Key Information


1 year


2 years

Start Date

September 2024

Typical Offer

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Brayford Pool

Validation Status

Subject to Revalidation

Academic Year

Course Overview

As corporate governance is now an integral part of everyday business, the MSc Governance programme is designed to be relevant and attractive to a wide variety of candidates and job roles across different sectors.

The global financial crisis, corporate scandals and collapses, and public concern over the apparent lack of effective boards have all contributed to an explosion of interest in good governance practices. Lincoln's MSc Governance is structured with a focus on practical application in the business environment and aims to provide students with strong subject knowledge and the latest thinking in the world of governance, sustainability reporting, business ethics, organisational and board effectiveness, finance, law, and strategic thinking.

With corporations facing more risks and greater potential impacts of their activities on society, the issues of sustainability are more critical than ever. Sustainability is no longer about just risk and compliance, but innovation, opportunity, and how to achieve excellence in both sustainability and financial performance. This programme aims to develop a sound understanding of the processes and oversight that drive the highest standards of leadership, accountability, sustainability reporting, and ethical behaviour in business.

Why Choose Lincoln

Accredited by The Chartered Governance Institute UK & Ireland

Benefit from staff with professional experience

Explore real-world case studies in various contexts

Focus on ethical business practices

Complete a dissertation in a specialist area

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How You Study

Weekly contact hours on this programme may vary depending on the module options chosen and the stage of study. Hours of study may vary from term to term for both full and part-time students and can be spread throughout the week.

Postgraduate level study involves a significant proportion of independent study, exploring the material covered in lectures and seminars. As a general guide, for every hour spent in class, students are expected to spend at least three to four hours in independent study.

Although a proportion of the contact time will be spent in teaching, emphasis is also placed on the use of the student group as a resource for learning. The style of teaching will vary to reflect individual module objectives. The modules utilise methods of teaching and learning which are appropriate to Master's level study and effective collaborative learning such as debates, presentations, and report writing. There will also be group discussions of practical situations and problems, making extensive use of real-world case studies in national and international contexts, simulation materials, and where relevant, the students' own experiences.


† Some courses may offer optional modules. The availability of optional modules may vary from year to year and will be subject to minimum student numbers being achieved. This means that the availability of specific optional modules cannot be guaranteed. Optional module selection may also be affected by staff availability.

