Programme Overview
The programme is designed for top graduates who have majored in business, accounting and finance and who wish to pursue a career in accounting, corporate finance, management consulting, and taxation either within the profession or with local or multinational companies. Our focus is not just on the development of technical skills but also on the development of complex problem-solving, critical thinking and softer people skills in our graduates. Over the past five years, alumni of the Master of Accounting programme have consistently performed significantly better than the average in the Final Admitting Examination of Chartered Accountants Ireland.

The Master of Accounting is the leading, longest-established accounting-specialist Master's degree in Ireland. It has been widely recognised for the quality of its graduates and the accelerated career trajectory that they take, both within Ireland and internationally. Our alumni have gone on to become partners in the Big Four accounting firms or CEOs/CFOs in publicly-listed companies. Consequently, its outstanding reputation is widely recognised within business circles.

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:
1. 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.

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

3. 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.

Entry requirements

Please review the entry requirements below. The UCD Smurfit Admissions Office staff have expertise in reviewing international qualifications from around the world and will be able to assess your application's comparability to the Irish entry requirement.

• A first class or second class honours grade 1 Business degree. An overall final degree average grade of minimum 65% or minimum UCD GPA of 3.40/4.2 will be required (or equivalent), students please contact the UCD Smurfit Admissions Team for grade equivalencies.

• An honours primary degree with a minimum of three years relevant work experience.

• To have achieved full exemptions from Chartered Accountants Ireland's (ICAI) CAP 1 Examinations. If you do not have full CAP 1 exemptions from your undergraduate degree you can complete your outstanding CAP 1 subjects as an external student with ICAI. All CAP 1 exemptions must be obtained before the start of term in a given academic year.

• The CAP 1 entry requirement may be waived for high performing undergraduate Business students subject to appropriate CAP 1 remediation being agreed prior to admittance to the programme. High performing undergraduate Business students are Level 8 Irish honours degree level Business students (or international equivalent) with an Hons 1.1 degree result (or equivalent) with a level 8 (or international equivalent) knowledge of financial accounting and reporting, finance and managerial accounting. Non-native English speaking students must have a minimum overall IELTS score of 7.5 or the TOEFL equivalent.

For more information on CAP 1s see:

English Language Requirements
If English is not your first language, an English language qualification is required for admission to all of our programmes. The exception to this rule is if you have completed your primary degree or an entire third level qualification through English, in an English speaking country.

Visa Requirements
Some students might have to get a student visa in order to come and study in Ireland. Please check the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Services website to see if you require a visa.

Subjects taught

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 study and a dissertation option, whilst IT is used extensively throughout.

Semester 1
• Financial Reporting
• Taxation 1
• Management Accounting
• Auditing & Assurance 1
• Accounting Analytics 1

Semester 2
• Advanced Financial Accounting
• Taxation 2
• Business Valuation & Analysis
• Auditing & Assurance 2
• Professional Development
• Accounting Analytics 2

Summer Term
• Integrative Analysis in Accounting
+ 1 option module
• MAcc Captone

+ 2 option modules
• Taxation Summer School
• The Science of Teams
• Cross-Cultural Management

Note: option modules listed are indicative of what has been delivered in previous years. What is offered each academic year is subject to change.


12 months full-time.


Fees Full-Time EU:
€14,460 (academic year 2020/2021)

Full-Time Non-EU:
€19,900 (academic year 2020/2021)

Important Note: Tuition fees and other charges are subject to change each year.

Enrolment dates

Start date: September 2020

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Career Opportunities
The Master of Accounting qualification from UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School gives you the broad-based knowledge and in-depth accounting skills you need for the long-term development of your career. You gain access to a wide range of employment opportunities, namely within Accounting, Financial Services, Industry and Commerce, and Management Consultancy, and with employers such as PricewaterhouseCoopers, KPMG, Deloitte, and Ernst & Young. UCD Master of Accounting graduates such as Siobhán Talbot, Chief Executive of Glanbia, and Shaun Murphy, Managing Partner KPMG, occupy some of the top positions in the business and accounting professions.

100% of our graduates from this programme were employed after 6 months across a range of industry sectors. (Source: Latest Graduate Outcomes Survey).

Potential Careers for our Graduates
Potential careers for our graduates include:
• Accountant
• Auditor
• Tax Consultant
• Management consulting
• Banking and investment management

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time

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    Course provider