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SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED QUALIFICATION: 

Postgraduate Diploma in Accounting Sciences 
SAQA QUAL ID QUALIFICATION TITLE
90912  Postgraduate Diploma in Accounting Sciences 
ORIGINATOR
University of South Africa 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY NQF SUB-FRAMEWORK
CHE - Council on Higher Education  HEQSF - Higher Education Qualifications Sub-framework 
QUALIFICATION TYPE FIELD SUBFIELD
Postgraduate Diploma  Field 03 - Business, Commerce and Management Studies  Finance, Economics and Accounting 
ABET BAND MINIMUM CREDITS PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL QUAL CLASS
Undefined  120  Not Applicable  NQF Level 08  Regular-Provider-ELOAC 
REGISTRATION STATUS SAQA DECISION NUMBER REGISTRATION START DATE REGISTRATION END DATE
Reregistered  SAQA 06120/18  2018-07-01  2021-06-30 
LAST DATE FOR ENROLMENT LAST DATE FOR ACHIEVEMENT
2022-06-30   2025-06-30  

In all of the tables in this document, both the pre-2009 NQF Level and the NQF Level is shown. In the text (purpose statements, qualification rules, etc), any references to NQF Levels are to the pre-2009 levels unless specifically stated otherwise.  

This qualification does not replace any other qualification and is not replaced by any other qualification. 

PURPOSE AND RATIONALE OF THE QUALIFICATION 
Purpose:
Studying accountancy at postgraduate level enables learners to become skilled at and discover the various causes of successes and failures of different business enterprises. Studying accountancy, learners will acquire the skill to analyse, record, classify and summarise the context in a significant manner in terms of money available and transactions. Learners will interpret results of these transactions and financial events. The Postgraduate Diploma: Accounting Sciences integrates the study of the theory and current practice of accounting with research and computer applications. Learners will observe, investigate, and identify problems through testing and collecting data using different methods, draw conclusions about the data and communicate to the relevant stakeholders. The qualification is also useful if a learner is interested in a career in Finance, Operations and Product Control within the financial sector.

Rationale:
The Postgraduate Diploma: Accounting Science prepares learners for careers in public, corporate, not-for-profit, and governmental accounting. The qualification assists learners to attain knowledge through study, practice, investigation, and careful observation. The Postgraduate Diploma: Accounting Sciences is intended for candidates who wish to gain admission to the Postgraduate Diploma: Applied Accounting Sciences to be certified Competent in the Theory of Accountancy (CTA) to sit for Part One of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants' (SAICA's) Qualifying Examination (QE1). The CTA is not an independent qualification, but only an approval, based on this SAICA-accredited postgraduate qualification, to be permitted to register with SAICA to sit for its QE1. The qualification is designed not only to prepare learners for the CTA examination but also to provide a strong knowledge of accounting principles and business applications. 

LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
It is assumed that the learner:
  • Is able to analyse and respond to a variety of texts.
  • Have detailed knowledge, specific skills and applied competencies in the disciplines of Financial Accounting, Management Accounting, Auditing and Taxation.
  • Is able to learn independently in an open and distance learning context (ODL) with minimum support.
  • Can communicate what has been learnt comprehensibly in the medium of instruction.

    Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL):
    All admission through RPL must be in accordance with the principles laid down in the institutional RPL Policy.

    This qualification can be achieved wholly or in part through recognition of prior learning.

    The institution's RPL office can supply full details of processes relating to the assessment and accreditation of learning from prior experiences. Evidence can be presented in a variety of forms, including international or previous local qualifications, reports, testimonials mentioning functions performed, work records, portfolios, videos of practice and performance records.

    All such evidence should be judged according to the general principle of assessment. Institutional lecturers will act as assessors for RPL purposes.

    Access to the Qualification:
    In order to gain admission to the Postgraduate Diploma: Accounting Sciences learners must be in possession of a Degree or Advanced Diploma recognised by SAICA for becoming a Chartered Accountant. 

  • RECOGNISE PREVIOUS LEARNING? 

    QUALIFICATION RULES 
    The qualification consists of 5 compulsory modules at NQF Level 8, each with 24 credits, worth a total of 120 credits.

    Modules:
  • Financial Accounting.
  • Financial Accounting.
  • Management Accounting.
  • Auditing.
  • Taxation. 

  • EXIT LEVEL OUTCOMES 
    1. Apply sound accounting theory and practice relevant to the accounting function in business.
    2. Demonstrate the ability to communicate skills in a rational and logical manner.
    3. Practise the ethics pertinent to Accounting, Business, Commerce and Management and in particular those pertinent to an Accountant and Independent Auditor.
    4. Demonstrate an advanced understanding of the theories and practices pertaining to the field of Financial Accounting, Management Accounting, Auditing and Taxation specifically and also in the related fields of business, commerce and management studies.
    5. Identify and solve problems, specifically pertaining to the field of Financial Accounting, Management Accounting, Auditing and Taxation, but also in the related fields of business, commerce and management studies.
    6. Demonstrate proficiency in managing the applied accounting sciences' activity and the ability to conduct applied accounting engagements, both assurance and consulting, in diverse business environments.

    Critical Cross-Field Outcomes:
    All the Critical Cross-Field Outcomes are addressed in the qualification. 

