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The fast track to your accounting career

Considering issues at an advanced academic level

All business enterprises, governmental entities and not-for-profit organizations rely on accounting systems to produce essential information for management, control, informing external investors and for accountability. Such systems operate in complex settings involving both institutions and markets. 

The Master Accounting and Control prepares you to embark on a career as preparer, user, or auditor of accounting information. By considering the technical aspects of accounting in relation to the institutional setting, in relation with ongoing developments in information technology and in the light of relevant academic research, you will learn to consider issues in accounting and control at an advanced academic level. Throughout the programme, you are encouraged to reflect on issues of responsibility for accounting information, including integrity, ethics and compliance.

The Master’s programme in Accounting and Control is offered in a full-time and a part-time version. The two versions are identical in terms of learning outcomes, course content and assessment, but may differ with respect to the scheduling and teaching formats. The full-time programme is taught in English. Class language in the part-time programme is mostly Dutch. 

To break it down:

  • You’ll take five mandatory courses:
    • Accounting, Control and Society – An introductory course helping you to see how the many different aspects of the field relate to each other: financial and non-financial information; management, governance and accountability; information technology; and regulation and ethics. Learn to think about planning your own career.
    • Corporate Reporting – Get up to speed in financial and non-financial reporting, and understand the current issues that reporting standards are trying to solve.
    • Management Control – Understand how to design incentive systems that have the desired effect on employees. The course integrates general accounting principles with both an integrity/ethics component and an IT component.
    • Data Analytics for Accounting and Control – Understand how information technology is changing accounting and develop hands-on skills in data analysis.
    • Governance, Regulation and Compliance
  • You’ll take at least two electives. For example:
    • Advanced Auditing – Learn to consider key issues in auditing practice, by drawing on a rich toolbox of theoretical insights.
  • You’ll also write your Master’s thesis and complete a portfolio of assignments aimed at developing professional skills .

The start date of the full-time programme is September 1st. The start dates of the part-time programme are September 1st and February 1st.

The Master’s programme

The Accounting & Control Master’s programme requires you to take five core. You’ll also choose electives in your area of interests, write your Master’s thesis, and attend inspiring career events that will train you for the job market. Throughout the programme, there’s a combination of the subject matter itself and the theory and research methodologies that allow you to dive deeper into it.

A wide range of elective courses is available to all students, but some electives may be offered in Dutch only, or with scheduling for full-time students only.

Mandatory courses

  • Accounting, Control and Society
  • Corporate Reporting
  • Data Analytics for Accounting and Control
  • Governance, regulation and compliance
  • Management Control
  • Graduation Project


  • Accounting and Tax
  • Advanced Auditing
  • Advanced Management Accounting
  • Corporate Finance for Accounting and Control
  • Financial-Economic Crime
  • Information Risk Management
  • Making Accountability Sustainable

Please consult the Study Guide for more information (please note that the information above includes changes effective in 2024-2025 that are not reflected in the Study Guide 2023-2024).

Seamless transitation to postgraduate professional programmes

Both the full-time and the part-time Accounting and Control programmes give you access to the strong portfolio of postgraduate professional programmes in accountancy, controlling and EDP auditing offered by the VU’s School of Business and Economics. The part-time programme is often taken in combination with the postgraduate Accountancy programme. A carefully coordinated curriculum structure offers you an efficient track to complete the Master’s programme, any bridging courses you may have to take, and the postgraduate programme.  For personal advice on how to combine the Accounting and Control (full-time or part-time) Master’s with one of the postgraduate programmes, based on your prior education, please visit the website of our Executive Education programme.

Part-time programme

The VU’s School of Business and Economics offers the Master’s in Accounting and Control as a part-time programme designed to be followed by professionals who are already working in the field, with lectures taking place on Fridays only. Although the course content and exams for both the full-time and part-time programmes are the same, the full-time programme is taught fully in English while the part-time programme is taught partially in Dutch. Students on the part-time track need to understand Dutch fluently, although they may write their assignments in English.

You can find this on our website for accountancy in parttime.

Change your future with the Accounting and Control programme

Change your future with the Accounting and Control programme

On completing this Master’s programme, you are able to go on working both in the Netherlands and internationally. Whether that is as an auditor, analyst, financial manager or controller. As a graduate, you can start your career at any organization. Many graduates start with mid-sized to large companies and financial institutions or with the Big Four or another audit firms. Accounting and control is relevant in any organization, so you can also think about a career in government agencies or non-profit organizations.

Explore your future prospects
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