An accounting degree involves learning and understanding mathematical approaches in the finance and business sectors. You will develop your knowledge around the recording, measuring and analysis of financial information, as well as how to communicate this information to others. Your degree will equip you for a career in accounting, opening doors in a variety of industries.
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The accreditation of your degree will depend on where you choose to study. It will also be influenced by your level of study. At undergraduate level, you can expect to be awarded a Bachelor of Science (BSc), a Bachelor of Arts (BA), or a Bachelor of Accountancy (BAcc). At postgraduate level, you can expect to be awarded a Master of Science (MSc), a Master of Arts (MA), a Master of Accounting (MAcc), or a Master of Research (MRes). Further study will award you with a research degree such as a Master of Philosophy (MPhil), or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).
Some degree courses might also be accredited by a professional body. This could include the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), or the Association of Chartered Accountants (ACCA). In order to become a chartered accountant, you need to have gained an accounting qualification alongside your degree. Your institution will be able to provide you with more information about this.
Generally, an undergraduate degree will take three to four years to complete, depending on where you choose to study. A postgraduate degree will normally take one to two years to complete.
Your institution may offer part-time study options, which usually means that your degree will take four to six years. You may also be able to take a foundation programme, which is useful if you do not meet the entry requirements for your degree.
Annual tuition fees for UK students are capped by the UK government. For the 2019/20 academic year, they are £9,250. This is subject to change each year, and will be updated on your institution website.
Postgraduate course annual tuition fees are set by the institution, which means that they can differ. Postgraduate programmes are generally less expensive than undergraduate programmes. You will find detailed fee information on the institution webpage.
The fees displayed below are an example of typical annual tuition fees for undergraduate and postgraduate accounting degrees. Actual tuition fees can be found on the institution webpages.
Typical Annual Tuition Fees
- Undergraduate - £9,250
- Postgraduate - £16,750
An undergraduate degree in accounting will give you a good foundation of knowledge in the area. You might study modules on financial reporting, microeconomics, macroeconomics, auditing, professional accountancy practice, and SAGE 50 skills. The majority of undergraduate degrees will be designed to suit those students who have very little experience with accounting, as well as challenging those who have previously studied accountancy. Your degree will be delivered through lectures and tutorials, as well as incorporating practical sessions. You may also be presented with the opportunity to take part in a work experience placement with a local accountancy firm. Depending on where you choose to study, you may be able to specialise towards the end of your degree. Assessment methods could include written work, group projects, and a major research project.
During a postgraduate degree, such as an MSc or an MA, you will build on the knowledge you gained at undergraduate level, developing an advanced understanding of accountancy. The modules you study will cover the more complex and specialist concepts of the subject. Modules and specialisms could include law for accounting, market economics, management accounting, business tax, international accounting, mergers and acquisitions, and personal taxation. Assessment methods might include written work, presentations, and a major research project.
The entry requirements for an accounting degree will depend on where you choose to study. They will also be influenced by the level of study for which you are applying. An undergraduate degree will normally require you to have a background in mathematics, further mathematics, or economics. Some institutions may also accept other quantitative subjects, such as statistics. If you do not have a strong background in these areas, but can prove that you are passionate about accounting, some institutions may still consider your application. For a postgraduate qualification, most universities will require you to have an undergraduate degree in accounting, finance, or a closely related subject.
Typical Entry Requirements
- A Level Grades - AAA-AAB
- UCAS Points - 144-136 UCAS points
- Required/Desired Subjects - Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Economics, Statistics, Business
- Degree Requirements - 2:1 or higher
- Required/Desired Subjects - Accounting, Finance, Accounting and Finance, Economics, Business
Graduates of an accounting degree will find that there are many career opportunities available to them. The most common destination for graduates is to work in the accounting and finance sector. The vast majority of businesses rely on accounting professionals to help with their book-keeping and financial decisions, so you will be able to find work in a wide range of industries. If you choose to work in a role directly related to your degree, jobs could include a chartered certified accountant, company secretary, forensic accountant, or stockbroker. If you choose to work in a role not directly related to your degree, jobs could include a data analyst, actuary, economist, or mortgage adviser.