Study Master’s in Accounting: Best Universities, Types, Requirements, and More!

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A master's in accounting makes you ready for specific leadership or managerial roles and allows you to pursue different areas of speciality within the field of accounting. You should consider joining a master's program in accounting if you are keen on pursuing an accounting career in the future or want to advance within the same career. There are many different master's courses in accounting, so which one is the right fit for you? Here, we will help you choose the best school and program for an accounting master's degree.

Types of Master's Degrees in Accounting

Apart from an MBA, there are a few other types of master's degrees in accounting (or accountancy, as it is called in some nations and institutions). These master's programs have similar learning outcomes and benefits but differ in terms of duration, entry requirements, and some subjects. The following is a brief summary of each master's in accounting program. The structure and duration of every accounting master's program may vary depending on where you pursue it. For more information, feel free to contact our expert counsellors.

MBA in Accounting

The curriculum for this advanced degree in accounting includes finance, general business, and leadership topics. It focuses on the wide range of skills applicable in various business and managerial situations. An internship or capstone project, a practicum, core topics, and specialisations are all part of a standard MBA in accounting curriculum. As an accounting MBA graduate, you should have managerial, leadership, and business-oriented skills.

Master of Science in Accounting

Unlike an MBA, a Master of Science in Accountancy allows you to develop deep knowledge and skills related to this field, including specialised skills in disciplines such as taxation, organisational risk management, data mining, auditing, and forensic accounting. The core subjects for a Master of Science in Accountancy include mergers and acquisitions, financial accounting, auditing, accounting information systems, and forensic accounting. A Master of Science in Accountancy is more common in countries such as the UK, Canada, and the USA.

Master of Professional Accounting

You can gain various managerial skills from an MPA program that are usable in applied accounting and public accounting environments. The program aims to prepare you for senior accounting positions, in addition to various finance and business roles. An MPA is more common in countries such as Australia and New Zealand as compared to the West.

Master of Accounting

A Master of Accounting course focuses more on certain accounting practices and is designed to help you start a career in taxation, accounting information systems, or financial accounting. Subjects such as strategic management accounting, auditing, and taxation law are usually part of master of accounting programs.

Requirements for a Master's in Accounting

An undergraduate degree is a must to qualify for a master's in accounting in a foreign country. Depending on the institution where you want to apply or the specific course, you may need to hold a bachelor's in accounting itself or in a quantitative subject like computing, commerce, engineering, finance, economics, or business studies. However, an MBA or MPA generally does not require you to have an accounting background. If your degree is in a non-business or non-accounting discipline, you may need to meet prerequisites to show your aptitude for and interest in a numeric career.

Here are the basic requirements you need to hold:

  • A recognised bachelor's degree
  • English proficiency
  • Reference letters (if university-specified)
  • Experience (if university-specified)

Benefits of Getting a Master's in Accounting Abroad

Accounting is no longer considered a surplus skill. It is an essential skill as far as enterprises are concerned. With a degree in accounting, you can improve your employability. There are some amazing opportunities in accounting abroad. The reasons to pursue a master's degree in accounting include the following:

Better Career Prospects

Some developed nations face skill shortages in finance and accounting, which means a wider range of job opportunities for foreigners as well. For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects around 136,000 vacancies for auditors and accountants each year through 2031. The degree will virtually guarantee you a more stable job with higher pay as compared to a domestic position. As per Glassdoor, the average annual salary of accountants in the US is around $65,000 as of March this year.

International Outlook

It is important for an accounting professional to have an international perspective thanks to the increasing globalisation of business. Pursuing a master's degree in accounting in a foreign nation allows you to understand how accounting works in another country, global business practices, and international tax rules. Understanding different business cultures, accounting practices, and so forth can help you be a more attractive candidate for finance and accounting roles.

