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A popular postgraduate programme for high calibre accounting graduates which provides full CAP 2 exemptions and excellent employment prospects.


This popular vocational programme is designed to meet the needs of accounting graduates who wish to pursue a career as an Irish Chartered Accountant. It is an academically challenging programme which attracts high calibre accounting graduates. It allows students to combine a postgraduate master's qualification with study for professional examinations.

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About this course

In this section


This well established and popular 'dual award' programme is designed to meet the needs of accounting graduates who wish to pursue a career as an Irish Chartered Accountant. It is an academically challenging one-year taught programme which encompasses both professional and conceptual material, enabling accounting graduates to study for a master's award and at the same time gain exemptions from professional examinations of Chartered Accountants Ireland. It is one of the leading programmes of its kind in Ireland and is the result of close collaboration with CAI, and the in-depth experience and expertise of the course team.

It is an aim of the programme to develop the high level of skills, understanding and leadership capability considered necessary for embarking on a career as a Chartered Accountant, and to obtain a deeper understanding of the contemporary problems and issues faced by accounting and business professionals. The master's dissertation element of the programme will enable students to develop their research and analytical skills further by completing a piece of primary research.

A highly desirable feature of the programme is the level of sponsorship provided by employers. Students being sponsored on the programme receive payment of tuition fees, generous book allowances and in some instances loans and laptops.

Recent employers and sponsors of graduates include ASM, BDO, Deloitte, EY, FPM, KPMG, Moore Stephens, PwC, RSM McClure Watters.


Over the course of one academic year, lectures and seminars are scheduled during the University working day, and typically spread over four days per week during each semester. Typically 16 contact hours per week with the remainder of the time allocated to independent study.

Start dates

  • September 2018
How to apply

Entry conditions

We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.

In this section

Entry Requirements

Entrants will normally possess a good second class Honours degree (currently 2.1) in an accounting discipline and must also be exempt from all CAP 1 subjects of Chartered Accountants Ireland.

Students who have successfully completed the Graduate Diploma in Accounting (currently with commendation) and gained full CAP 1 exemptions are also invited to apply. English language competence: minimum IELTS score of 6.0 or equivalent.

Prior to admission to this course, students must provide the university with a certificate of exemption from Chartered Accountants Ireland. Exemption Application Forms are available on the web at and the deadline for exemption applications is 31 July.

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.

Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.

Exemptions and transferability

This programme grants successful graduates exemptions from all CAP 2 level subjects of Chartered Accountants Ireland and permits students to progress directly to the final admitting examinations (FAE) of Chartered Accountants Ireland.

Careers & opportunities

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Career options

Career Options

Employment prospects for students completing this programme are excellent, with typically close to 100% of students securing training contracts with Chartered Accountancy firms.

The programme is highly regarded by employers, with many of the large and medium sized chartered accountancy firms sponsoring students on the programme. See Fees & Funding.

On successful completion of the programme, students not only gain a postgraduate qualification but also full CAP2 exemptions. With pass rates typically at 100%, students only have to complete the final FAE examinations in order to qualify as a Chartered Accountant.

The goal of the programme is to produce high-calibre graduates who will progress quickly through their professional training and advance to senior management positions within the accountancy profession.

Career opportunities for Chartered Accountants have never been better. Currently, two thirds of CAI members are working in industry, business or finance. Many leading companies in Ireland have a Chartered Accountant as their Financial Director or Chief Executive. A third of members are currently working in practice. International recognition brings global mobility for members with over 3,500 members working outside Ireland (e.g. Australia, USA, Canada, Caribbean).

Professional recognition

Chartered Accountants Ireland

Accredited by Chartered Accountants Ireland for the purpose of exemption from some professional exams.


How to apply Request a prospectus

Applications to our postgraduate courses are made through the University’s online application system.

