Accounting and Finance - BA (Hons)

Course Overview

The essential course information

Download the course factsheet
UCAS Code:
BA (Hons)
  • Sandwich (4 years)
  • Full Time (3 years)
Birmingham City Business School
City Centre (from 2015)

This course is accredited by:


Association of Accounting Technicians

Directly facing the ‘bottom line’ challenges of contemporary business, this course introduces you to key principles of accountancy and finance, and provides a solid foundation of business knowledge. It offers the intellectual know-how, technical ability and transferable personal skills that employers value highly.

What's covered in the course?

Embracing legal, taxation, regulatory and institutional issues within a national and international context, this course provides the appropriate theoretical underpinning to ensure you cope with new developments and business change.

Initially, you will explore the fundamentals of financial accounting and management accounting, alongside business economics and law. A module on Professional and Financial Skills will begin to address your readiness for employment and your career aims.

The second year investigates management accounting applications, financial reporting and taxation. You look at key principles of audit and assurance and finance. You also prepare for an optional placement in the third year.

In your final year, you study advanced financial reporting, performance management and financial strategy. You can choose to study further finance or accountancy option modules or undertake an individual research project of your choice.

“This course is a great milestone towards becoming a Chartered Accountant as it provides hands-on practical application of the general principles of accountancy and finance.”

Nwalie Obinna Michael

Why Choose Us?

  • The course offers useful flexibility: with BA (Hons) Accounting and Finance, and BA (Hons) Accountancy sharing a common first year, you could, space allowing, transfer at the end of the first year.
  • Respected throughout the profession, the University is a Platinum Approved Learning Partner of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).
  • Only those institutions meeting the highest standards, such as exceeding the worldwide student pass rate for examinations, are granted ACCA Platinum status.
  • There is the chance to gain exemptions from ACCA qualifications and certain exemptions from the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) and the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountants (CIPFA) examinations.
  • You will obtain full membership of the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) on completion, provided you undertake an appropriate work placement.
  • We offer the option of a year’s work placement and a six-month exchange programme in the second year at one of our international partner institutes.

Download the Course Programme Specification

Entry Requirements

We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.

Typical UK QualificationRequirements 2015/16

At the point of application, you must have GCSE at Grade C or above in English Language and Mathematics. Equivalent qualifications will be considered.

GCE A Level/ AS Level 280 UCAS Tariff points from a minimum of 2 A Levels (BBC offer made in grades). This may also include General Studies and Critical Thinking. Remaining points can be made up with AS Levels in different subjects. AS Level in the same subject of an A Level will not be accepted.
Access to Higher Education Diploma 45 Credits Level 3, 15 credits Level 2 including Level 2 English Language and Maths for all programmes
BTEC National Diploma (12-units not including early years) D*D* or combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 280 UCAS points
BTEC Extended Diploma (18-units not including early years) DMM - 280 UCAS points
BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/ National Award (6-units not including early years) Combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 280 UCAS points
International Baccalaureate Diploma 28 points overall
Irish Leaving Certificate Minimum of 280 UCAS points
Scottish Higher/ Advanced Higher Minimum of 280 UCAS points
Welsh Baccalaureate (core plus options) 120 tariff points combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 280 UCAS points

If you have a qualification that is not listed in the table please refer to our full entry requirements on UCAS.

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

Unconditional Offers 2015/16

If you are a full-time undergraduate applicant for the 2015/16 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.
To be considered you must hold, or be predicted to achieve:

  • 280 tariff points or above from three A levels (equivalent to grades BBC or above)
  • or
  • be predicted DMM profile at BTEC level

Learn more about unconditional offers >>

Typical EU/Non-EU (International) QualificationsRequirements 2015/16
IELTS 6.0 overall with 5.5 minimum in all bands
International Baccalaureate Diploma (or equivalent, including internationally accredited Foundation courses). 28 points overall 
Country-specific entry requirements and qualifications.

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

Learn more about BCUIC

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.

How to Apply

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 2015 FT 3 years BA (Hons) £9,000 per year
Sep 2015 SW 4 years BA (Hons) See below
Fees for students from non-EU countries (International)?
Start Mode Duration Award Fees
Sep 2015 SW 4 years BA (Hons) See below
Sep 2015 FT 3 years BA (Hons) £11,500 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.

UK or EU students

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.

International students

If a full-time international undergraduate student opts to extend the normal length of a Bachelor’s degree (4 years sandwich pathway) to complete a work-placement the following fee structure will apply:

  • Year 1 = £11,500
  • Year 2 = £11,500 
  • Year 3 = TBC
  • Year 4 = £11,500
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

University Approach to Employability

Birmingham City University is committed to preparing students for successful employability and professional careers. We have an innovative approach to employability that will help you obtain an interesting and well-paid graduate job.

Read our Employability Statement to find out more.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 Structure

Our staff and students tell you how you can benefit from studying the Accounting and Finance degree course.

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.

Rohiel Khaliq

Started in 2013

Rohiel Khaliq is a first year student who is enjoying the course and the opportunities it has given him. Rohiel came to a Birmingham City University after visiting an Open Day where he met teachers and current students, who impressed him with their insights and advice. He hopes to undertake a placement at the end of his second year which will increase his chances of getting onto a good graduate scheme at the end of his degree. 

Birmingham City Business School provide a well-structured programme. I’ve always enjoyed working with numbers and this course, unlike others, allows me to deal with the number-crunching without undermining the importance of written work.

I love the amount of support that is available to you. The teachers are really good and are always happy to help with any issues, encouraging you and making sure you achieve your full potential. They have a great deal of knowledge in the field and are always on hand to help.

The course is challenging and provides you with all the tools necessary for life after graduation. The whole faculty is geared towards helping its students and providing the best service to them.

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.

Our Facilities

We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities. It’s no surprise that the Complete University Guide placed us in the UK top 10 for spending on facilities in both 2012 and 2013.

Moving to the City Centre Campus

In September 2015 all business, English, law and social sciences courses will move to our City Centre Campus – and specifically The Curzon Building. The £63m building will offer students a unique social learning space, including a dedicated student hub incorporating student support services, in the heart of Birmingham’s Eastside development.

What do our students think?

"It's shaping out to be a great futuristic building."

English student Isaac had a sneak peek of the Curzon building.

Read Isaac's blog >>

Gallery - Curzon Building preview Atrium
Gallery - Curzon Building - library 1
Gallery - Curzon Building preview cafe 1
Gallery - Curzon Building preview cafe 2
Gallery - Curzon building preview lecture theatre
Gallery - Curzon Building preview boardroom
Gallery - Curzon Building preview - library upper
Gallery - Curzon Building preview library 2

Read more about the City Centre Campus

Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales

Accredited by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales for the purpose of exemption from some professional examinations.

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
  • 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 outside the UK


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).