• Status: Fully Approved
  • Start date: October 2017
  • Duration:

    4 years part-time

  • Attendance:

    Flexible attendance with evening classes and weekend workshops

  • Location:

    Central London

  • Professional bodies that recognise this course:

Programme overview

This new partnership between Birkbeck and ICAEW enables ACA trainees - those part way through their ACA training and those who have completed their training - to obtain a 'top-up' degree at around half the usual cost, in combination with their professional training, and without having to take extra time off work.

Trainees continue to study for their ACA, using training providers organised by their employer, and take top-up modules at Birkbeck in the evenings part-time or delivered through weekend workshops, online or work-based.

This means you could graduate in 4-5 years with ACA and with a degree specifically designed to complement it.

Of the 360 credits required for a University of London honours degree, 180 credits come from the successful completion of the ACA Professional Stages.

This programme attracts students from both the public and private sectors, including administrators, clerical workers and managers, as well as the self-employed. Because it is taught entirely by evening study, you are able to combine academic studies with your daytime commitments.

The majority of our students work or care for a family, so you will be learning with people from a wide range of backgrounds and with a wide range of experiences. This creates a stimulating and supportive learning environment. Our tutorial/seminar sessions give you a chance to interact with your peers and to develop insights into analysing and interpreting a wide and varied subject matter.

We engage in significant collaborative research and have excellent contacts with many public and private sector organisations, professional bodies and researchers at other academic institutions.

This course is also available for a January or April start.

Fees for the ACA tuition provider will be in addition to the Birkbeck fees and are payable direct to the ACA tuition provider.

A minimum of 30 credits of study is required each year for students to be eligible for a student loan. The degree may be funded by your employer as part of an ICAEW training agreement or as part of your continuing professional development.

How to apply

You apply directly to Birkbeck for this course, using the online application link.

Need help with your application? Watch videos featuring our academic experts giving advice on applying to Birkbeck and answering some of the most frequently asked questions.

Birkbeck offers a range of free face-to-face advice and support to help you make a successful application.

Birkbeck can give you all of the information and help you need to complete your application form, including our online personal statement tool, which will guide you through every step of writing your personal statement.

Application deadlines and interviews

We encourage you to apply as early as possible, though we still consider applications up to the end of September.

Online application

Applied Accounting and Business (BSc): 4-year, part-time, October start (Part-time)

Applied Accounting and Business (BSc): 4-year, part-time, October start (Distance learning)

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

  • This strategic partnership with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) provides students taking a professional qualification with the opportunity to build on this to gain an academic award. Successful completion of the 12 Professional Stage modules of ACA, which provide you with the technical skills and underpinning knowledge to work as a trainee accountant, will gain you 180 academic credits as APL (accreditation for prior learning). The remaining 180 credits of the BSc Applied Accounting and Business degree are drawn from a range of business and management modules according to business needs from Birkbeck.
  • This exciting new partnership allows you to fast-track your accounting career and complement your ICAEW Chartered Accountancy qualification with a part-time University of London honours degree at Birkbeck. You will study in parallel with your ACA training, or when you have completed it, at around half the usual cost. This joint ACA/degree course is fully flexible, so you can study for your professional examinations and your Birkbeck modules concurrently or in any order, as an independent student or while working for an ICAEW-authorised training employer.
  • Based in the School of Business, Economics and Informatics, the Department of Management is an internationally recognised centre of excellence in teaching, research and consultancy in the broad field of management. Our academic staff are active researchers as well as enthusiastic teachers, and regularly publish cutting-edge articles in the world's leading journals.
  • We have particular research strengths in international business and strategy, the management of innovation and entrepreneurship, human resource management, corporate governance, sport management and marketing, as well as financial management and accounting.
  • We offer students of all ages and backgrounds a chance to study either part-time or full-time in our Department and to gain an internationally recognised University of London qualification.

Course structure

The programme has been designed for maximum flexibility, so there is no prescribed order in which you should take modules from either the Certificate and Professional Level modules of ACA or your top-up modules from Birkbeck. This is to allow students and employers to tailor training programmes and degree structures according to their business needs. However, it is normally expected that Critical Reflection on Practice is the first module taken, while Researching the Workplace is normally the last.

You should normally take modules worth at least 30 credits per year from the Birkbeck schedule, which is the threshold for eligibility for a student loan.

As part of your top-up degree, you take the following modules:

In Year 1, you take Critical Reflection on Practice. This will normally be the first Birkbeck module you take, and is a sophisticated approach to reflective practice to help you realise the inter-relationship between professional experience and academic study while studying for the Certificate and Professional Level of ACA.