Start dates

  • September 2018

Fees and funding

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Fees (total cost)

Important notice - fees information Fees illustrated are based on 18/19 entry and are subject to an annual increase. Correct at the time of publishing. Terms and conditions apply. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study.
Visit our Fees pages for full details of fees

Northern Ireland & EU:
£13,680.00  Scholarships available

Scholarships, awards and prizes


Current sponsors include ASM, BDO, Deloitte, EY, FPM, KPMG, Moore Stephens, PwC, and RSM McClure Watters. Sponsorship includes payment of tuition fees and book allowances, with some sponsors providing living allowances and laptops.

Many of the sponsors have set up mentoring groups for ‘sponsored’ students on the programme. Current students meet with past-students who have already commenced their training contracts, and share study tips.


Three prizes are awarded each year on the programme.

Chartered Accountants Ulster Society award a prize to the highest performing students overall (excluding the examinations). Chartered Accountants Ireland (CAI) award a prize for the best dissertation. PwC award a prize for the highest mark in the Research Methods module.

These prizes are presented at our annual Prize-Giving Event each Winter, when students and their guests attend along with teaching staff, sponsors and other key employers.

All students on the programme graduate at our Winter Graduation Ceremony in December. It is a wonderful event for students and their families.

Additional mandatory costs

Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges), and normal living are a part of university life.

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.

We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi is also available on each of the campuses.

There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course.

Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees.

Please contact the course team for more information.


Course Director: Helen McGuffin
Lecturer in Accounting
T: +44 (0)28 9036 8716




This post-graduate programme attracts high calibre accounting graduates every year. The programme offers full CAP 2 exemptions from Chartered Accountants Ireland, and is highly regarded by employers.

Typically all students completing the programme secure training contracts with Chartered Accountancy firms in Ireland which is testament to the quality of the programme and the calibre of the students.

Helen McGuffin, Course Director


I would definitely say ‘do the course’. I’ve just started my new job and I am in such a good position to not have any exams this year or any weekend classes - it’s hard enough settling into a new job.

Complete the course. It's far easier that trying to work at the same time as study.

You're much more likely to get a job if you haven't already got one.

Doing this course combined with some experience and good interview skills should get you offers from ALL major firms.

I really enjoyed the course. I learned a lot, made good friends and am extremely glad that I did it. Couldn't recommend it more.


This programme is a key accountancy programme in Northern Ireland for those wishing to gain maximum exemptions from the Institute’s examinations. The Institute acknowledges the efforts of students, lecturers and sponsoring firms in securing training contracts for the programme’s students. The excellent results achieved each year reflect the high calibre of students completing the programme.

Ronan O’Loughlin, Director of Training & Education, Chartered Accountants Ireland


EY is delighted with the success of its students who have completed the Masters in Advanced Accounting. Over the years, this course has provided our firm with a succession of exceptionally bright, highly motivated trainee Chartered Accountants, many of whom have gone on to have successful careers in EY.

Keith Jess, Partner, EY

We have always been a supporter of the Masters in Advanced Accounting. This is reflective of the quality of graduates which the University attracts to the programme. Our continuing commitment is demonstrated by the number of students from the programme who join the firm.

John Poole, Partner, KPMG

FPM is fully supportive of the course, having recruited many students of a very high calibre over the years.

Feargal McCormack, Managing Partner, FPM


The use of professionals from practice to observe presentations is good practice and commensurate with the aims and objectives of the course. The liaison the module leader conducts with the professional body is commendable to ensure academic and professional body standards are maintained.

Julie Drake, University of Huddersfield

The wide range of learning and assessment approaches across the modules is commendable. The nature of the work is particularly well aligned with the type of professional engagement that will eventually be expected of entrants to the accounting profession, and it is commendable that students on the modules are led towards longer term employability skills rather than just short term technical skills.

Andy Holden, Newcastle University

The modules are structured to include technical skills and interpretation alongside appreciation of the academic/research literature. Such courses provide an excellent learning opportunity for students, bringing together the academic learning appropriate for master’s level alongside the technical skills required for professional accreditation.

Greg Stoner, University of Glasgow

The programme team work very hard to ensure that the students are motivated and interact. This comes across in the teaching and learning strategies that are adopted by the programme. An excellent team who work very hard for the benefit of the students and the programme.

Alexandra Charles, De Montfort University