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What will I learn?

The overall aim of the programme is to instill a systematic and rigorous knowledge of accounting and its related disciplines. Strong emphasis is placed on developing critical thinking, communication and team building skills that successful graduates will require to progress through professional training and gain rapid access to senior management positions in their future career. The programme provides:

A functional and technical level of competence above that demanded by professional accounting bodies’ professional syllabus, in the areas of financial accounting, management accounting, finance, auditing and taxation.

Development of analytical and synthesis skills enabling graduates to apply the necessary accounting knowledge to comprehend and solve accounting problems.

The ability to use the required IT tools, decision-making and evaluation processes and professional development skills to report financial information effectively to businesses.

How will I benefit?

Successful completion of this programme provides graduates with a significant head-start in the accounting profession, due to the high level of academic rigour within the curriculum and the excellent reputation of the course in the eyes of recruiters.

A significant IT dimension to the curriculum encourages a full command of the tools required for the profession and nurtures a hands-on approach to learning within the classroom. It exposes students to the risks facing businesses today of cyber security and the necessary steps required to alleviate such risks.

The acquisition of knowledge and skills that meet the requirements of professional accounting bodies for entry into their final examinations. For example, our Master of Accounting graduates perform consistently better in the Chartered Accountants Ireland final admitting examinations.


This rigorous course explores a wide range of theories and concepts and develops an array of technical skills in the areas fundamental to the accounting profession, as well as providing a vital stepping stone to graduates preparing for professional examinations. Knowledge acquisition is tested not only through examinations but also via case studies, whilst IT is used extensively throughout.

Autumn TrimesterSpring TrimesterSummer Trimester

+ 3 option modules

Please be advised that the above reflects the 2022/2023 curriculum structure and is subject to change each year.  Option modules listed are indicative of what has been delivered in previous years and are also subject to change.

The Master of Accounting (MAcc) programme in the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School is the leading, longest-established (since 1979) accounting specialist Masters degree in Ireland. The programme prepares students for leadership in the accounting profession and in business by equipping students with the necessary technical, analytical and personal skills for a successful career. The course also meets the requirements of professional accounting bodies for entry into their final examination. 

(Purpose)We aim to provide a learning environment that encourages our students to be well grounded in the principles and practice of accounting and able to explain technical knowledge required. Focusing on an ability to engage in problem identification and resolution demanded in the profession, our students are exposed to ethical considerations so that they learn to respond appropriately to such issues in the practice of accounting. Finally, students learn to effectively communication with all stakeholders using the appropriate media and presented in a professional manner (education and subject/discipline/professional values).

Module content will reflect technical accounting knowledge, with a strong emphasis on the application of this knowledge to problem-solving scenarios. Insights from guest lectures from the accounting profession and the business world will enhance the learning experience and augment students knowledge and understanding of professional accounting issues and practices (the nature of the learning environment).

Teaching, learning and assessment approaches include, classroom-based sessions led by accounting academics and practitioners, almost all of whom are professionally trained and qualified and extensive use of problem material and case studies consolidate classroom-based technical accounting knowledge learning.

Assessment comprises (i) a mixture of individual and group assignments, (ii) together with end-of-semester open-book examinations comprising five 3-hour examination papers each semester. Two Summer-school modules provide an opportunity for students to consider and reflect on more contemporary professional accounting issues.

On successful completion of the programme students should be able to:

Programme Goals
Programme Learning Outcomes
Programme Goal 1: Technical knowledge of advanced professional accounting

Display advanced technical skills in the areas of financial accounting, management accounting, finance, auditing and taxation.

Critically appraise the theoretical and conceptual knowledge in the field of accounting.

Demonstrate an understanding of how information technology can be used to provide better and timely financial information to organisations.

Display knowledge of the impact of international issues on the accounting profession.

Programme Goal 2: Apply technical knowledge of advanced professional accounting to solve complex business problems 

Apply advanced accounting technical skills and conceptual understanding to problems in accounting.

Integrate knowledge from different areas of accounting to develop solutions to problems.

Programme Goal 3: Exercise judgement in complex advanced professional accounting scenarios

Exercise judgement in making decisions.

Evaluate the impact of accounting decisions on different groups and on society as a whole.

Programme Goal 4: Develop softer professional skills such as communication and personal development to complement technical knowledge of advanced professional accounting

Engage in effective communication (oral and written) on accounting and business issues.

Engage in self-directed learning and reflective learning to enhance their personal and professional development.

Programme Goal 5: Development of ethical awareness Develop ethical awareness from reflecting on case studies in a small-group teaching environment.


Intercultural Development Programme (ICD)

Being the first and only programme of this kind in Ireland, ICD is an innovative research-driven and theory-based intercultural professional development training programme which aims to help you to stand out among the crowd by developing your Key 21st-Century Skills. These skills are valued by companies, NGOs and governments around the world who operate internationally, together with national companies and organisations who employ and serve an increasingly diverse population. The ICD programme will strengthen your CV and give you an edge over graduates from other Business programmes in the global job market.

Learn more about the programme here

Global Leadership Programme (GLP)

Our Global Leadership Programme (GLP) offers you a unique opportunity to engage in a diverse range of cocurricular activities i.e. development activities outside the modules you take on the Master's programme.

It's all about helping you become an impactful leader with a global mindset. This optional programme is designed to build your capacity for effective personal and organisational leadership. When it comes to seeking employment and attending job interviews, the GLP will help give you an edge over other similarly qualified candidates and will considerably strengthen your CV.

Learn more about the programme here

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