School of Accountancy
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BAcc & PGDA / BAccHons: Chartered Accountant (CA)



About the qualification of Chartered Accountant

A CA can work inter alia:

As an auditor and/or accountant for an auditing firm and is responsible for inter alia:

  • Performing statutory audits;
  • Supplying of management advice services, tax advice services and advice about information technology.

As an accountant in commerce and industry, (e.g. the financial or mining sector) performing a range of duties including:

  • Management information;
  • Financial reporting;
  • Internal control;
  • Tax matters;
  • Asset management.

As an independent consultant in areas including management advice, tax advice and advice regarding information technology​

As an independent businessman/woman

Multiple career opportunities exist. A chartered accountant is in huge demand, not only in South Africa but worldwide. Auditing firms are some of the major employers of CA's. Some of the bigger auditing firms are Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers Inc.​


How to become a CA

A CA uses the designation CA (SA) and is a member of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA). Following the route offered by Stellenbosch University, a student has to register for the BAcc degree (3 years), and then obtain a postgraduate qualification, namely either the Postgraduate Diploma in Accounting (PGDA) (1 year), or the BAccHons degree (1 year). After gaining the required technical knowledge at university, students have to enter into a 3 year contract with a registered auditing firm or other registered training organisation in commerce and industry to gain the required practical experience. In the first year of their traineeship, trainees are allowed to write the first part of SAICA's professional examination known as the Initial Test of Competence (ITC). 

Passing the ITC allows a prospective CA to complete a specialism course (not offered by the University of Stellenbosch) and, after completing 20 months of traineeship, he/she is eligible to write the final part of SAICA's professional examination known as the Assessment of Professional Competence. A prospective CA, who has met all these requirements and has completed his/her 3 years of traineeship, is allowed to register as a CA (SA) with SAICA.

THE BACC PROGRAMME (undergraduate)


The BAccounting-programme (or BAcc) is primarily aimed at the education of students who intend to qualify as chartered accountants.  Admission to the first professional examination ( known as the ITC, see below for details) is obtained by persons who have a BAcc degree (or similar qualification) and a BAccHons degree.  

The broad objectives of the BAcc degree programme entail the following:  

  • To almost fully cover the basic content of the educational part (university training) of SAICA's Competency Framework of the chartered accountancy profession, as issued by the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants.   
  • To present the study material in such a way that independent and constructive critical thinking is encouraged in students, as well as establishing the principles for lifelong learning.
  • To impress upon students from the first year of study the virtues of integrity, a sense of responsibility and a positive attitude and many other professional characteristics and skills, which are necessary for a future professional career.  

Admission requirements

​Follow this link to the Calen​dar

Students who did not study or pass Accounting on matriculation level, as stated in the admission requirements, but meet the admission requirements with reference to Mathematics and have a Matric average of at least 70%, are allowed into the BAcc degree course on the following conditions: 
Financial Accounting 188 is followed with the beginner group and passed at the end of the year (instead of Financial Accounting 178); and

  • the necessary supplementary study material in order to convert to Financial Accounting 178 is obtained from the School of Accountancy at the end of the first year; for self-study during the December holidays.

  • a conversion examination during the week before the official start of classes is written and passed in the succeeding year.

  • Students who comply with the abovementioned conditions will register for Financial Accounting 278 in their second year of study.  

  • Students who do not qualify to register for the BAcc programme in terms of the abovementioned arrangement are allowed to convert to BAcc on the basis of merit at the end of their first year on the condition that they comply with the following: 

  • The student must be registered for the BCom (Financial Accounting) or BCom (Management Accounting) degree in the first year. (Students who do not meet the admission requirements for BCom (Financial Accounting) or BCom (Management Accounting) at initial registration will, under no circumstances, be permitted to follow this conversion route).

  • All subjects the student is registered for in the first year must be passed. 

  • A written application for conversion must be submitted at the School of Accountancy at the end of the first year. 

  • The student must successfully complete the procedure for switching over to Financial Accounting 178 as explained above.  

A maximum of 50 students per year are allowed to convert to BAcc as described above. 

It is open to any student who has originally registered as a student at the SU and complied with the formal admission requirements for BAcc as explicated in Part 10 of the Calendar, but as a result of whatever reason registered for another degree programme, to convert to BAcc. If Financial Accounting 188 was offered and passed in a previous year as part of the degree programme, the student can obtain direct admission to Financial Accounting 278, described above, by successfully completing the conversion process to Financial Accounting 178. Students in this category are encouraged to discuss the conversion with one of the program leaders: BAcc (Prof. CJ van Schalkwyk or Prof. SPJ von Wielligh).


Language of instruction

Refer to the 2021 EMS Faculty yearbook ​​for language specific for the different years.


Motivation of content

First year of study

In the first year the broader economic subject areas of Economics, Mercantile Law, Business Management, Industrial Psychology, Theory of Interest and Statistics are addressed.  

