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.
In the master’s programme there are three disciplines that allow you to tailor your curriculum, according to your own interests, to one functional field.
Accountancy studies the financial reporting process in organisations. On the one hand, financial reporting aims to inform investors, shareholders, employees, customers, suppliers and the government about the organisation’s performance. Important aspects are the liquidity, solvability and profitability of the organisation. That communication occurs, to a considerable extent, via the annual report. On the other hand, the financial reporting system provides management with indispensable information that allows them to make accurate policy decisions. This discipline studies that last aspect within the Management Control course, while other courses investigate financial reporting based on international reporting standards (IAS/IFRS) and check the reliability (auditing) of financial reporting. Specific attention is paid to scientific research methods within the field of accountancy. Finally, supervised work sessions aim to integrate scientific research and questions that are relevant to the job. Several courses use a problem-driven methodology in which students analyse and work out specific case studies in small groups.
Corporate Finance studies the way that corporate activities are financed. The various financing methods and instruments that are available to a company have strongly differing characteristics, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. One of the challenges for the company is finding an optimal mix between the financing methods; they must allow for sufficient flexibility while remaining acceptable with regard to cost. The financing mix is also translated into the structure of the company’s annual report; it can be analysed thoroughly from that perspective. In the context of an increasing number of fusions and takeovers, you learn how companies can be valued and how risks can be managed. Finally, this discipline also covers research methodology and the seminar projects integrate practical applications within the field of study.
Commercial jobs are studied thoroughly in Marketing. With regard to research methods, lots of attention is paid to market research. You learn to assess whether existing market research has been performed properly, you learn to plan your own market research and to choose the right methods and techniques. Another part of the programme focuses on consumer behaviour and its impact on the company. Marketing communication is investigated and lots of attention is given to brand policy and advertising. Many commercial processes relate to transactions between organisations. They form the so-called industrial or business market. Moreover, many companies are active internationally due to globalisation. Therefore, the international market, international strategies and the organisation of the marketing post in international companies are studied. Supervised work sessions provide an integration of practical applications. One or two elective courses allow you to customise your programme. 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 your 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 ‘Educatieve master’ however is a Dutch taught programme. More information can be found on www.ugent.be/educatievemaster.