Overview

Who is it for?

You may already be working in charity finance, as a manager or consultant, or aiming to move into this demanding role in the sector. Either way, this academically rigorous course will match your needs. It will also equip you for a role as an advisor, auditor or independent examiner to a charity.

You will gain a well-rounded understanding of the role and the knowledge and skills to develop and apply your financial expertise in the sector.

Objectives

Under scrutiny from regulators, trustees and supporters, charities must exercise the highest level of financial governance. This course equips you for that unique challenge. Combining the academic rigour of an internationally respected business school with a highly practical and applied approach, it is tailored precisely to the issues facing senior managers in the third sector.

You will be taught by an academic team who understand first-hand the tools and techniques for effective financial management of charity income and assets. Guest lecturers will present their thoughts on the real-world challenges placed on charity finance managers. Your course includes a fieldwork exercise. This will give you a deep insight into the practical realities of charity financial management in another organisation.

For further enquiries please contact: Professor Paul Palmer , The Charities Programme Office or 020 7040 5114.

Structure

The MSc course is taught on a part-time basis over a period of two years (18 months for those eligible to enrol on the April Intake). Students initially enrol on the Postgraduate Diploma with the specialist area of their choice, and confirm their intention to complete the MSc at the end of the first year.

  • Develop your understanding of the strategic issues and organisational challenges facing charity organisations and their managers within the finance function.
  • Build relevant management and leadership skills, and analytical capabilities
  • Acquire insights into the different strategies and approaches commonly adopted by charities
  • Deepen your appreciation of the issues of managing change in the finance function
  • Gain access to a strong network and connections within the charity sector
  • Build your confidence as you pursue your career in the sector.

Assessment methods

The MSc course is taught on a part-time basis over a period of two years.

Alternatively, some students wish to graduate after the first year with a Postgraduate Diploma.  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.

The MSc requires the completion of the Research Methods for Managers module. This is followed by either: a further six months of personal, supervised research and the presentation of a 15,000 word research-based dissertation. Or alternatively, you can opt to take a taught Masters which allows you to choose specialist modules from one of the other courses in the Charities Masters Programme.

Term dates

October 2018 intake

Induction
05 October 2018

Learning and Understanding the Voluntary Sector
05 - 06 October 2018

Strategy, Diversity and Governance
09 - 10 November 2018; 07 - 08 December 2018

Marketing and Fundraising
11 - 12 January 2019

Resource Management
08 - 09 February 2019; 08 - 09 March 2019; 05 - 06 April 2019

Exam* 03 May 2019

Advanced Charity Accounting, Audit and Taxation
17 - 18 May 2019; 14 June 2019

Exam* 12 July 2019

Voluntary Sector Financial Management
15 June 2019; 26 - 27 July 2019

Fieldwork exercise process to be completed by early August 2019

Course Review Day
06 September 2019

April 2018 intake - exemption route

Induction/Learning and Understanding the Voluntary Sector
13 - 14 April 2018

Advanced Charity Accounting, Audit and Taxation
18 - 19 May 2018; 08 June 2018; Exam* 06 July 2018

Voluntary Sector Financial Management
09 June 2018 13 - 14 July 2018

Fieldwork Exercise process to be completed by early August 2018

Course Review Day
07 September 2018

Strategy, Diversity and Governance
09 - 10 November 2018; 07 - 08 December 2018

Marketing and Fundraising
11 - 12 January 2019

(This route is only open for applicants who are members of one of the five 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.

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 For students progressing from the Postgraduate Diploma Intake in 2018

Research Methods for Managers

January 2019 (for April 2018 intake)

January 2020 (for October 2018 intake)

Dissertation or Taught Masters Option

completion by mid-September 2019 (for April 2018 Intake)

completion by mid-September 2020 (for October 2018 intake)

Teaching staff

Course Director

Course director profile

Professor Paul Palmer

Academic expert working at Cass Business School.

The Course Director Professor Paul Palmer is the Associate Dean for Ethics, Sustainability and Community Engagement at Cass Business School. As author of several books on charity finance and governance, he also contributes to NCVO's web-based helpline, and is a member of the Charity Commission's SORP committee. Previously he worked in senior positions in the voluntary Sector.

Professor Andrew Hind is a Visiting Professor in Charity Governance and Finance. He is the joint module leader for Resource Management and Voluntary Sector Financial Management with Professor Paul Palmer. He was previously the Chief Executive of the Charity Commission and former Editor of the Charity Finance Magazine. His senor charity finance director roles include Barnados and Action Aid.

Mark Salway has a wealth of global experience in developing and implementing strategy, plans and KPIs, and financial innovation and new funding models including crowd funding, social finance and social impact investment. He has worked to form financial strategy and growth plans for CARE International, Depaul, Tomorrow's People, Edexcel, The Children Society and Cats Protection.

Kate Sayer is a Partner at SayerVincent, Nonexecutive Director of Development Initiatives Poverty Research, and Trustee of the Association of Chairs as well as a Visiting Fellow at Cass Business School. She teaches on the Resource Management module, and will be co-leading the Advanced Charity accounting, Audit and Taxation module.

Alex Skailes is a Director at Cass and leads the consulting and professional development practice that sits within Cass' Centre for Charity Effectiveness. She is an experienced strategy and finance director with a successful track record of advising and leading clients in the nonprofit and private sectors. She believes passionately in the power of cross sector working.

