New accounting programme combines work and study

Trainee accountants can boost their careers by combining work and study as part of a new collaboration

Trainee accountants can boost their careers by combining work and study as part of an innovative collaboration between Birkbeck and The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW).

They can complement their ICAEW Chartered Accountancy qualification with a prestigious University of London degree from Birkbeck, London’s only specialist provider of evening higher education. The BSc Applied Accounting and Business degree is distinctive as it offers broader business and management skills, including problem-solving and business communication, to complement core functional accounting skills.

Qualifications and work experience

Combining work and study enables students to gain their qualifications at a substantially lower cost and much sooner than if they first studied for a degree and then completed their work-based ACA qualification. Students complete their studies not only with internationally-recognised academic and professional qualifications, but with real work experience too – significant advantages in a competitive jobs market.

The academic part of the course is also open to ACA-qualified accountants without university qualifications. Accountants are able to gain a degree as part of their Continuing Professional Development and this then enables them to progress onto programmes at Master’s level.

Dr Linda Trenberth, Deputy Dean of Birkbeck’s School of Business, Economics and Informatics, said: “At Birkbeck, we recognise that partnership between the world of education and work is becoming indispensible. We are delighted to form this strategic partnership with the ICAEW to prepare students for the world of business as well as help boost business with soft-skilled, ACA qualified staff.”

Mark Protherough, Executive Director, Learning & Professional Development, ICAEW, added: “This programme will help ensure talented individuals from all backgrounds have a cost-effective route into the profession. It will also ensure that the employers have access to a wide talent pool, which is ‘work-ready’. The integration of academic, professional and practical training with hands on experience in the office will also help to provide a solid return on any employer’s investment.”

The programme is a partnership which incorporates the ACA certificate and professional level modules accounting for 180 credits of the degree with the remaining 180 credits coming from Birkbeck. It is designed for maximum flexibility so there is no prescribed order in which students should take modules from either the Certificate/Professional levels of ACA or their top up modules from Birkbeck. This allows students and employers to tailor training programmes and degree structures and the time it takes according to their business needs.

Benefits for students/employees

  • Gain a degree and ACA in the same time as the traditional degree route at substantially lower cost (fees are substantially lower than for a full-time degree)
  • Combine the ICAEW ACA qualification with a highly marketable, prestigious University of London degree
  • Course content relates to work-based projects, to aid critical relfection
  • Supports Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

Benefits for employers

  • Investment in training promotes staff retention and loyalty
  • Part-time, flexible delivery mode enables employees to fit their degree studies around their work commitments, with no additional time away from the office
  • Employees develop ‘softer’ skills – interpersonal, team-working, problem-solving, IT application, business communication – to complement core functional accounting skills
  • Attracts a diverse student intake among working professionals who bring their work experience to the subject, enriching the learning environment
  • Flexible start dates from October to July, 4 - 6 years part-time or 3 years full-time. Modules can be taken through part-time evening classes at Birkbeck in central London, or delivered through weekend workshops, online or at workplace

Learn more about the couse or apply online