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A fast-track conversion qualification for non-accounting graduates who want to pursue a career in accounting or finance.


Study Accounting at Ulster University in the United Kingdom.

The Graduate Diploma in Accounting at Ulster University is designed to offer you a route to become a chartered accountant.

The course is suitable for students with little or no previous knowledge of accounting and finance who wish to study these subjects further, or who wish to undertake postgraduate studies in accounting and finance but lack the depth of knowledge necessary to study at master’s level.

Throughout this fast-track conversion programme, you will develop your knowledge and understanding of the key aspects of accounting, finance and business.

The Graduate Diploma in Accounting will also help you to enhance your personal skills, as well as the subject-specific and professional skills you will need to be successful as an accountant.

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About this course

In this section


The Graduate Diploma in Accounting at Ulster University will take you a step closer towards a career as a chartered accountant.

The course includes both accounting and accounting-related modules which allows graduates from non-accounting degrees to obtain a general introduction to the subject, and then specialise in particular areas of accounting suited to their career aspirations.

We also work in close collaboration with employers to ensure that the course is relevant and up-to-date and that what you study meets industry needs.

Throughout the programme, you will develop a strong core knowledge and understanding of the principles, issues and applications of accounting and of the broader financial and economic environment.

You will also acquire a range of intellectual skills including critical, analytical and problem-solving skills relevant to financial law, business finance and investment decision-making.

Some of our previous graduates have progressed to postgraduate study at master’s level. Many have found employment and been successful in a variety of sectors and roles including corporate finance, equity research, fund management and management consultancy.


The programme is delivered over one academic year (late September - late June). It is a full-time course which is delivered through lectures and seminars and it is expected that students will undertake independent study.

Start dates

  • September 2016
How to apply


Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.

Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.

In this section

Year one

Audit and Assurance

Year: 1

This module introduces the student to the conceptual and theoretical fundamentals of auditing combined with the practical application of auditing principles and the issues encountered in a financial reporting and audit environment. It identifies the skills that a professional auditor must have and how best to utilise those skills in today?s challenging business environment.

Financial Accounting

Year: 1

Basic theoretical and conceptual framework including financial statements. The objectives of financial statements and users expectations. Double-entry book keeping and accounting procedures and systems. Preparation of financial statements for different types of enterprise; including from incomplete records.

Financial Reporting

Year: 1

Regulations and influences on financial reporting. Preparation of published financial statements; the interpretation of financial statements; Accounting for business combinations.

Management Accounting

Year: 1

To provide students with an opportunity to study for a first time the concepts and processes used to determine product and service costs and to apply these to a range of costing and accounting systems and how this contributes to the achievement of organisational objectives.

Management Accounting in Practice

Year: 1

Having completed this module the student will be able to: understand the role of the management accountant and how this contributes to the achievement of organisational objectives; understand the role of modern management accounting practices which enable organisations to develop and assess performance; and apply appropriate management decision tools to a specified range of scenarios.

Regulatory Framework of Accounting

Year: 1

The nature and purpose of accounting theory; the theory of measurement of capital and income; the role of accounting regulation including the development of both international and national accounting standards; the legal framework and the stock exchange.

Financial Management

Year: 1

This module looks at the role and importance of finance and financial management within the process of managerial decision making. It will enable students to understand the principles of financial management, investment appraisal and working capital control and to provide relevant information and advice to both organisations and individuals.

Modern Taxation

Year: 1

A knowledge of taxation is essential to students intending to pursue a career in accounting and is an essential part of most financial and economic decision making. This module provides a fundamental undertaking of the main aspects of the UK tax system covering personal, business taxation, corporation tax, inheritance tax and capital gains tax as well as an understanding of the administration of the self-assessment system.

Quantitative Methods and Economic Environment

Year: 1

This module develops students? quantitative skills and provides the building blocks for subsequent quantitative analysis in the economics component of the module. This module will provide an introduction to the fundamental concepts and applications of economics as they affect individuals, firms and governments, as well as the policy decisions taken in industry, commerce, and local government.

Law for Accountants

Year: 1

This module develops an understanding of the legal system and how it works. It gives a knowledge of and experience in applying the rules of contract, agency, employment and company law considered to be of importance to the accountant in private practice.

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

Entry requirements

A second class honours degree (or equivalent) in a non-relevant discipline, or an equivalent standard in a professional qualification. Exceptionally, applicants who do not satisfy these requirements may be admitted if they can provide evidence of an ability to undertake the programme through the accreditation of prior experiential learning.

A level requirements

A good standard of English and Maths is required but specific A levels are not necessary.

Irish Leaving Certificate

A good standard of English and Maths is required but The Irish Leaving Certificate is not necessary.

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

Suitable choices of modules taken may lead to exemption from the nine fundamental examinations of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants; some of the operational and management level examinations of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, or the CA Proficiency 1 (CAP1) examinations of the Chartered Accountants Ireland.

Careers & opportunities

In this section

Career options

Successful students can progress to the MSc Advanced Accounting.

This qualification will lead to careers in accounting, with graduates having acquired a basic knowledge of the core areas of accounting, as well as exemptions from professional examinations.

Professional recognition

Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)

Accredited by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) for the purpose of exemptions from some professional examinations.

Chartered Accountants Ireland

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

Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)

Accredited by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) for the purpose of exemption from some professional examinations through the Accredited degree accelerated route.


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

Applications are welcome up until the programme starts in September.

How to apply

Start dates

  • September 2016

Fees and funding

In this section

Fees (total cost)

Important notice - fees information Tuition fees shown are for last years entry. Fees are correct at the time of publishing and may be subject to an annual increase. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study. Read our Tuition Fees Payment Policy

Northern Ireland & EU:

Additional mandatory costs

Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel and normal living are a part of university life. 

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them in the online prospectus. 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 - Mr Stephen McNamee

T: +44 (0)28 9036 6491