Join us for Postgraduate Info Evening

14 March 6pm - 6:45pm (AEDT)

Grow your accounting expertise and pursue CPA accreditation with a Graduate Diploma of Professional Accounting at Australia’s #1 university for Accounting and Finance.*

 

Faculty
UNSW Business School
Award
Graduate Diploma in Professional Accounting
Commencing Terms
Term 1
Duration (Full Time)
1 year

Overview

The Graduate Diploma in Professional Accounting is a graduate diploma that builds on your existing knowledge of the accounting profession. This 1-year full-time course will prime you with the skills and knowledge to enter the CPA program to become a Certified Practicing Accountant (CPA). 

Through a combination of face-to-face and virtual learning, you’ll cover the key knowledge required for membership to Australia’s primary recognised accounting body. With support from top UNSW academics and tutors, you’ll develop a thorough understanding of financial reporting, ethics, leadership and strategy to round out your skill set.

This degree is also a great option if you are wanting the become a Certified Practicing Accountant or CPA. A CPA is a special qualification to mark a high level of professional competence and is managed by an external body, CPA Australia. We've got more information about what is a CPA and how this relates to your study and professional opportunities once you've graduated. 

Who should choose this degree?

This graduate diploma is ideal for professionals seeking additional support to obtain CPA membership and accelerate their entry into the workforce as an accountant, financial reporter or tax professional. 

Key features

  • Direct path to CPA accreditation
    Unlike many professional accounting courses, the Graduate Diploma in Professional Accounting (CPA) at UNSW teaches the content you’ll require for CPA accreditation content directly to students instead of self-directed learning.

  • Industry aligned
    This diploma guides you through the core knowledge areas required to enter the accounting profession in Australia, with your choice of electives including Financial Risk Management, Digital Finance and Australian Taxation. 

  • Additional support
    You’ll have access to skilled tutors to help you confidently undertake CPA exams. This is particularly valuable for international students who wish to work in Australia after graduation.

Why study this degree at UNSW?

You’ll study at UNSW Business School, ranked #1 in Australia for Accounting and Finance.* You’ll join a diverse community of students, academics and industry professionals. 

You’ll grow your business knowledge, communication and problem-solving skills, and build leadership and cultural competence – attractive qualities for any professional entering the workforce in Australia or abroad.

At UNSW, we provide additional support for international students who want to study and work in Australia after graduation. If you’re an international student you’ll also have access to professional development opportunities to help you understand workplace culture in Australia and get a foothold in your chosen industry.

*QS World University Rankings by subject, 2023

Program Code
5415
CRICOS Code
111881E
Total Units of Credit (UOC)
36

Want to see more from UNSW Business School?

Entry requirements

For entry into this program, you must have a qualifying undergraduate or postgraduate degree. You must also meet the foundation competency requirement for entry into the CPA program. You can contact CPA Australia to request an eligibility assessment, which you’ll then submit as part of your application.

In exceptional circumstances, applicants with extensive professional work experience in relevant fields may be considered.

Relevant fields

Examples of relevant fields include, but are not restricted to:

  • accounting
  • taxation
  • auditing
  • financial reporting
  • financial data analysis

English language requirements

 

You may be asked to provide evidence of your English proficiency to study at UNSW depending on your educational background and citizenship. English language skills are vitally important for coping with lectures, tutorials, assignments and examinations - this is why UNSW requires a minimum English language competency for enrolment.

If you’re completing an Australian Year 12 qualification (e.g. NSW HSC or equivalent), you do not need to provide anything extra to prove your proficiency. Your qualification will be used as evidence of your English proficiency.

If you do need to provide evidence of your English proficiency, this will be indicated in your application. You can prove this by providing evidence that you meet one or more of the following criteria:

If you need to improve your English skills before you start your degree, UNSW College’s Academic English Programs are for you. The programs are suitable for various English levels and help you prepare for university studies and life in Australia.

Recognition of Prior Learning

If you are applying for a Masters’ degree, up to four courses, or 24 Units of Credit (UOC) may be awarded based on your previous business studies (bachelor or higher). You’ll be notified of the credits in your official letter of offer.

For entry into most courses at UNSW, international students may need to meet minimum academic and English language entry requirements

To study the Graduate Certificate in Professional Accounting (CPA), you must have an internationally recognised undergraduate or postgraduate degree in a relevant field. You must also meet the foundation competency requirement for entry into the CPA program. You can contact CPA Australia to request an eligibility assessment, which you’ll then submit as part of your application.

In exceptional circumstances, applicants with extensive professional work experience in relevant fields may be considered.

Relevant fields

Examples of relevant fields include, but are not restricted to:

  • accounting
  • taxation
  • auditing
  • financial reporting
  • financial data analysis

English language requirements


You may be asked to provide evidence of your English proficiency to study at UNSW depending on whether you are from an English-speaking background or non-English speaking background. English language skills are vitally important for coping with lectures, tutorials, assignments and examinations - this is why UNSW requires a minimum English language competency for enrolment.

If English is not your first language, you’ll need to provide proof of your English proficiency before you can be given an offer to study at UNSW. You can do this by providing evidence that you meet one or more of the following criteria:

If you need to improve your English skills before you start your degree, UNSW College’s Academic English Programs are for you. The programs are suitable for various English levels and help you prepare for university studies and life in Australia.

Check the specific English language requirements for this program

Recognition of Prior Learning

If you are applying for a Masters’ degree, up to four courses, or 24 Units of Credit (UOC) may be awarded based on your previous business studies (bachelor or higher). You’ll be notified of the credits in your official letter of offer.

