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Training abroad?

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Degrees with placements

If you want to study accountancy or business at degree level and are interested in gaining some work experience, there are courses available that give you both. ICAEW works in partnership with a number of universities to offer degrees that combine elements of the ACA qualification and offer optional industry placements.

Benefits

  1. Earn and learn

    Gain paid work experience while studying a degree

  2. Get hired

    Employers often offer positions to those who have completed work experience with them

  3. Qualify faster

    Gain credits towards ACA exam modules and work experience requirements

  4. Start strong

    Enjoy a starting salary of up to £30,000

How it works

ICAEW is working with universities to offer you the option to undertake a paid industry placement and study elements of the ACA qualification, while studying an accountancy or business undergraduate degree.

The placement with an ICAEW authorised training employer can be used towards completing the 450 days of practical work experience that you must complete to qualify as an ICAEW Chartered Accountant.

 

Where can you study?

ICAEW has relationships with a number of UK universities offering work placements as part of their degree programmes. 

In 2009 ICAEW launched the Undergraduate Partnership Programme (UPP) in partnership with Cardiff, Manchester and Warwick university to offer placements with authorised training employers.

£19,663

median placement salary in accountancy and professional
services companies*

* Source: AGR Annual Survey 2016

Undergraduate Partnership Programme

The Undergraduate Partnership Programme (UPP) is an exclusive collaborative programme between ICAEW and the business schools at three of the UK's most prestigious universities: Cardiff, Manchester and Warwick.

UPP provides students with the opportunity to apply for a third-year 12-month placement at an ICAEW authorised training employer.

Cardiff Business School

Course: BSc in Accounting

Duration: 3 years (full time)/4 years with a 12 month placement

What’s included:

Alongside the opportunity to extend the degree to a four year programme with a 12 month work placement, this degree offers credit for up to eight ACA modules.A number of classes are taught by accountants working for firms, such as: PwC, KPMG and Grant Thornton.

Each year the university organises skills-based workshops in partnership with large accounting firms.

Entry requirements:

  • A levels: AAB (General Studies, Critical Thinking and Citizenship Studies are not accepted).
  • International Baccalaureate: 35 points, including Maths and English (Standard level) with scores of 5.
  • GCSEs: English C and Maths B.
  • Alternative qualifications are considered.

Find out more

Cardiff Business School

Course: BSc in Accounting and Finance

Duration: 3 years (full time)/4 years with a 12 month placement

What’s included:

Cardiff University’s Accounting and Finance degree programme follows the same syllabus with the Accounting degree programme in the first year, with the second and third years covering financial accounting, business finance and management accounting.

Alongside the option for a year-long placement at an ATE, the degree offers exemptions for up to six ACA modules and the option to study specialist finance areas, such as: public sector accounting and international accounting.

Entry requirements:

  • A levels: AAB (General Studies, Critical Thinking and Citizenship Studies are not accepted).
  • International Baccalaureate: 35 points, including Maths and English (Standard level) with scores of 5.
  • GCSEs: English C and Maths B.
  • Alternative qualifications are considered.

Find out more

Alliance Manchester Business School, University of Manchester

Course: BSc in Accounting

Duration: 3 years (full time)/4 years with a 12 month placement

What’s included:

This course provides credit for up to eight ACA modules alongside the opportunity to spend your third year on a work placement at an ICAEW ATE. The course is taught by staff who are leading researchers in their fields, some of whom are also qualified accountants.

ICAEW holds networking events at Alliance Manchester Business School enabling you to meet firms that offer placements through UPP, such as EY, Goldman Sachs, Grant Thornton, Mazars and PwC.

Entry requirements:

  • A levels: AAA (General Studies and Critical Thinking are not accepted) 
  • GCSEs: Maths A, English language B 
  • International Baccalaureate: 37 points and 666 in Higher Level subjects, plus no less than 5 for standard level English and 6 for Maths (Maths studies is not accepted).

Find out more

Warwick Business School, University of Warwick

Course: BSc in Accounting and Finance

Duration: 3 years (full time)/4 years with a 12-month placement

What’s included:

This course offers up to seven credits towards ACA modules, as well as a year-long work placement in the third year.

Find out more

Entry requirements:

  • A Levels: AAA, including Maths or Further Maths (Maths-related subjects, such as Statistics, Economics, Accounting and Finance do not meet the requirement).
  • A Levels: At least one humanities/social science subject (taught in English) is preferred for overseas applicants.
  • GCSEs: humanities/social science subject, A.
  • International Baccalaureate: 38 points, including at least 5 in Higher Level Maths. Candidates with a humanities or social science subject (taught in English) at Higher Level will also be preferred.
  • Other internationally-recognised qualifications are also considered.

