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Specialisation: Professional Practice

Award(s) to which this specialisation belongs:

Professional Practice


Department of Accounting and Corporate Governance
Faculty of Business and Economics

Admission Requirements:
Admission to Master of Accounting or Master of Accounting (Advanced)
Study Mode:
Full-time, Part-time
Attendance Mode:
North Ryde — Session 1 (25 February 2019)
North Ryde — Session 2 (29 July 2019)

This specialisation must be completed as part of an award. The general requirements for the award must be satisfied in order to graduate.

Requirements for the Specialisation:

Completion of a minimum of 24 credit points including the following prescribed units:

Credit points

800 level

Information Systems in Business (4)
Management Control Systems (4)
Business and Professional Ethics (4)
Advanced Corporate Accounting (4)
Advanced Financial Reporting (4)
Auditing and Assurance Services (4)


Overview and Aims of the Program On completion of this program you will have acquired the relevant knowledge and skills required to work as an accountant and to commence a professional accounting qualification including the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand and CPA Australia programs. You will also have the research skills and practice to enable you to interpret and appraise recent developments in accounting as well as to make professional judgements and solve complex accounting problems.
Graduate Capabilities

The Graduate Capabilities Framework articulates the fundamentals that underpin all of Macquarie’s academic programs. It expresses these as follows:

Cognitive capabilities
(K) discipline specific knowledge and skills
(T) critical, analytical and integrative thinking
(P) problem solving and research capability
(I) creative and innovative

Interpersonal or social capabilities
(C) effective communication
(E) engaged and ethical local and global citizens
(A) socially and environmentally active and responsible

Personal capabilities
(J) capable of professional and personal judgement and initiative
(L) commitment to continuous learning

Program Learning Outcomes By the end of this program it is anticipated you should be able to:
1. Demonstrate integrated theoretical and technical knowledge related to the core disciplines of professional accounting (K);
2. Apply expert and specialised technical skills in the core disciplines of professional accounting (K);
3. Demonstrate advanced and integrated theoretical and technical knowledge in financial and management accounting (K);
4. Demonstrate knowledge of research principles and methods as used in professional accounting practice (K);
5. Effectively interpret and appraise recent developments in accounting (T);
6. Execute independent research and exercise professional judgement in solving complex accounting problems (P, J);
7. Demonstrate communication skills relevant to an appropriate professional environment (C);
8. Demonstrate an awareness of emerging social, ethical and regulatory issues relevant to an accounting practitioner (E).
Learning and Teaching Methods You will obtain the requisite knowledge and skills to work as an accountant, and to commence a professional accounting qualification, through a variety of independent and collaborative activities completed across units in this program, increasing in the level of difficulty and complexity as you progress through the program. You will attend and participate in seminars and workshops in which you will be expected to apply your advanced and integrated understanding of the core disciplines of accounting to practical and theoretical scenarios as well as interpret and appraise recent developments in accounting.

All units in the program are supported by an online environment that provides access to resources such as lecture notes and recordings, readings, quizzes, discussion forums and assessment materials, and that facilitates communication with teaching staff.
The learning outcomes associated with individual units have been aligned with program level learning outcomes and the Macquarie University graduate capabilities. You are expected to actively engage in your learning and work with lecturers, tutors and and fellow students to achieve these learning outcomes.

Across the program you will present both verbally and in writing your understanding of the core disciplines of accounting (see assessment methods for further information). The program is structured to promote and encourage independent learning and reflective practice through the acquisition of knowledge and skills, research, practice, discussion and collaboration.

Together with your fellow students you will be directed to relevant materials and be provided with a set of tasks that you are expected to engage with. These tasks will include acquiring information from a variety of sources and includes: accessing and reading materials made available on the unit online learning management system, reading of texts and articles; review of case studies; preparation of a practice set; use and application of business software and technology; reflecting on discussion points; completion of an independent research project; working collaboratively with students from this and other programs on a series of group activities; practicing skills such as problem solving, professional judgement and presenting. You will receive feedback across this program from your fellow students, university staff and industry professionals.

Embedded in this program are a number of initiatives that develop your awareness of social, ethical and regulatory issues that you will need to reflect on in operating as a professional accountant. You will develop your knowledge of research principles and methods, ultimately completing an independent research project relating to current issues in accounting. The capstone unit ACC950 ‘Contemporary Accounting Practice’ will require you to think critically, ethically and strategically to solve business problems whilst integrating technical accounting knowledge and professional skills. This unit also provides an opportunity for you to further develop and consolidate your graduate capabilities at the end of the program.

