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Master of Professional Accounting

2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018

About this course

The Master of Professional Accounting (MPA) from Southern Cross University, is designed for non-accounting business professionals seeking a career change, or for those already working in the accounting and finance industry who need a recognised accounting qualification.

The course is designed to enhance a student’s ability to manage complex accounting and business issues, and provides expertise in financial management, accounting information systems, financial reporting, auditing, corporate governance and contemporary accounting standards and research.

Graduates have excellent communication skills and the ability to communicate an organisation's complex financial information to its stakeholders.

Advanced standing may apply to students who have completed relevant undergraduate and postgraduate study. 

Career opportunities

The global accounting profession has high employment demand, offering MPA graduates the opportunity to seek employment in a range of industries in Australia and abroad.

Graduates of the MPA are equipped to work in business, government and not-for-profit organisations in accounting, financial services and management positions. Management roles and activities undertaken by graduates include developing financial plans, preparing and certifying financial reports, conducting audits, advising company directors, shareholders and clients.

Professional recognition

The Master of Professional Accounting is accredited by CPA Australia and Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA).

Graduates may also be eligible to apply for admission to the Institute of Public Accountants (IPA).

Professional placement

As part of this course, students may choose to undertake a 150-hour internship (equivalent to one unit) in either a paid or volunteer role. This practical experience, combined with theoretical understanding, enhances the learning experience for students. 
Students are responsible for securing their internship placement and are given extensive assistance in interview and application procedures, access to an extensive database of potential employers and roles and ongoing support from the dedicated Work Integrated Learning team. 

Major areas of study

The MPA comprises a core sequence of units that meet the professional accounting educational requirements and includes study in the following areas: business accounting, accounting information systems, financial reporting, management accounting, economics, quantitative analysis, company and commercial law, finance, accounting, theory and research.

Students also study advanced topics in accounting such as taxation law and practice, auditing and assurance and corporate governance. Management skills are also honed through study of communications and a number of electives. A key feature of the MPA program is the opportunity to undertake a double-weighted industry research project that students can apply to their current or future workplace.

Assessment methods

The course incorporates progressive assessment and examinations. Students are assessed on the basis of written and oral assignments reflecting authentic work tasks and contemporary topics. These assignments come in a range of formats designed to assist knowledge and skills development over the duration of the course. Formats include business reports, case studies, discussion board posts, presentations, quizzes, and research plans and studies.

Teaching methods

On-campus students experience a variety of teaching approaches including lectures, tutorials, online activities and podcast virtual classes. The method of teaching may vary from unit to unit.

Lectures may be streamed live or pre-recorded; either way students can download a recording at their convenience.

Each week, students progress their learning by following activities, readings and case studies laid out, step-by-step, in a website for each unit. As they move through the learning outcomes, they can discuss their progress in online forums and ask questions of their peers, lecturer or tutor.

Advanced standing

Your previous learning experiences relevant to one or more units in this course may help you reduce the duration of your degree.

  • Recognition of formal and non-formal learning
    Credit may be awarded to a student for formal learning (gained through full or partial achievement of an accredited qualification or course) or non-formal learning (that takes place through a non-accredited course or program of learning) completed at Southern Cross University or in other learning settings in Australia and/or overseas.
  • Recognition of informal learning
    Credit may be awarded on the basis of current informal learning (that takes place through work, social, family or leisure activities).

To help you identify how much credit you may receive for your related prior learning visit SCU Pathways.

An application for advanced standing must be submitted so we can assess your prior learning. Please apply for advanced standing at the same time as you apply for admission into this course, because the amount of credit awarded will determine the sequence of units you will study.

 Go to course structure to see if specific advanced standing rules also apply to this course.

Learning support

Learning resources

MySCU is a student's point of entry to a range of online services and resources that support study and student life. The portal includes unit learning sites and information sites where students can access resources, communication tools and useful links that are integral to their studies.

The web-based study environment Blackboard Learn delivers an advanced online learning environment for students and lecturers to communicate and collaborate through virtual meeting spaces, classrooms, and discussion boards. They can share files, presentations and applications. If a tutorial or lecture is recorded, students can view it afterwards.

Learning materials include the provision of unit information guides, study guides and readings. Students may need to purchase or access prescribed text books.

The SCU Library provides a wide range of services that include face-to-face and online help, and access to print and electronic resources. To find out more, see the Library Toolbox.

The Academic Skills team supports student learning by offering online and on-campus academic skills workshops, assignment reviews and small group or one-on-one face-to-face, phone or Skype consultations during business hours 9am to 4.30pm. Appointments can be made via the MySCU Hub ‘Connect Now’ button or on the Academic Skills home page. Students can also book appointments online in Career Hub.

The YourTutor service provides online after-hours study support for SCU students. This service is available from 4pm to midnight Sunday to Friday via the 'Connect Now' button on MySCU Hub or from a link in nominated unit learning sites. The YourTutor service offers generic writing feedback and live online chat assistance for foundational concepts and study skills.

Equipment and facilities

Southern Cross University provides students with modern well equipped teaching spaces such as lecture theatres, classrooms, and studios or laboratories tailored to meet the needs of specific study disciplines. Contemporary audiovisual equipment is standard in most teaching venues, and students have access to computer labs for individual study purposes.

Course structure

See the University’s Rules Relating to Awards, in conjunction with the Specific Award Rules listed below.

Table of contents

Admission requirements

  1. Applicants for admission to candidature in the Master of Professional Accounting may be selected where they can demonstrate professional standing approved by the School Board to be equivalent to the requirements of Rule 2, Section 3.
  2. With reference to Schedule B in Rule 2, Section 1 the level of attainment should be at least equivalent to IELTS 6.5.

Course requirements

  1. To be eligible for the Master of Professional Accounting a candidate must successfully complete not less than sixteen (16) units (192 credit points) comprising:
    1. all units in Part A and Part B; and
    2. two (2) units (24 credit points) from Part C
  2. To be eligible for the award of Graduate Diploma in Accounting a candidate shall successfully complete not less than eight (8) units (96 credit points) from Part A.
  3. To be eligible for the award of Graduate Certificate in Accounting a candidate shall successfully complete not less than four (4) units (48 credit points) from Part A.
  4. A candidate in the Master of Professional Accounting who has completed (8) units (96 credit points) and met the requirements for the Graduate Diploma in Accounting may elect to be awarded the Graduate Diploma in Accounting following withdrawal from candidature for the Master of Professional Accounting.
  5. A candidate in the Master of Professional Accounting who has completed four (4) units (48 credit points) and met the requirements for the Graduate Certificate in Accounting may elect to be awarded the Graduate Certificate in Accounting following withdrawal from candidature for the Master of Professional Accounting.

Schedule of units


How to apply

Domestic students

Applications for this course are made directly to SCU via our online application service.

International students

Confirm you meet the entry requirements including English language and academic entry and any specific pre-requisites.

Apply OnlineSouthern Cross University accepts applications directly through the International Application for Admissions form or via our online application services.

Additional information on how to apply is available at SCU International. Please note applicants from some countries need to go through an Education Agent.

The information on this page may be subject to change over time. Please check this page again before acting and see our disclaimer.

From the 1st of June, 2017, the term 'Distance Education' has been replaced with 'Online'