Corporate and Business Law 2024-25ACC9028MLevel 72024-25The module examines the structure of the law governing business organisations and corporations with an emphasis on the public and private registered company. Matters considered will include the examination of national legislation such as The Companies Act 2006 and the effect of international law, treaties and regulation on the governance of the company. Over the course of the module we will be looking at the application of national and international law and the role of the regulatory agencies in providing a practical framework in which corporate governance can be effective. Other relevant areas of commercial and corporate law such as information technology, security and privacy of information, copyright and intellectual property and governance in the digital economy will be studied. The module will equip the student with a thorough overview of how corporate law assists in providing a functional framework to facilitate trade in the domestic and international markets.CoreDissertation and Research Design for Finance 2024-25FIN9105MLevel 72024-25The dissertation provides the opportunity to demonstrate the ability to reflect critically on the aspects relating to their Master's programme. The vehicle will be the researching and writing of a dissertation, based on the methods delivered in the pre-requisite QM modules. The dissertation is the capstone of the Master's learning process and allows the student to demonstrate mastery in scholarship of a programme related topic that they have selected in amalgamation with supervisory tutors.CoreFinancial Analysis, Appraisal and Decision Making 2024-25ACC9022MLevel 72024-25The module aims to develop the student's ability to critically analyse the -financial statements for single and group companies; understanding how the financial statements are prepared, considering compliance with legal and regulatory requirements and the relevant International Accounting Standards. Students taking the module will examine both financial and non-financial matters that affect a business on a day to day basis and develop proactive ideas to solve these issues . The module will equip the students with the knowledge and skills necessary to understand corporate financial performance and the relevance of accounting information, including the implications for the organisation, stakeholders and for effective corporate governance. The module recognises the different types of decisions that managers are required to make, and considers how financial and management accounting information can be used in support of these decisions. The module aims to develop the skills needed to understand, apply and critically appraise the various tools and techniques that may be used to support managers in decision-making in order to determine their relevance in different organisational contexts. The module also evaluates the impact of financial and management decisions on different stakeholders and ensures that decisions are properly made and implemented to maximise value for key stakeholders of the organisation. The practical side of the module extends to the role of enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems in decision-making and explores the impact of cyber security on a company's financial performance and financial reporting.CoreGovernance 2024-25ACC9032MLevel 72024-25The module examines corporate governance concepts and principles in both national and international contexts, develops key skills necessary to support the development of good governance, risk management, control, internal audit, and stakeholder dialogue throughout the organisation. The module provides an overview of the role of boards and directors in corporate governance and also develops an understanding of an essential role that corporate social responsibility (CSR) plays in corporate governance worldwide. The module evaluates governance challenges across the corporate, not-for-profit and public sectors, and aims to equip students with the skills to provide professional opinion on matters of corporate governance. The oversight of information technology (IT) is essential to good corporate governance. The module explores governance of information and good IT governance, including opportunities and potential risks.CoreOrganisational and Board Effectiveness 2024-25ACC9025MLevel 72024-25This module examines the promotion and reinforcement of good corporate governance across an organisation irrespective of sector by ensuring organisational effectiveness and compliance with statutory obligations and good practice. The module considers how an organisation can measure its efficiency and effectiveness both internally and externally through its strategy, decision-making structure, people, work processes and systems and its culture. The module also focuses on the effectiveness of the Board of Directors including appointment, induction as well as performance evaluation. The module aims to specify and assess the essential knowledge and skills involved in taking overall responsibility for the corporate governance function. The practical side of the module extends to both the strategic and functional contexts in advising the board, in leading teams in best practice, in ensuring compliance with law and regulation, and in establishing and maintaining appropriate processes in respect of the company’s shareholders. The module also explores the role of Information Technology (IT) in enhancing communication between the Board, directors, shareholders and stakeholders.CoreStrategic Thinking 2024-25ACC9026MLevel 72024-25The module examines the elements, processes and approaches involved in the formulation and implementation of organisation’s core strategies. The lack of strategic thinking has been repeatedly identified as a major weakness in organisations, where business leaders often rely on past experience and best practice, ignoring creativity and imagination as well as the wealth of structured analytical methods. The syllabus aims to evaluate and combine the use of traditional prescriptive strategic planning tools as a critical value-adding element with a hypothesis-driven, strategic thinking paradigm. The module explores how individuals and organisations anticipate and shape the future to create a competitive advantage and how to fundamentally design future-oriented and “future-proof”, resilient organisations. The module is designed to apply strategic thinking to governance, sustainability, finance, law and other areas. It aims to equip the student with the creative, critical and systems thinking skills needed for a governance professional to think and act strategically, to formulate an integrated perspective, and to ensure that strategy fits organisational purpose, is acceptable in terms of risk and consistent with good governance as well as with stakeholder requirements.CoreSustainability Reporting and Business Ethics 2024-25ACC9027MLevel 72024-25Sustainability practices are wide ranging and include various managerial decisions, monitoring environmental damage, and external financial reporting. In light of climate change and recent environmental disasters, sustainability practices are a growing concern to investors, creditors and regulators, all of whom demand greater transparency and accountability. The first part of the module provides an in-depth overview of current issues and best practices in sustainability and integrated reporting from both managerial and financial perspectives and develops an understanding of an essential role that sustainability practices and transparency play in corporate governance worldwide. The second part of the module, which is designed with support of the Institute of Business Ethics, focuses on business ethical issues and ethical decision-making. The module aims to develop students, as future business leaders, managers or governance professionals, who understand and appreciate the importance of going beyond numbers and supporting good ethical business practices to help companies to sustain long-term success. The module examines the responsibilities of organisations to different stakeholder groups and develops an understanding of fundamental ethical principles and ethical dilemmas in organisations across different job roles. The module also aims to explore the role of information technology (IT) in sustainability governance, a range of ethical questions that arise from the use of IT in business, and how IT can support organisations’ sustainability strategies.CoreTeams and Leadership 2024-25MGT9645MLevel 72024-25This module provides students with an understanding of how to create high-performing teams. Through a review of theories and models of leadership, team formation, motivation, communication, power, and diversity, students will gain a theoretically sound understanding of team behaviour and effectiveness. Practical class exercises will enable students to develop their skills as team leaders and members.Core

