The University of Newcastle, Australia
Available in 2020
Course code



20 units


4000 level

Course handbook


Explores historical and theoretical issues in Accounting.

Availability2020 Course Timetables

Newcastle City Precinct

  • Semester 1 - 2020

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate an understanding of significant achievements within the discipline of Accounting.

2. Demonstrate knowledge of the methodological foundations of the Accounting discipline.

3. Demonstrate an understanding of key theoretical concepts in Accounting.

4. Apply key theoretical concepts to qualitative and empirical data.

5. Demonstrate the use of critical thinking.


This course will advance the purpose and objectives outlined above by exploring historical, theoretical and methodological issues in Accounting. While the content of topics may vary from year to year depending on the number of students, their specific interests and the availability of staff, discussion of the history of accounting, and major approaches to the formulation of accounting theory, both financial and managerial will be addressed as well as the features, similarities, conflicts and merits of the various approaches.

Topics may include:

  1. The Transitory Nature of Accounting Theory;
  2. Emergence of Accounting Research;
  3. Proprietorship and Entity Theories;
  4. True Income approaches;
  5. The decision usefulness approach;
  6. Capital markets based research;
  7. Positive accounting theory;
  8. Voluntary disclosure; and
  9. Critical perspectives towards accounting theory and research.


This course is only available to students enrolled in the Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) program.

Assumed knowledge

An undergraduate degree with at least a GPA of 5.0 with a major in Accounting or equivalent.

Assessment items

Written Assignment: Critique of a Research Paper

Written Assignment: Research Literature Report and Presentation

Contact hours

Newcastle City Precinct


Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term

This course may be taught as a reading course for small enrolment numbers. Students are expected to complete 4 hours of guided learning or self-directed learning and an additional 6 hours of independent study per week.