Who is it for?

You may already be working in charity finance, as a manager or consultant, or aiming to move into this demanding role in the sector. Either way, this academically rigorous course will match your needs. It will also equip you for a role as an advisor, auditor or independent examiner to a charity.

You will gain a well-rounded understanding of the role and the knowledge and skills to develop and apply your financial expertise in the sector.


*You might still see us referred to as Cass Business School. Find out more about our name change.

Under scrutiny from regulators, trustees and supporters, charities must exercise the highest level of financial governance. This course equips you for that unique challenge. Combining the academic rigour of an internationally respected business school with a highly practical and applied approach, it is tailored precisely to the issues facing senior managers in the third sector.

You will be taught by an academic team who understand first-hand the tools and techniques for effective financial management of charity income and assets. Guest lecturers will present their thoughts on the real-world challenges placed on charity finance managers. Your course includes a fieldwork exercise. This will give you a deep insight into the practical realities of charity financial management in another organisation.

For further enquiries please contact: Professor Paul Palmer , The Charities Programme Office or 020 7040 5114.


The MSc course is taught on a part-time basis over a period of two years (20 months for those eligible to enrol on the April Intake). Students initially enrol on the Postgraduate Diploma with the specialist area of their choice, and confirm their intention to complete the MSc at the end of the first year.

  • Develop your understanding of the strategic issues and organisational challenges facing charity organisations and their managers within the finance function.
  • Build relevant management and leadership skills, and analytical capabilities
  • Acquire insights into the different strategies and approaches commonly adopted by charities
  • Deepen your appreciation of the issues of managing change in the finance function
  • Gain access to a strong network and connections within the charity sector
  • Build your confidence as you pursue your career in the sector.

Induction weeks

The Charities programme courses starting in October will have a final session for the in-person registration followed by an Induction Programme on Thursday 06 October 2022.

Assessment methods

The MSc course is taught on a part-time basis over a period of two years.

Alternatively, some students wish to graduate after the first year with a Postgraduate Diploma.  The Diploma consists of five core modules, common to all Centre for Charity Effectiveness postgraduate courses. These modules provide the essential underpinning of management skills. You also study three specialist pathway modules.

The MSc requires the completion of the Research Methods for Managers module. This is followed by either: a further six months of personal, supervised research and the presentation of a 15,000 word research-based dissertation. Or alternatively, you can opt to take a taught Masters which allows you to choose specialist modules from one of the other courses in the Charities Masters Programme.

Term dates

April 2023 intake - exemption route

Induction/Learning and Understanding the Voluntary Sector
13 - 15 April 2023

Advanced Charity Accounting, Audit and Taxation
19 - 20 May 2023; 16 June 2023

Exam* 14 July 2023

Voluntary Sector Financial Management
17 June 2023; 21 - 22 July 2023

Fieldwork Exercise process to be completed by early August 2023

Course Review Day
01 September 2023

Strategy, Diversity and Governance
10 - 11 November 2023; 08 - 09 December 2023

Marketing and Fundraising
12 - 13 January 2024

(This route is only open for applicants who are members of one of the five CCAB organisations. Applicants will need to have qualified within the last five years, or provide confirmation that their CPD records are current.)

*All other modules are assessed by coursework.

October 2023 intake - standard route


05 October 2023

Learning and Understanding the Voluntary Sector
06 - 07 October 2023

Strategy, Diversity and Governance
10 - 11 November 2023; 08 - 09 December 2023

Marketing and Fundraising
12 - 13 January 2024

People Management in the Voluntary Sector
09 - 10 February 2024

Charity Accounting and  Finance
08 - 09 March 2024; 05 - 06 April 2024

Advanced Charity Accounting, Audit and Taxation
17 - 18 May 2024; 14 June 2024

Exam* 12 July 2024

Voluntary Sector Financial Management
15 June 2024; 19 - 20 July 2024

Fieldwork Exercise process to be completed by early August 2024

Course Review Day
06 September 2024

*All other modules are assessed by coursework.