What You Need to Know

We want you to have all the information you need to make an informed decision on where and what you want to study. In addition to the information provided on this course page, our What You Need to Know page offers explanations on key topics including programme validation/revalidation, additional costs, contact hours, and our return to face-to-face teaching.

How you are assessed

The way students will be assessed on this course will vary for each module. Formative assessments will be conducted whenever possible, aiming to prepare students for the assessment process and to provide developmental feedback to support their learning.

Formative assessments will not contribute towards a student's grade, but enables feedback on a continuous basis. Formative assessments may include in-class exercises, peer feedback, mock examinations, presentations, and debates. Summative assessments may include assignments, case-study reports, examinations, presentations, and reflections.

Master's students are expected to play an active role in their learning and the assessments are designed to develop the knowledge, skills, and confidence needed to meet the demands of contemporary organisations.

The University of Lincoln's policy on assessment feedback aims to ensure that academics will return in-course assessments to students promptly - usually within 15 working days of the submission date.

The Student Experience

Postgraduate Funding Options

Tory Cliffe shares her experience studying MSc Governance part time.

YouTube video for The Student Experience

Studying MSc Governance at Lincoln has been a fantastic experience. The course has been both exciting and challenging, and has provided me with the skills, knowledge, and confidence to pursue my ideal career in governance.


This programme is fully accredited by The Chartered Governance Institute UK & Ireland (CGI UK&I). Students successfully completing this Master’s programme can be jointly awarded Graduate CGI UK&I status.

Graduates must demonstrate three years of relevant professional experience to qualify as a Chartered Secretary. CGI UK&I is also introducing the alternative designation, Chartered Governance Professional. Further details can be found on the CGI UK&I website.

Chartered status is the gold standard governance designation, recognised and valued by employers. Qualifying as a Chartered Governance Professional or Chartered Secretary demonstrates that you have developed the knowledge, skills, and experience to take on a job with significant and wide-ranging responsibilities.

The Chartered Governance Institute UK & Ireland (CGI UK&I) is a chartered membership, professional body, and world-leading authority on governance, risk, and compliance. CGI UK&I supports its members in organisations of all sizes across all sectors of the economy, including large corporates, SMEs, the public sector, and charities.

Industry Expertise

The Business Ethics practical application element of this programme was designed with support of the Institute of Business Ethics (IBE) and aims to develop future business leaders, managers, senior finance officers, accountants, solicitors, or governance professionals who understand and appreciate the importance of going beyond numbers and supporting good ethical business practices to help companies to sustain long-term success.

Staff teaching on this programme are usually either professionally qualified accountants, lawyers, or governance practitioners with relevant industrial experience, or research specialists with wide research interests. In addition, students can benefit from external visiting speakers who are experts from the financial and business world.

How to Apply

Postgraduate Application Support

Applying for a postgraduate programme at Lincoln is easy. Find out more about the application process and what you'll need to complete on our How to Apply page. Here, you'll also be able to find out more about the entry requirements we accept and how to contact us for dedicated support during the process.

How to Apply
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Entry Requirements 2024-25

Entry Requirements

Applicants from all backgrounds are welcome to apply to be considered for the programme on an individual basis (subject to approval by the programme leader, if necessary followed by an interview).

The programme accommodates students with both relevant and non-relevant undergraduate degrees. Previous work experience is not required for the Standard route, but students are required to have a minimum 2:2 honours degree or equivalent, and at least grade C in GCSE Mathematics, or its equivalent.

