Introduction to UK Taxation

Module description

In this module you will explore the mechanics of how the tax system in the UK operates including how it is administered and practical aspects of providing tax advice to clients. The module covers, at an introductory level, the key direct taxes in operation in the UK, specifically income tax and capital gains tax.

Full module specification

Module title:Introduction to UK Taxation
Module code:BEAM059
Module level:M
Academic year:2020/1
Module lecturers:
  • Mrs Nicky Thomas - Lecturer
Module credit:15
ECTS value:





Available to students on the MSc Accounting and Taxation and MSc Accounting and Finance only. 

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


Module aims

The aim of this module is to develop your analytical and critical thinking skills with particular reference to UK tax policy. You will learn through a combination of taught sessions and activities in which you will develop an understanding of how the UK tax rules operate and how various planning techniques can be used to reduce tax liabilities.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Analyse the historical development of the UK taxation system.
  • 2. Evaluate key features of different forms of taxation in the UK.
  • 3. Compute tax liabilities under the current UK rules for income tax, capital gains tax and corporation tax

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. Explain the design of the UK tax system.
  • 5. Advise on tax planning options and strategies for individuals.
  • 6. Apply tax techniques in assimilated case studies to appreciate tax in the workplace environment

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 7. Use analysis and critical thinking to evaluate arguments, assumptions, concepts and data, to make judgements, recommendations or to frame appropriate questions
  • 8. Identify key problems and then use relevant qualitative and quantitative information to solve them.

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
Scheduled learning and teaching activities30Attending taught sessions
Guided Independent Study40Preparation for taught sessions
Guided Independent Study80Reflection, reading and preparation for assessment

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
In-class exercisesWeekly questions with de-briefs in class1-8Tutor feedback

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
Weekly MCQ tests208 weekly MCQ tests. 6 questions per test. Weeks 2-10.1-5, 8Online individual feedback and general cohort feedback after test date
Final Examination802.5 hours1-8Solutions uploaded to ELE with examiner's report on overall performance.

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Weekly MCQ testsMCQ assessment with 10 questions (20%)1-8Referral/Deferral period
Final Examination2.5 hour examination (80%)1-8Referral/Deferral period

Re-assessment notes

Two assessments are required for this module. If you do not pass the module then you will be required to sit the failed assessments during the August exam period. 

A student, if deferred in a single component, will be reassessed in that component only. 

Syllabus plan

The syllabus covers the following areas:

  • Historical development of the UK taxation system
  • Tax administration
  • Introduction to Income Tax
  • Taxing employment income in the UK and National Insurance contributions
  • Taxing business income in the UK
  • Taxing capital gains in the UK
  • Tax planning for UK resident taxpayers
  • Providing tax advice including ethical issues

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Textbook: Lymer, A. & Oats, L. (2020) Taxation policy and practice, 27th edition, Birmingham: Fiscal Publications.

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

ELE – College to provide hyperlink to appropriate pages

Indicative learning resources - Other resources

Relevant academic journals:

  • British Tax Review
  • International Tax Review
  • International Tax and Public Finance
  • Tax Law Review
  • Tax Adviser
  • European Taxation

Origin date


Last revision date