Charity Accounting and Financial Management

City University London
In Islington (England)

Price on request

Important information

  • Postgraduate
  • Islington (England)
  • When:

At The City Law School we offer education and training for every step of your legal career. Taught in the heart of legal London, our law courses give you the essential legal skills and knowledge needed to be successful in law.

Important information

Where and when

Starts Location
Northampton Square, EC1V 0HB , London, England
See map

What you'll learn on the course

IT Law
Financial Management
Accounting MBA
Business School
Financial Training
IT Development
IT Management
Professor Training
Skills and Training

Course programme

Charity Accounting and Financial Management
  1. 2016 Entry
  2. 2017 Entry
  • Overview
  • Course structure and content
  • Our course professionals
  • Students
  • Course fees and expenses

There is a growing recognition that in addition to a common body of knowledge all managers need in order to succeed, there are critical specialist areas for managers which provide a sound understanding of all aspects of their work and a springboard for further career progression.

This is an advanced course aimed at experienced finance managers working in an organisation's finance department or those who act as financial advisors to charities and not-for-profit organisations.

Introduction by Professor Paul Palmer

This Charity degree course aims to equip students with a knowledge of:

  • Specialist charity taxation and unique tax privileges
  • The distinctive financial accounting practice and management.

Students should be highly motivated managers and will normally have a good first degree, a related professional qualification or at least three years wholly relevant experience.

Course structure and content

Postgraduate Diploma

The Postgraduate Diploma is offered on a part time basis and is taught over a period of 12 months. The Diploma consists of four core modules, common to all Centre for Charity Effectiveness postgraduate courses. These modules provide the essential underpinning of management skills. You also study three specialist pathway modules.

All courses are taught at Cass Business School and will require attendance one weekend a month commencing on the Friday afternoon at 13:00 to 21:00 and finishing on Saturday at 18:00.

Additional times of attendance will be required:

  • On the Induction Day
  • For Action Learning Set meetings (usually alternate months on the Friday morning of the teaching weekend)
  • The Resource Management module exam
Term datesOctober 2016 intake


07 October 2016

Learning and Understanding the Voluntary Sector

07 - 08 October 2016

Strategy, Diversity and Governance

11 - 12 November 2016
09 - 10 December 2016

Marketing & Fundraising

13 - 14 January 2017

Resource Management

10 - 11 February 2017
10 - 11 March 2017
07 - 08 April 2017

Exam*  05 May 2017

Advanced Charity Accounting, Audit and Taxation

19 - 20 May 2017
09 June 2017

Exam*  07 July 2017

Voluntary Sector Financial Management

10 June 2017
14 - 15 July 2017

Fieldwork exercise

process to be completed by early August 2017

Course Review Day

08 September 2017

April 2017 intake - exemption route

Induction/Learning and Understanding the Voluntary Sector

21 - 22 April 2017

Advanced Charity Accounting, Audit and Taxation

19 - 20 May 2017
09 June 2017

Exam*  07 July 2017

Voluntary Sector Financial Management10 June 2017
14 - 15 July 2017

Fieldwork Exercise

process to be completed by early August 2017

Course Review Day

08 September 2017

Strategy, Diversity and Governance

10 - 11 November 2017
08 - 09 December 2017

Marketing & Fundraising

12 - 13 January 2018

(This route is only open for applicants who are members of one of the six CCAB organisations. Applicants will need to have qualified within the previous five years, or provide confirmation that their CPD records are current.)

*All other modules are assessed by coursework.

Module outlinesLearning and Understanding the Voluntary Sector

This module represents the starting point for you and the opportunity to learn about the process of learning and establishing plans for learning on the programme.  The vital 'Learning Contract' is developed on this module, and forms the basis of the learning throughout the Masters programme.

It also offers a perspective on leading public/voluntary sector debates within an historical context, alongside a more enduring understanding of scholarly approaches to the understanding of developments and changes in the relationship between government and the voluntary sector.

Resource ManagementThis module aims to enables the student to:
  • Provide students with an understanding of the principles of resource management within the specialist context of charities
  • Definitions and the legal framework of charities and voluntary organisations
  • The role of the Charity Commission
  • Sources of finance for the charity sector
  • Introduction to general accounting principles
  • Charity accounts and regulatory framework
  • Understanding, interpreting and analysing charity accounting statements
  • Costing and budgeting in voluntary organisations
  • Risk assessment
  • Outsourcing
  • Appraising, appointing and dismissing auditors and other resource consultants and experts
  • IT Strategic appraisal and implementation
  • The nature of Human Resource Management
  • Human resource and personnel issues including training and development, reward and retention and effective selection and recruitment
Marketing and Fundraising

This module aims to enables the student to:

  • To provide students with the concepts, underpinning knowledge, skills and techniques to plan and develop marketing and operations systems
  • Enable students to analyse marketing needs, evaluate marketing plans, in the context of applying marketing concepts to their own organisation
  • Effective Marketing Information Systems
  • Development of a marketing strategy
  • Product/Service policy and new product development
  • Role of communications
  • Branding
  • Pricing as a value-added marketing tool
  • Capacity planning - resources planning and allocation
  • Total Quality Management
  • Stakeholder/Customer care
Strategy, Diversity and Governance

This module aims to enables the student to:

  • To develop a broad knowledge and conceptual base in the field of strategy development, diversity and governance
  • Introduce practical tools to help improve the quality of an organisation's strategic response to the changing environment
  • Introduce practical tools to help improve the ability of the organisation and its managers and leaders to build a diverse workforce
  • Enhance appreciation of the constraints and opportunities offered by the changing governance and service-delivery frameworks which affect voluntary organisations
  • Improving an organisation's strategic response by use of strategy and diversity management and theory
  • Approaches to developing strategy
  • Approaches to managing diversity
  • The changing environment of the voluntary sector
  • Case studies on the application of strategic planning and diversity
Fieldwork ExerciseThis module aims to enables the student to:
  • Undertake a 'tailored' learning experience centred on a 5 day consulting assignment on a financial project within a charity
  • Negotiate a series of learning experiences including studying in an organisation different from your own.
  • Bridge the specific charity technical knowledge and management application modules.
  • Consider any ethical issues that have arisen from your placement and how you dealt with them
  • 4-5 days consulting project - observing and learning from it
  • Use all the theories and models learnt on the programme in preparation of a report containing analysis and reflection.
Advanced Charity Accounting, Audit and Taxation

This module aims to enables the student to:

  • Provide students with advanced knowledge of charity accounting, audit and taxation principles and practice requirements
  • The SORP and regulatory framework
  • Statement of Financial Activities
  • Branch accounting consolidation, mergers and associates
  • Disclosure of accounting policies
  • Accounting for smaller charities
  • Audit/independent examination of charity accounting statements
  • Main tax exemptions
  • Tax effective giving
  • Charity trading
  • VAT
Voluntary Sector Financial Management

This module aims to enables the student to:

  • Provide you with an in-depth grounding of the principles of financial management applied to the charity sector
  • Strategic Financial Management and the role of the Finance Director
  • Managing, including outsourcing the finance function
  • Social accounting, audit and ethical investment
  • Internal audit and control
  • Reporting to trustees and stakeholders
  • Working with, appointing, reviewing and dismissing financial advisors and services
  • International Financial Issues
  • Banking and Insurance
  • Investment planning and decision makingThe module links the technical knowledge in Charity Accounting through the fieldwork exercise in delivering the management component of the module
MSc conversion

Upon successful completion of the diploma, you will be given the option to continue to the MSc. This requires completion of the Research Methods for Managers module.

This can be followed by a further six months of personal, supervised research and the presentation of a 15,000-word dissertation.

Alternatively, you can opt to take a taught Masters which allows you to choose specialist modules from one of the other Charities programmes.

Term dates

Research Methods for Managers

January 2018 (for April 2017 Intake)

January 2018 (for October 2016 Intake)

Dissertation or Taught Masters Option

completion by the middle of September 2018 (for April 2017 Intake)

completion by the middle of September 2018 (for October 2016 Intake)

Our course professionals

The Course Director is Professor Paul Palmer, who is also the academic leader on the Charity Accounting and Financial Management course. The course team draws upon staff in the Centre for Charity Effectiveness like Caroline Copeman, and the wider Business School including Professor Jenny Harrow, Peter Grant (Grantmaking, Philanthrophy and Social Investment academic leader), Professor Stephen Lee (Marketing and Fundraising academic leader), Professor John Hailey (NGO Management academic leader and Atul Patel (Voluntary Sector Management academic leader).

The internal course team is supported by leading sector practitioners, for example Geraldine Peacock, Stuart Etherington and Stephen Bubb together with professional firms, all of whom bring their skills to each of the courses.


Students for all five courses in the Charities Masters Programme will be highly motivated individuals who bring with them a wide range of professional competence, skills and experience from a wide range of charitable and not-for-profit organisations. Gender is evenly balanced across all the courses and there are no age barriers.

Students will normally have a good first degree, a related professional qualification or at least three years, wholly relevant experience. If you have more than three years relevant experience, two professional references are acceptable.

Course fees and expenses

Course fees

The course fees for all five courses are payable at the start of the academic year. The fee for the Postgraduate Diploma is £5,850. A deposit of £400 is payable on acceptance of a place. For self-paying students, the balance is payable in two instalments, the first during the registration process September and the second at the end of January. For those converting the Diploma to MSc a further £3,150 is payable in one instalment at the beginning of the second year.

Students who are sponsored by their employer will need to complete a sponsorship form as part of the application process. An invoice for the full fees will be sent to the employer in October. If the employer is a charity, they can request payment in two instalments by contacting the person named on the invoice. This arrangement allows the charity to spread the fees across two financial years.

Fee Waiver Scheme in response to the current refugee crisis
Cass CCE has now awarded the three bursaries to individuals who, in addition to meeting the normal entrance criteria, can demonstrate they will use this opportunity to strengthen their organisation’s capacity to respond to the refugee crisis or contribute to the wider charitable sector’s response.

Please click here for more information

Other funding opportunities for Masters students

We recommend that you have a back-up source of funding in the event that you are not successful for any Cass scholarships. The below links might be useful as alternative sources of funding, and your home government might also provide scholarships for study abroad.

  • PG Government Loan (UK students)
  • Career Development Loans
  • The Alternative Guide to Postgraduate Funding - contact to request a free copy of this book
Salary Sacrifice Scheme

Please note that self-funded students are able to gain substantial savings on the cost of course fees if they participate in a 'Salary Sacrifice Scheme' with their employer. Students who set up a salary sacrifice scheme with their employer will also need to submit a sponsorship form as part of their application process.

Cass Business School cannot legally provide individual advice on how to benefit from this government scheme. For more information, see below.

Find out more about the Salary Sacrifice Scheme [pdf]

Course expenses

The weekend modules will incur additional accommodation and subsistence expenses for those participants living outside London.

Application deadline

There is no application deadline for this course. However, we advise you to apply well in advance, as competition for places is high and applications are considered on a continuous basis.