22nd August 2022:  We were delighted to host a prize-winning lunch for some graduates of both our BA in Accounting and Finance and our MSc in Accounting to celebrate their fantastic achievements in the Final Admitting Examinations (FAE) of Chartered Accountants Ireland and the Chartered Tax Adviser (CTA) examinations of the Irish Tax Institute.

Caroline Kealey was placed first in the 2020 FAE examinations and was awarded the Ulster Society Diamond Jubilee Award. Caroline was also placed second in the 2021 CTA examinations.

Mary McCabe was placed first in the 2021 FAE examinations and was awarded the Ulster Society Diamond Jubilee Award.

Both Caroline and Mary were also awarded the Institute’s prestigious Gold Medal, an award only granted 25 times over the last 131 years.

We were also joined on the day by Daniel Maguire who was placed joint-eight in the 2021 FAE examinations.

Speaking about their achievements Programme Chair (MSc in Accounting) Dr Julie Bertz said:

“Lecturing gives me many wonderful occasions and one of my favourites is catching up with our alumni. Today, Professor Barbara Flood and I had a delightful afternoon marking Caroline, Mary and Daniel’s outstanding examinations successes. It was a pleasure to spend time with them. We know the future of accounting and tax is bright in their hands. These accountants “don’t count the days” they “make the days count” (Muhammad Ali) and all of us here in DCU Business School feel privileged to have been an integral part of their early accounting days.”

Congratulations to all!

Find out more about our BA in Accounting and Finance here.

Find out more about our MSc Accounting here.

My DCU journey began in 2004 when I undertook a B.A in Accounting & Finance. DCU was always my first choice given the course content and focus on your career prospects when you completed your studies.

From the very beginning, we were introduced to the Big 4/Top Tier Accountancy firms and so my career path was mapped out from an early stage. I completed a summer internship in 2006 with Ernst & Young (EY) which in turn led me to being sponsored by EY to do the M.B.S in Accounting and join their ICT Tax Department as a trainee in September 2008.

From the various Tax modules, I studied during the Degree and my internship experience, I knew that I wanted to pursue a career in Corporate Tax. The Degree and Masters programmes prepared me well for the professional Accounting and Tax qualifications which I completed during my training contract with EY.

Fast forward to 2013, when an interesting opportunity to undertake a client secondment to the International Tax Team at VMware (www.vmware.com) arose and I relocated to Cork for a year. The secondment gave me a deep insight into International Tax concepts from the client’s perspective which I really enjoyed and although I learned a lot, I wasn’t ready to leave EY yet.

In September 2015, a further opportunity arose to return to VMware for another secondment stint. During this time, VMware was expanding rapidly, and the Tax Team was also growing due to the significant changes in the International Tax landscape, I was offered a permanent position in July 2016 as a Senior Manager.

I absolutely love my role in VMware which has expanded over the years. Today, I have responsibility for International Tax matters in the EMEA and LATAM regions with a team of 10 reporting to me based in Ireland and the UK. During my time in VMware, I have led many strategic tax projects and initiatives. The success of which led to my recent promotion to Senior Director. I look forward to continuing my career journey over the coming years, there will no doubt be plenty of exciting developments in the ever-changing global tax environment.

To that end, I feel like I owe a lot of my success to the time I spent at DCU both from an educational/professional perspective but also from a personal point of view. I have such fond memories of my years in DCU!

Known for its diversity and multiculturalism, DCU is a one-stop destination for international students looking to grow in their personal and professional lives. The inclusivity at DCU makes interaction with different races and cultures more interesting by organizing events such as movie nights, Arctic Disco, Christmas markets, and many more. The wide range of clubs and societies enables international students to connect with like-minded individuals who share the same interests. DCU has also designed an International Faith Centre for international students coming from different religions to get together and find solace within their surroundings. 

Here are some highlights of what a few International Students have to say when asked about their favourite thing about studying at DCU: 

One of my favourite things about DCU, coming from a non-English background is that I get to interact with my peers from all across the globe, which enables me to improve my spoken English, benefiting me in my future career. Students like me, for whom English is a second language, are taken into consideration by the professors to deliver the content of the class, making it easy for the non-local students to understand the content of the module. – Wen from China, pursuing Msc. in Strategy Management. 