If you have studied outside of the UK, and are unsure whether your qualification meets the above requirements, please visit our country pages for information on equivalent qualifications.

Overseas students will be required to demonstrate English language proficiency equivalent to IELTS 6.0 overall, with a minimum of 5.5 in each element. For information regarding other English language qualifications we accept, please visit the English Requirements page

If you do not meet the above IELTS requirements, you may be able to take part in one of our Pre-session English and Academic Study Skills courses. . These specialist courses are designed to help students meet the English language requirements for their intended programme of study.

The MSc Governance is designed to appeal to a variety of applicants, including qualified professionals who might be interested in entry through Accelerated or Membership routes and in possible module exemptions based on relevant professional experience or qualifications. Applicants may be considered for partial credit on this degree in accordance with standard procedures of Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL). The entitlement to exemptions will be assessed on an individual basis. Applicants should make it clear in the application if they wish to apply for module exemptions, supporting their application with evidence. Please note that no exemptions can be granted once a student is enrolled to the programme.

Some indicative details are as follows (assessed on an individual basis):

- Standard route requires completion of all modules and does not require previous work experience or relevant degree.

- Accelerated route allows qualified accountants, auditors, lawyers, solicitors to apply for possible exemptions. Applicants should demonstrate a relevant qualification, significant work experience, and evidence of CPD activities.

- Accelerated route allows other applicants such as directors, governance professionals, secretaries with a relevant qualification or with more than five years' relevant experience (i.e. boardroom, governance, secretarial) to apply for possible exemptions.

- Membership route allows Associates and Fellows of CGI UK&I to enter the programme to obtain the MSc Governance degree with only taking two or three modules.

Course Fees

You will need to have funding in place for your studies before you arrive at the University. Our fees vary depending on the course, mode of study, and whether you are a UK or international student. You can view the breakdown of fees for this programme below.

Course Fees

The University offers a range of merit-based, subject-specific, and country-focused scholarships for UK and international students. To help support students from outside of the UK, we offer a number of international scholarships which range from £1,000 up to the value of 50 per cent of tuition fees. For full details and information about eligibility, visit our scholarships and bursaries pages.

Course -Specific Additional Costs

Please note that students will be responsible for paying any professional membership or other administrative fees, if they choose to register with a professional body. With regard to the partnership between the University of Lincoln and the CGI UK&I, students will have the opportunity to register early with the CGI UK&I as a student member, while studying for their degree, and they will be responsible for the registration cost. Further details about the scheme, and the agreement between the University of Lincoln and the CGI UK&I, will be provided during the induction week.

The University provides students who enrol with a reading list for each module. The majority of core texts are available in the library however, copies are limited so students may prefer to purchase their own. Where they do so, they will be responsible for the cost. Printing may also be required.

Funding Your Study

Postgraduate Funding Options

Find out more about the optional available to support your postgraduate study, from Master's Loans to scholarship opportunities. You can also find out more about how to pay your fees and access support from our helpful advisors.

Explore Funding Options
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Career Development

MSc Governance is designed to help students develop the knowledge and skills to compete effectively in the domestic and international labour markets, and support best governance practices within organisations. The programme aims to develop the knowledge, professional, management, and transferable skills that may be useful in a wide variety of job roles in governance, leadership, management, finance, accountancy, strategy, law, secretariat, or administration in the corporate, not-for-profit, and public sectors.

Academic Contact

For more information about this course, please contact the Programme Leader.

Nicki Wood

Working in Partnership

Lincoln International Business School works with students and organisations to enhance the contribution of business to society. For students, that means developing their business skills and knowledge to improve their career readiness.The University of Lincoln is a member of AACSB, a global nonprofit association connecting educators, students, and businesses to achieve a common goal: to create the next generation of great leaders.

About the AACSB
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Postgraduate Events

To get a real feel for what it is like to study at the University of Lincoln, we hold a number of dedicated postgraduate events and activities throughout the year for you to take part in.

Upcoming Postgraduate Events
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The University intends to provide its courses as outlined in these pages, although the University may make changes in accordance with the Student Admissions Terms and Conditions.