The Professional Diploma in Accounting (PDA) is designed to fast-track graduates who wish to pursue careers in accountancy or taxation, but whose primary qualifications are in areas other than accountancy. In this sense, it was what we call a “conversion” programme.
The key objectives of the PDA are two-fold. Firstly, the programme aims to develop students’understanding of the conceptual underpinnings and practice of accounting. Secondly, it strives to enhance students’ problem-solving, analytical, critical thinking and independent learning skills so that they are appropriately equipped for challenging careers in dynamic professional and business environments.
Accredited in 1982, the PDA is the longest-established programme of its kind in the Republic of Ireland and attracts high-quality graduates from a wide range of disciplines including,arts, engineering, law, education, science and business. It provides students with an excellent foundation in accounting and its related disciplines, bringing them to a high level of competence, such that they are excellently prepared to commence the advanced examinations of professional accountancy and taxation bodies.
The minimum entry requirement is a 2.2 honours degree in any discipline other than accounting. Applications are welcome from graduates and final year undergraduate students.
Programme Structure and Content
The PDA lasts for one academic year (September-May). It operates on a semester basis with some modules being assessed at the end of the first semester and others at the end of the second semester. The modules on the PDA cover: • Financial Accounting • Management Accounting • Taxation • Law • Information Systems • Economics • Management
Note: The PDA commences with an introductory accounting course, which takes place in the week before the start of Semester 1.
Careers of PDA graduates
Graduates typically proceed to qualify as professional accountants and/or taxation specialists and pursue careers in accountancy firms, financial institutions and manufacturing and service companies in Ireland and abroad. PDA graduates are exempt, in full, from the Professional Two examinations of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland (ICAI). Exemptions are also available from CIMA, ACCA, ICPAI and Institute of Taxation in Ireland. However, it must be noted that professional bodies review the exemptions available to programmes offered by all universities on an annual basis.
PDA graduates, who achieve a minimum of a second class honour, are eligible to apply for a place on the MBS in Accounting programme offered at Dublin City University.
“The PDA gives you the perfect foundation for a career as a Chartered Accountant. A small class size and high quality teaching ensure that the PDA is rewarding for graduates of any discipline.The course focuses on the core areas of accounting knowledge that will prepare you for work and future professional exams. When you progress from the PDA you will feel confident that you possess the knowledge and skills to excel in the workplace”.
Eoghan O’Murchu, PDA 2004, currently working with Deloitte.
“I thoroughly enjoyed my year at DCU. I made a lot of wonderful friends and I feel that the PDA has provided me with the knowledge I need to embark on a career in a busy and dynamic professional environment”. Emma Quinn, PDA 2004, currently working with Baker Tilly O’Hare.
“The PDA is a great programme and it is ideal for graduates who wish to pursue careers in accounting. I really appreciated the high standard of teaching on the PDA and the level of support provided by all the staff. In addition, the small class size allowed me to make great friends, which really added to my enjoyment of the year”. Vivian Lihong, PDA 2003, MBSA 2004, currently working with PwC.
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Recipient: Dublin City University
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