School of Accounting and Commercial Law

Master of Professional Accounting

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Download the Master of Professional Accounting Brochure (PDF, 140 KB)

Victoria University has developed a programme providing a Master's degree in Professional Accounting (MPA) – the first such degree to be offered in New Zealand.

This professional programme of study may be completed in 16-17 months.

The MPA has been developed in response to a shortage of accounting graduates, both in New Zealand and internationally.

It is open to graduates with a Bachelor's degree in any discipline, and this qualification will provide the opportunity to pursue membership of both New Zealand and international accounting bodies.

About the Programme

The MPA is designed to provide students with the skills and understanding required as accounting professionals. The programme meets the academic requirements of the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, CPA Australia and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).

The programme will equip graduates for leadership in the profession through their knowledge of accounting issues and understanding of professional practice, ethics and procedures.

Graduates will have been instructed by academic staff who are leaders in public and private sector accounting. They will have been encouraged to aim for high-level roles in the profession and in organisations.

Students completing MPA will know and understand the main elements of the accounting discipline; the financial context in which business operates as well as the financial implications of business decisions; professional practice, ethics and procedures; the legal, economic and social environment in which business and accounting decisions are made in New Zealand and internationally.

PhD pathway

The most successful students in the MPA programme may elect to take a PhD pathway. Completion of the pathway courses does not guarantee entry to the PhD programme and all applications must satisfy PhD selection processes.

SACL: ranked among the world's best Accounting schools

Victoria University’s School of Accounting and Commercial Law (SACL) has been ranked among the best in the world for research quality in an international ranking.

Each year, Brigham Young University in the United States ranks universities throughout the world based upon the research output of accounting staff.

For more information, please see the Victoria News article 'Victoria’s accounting research among best in the world'.


All courses are taught at Pipitea Campus, which is located in the heart of Wellington's legal, government and business district. The campus includes the Old Government Buildings, Rutherford House, and the Railway West Wing. As the campus is next to Wellington's railway station and the bus terminus, there is easy access for train and bus users.

Programme structure

Students enrol in 16 courses for at least four trimesters of study, comprising 14 core courses and either two elective courses/special topics (the content of which will change from time to time) or a research paper. All courses must be completed within four years of first enrolling in the programme.

Part time study options are available to domestic students, who can study between one and four courses per trimester. See Courses for more information.


Courses will be taught during all three teaching periods: Trimester 1 (February/March to June), Trimester 2 (July to October) and Trimester 3 (November to February/March). Each of the 16 courses will be offered twice a year, with one of the two offerings taking place in the evening (to accommodate students in full-time employment).

Core Courses Course Code
Financial Accounting MMPA 501
Management Accounting MMPA 502
Business Law MMPA 503
Finance MMPA 504
Corporations and Business Associations Law MMPA 505
Advanced Financial Accounting MMPA 506
Statistics MMPA 507
Economics MMPA 508
Taxation MMPA 509
Auditing MMPA 510
Management MMPA 511
Advanced Management Accounting MMPA 512
Accounting Systems MMPA 513
Advanced Financial Management MMPA 514

Each course will be offered over 12 weeks. Assessment includes projects, tests and examinations.Please note that the content of courses can vary in each offering.

Download the PDF below for more information on course planning and study options.

Document File size File type
MPA Course Planning Information 115 KB PDF

The MPA will begin in February/March (Trimester 1) and November (Trimester 3) each year. It may be possible to complete the full MPA degree within 16-17 months (full time).

Admission requirements

Applicants for the MPA degree will have:

  • completed a Bachelor’s degree with good grades; and
  • been accepted by the MPA Director as capable of proceeding with the proposed course of study.

International applicants whose first language is not English must also meet the postgraduate English language requirements of the University:

  • IELTS overall band of 6.5, with no sub-score below 6; or
  • TOEFL 575, or 237 in the computer-based test, or 90 in the internet-based test with a minimum of 20 in writing; or
  • two ratings of 5 and two ratings of 4 in Victoria University’s English Proficiency Programme


In addition to being accredited by Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, CPA (Australia) and ACCA, Victoria Business School is the first in New Zealand to have obtained accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) in both Business and Accounting. Less than 1% of business schools worldwide hold this distinguished hallmark of excellence.

The Faculty also holds AMBA accreditation for the MBA programme, and EQUIS accreditation from the European Foundation for Management Development. 

We are, therefore, one of 72 business schools (from around 13,000 worldwide) to hold the "Triple Crown" of AMBA, AACSB (Business) and EQUIS accreditations, and among the Triple Crown holders we are the only school to also hold AACSB (Accounting) accreditation.

Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean Professor Bob Buckle discussed how "Business schools measure up to international standards" in a National Business Review, 9 March 2012. 

Potential careers and employment opportunities

Many accounting graduates choose to work in accounting firms but there are a number of  other opportunities. Wellington, being the centre of Government, offers career openings in Government Departments, for example, The Inland Revenue Department and Audit New Zealand. There are also opportunities in both large and small companies, financial institutions such as banks, charitable organisations, as well  as law firms and share brokers to name but a few.

Careers New Zealand – a New Zealand Government entity – maintains a website which lists career opportunities in various occupations including Accounting. It currently rates the chances of obtaining a job in accounting as being “good”. For more information see Careers New Zealand.

Need more information?

For more information, including how to apply, domestic applicants should contact Christopher Cripps (MPA Programme Director). International applicants should contact Victoria International.

Contact details:

Programme Director: Christopher Cripps 
RH 705 
+64 4 463 5757