Guest lecturers on the Charity Accounting and Financial  Management course have included:  Don Bawtree,  Partner and Head of Charity Unit, BDO Stoy Hayward; Paul Breckell,CEO, Action on Hearing Loss; James Brook-Turner, Finance Director, Nuffield Foundation; Geoff Burnand, Social Finance; Jim Clifford, Partner BWB; Kenneth Dibble,  Head of the Legal Division, Charity Commission; Graham Elliott,  VAT Partner, Withers; Neil Finlayson,  Charities Partner, Kingston Smith Chartered Accountants; Stephen Fisher, Hays MacIntyre; John Harrison, Visiting Professor in Charity Investment, formerly: CIO, UBS Asset Management; Bob Humphreys, Oxfam;  Rick Payne,  ICAEW Finance Innovation Lab;  Adrian Poffley, Worldbank; David Rowe, Head of Charities Unit, UBS; Alan Sharpe,  Finance Director, RSPB and Chairman, Charities Consortium; Julian Smith,  Partner, Farrer and Co; John Tate, IT Advisor; Andrew Wauchope,  Head of Charities, PSigma.

Application

How to apply

The PgDip/MSc Charity Accounting and Financial Management course has two separate entry points each year.

The intake for the nine months Postgraduate Diploma for applicants who have gained a CA qualification through one of the five CCABs in April each year.

We are now  accepting applications for the PgDip Charity Accounting and Financial Management (exemption route) intake for April 2018 and for the start of the PgDip Charity Accounting and Financial Management in October 2018.

Students are able to continue to the Masters from either start date.

Entry requirements

All students will be highly motivated graduate-level people who bring a wide range of professional competencies, skills and experience from a wide range of backgrounds.

In general we ask for a good first degree, normally an upper second-class honours degree from a British University or a relevant professional qualification: e.g: ACCA, CIMA, ICAEW; ICAS and three or more year’s relevant experience at a senior level. In exceptional cases we will also accept those without a degree but with significant work experience. Provided you have more than three years relevant experience, two professional references are acceptable.

Overseas students are welcome to apply to these courses, but need to be aware that they cannot be sponsored for Tier 4 visas due to the part-time modular delivery of the course. In order to participate fully in the collaborative learning process all students who have not previously studied in English must sit an IELTS exam.

English language requirements

Overseas students are welcome to apply to these courses, but need to be aware that they cannot be sponsored for Tier 4 visas due to the part-time modular delivery of the course. In order to participate fully in the collaborative learning process all students who have not previously studied in English must sit an IELTS exam.

Fees

UK/EU/International £9,500 (2017/18; £9,690 - 2018/19) Tuition fees are subject to annual change

Fees in each subsequent year of study (where applicable) will be subject to an annual increase limited by the All Items Retail Prices Index. We will confirm any change to the annual tuition fee to you in writing prior to you commencing each subsequent year of study (where applicable).

The fee for the Postgraduate Diploma is £6,000 (£6,120 for 2018/19). 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 £3,500 (£3,570 2018/19) 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.

Career pathways

Students are selected on their professional experience, and generally continue working in their full –time role whilst undertaking this course.

Past students have come from a variety of organisations, including business and the public sector.  Their feedback has been very positive:

"I wanted to experience a professional course at one of the world's leading Business Schools that delivered both technical specialism and more generalist leadership and management training across all the areas relevant to running a professional not-for-profit organisation. The course offered both extremely relevant and current theory, but also very practical knowledge from those working in, or running such organisations."

Tom Bilton, Global Finance and Operations Manager, PEAS

"I came to the Charity Finance MSc as a mature student, wanting to move from being a commercial Finance Director into a portfolio career, and since graduating, have achieved that. As well as working in a consulting capacity, I have recently become a Trustee and Treasurer of a high profile charity, which I would never have been able to do without the MSc behind me. And the breadth of modules on offer meant that I ended up with a taught Masters rather than writing a dissertation, which had been my original intention."

Nicola Silverleaf, Treasurer, CLiNKS

" I recently made the transition from the public sector to being a Finance Director in the Charity Sector. In advance of this, I completed the PgDip in Charity Accounting and Financial Management. I think I gained both from learning about the overall framework for charities in the UK and the current issues facing the sector, and from learning the specifics about the accounting rules and disclosure requirements for charities. Having this knowledge gave me the confidence when trying to find a job and, I believe, helped convince the trustees of my charity to appoint me. The knowledge gained on the course has also helped me settle into my new role fairly quickly."

Elizabeth Dymond, Director of Finance and Corporate Services, The Charity for Civil Servants

Course information and statistics

Diploma/ certificate
Accreditation
The programme is accredited by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales (ICAEW)
Human brain
Specialist
One of the only MSc courses in Europe to focus on charity financial management and accounting.
Chart
Unique
This course is a unique blend of theoretical and practical learning.
Graduation hat
Highly experienced teaching
including both senior academics and experienced practitioners.

Accreditation

The programme is accredited by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales (ICAEW). Students will be eligible for the Institute’s Diploma in Charity Accounting (DChA) upon completion of the Cass Postgraduate Diploma.