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Master of Professional Accounting

2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017

About this course

The Master of Professional Accounting (MPA) 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 finance 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).

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, finance, accounting theory and research.

Students also study advanced topics in accounting such as taxation law and practice, auditing and assurance and corporate governance. Students also choose a number of electives to hone their management skills. A key feature of the MPA program is the opportunity to undertake a double-weighted industry research project that can be applied to your own company or organisation.

Assessment methods

The course incorporates progressive assessment and examinations. Students are assessed in each unit on the basis of written and oral assignments. These may be business reports, case studies, presentations, research studies and/or business plans.

Teaching methods

On-campus students experience a variety of teaching approaches including face-to-face lectures and tutorials. Some units offer online activities, classes, pre-recorded and/or live lectures. The method of teaching may vary from unit to unit.

The distance education study option is highly interactive and strives to promote collaboration and a sense of community. Students may receive online pre-recorded and/or live lectures, electronic study materials, workshops, online discussion forums and virtual classes. The method of teaching may vary from unit to unit.

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, email, phone, and one-on-one support.

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

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How to apply

Domestic students

Applications for this course are made directly to SCU via our online application service. Once registered you can exit and return to your application at any time.

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.