University of Bristol

Course: BSc Accounting and Finance with Professional Placement

Duration: 3 years (full time)/4 years with a 12-month placement

What’s included: 

This four-year course involves three years of study at the University of Bristol plus a one-year professional placement with an Authorised Training Employer (ATE) in the third year.  Students initially apply to the BSc Accounting and Finance and then can register their interest to add a professional placement. Acceptance on to the placement programme is contingent on first year examination results and acceptance by an ATE onto a placement scheme.

Find out more

Entry requirements:

The requirements below are illustrative of the typical offer. Click  'Find out more' for entry requirements for the current programme.

  • A-levels: AAA including A in Mathematics or A* AB including A in Mathematics
  • International Baccalaureate Diploma Standard offer 36 points overall with stipulated mathematics requirements
  • Alternative qualifications including international alternatives are considered.

£30,000

average starting salary for Accounting and Professional services graduates in the UK*

* Data source: High Fliers: The Graduate Market in 2018

Leeds University

Course: BSc (Hons) Accounting and Finance

Duration: 3 years (full time)/4 years with a 12 month placement

What’s included:

This degree offers students the opportunity to gain credit for prior learning for up to eight ACA modules as well as the option to undertake a year’s work experience at an ICAEW authorised training employer.

The course is made up of 17 compulsory modules and a range of optional modules which include: industrial economics, corporate social responsibility and behavioural finance. Leeds University also offers students the option to study abroad for a year of their degree in countries including: the US, Canada, Hong Kong, Australia, Taiwan and in other European countries.

Entry requirements:

  • A levels: AAA.
  • GCSEs: Maths A and English Language B.
  • International Baccalaureate: 37 points, including 17 points in higher level subjects.
  • BTEC qualifications will be considered alongside academic A levels.
  • Access to Higher Education Diplomas will be considered for mature UK/EU applicants (21+).

Find out more

Lancaster University

Course: BSc in Accounting and Finance (Industry) degree

Duration: 4 years

What’s included:

This degree, from a world-ranked research university, includes a year in industry as part of the ICAEW strategic placement degree programme, to enable you to gain real-world experience.

You will gain sound technical knowledge together with interpersonal and communication skills through innovatively taught case study modules, all of which will help set you on the path to reaching your career goals.

Entry requirements:

  • A levels: AAB.
  • BTEC: DDD.
  • GCSEs: Maths B and English Language B.
  • International students will need an IELTS 6.5 overall in English with at least 5.5 in each component.
  • International Baccalaureate: 35 points overall with 16 points from the best 3 Higher Level subjects.
  • Access to Higher Education Diploma: in a relevant subject with 30 Level 3 credits at Distinction and 15 Level 3 credits at Merit.

Find out more

University of Gloucestershire

Course: BA (Hons) Accounting and Finances

Duration: 3 years (full time)/4 years with a 12-month placement

What’s included:

This course provides credit for up to eight of the 15 modules in the ACA qualification and the option to undertake a 12-month placement with an ICAEW authorised training employer.

On the courses students use real data, software and techniques in the university’s Thomson Reuters Trading room, which holds real-time and historical data on financial markets (equities, bonds, currencies, derivatives, etc). Students also follow their own business engagement programme, which provides first-hand participation in live accounting or business environments.

Entry requirements:

  • 280 UCAS points.
  • A levels: BBC (typical offer).
  • BTEC: DMM (typical offer).
  • GCSEs: Maths C and English C (or equivalent).
  • International students will need an IELTS 6.0 overall in English with no less than 5.5 in any other band, or equivalent.
  • Applications from mature students (21+) do not necessarily require the same academic qualifications as school leaving applicants.

Find out more

Other degrees offering ACA placements

Cass Business School

Course: BSc (Hons) Accounting and Finance

Duration: 3 years (full time)/4 years with a 12 month placement

What’s included:

The course provides credit for up to eight of the 15 ACA qualification modules, as well as the option to undertake a year-long ACA training agreement as a sandwich year during the course. Accounting and finance students at Cass Business School are also given the option of completing their work experience abroad in Australia, Europe, Asia and the Americas.

 

Entry requirements:

  • A levels: AAA, including maths or a science.
  • International Baccalaureate: 35 points, including six points in higher level maths or sciences.

Find out more

Next steps

Completing a placement year at an ICAEW authorised training employer will count towards the mandatory 450 days of practical work experience needed to qualify as an ICAEW Chartered Accountant.

During your placement year you can either start your training agreement or claim Credit for Prior Work experience to fast track yourself through the ACA qualification after graduation.

Find out about how to secure an ACA training agreement after completing your degree.

How to secure an ACA training agreement

Training internationally

If you want to train for the ACA in another country, you must ensure you are entitled to work in that country. It is your responsibility to understand what work visa you need and how to secure one. ICAEW cannot support you in this process, but your potential employer might be able to offer advice.