Skip to main content

University of Exeter Business School


Module titleTaxation
Module codeBEA2002
Academic year2023/4
Module staff

Mrs Nicky Thomas (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks



Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

The taxation module enables students to understand the theory behind how tax policies are developed in the UK and elsewhere in the world.  The course focuses on the UK taxation rules so that students can calculate the main tax liabilities under UK tax policy, whilst encouraging students to question the success and inadequacies of UK tax policy and to develop professional skills relevant to the practical application of tax rules in a consultancy environment.

Additional Information:

This module discusses general tax principles and policies in the context of Asian and European countries, as well as in the UK.

Sustainability is covered in lectures on Environmental taxes and when discussing the use of short-term or long-term tax policies to sustain economic stability.
All of the resources are available on the ELE (Exeter Learning Environment).

External Engagement
This module is accredited by the following financial accounting bodies: ICAEW (Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales), ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants), ICAS (Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland), CIMA (Chartered Institute Management Accountants) and CIPFA (Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy)

Students develop a range of valuable professional skills on this module, including time-management, research, critical thinking, analytical review, forming an argument, peer review, report writing, team-working, and creative design. 

Module aims - intentions of the module

The course has been designed to enable students to understand:
o How tax policies are set and react to changes in taxpayer behaviour and other forces;
o The cross over between tax and other disciplines: Law, Economics, Politics, Philosophy, Financial Reporting;
o The mechanics of how tax policy is administered and governed in the UK;
o How tax practitioners/accountants approach taxation with their clients and
o The impact UK tax rules have on taxpayers of different types (e.g. corporate entities, individuals) both directly and indirectly 

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Analyse the economic and social impact of taxation policies in a global setting
  • 2. Evaluate features of different forms of taxation in the UK.
  • 3. Discuss the ethical issues facing tax practitioners
  • 4. Compute tax liabilities under the current UK rules for income tax, capital gains tax, corporation tax and VAT
  • 5. Explain and discuss the treatment and implications of national insurance (NIC), inheritance tax (IHT) and stamp duty
  • 6. Evaluate environmental taxes and tax incentives used in the UK
  • 7. Apply tax techniques in assimilated case studies to appreciate tax in the workplace environment

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 8. Identify and uNtilise a variety of sources of reference material, giving suitable acknowledgement and reference to sources, distinguishing between the relevance, reliability and potential bias of diverse sources;
  • 9. Use analysis and critical thinking to evaluate arguments, assumptions, concepts and data, to make judgments, recommendations or to frame appropriate questions.
  • 10. Identify key problems and then use relevant qualitative and quantitative information to solve them.
  • 11. Confidently communicate both through formal group presentations and informal discussions with module peers and module leader.
  • 12. Professionally present information in a variety of written formats aimed at different specialist and non-specialist audiences.

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 13. Take group work responsibility by performing a variety of team roles and by dealing with group problems.
  • 14. Identify the qualities and importance of constructive feedback, make use of these techniques to improve independent learning techniques and to enhance leadership skills.
  • 15. Use/ develop efficient independent time planning to accommodate: self-study, assignment deadlines, group work and personal development.
  • 16. Use group work with students from other countries as an opportunity to discover, first hand, information about business and working styles around the world.

Syllabus plan

  • Nature and forms of taxation, evaluating forms of taxation (not UK specific)
  • Taxation, incentives and taxpayer behaviour (not UK specific)
  • Development of the UK system
  • Residence and domicile status
  • Tax administration and self-assessment system
  • National Insurance Contributions
  • Income Tax for employees including benefits in kind
  • Income tax for business including basis periods, losses and apportionment of profits.
  • Capital allowances
  • Corporation Tax including losses and groups
  • Capital Gains Tax
  • Inheritance Tax
  • Stamp duty
  • Devolved transaction taxes
  • Tax planning, avoidance and ethics
  • VAT
  • Environmental taxes
  • Exam techniques 

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
Guided Independent Study120KNOWLEDGE ACQUISITION - study via online learning pods recorded by module tutor & guided reading
Guided independent study60TECHNICAL APPLICATION - application of knowledge to questions
Scheduled Learning and Teaching20TECHNICAL APPLICATION - Weekly WORKSHOP class
Guided independent study30PRACTICAL APPLICATION - application of knowledge to practical scenarios with group work activities
Scheduled Learning and Teaching activities10PRACTICAL APPLICATION - Fortnightly TUTORIAL class
Guided Independent Study60KNOWLEDGE CONSOLIDATION - application of knowledge to exam style questions and revision

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Weekly workshop questions for discussionClass discussions and presentation of worked solutions during workshops1-16Students can discuss their answers + clicker feedback + model answers published on ELE
Practice Multiple Choice, Short form and mock exam questions during tutorial group work3 one-hour tutorials1-7, 8-12, 13-16Answers marked and feedback provided from peers. Model answers provided
Presentations2 x 5-minute presentations1-3 6-7, 8-12, 13-16Students and tutor provide informal feedback on presentations
Posters2 posters 1-3, 6-7, 8-12, 13-16Students to provide feedback on quality of poster

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
Group Project in groups of 4-5 students including an individual element 203,000 words1-3, 8-12, 14-16Written for groups individually and marker's overall feedback
Fortnightly MCQ tests1010 fortnightly MCQ tests 6 questions per test1-6, 9-10, 14-15On-line feedback after test date
Examination703 hours1-7, 9-10 & 12, 14-15Solution 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
Group Report (20%)2,000 word Individual essay1, 2, 7, 8-12July deadline for submission
MCQ assessment (10%)Single MCQ assessment (10%)1-6, 9-10, 14-15August assessment period
Examination (70%)Examination (70%) (3 hours)1-7, 9-10 & 12, 14-15August assessment period

Re-assessment notes

If you pass the module overall you will not be referred in any component – even if you have not passed one or more individual components.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Main reading:

  • Lymer, A., & Oats, L. (2022). Taxation policy and practice (29th ed.). Birmingham: Fiscal Publications.
  • ICAEW - Professional conduct in relation to taxation (PCRT)

Optional reading

  • What everyone needs to know about tax: an introduction to the UK tax system by James Hannam (2017); Wiley InterScience (Online service)
  •   Melville, A. (2022). Taxation: Finance Act, 2022. London: Pitman Publishing.

Indicative learning resources - Other resources

You will have access to an online searchable and resources database, with links to several eBooks available on through the Exeter Learning Environment (ELE). Within this environment, you will also be supported through online discussion forums and activities. 

Key words search

Taxation, tax, policy, skills

Credit value30
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites

BEA1008 Introduction to Financial Accounting or BEA1013 Introduction to Accounting

Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date