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Management accounting

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If you require a substantial grounding in the fundamentals of management accounting in different organisations and environments, this is the module for you. You will gain an applied knowledge and understanding of the purpose, principles and scope of management accounting. The module is designed for anyone interested in the role of management accounting in financial management, but is particularly suitable if you wish to qualify as a professional accountant. 

What you will study

Management accounting will help you develop an understanding of:

  • the principles, practices, techniques and limitations of management accounting
  • the quantitative methods used in management accounting and managerial finance
  • management theory and practice
  • economic theory in relation to business management.

This module will help you apply your knowledge and understanding of management accounting accurately to a range of issues, questions and problems. You will use established techniques to evaluate and interpret management accounting in a range of contexts. You will learn how to describe, apply, analyse and synthesise management theory, and economic theory and practice in relation to business management.

During the module you will examine different approaches to issues and problems in management accounting. You will explore how to communicate management accounting information effectively and appropriately. Spreadsheets, information and communication technologies, and fundamental business mathematics are some of the methods you will use.

You will develop the general practical and professional skills of management accounting and increase your awareness of relevant ethical issues for management accountants. You will also come to recognise how the skills and knowledge gained in a management accounting course can be used for personal and career goals.

If you are considering progressing to Advanced management accounting (B392), normally you must have successfully completed this module. 

Entry requirements

This is an OU level 2 module and you need to have a good knowledge of financial accounting, obtained either through OU level 1 study or by doing equivalent work at another university. Ideal preparation for this module would be our OU level 1 module Fundamentals in accounting (B124).

We strongly recommend that you study Financial accounting (B291) before this module if you wish to gain the Professional Certificate in Accounting.

Please note that you will be expected to spend 6-14 hours per week on your studies for this module.

If you have any doubt about the suitability of the module, please speak to an adviser.

What's included

Seven printed texts and a website with resources to support your learning.

You will need

Spreadsheet software is essential.

A scientific calculator is essential. We recommend any Casio scientific calculator with 'natural display'. These enable you to key in calculations in the same order as they usually appear in written text, and have a two-line display so that you can see both your calculation and the answer. Some instructions for using the Casio fx-83ES, and compatible models, are provided in the study materials. Any other scientific calculator is also acceptable provided that you know how to use it before the module starts, and you have access to the appropriate calculator manual (these are often available to download from the manufacturer’s website).

Computing requirements

A computing device with a browser and broadband internet access is required for this module. Any modern browser will be suitable for most computer activities. Functionality may be limited on mobile devices.

Any additional software will be provided, or is generally freely available. However, some activities may have more specific requirements. For this reason, you will need to be able to install and run additional software on a device that meets the requirements below.

A desktop or laptop computer with either:

  • Windows 7 or higher
  • Mac OS X 10.7 or higher

The screen of the device must have a resolution of at least 1024 pixels horizontally and 768 pixels vertically.

To join in the spoken conversation in our online rooms we recommend a headset (headphones or earphones with an integrated microphone).

Our Skills for OU study website has further information including computing skills for study, computer security, acquiring a computer and Microsoft software offers for students.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

You will have a tutor who will help you with the study material and mark and comment on your written work, and whom you can ask for advice and guidance. There will also be four tutorials and one day school which you are strongly encouraged to attend. Where tutorials and day schools are held depends on the distribution of students taking each module.

Contact us if you want to know more about study with The Open University before you register.


The assessment details for this module can be found in the facts box above.

You will be expected to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs) online through the eTMA system unless there are some difficulties which prevent you from doing so. In these circumstances, you must negotiate with your tutor to get their agreement to submit your assignment on paper.

You will not have access to spreadsheets or a computer for the examination. You will be expected to use only a calculator.

If you have a disability

The OU strives to make all aspects of study accessible to everyone and this Accessibility Statement outlines what studying B292 involves. You should use this information to inform your study preparations and any discussions with us about how we can meet your needs.

Future availability

Management accounting starts twice a year – in April and October. This page describes the module that will start in October 2019 and April 2020. We expect it to start for the last time in October 2020.

Course work includes:

2 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
3 Interactive computer-marked assignments (iCMAs)
No residential school

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