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Study Accounting & Finance, why & how to study

Study Accounting & Finance and you can flex your mathematical muscles while applying technical knowledge to business situations.

Charts, statistics, calculator, pen and coins

CONTENTS

  1. What’s Accounting & Finance?

  2. What Accounting & Finance degrees can you study?

  3. What do you need to get onto an Accounting & Finance degree?

  4. What topics does an Accounting & Finance degree cover?

  5. How will you be assessed?

  6. Why study Accounting & Finance?

  7. What do Accounting & Finance graduates earn?

  8. What jobs can you get as an Accounting & Finance graduate?

  9. What are the postgraduate opportunities?

  10. Similar subjects to Accounting & Finance

  11. Have any questions?

What’s Accounting & Finance?

Accounting & Finance involves the concepts of money, business and management, with an emphasis on professional careers in these areas. Accounting relates to information analysis for different aspects of a business, while finance solely concerns a business' monetary funds.

What Accounting & Finance degrees can you study?

Undergraduate degrees in Accounting & Finance include single and joint honours degrees, often in combination with economics, business and languages:

  • Accounting & Finance BA
  • Accounting with Spanish BSc
  • Actuarial Science and Risk Management BSc
  • Finance and Mathematics BSc
  • Banking & Finance BSc
  • Accounting and Finance MAccFin (integrated master’s)

Degrees may have an integrated foundation year or master’s, or offer accelerated study. Options include a professional practice year or study abroad. January start dates available.

What do you need to get onto an Accounting & Finance degree?

Typically, entry to an undergraduate Accounting & Finance degree requires between 96–160 UCAS points. Some courses may have lower or higher requirements, and not all unis base their offer on UCAS points. Qualifications include:

  • A Levels: A*AA–CCD
  • BTECs: DDD–MMP
  • Scottish Highers: AAABB–BBBB (Advanced Highers: AAA–BBB)
  • International Baccalaureate: 37–28

Good subjects to have studied include:

  • Maths at A Level (or equivalent), although this isn’t always a requirement
  • Good grades in maths, statistics or related subjects at GCSE (or equivalent)
  • General studies and critical thinking A Level may be excluded from offers

Experience that would look good on your application:

  • Work experience or shadowing in areas such as an accountancy practice, bank or financial advisor
  • Sharpening your maths skills through competitions, online courses or problem challenge sites
  • Knowledge of topical issues from media such as BBC business news, the Guardian, Financial Times or The Economist
  • Checking professional body websites for educational or career resources, such as the Maths Careers website sponsored by the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (IMA)
  • If eligible, go to STEM summer schools run by the Sutton Trust or UNIQ

Other requirements for this subject include:

  • Interview and entry assessments may be required by some universities

What topics does an Accounting & Finance degree cover?

Typical modules for courses in this subject include:

  • Actuarial insurance
  • Contemporary issues in accounting
  • Credit and financial analytics
  • Ethics in finance and accounting
  • Financial mathematics for actuarial science
  • Introduction to corporate and business law
  • Management accounting
  • Mathematics and statistics for economics and business
  • Micro and macroeconomics for accounting
  • Taxation

How will you be assessed?

Assessments are usually carried out by a mixture of the following, and will vary from module to module:

  • Coursework
  • Exams
  • Group assignments
  • Presentations

Why study Accounting & Finance?

Studying Accounting & Finance could be ideal for you if you enjoy maths and want to apply it to business, whether that's management, business law or economics.

Career-specific skills:

  • Knowledge of accounting and financial theories and practices, such as strategic investment, taxation, pensions, reporting standards
  • Competences could include auditing, financial accounting, management accounting, preparing financial statements
  • Skills with industry-standard IT such as Bloomberg terminals or accounting software

Transferable skills:

  • Communication (written and oral)
  • Critical and analytical thinking
  • Data analysis
  • Decision making
  • Problem solving
  • Project management
  • Research
  • Team working

Professional accreditation:

  • Degrees with accounting may be accredited by a wide range of professional accountancy bodies, including the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) and more, offering exemption from some of the required professional accounting exams
  • Degrees in other financial areas may offer accreditation by Association of Corporate Treasurers (ACT), Chartered Banker Institute (CBI), CFA Institute, Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment (CISI) or Chartered Insurance Institute (CII)
  • Degrees with maths or statistics may offer accreditation from the Institute for Mathematics and its Applications (IMA) or Royal Statistical Society (RSS)

I would recommend Accounting & Finance to anyone, especially those with a passion for both Mathematics and English. It's important to be able to do the calculations, but it's just as important for such a degree, and for future jobs, to be able to understand accounting concepts and write about them.                        

Rachel, Lancaster University student

What do Accounting & Finance graduates earn?

Starting salaries for an Accounting & Finance graduate range from £19,000–£25,000.

If you join HMRC’s graduate tax programme, you could be paid £33,000–£35,000 while you train. On successful completion of the programme, as a Grade 7 senior tax professional your pay will start off at £59,182 if you’re based in London.

Alternatively, as an experienced management accountant, an average salary could be £55,000.

What jobs can you get as an Accounting & Finance graduate?

Jobs for Accounting & Finance graduates can often be found in big, multinational professional services firms like EY UK, PwC, Deloitte and KPMG – although you’ll face strict entry standards.

Insurance companies are also big employers, as are banks. However, this subject area is in demand across all sectors, so you could even work for film productions. Roles could include:

  • Accounting technician
  • Actuary
  • Auditor
  • Chartered accountant
  • Commercial analyst
  • Compliance manager
  • Credit controller
  • Data analyst
  • Finance manager
  • Forensic accountant
  • Investment banker
  • Production Accountant
  • Retail banker
  • Stockbroker
  • Tax adviser

What are the postgraduate opportunities?

Unlike some areas of postgraduate study, some taught master’s degrees may be open to graduates of any discipline. Examples of postgraduate degrees include:

  • Accounting MSc
  • Banking and Digital Finance MSc
  • Corporate Finance MSc
  • Financial Strategy PGDip
  • Law and Finance MSc

Similar subjects to Accounting & Finance

If you’re into figures or business-related topics, you could also consider:

Have any questions?

If you have questions about studying Accounting & Finance, you can email our experts at ask@thecompleteuniversityguide.co.uk. We’ll be happy to hear from you!

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