Overview

This highly regarded programme is accredited by international associations and professional bodies, and is designed to equip students with the skills needed to solve complex accounting and business problems with a global perspective.

To complete the programme, you will need to attain a total of 36 credits of coursework, comprising of 6 core courses (Part One) and 6 elective courses (Part Two) worth 3 credits each.

Part One is accredited as a conversion programme specially designed for those without accounting degrees to fulfil the requirements of professional examinations. Part Two is designed for accountants to deepen their knowledge in various aspects of accounting and apply it to the workplace.


Programme schedule

  • Full-time programme (1 year)

    1st TRIMESTER | September-December
    4 core courses

    2nd TRIMESTER | December-March
    2 core courses
    1-2 elective courses

    3rd TRIMESTER | March-June
    3-4 elective courses

    SUMMER TERM (OPTIONAL) | June-July
    1-2 elective courses

  • Part-time programme (2 years)

    FIRST YEAR

    1ST TRIMESTER | September-December
    2 core courses

    2ND TRIMESTER | December-March
    2 core courses

    3RD TRIMESTER | March-June
    2 core courses


    SECOND YEAR

    1ST TRIMESTER | September-December
    1-2 elective courses

    2ND TRIMESTER | December-March
    1-2 elective courses

    3RD TRIMESTER | March-June
    1-2 elective courses

    SUMMER TERM (OPTIONAL) | June-July
    1-2 elective courses

Notes:

  • Core and elective courses are subject to change.
  • Elective courses may be offered as intensive courses every alternate year or in the summer term.

Course list

Part One – Core courses

  • Financial Accounting and External Reporting

    This course deals with advanced aspects of financial accounting. Topics covered include the financial reporting environment in Hong Kong, fair value accounting, intangible assets, contingent liabilities, deferred income taxes, accounting for post-retirement benefits, equity and cost methods of accounting for long-term investments, business combinations (purchase and pooling), consolidation of parent/subsidiary financial statements, and interpretation of financial statements. Students will be required to critically evaluate various accounting valuation, reporting and disclosure issues.
  • Cost and Management Accounting

    This course introduces the students to the basic concepts, techniques and application of cost and management accounting. Topics include cost concepts, cost behavior, costing systems, cost determination and allocation, standard costing and variance analysis, relevant costs, and budgetary planning and performance evaluation. Methods and techniques of cost management in the service sector and in the advanced manufacturing environment are discussed. Accounting implications for management planning, control, and decision making will be emphasized.
  • Auditing and Professional Practice

    This course will provide an examination of the economic theory of auditing, the role and responsibilities of auditors, the concepts and techniques employed by auditors, and auditing procedures for balance sheet and profit and loss items. Other topics include auditing and the public accounting profession, internal control, audit planning, financial statement audits, reporting on auditing financial statements, professional ethics and auditor's legal liability, accepting and planning the audit, evidential matter/working papers, internal controls, and system auditing. Other topics of current interest available in the literature will also be discussed.
  • Business and Company Law

    This course introduces students to the institutions, doctrine and methodology of the law in the business and corporation contents. After a discussion of the legal system of Hong Kong SAR, the first part of the course examines selected subjects in contract, tort of negligence, employment, and sales of goods. The second part of the course will focus on company law, such as formation of companies, the effects of incorporations, the division of powers and obligations among various organs of the company, its relationship with outsiders, financing and dividend issues, and options available to companies in financial difficulties.
  • Taxation and Tax Planning

    This course covers the basic elements and statutes of Hong Kong taxation system, including salaries tax, property tax, profits tax, personal assessment, depreciation allowances, and tax administration. After this basic knowledge, the course will introduce advanced concepts of tax planning, problem solving with practical examples and the inter-relationships between different types of taxes. Local tax cases will be discussed extensively.
  • Financial Management for Professional Accountants

    This course identifies and provides a framework for analyzing the major financial decisions made by a firm. Issues addressed include asset valuation models, investment decision making, analysis of risk, financial planning, dividend policy, working capital management, sources of long-term finances and the cost of capital, and the financial mix for the firm.

