BSc Business Accounting with Industrial/Professional Experience

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Principles of Taxation

Course unit fact file
Unit code BMAN11171
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Available as a free choice unit? No


Tax has played a fundamental role in civilised societies for thousands of years, and continues to do so in a complex, rapidly evolving, and globalised setting. This unit will arm students with the ability to understand and explain the purposes of taxation, the considerations needed for tax design, the basics of the UK tax framework, and issues concerning ethics and environmental taxation. This will form the backdrop for learning the fundamental principles of taxation as well as learning how to prepare basic computations for the main UK taxes. 


This course unit aims to provide a foundation knowledge of the principles of UK taxation and its context, as well as providing students with the skills necessary to perform computations in income tax, national insurance contributions, corporation tax, capital gains tax and VAT.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this course unit a student will be able to:

Knowledge and Understanding
•    Describe and explain the general objectives of tax and the basic UK tax framework, within the current political, economic, and environmental context. 

Intellectual skills
•    Explain the principles of tax design, applying these to existing and proposed new taxes.
Practical skills
•    Perform basic tax computations involving UK income tax, national insurance contributions, corporation tax, capital gains tax and VAT.

Transferable skills and Personal qualities
•    Apply the principles of UK income tax, national insurance contributions, corporation tax, capital gains tax, VAT, and environmental tax to issues in simple scenarios including the administration of the tax system. 
•    Identify ethical issues using the ethical frameworks in place for those working in tax in the UK.


The key areas of the syllabus are:
•    UK tax Framework
•    Personal income taxation
•    Taxing employment income
•    Taxing trading income
•    National Insurance Contributions (NICs)
•    Capital gains tax
•    Corporation tax
•    Value Added Tax (VAT)
•    Ethics and tax
•    Environmental taxation

Teaching and learning methods

Lecture hours: 22 (2 hours per week)
Workshop hours: 11 (1 hour per week)

Total study hours: 100 hours of study time split between lectures, workshops, course familiarisation, self-study including quick quizzes, and further question practice, group assessment preparation and delivery, and exam preparation.

This course unit will include:
•    Synchronous lectures and seminars.
•    Asynchronous (pre-recorded video) lectures where appropriate.
•    Quick quizzes (MCQs on Blackboard).
•    Peer support board/Discussion board
•    Directed independent study

Real world, topical examples will be referred to and discussed throughout the course. Students will be expected to keep informed of tax stories and make links with the syllabus. Students should note that the final examination will include some discussion topics, and these can be drawn from discussions in the lectures and workshops.
Further details on weekly study expectations will be included on Blackboard.

Employability skills

This course unit is a useful introduction to the fundamentals of the UK tax system, particularly from the perspective of an accountant. On the successful completion of this course unit, the student will have developed knowledge and skills which will be helpful when applying for jobs within the specialist field of tax.

Assessment methods

Assessment methods (formative & summative):

Examination (70%)
There will be an unseen written exam at the end of semester 1. This contributes 70% to the module mark (see Additional Information).

Coursework (30%)
The assignment will be a group research project focused on a contemporary tax topic, displayed in A1 size poster format, with an in-class conference style format.

All students will receive the same mark for the group work element. Students who do not participate in the group work risk a mark of zero. Group work guidelines will be provided, and students will be encouraged to keep a record of all group meetings.
Students with mitigating circumstances who are unable to work within a group will be set an individual research assignment or will be assessed 100% by exam.

Feedback methods

Feedback during the course will be given in several ways to allows students to judge their progression. The methods will include but are not limited to the following:
•    Face to face feedback during lectures and workshops as students undertake illustrative questions.
•    The opportunity for students to ask the lecturer questions directly during lectures and workshops.
•    Using, and engagement in, the peer support board/discussion board
•    Using on-going online quizzes to obtain independent feedback on their strength of knowledge and understanding of the different taxes.
•    Students can visit the lecturer in office hours and receive verbal feedback on the work which they have attempted.

Recommended reading

To be confirmed (updated per Finance Act).

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 22
Practical classes & workshops 11
Independent study hours
Independent study 67

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Alison Zimmer Unit coordinator

Additional notes

Academic programmes that course is available to:
BSc (Hons) Accounting
BSc (Hons) Business Accounting

This course will allow students to apply for an ICAEW certificate level exemption. For academic purposes the students will need to attain a pass mark of 40%, but to attain the professional body exemption a pass mark of 50% is required. The higher pass mark requirement is reflected in the contact hours. The duration of the exam reflects the requirements set out by the professional body.

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