Applied Empirical Accounting

Module description

This module prepares you for the dissertation stage of the Accounting and Finance MSc program where you are required to conduct an empirical analysis aimed at addressing a particular research question. This module will provide the basic skills and knowledge-set required to perform this task. More broadly, the course will help you later in your career to perform independent empirical research as well as to be able to read and understand published academic research in Accounting and Finance disciplines.

Full module specification

Module title:Applied Empirical Accounting
Module code:BEAM056
Module level:M
Academic year:2020/1
Module lecturers:
  • Dr Anthony Wood - Convenor
Module credit:15
ECTS value:






Duration of module: Duration (weeks) - term 1:


Module aims

The module objectives are fourfold:

  1.  Equip you with the basic statistics and econometrics to be able to conduct independent research and understand published research in the fields of Accounting and Finance.
  2. Training in accessing and retrieving data, creating, managing and analysing such datasets (e.g., access to WRDS, preparing datasets and using these in empirical analysis with STATA or similar software).
  3. Equip you with the basic methodological skills to be able to conduct and understand qualitative research in Accounting and Finance.
  4. Critically review and discuss seminal empirical, archival and qualitative papers in Accounting and Finance.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. critically review and discuss seminal papers in Accounting and Finance
  • 2. create, manage and analyse large datasets using statistical and econometric techniques
  • 3. understand the various stages involved in conducting independent research

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 1. utilise appropriate analytical and statistical techniques and tools to formulate a well-founded answer to a specified research question in Accounting and Finance

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 1. conduct independent research based on a well-defined research question
  • 2. independently read and understand published empirical research in Accounting and Finance

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Contact hours20Lectures
Contact hours10Practical exercises and/or workshop

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Weekly help hour and progress checks10 x 1 hour1-6Verbal

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Coursework804,000 word individual research project1-6Written feedback
Class tests204 x multiple choice/short format tests1-6Written feedback

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Coursework and in-class testsRevise and re-submit coursework 100%1-6July/August

Re-assessment notes


Syllabus plan

Part I (4 sessions)

  • Carrying out a successful research project
  • Research questions and objectives
  • Writing a literature review
  • Review and discussion of appropriate Accounting and Finance literature
  • Guidance to the requirements and tools available to conduct empirical research
  • Statistical and econometric techniques: sampling, descriptive statistics, hypothesis testing, comparison of samples, correlations, regression analyses (OLS, logit, probit), dummy variables, diagnostic tests (heteroskedasticity, multi-collinearity), issues in inference (e.g., endogeneity).

 Part II (4 sessions)

  • Computer-based lab sessions to introduce students to STATA (or similar package)
  • Accessing datasets on WRDS, Thomson One Banker (or similar databases)
  • Creating, managing and merging datasets
  • Application of concepts taught in Part I
  • Replication of selected prior studies (where appropriate)
  • Review and unification of previous sessions

Part III (2 sessions)

  • Methodologies in qualitative research in Accounting and Finance
  • Critical review and discussion of seminal qualitative papers in Accounting and Finance

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Basic reading:  lecture notes, textbooks and academic papers

ELE – College to provide hyperlink to appropriate pages

STATA (or equivalent software package)

Web based and electronic resources: eLibrary, electronic databases

Module has an active ELE page?


Origin date


Last revision date