School of Accounting


School Website


Head of School: Associate Professor Peter Roebuck
School Manager: Colin Withers

Accounting is concerned with the provision of information for the management of economic resources and activities by means of measurement, communication and interpretation of financial data; with the development of information systems; and with the financial accountability and management of business and public enterprises. By economic resources, we mean both tangible and intangible resources. Accounting information is increasingly used to manage intangible resources such as an organisation's knowledge base, its supplier/customer relationships, its brands etc.

Accounting lies at the heart of economic exchange, whether conducted in physical or electronic markets. It enables students to comprehend many of the fundamental principles, processes and outcomes of business, thereby equipping students for a wide range of careers in businesses (from chartered accounting, management consulting, and provision of financial services to general management). Graduates are employed not only as accountants, but also as entrepreneurs, entertainment promoters, treasurers, chief financial officers, etc.

The School of Accounting at UNSW is internationally renowned for its innovative and high-quality teaching at both undergraduate and graduate levels. Our teachers have won national teaching awards as well as Vice- Chancellor Teaching Awards. Classes involve students in an interactive and thought-provoking learning environment. We also increasingly use the web as a learning tool and our courses are constantly revised to meet new challenges in a globalised and digitised world. We expose our students to e-business, encourage them to understand the links between business strategy and processes, offer advanced courses in assurance and business risk, and help them appreciate global influences on financial reporting and management.

Postgraduate Programs

Students enrolled in a Master of Commerce by coursework may undertake the following specialisations: Accounting or Strategic Value Management. In addition there are the popular Master of Professional Accounting and Master of Professional Accounting (Extension) degrees. For students with an undergraduate major in accounting or finance, the Master of Financial Analysis program is an option. For students with an undergraduate major in accounting or information technology the Master of Accounting and Business Information Technology is an option.

The Accounting disciplinary stream includes courses related to the use of financial information by owners, shareholders, creditors, managers and governments to achieve their objectives. The different areas covered include: financial accounting (preparation of legally required financial statements, analysis and interpretation of financial statements, complex financial transactions and instruments, differences in reporting entities including multinational enterprises and international reporting diversity), managerial accounting in the context of world class management practice (design and operation of accounting information systems, planning and control, budgeting, benchmarking, strategy formulation and performance evaluation), and auditing (evaluating internal control systems, adding credibility to reported information and improving the corporate governance process).

The Strategic Value Management program focuses on strategic resource management in the context of achieving stakeholder value. A range of accounting and management courses are available to students in this stream, including Business Risk Management, Management Control Systems in Contemporary Contexts and E-Commerce: Strategy and Processes.

The Master of Professional Accounting is ideal for students who have no or limited exposure to the study of accounting. The program is an excellent multidisciplinary introduction to business with sufficient accounting for students to obtain recognition by the professional accounting bodies in Australia. Employers often seek staff who have met the professional requirements as it means a range of essential business skills have been acquired. Thus students may find it easier to find employment elsewhere by completing this program.

The Professional Accounting degree is accredited by CPA Australia and Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (for more information, please see Professional Recognition of Programs). This program is not normally available to students from Australian Universities with major studies in Accounting.

The Master of Financial Analysis is a specialist degree building on a prior degree and substantial studies in accounting and/or finance. It offers a solid grounding in high level skills critical for the development of a wide range of careers, such as investment analysis, funds management, the CFO role or almost any career involving business analysis. The degree draws on cutting edge teaching and research in the School of Accounting and the School of Banking and Finance, and allows a highly flexible program of courses that can be tailored to suit a variety of career aspirations. The following competencies are developed by the appropriate selection of courses - strategy skills, risk analysis and management, valuation and project development/ management.

The Master of Accounting and Business Information Technology (MAccBIT) is a specialist Masters program that exposes students to a range of key business concerns that are interrelated. These include enterprise systems, business intelligence, decision support, strategic management accounting, e-business, corporate governance, risk management, audit and assurance, information systems security, and forensic investigation.

Students have the opportunity to develop an in-depth understanding of using leading edge business systems (including SAP and SaaS) to support a range of business decisions and strategies. The program also offers a highly flexible choice of courses that can be tailored to suit a variety of career aspirations in accounting, management/IT consulting, business strategy, audit and forensics.


Phone: +61 2 9385 5829
Fax: +61 2 9385 5925
Room 3038 South Wing 3rd Floor
Quadrangle Building

Undergraduate Specialisations 


go to top of page

Postgraduate Specialisations 


go to top of page

Research Specialisations 


go to top of page

Study Levels

UNSW Quick Links