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If you’re already studying Accounting an Taxation and would like to find out more about specific details of your master programme, you’ll find what you’re looking for on the Pages relating the Programme structure of the Master Business Administration – Accounting and Taxation.

Key Facts

Degree: Master of Science
Duration: 4 Semesters
Credits: 120 ECTS
Language: English and German
Content: Gain in-depth knowledge of managerial accounting and controlling, financial accounting and auditing, and tax management and tax advisory.
International: 1 Semester Abroad

This programme provides you with:

  • a deep insight into managerial and financial accounting, controlling, capital market communication and auditing, business taxation and tax planning, and other accounting-related topics.

  • an analytical approach that allows you to gather a deep understanding of respective theories, accounting standards, and tax laws.

  • a strong focus on application of controlling concepts, accounting and audit standards, as well as tax law.

  • a high degree of individuality and flexibility that helps you in realising your potential during your studies.

  • a strong specialisation in accounting and taxation topics without an obligation to take other courses.

We offer a broad range of topics across and within our accounting department. Therefore, you will be able to either gain a broad knowledge of different accounting-related fields or dig deep into specific fields such as controlling, financial accounting or tax management.

You can combine courses in accounting and taxation with additional courses from related departments like finance, corporate law and tax law. Typical combinations are controlling and finance, financial accounting and taxation, or business taxation and special courses in tax law. A unique feature of this programme is the opportunity to take a large number of courses offered by the Faculty of Law at the University of Cologne, which is not available anywhere else in Germany.


The University of Cologne is famous for its Accounting and Taxation area which is represented in various rankings. This programme offers me the opportunity to specialise in the areas of accounting and auditing, business taxation as well as controlling. Depending on my specialisation, these in-depth knowledge enables me to work in a wide range of business fields and many interesting professions.

Maxi, Master Business Administration – Accounting and Taxation

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This programme is right for you if you:

  • have successfully completed a bachelor’s degree or equivalent in management, business administration or economics preferably with a focus in accounting and/or finance.
  • bring basic accounting knowledge as well as analytical skills.
  • are interested in any of the following:
    • managerial accounting and controlling
    • financial accounting, capital market communication and auditing
    • business taxation, tax law, and tax planning.
  • wish to achieve a general understanding of accounting or tax problems, analytical and critical thinking, problem-solving and bring writing and language skills with you.
  • are internationally focused as well as open minded, have a wide range of interests, and are eager to learn new things. are able to work independently within a work environment.
  • are ready to take the next step in your career in a leading accounting or tax-related position in the corporate world. want to prepare for specific job profiles in controlling, accounting and management, or as a certified public accountant or certified tax advisor.
  • are ready to take the next step in your career in a leading accounting or tax-related position in the corporate world. want to prepare for specific job profiles in controlling, accounting and management, or as a certified public accountant or certified tax advisor.

Business Administration - Accounting and Taxation

Programme Overview

Preparing you for future challenges

This programme is characterised by its strong balance of theoretical rigor and practical relevance. Both aspects are critical. We build on a strong research reputation, which consistently excels in various competitive research ratings. We regularly publish in leading academic accounting and tax journals and present our work at leading conferences. Moreover, the collaboration with enterprises, auditing and tax advisory firms is natural to the department’s members. Research projects with practical orientations foster a continuous exchange between the academic and business worlds.

Within this programme, we focus on operative and strategic controlling, on financial accounting standards and auditing proce- dures, and on corporate taxation, taxation of international business or business reorganisations. You can combine fundamental and elective courses to specialise in managerial accounting, financial accounting or business taxation. You will gain deep knowledge in the field of accounting and taxation.

In addition, you can select a minor specialisation out of a wide range of courses from the WiSo Faculty. Typical minor speciali- sations are finance, tax law or a full semester abroad.

Individual combination of courses is extremely helpful for gaining personalised competences for your future job or for pursu- ing an academic career. Specialisation is possible to fulfill requirements of specific job profiles in controlling, accounting and auditing, or tax management and tax advisory.

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Michael Overesch

An advanced knowledge of accounting, financial reporting and business taxes plays a vital role in the management of any business. With this master programme you will be perfectly prepared for a successful career in companies, consulting, audit- or tax-advisory firms. You can also become a certified public accountant or tax advisor as a highly sought-after expert in this field.

Michael Overesch, Professor and Academic Director Master Business Administration – Accounting and Taxation

Exercise sessions and case studies

Unique teaching methods combine research and practical elements. Many courses include exercise sessions and case studies. In exercise sessions you will apply analytical and empirical methods, accounting standards or tax law. You will learn to solve advanced accounting problems and tax cases.

Link to the practical world

One strong feature of the programme is the practical contact you, as a student, will receive. Elective courses with a strong practical focus constitute an important element of the programme. Many high-level experts from companies and leading ac- counting and tax advisory firms serve as adjunct faculty and provide elective courses in their area of interest. Guest lecturers and practice seminars establish and promote the direct exchange between companies and students. Having a large number of company contacts will enable you to immediately enter the business world.

Students with a strong focus on tax advisory or auditing often also work as student trainees in accounting or tax firms dur- ing their studies in order to fulfill requirements as certified public accountants (“Wirtschaftsprüfer”) or certified tax advisors (“Steuerberater”).


English-taught courses

The majority of this master programme is internationally oriented. Many courses deal with topics from the field of international management, and a lot of the case studies focus on globalised companies. Students come from different countries and cultural backgrounds, further fostering internationalisation. Hence, studies occur in an environment that is international and intercultural. Several courses in taxation or tax law are taught in German.

Semester abroad

We strongly encourage you to take advantage of all available opportunities to gain your own international experienc.e Our cooperation agreements with an extensive number of excellent partner universities worldwide, including Erasmus agreements with a broad range of European universities, provide you with attractive options for spending your semester abroad. Students wishing to organise their semester abroad themselves can do so as a freemover.

In addition to a semester abroad, you can enrich your studies by taking part in one of our short programmes such as WiSo@NYC or a summer school abroad, or complete an internship abroad with financial support offered by Erasmus.

Broad international network

With its balanced theoretical and practical approach, the internationally focused master’s programme prepares you for a career in international work environments and enables you to work for internationalised companies.
In addition to this, the WiSo Faculty has a strong alumni network of former students working in all business segments across the globe.

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Career Opportunities

Skills acquired in the M.Sc. Accounting and Taxation programme prepare you for future line and staff positions with respect to a broad set of accounting and tax related tasks. Potential employers range from start-ups to large, global corporations and consulting, audit and tax-advisory firms.

You will leave the University of Cologne successfully prepared for a career in companies, consulting, audit or tax-advisory firms – within enterprises or as certified public accountant or tax advisor.

Exemplary job opportunities include

  • Controlling and Management
  • Financial Manager
  • Management Consultant
  • Certified Public Accountant („Wirtschaftsprüfer“)
  • Certified Tax Advisor (“Steuerberater“)
  • Trainee Programmes
  • Academic Research
  • Start-ups

For all those who are interested in academic accounting research after finishing their master studies, the accounting area provides students who have competitive master scores, allowing for the possibility for admittance into a postgraduate programme (Ph.D.).

At the same time, the MSc. degree is an excellent base for applying for graduate degree programmes at other national and international universities.

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All information about the Master's application at the WiSo Faculty.

Detailed information and contact

We are happy to support you in your ambitions:

Beratungssituation: Dialog im WiSo Student Service Point

If you are interested in or have questions about our WiSo degree programmes, the student advisors at the WiSo Student Service Point will be happy to help:

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