Program structure

Professional Accounting (CPA) is a 1-year full-time graduate diploma, with the option to study part-time. Students complete 36 units of credit (UOC), which include:

  • Four compulsory courses – 24 UOC
  • Two elective courses – 12 UOC

The compulsory courses provide a strong foundational understanding of accounting and financial principles in Australia. Courses include:

  • Ethics and governance
  • Financial reporting
  • Strategic management accounting
  • Global strategy and leadership

Full program structure

Students must complete 36 units of credit (UOC), including four compulsory courses. Then, they will choose two of the three available electives. 

The Graduate Diploma in Professional Accounting offers additional support for students seeking accreditation with CPA Australia. 

Compulsory courses

  • Ethics and governance
  • Financial reporting
  • Strategic management accounting
  • Global strategy and leadership

Electives

  • Financial risk management
  • Digital finance
  • Australian taxation

Future careers

A Graduate Diploma in Professional Accounting provides a clear pathway to accreditation and opens up a range of career opportunities in the finance and accounting sectors. As a certified accountant, you can explore jobs across the public, private and not-for-profit sectors in Australia and overseas. 

UNSW Business School's Career Accelerator program readies students for work by creating opportunities for students to connect with industry professionals and gain hands-on experience in their chosen field through internships, mentoring and academic support.

Potential careers

The Graduate Diploma in Professional Accounting is ideal if you’re interested in a career as a:

  • Professional accountant
  • Chartered accountant
  • Taxation specialist
  • Auditor
  • Forensic accountant
  • Government advisor
  • Risk management consultant
  • ESG analyst
  • Superannuation or investment advisor

How to apply

Applications must be submitted through our Apply Online portal. We encourage you to submit your completed application as early as possible to ensure it will be processed in time for your preferred term. Some high-demand programs and Faculties with limited places may have an earlier application deadline or commencement date. Find out more.

Ready to start your application?

For most international students, applications are submitted via our Apply Online service. We encourage you to submit your completed application as early as possible to ensure it will be processed in time for your preferred term.

Some high-demand programs with limited places, may have an earlier application deadline or may have an earlier commencement date. For more information visit our international applicant information page.

Ready to start your application?

Fees & Scholarships

2024 Indicative First Year Full Fee
$28,500*
2024 Indicative Full Fee to Complete Degree
$28,500*

*In addition to the program fee, students must also enrol and pay for CPA Australia exams and membership. Students applying to CPA Australia for associate (ASA) membership will be liable for the following fees:


2023 Application fee: $200
First-year membership: Associate (full year): $355
First-year membership: Associate (half year): $177.50 *only relevant for students who commence their studies in term 2
Total: $555 (full year)           $377.50 (half year)               

In the following years, ASAs will pay an annual membership fee of $355. This annual fee pricing relates to 2023 only. Pricing for 2024 is not currently available.

Students will also be liable to pay CPA Australia subject enrolment fees which includes the cost of the examination and study resources. The subject enrolment fee is $1420, however we would encourage students to enrol during the early bird time period to receive a reduced enrolment fee of $1260.

The full fee for completion of this program including CPA costs is $36,975. for more information visit www.cpaaustralia.com.au.

The indicative tuition fee for domestic postgraduate students shown is for fee paying students, not students in Commonwealth Supported Places. To find out more about the student contribution amounts for Commonwealth Supported Places visit Postgraduate Commonwealth Support.

Fees are subject to annual review by the University and may increase annually, with the new fees effective from the start of each calendar year. The indicative fees listed here are based on an estimated average and are for tuition only other fees and charges are not included. The amount you pay will vary depending on the calendar year to enrol, the courses you select and whether your study load is more or less than 1 Equivalent Full Time Student Load (8 courses per year). Indicative fees are a guide for comparison only based on current conditions and available data. You should not rely on indicative fees. More information on fees can be found at the UNSW fees website. Indicative fees to complete the program have been calculated based on a percentage increase for every year of the program. Fee increases are assessed annually and may exceed the indicative figures listed.

2024 Indicative First Year Fee
$42,000*
2024 Indicative Fee to Complete Degree
$43,000*

*In addition to the program fee, students must also enrol and pay for CPA Australia exams and membership. Students applying to CPA Australia for associate (ASA) membership will be liable for the following fees:


2023 Application fee: $200
First-year membership: Associate (full year): $355
First-year membership: Associate (half year): $177.50 *only relevant for students who commence their studies in term 2
Total: $555 (full year)           $377.50 (half year)               

In the following years, ASAs will pay an annual membership fee of $355. This annual fee pricing relates to 2023 only. Pricing for 2024 is not currently available.

Students will also be liable to pay CPA Australia subject enrolment fees which includes the cost of the examination and study resources. The subject enrolment fee is $1420, however we would encourage students to enrol during the early bird time period to receive a reduced enrolment fee of $1260.

The full fee for completion of this program including CPA costs is $47,415. for more information visit www.cpaaustralia.com.au.

 

*Fees are subject to annual review by the University and may increase annually, with the new fees effective from the start of each calendar year. The indicative fees listed here are based on an estimated average and are for tuition only other fees and charges are not included. The amount you pay will vary depending on the calendar year to enrol, the courses you select and whether your study load is more or less than 1 Equivalent Full Time Student Load (8 courses per year).

Indicative fees are a guide for comparison only based on current conditions and available data. You should not rely on indicative fees. More information on fees can be found at the UNSW fees website.

Indicative fees to complete the program have been calculated based on a percentage increase for every year of the program. Fee increases are assessed annually and may exceed the indicative figures listed here.

Indicative fees to complete the program include tuition plus an estimate of study-related costs of approximately $1,000 per year. To find out more about other costs, visit UNSW International.

Scholarships


At UNSW, we award over $83 million in scholarships each year. We pride ourselves on rewarding excellence and making university accessible to students from all walks of life. Whether you’re a domestic or international student, our range of scholarships, prizes and awards can support your journey.