Graduates planning to work in specialist areas of accountancy require specific competencies. They must develop sound subject-specialist knowledge, professional skills, values, ethics and attitudes during their studies.

This often cannot be achieved through one-way, didactic teaching methods, which consist only of traditional lectures, seminars, and modes of assessment.

DIPCAT project logo

The Designing Innovative Pedagogy for Complex Accounting Topics (DIPCAT) project aimed to address this gap in Higher Education by creating an internationally-oriented learning platform in accountancy that facilitates this essential hard and soft skill development for early career professionals.

Bournemouth University led eleven other European Universities in the three-year, Erasmus+ funded project, which came to an end in December 2021.

The approach

The project designed, developed and delivered four integrated accountancy case studies with contemporary content and innovative methods for wider dissemination in Higher Education.

The case studies and the supplementary materials are designed to address all the competencies that are needed for emerging accountancy professionals – such as subject-specific knowledge, problem solving ability, interdisciplinary thinking, soft skills and the ability to recognise ethical issues in accountancy.

While adaptable to short courses (e.g. ISPs or CPD), taken in their entirety, each case provides the scaffolding, content and assessment for 20-credit modules.

The cases and their supplemental learning materials, tasks and pedagogical innovations will be freely available through the European Union repository. 

The case studies

Solutions to the case studies and additional teaching materials are available to Higher Education Institutions for free.

Please request the solutions by contacting Dr Phyllis Alexander 

Intensive study programmes

The cases were first tested in a week-long Intensive Study Programme (ISP) at BU in September 2019.

Around 100 students from 12 universities across Europe, as well as Southern Connecticut University in the USA, came together to work on the case studies.

Subsequent Intensive Study Programmes were planned to be delivered in Innsbruck and Budapest in 2020 and 2021 but, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, these were delivered via hybrid events that students could participate in remotely.

Students provided feedback and evaluation which facilitated and focused improvements to the learning platform. 

The intensive study programmes also gave students opportunity to network with each other and with professionals and policymakers in accountancy. 

Dr Phyllis Alexander

Dr Phyllis Alexander

Principal Investigator for the DIPCAT project

“We’re constantly in touch with our professional networks to make sure that we’re producing students that are going to be career ready and that have honed those all-important employability skills like communication and teamwork.”

Dissemination and impact

The final output of the project is a unique, innovative and comprehensive learning platform which has already been integrated into the curricula of many accounting units. It has the potential to have significant impact at a regional, national and European level.

The finished International Tax and CSR cases were showcased at the Tax Research Network’s Education Day in September 2021 and have already been adopted at other Higher Education Institutions. The IFRS and Auditing cases were showcased at an International Accounting Conference in Budapest in November 2021.

The outcomes of the project will further enhance the quality of education at Higher Education Institutions using the platform. Participating students develop competencies required in international accountancy practice, enhancing their employability for SMEs as well as multi-national organisations.

Read the DIPCAT dissemination booklet 

The future

While DIPCAT has now come to an end, the partners continue to collaborate in research, professional practice and education, as they have done for over 25 years.

The consortium has another Erasmus+ project currently underway – Smart Teaching in Accounting – Meeting Place Online, with its first intensive study programme taking place in November 2021.