Accounting Sciences


The College is committed to provide relevant research that makes a significant contribution to practice and industry in South Africa and Africa. The research portfolio of the College is led by the Head: Office of Graduate Studies and Research. Our research objectives are to:

  • develop and grow research capacity;
  • foster a supportive, enabling research environment ;
  • contribute to South Africa’s economic, social, cultural, environmental, scientific and technological well-being;
  • become a leader in ODL research on the African continent and internationally;
  • enhance master’s and doctoral research.

Research focus areas

In an effort to focus the research activities in the college, ten research focus areas have been identified. These are:


  • Tax compliance and administration
  • Accounting education, with specific emphasis on Taxation


  • The role of auditing in Governance

Financial Accounting

  • Public sector financial efficacy
  • International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS)
  • Accounting education
  • Corporate and intergrated reporting

Financial Intelligence

  • Fiscal policy compliance and impact with specific focus on small, medium and macro enterprises (SMMEs)

Financial Governance

  • Corporate reporting, integrated reporting and sustainability reporting 
  • Public sector financial efficacy

Management Accounting

  • Management Accounting, financial management and control 
  • Environmental costing and management
  • Management Accounting education and career development

Staff members receive financial assistance from the CAS Research and Innovation Committee to attend domestic and foreign conferences to benchmark their research with other experts in their research focus areas.

Master's and doctoral studies

As a new college, CAS is concentrating on improving the qualifications of staff members to improve research capacity. Staff members are actively involved in supervising or co-supervising master's and doctoral students in the disciplines of Financial Accounting, Management Accounting, Auditing and Taxation. Staff members are motivated to attend supervision workshops presented by internal and external providers.

Master’s and doctoral candidates in CAS enjoy the support of dedicated supervisors and master's and doctoral coordinators. Our Office of Graduate Studies and Research provides support via myUnisa and by hosting workshops and colloquiums. Apart from the general tutorial material, master's and doctoral coordinators post various documents on myUnisa, including policies, procedures and templates to assist students.

The Master's and Doctoral Orientation Week and the Proposal Writing Retreat are annual events hosted by the College. Students enjoy the opportunity to sharpen their research skills by attending relevant workshops on academic writing skills, writing research proposals and library assistance, amongst others.

At master's and doctoral colloquium, master’s and doctoral students get the opportunity to present their proposals to a panel which makes suggestions, discusses any shortcomings and highlights positive aspects. All registered master's and doctoral students and their supervisors are invited to learn from the experience. The panel usually includes highly-rated international supervisors who are also acknowledged researchers.

Our students and staff members are encouraged to apply for bursaries and grants. The Office of Graduate Studies and Research assists where necessary to ensure successful applications.

Prof Barry Ackers received the 2017 Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Research, for his research publications and activities over the previous two years.

Prof Barry Ackers is currently the Chair of Department for the Department of Audting. 

Executive Dean; Prof Elmarie Sadler congratulates Mr Totowa on obtaining his Master's degree with distinction