Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2014-2015 (archived)

Module ECOS40215: Auditing and Assurance Services (MSc Accounting)

Department: Business School (Economics and Finance) [Queen's Campus, Stockton]

ECOS40215: Auditing and Assurance Services (MSc Accounting)

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2014/15 Module Cap None.
Tied to L1T509


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To examine the practice of auditing and the underlying concepts including:
  • the need for an independent audit and the development of the role of the auditor in modern business society;
  • the roles/responsibilities of internal and external auditors;
  • the concepts of audit risk and assurance;
  • the various levels of persuasiveness of different types of audit evidence and explaining the broad principles of audit sampling techniques.


  • An Introduction to Audit and Other Assurance Services
  • Standards, Materiality, and Risk
  • Audit Reports
  • Professional Ethics
  • Audit Evidences
  • The Audit Process and Detecting Fraud
  • Audit Sampling
  • Other Assurance and Attestation Services
  • Compliance and Internal Auditing
  • Auditing for the Public Sector

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module students should have a specialist knowledge and critical understanding of:
  • different types of audits, audit opinions and audit reports;
  • the different attestation and assurance services;
  • ethical issues in the context of professional accounting and auditing services.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of this module students should be able to:
  • identify auditor’s liability issues.
Key Skills:
  • written communication
  • planning, organising and time management
  • problem-solving and analytical skills

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • A combination of lectures, seminars, small group work and guided reading will contribute to achieving the aims and learning outcomes of this module.
  • The summative written assignment will be in the form of a case study analysis to test students' specialist knowledge and critical understanding of the material covered in the module, and their communication, problem-solving and analytical skills.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 10 1 per week 2 hours 20
Seminars 4 1 per fortnight 1 hour 4
Preparation & Reading 126
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Written Assignment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Case study analysis 2,500 words max 100% Same

Formative Assessment:

Students will receive written comments on a formative group presentation. Additional formative assessment, and feedback, may take a number of forms such as oral feedback on work prepared by students for seminars; answers to questions either discussed during a seminar, or posted on DUO; discussions with teaching staff during consultation hours, or via e-mail.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University