    ASSOCIATED ASSESSMENT CRITERIA 
    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 1:
  • Use disciplinary- and interdisciplinary-based information to take an informed stand in regard to accounting, business and trade policies.
  • Assume a personal role in the accounting and business environments.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 2:
  • Write business reports in an acceptable format.
  • Use language effectively to convey ideas and insights intelligibly.
  • Evaluate, interpret and generate information from a variety of sources.
  • Explain the ramifications of accounting and economic policy and business decisions in a language which is accessible to the general public and various stakeholders in the business community.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 3:
  • Apply knowledge and understanding of the ethics implied by corporate governance principles.
  • Apply knowledge and understanding of the ethics prescribed by the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants.
  • Demonstrate understanding of the need to act professionally and ethically to clients, employees and the world at large.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 4:
  • Analyse, evaluate and apply advanced business, commerce and management theories and principles to practical situations.
  • Contribute to the improvement and development (in a limited manner) of principles and procedures in practical situations.
  • Customise and adapt international business, commerce and management practices and theories to South African requirements.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 5:
  • Recognise problems in the Accounting, Auditing and Taxation fields and related disciplines.
  • Develop appropriate solutions in the applied accounting sciences' context.
  • Formulate appropriate responses to resolve both concrete and abstract problems that accountants and auditors are normally confronted with.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 6:
  • Show integrated knowledge of the nature and theory of specific audit engagements and the applied accounting process.
  • Apply advanced judgemental processes to identify and plan applied accounting assignments for the applied accounting activity.
  • Express knowledge of information technology, risk based auditing, control frameworks and control systems so as to adequately perform audit assignments and to advise management and audit committees on appropriate practice.
  • Analyse and evaluate operations within organisations.
  • Analyse and test control and advise on control systems.
  • Report findings and follow up on the implementation of applied accounting activities.
  • Establish and manage activities in the areas of financial accounting, management accounting, auditing and taxation.
  • Monitor the quality of work performed within the activities in the areas of financial accounting, management accounting, auditing and taxation.

    Integrated Assessment:
    For award of this qualification, candidates must achieve each of the compulsory modules. Each module completed during this qualification will have formative assessment and summative assessment in the form of tests (four tests of five hours each) written under examination conditions during the year, assignments and exams. Integrated assessment implies that all assessments will integrate knowledge, skills and attitudes and applied competencies on the level required for this qualification. Assessment methods measure the extent to which the learner has achieved competence in the different areas of study delivered through course modules. 

  • INTERNATIONAL COMPARABILITY 
    The Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand offers a Postgraduate Diploma in Professional Accounting. The following modules make the qualification:
  • Financial accounting.
  • Management Accounting for Business.
  • Taxation in New Zealand.
  • Accounting Information System.
  • Economics for Business.
  • Business Law.
  • Law of Business Organisation.
  • Managing Organisation and People.

    The Monash University in Australia offers a Graduate Diploma in Accounting. The Graduate Diploma in Accounting is designed for learners with a degree in a field other than accounting who wish to meet the academic requirements for admission as an associate member of both CPA Australia and the Institute of Public Accountants or entry to the Chartered Accountants Program of The Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia. The following modules should be completed to obtain the qualification:
  • Introductory Accounting.
  • Financial Accounting.
  • Business Finance.
  • Management Accounting.
  • Advanced Financial Accounting.
  • Auditing and assurance.
  • Accounting Information and Systems Modelling.
  • Business and Corporations Law.
  • Taxation Law.
  • Economics.
  • Personal Development - Critical Thinking and Communication.

    This qualification may be successfully compared to to the above-named qualifications because the modules are similar and the focus of all the qualifications is to prepare learners to able to apply and sit for the Chartered Accountants Board of Examination for the particular country. 

  • ARTICULATION OPTIONS 
    The Postgraduate Diploma: Accounting Sciences articulates horizontally with the Bachelor of Accounting Science Honours at NQF Level 8.

    The Postgraduate Diploma: Accounting Sciences articulates vertically with the following qualifications, subject to their admission requirements with regard to the need for Research Methodology:
  • Master of Accounting Science.
  • Master of Commerce: Accounting Sciences. 

  • MODERATION OPTIONS 
    Moderation is conducted internally through a system of second examiners. All exit level modules will have, in addition, an external examiner from another higher education institution.

    The HEQC does not require the registration of assessors but evidence must show that institution has training in place for assessors and moderators. An appeals process, including criteria for re-marking, must be in place. 

    CRITERIA FOR THE REGISTRATION OF ASSESSORS 
    Institutional lecturers act as assessor-practitioners to carry out the assessment of candidates for the core modules that make up this qualification. The following criteria are specified for assessors concerning the core aspects of the qualification:
  • Assessors need experience in interpersonal skills, subject matter and assessment.
  • Assessors need to be competent in the planning and conducting of assessment of learning outcomes and in the design and development of assessment.
  • Subject matter experience must be well developed within the fields of Financial Accounting, Management Accounting, Auditing and Taxation.
  • Qualifications: The assessor must have a Chartered Accountant ('CA') qualification with SAICA.

    All junior and new members of staff are mentored by senior members as they work together in teams. All assessment done by external markers is quality-controlled by internal staff. All members of academic staff are required to attend assessor training to become accredited assessors. 

  • NOTES 
    N/A 

    LEARNING PROGRAMMES RECORDED AGAINST THIS QUALIFICATION: 
     
    NONE 


    PROVIDERS CURRENTLY ACCREDITED TO OFFER THIS QUALIFICATION: 
    This information shows the current accreditations (i.e. those not past their accreditation end dates), and is the most complete record available to SAQA as of today. Some Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionaries have a lag in their recording systems for provider accreditation, in turn leading to a lag in notifying SAQA of all the providers that they have accredited to offer qualifications and unit standards, as well as any extensions to accreditation end dates. The relevant Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionary should be notified if a record appears to be missing from here.
     
    1. University of South Africa 



    All qualifications and part qualifications submitted for public comment, or registered on the National Qualifications Framework, are public property. Thus, the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction: it is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.