In Year 2, you choose option modules worth 30 credits.

In Year 3, you take Approaches to Research and choose option modules worth 45 credits.

In Year 4, you complete the Researching the Workplace module.

Year 1: compulsory module

Year 2 (option modules)

Year 3 : compulsory module

Year 4: compulsory module

Sample timetable

PDF document icon Management Undergraduate Sample Timetable 2014-15.pdf — PDF document, 61 kB (62989 bytes)

Entry requirements

This programme has been designed to build on a professional qualification and students will normally be expected to bring 180 credits' APL (accreditation for prior learning) for the Certificate and Professional Level of ACA.

However, applicants who are about to begin their ACA qualification or are part way through it are welcome to apply.

UCAS tariff points


English and mathematics

Applicants will normally be expected to have grade C GCSE-level English and mathematics. Applicants who do not hold this level of qualification may be required to carry out a skills audit at a selection evening, which comprises mathematics and English. This audit assesses an applicant’s potential to cope with, and benefit from, a particular programme of study.

Alternative entry route

Access to Higher Education Diploma with a minimum of 15 credits achieved at Merit or Distinction in business or accountancy units.

International entry requirements

If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.

If you don’t meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses, foundation programmes and language support services to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.

Visit the International section of our website to find out more about our English language entry requirements and relevant requirements by country.


Part-time home/EU students: £ 6935 pa
Part-time overseas students: £ 9750 pa

Annual fees are based on the number of credits (CATS points) studied each year. Students on this programme normally study between 30 and 90 credits per year. The fee for a 15-credit module is £1,125 for home/EU students and £1,625 for international students.

Payment and Fees Discounts

Flexible finance: pay your fees in monthly instalments at no extra cost. Enrol early to spread your costs and reduce your monthly payments.

Fees discount: Birkbeck offers a generous package of fee reductions and cash bursaries for new undergraduates and Certificate of Higher Education students. Also, if you are a member of a union that is recognised by the Trades Union Congress (TUC), you may apply for a 10% discount off your tuition fees.

Funding and Financial Support

Fees for the ACA tuition provider will be in addition to the Birkbeck fees and are payable direct to the ACA tuition provider.

A minimum of 30 credits of study is required each year for students to be eligible for a student loan. The degree may be funded by your employer as part of an ICAEW training agreement or as part of your continuing professional development.

Careers and employability

Graduates can pursue careers in accountancy, business and management. This degree may also be useful in becoming a chartered accountant, human resources officer, retail manager, or sales executive.

Find out more about these professions.

Find out more about the destinations of graduates in this subject.

We offer a comprehensive Careers and Employability Service to help you advance your career, while our in-house, professional recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, works with London’s top employers to help you gain work experience that fits in with your evening studies.

Teaching and assessment


Lectures, tutorials and seminars


This programme is assessed through a range of assessment methods.

Modules that emphasise the learning of numerical skills lean toward the use of mid-term tests coupled with unseen, formal examination at the end of each term. Mid-term tests are short tests set during the term and are designed to provide early feedback on performance.

Other modules use individual or group presentations, written essays/reports or formal end-of-term examinations as sole assessments or in combination.

In the final year of studies, you will independently design and complete a large written assignment in the form of a research project/dissertation.

Our research

Birkbeck is one of the world’s leading research-intensive institutions. Our cutting-edge scholarship informs public policy, achieves scientific advances, supports the economy, promotes culture and the arts, and makes a positive difference to society.

Birkbeck’s research excellence was confirmed in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, which placed Birkbeck 30th in the UK for research, with 73% of our research rated world-leading or internationally excellent.

Read about Birkbeck research offering insights and expertise to inform business, contribute to economic success and develop ground-breaking technologies.

Further study opportunities

Qualified Chartered Accountants who complete this programme and/or who are full members of ICAEW with at least 5 years’ relevant accounting experience can progress to a fast-track Master’s degree that can be completed part-time in 12 months.

Covering research issues of concern to practising accountants, the Master’s degree can qualify as continuing professional development. For such professionals, who are exempt from much of the full programme, the Master’s degree cost is reduced by around half.

We offer a wide range of Master's programmes in management, accounting and finance.

Download a copy of our progression routes to find out more.

Not ready to do a degree?

We can support you to get on to the undergraduate course that’s right for you.

If you are not ready to study an undergraduate degree, check out our Certificates of Higher Education and short courses for another way into study.

Key Information Set