Part Two – Elective courses

  • Financial Accounting Theory

    This course establishes a framework for evaluating accounting choices and categorizing the strength of authority for particular accounting treatments. This is accomplished by exposing the students to empirical accounting research and by creating an awareness of the endogenous factors affecting accounting decisions. Major themes are the integration of cash flow and accrual based measures of income from a theoretical perspective and the synthesis of accounting choice questions based on the asset valuation versus income measurement dichotomy. The end result will be a deeper understanding of both the structure and the process of accounting policy-making.
  • Business Valuation and Analysis

    The course introduces a framework for business valuation analysis using corporate disclosure and financial statement data. The framework identifies four key components of valuation: business strategy analysis, accounting analysis, financial analysis, and prospective analysis. Employing a case methodology, applications of this framework in a variety of decision-making contexts including securities analysis, credit analysis, and merger and acquisition decisions are examined.
  • Comparative Financial Reporting

    This course examines the evolution of accounting under different political and economic systems and explores current theory and research on the impact of local and international institutional features on financial reporting and disclosure practices. In so doing, it provides participants with a conceptual framework for analyzing the economic causes and consequences of differences in reporting and disclosure practices and their impact on international commerce, finance, and investment. The course includes discussion of recent and proposed changes in reporting standards with a focus on the local and international reporting environment.
  • Management Control Systems

    Designed properly, management control systems serve to influence and structure employee behavior in ways that increase the likelihood that organizational objectives are achieved or exceeded. This course provides an advanced- level examination of the alternative control mechanisms available to organizations, theories underlying their use, and their intended--and often unintended--effects on behavior. Particular attention is directed to the critical decisions underlying the design of effective accounting based control systems including decision support and intelligent system for accounting, choice of responsibility structure, performance measures, performance standards, and incentive systems, and to emerging issues in corporate governance.
  • Advances in Strategic Management Accounting

    This is an advanced course in management accounting examining the role of management accounting systems in strategy formation and implementation and as a potential source of sustainable competitive advantage. The course blends current research with practical exposure to the issues involved in the design and implementation of these systems. Topics include cost of capacity, activity-based management systems for operational and strategic control and contemporary approaches to performance coordination and evaluation in a decentralized environment.
  • Assurance Services and Information Technology

    This course examines Hong Kong legal environment and discuss how it will affect audit risk, audit planning, internal controls, analytical procedures, and substantive tests. Building on this foundation, this course then focuses on information technology and examines its impacts on financial reporting systems. Specifically, we emphasize on how auditors can leverage information technology and use Computer-Assisted Audit Tools and Techniques (CAAT) to attest clients' financial statements.
  • Accounting Information Systems and Internal Control

    This course examines and discusses the relationship between accounting information systems and internal controls. This course also offers an in-depth analysis on how to take advantages of information technology to enhance an organization’s internal controls. By improving internal controls, this course will discuss how accounting information systems assist an organization to produce a set of reliable and accurate financial statements, address regulatory requirements, meet managerial decision needs, and improve the operational effectiveness and efficiency.
  • Taxation in China

    This course is designed to familiarize students with the Chinese tax law and practice. After an introduction to the normative and institutional backgrounds of tax administration, it will examine the country’s major state and local tax regimes. The course will also touch on administrative and professional aspects of tax practice in this emerging market economy.
  • Corporate Governance: A Global Perspective

    The OECD Guidelines for Corporate Governance identify four elements namely objectives, transparency, benchmarks and accountability as key factors that transcend both legal and national boundaries. As a concept it delineates the rights and responsibilities of each group of stakeholders in the company by providing for appropriate checks and balance to be incorporated into the process of performance, decision making and monitoring. This course will address issues within the rubric of corporate governance from an accounting and legal perspective.
  • Applied Corporate Governance for Capital Markets

    This course equips the student with a deeper understanding of the current state of play as regards Corporate Governance principles & rules, and the institutions through which Corporate Governance rules are applied to capital market participants, with a special focus on the Hong Kong and mainland China capital markets, but also addresses the challenges and trends in the real-life market place and how the linkages between effective Enterprise Governance, Risk Management and Compliance can contribute to superior business performance and thereby to enhanced investor confidence in the capital markets.
  • Accounting and Management Planning for Enterprises

