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Accounting and Finance - BA (Hons)

Course Overview

The essential course information

Download the course factsheet
UCAS Code:
BA (Hons)
  • Full Time (3 years)
  • Sandwich (4 years)
The Department of Accountancy and Finance
Birmingham City Business School
City North

This course is accredited by:

CIMA and ACCA accreditation logo


Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy

Association of Accounting Technicians

The study of finance and associated decisions are vital to ensure efficient and effective wealth creation. At some stage, all organisations have to present their performance in the form of financial statements, and to interpret such statements to monitor the health of the company behind them.

Based on practical skills and reflection, the course introduces you to the key principles and practices of accountancy and finance, together with a foundation of business knowledge and personal transferable skills.

National Student Satisfaction Survey 2013
99 per cent of our accountancy students were satisfied overall

The course also provides the appropriate theoretical underpinning to ensure you cope with new developments and business change, and allows you to develop critical and analytical problem-solving skills.

Embracing legal, taxation, regulatory and institutional issues within a national and international context, the course provides the intellectual knowledge and technical skills needed to successfully pursue a career within an accounting or a finance function.

If you follow a Sandwich programme with an appropriate work placement, you may also obtain full AAT membership on completion of the degree.

The BA (Hons) Accounting and Finance, and BA (Hons) Accountancy share a core first year. It may therefore be possible to transfer from one course to another at the end of the year (depending on space on the course).

Find out more about Birmingham City Business School!

Key Facts

Our graduates have secured jobs as accountants and finance officers – as well as more diverse roles such as fraud officers, hedge fund analysts and office managers.
They work for companies such as HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland, L'oreal, British Telecom and IBM UK Ltd.

  • This course hones practical accountancy and finance skills, in a UK and international context, building real business knowledge and personal transferable skills.
  • It is taught by a Platinum Approved learning partner of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) – a professional distinction. With appropriate work placement, you could obtain full membership of the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) on completion.
  • You will get the chance to gain optimised exemptions from ACCA qualifications and certain exemptions from Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) examinations.

Why Choose Us?

  • Get involved with exciting co-curricular activities and boost your employability skills, through our Leadership Challenge. Take part in national and international competitions, charity events, workshops and interactive sessions, and enjoy excellent chances to work with external organisations.
  • Birmingham City Business School is a practice-based, ACCA Platinum Approved Business School – your course is highly respected and entirely relevant to today's business world. Only those institutions meeting the highest standards, such as exceeding the worldwide student pass rate for examinations, are granted ACCA Platinum status.
  • Case studies look at the published results of real companies, and high profile guest speakers share experience and insight.
  • You have the chance of a year's work placement and a 12-month exchange programme in the second year at one of our international partner institutes.
  • Local companies respect and often recruit Birmingham City Business School's graduates. As well as helping you find a suitable place for your work experience year, the Placement Office advertises around 1,000 jobs each year.
  • Birmingham City Business School welcomes around 3,000 students from over 80 countries, so you have a whole world of experiences – business and social – on your doorstep.

Download the Course Programme Specification

Entry Requirements

Typical UK QualificationRequirements 2014/15
At the point of application, you must have GCSE at Grade C or above in English Language and Mathematics. (Equivalent qualifications will be accepted).
A-levels BBC - 280 tariff points.
Foundation Satisfactory completion of a full-time Foundation Course of an appropriate type.
BTEC Extended Diploma / BTEC National Diploma DMM
BTEC Diploma/ BTEC National Certificate DD together with another qualification
Advanced Diplomas / Progression Diplomas Acceptable as all or part of the required 280 tariff points.
Association of International Accountants (AIA) papers Successful completion may be used to meet part of the entry requirements in place of UCAS entry points i.e. successful completion of AIA papers 1-6 will allow entry to year 1 (level 4), and successful completion of AIA papers 1-12 will allow entry to year 2 (level 5). Other requirements may still be required.

Further guidance on tariff points can be found on the UCAS website.

Unconditional Offers 2014/15

If you are a full-time undergraduate applicant for the 2014/15 year, and show particular potential, we may be able to make you an unconditional offer if you make us first choice and satisfy certain criteria.

Learn more about unconditional offers >>

Typical EU / International QualificationsRequirements 2014/15
IELTS 6.0 overall
TOEFL Minimum score 550
International Baccalaureate (or equivalent, including internationally accredited Foundation courses). 32 points
Country-specific entry requirements and qualifications.
Advanced entry to second year

For direct entry onto the second year you must demonstrate competence equivalent to that achieved by a year one student such as an equivalent accountancy qualification (the AAT qualification, ACCA Fundamentals, Papers 1-3, or CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting) or an HND in Business and Finance and distinctions in four subjects.

Non-standard entry

The programme welcomes applications from students who have significant relevant work or life experience but who may not necessarily meet all of the published academic requirements for their chosen course. The University must be satisfied that your work or life experience is equivalent to the qualifications that other applicants will be studying. We want all of our students to succeed and will only offer a place where we believe that an applicant is capable of completing their chosen course with a strong final degree classification.

