Accounting at UC - Accounting and Information Systems - University of Canterbury - New Zealand

Student Profile

‘My career goals involve becoming a chartered accountant... and from there to work my way up in my field...’

Tamati Smith
Studying toward a BCom in Accounting
(read profile)

Accounting at UC

Accounting is synonymous with being a professional accountant, playing a big part in running all sorts of organisations from airlines to farms, manufacturers and motion picture studios to wineries and zoos, here in New Zealand or overseas – there are even accounting jobs at Scott Base on Antarctica!

Qualifications leading to being a professional accountant

The three main qualifications in UC’s Accounting Programme all lead to becoming a Chartered Accountant Australia and New Zealand, a Certified Practicing Accountant Australia or a member of the equivalent professional accounting body in other countries (see the institute list).

The three qualifications consist of accounting, auditing and taxation, with vital support components in law, economics, management, mathematics and statistics, communications and information systems. Two are at bachelors degree level, so you can study them straight from secondary school; and the third is at master degree level, if you’ve already gained a bachelors degree in another discipline. The qualifications are:

Higher Level Qualifications

UC’s Accounting Programme also comprises higher level qualifications at masters and doctorate level. These involve study and research into the wider area accounting. Higher level qualifications are open to graduates with a bachelors degree in accounting who want to add an additional year of study, and those who want to return to study full-time or part-time, including chartered accountants and certified practising accountants. The qualifications are:

What to expect in the Accounting programme

Accounting is a vital part of organisations and societies worldwide. Accountants need to be able to understand, utilise and analyse information for organisational purposes, whether they are working with small businesses and community organisations, a national or multinational company, a city council or major charity, the Government or the International Monetary Fund.

Accounting knowledge and skills don’t just run to financial statements, spreadsheets and accounting software. They can be about raising investment capital, deploying it wisely, being a steward and exercising professional expertise and judgement.

On our accounting programme, you’ll not only learn these skills, but you’ll learn how to maintain and enhance them, as technology, economies, societies and the composition of accountant work changes in the decades ahead .

As a basis for being work-ready when you emerge from UC’s Accounting Programme, you will do some in-depth and engaged learning on wide ranging topics, including:

  • Accounting and finance in governments, public bodies and public services
  • Accounting firm practices, including audit, tax and business consulting
  • Accounting, sustainability and corporate social responsibility
  • Accounting for social and environmental organisations
  • Business sector management accounting, at operational and strategic levels
  • International corporate, governmental and non-governmental financial reporting.

Courses in Accounting and Taxation

Our Accounting Programme courses are provided by research-active academics based in the Department of Accounting and Information Systems. The courses are in two groups: those associated specifically with the Master of Professional Accounting (MPA); and those making up the bachelor, other masters and doctoral qualifications. To find out more details of each course:

Career opportunities in Accounting and Taxation

As a chartered or certified accountant you will be able to generalise or specialise in more areas than we can possibly list here, but here are some possible career pathways:

Actuary Auditor

Business Analyst

Chief Executive Cost Accountant Cruise Ship's Accountant
Accounting Educator Financial Accountant Financial Consultant
Financial Controller Management Accountant Management Consultant
Project Accountant Accounting Researcher Senior Manager
Tax Collector Tax Consultant University Professor

For further information about careers in IS, visit the UC Careers website at

And if you want to check out job openings right now, here’s another UC Careers link to job vacancy websites

Want to know more about Accounting and Taxation?

The student advisors in the UC Business School can assist you in a variety of ways from planning your degree to helping with special applications regarding your course of study. Find out more online at or email

Or you can contact the Accounting and Taxation academic staff. See the department staff list online at or email