You will be provided with a number of opportunities to engage with the accounting profession throughout the program including the participation of expert accountants as lecturers and guest lecturers in units as well as career and technical events hosted by the professional accounting bodies on and off campus. You will also participate in seminars and lectures that focus on the generic skills required by a professional accountant in the workplace. These activities ensure a learning environment in which you can reflect on and contextualise your skills and knowledge.
Assessment Assessment is based on the submission of individual and group coursework. You will complete a variety of assessment tasks over the duration of the program, including assessed coursework, class participation, final examination, essay, class test, quiz, presentation, assignment, case study or report. Clear standards and criteria for assessments, what is assessed and how it is assessed, are contained in each unit guide.

Assessment tasks across the program may include the following:
• Written assessments in traditional academic format ranging from short essays to longer, self-directed research papers, literature reviews and annotated bibliographies.
• Case studies or reports, written documents outlining the results of a detailed analysis of a situation using empirical data and research. Case studies are used to assess critical thinking, analytical and research skill.
• Assignments, in a variety of formats such as the production of an Excel spreadsheet, the analysis of a mathematical problem or data set, or a brief written response to a topic question.
• Online quizzes designed to assess knowledge, skills or capabilities, and typically consisting of a series of questions requiring brief responses.
• Class participation, including engagement in tutorial discussions or online discussions.
• Written class tests, time limited assessments designed to assess a student’s knowledge or skills.
•Individual or group oral presentations which may incorporate presentation technologies or be accompanied by handouts.
• Final examination, invigilated assessments conducted at the end of session and designed to assess a student’s body of knowledge and critical thinking skills.

The coursework completed in this program, including a variety of assessment tasks, are designed to develop (formative) and assess (summative) your achievement of the program learning outcomes and will require you to integrate and exhibit your skills and knowledge acquired. For each unit you will complete between 3 and 4 assessment tasks and the unit guide will indicate the relationship between the assessment tasks and program learning outcomes. Feedback on your performance in completing an assessment task will be provided in a variety of formats in units across the program.

You will be required to make reference to research and practice across the core disciplines in accounting in completing assessment tasks and staff will be available at specified times during the sessions for individual consultation and advice.
Recognition of Prior Learning

Macquarie University may recognise prior formal, informal and non-formal learning for the purpose of granting credit towards, or admission into, a program. The recognition of these forms of learning is enabled by the University’s Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Policy (see and its associated Procedures and Guidelines. The RPL pages contain information on how to apply, links to registers, and the approval processes for recognising prior learning for entry or credit.

Information can be found at:

Support for Learning

Macquarie University aspires to be an inclusive and supportive community of learners where all students are given the opportunity to meet their academic and personal goals. The University offers a comprehensive range of free and accessible student support services which include academic advice, counselling and psychological services, advocacy services and welfare advice, careers and employment, disability services and academic skills workshops amongst others. There is also a bulk billing medical service located on campus.

Further information can be found at

Campus Wellbeing contact details:
Phone: +61 2 9850 7497

Program Standards and Quality

The program is subject to an ongoing comprehensive process of quality review in accordance with a pre-determined schedule that complies with the Higher Education Standards Framework. The review is overseen by Macquarie University's peak academic governance body, the Academic Senate and takes into account feedback received from students, staff and external stakeholders.

Graduate Destinations and Employability Graduates can find careers in accounting, forensic accounting, taxation, financial planning and management, banking, company secretarial and auditing.

Opportunities are available with a wide variety of organisations, including accounting and consulting firms, investment and commercial banks, insurance companies, financial institutions, management consultancies and government.
Assessment Regulations

This program is subject to Macquarie University regulations, including but not limited to those specified in the Assessment Policy, Academic Honesty Policy, the Final Examination Policy and relevant University Rules. For all approved University policies, procedures, guidelines and schedules visit

Accreditation The Master of Accounting with a specialisation in Professional Practice is recognised by Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ) and CPA Australia. The units in this award have been designed to meet the educational requirements of CPA Australia, CA ANZ and other international accounting bodies.

Inherent requirements are the essential components of a course or program necessary for a student to successfully achieve the core learning outcomes of a course or program. Students must meet the inherent requirements to complete their Macquarie University course or program.

Inherent requirements for Macquarie University programs fall under the following categories:

Physical: The physical inherent requirement is to have the physical capabilities to safely and effectively perform the activities necessary to undertake the learning activities and achieve the learning outcomes of an award.

Cognition: The inherent requirement for cognition is possessing the intellectual, conceptual, integrative and quantitative capabilities to undertake the learning activities and achieve the learning outcomes of an award.

Communication: The inherent requirement for communication is the capacity to communicate information, thoughts and ideas through a variety of mediums and with a range of audiences.

Behavioural: The behavioural inherent requirement is the capacity to sustain appropriate behaviour over the duration of units of study to engage in activities necessary to undertake the learning activities and achieve the learning outcomes of an award.

For more information see

2019 Unit Information

When offered:
S1 Day
Permission of Executive Dean of Faculty
HSC Chinese, CHN113, CHN148