Master of Professional Accounting

Fast Track

Master of Professional AccountingThis internationally recognised masters degree will prepare you to launch a professional career in accounting after just 14 months of study. Start your academic journey towards becoming a Chartered Accountant today.

The Master of Professional Accounting (MPAcct) is designed especially for students who have never studied accounting before at university-level, but already have a bachelor's degree in another subject area, such as arts, teaching, law or economics. It provides a professional qualification that is recognised and respected by employers in New Zealand and around the world.

Over 14 months, you will develop advanced skills and knowledge in all the core areas of accounting and business, and be able to apply critical thinking and problem-solving skills to practical accounting situations. On completion, you'll be ready to start work in a public accounting practice, or at a commercial firm or organisation.

There are two intakes for this course each year, so you can start in either November (T Semester) or January (S Semester). Please note it is a full-time course.

For personalised career and study advice, talk to our friendly team of advisers in the Management Student Centre (MSC), phone 0800 654 303 or email

Gain membership of three professional accounting bodies

Waikato's Master of Professional Accounting is approved by three of the world's largest professional accounting bodies.

This means our graduates can apply for provisional membership of all three, making it your passport to work overseas and expanding your networks.

Waikato has an international reputation

You'll be studying at Waikato Management School, a Triple Crown international business school accredited by EQUIS, AMBA and AACSB since 2005. This is a global benchmark of excellence in teaching and research, achieved by less than 1% of the world's business schools.

Gain a master's degree from a university ranked in the world's top 150 for the subjects of Accounting, Finance, and Business & Management Studies, by the prestigious QS Subject Rankings.

Professional accounting internship or research project

As part of this degree, you have the option to take either a professional accounting internship in the workplace (ACCT583), or an 8-10,000-word research project on a contemporary accounting issue (ACCT582).

You can apply for the Master of Professional Accounting if you:

  • Have a bachelor's degree in any subject area, or equivalent, and
  • Have achieved at least a B-minus grade average in your final year.

International students must have an equivalent qualification from a recognised university, and meet the English language requirements.

Linzi GaoLinzi Gao

Master of Professional Accounting, Accounting, 2016

Linzi Gao is an international student from Sichuan, China who is motivated to build a successful career for herself as a Chartered Accountant and start a new life in New Zealand.

She felt that Waikato’s Master in Professional Accounting was a quick and efficient way to do this, taking only 14 months of intensive study to complete. "The MPAcct degree is challenging, but it’s definitely worth it in the end. The students at Waikato Management School are very future-oriented and full of energy to accept new challenges. I was constantly inspired by my peers."

Linzi felt confident that the teaching and content would be of a high standard, because the course is run by Waikato’s Management School, which has an "excellent international reputation", she says.

One of the standout assignments for Linzi was financial management. “The paper is very practical and I loved Professor Mary Low’s teaching style. The way she teaches is fun, inspiring and intellectually stimulating."

She really enjoyed her time at Waikato University. "The employer networking events held by Waikato Management School Students’ Association were awesome. They enabled me to meet experienced professionals from companies such as PwC and KPMG and learn more about their graduate accounting programmes."

Judit DervadelinJudit Dervadelin

Master of Professional Accounting with First Class Honours, 2016
Auditor at BDO Waikato, Hamilton

"Not every audit is easy; sometimes it's very demanding work, but when the pieces of the puzzle all fit into place, it's extremely rewarding," says BDO Waikato auditor Judit Dervadelin.

Judit graduated from Waikato's 14-month Mater of Professional Accounting in April this year and secured her first accounting role thanks to a glowing reference from one of her lecturers.

Originally from Hungary, she came to New Zealand with a bachelor’s degree in economics, but thought it would be helpful for her career to gain expertise in accounting as well. "If you understand accounting terms, you understand business," she says.

"I feel I received an excellent education from the MPAcct degree; the knowledge I gained helps me in my job every day. I wanted a shorter course, and Waikato was the only university in New Zealand offering an intensive 14-month masters in accounting."

"The course was practical, up-to-date with what's happening in the industry, and my lecturers were very approachable."

Judit also liked the fact that Waikato Management School has Triple Crown accreditation from AMBA, EQUIS and AACSB, so her degree is internationally recognised by employers overseas.

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