University

Program

Duration

Fees


Torrens University

Master of Professional Accounting


1.5 years

$45,540 (indicative)

The University of Adelaide

Master of Accounting

2 years

$49,000

Coventry University

MSc in professional accounting


1 year

£20,050

Northumbria University

MSc in Forensic Accounting

1 year

£19,000

The University of Essex

MSc in accounting

1 year

£21,350

The Best Universities for a Master's in Accounting Abroad

A master's degree offers you a strong foundation in accounting and allows you to take on more complex positions in various industries. If you want to pursue this qualification, you should weigh your options before joining a program that leads to it. Here are the top universities for a master's in accounting and finance in Australia or elsewhere.

Torrens University

Torrens University's Master of Professional Accounting is an advanced degree that covers accounting, finance, auditing, economics, tax law, quantitative methods, and information systems. The MPA is a CAANZ- and CPA Australia-accredited course that aims to make you ready for a global accounting career. As a program participant, you will get to learn from the industry-experienced tutors of Torrens University as well as through work-integrated and practical learning. Torrens University's Master of Professional Accounting course will also give you exposure to industry-leading accounting software, including Xero and SAP.

The University of Adelaide

If you want a Master's in Accounting and Finance in Australia, the University of Adelaide is also one of the best schools to consider. The Master of Accounting program at the University of Adelaide offers a path to a career in accounting, business advisory, auditing, or financial management. You will learn about the following from the program:

  • Advanced accounting techniques and concepts
  • Auditing and taxation
  • The fundamentals of management and financial accounting
  • Relevant areas of business such as finance, business law, economics, and information systems

An extensive applied research project is also part of the program. After successfully completing the program, you can get associate membership with Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand (CA ANZ) and CPA Australia.

Coventry University

The Master of Science in Professional Accounting at this UK university focuses on the technical aspects of accounting as well as ways of rethinking modern managerial paradigms and implementing new thinking patterns in this field. From the program, you will understand how important the accounting profession and accountancy are in a global context. London is considered the financial capital of the world as it is home to a large number of finance firms. The program will also allow you to access employment, present market participants, and continuing personal development (CPD) opportunities with top financial companies.

Northumbria University

The MSc in Forensic Accounting at Northumbria University allows you to explore a niche field related to finance and criminal law. You can join the program whether or not you hold an undergraduate degree in accounting. It covers areas like the regulation, policing, and nature of crimes related to finance in the United Kingdom. The literature-based program involves quantitative and qualitative studies and allows you to gain the skills you need to succeed in forensic accounting, which include emotional intelligence and people skills.

The University of Essex

The Master of Science in Accounting is the flagship postgraduate degree of Essex Business School, which goes beyond just the basics of accounting. The program will teach you how to act ethically, be accountable, and make finance-related calls that positively affect companies and society. The program will help you become more knowledgeable in accounting in terms of its scope and depth, as well as proficient in core accounting areas like the following:

  • Financial reporting
  • Management accounting
  • Reporting and analysis
  • Corporate governance

Job Opportunities for Masters in Accounting Graduates

A master's degree in accounting makes it easier for you to pursue a career in auditing, digital forensics, or financial planning. The career paths that you may want to pursue after earning this qualification include the following:

Role

Average Annual Salary

Expected Growth Rate

Financial analyst

$81,000

6%

Tax accountant

$77,500

7%

Auditor

$77,000

7%

Finance manager

$131,000

17%

Personal financial advisor

$95,000

15%

Note that the term "growth rate" here means that the number of jobs for these positions is projected to increase at the rates mentioned, and this applies to the 2020–30 period. It is also worth noting that the Master's in Accounting salary in the table is only an estimate and that the actual figures may vary depending on certain factors, like the specific employer and role.

Which Master's Degree is Best for an Accountant?

It depends on your academic interests and career goals. If you wish to have an advanced position in accounting, an accounting-specific master's degree may be a better option for you. International accounting, forensic accounting, internal auditing, and bookkeeping are among the top specialisations for a master's degree in accounting. If you want accounting knowledge to help start a business, however, an MBA with a concentration in accounting may be a better option for you than an accounting-specific master's degree.

Contact our expert counsellors for more in-depth information about Master's in Accounting requirements, the best universities for the qualification, admission deadlines, and so forth.

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