My favourite thing about DCU is the vast and magnificent campus. The sports complex, the cafes on campus, the student restaurant, and Nubar are some of the treasured spots on campus. This has helped me get to know my peers outside of the classroom and build connections over and above the academics. After a long day, I love spending time with my friends in and around such a vibrant campus. – Shams from London, pursuing a PhD. In Computing. 

At DCU, there are many international students, and even though we come from different parts of the world, the one thing that connects us is that we are away from home. This brings us together, and in that process, we find our home on-campus. Interacting with so many talented individuals from different cultures has cherished my social life and grown me personally. – Mann Maheshwari from India, pursuing Msc. in Strategy Management. 

An interview with Romal Thakkar, one of our International students from Mumbai, India, pursuing an MSc. in Business Management, gave us quite an insight into the life of an International student at DCU. Let’s take a look at what he had to say. 

Q. What is your favourite thing about studying at DCU?

A. The ideal learning environment which DCU provides through its academic staff, facilities, classmates, and location. All of these make for a successful and memorable study experience.

Q. How easy/hard do you find getting around on campus?

A. Getting around the campus is intuitive and straightforward, as there are plenty of signs and indications on the campus and academic buildings. And if someone is still confused, you can always ask the friendly staff or students at DCU for directions. At various spots on-campus, there are maps displayed, which further aids in finding the way around the campus.

I can recall my first day at the campus; I was a bit nervous seeing how huge the campus was. I had come in 30 minutes before the lecture time, as I thought it would take some time to find my way around. However, on getting down at the Helix bus stop, I quickly found my way to the Business building easily.  

Q. What impact has DCU had on your social life?

A. Coming abroad to study at DCU for a Master’s study has been a significant decision. When I met my classmates and started socializing with them, they were bright, social, and intellectual. Socializing with them daily keeps me engaged and motivated. We meet a couple of times every week to discuss classwork and other topics. Moreover, being social and extroverted has helped me make plenty of friends and valuable connections. I have also joined various clubs and societies, like the Debate club, Enactus, and volunteering society, to connect with people having similar interests and hobbies. Thus, DCU has had a significant positive impact on my social life, and it has been incredibly active and exciting.

Q. Do you think professors are accessible? 

A. All the professors in my program are highly knowledgeable in their field and skilled at teaching. The lectures are interactive and engaging, and the professors encourage students to ask questions and doubts in class, irrespective of how big or small the question is. Apart from this, professors also make time after class for any queries or concerns, and they also have office hours every week for any questions or issues regarding the subject. Furthermore, the professors are also considerate, and some of them go out of their way to solve a student’s query. The majority of the professors in my program are very accessible and open to discussions with the students at any point during the semester.

Q. What does a typical day look like in your life?

A. A typical day during the semester at DCU involves waking up early morning, taking a bath, cooking breakfast and catching, a bus for the university. Most days consist of multiple lectures, one of them being in the early morning. After attending a two-hour morning lecture, I would usually head for lunch with friends at one of the delicious restaurants at DCU. After grabbing lunch, we would sit outdoors and finish up on our food while discussing the materials covered in class. Most of the days, there is a gap of an hour or two between lectures, which gives us time for lunch and to prepare for the following lecture. 

Q. Name the most special thing about DCU, which makes DCU stand out from other universities.

A. I feel multiple aspects make DCU stand out from the rest of the universities.

Firstly, the vast campus and a wide array of academic buildings, offering an extensive catalogue of courses across varied disciplines. Connecting with people from different courses and backgrounds makes for interesting conversations and a great network.

Secondly, DCU offers widely reputed and competitively ranked programs. It provides an ideal learning environment for students and suitably prepares them for research and industry. While studying, there are also ample opportunities for business internships and networking, thereby allowing students to gain professional experience alongside studying. 

Lastly, the diverse teaching, a network of peers from different walks of life, and varied experiences from an international business school would also help me for my future career progression.

These are some aspects, on top of my mind, that make DCU special.

Q. How would you describe your fellow students?

A. My classmates in the MSBM course are dedicated and hardworking. Networking with able, like-minded, and ambitious peers makes for successful academic life at the university. Many of the students in the class come from different educational backgrounds, which makes for a diverse experience. Academically, the majority of my classmates strive for high scores and work intensely towards achieving them. Socially, it has been a delight meeting and conversing with motivated & experienced classmates. Even when it comes to class participation, a very high proportion of students actively participate. Thus, my classmates are driven and high achievers.

