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An exploration of the changing nature of technology in accounting education: adapting curricula to enable relevant graduates (REF: SF18/AFM/BURDON2)

Project Description

“The interaction of curriculum, technology, faculty incentives, and student motivation is complex and has not been studied in an organic way” (Apostolou et al. 2013).

There is critique within the literature of a stagnation in accounting education, and a disconnect between higher education (henceforth HE) and practice (Rebel & Pierre, 2015). Despite there being an abundance of literature devoted to pedagogic research within the accounting education domain, there are calls for additional focus on cross institutional research (Apostolou et al. 2013). The professional landscape in accounting is advancing rapidly with use of technology, and increasingly a focus on future use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) (ICAEW, 2017). Therefore, accounting educators need to respond to the changing future requirements of the accounting profession. The changing landscape of technology, means that traditional approaches to accounting education are rapidly becoming outdated. Accounting education needs to embrace the idea of inter-disciplinary collaboration, particularly regards to AI, with in order to meet the long-term demands of the profession (Sutton et al. 2016).

This research would explore the current integration of technology teaching in accounting programmes within the UK HE environment. This research may contribute to literature on the UK HE accounting curricula adaptations in order to sufficiently prepare future accounting graduates for employment, and the impact of AI on the accounting profession.

As highlighted in the above quotation, there is a need to study technology and student motivation in an organic way. Many institutions (and the literature) focus on employability skills, and how these are built into the curricula. By investigating the changing nature of technology in the accounting profession, the study would naturally inform HE practice, responding to the changing needs of its future ‘customers’. The research would help to inform what an employable accounting graduate will ‘look’ like in the future.

Apostolou, B., Dorminey, J. W., Hassell, J. M., & Watson, S. F. (2013). Accounting education literature review (2010–2012). Journal of Accounting Education, 31(2), 107-161.
Rebele, J. E., & Pierre, E. K. S. (2015). Stagnation in accounting education research. Journal of Accounting Education, 33(2), 128-137.
Sutton, S. G., Holt, M., & Arnold, V. (2016). “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated”—Artificial intelligence research in accounting. International Journal of Accounting Information Systems, 22, 60-73.

Eligibility and How to Apply:
Please note eligibility requirement:
• Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 2:1 (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities [preference for 1st class honours]); or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.
• Appropriate IELTS score, if required.

For further details of how to apply, entry requirements and the application form, see

Please note: Applications that do not include a research proposal of approximately 1,000 words (not a copy of the advert), or that do not include the advert reference (e.g. SF18/…) will not be considered.

Northumbria University takes pride in, and values, the quality and diversity of our staff. We welcome applications from all members of the community. The University holds an Athena SWAN Bronze award in recognition of our commitment to improving employment practices for the advancement of gender equality and is a member of the Euraxess network, which delivers information and support to professional researchers.

Funding Notes

Please note this is a self-funded project and does not include fees.


Burdon, W. M., & Munro, K. (2017). Simulation–is it all worth it? The impact of simulation from the perspective of accounting students. The International Journal of Management Education, 15(3), 429-448.

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