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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.

Communication, teamwork and leadership skills for use in a professional context. 

How will I benefit?


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.

Students take six core modules in both the Autumn and Spring trimesters. In the Summer trimester, students take two core modules and select three option modules. Registration for summer option modules takes place in March.

Autumn Trimester Spring Trimester Summer Trimester

Core modules

Core modules

Core modules

Plus 3 option modules

Please be advised that the above reflects the 2023/2024 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.

Programme Competency Goals

Programme Outcome

Knowledge of the Global Context and Global Mindset: Our MAcc graduates will have the knowledge needed to operate in a global business environment AND develop a critical awareness of global business issues, trends, and developments

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

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

Discipline-relevant quantitative knowledge and skills: Our MAcc graduates will be able to demonstrate critical thinking and independent reasoning skills in situations of decision-making and problem-solving, supported by the appropriate use of analytical and quantitative techniques AND utilise accounting, economic and financial techniques to make informed business decisions

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

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

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

Responsible Business Leaders: Our MAcc graduates will develop skills to be informed and imaginative future global business leaders who are mindful of responsible and sustainable business objectives and practices AND demonstrate an active awareness of ethical values and business issues concerning the advancement of the broader societal ‘good’.


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

Develop ethical awareness from reflecting on case studies in a small-group teaching environment.

Critical Thinking: Our MAcc graduates will have the ability to develop and implement creative solutions to real-world problems.

Exercise judgement in making decisions.

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.

Communication and Collaboration Skills in Diverse Environments: Our MAcc graduates will work effectively and interact sensitively and respectfully with others from diverse cultures and backgrounds.


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.

Develop ethical awareness from reflecting on case studies in a small-group teaching environment.


Global Leadership Programme (GLP)

Our optional Global Leadership Programme (GLP) offers you a unique opportunity to engage in a diverse range of co-curricular professional development activities alongside the modules you take on the Master's programme. Participation in the GLP can give you an advantage over similarly qualified job candidates and increase your readiness for success in the workplace.

Learn more about the programme here

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