Master of Science in Business Economics (Accountancy)
The Business Economics programme is aimed at students interested in the business scene. It prepares them for the active and flexible fulfilment of a wide range of tasks in the financial, industrial, trade and service sectors in which companies and social profit organisations operate.
In the Business Economics programme students become acquainted with almost every functional aspect of the business world: how and why a company is established, how it is financed, how it organises itself administratively, how it produces goods and services, how it markets and sells those goods and services, how it deals with personnel and how the company’s management coordinates and steers all those activities. The emphasis is placed on the inside of the business. In the master’s programme there are three disciplines that allow you to tailor your curriculum, according to your own interests, and become an expert in one of the three functional fields.
Within the functional field of Accountancy, you are trained to start a career as auditor or user of accounting information. You’ll learn how to prepare the annual report, in line with the International Financial Reporting Standards, which aims to inform investors, shareholders, employees, customers, suppliers, the government and other stakeholders about the organisation’s performance. Based on (international) auditing standards, you’ll learn how to check the reliability of these financial statements. The organisation’s internal accounting system, as part of the information system, produces important accounting information (budgets, product costs, etc.). Managers use this information to make business decisions as well as to measure managerial performance which influences their behaviour. Management control will teach you how to deal with these different purposes of accounting information. The course programme also covers research methods within the field of accountancy with attention for important academic research questions that are also relevant for practice. Several courses use a problem-based methodology in which students analyse and work out specific case studies in small groups.
The admission requirements vary. Depending on your preliminary training, you are either able to enrol directly, or there are additional requirements.
The master’s programme has a modular structure. That means that you will no longer be taught according to the traditional semester system. From now on, your courses will be bundled in four modular blocks of six weeks each. You only have two courses per block which allows you to process the content in a more focused and in-depth manner. The teaching methods are challenging: case studies, group assignments, discussion panels, lectures, business games, etc. At the end of each modular block you have exams from the two previous courses. During a modular block you also get interim tests and (group) assignments. As a result, you no longer have exams in January or June.
In the second semester you will receive a practical course that fits with your specialisation and in which you become acquainted with the professional field. You will have enough time in the programme to work on your master’s thesis.
Finally, the master’s dissertation is a very important element. Via that dissertation you can show that you are able to apply the acquired knowledge to a problem independently.
If you want to combine a master’s degree with a teacher’s degree, then there is the option of following an ‘Educatieve master’ instead of the above described master. The Master's Programme in Teaching, however is a Dutch taught programme. More information can be found on www.ugent.be/educatievemaster.
The largest outlet for Business Economics graduates is the business world. We find graduates in every possible position within companies and social profit organisations. Most graduates start their career in the discipline that they choose in the master’s programme. After a few years this often shifts. Some graduates are given greater responsibilities within the original field and become a Marketing Manager or Financial Director. Others expand their career within a different functional field or are promoted to general management posts. The broad orientation of the programme makes such career moves easier. A significant number of graduates choose what is called an economic profession: accountant, corporate consultant, fiscal advisor, registered accountant, etc. These professions can be practised as an employee or as a self-employed person. Finally, we also find Business Economics graduates in banks, insurance companies, government services and services close to the government.
Some examples of jobs for graduates in Business Economics:
- Account manager
- Digital marketeer
- Credit control officer
- Executive director
- Business advisor
- Marketing & communication officer
At Ghent University, we strive to educate people who dare to think about the challenges of tomorrow. For that purpose, we provide education that is embedded in six strategic objectives: Think Broadly, Keep Researching, Cultivate Talent, Contribute, Extend Horizons, Opt for Quality.
Ghent University continuously focuses on quality assurance and quality culture. The Ghent University's quality assurance system offers information on each study programme’s unique selling points, and on its strengths and weaknesses with regard to quality assurance.
Ghent University's Education Objectives
Unique Selling Points
- Multiperspectivism: as a student you are trained to become a critical professional who can work both individually and in a team. We teach our students the necessary skills to work creatively and solve problems.
- Talent development: your talents as a student are further developed on the basis of 5 learning pathways: 1a. Basic Economics and 1b. Business Economics, 2. Research Methodology, 3. Innovation and Entrepreneurship, 4. Communication, 5. Multiperspectivism and Sustainability. The Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees offer ample options, both in terms of main subject and in terms of elective courses.
- Knowledge creation: our study programme pays great attention to a step-by-step build-up of knowledge that is contained in the learning pathways. You are constantly encouraged and challenged to engage in critical self-reflection. Our graduates are highly versatile yet also sufficiently specialized. As such, their opportunities in the labour market are endless.
- Curriculum: to optimize your learning effects, the Master’s programme is modular and subject-oriented. In addition, there is room for ‘in practice’ course units, in which you learn to put the acquired concepts and theories into practice. Work placements with specific business applications, though elective, are an explicit part of the teaching options, while opportunities for an international experience have been improved through an exchange with partner universities.
- Integration of theory and practice: over the various study years, our programme integrates a gradual transition from lectures to interactive teaching methods. Our ‘in practice’ course units, elective work placements and group work, and the involvement of guest speakers from the field make up an optimal career preparation. We aim to provide students with a thorough theoretical and analytical foundation that enables them to tackle actual problems and cases in the field.
- Focus on research competencies: the Business Economics programme is strongly research-based. This is evident in the ‘Research’ learning pathway and the Master’s dissertation. We focus strongly on research-based Master’s dissertations. This research focus gives our students a solid theoretical and analytical foundation, which enables them to tackle any type of problem in the field, regardless of its nature or origin.
- Our study programme boasts a dedicated team of lecturers from various disciplines, who combine their passion for teaching with conducting research, and a belief in added value through research. As active contributors to the international research community, they integrate new insights into the programme, thus keeping it up to date.
- External perspective: we are intensifying our contacts and co-operation with companies, alumni, trade unions, standard setters and other stakeholders by means of, among other things, the ‘in practice’ course units, work placements, and alumni and guest speaker contributions.
- Smooth transition to professional life: our graduates’ entry into a broad labour market is strong, with high employment rates (in positions suited to the diploma level).
- Assessment: our students appreciate that they are well informed about the form and content of assessments so that they clearly know what to expect while studying.
- Transparent and efficient Master’s dissertation policy: by focusing on supervision during the preparation and realization of the Master’s dissertation we strive for premium-quality end products. This ranges from providing clear and appropriate information about dissertation topics to focusing on extra coaching when drafting the Master’s dissertation. This allows students to think critically and experience the coaching as valuable, as well learn to apply their theoretical knowledge. To realize this intensified supervision, we plan to expand our professioral staff and arrange for better coordination among.
- Involvement of the professional field: our connection with stakeholders and the professional field greatly improved in the context of the external perspective. We focused on collaboration with guest speakers from the business world, on inviting motivated and critical alumni into the Programme Committee, encouraging work placement assignments in, and in collaboration with companies, etc. We are aware that we have not yet fully realized “embedding the external perspective”. Involvement of, and integration of feedback by, the professional field in the study programme needs further strengthening. In addition, the recent establishment of the FEB Academy of Lifelong Learning will allow us to strengthen the ties with external stakeholders and alumni in a sustainable and result-yielding way.
This study programme is accredited by the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (Dutch: NVAO). Accreditation was extended following the positive outcome of the institutional review in 2017. Programme quality was validated by a quality review, i.e. a screening of the Education Monitor by the Education Quality Board. The Quality Assurance Resolution (in Dutch) can be found here.
This information was last updated on 01/06/2021.
In case of questions or suggestions with regard to the publicly available information, please contact the study programme.