Accounting and Finance is a very broad sector with many career opportunities to work in all sorts of industries and businesses.

Whether you decide that you would like to work in an accounts team in a small business, finance for a big corporate, an investment bank, or as a management accountant at one of the big firms, an undergraduate degree is a great starting point that will help you learn many key skills.

The types of roles within accounting include (but are not limited to):

To become a qualified accountant, you will need a professional accountancy qualification. Work experience can also help you learn how to implement the skills and techniques that are covered in your studies.

What are examples of the different professional qualifications I can study?

ACCA

The ACCA qualification is based on international accounting standards and is independently benchmarked for quality. Awarded by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, this qualification is for those who would like to progress in finance, business or accountancy. When you complete the qualification you will be a Chartered Certified Accountant.

Consisting of 14 papers, students will often sit around 4 papers a year. Generally, full-time students will take 3 years, those studying part-time will study over 3-4 years.

If you have completed an undergraduate accounting-based degree you may be exempt from some of the papers. The BSc Hons Accounting and Management at the Ulster University branch campuses carries exemptions on up to 9 of the ACCA papers, leaving you only 5 to complete. Find out more about this programme.

CIMA

The CIMA qualification is aimed at those who want to be a Chartered Management Accountant in business or industry. The CIMA Professional Qualification is recognised worldwide as a highly relevant global finance qualification for careers business.

There are 2 different levels: the Certificate in Business Accounting which most students tend to complete in 1 year; and the Professional Qualification which students tend to complete over an average of 4 years.

Other qualifications

There are of course still lots of other professional accounting qualifications that you can study to further progress your career depending on your personal goals. These include ACA (ICAEW), AAT, ATT, CFAB, CIPFA and FIA.

Average salaries

Salaries will vary across industries, qualifications, by city and of course in different parts of the world. However, an average salary for a non-qualified accountant with an undergraduate degree in the UK is £28,000. The average national salary in the UK for a qualified accountant is approximately £58,000. You can find out more via the Robert Half and Hays Salary Guides.

BSc Hons Accounting and Management

The BSc Hons Accounting and Management undergraduate programme delivered at the Ulster University London branch campus is taught over 3 years and provides a comprehensive grounding in theory and practice, and an excellent foundation to becoming a qualified accountant with exemptions for 9 of the 14 papers for the ACCA qualification.

Upon completion of your degree, you should find your combination of knowledge and skills in demand with a wide range of potential employers and you will be empowered either to embark immediately on a professional career in accountancy or to undertake further study at Masters level.

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