    Entrepreneurial activities have become a potent source of economic power that generates enormous job opportunities and business innovation globally. This is particularly spectacular in the context of China where there are numerous cases of successful and failure cases of privately owned enterprises and collectively owned township and village enterprises growing from an embryonic stage into a larger firm. The course adopts a “life-cycle” approach and develops a set of accounting and managerial skills to analyze companies from the start-up stage to eventually cashing out.
  • Independent Study in Accounting

    Independent study gives students added flexibility to design study programmes suited to a particular area of interest or to delve more deeply into a specific topic. Students need to find a faculty member willing to serve as your supervisor, and together, devise a format. There are a wide range of possibilities under independent study. The more common alternatives are: (a) Selection of a topic not normally covered in our curriculum in which the student has an interest. Normally the student would prepare a literature review on the selected topic. It would then be common for the student to perform some application or extension of this body of knowledge by extending or substantiating that knowledge by some data collection. (b) Preparation of a case and accompanying teacher's note. The case must be based on real organizations and substantial data collection would be expected. The student would be expected to demonstrate application of theory in preparation of the teacher's note.
  • Financial Markets and Instruments

    Financial markets play a pivotal and central role in the formation of investment capital and, therefore, societal wealth. This function, in addition to many others, is explored in this course. Attention will also focus on the forms and structures of financial markets (i.e. equity, debt, derivatives, gold and foreign exchange markets) both locally and internationally. Within this brief, detailed consideration is also given to the various institutions participating in the markets and to the form and functions of instruments quoted.
  • Accounting Data Analytics and Business Intelligence

    This course is designed to provide students with hands-on experience with data analytics and exposure to the challenges and opportunities big data presents to the profession. It will provide a basis for handling and analyzing large-scale data stored within and outside an organization and finding business insights from analyses. Basic concepts and techniques related to data preprocessing, data exploration, model building and results interpretation will be covered. Instead of digging deep into technical details, a broad survey of common approaches and focus on the pragmatic implementation of data analytics will be provided. The emerging trends in big data and their applications in the accounting profession as well as other industries will be discussed. The course will try to utilize real datasets related to accounting and finance and enable students to “learn by doing” through hands-on experience with data.
  • International Taxation Planning and Management

    This course introduces the tax concern of cross-border economic activities. It introduces the key concepts of international taxation, such as the tax jurisdiction of residence and source, international double taxation, relief from double taxation under domestic law and double taxation agreements. It also examines measures to prevent international tax avoidance, procedural mechanisms by which international tax issues are resolved, and bilateral administrative issues.
  • Accounting Field Study

    The course is designed to expose students to a wide spectrum of global accounting related issues in a non-local business environment. Students will take a week-long residential programme in various countries or regions. Course learning activities include lectures at universities, case projects, seminars and discussions with local accounting professionals and/or government officials, and site visits to enterprises.

Other elective courses

You may take an elective course from another MSc programme or MBA programme within CUHK Business School, subject to approval from Programme Directors.

Fundamental Business Programme

This programme consists of 7 non-credit courses with pass/fail options. Students with non-business background are required to complete the FBP courses / studied and passed the similar courses in previous tertiary study in order to fulfill the competency requirements for admission to HKICPA’s Qualification Programme (QP).

  • Accounting

    This course is essentially an introduction to financial accounting. It emphasizes accounting concepts and principles, and introduces the use of accounting data in controlling and planning business operations. Major topics include basic structure of accounting; accounting for current assets, current liabilities, and long-term assets.
  • Intermediate Accounting

    ACY591I is the extension of ACY591P. For those who do not have a business degree, we strongly advise you take both ACY591P and ACY59I for better understanding of the core course ACCT5110 Financial Accounting and External Reporting.
  • Management

    This course introduces you to concepts and theories of organization and management that will help you to understand and analyze various aspects of management. However, management is practical concept, and just learning concepts and theories is not enough. Students need to integrate them with their own observations and experience and apply them in case studies and real-life situations. Upon completion of this course, students are expected to gain a basic understanding of key management skills, including planning, organizing, staffing, directing and controlling.
  • Economics