MSc conversion

Upon successful completion of the diploma, you will be given the option to continue to the MSc. This requires completion of the Research Methods for Managers module. This can be followed by a further six months of personal, supervised research and the presentation of a 15,000-word dissertation.

Alternatively, you can opt to take a taught Masters which allows you to choose specialist modules from one of the other Charities programmes.

Term dates For students progressing from the Postgraduate Diploma Intake in 2022

Research Methods for Managers

24 - 25 January 2025

Dissertation or Taught Masters Option

completion by mid-September 2024

Teaching staff

Course Director

Paul Palmer

Professor Paul Palmer

Academic expert working at Bayes Business School

Professor Paul Palmer is the Course Director for the MSc Charity Accounting and Financial Management. He is a Founder Trustee of the Honorary Treasurers Forum and has just completed a review for the Charity Commission on CC14 and Social Investment. Previously he worked in senior positions in the voluntary sector.

Andrew Hind is a Visiting lecturer in Charity Governance and Finance. He is the joint module leader for Charity Accounting and Financial Management and Voluntary Sector Financial Management with Professor Paul Palmer. He was previously the Chief Executive of the Charity Commission and former Editor of the Charity Finance Magazine. His senor charity finance director roles include Barnados and Action Aid.

Mark Salway has a wealth of global experience in developing and implementing strategy, plans and KPIs, and financial innovation and new funding models including crowd funding, social finance and social impact investment. He has worked to form financial strategy and growth plans for CARE International, Depaul, Tomorrow's People, Edexcel, The Children Society and Cats Protection.

Karen Thompson has worked in the not for profit sector for over 15 years, as a Finance Director, Chief Operating Officer and also as an Assurance & Advisory partner in some of the top 20 firms. Since 2019 she ha run her own business specialising in charity finance team transformation.

Alex Skailes is a Director at Bayes and leads the consulting and professional development practice that sits within Bayes' Centre for Charity Effectiveness. She is an experienced strategy and finance director with a successful track record of advising and leading clients in the nonprofit and private sectors. She believes passionately in the power of cross sector working.

Guest lecturers on the Charity Accounting and Financial  Management course have included:

David Ainsworth: Editor at Civil Society News; James Brook-Turner: Finance Director, Nuffield Foundation; Jim Clifford: CEO and Founder, Sonnet Advisory and Impact C.I.C.; Kenneth Dibble: Head of the Legal Division, Charity Commission; Neil Finlayson: Head of Charities, Kingston Smith Chartered Accountants; Stephen Fisher: Hays MacIntyre; John Harrison: Visiting Professor in Charity Investment, formerly CIO of UBS Asset Management; Naziar Hashemi: Partner Crowe Clark Whitehill; James Maloney: Senior Associate, Farrer and Co; Sharon Martin: CFO, Born Free; Charles Nall: Director of Finance, Motability; Rick Payne: ICAEW Finance Innovation Lab; David Rowe: Honorary Visiting Fellow, CCE;
Joe Saxton: Founder of NFP Synergy; John Tate: IT Advisor; Cara Turtington:Partner at Saffery Champness.


How to apply

The PgDip/MSc Charity Accounting and Financial Management course has two separate entry points each year.

The intake for the nine months Postgraduate Diploma in April each year for applicants who have gained a CA qualification through one of the five CCABs.

The intake for the twleve months Postgraduate Diploma in October each year is relevant for all other applicants.

We are now accepting applications for  the April and October 2022 entry.

Students are able to continue to the Masters from either start date.

Terms and conditions

Students applying to study at Bayes Business School are subject to City, University of London's terms and conditions.

Entry requirements

All students will be highly motivated graduate-level people who bring a wide range of professional competencies, skills and experience from a wide range of backgrounds.

In general we ask for a good first degree, normally an upper second-class honours degree from a British University or a relevant professional qualification: e.g: ACCA, CIMA, ICAEW; ICAS and three or more year’s relevant experience at a senior level. In exceptional cases we will also accept those without a degree but with significant work experience. Provided you have more than three years relevant experience, two professional references are acceptable.

In order to participate fully in the collaborative learning process all students who have not previously studied in English must sit an academic IELTS or TOEFL iBT exam.

