Management Control Philosophies

7.5 credits

Syllabus, Master's level, 2FE875

A revised version of the syllabus is available.
Education cycle
Second cycle
Main field(s) of study and in-depth level
Business Studies A1N
Grading system
Fail (U), Pass (G), Pass with distinction (VG)
Finalised by
The Department Board, 7 February 2018
Responsible department
Department of Business Studies

General provisions

Master's Programme in Accounting and Financial Management - specialisation Management Control.

Entry requirements

A Bachelor's degree, equivalent to a Swedish Kandidatexamen, from an internationally recognised university. Also required is 90 credits in business studies. Proficiency in English.

For incoming exchange students, exceptions can be made from the requirement of 90 credits in business studies, provided that special reasons are considered to exist. Proficiency in English.

Learning outcomes

The aim of the course is to give the students insights into management control (MC) issues. With MC we refer to both more quantitative means of control, such as performance measurement and financial incentives, as well as qualitative means like values and culture. After taking the course, the students will:

  • Possess knowledge and competence regarding MC issues
  • Know about the more recent developments and debates in MC
  • Be able to link MC methods and practices to underlying philosophies
  • Be able to critically analyse MC methods and their effects in organisations
  • Be able to take part in the design and use of the management control system in organisations
  • Be able to relate MC theory and practice to each other


The course will cover a number of different themes in MC and/or the subject of vivid debate and development. The themes are likely to change over time, but include topics like budgeting, performance measurement, incentive systems and corporate culture. The course will focus more on issues like the philosophies behind the methods and their implications when used in organisations and not only on the technical aspects of the methods. The course is based on the ideas that MC practice can best be understood in a context where it is used and that it is the actual effects of the MC that is the most important. Links from MC to other topics in business administration and accounting will be made.


The teaching will consist of lectures, seminars and individual literature studies. The pedagogical idea is to help the students understand and apply sophisticated and sometimes abstract theories through the use of illustrative examples and cases. The pedagogical clarity will also be strengthened through the contrasting of different MC philosophies. The course is taught in English.


The student will get one single grade, equivalent to 7.5 credits.

The examination consists of exams, assignments and seminars, which are performed both individually and in groups. Knowledge about the literature and understanding of the topic as well as ability to apply the knowledge is examined. The grade for the entire course is based on an assessment of all parts of the examination.

Grading criteria are presented in the study guide that applies to the course section. The following grades will be used: pass with distinction (VG), pass (G), and fail (U). Examinations handed in late will not be assessed except under special circumstances. Any remaining supplemental work must be completed and handed in by the deadline specified in the study guide. Otherwise the entire course (all examinations included) must be retaken during subsequent course sections, pending availability of a place in the course.

If there are special reasons for doing so, an examiner may make an exception from the method of assessment indicated and allow a student to be assessed by another method. An example of special reasons might be a certificate regarding special pedagogical support from the University's disability coordinator.

Uppsala University does not accept cheating or plagiarism. Suspected incidents of cheating or plagiarism are reported to the Vice-Chancellor, which may issue a formal warning to the student or suspend the student from studies for a certain period.

NOTE: Only completed courses can count toward a degree.

Other directives

The course overlaps 2FE846, 8FE846 Management Controlling.