC105a or AC101 at Part 1.
Modules excluded: AC208 Management Information
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Mr Solomon Ailenotor


Type of module:

Summary module description:
This module introduces the theory and practice of management accounting in relation to organisational decision-making, planning, control and performance evaluation.

This module is delivered at University of Reading, University of Reading Malaysia and Beijing Institute of Technology.

The University of Reading tuition of this module is split into two separate occurrences; one in the Autumn term and one in the Spring term. The breakdown of hours for each term will be the same.


This module aims to provide students with an understanding of the techniques, principles and underlying concepts relating to the provision and use of financial information in organisational decision-making, planning and control. This involves a consideration of the technical language and practices of management accounting, their location within the organisational and business context, and the theoretical and empirical evidence concerning the development and current practice of management accounting.

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module it is expected that the student will be able to:

1. Explain the role of management accounting in providing information to managers for decision-making, planning and control.

2. Describe and discuss the changes taking place in organisations and the business environment and their influence on management accounting systems and practices.

3. Produce effective solutions to practical decision-making, planning and control problems by analysing and interpreting information and evaluating options using management accounting concepts and techniques including: 

a. CVP analysis, limiting factor analysis and other short term decision making techniques involving the use of relevant costs 

b. Full costing techniques, including ABC

c. Consideration of the uses of marginal and absorption costing and reconciliation of profits using both methods

d. Marginal, full cost and market based approaches to pricing

e. Performance measures, including residual income and return on investment

f. Budget preparation, including functional budgets

g. Standard costing and variance analysis.

4. Recognise the qualitative aspects of decision-making, planning and control and appraise these in relation to management accounting problems.

5. Use selected academic and professional literature relevant to management accounting so as to demonstrate the ability to analyse, think critically and synthesise differing perspectives.

6. Organise and present information clearly, succinctly and in the required format.

Additional outcomes:

Structured activities are designed to develop independent learning skills. Students are encouraged to develop additional IT skills by use of relevant web resources and communication techniques, including Blackboard.

Outline content:

Nature and purpose of cost and management accounting

• Cost classification and behaviour

• CVP and break-even analysis

• Relevant costs and contribution based decision-making, including pricing decisions

• Full costing and ABC, including pricing decisions

• Marginal and absorption costing and reconciliation of profits under both methods

• Approaches to budgeting and preparation of functional and master budgets

• Standard costing and variance analysis 

• Performance management and measurement

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

The module is delivered through a combination of interactive lectures which will introduce students to topic areas and practical workshops where students will consolidate their understanding through guided question practice and discussion. 

This module is offered in Autumn and Spring to different groups of students. The contact hours information provided here is for the Spring term, and should act as an indicator for the Autumn term cohort.


Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 30 4
Seminars 18
Guided independent study 148
Total hours by term 196.00 4.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 80
Class test administered by School 20

Summative assessment- Examinations:

One 2 hour closed book unseen written exam in the summer.

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

One multiple choice test consisting of 15 questions, for 45 minutes, taking place in week 11 of the term.

Formative assessment methods:

Formative assessments are available in the recommended textbooks for all weeks of the module to enable students to practice techniques and exam style questions.

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Assessment requirements for a pass:
    A minimum mark of 40% is required for a University pass.

    Reassessment arrangements:

    Reassessment is through exam only in August of the same year.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

    Students can chose either of the following textbooks:

    1. Management and Cost accounting (with CourseMate and eBook Access) 9th edition. By C. Drury                  £38.00

    2. Accounting and Finance, Introduction. By Eddie McLaney and Peter Atrill. 7th or 8th Edition.                          £38.00

    Last updated: 14 December 2018


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