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2014 2015
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    • 2014 2015

Student Profile

‘The MPA provides not only the knowledge, but also the skills of networking and professionalism to put us on the path to success...’

Brylie Gray Studying towards an MPA
Brand Ambassador, Brand Magic Ltd
(read profile)





The study of Accounting covers a wide range of accounting practices and theories in an equally wide range of contexts, thus providing a solid foundation for a successful professional career.

The subject is divided into:

  • financial accounting and reporting
  • cost and management accounting
  • auditing and assurance
  • taxation
  • other relevant areas.

By studying Accounting, you will gain high-level knowledge and an understanding of:

  • accounting as the collection, analysis and communication of decision-useful financial information for key external groups eg, owners, investors, regulators and others
  • accounting as providing information for managers within an organisation to aid them with various strategic and tactical decisions, such as determining the cost of providing products and service, budgeting and evaluating projects
  • auditing as verifying the accuracy and reliability of financial information and the assessment of risk
  • taxation as laws, rules and practices that regulate and create certainty in relations between taxpayers and the taxation authorities.

Why study Accounting at UC?

The Bachelor of Commerce Accounting major is a pathway to external qualifications with the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants (NZICA), CPA Australia (Certified Practicing Accountants), the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), and other professional accounting bodies internationally.

At UC you will study alternative perspectives on contemporary accounting, both in conventional and less common contexts.

Students will also learn about the modern, reflective role accountants can play in many spheres such as public and private; social, environmental, economic, political and cultural; colonial and post-colonial; and national, international and transnational.

UC experts will help you answer the question of how does the nature of the accountant’s work differ from other management and professional specialists, such as marketers, economists, engineers, human resource managers, entrepreneurs, politicians and public officials? You will consider important topical issues, such as business ethics, the Global North and Global South, Māori as tāngata whenua and the Crown, corporate social responsibility, and the challenges presented by increasing globalisation.

Recommended background

While some previous study of accounting is useful preparation, it is not essential to have studied accounting at secondary school level.

A background in statistics is recommended. However, accounting is not all number-oriented, and a good grounding in spoken and written English communication is essential.

Students with very good Year 13 results in accounting may be offered direct entry to 200-level Accounting courses at the discretion of the Head of Department.

100-level courses

The first-year, 100-level courses required to complete a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Accounting are:

  • ACCT 102 Accounting and Financial Information
  • ACCT 103 Introduction to Financial Accounting
  • ECON 104 Introduction to Microeconomics or ECON 105 Introduction to Macroeconomics or ECON 199 (a STAR course for secondary school students)
  • INFO 123 Information Systems and Technology
  • MGMT 100 Fundamentals of Management
  • STAT 101 Statistics 1
  • Plus 30 points from 100-level Commerce or any other UC courses. ACCT 152 Law and Business is recommended.

For NZICA and/or CPA Australia membership, students must take ECON 104, ECON 105, ACCT 152, INFO 123 and ACCT 103 in addition to Accounting major requirements. For the Association of Chartered Accountants (ACCA) requirements refer to

For the complete, three-year BCom Accounting major degree plans, see the School of Business and Economics website.

200-level and beyond

Courses at 200 and 300-level build on knowledge and skills introduced at 100-level. You can study business sector management accounting, corporate social responsibility, accounting and finance in governments and public services, international corporate financial reporting, and accounting firm practices such as audit, tax and business consulting.

Further study

When you complete your BCom, and provided you have good grades in 300-level Accounting courses, you are eligible to enrol in the Bachelor of Commerce with Honours or Master of Commerce. An honours or master's degree will help you distinguish yourself in the marketplace. The next step is to a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).

Career opportunities

As a specialist in accounting you will be able to enter a variety of fields. The most common positions are as a chartered accountant, an accounting manager, an auditor, a consultant, a credit analyst and eventually, a chief financial officer or executive. You can focus on a range of areas such as tax, financial management, investment analysis, business services, company or treasury systems accountancy, government finance or third sector development work; and obtain interesting, well-paid work around the world.

For further career information, please go to


Department of Accounting and Information Systems
Telephone: +64 3 364 2613