Do students see the benefits? An exploratory study of undergraduate accounting students’ perceptions of a programme focussed assessment.

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Degree programme modularisation is popular to develop degree pathways, student choice and economic use of resources. Modularisation has been criticised for its potential to create disjointed learning environments and assessment limitations. Programme Focussed Assessment (PFA) describes an assessment process based on measuring students’ attainment of multiple programme level learning outcomes. While the literature describes benefits associated with PFA such as improving student satisfaction, student confidence, assessment validity, pedagogy, feedback, student reflection and motivation, there is relatively little research of students’ perceptions about PFA. This paper reports on an exploratory study which investigated the perceptions of students undertaking PFA at the end of Year 1 of an Accounting and Finance Degree. The study found students had positive perceptions about some of the claimed benefits of PFA. However, other findings were more ambiguous. The paper examines the findings from students’ and institutional perspectives and concludes with a set of recommendations for practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-339
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Management Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 22 May 2018


  • Programme focussed assessment
  • Students’ perceptions

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