Master of Professional Accounting


The Master of Professional Accounting is a conversion taught masters qualification in Accounting, that provides graduates with the skills, knowledge, and competencies to be a highly effective accountant in both domestic and international organisations.

The qualification will be aligned with professional accounting bodies in the industry (such as the Chartered Accountants of Australia and New Zealand, (CAANZ), Certified Practicing Accountants Australia (CPA Australia), and Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), allowing graduates to gain provisional membership.

Candidates with a background in any discipline may apply and no prior experience in Commerce or Accounting is required. Through applied academic research, students will gain an understanding of the theoretical considerations facing the Accounting profession while developing the confidence to challenge existing practices, and participate in the development of new and innovative ways to solve issues in the fields of accounting and business management.

The Master of Professional Accounting graduate

  • Demonstrates in-depth knowledge and understanding of current theoretical concepts, frameworks and industry practice within the fields of accounting and business.
  • Thinks logically, analytically and critically with respect to the academic literature and professional journals within the field of accounting and business.
  • Plans and carries out independent research that demonstrates critical awareness of academic and professional issues in the fields of accounting and business.
  • Synthesises academic and professional literature and effectively communicates this information and research findings, both orally and in written form, to a range of audiences.

Entry requirements

Normally the minimum requirement is a three-year bachelor’s degree from a New Zealand university, or a qualification or combination of qualifications considered to be equivalent.

If you gained your qualifications overseas, these will need to be assessed to make sure they are of an equivalent standard.

Qualification specific requirements

Before enrolling in the course of study for the MPA degree, every candidate shall have:

  • qualified for a New Zealand university degree with at least a B grade average in 300-level courses, or equivalent, or been admitted ad eundem statum as the holder of such a degree, and
  • been approved as a candidate for the degree by the Dean of Commerce, and
  • demonstrated a high proficiency in English.

The programme has intakes in February and October.

A special application is required. It is essential that all applicants discuss their application with the MPA Programme Coordinator before completing the application form.

For the full entry requirements see the Regulations for the Master of Professional Accounting or use the admission requirements checker

You are also required to meet UC’s English language requirements.

Qualification structure and duration

The MPA programme consists of 14 courses taught over five terms, in ten-week blocks.

The first 13 courses are 15 points each, and must be completed to an overall B grade average in order for the student to move on to the capstone Research Project (MBAZ680 Research Project) or Internship (MBAZ681 Internship) (45 points).


The MPA is a 240-point qualification which can be completed in 15 to 17 months of full-time study or up to four years part-time.

Subjects and courses

For the up-to-date schedule of courses, visit our University Regulations website.

How to apply

Find out how to apply for graduate and postgraduate qualifications

Career opportunities

Postgraduate study can bring many career benefits eg, specialist skills and enhanced knowledge, entry into specific occupations, higher starting salary/progression rates, research capability/achievement and evidence of high academic attainment/self-discipline. 

Useful information:

More information

For full requirements see the Regulations for the Master of Professional Accounting.

For study planning help contact Executive Development Programmes or the School of Business and Economics:

School of Business and Economics

Phone +64 3 364 2316
Email bsec@canterbury.ac.nz

Business and Law building, Level 2

Postal address
School of Business and Economics
College of Business and Law
University of Canterbury
Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha
Private Bag 4800
Christchurch 8140
New Zealand