Q. How has the academic life been treating you? Are you getting the required help with your assignments? 

A. Academic life at DCU has been going very well. The teachers are proficient, great at teaching, and always open to questions in person or email. The teaching assistants for various subjects have also been invaluable. They are guiding on assignments, providing feedback on projects & presentations, answering queries, and promptly uploading essential materials on Loop (student portal). Apart from the academic staff, other resources such as Library workshops, writing centre, and subject experts helping with assignments have also been of immense help. Career planning provided by experts at DCU has also been beneficial. I have utilized most of these resources and found them to be very resourceful.

Author:  , Current Student of the MSc Management Strategy

Check out our Postgraduate Offering: https://business.dcu.ie/post-graduate/


An Accounting degree is a fast track to beginning your professional career in accounting. An accounting career can take you in many different directions- private practice, industry, tech, pharma, services, digital business. A career in accounting can also be a springboard to a much broader business career. Many qualified accountants use accounting as a professional foundation from which you can pursue a more general business career that could go in many directions. If you aspire to become a professional accountant, as well as learning alot of discipline specific knowledge and technical skills, you will also develop critical thinking skills, enhance your numerical ability and learn how to analyse business issues and solve problems from a financial perspective.

Our accounting graduates work in a broad range of industries, including large, well-known accounting and professional services firms, large multinationals, SMEs and start-ups. Accounting is a profession that is in demand across multiple industries and sectors. If you’re considering a career as an accountant, and contemplating pursuing a degree in the field, this article will help you to understand the pathway to qualification and how our degree options fit into that pathway.

To become a professional accountant you must complete a training contract with a professional accounting body such as Chartered Accounting Ireland (CAI), the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) or the Institute of Certified Public Accountants (CPA). One of the huge benefits of an undergraduate or postgraduate accounting degree in DCU is that you can gain valuable exemptions from these training paths meaning you will need to undertake less exams and significantly shorten your route to becoming fully qualified.

As you progress through your undergraduate studies you will start to figure out what type of accounting career might suit you and which professional route you might wish to pursue. CAI is often undertaken by people who would like to pursue an audit or tax career in practice. Qualification with CAI involves completing three sets of exams- Cap 1, Cap 2 and FAE. ACCA or CIMA would often be pursued by students who wish to train in industry as opposed to practice. ACCA consists of 14 separate papers, while CIMA have suites of exams organised in three levels- operational, management and strategic. CPA, another route more commonly pursued by students wishing to train in industry, have 4 stages of exams with 15 papers in total. As well as taking these exams, most professional routes require at least three years relevant training in practice or industry before you become fully qualified.

DCU Accounting courses

DCU Business School offers a number of courses in Accounting and has a long history of teaching Accounting. Many DCU Accountancy alumni hold prominent positions in accountancy practices and in industry-based accounting and finance roles. Let’s start with our undergraduate degree, the BA Accounting and Finance. This is a three year degree course specialising in both accounting and finance. The course also offers a large variety of broader business modules including economics, entrepreneurship and critical thinking, and if you wish, you can study a language as part of your course. Students frequently undertake a summer internship in accounting, taxation or finance and many of our graduates will go on to pursue our Masters in Accounting .The Masters in Accounting is a specialist Masters requiring an undergraduate degree in Accounting or a Business degree with a significant specialism in Accounting. This course is a great way to gain additional exemptions from accountancy bodies and of course gain advanced knowledge in the field of accounting, business, data analytics and society.

MSc International Accounting and Business is a great new option for students who are converting to accounting from a non-business undergraduate degree. This course combines both business and accounting and is a great way to start your accounting career when you don’t have a business degree. You’ll also undertake our Next Generation Management programme as part of this course.

Each of these course pages lists the exemptions you can gain from professional accounting bodies.

Finally, many graduates of broader Business degrees such as our Bachelor of Business Studies will go on to train in accounting and are also very attractive to graduate employers in accounting.

We hope this article will help you to understand the variety of options available to you in terms of training to be a professional accountant, and of course how a DCU degree or masters degree might fit in with your career path. If you have any questions please email business.dcu@dcu.ie