Accountants are being offered a fast-track to gain a masters degree in corporate governance and membership of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries & Administrators.

The GTA University Centre, in partnership with Bournemouth University already provides a two year course to gain a masters degree in corporate governance but qualified accountants and suitably experienced, professionally qualified members of ICSA can join in the second year and complete the course within 15 months. Accountants also become eligible to join ICSA.

Only a limited number of spaces are available on the fast track option which will start in September.

‘Effective corporate governance has become increasingly important to all organisations and the masters degree combined with ICSA membership has been very popular with more than 100 students completing it,’ said GTA University Centre’s head of postgraduate programmes Chris Edwards.

‘What we had found is that qualified accountants and professional members of ICSA had already studied some of the course topics and were very proficient in them which put them off wanting to sign up to the full programme. We worked with the university and ICSA to identify how we could offer the opportunity of gaining a masters and ICSA membership without unnecessary repetition and it has been very successful.

‘However, we are aware that there are still many people who don’t know that the fast-track option exists and so we want to raise the profile of this very attractive opportunity.’

The GTA University Centre has a long-standing relationship with Bournemouth University and through them offers a graduate diploma in law and has just completed a postgraduate diploma and a masters degree in professional development (HRM).

The corporate governance masters programme is taught part-time, on island, by academics and practitioners and covers topics including international corporate finance, corporate stewardship and corporate governance and ethics.

‘Whether you are doing the two year course or the fast track option, it is academically challenging but is designed for immediate and practical application in the workplace. The course also enables students to conduct an individual piece of research as part of a final dissertation and previous students have found that to be particularly useful in their career development and very relevant to their work,’ said Mr Edwards.

James Orrick, managing director at Private Equity Administrators, said it was a challenge he wouldn’t hesitate to recommend.

‘The fast track masters in corporate governance are an exceptional opportunity for qualified accountants who want to add to their experience and benefit by gaining two qualifications from one course. I found the tutors to be very informed and supportive of the study group who nearly all had busy jobs and family commitments to manage,’ he said.

Simon Osborne, chief executive of ICSA, said the membership in the islands continues to grow.

‘We are delighted to be working with the GTA University Centre and Bournemouth University to support accountants through to professional membership via this fast track programme of study. We will continue to work with the GTA and our local ICSA office to develop good governance practices in the island and hope to introduce a series of new short courses with the GTA later in the year,’ he said.

The GTA University Centre will have a stand at the ICSA Conference on 29th April. More information about the fast track course is available from chris.edwards@gta.gg.