This Programme Brief summarises the contents of the MSc in Accounting and Finance (MAF) degree programme and is accordingly structured as follows. The programme rationale, aim, objectives and target group are outlined in Sub-sections 1.1 to 1.4 respectively, while the admission criteria and duration of study are given in Section 2.0. Section 3.0 and 4.0 outline exemptions and the structure of the programme respectively.
The last several decades have witnessed significant growth in the demands on, and expectations of, accounting and finance professionals – particularly as they have become key in helping their organisations in the private sector navigate an increasingly complex business world. Developing finance professionalism extends to government and public sector organizations as well, where there is a need for enhanced finance leadership and public financial management to improve the quality of public service accountability and outcomes. The transparency, financial stability, and performance of governments and public sector organizations are closely linked with the quality and professionalisation of persons in executive positions.
The contribution of experts in finance, accounting and management in general is extremely essential to the attainment of Zambia’s “prosperous and middle-income status” by the year 2030 as articulated in the Vision 2030. Therefore, the field also contributes to economic growth and development through the private and public sectors. To successfully make a significant contribution towards the effective and efficient operation of the private and public sectors, leaders, managers and employees require increasingly advanced specialized knowledge and technical skills in areas such as financial reporting and analysis, financial management, taxation, treasury, credit analysis, research and many other finance related fields. Therefore, this programme has been developed to contribute towards the much-needed capacity building and continuous professional development in the field of accounting and finance. This programme is timely, relevant, appropriate, necessary and sufficient in developing sustainable key competences for professionals working and those intending to work in accounting and finance related fields in either the private or public sector. It is also a useful programme for professionals or entrepreneurs who wish to strengthen their knowledge and skills in these fields.
The aim of this programme is to equip the students with high-level competences in the fields of accountancy and finance in order for them to effectively undertake challenging and uncertain financial tasks in both the private and public sectors as well as at local and global level.
By the end of the programme, candidates should be able to:
- demonstrate a thorough grounding in advanced theories and practices of accounting and finance;
- demonstrate the critical abilities of analysis, interpretation, evaluation and judgement as applied to accounting and finance, taking into consideration the different cultural and global needs of the business environment;
- evaluate the financial and business performance of organisations, including group companies;
- evaluate and recommend strategies for addressing organisational challenges in accounting and finance related issues; and
- undertake empirical research to help in solving organisational challenges in accounting and finance.
The MAF degree programme is designed to meet the growing demand for well-rounded finance practitioners from accountancy, finance and related fields of specialization who have studied Financial Reporting and Financial Management at intermediate level. It is intended for the following groups of people:
- university graduates in accountancy, finance and related fields who wish to enhance their business management competences; and
- holders of accountancy and finance professional qualifications such as CIMA, ACCA, ZICA, CAZ and CFA who wish to enhance their business management competences.
To qualify for admission to the MAF degree programme an applicant must have either of the following qualifications:
- an accountancy, finance or related degree from a recognised institution, provided that the candidate has studied Financial Reporting and Financial Management at intermediate level as part of the degree or any other recognised qualification; or
- accountancy and finance professional qualifications such as CIMA, ACCA, ZICA, CAZ and CFA; and
- at least two years post qualification experience in a managerial or professional capacity.
The course of study for the award of the MAF degree shall be completed in a period of not less than 18 months and not more than three years. In the case of candidates who have been awarded exemptions, the minimum period may be reduced to nine months.
3.0 EXEMPTIONS (ACCREDITATION OF PRIOR LEARNING)
A student who has, prior to admission to the MAF programme, attended, whether at ZCAS University or elsewhere, courses of instruction and passed examinations equivalent in standard to courses and examinations which form part of the programme of study may, subject to approval, be exempted from attendance of classes and examinations in those courses.
Each year of study is divided into two semesters. The courses are structured in such a way that semester one courses are not a pre-requisite of semester two courses in each academic year. The course structure is as shown in Tables 1 and 2 below.
Table 1 Year 1 Courses
|Semester 1||Semester 2|
|Course Code||Course Title||Course Code||Course Title|
|MAF111||Graduate Research Methods (15 credits)||MAF112||Credit Analysis (15 credits)|
|MAF121||Advanced Financial Reporting (30 credits)||MAF122||Public Finance (15 credits)|
|MAF131||International Business Finance (15 credits)||MAF132||Global Strategy (30 credits)|
Table 2 Year 2 courses
|Course code||Course title|
|MAF211||Dissertation (30 credits)|
|One elective from:|
|MAF221||Financial Risk Management (30 credits)|
|MAF231||Advanced Audit & Assurance (30 credits)|
|MAF241||Advanced Management Accounting (30 credits)|
|MAF251||Corporate Finance (30 credits)|
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