Course Title: Accounting Theory and Research

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Accounting Theory and Research

Credit Points: 24

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


615H Accounting


Sem 1 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 1 2012


City Campus


615H Accounting


Sem 1 2006,
Sem 2 2006

Course Coordinator: Professor Steven Dellaportas

Course Coordinator Phone: Please contact via email

Course Coordinator

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Completion of a bachelor degree with an accounting major and with superior grades.

Course Description

The aims of this course are to provide students with:

1. Insights and techniques to be able to select a research topic, in terms of finding the right scholarly conversation, meeting criteria for a research contribution and engaging with theoretic explanation.

2. Ability to discern philosophical positions (i.e., ontological and epistemological) and theoretical perspectives that underlie any research design into a field of scholarly inquiry.

3. Skills in critical reading and reviewing of scholarly literature, and for critical writing for publication.

If you are undertaking this course in Melbourne from semester 2, 2012 onwards your teacher will advise you if you require access to a computer for the course. It is recommended that you have access to a mobile computing device to allow greater flexibility in terms of where you can work on campus outside class times.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

The University expects its graduates to be active participants in both their professional and social communities, to be able to seriously reflect on their actions, to learn from experience which enables the development of context sensitive judgements, and to value life long learning. In addition, graduates of the accounting honours degree are expected to have a range of capabilities, beyond those developed in an ordinary degree. Students’ capabilities are developed to:
• explore the ’frontiers’ of accounting and related disciplines
• conduct in-depth research in accounting and related disciplines
• extend analytical and critical thinking/writing skills
• enhance employment opportunities.

Successful completion of this course means that students should be able to:

1. Create a research design and articulate the philosophical and theoretical perspectives from which it is generated

2. Prepare annotated literature reviews of scholarly research literature in accounting and related fields

3. Enhance their ‘thinking’ ability in terms of critiquing contemporary problems systematically and constructively, using multiple stances.

Overview of Learning Activities

1. Class Format and Work Preparation

Classes are 2 hours and 50 minutes each scheduled week. Typically, the first hour of this time period will take the form of participative discussion, class exercises and/or student presentations based on student preparations from the previous week’s topic. The second half of the seminar will involve the presentation of a new topic by the lecturer. The Class Schedule gives the learning activities. Students are expected to have reviewed the topic to be discussed and attempted any set questions/exercises prior to each class. There is a strong assumption that students will engage in class discussions in an informed way.

2. School Seminar and Workshop Series

From these international and local academic presenters, you can pick up valuable lessons on methodology, latest research issues, presentation skills and develop your skills to critically analyse research methods and findings. Even from topics outside your own particular research area, you can often quite unexpectedly pick up valuable information, ideas and approaches.

Overview of Learning Resources


Students are required to purchase a copy of the following texts:

Huff, A.S. (2009) Designing Research for Publication, London: Sage
(available in RMIT Business Bookshop, Tivoli Arcade, price $69.00 less student discount)

Metcalfe, M. (2007) Reading Critically at University, London: Sage
(available in RMIT Business Bookshop, Tivoli Arcade, price $58.95 less student discount)

Other reading will involve articles from academic (peer-reviewed) journals and working papers, searched for by each student.

Sources of suitable articles

Students should search the various online databases available through your library (especially Business Resource Premier EBSCO). You may also use academic articles from hard copies of selected accounting journals and student theses available in the library.
Also review:


Overview of Assessment

The assessment may include a combination of an assignment, class participation, class test, case studies and a final examination.