The admissions team will be pleased to discuss individual circumstances with prospective students.

Application Details

Full Time: Apply through UCAS.
UCAS Code: NN43.
Apply via UCAS

Non-EU (International) students:. There are three ways for international students to apply: direct to the University, through a country representative or through UCAS. Please read our guidance on how to apply.

UCAS Information

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.

UK, EU and international students applying for most undergraduate degree courses in the UK will need to apply through UCAS.

You submit an application via the UCAS website with a list of up to five courses. All choices are confidential during the application process so universities and colleges considering an application cannot see your other choices. Applications must be completed by mid-January of the year that you wish to start university.

You can monitor the progress of your application using the UCAS Apply system.

Fees and Finance

Fees for students from the UK or EU countries?
Start Mode Duration Award Fees
Sep 2014 FT 3 years BA (Hons) £7,500 per year
Sep 2014 SW 4 years BA (Hons) See below
Fees for students from non-EU countries (International)?
Start Mode Duration Award Fees
Sep 2014 FT 3 years BA (Hons) £10,100 per year

The University reserves the right to increase fees broadly in line with increases in inflation, or to reflect changes in government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.

Where a full-time undergraduate student opts to extend the normal length of a Bachelor's degree by an additional year in order to take a full-year work placement there will be no fee for the additional placement year.

Additional costs

There are no additional compulsory costs for this course however you may wish to purchase text books or additional materials relating to the subject area.

Financial Options and Advice

We have deliberately tried to set fees that reflect the cost of course delivery in order to help our students avoid debt.

Full-time students won't have to pay for tuition fees until after their studies - there are government tuition fee loans available. If you are a full-time student, after leaving university you will start to pay back your loan once you are earning over £21,000 a year, at a rate of nine per cent on any income above £21,000. So if you were earning £25,000, you would pay back nine per cent of £4,000, or £30 per month.

Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis offers key facts on fees, loans and grants:

Financial Support

We offer further information on possible financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.

International Students

International Students at BCU

Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.

The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK. Our reputation for excellence is soaring globally, thanks to the superb links we forge with industry, our international alliances, and our focus on practical, vocational learning.

Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC)

International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.

BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally–recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.

Learn more about BCUIC

Open Days

Saturday 14 June 2014 (9am - 3pm)

Open Day Courses Tab June2014

Our Open Day provides you with the perfect opportunity to visit the University and discover just what we have to offer.

You can learn more about our courses, great teaching and links with leading employers – as well as our £260 million investment in facilities.

There is a non-stop programme of events and activities running throughout the day, so we recommend that you arrive at 9am to ensure you get the most out of the day.

Who is it for?

The day will cover all levels of study but is predominantly for undergraduate courses.

bcyou icon registerRegister to attend the Open Day

University Approach to Employability

Expertly woven into our curriculum and work experience opportunities, and underpinned by a diligent approach to career preparation and the close involvement of professional bodies, the University views employment as one of the principal rewards for a student's ambition, application and academic achievement. It's why the University is one of the country's top 30 universities* for placing students in graduate-level employment.

Our close links with business and the professions mean that our courses are always relevant, up-to-date and meet the exact needs of the current marketplace. Wherever possible, we involve employers in planning the curriculum, while many of our lecturers come from and maintain their links with industry, ensuring they are up to speed with the latest developments.

Employability will be an integral outcome of your studies.

* Sunday Times University Guide 2012

Employment Opportunities

You have the opportunity to take a 12-month placement after the second year, which can significantly improve your business awareness and employability following graduation.

In general, your course will prepare you for the realities and demands of this part of the business sector, allowing you to take your place as a competent, capable professional in financial management.

Remember that local companies respect the capabilities of our graduates, often recruiting from our ranks.

You will also have the opportunity to increase your employability skills and experiences with the Leadership Challenge (a series of events, projects and competitions mirroring real-life business) and take advantage of the unique facilities at the Concept Factory, our purpose-built social space for enterprising students.

Find out more about the Leadership Challenge

Find out more about the Concept Factory


You will benefit from the opportunity to spend a year working in industry between your second and third study year, allowing you to acquire invaluable, hands-on experience ahead of your career in business.

It is an excellent opportunity for you and your placement company. Your work experience allows you to develop a greater understanding of the business world, pick up key transferable skills, and put theory into practice, whilst your placement company can gain from your fresh ideas and enthusiasm.

A note for all full-time students starting a Bachelor's degree in 2013/14:
If you commence your studies in September 2013 under the new fees regime, and decide to undertake a placement year (making your degree a four-year sandwich course), please note that you will not be charged a tuition fee for that particular year.

Further Studies

You have the chance to gain optimised exemptions from the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) qualifications and certain exemptions from Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) professional body examinations.