English language requirements

In order to participate fully in the collaborative learning process all students who have not previously studied in English must sit an academic IELTS  or TOEFL iBT exam.

The minimum required academic IELTS level is an average of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in writing and no less than 6.0 in any other section.

We require a well-balanced overall score of at least 100 and no less than 25 in the Writing section in the TOEFL iBT test or the TOEFL iBT Home Edition test.

If you are not a native English speaker but have been working in the UK for the last three years it is unlikely you will need to take the test.


UK/EU/International (part-time) £10,900 (October 2023 entry) £6,900 (PG Dip), £10,900 (MSc) Tuition fees are subject to annual change

Fees in each subsequent year of study (where applicable) will be subject to an annual increase of 2%. We will confirm any change to the annual tuition fee to you in writing prior to you commencing each subsequent year of study (where applicable).

The fee for the Postgraduate Diploma is £6,800 for the 2022/23 academic year of entry (£6,900 for 2023/24 entry). A deposit of £400 is payable on acceptance of a place. For self-paying students, the balance is payable in two instalments, the first during the registration process September and the second at the end of January. The fee for those converting the Diploma to MSc is a further £3,900 for 2022/23 (£4,000 for 2023/24 entry) and is payable in one instalment at the beginning of the second year.

You may wish to look at  the PG Loan option for funding.

Students on the course who are sponsored by their employer will need to complete a sponsorship form as part of the application process. This can be completed for the Postgraduate Diploma or the MSc. An invoice for the full fees for the academic year will be sent to the employer in October for the Postgraduate Diploma. If the employer is a charity, they can request payment in two instalments by contacting the person named on the invoice. This arrangement allows the charity to spread the fees across two financial years.

Career pathways

Students are selected on their professional experience, and generally continue working in their full –time role whilst undertaking this course.

Past students have come from a variety of organisations, including business and the public sector.  Their feedback has been very positive:

"Those leading the course are some of the most insightful and experiened practitioners in the charity industry."

- Darren Wall

"I wanted to experience a professional course at one of the world's leading Business Schools that delivered both technical specialism and more generalist leadership and management training across all the areas relevant to running a professional not-for-profit organisation. The course offered both extremely relevant and current theory, but also very practical knowledge from those working in, or running such organisations."

- Tom Bilton, Global Finance and Operations Manager, PEAS

"I came to the Charity Finance MSc as a mature student, wanting to move from being a commercial Finance Director into a portfolio career, and since graduating, have achieved that. As well as working in a consulting capacity, I have recently become a Trustee and Treasurer of a high profile charity, which I would never have been able to do without the MSc behind me. And the breadth of modules on offer meant that I ended up with a taught Masters rather than writing a dissertation, which had been my original intention."

- Nicola Silverleaf, Treasurer, CLiNKS

" I recently made the transition from the public sector to being a Finance Director in the Charity Sector. In advance of this, I completed the PgDip in Charity Accounting and Financial Management. I think I gained both from learning about the overall framework for charities in the UK and the current issues facing the sector, and from learning the specifics about the accounting rules and disclosure requirements for charities. Having this knowledge gave me the confidence when trying to find a job and, I believe, helped convince the trustees of my charity to appoint me. The knowledge gained on the course has also helped me settle into my new role fairly quickly."

- Elizabeth Dymond, Director of Finance and Corporate Services, The Charity for Civil Servants

Course information and statistics (2022/23 cohort)

Diploma/ certificate
The programme is accredited by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales (ICAEW)
Human brain
One of the only MSc courses in Europe to focus on charity financial management and accounting.
This course is a unique blend of theoretical and practical learning.
Graduation hat
Highly experienced teaching
including both senior academics and experienced practitioners.


The programme is accredited by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales (ICAEW). Students will be eligible for the Institute’s Diploma in Charity Accounting (DChA) upon completion of the Bayes Postgraduate Diploma.

The Charities Master's courses were accredited by the Nonprofit Academic Centers Council (NACC) in January 2019 as the only programme in Europe to be included in the first group reviewed. NACC Accreditation fosters third sector academic programmes worldwide.