AC201-Management Accounting

Module Provider: Business Informatics, Systems and Accounting
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Pre-requisites: MM1F27 Business in Practice: Accounting for managers
Non-modular pre-requisites: To take this module you must have taken MM1F27 at Part 1.
Modules excluded: AC220 Further Management Accounting
Current from: 2022/3

Module Convenor: Ms Helen Crofts

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 and University of Reading Malaysia.


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.  Cost-volume-profit (CVP) analysis, limiting factor analysis and other short term decision making techniques involving the use of relevant costs 

   b. Full costing techniques, including Activity-Based- Costing (ABC)

   c. Consideration of theuses 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 Spring Term.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20 4
Seminars 18
Guided independent study:      
    Wider reading (independent) 15
    Wider reading (directed) 15
    Exam revision/preparation 54
    Advance preparation for classes 18
    Preparation for seminars 18
    Completion of formative assessment tasks 10
    Revision and preparation 28
Total hours by term 0 196 4
Total hours for module 200

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.

The examination for this module will require a narrowly defined time window and is likely to be held in a dedicated exam venue.


Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

One multiple choice test consisting of 15 questions, for 45 minutes, taking place in week 11 of Spring 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 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% is required for a University pass.

Reassessment arrangements:

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

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Management and Cost accounting (with CourseMate and eBook Access) 11th edition. By M. Tayles and C. Drury      £46.00

The following makes of calculator are permitted in exams and class tests: Casio FX-83GTx or Casio FX-85GTx

Casio FX-83GTPLUS or Casio FX-85GTPLUS- Approximately £15

Last updated: 22 September 2022


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