School of Accounting and Commercial Law

About a Master's degree in Accounting

The School of Accounting and Commercial Law offers Master's-level study in Accounting either by coursework or by thesis for the Master of Commerce (MCom) degree.

On this page there is information about:


The 180-point MCom in Accounting by coursework follows on from a Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) in Accounting, or similar degree. In addition to 90-120 points of taught courses (including study of Accounting research methodology), it involves one or two small research projects and/or a research paper.

This degree is a good choice for graduates in Accounting seeking to complete a Master’s degree in three trimesters (the maximum time allowed is four years).

The 120-point MCom in Accounting by thesis follows a previous Bachelor of Commerce with Honours in Accounting, or a similar honours degree. The MCom by thesis is for those graduates who wish to undertake a substantial independent research project. This gives them the opportunity to build on their experience in the Honours programme, and apply their new research skills to further specialise in an area of accounting of their own choosing.

It is a good choice for honours graduates who want to undertake further research without the lengthy time commitment that a PhD represents. The Master's thesis can be completed in two trimesters; the maximum period of enrolment is 12 months full time or two years half time.

Note: Capable students interested in advanced research-based studies are often admitted directly to the PhD programme without completing the Master's degree; see more information about PhD study at SACL.

If you are interested in research-based studies, please contact the Postgraduate Programmes Director (see below) to discuss this possibility.


To enrol in the MCom in Accounting you need to have completed either:

  • a BCom degree including 45 points of 300-level Accounting and a grade average of B+ or better
  • a BCom(Hons) in Accounting with Second Class Honours (Division 1) or better
  • a suitable alternative degree (or the equivalent in extensive and appropriate practical, professional or scholarly experience)

You should consult the Postgraduate Programmes Director (see below) to confirm your eligibility.

International students

If you are an international student, queries about suitability and applications for the Master of Commerce (Accounting) are made through the International Office.

Subject requirements

To complete the 180-point MCom in Accounting by coursework you need to take:

  • ACCY 401, 421, 430, four further courses from (ACCY 402-413, 423, 425, COML 401-405, 421, 425, FINA 401, 402); and either
    (a) ACCY 530 and 531, or
    (b) One of ACCY 530, 531; 30 further points at 400-level or above, including at least 15 approved points at 500-level.

To complete the 120-point MCom in Accounting by thesis, having entered the degree with a completed honours degree, you need to take either:

  • a 120-point Master’s thesis, ACCY 591, or
  • a 90-point Master’s thesis, ACCY 592, plus 30 approved points at 400-level or above

What is a thesis?

A thesis is a document that outlines a research question, gives details of the research project undertaken to answer this question, and outlines the findings of that research project.

During your MCom study you will be assigned a supervisor with whom you would meet regularly. Your supervisor acts as a mentor, providing you with advice and guidance about your topic area and also about the research process itself.

However, as a Master's student, you are expected to demonstrate the ability to work independently, with your supervisor's main role being to guide and support you.

How to find out more

Contact the Postgraduate Programme Director: A/Prof Lisa Marriott
Phone: +64 4 463 5938