AC315-Contemporary Issues in Accounting

Module Provider: Business Informatics, Systems and Accounting
Number of credits: 40 [20 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Summer term module
Pre-requisites: AC206 Financial Accounting and AC102 Assurance, Governance and Ethics and AC108 Principles of Taxation
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2021/2

Module Convenor: Dr Ronita Ram

Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module aims to develop knowledge, understanding and critical appreciation of a broad range of topical issues facing the accountancy profession and industry.


This module is delivered at University of Reading and Beijing Institute of Technology. The pre-requisites do not apply to Beijing Institute of Technology students, but all students must have met the progression requirements from Part 2 of their programme.


This module aims to develop and add to the knowledge, understanding and critical appreciation of a broad range of topical issues facing the accountancy profession and industry. This is achieved via a more detailed consideration of the theoretical and empirical evidence relating to a range of contemporary contextual topics.

Assessable learning outcomes:

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

1. Explain and critically discuss a variety of contemporary issues currently facing the accountancy profession or industry

2. Analyse, synthesise and evaluate the contribution of a range of academic and professional authors to those debates


3. Develop a literature review on a selected topic which provides a synthesis and critic al analysis of the relevant literature. 

4. Produce an original dissertation, which critically analyses a particular research question and examines this question using appropriate data and methodology. 

Additional outcomes:

Student will develop an understanding of the research process and the challenges encountered in undertaking such research project.  They will develop skills in doing independent, reflective and critical reading of academic articles and in analysing large volume of data. 

Outline content:

Contemporary issues may include, for example; ethical and governance considerations and debates, audit related issues and debates, tax related issues and debates, financial reporting related issues and debates, management control related issues and debates.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

The module is primarily research based, where the students are expected to carry out research on a particular topic in discussion with their supervisors.  Lectures will be delivered for providing general guidance on research methods, doing literature review and writing up the dissertation. Students are provided with one to one supervision meetings for their dissertation over the autumn and summer terms so they are supported during the course of research process.  Students are expected to read a number of academic articles and carry out independent research in consultation with their supervisors.

Please note the hours in the Autumn term column are actually split between Summer 2021 and Autumn 2021. Split outlined below:

  Summer 2021 Autumn 2021
Lectures 11 4
Project Supervision 1 3
Guided Independant Study    
Wider Reading (Independant) 38 116
Dissertation Writing   137
Total Hours by Term 50 260


Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 15
Project Supervision 4 1
Guided independent study:      
    Wider reading (independent) 154 16
    Dissertation writing 137 73
Total hours by term 310 0 90
Total hours for module 400

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Dissertation 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Complete one research-based dissertation of 10,000-12,000 words, with a + - 10% allowance to be submitted in the summer term.

Formative assessment methods:

Supervisor will provide feedback once on literature review, which must be submitted by end of November, and once on draft dissertation. 

Penalties for late submission:

The Support Centres 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 (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%

Reassessment arrangements:

By resubmission of the project. Students only have the right to be reassessed once.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Last updated: 6 July 2021


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