    This course is a general introduction to the theory of price in a market economy. Topics include basic economic concepts, the theory of demand, production and cost, the operation of firms in competitive, oligopolistic and monopolistic market, cost and benefits of government intervention in market economy, and introductory issues to game theory and informational economics. Analytical approach is used whenever appropriate. Applications on practical business problems are emphasized.
  • Statistical Analysis for Business Decisions

    This course deals with fundamentals of statistical methods including descriptive statistics, probability, statistical inference from both large and small samples, F test for equality of variances, tests using Chi-square in categorical data analysis, and simple correlation. Application of statistical methods to problems pertaining to business will be emphasized.
  • Computer-Based Information Systems

    This course provides students a conceptual knowledge concerning contemporary information technology and information processing. It also introduces students to the basic computer concept, communications and networks (The internet, intranet, WWW and E-Commerce Applications), Information System and Its Development, Security, Ethics and Privacy Issues, etc.
  • Marketing Management

    This course aims to provide participants with practical and conceptual training in marketing management with specific objectives as follows: - Provide participants with knowledge of new and fundamental marketing concepts and techniques. - Increase participants' understanding and awareness of marketing environment in HK. - Enhance participants' ability in analyzing marketing issues in local and international markets. - Develop and sharpen participants' marketing skills in doing business in local and international markets.

Course exemption

Graduates of the CUHK PDPA programme with a GPA of 3.0 and above are exempt from taking Part One courses. Prospective students who have an accounting degree or a postgraduate diploma from a recognised university may also be exempt from Part One courses subject to the discretion of the Programme Director and with approval from the Dean of the Graduate School.


Enhancing academic life

Internships

You can gain work experience with established accounting firms in Hong Kong and Mainland China, such as Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PwC, as well as securities companies and banks, such as CITIC Capital Management, DBS and Bank of China. We keep scheduling flexible, so you can participate in internships without extending your study period.

Professional seminars

We often invite business leaders to share their valuable industry experience and expertise through seminars or guest lectures. This allows you access to the latest insights from leading professionals in the industry.

Study tours

Our overseas study tours are a great way to broaden your horizons. By visiting companies and interacting with fellow postgraduates abroad, you can gain fresh views on the industry.

Language workshop

We offer Cantonese workshops to help international students adapt to life in Hong Kong.

Orientation day

To kick-start the new school year, we organise a fun orientation day for freshmen before the semester begins. It includes a number of team-building games, a campus tour and a dinner reception.

Class committee

Ensuring a friendly study environment, the class committee facilitates communication between teachers and students, and organises various class bonding activities throughout the year.

  • Christmas Party
  • BBQ Gathering
  • Hiking

Mentorship programme

Academic and alumni mentors are assigned to each student to provide guidance on study and career.


Graduation requirements

Your performance is assessed according to CUHK’s grading system.

To graduate, you must complete the prescribed coursework and achieve a cumulative grade-point average (GPA) of at least 2.50.

Students with a cumulative GPA below 2.50 in the term assessment will be put on academic probation. If the probation is not lifted after two consecutive terms, the student will be required to discontinue his or her studies.

Students who receive a grade D+ or below in a course must repeat the course or take an approved substitute course.


Scholarships/ Awards

Outstanding Student Award – Federation of Schools of Accountancy (FSA Award)

Graduate with the best overall result will be awarded the Outstanding Student Award presented by The Federation of Schools of Accountancy. The award is a commemorative certificate laminated on a wood base. The names of the student recipients will be printed in the newsletter of the FSA.

Dean’s List Award

Graduates with an overall GPA above 3.60 are eligible to be put on the Dean’s List. However, the total number of students on the Dean’s List for each academic year cannot exceed 20% of the graduates. In all cases, the Faculty reserves the right to make the final decision. Award recipients will receive a certificate of recognition.

Outstanding Student Award

In addition of the certificate, top 10% of the Dean’s List recipients will receive a monetary award.

Subject Prize

The best performer with the highest overall mark in individual core subjects will receive the Subject Prize.

Professional Exam Scholarship

Outstanding students will be nominated to the accounting professional bodies, including HKICPA, ACCA and CPA Australia, for the professional exam scholarships.

 

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