In addition, the professional subjects of Financial Accounting, as included in SAICA's Competency Framework, as well as supporting subject fields such as Information Systems, are introduced.  In the presentation of Financial Accounting 178 the assumption is made that a student has already presented Accounting at matric-level and passed it at a satisfactory level.  

Second year of study

In the second year the study of the professional subjects Financial Accounting and Information Systems are continued and students are also introduced to the professional subjects Management Accounting and Financial Management, Taxation and Auditing.

In Mercantile Law primarily Company Law is studied.  The curriculum of Mercantile Law then serves as important background for the study of Auditing in the third and postgraduate years.  Business Ethics 214 and 242 serve the purpose of equipping students with the ability to make ethical business decisions and also promote essential research and writing skills.   


Third year of study

In the third year the basic skills of the professional subjects Taxation, Management Accounting, Financial Accounting and Auditing are addressed to serve as basis for the essential development and integration of topics in the honours year.  The integration of these subjects is also practically demonstrated in a semester module in Information Systems. 


Students with in arrears undergraduate modules

Students with modules in arrears in any of the first two years of study of the BAcc programme are encouraged to discuss their future study programme with one of the joint--programme leaders BAcc (Prof.  CJ van Schalkwyk or Prof SPJ von Wielligh) at the commencement of the academic year, in order to explore ways in which the outstanding subject credits can be spread over the shortest possible remaining study period. 

Any approval the School may give for enrolment for modules in arrears together with subjects from the succeeding years, does not impact on the following:  

• Lecturers' right to insist on class attendance.  

• The University's rule that the test and examination schedule does not make provision for subjects in arrears.

In so far simultaneous enrolment for modules from different years of study results in test and/or examination clashes as a result of a module in arrears, the following rules in respect of subjects presented by the School are applicable:

• No special arrangements are made in the case of students who are not in their final year of study.  

• In the case of final year students, in other words students who can graduate in the current year, the following applies:

• If examination clashes occur, the necessary arrangements must be made in advance with the Examinations Office of the University.  

• If test clashes occur and the subject in arrears is presented by the School of Accountancy, or a test of a subject presented by the School clashes with an examination in another subject, the student can register for the subject in arrears on the condition that the test of the subject offered by the School is written in the time immediately preceding or immediately following the test/examination of the other subject that caused the clash. 



Kindly note the following important information

- Except where otherwise indicated, any reference to “the programme” means the 2023​ Postgraduate Diploma in Accounting (PGDA) and the 2023 BAccHons programme. The two programmes are presented jointly and are identical, except for the additional compulsory BAccHons research module (see “Modules” below). 

- The language of instruction is English with simultaneous interpreting to Afrikaans.  All class notes, tests and examinations are available in Afrikaans and English.

- The programme is not available on a distance education basis.

Admission requirements

​The admission requirements are set by the School of Accountancy (SoA) after proper consideration of recent results achieved by students in the programme.  Consequently, students are required to, inter alia, already show the necessary commitment in their undergraduate studies in order to become eligible for admission to any of the postgraduate programmes.​

Only students in possession of one of the following degrees are admitted to the programme:

  • A BAcc degree of Stellenbosch University (SU); or
  • An equivalent SAICA accredited CA-stream degree or bridging programme from another South African university; or
  • A BCom (Financial Accounting) or BCom (Management Accounting) degree of SU (or other BCom degree of SU in which exactly the same modules as those in one of the aforementioned degrees have been passed). These students must successfully complete a bridging year to become eligible for admission to the PGDA or BAccHons programmes, details of which are provided here ​​).

SU does not offer a formal bridging programme for students from other unive​rsities. Students from other universities without an equivalent SAICA accredited CA-stream degree are advised to follow an accredited bridging programme from one of the accredited South African universities (see

Further details are available upon request from the co-programme leaders of the BAcc and PGDA/BAccHons programmes, Proff. CJ van Schalkwyk and C Lamprecht.​


Postgraduate Diploma in Accounting

Module Name



Financial Accounting



Management Accounting and Finance



Auditing, Governance and Information Systems








Module Name                                                   Credits                   Semester                  

Financial Accounting



Management Accounting and Finance



Auditing, Governance and Information Systems






​ Research Assignment: Accountancy                  30                     Both

Application process

Applicants can apply online at​​ 

Applications will only be considered if ALL application requirements have been FULLY complied with by the deadline dates for applications mentioned above.   

Note: prospective applicants from countries other than South Africa 

The PGDA and BAccHons programmes assume a detailed and up-to-date knowledge of South Africancorporate and taxation legislation which includes the Companies Act and Companies Regulations and the Income Tax and related acts. Consequently, students from countries other than South Africa who cannot present proof of meeting this requirement cannot be considered for admission to the programme.  A minimum of two further years of undergraduate study at Stellenbosch University is required to be considered for admission.

Deadline for a​pplication

Kindly note that 31 October is the closing date for all applications for admission to the postgraduate programmes of the following year.

Information about fees for International Students

Please follow this link​​ 

The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants

For more information about the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants, visit