Certificate in Commerce
Bachelor of Commerce
Bachelor of Commerce with Honours
Graduate Diploma in Commerce
Master of Commerce
Doctor of Philosophy

Bachelor of Arts (minor only)

Ernst and Young


The study of Accounting covers a wide range of accounting practices and theories in a number of different contexts, providing a solid foundation for a successful professional career.

Accountants provide important financial information for key external groups such as owners, investors and regulators as well as assisting managers with insight that allows them to make organisational decisions. Alongside this, accountants verify the accuracy and reliability of financial information (auditing), assess risk and ensure taxation laws are adhered to. 

The subject is therefore divided into:

  • financial accounting and reporting
  • cost and management accounting
  • auditing and assurance
  • taxation
  • other relevant areas, including sustainability reporting.

Why study Accounting at UC?

UC ranks in the top 150 universities in the world for Accounting and Finance (QS World University Rankings by Subject, 2017).

The Bachelor of Commerce Accounting major is a pathway to external qualifications with Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, CPA Australia, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), and other professional accounting bodies internationally.

At UC you will study alternative perspectives on contemporary accounting. Students will learn about the modern, reflective role accountants can play in many spheres such as public and private, social, environmental, economic, political and cultural.

UC experts will help you answer the question of how the nature of the accountant’s work differs from other management and professional specialists, politicians and public officials.

You will also consider important topical issues, such as business ethics and corporate social responsibility, Māori as tāngata whenua and the Crown, and the challenges presented by increasing globalisation.

While some previous study of accounting is useful preparation, it is not essential to have studied accounting at secondary school level.

A background in statistics is recommended. However, accounting is not all number-oriented, and a good grounding in spoken and written English communication is essential.

Students with very good Year 13 results in accounting may be offered direct entry to 200-level Accounting courses at the discretion of the Head of Department of Accounting and Information Systems (ACIS).


See a list of all Accounting courses

100-level courses

UC offers a major and a minor in Accounting as part of the Bachelor of Commerce (BCom). You can also study this subject as a minor within the Bachelor of Arts.

The first-year, 100-level courses required to be taken for a BCom majoring in Accounting are:

* Note: for Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand membership, students must complete ECON104 (ECON199) and ECON105, as well as ACCT152, in addition to other Accounting major requirements at 100-level. For information on the requirements of CPA Australia or the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) please refer to the Department of Accounting and Information Systems.

For the complete, three-year Bachelor of Commerce Accounting major degree plan, or minor courses, see the UC Business School website

200-level and beyond

Courses at 200 and 300-level build on knowledge and skills introduced at 100-level. You can study business sector management accounting, corporate social responsibility, accounting and finance in government and the public service, international corporate financial reporting, and accounting firm practices such as audit, tax and business consulting. 

Career opportunities

As a specialist in accounting you will be able to work in a variety of fields throughout your career. The most common positions are: Chartered Accountant, Accounting Manager, Auditor, Consultant, Credit Analyst, Manager or Executive, Chief Financial Officer.

You can focus on a range of areas such as tax, audit, financial management, investment analysis, business services, company or treasury systems accountancy, government finance or third sector development work. UC Accounting graduates get work in a wide variety of roles around the world.

Many Accounting major graduates go on to become chartered accountants, through Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, or become members of CPA (Australia) or the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). For membership of some of these professional bodies your Bachelor of Commerce degree must include specific courses (see 'Courses' section above and refer to the individual association website for more information). For further advice you can also contact the Department of Accounting and Information Systems.

Find out more about what you can do with a degree in Accounting.

More information

Department of Accounting and Information Systems

Phone +64 3 369 3888

Reception Level 2, Business and Law building - see campus maps

Postal address
College of Business and Law | Te Rāngai Umanga me te Ture
University of Canterbury | Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha
Private Bag 4800
Christchurch 8140
New Zealand

Amber cunningham

Amber Cunningham

'We are constantly meeting new people, including CFOs and senior managers of large companies...'

Hannah Ting

Hannah Ting

'I love how Accounting and Law are so intertwined yet so distinct...'