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Master of Professional Accounting - 16 unit program (MPAcc)

Course Code MAPROACC2000
Course Type Postgraduate
Credit Points Required  96
CRICOS code 077337E


The 16 unit Master of Professional Accounting is available for students commencing study from Semester 2, 2013 (July).

Students who commenced study prior to Semester 2, 2013 are enrolled in the 12 unit Master of Professional Accounting program.

The Master of Professional Accounting (16 unit program) is a two-year program of full time study (or four years part-time) designed to enable graduates with a recognised bachelor's qualification, graduate certificate or graduate diploma in any field, and at a standard acceptable to the University of Sydney Business School, the opportunity to develop the knowledge and skills required for Associate Membership of professional accountancy bodies and as a foundation for a successful and rewarding career in professional accountancy. The foundation of the program exposes students to the broad organisational, regulatory and market context in which accountants operate. Building upon these foundations, students pursue advanced learning in accounting within the contexts of both professional practice and the theoretical paradigms that underpin such practice. The program reinforces technical excellence in these fields within a framework that emphases core professional competencies in critical thinking, problem-solving and strategic decision-making, professional communication and persuasion, information systems applications and management and ethical awareness and reasoning. While designed specifically for those from a non-business degree background, the program is also open to those with a prior bachelor's qualification or higher in a business-related field.

Students who have completed a Business School Master’s degree are eligible to pursue the Master of Commerce at a reduced duration of one year (normally two years full-time). See Master of Commerce for further information.

Minimum duration of degree

Full-time Part-time
2 years 4 years

Degree structure

To be awarded the Master of Professional Accounting, students will successfully complete a total of 16 units of study (96 credit points), consisting of the following:

  • 14 core units of study (84 credit points),* comprising seven foundational units (42 credit points), six advanced units (36 credit points) and a six credit point capstone unit.
  • two elective units of study (12 credit points)*

* Please Note: Students who commenced study in this degree before 2014 can choose to follow the requirements of the year they commenced study and complete 13 core units and three elective units (the capstone unit is not required to be completed).

Core units of study

(i) Foundation units

(ii) Advanced units

(iii) Capstone unit *

* All students commencing study in this program from 2014, including transfer students, must complete the capstone unit. Students who commenced study prior to 2014 are not required to complete the capstone unit and complete an additional elective unit (three elective units in total).

Elective units of study

* Not offered for 2016.

** This unit is not available for students commencing study from 2016.

^ Students who achieve a WAM of 65%+ in a minimum of eight units of study (48 credit points) in their Master's degree may apply for an assessable work integrated learning unit.

+  Students who achieve a WAM of 65%+ in a minimum of four units of study (24 credit points) may apply for the NEXT Innovation Program.

NEXT Innovation program

Students who achieve a WAM of 65%+ in a minimum of eight units of study (48 credit points) may apply for the NEXT Innovation program, (BUSS6505  - six credit points). A globally recognised innovation program, the NEXT Innovation program is designed to give outstanding students practical  experience in business innovation. For further information, see: NEXT Innovation Program

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

The Business School recognises the importance of prior learning and industry experience. If you hold a prior qualification or have industry experience of at least 3 years in duration, you could be eligible for recognition of prior learning in your Master of Professional Accounting degree.

For more information, please visit the recognition of prior learning information page.

Progression guides

The following table illustrates full-time learning sequence for the 16 unit Master of Professional Accounting program. This is the most appropriate sequence in which to enrol in units of study for this degree. Failure to follow this sequence, particularly in regards to ACCT coded units, could result in issues with your progression in this degree. 

Year 1
Semester 1 BUSS5000 ACCT5001 QBUS5002 CLAW5001 24
Semester 2 ACCT6001 ACCT5002 INFS5000 BUSS5001 24
Year 2

Semester 1 ACCT6010 CLAW6002 FINC5001 elective 24
Semester 2 ACCT6007 CLAW6026 ACCT6120 (capstone) elective 24

Please Note: The information listed in these programs of study examples are meant as a guide only. Students should always check the requirements for individual units of study. Students are advised to plan their degree based upon their individual needs and to contact Staff and Student Services if they need any assistance in planning their progression in their degree.

Professional accreditation in accounting

(1) CPA Australia and Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ)

For students seeking associate membership of CPA Australia or CAANZ, completion of the core units of the16 unit Master of Professional Accounting satisfies the requirements of both CAA and CPA Australia for accreditation  under the direct program pathway.
  The foundation core knowledge areas  that are required by the two main professional accounting bodies in Australia are as follows:

Required knowledge area Subject code Subject's name

Accounting information systems


Accounting Information Systems

Accounting systems and processes


Accounting Principles

Accounting theory


Intermediate Financial Reporting

Audit and assurance


Contemporary Issues in Auditing

Commercial law CLAW5001 Legal Environment of Business
Corporations law CLAW6002 Corporate Structures in Practice
Economics BUSS5001 Firms, Markets and Business Management
Finance FINC5001 Capital Markets and Corporate Finance
Financial accounting ACCT6010 Advanced Financial Reporting
Management accounting ACCT5002
Management Accounting and Decision Making
Quantitative methods QBUS5002 Quantitative Methods for Accounting
Taxation CLAW6026 Taxation Law and Practice

For further  information regarding accreditation with these professional accounting bodies, please refer to the accredited course information on their respective websites:

(2) Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) 

The ACCA will allow four foundation unit exam exemptions for students who have completed the Master of Professional Accounting. In addition, students who complete certain accredited units of study may be eligible for up to a further five specific exam exemptions. For further information regarding  ACCA's exam exemptions, please visit the ACCA's  website.