Your further study options also include MSc Accountancy and Finance, MBA Finance and MSc Management and Finance, all are offered full-time.

Full Time

About KIS data

From September 2012, all universities and colleges are publishing standardised information for all undergraduate courses in the form of a Key Information Set (KIS). The KIS data is designed to meet the needs of prospective students and allow for informed decision-making when choosing a university course.

Putting our students first

We pride ourselves on our student satisfaction levels which have risen from 73 per cent to 83 per cent between 2010 and 2012. Our dedication to improving the student experience is illustrated by our award-winning student engagement, our close links with business and industry and our £180 million investment in new facilities.

Employability facts

80.2 per cent of leavers responding to this survey from the Department of Accountancy & Finance at Birmingham City Business School, who went into either employment and/or further study, achieved a graduate-level destination. The average full-time salary for a leaver was £18,200. Employers who hired these leavers include Royal Bank of Scotland and Deutsche Bank, in positions such as Senior Business Associate and Hedge Fund Analyst.

Working with your Students' Union

Improving student satisfaction is a priority commitment shared by both Birmingham City University and its Students' Union. In its strategic planning, the Union has pledged to be more accessible, more relevant and provide more opportunity to engage with a diverse student community.

The Students'Union is already a key stakeholder in supporting an excellent teaching experience at Birmingham City University, through joint projects such as the Extra Mile Teaching Awards and the Student Rep scheme, which allows students to share their ideas on how they are taught.

As Birmingham City University moves towards a two campus strategy where it can better support enhanced learning and student support facilities across a two-mile radius, the Students' Union will also be better able to implement its commitment to improve communication and engage with its valued student membership.

Course Modules

First Year
Business Economics and Law 30
Fundamentals of Financial Accounting 30
Fundamentals of Management Accounting 30
Professional and Financial Skills 30
Second Year
Management Accounting Applications 30
Financial Reporting 30
Taxation 30
Business Finance Decisions Principles of Audit and Assurance 15 each
Optional Placement Year
Final Year
In the final year you undertake 60 credits per term made up from core and optional modules. Those not marked core are your options.
Statistical Decision Making Statistical Modelling 15 each
Comparative Financial Systems International Corporate Finance 15 each
Advanced Financial Reporting (core) 30
Financial Strategy 30
Managing Performance (core) 30
Comparative International Reporting Current Issues in Company Reporting 15 each
Placement Project 30
Dissertation (not available if you take a Placement Project) 30

Assessment Methods

You will encounter various assessment methods, including group work and reports, oral presentations and computer-based work, as well as academic essays.

Professional accountancy bodies generally expect assessment by written, 'closed book' examinations for exemption purposes.

Rajinder Kumar

Rajinder Kumar

With a clear view of the road to his chosen profession ahead of him, and the endorsement of friends who had already graduated, Rajinder chose Birmingham City University for his Accountancy course.

“The course provided a sound basis to complete my ACCA exams, and I valued the support of various lecturers.”

Rajinder is now an Audit Executive for Ernst & Young, and looks forward to developing a successful career within Finance, either in practice or industry.

ACCA and CIMA accreditation

ACCA Platinum Level Tuition Provider

We have been approved under ACCA's Approved Learning Partner - student tuition (ALP-st) programme and given the award of Platinum Level Tuition Provider.

This means you can be sure:

  • We have been assessed against ACCA's widely recognised and highly-regarded global best practice benchmarks.
  • we have access to a range of development opportunities and tools provided by ACCA.
  • An investigation will be carried out in the event of any student complaints.
Accreditation dependency

To gain accreditation you must successfully complete the following modules:

  • ACC5010 Mangement Accounting Applications
  • ACC6012 Managing Performance
  • FIN5004 / CM5416 Taxation
  • ACC5008 / CM5411 Financial Reporting
  • FIN6009 Advanced Financial Reporting
  • ACC5007 / CM5422 Principles of Audit and Assurance
  • FIN6010 Financial Strategy

Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Accredited by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) for the purpose of exemption from some professional examinations through the Accredited degree accelerated route.

This accreditation is dependent on particular modules you choose.

Association of International Accountants

Accredited by the Association of International Accountants (AIA) for the purpose of exemption from some professional examinations.

Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy

Accredited by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) for the purpose of exemption from some professional examinations.

Association of Accounting Technicians

Accredited by the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) for the purpose of eligibility to apply for full membership with that body.


Prospective students from the UK or EU
  • Take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions for answers to a range of questions about our courses and studying here.
  • If you need further help, you can contact the Course Enquiries Team online by using the Course Enquiry Form.
  • Alternatively, call us on +44 (0)121 331 5595.
Prospective students from non-EU countries
  • International enquirers from non-EU countries may enquire via the International Enquiry Form.
  • Alternatively, call us +44 (0)121 331 6714.


For an overview of our undergraduate courses and a range of other information order a printed Prospectus or download a PDF of our Prospectus (16Mb).