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The IAS Postgraduate Diploma in Accounting (PGDA)

What is the IAS PGDA?

The IAS PGDA or Certificate in the Theory of Accounting (CTA) is a one-year, postgraduate programme, which serves as the final academic stepping stone before the first SAICA board exam – Initial Test of Competence (ITC).

Who should study the IAS PGDA?

The IAS PGDA is available to all students who have completed an accredited undergraduate degree in accounting and wish to complete for their studies, to achieve their ultimate goal of qualifying as a CA(SA).

What content will be covered?

The IAS PGDA has been developed to comply with the SAICA syllabus requirements, including the SAICA competency-based framework (CBF). Tools have been developed that enable the student to track their progress and performance against the CBF in their attempt to prepare for the ITC. The IAS PGDA focuses predominantly on those topics not yet covered in the undergraduate degree. However, IAS also provides a database of learning materials for all students to revise undergraduate issues.

What are the revolutionary teaching methods and materials?

The IAS PGDA aims to develop the CA(SA)’s of the future, equipping them with the skills and knowledge to excel in practice. Therefore, we developed a dynamic programme that speaks to the needs of the student in the 21st century. We have turned traditional teaching methods on their head by incorporating a vast array of technology, including video content, infographics, e-learnings, etc., and practical solid application methodologies. This will enable our students to engage with the content deeper, ensuring they understand the ‘why’, not just the ‘what’.

Programme Structure

Mode of instruction: Contact mode (lectures and tutorials)

The IAS PGDA includes four compulsory courses (no electives). To qualify for the SAICA ITC, all courses must be passed in the same academic year, with the student achieving at least 50% in each course. 


The subjects are as follows:

Financial Accounting IV

Financial accounting is the field of accounting concerned with the summary, analysis and reporting of financial transactions about a business. This involves the preparation of financial statements available for public consumption. Stockholders, suppliers, banks, employees, government agencies, business owners, and other stakeholders are examples of people interested in receiving such information for decision-making purposes.


Financial accounting is governed by International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). It includes the standards, conventions and rules accountants follow in recording and summarising and preparing financial statements. IFRS are issued by the International Accounting Standards (IASs).



Management Accounting And Finance IV

Management Accounting and Finance is divided into two sections, Corporate Finance and Management Accounting. Although different focuses, the two sections complement one another and are based on many common principles. The two sections should be viewed as being inextricably linked.


Corporate transactions such as mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures have become commonplace in our global environment. Entities are frequently faced with financing choices which have strategic consequences. Their managers must make capital structure decisions, evaluate short-term and long-term financing needs, and choose finance tools appropriate to the entity’s strategic direction and the competitive environment within which it operates.





Auditing IV

Auditing IV aims to develop knowledge and understanding of the process of carrying out the assurance engagement and its application in the context of the professional regulatory framework.


Assurance engagements involve the expression of an opinion, which is “a conclusion designed to enhance the degree of confidence of the intended users other than the responsible party about the outcome of the evaluation or measurement of a subject matter against criteria” (Assurance Framework of the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB)).



Taxation IV

This course includes the taxation of an individual or an entity, both considered complex areas. In addition, the study seeks to address tax planning opportunities to reduce the tax burden while remaining in compliance with laws and regulations.


Our Unique Enrolment Structure

January & June intake

The IAS PGDA offers a unique system of 2 intakes per year, i.e. a January and a June intake. In essence, the programme is broken into two components/semesters and students enrol for these components separately. The benefit of this unique feature is that students can start their academic year in either January or June. In addition, if a student has been unsuccessful in semester one, they have the option to repeat that semester, which results in only a 6-month extension of their academic year and not an additional 12 months.

What does this mean?

If a student attempts the 20X1 IAS PGDA to complete November 20X1, writes the January 20X2 ITC and fails semester 1, the student would typically have to wait until the following January to enrol again. With our programme, the student can enrol in the June 20X1 intake, complete semester 2 in May 20X2, and write the June 20X2 ITC. Therefore, a delay of only six months in completing the PGDA.

Timetable & Calendar

The IAS PGDA is presented as follows:

  • Day time programme

The contact hours (lectures and tutorials) are presented during business hours. 

Lectures: 08:00 - 11:00 

Tutorials: 11:30 - 13:00


  • Flexi programme

The Flexi programme was created for students who cannot attend lectures and tutorials during business hours.
Lectures: 17:15 - 19:00

Tutorials: 19:00 - 20:30

The programmes are presented per the following timetable:






Please note that the timetable is subject to change – a detailed program will be distributed on registration.


The day and flexi-time programmes are classified as full-time programmes. They are presented concurrently, over the same period, require the same student input, and are subject to the same exams. Fee structure and successful completion of either programme will give students access to write the SAICA ITC.

Time commitment

Every week the time commitment for students is as follows:

  • Contact hours (lectures and tutorials): 18 – 22 hours;

  • Student preparation time: 20 – 30 hours.

Timetable 2023.png

Download the 2024 Calendar here


The IAS PGDA assessments are structured as follows:

Semester 1​

  • 2 Tests (Formative)

  • 1 Exam (Formative)


Semester 2

  • 2 Tests (Formative)

  • 1 Exam (Summative)


Entry Requirements

Students must have completed a SAICA accredited undergraduate degree in accounting at one of the SAICA accredited Universities to qualify for the IAS CTA. It is recommended that students should have qualified to enter their undergraduate Universities' CTA program.

Application Process

The IAS PGDA application process is two-fold:

  1. Students must complete an online application form, and

  2. Students are then required to attend an interview with members of the IAS teaching team.

Exceptional applicants may be granted direct admission to PGDA. Applicants may be categorised as extraordinary if they are in the top 5% of their undergraduate programme class and receive high marks for all the required courses in their final year.

Students are required to attach their prior academic transcripts to the online application form.

No charge is attached to the application process, and students may withdraw their application at any point.


Upon completing the IAS PGDA, each student will receive a Certificate in the Theory of Accounting (CTA) in the form of a postgraduate diploma in accounting issued by IAS as a registered private higher education institution in South Africa. Upon receipt of the PGDA, the student will be eligible to write the SAICA ITC.

Tuition Fees

Student financial aid

The institute does not currently have access to or provide any source of financial aid.

Students requiring student loans may contact regarding details of providers that provide such funding.

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