Professional Accounting BA (Hons)

Study level: Undergraduate
HNC/HND courses
A student and tutor talking in a study booth

Accountancy is a vital function in business, fulfilling a significant role in business development and profitability.

Course option

Year of entry

Location

CU Coventry (Coventry)

Study mode

Full-time
Part-time
Sandwich

Duration

4 years sandwich
3 year - Degree
2 year - HND
1 year - HNC
Flexible part-time

UCAS codes

NN1K / 004N / N400

Start date

June 2024


Course overview

The ability to produce quality financial data is integral to strategic decision-making and could ultimately be the reason a business thrives or dissolves. Because of this, accountants and financial officers are in demand in both the public and private sectors, as well as in not-for-profit organisations such as charities.

We will aim to equip you with the necessary knowledge and skillset to help you get into the accounting profession. Alongside your learning, you will also get the chance to conduct critical research with our experienced staff, learn from guest visitors and take part in practical modules. Guests and visitors are subject to availability.

Why you should study this course

This course aims to:

  • equip you with the practical knowledge needed to effectively deliver financial and accounting services
  • cover a comprehensive range of themes including taxation, financial reporting, budget management and business operations
  • explore financial practices, techniques and tools used in accounting so that you have a solid foundation of basic principles
  • encourage the development of your theoretical insights.

Accreditation and professional recognition

This course has been specifically designed to coincide with units taught at recognised, professional accounting bodies. This means graduates from our course could gain module exemptions from professional accounting bodies as outlined below – which could be an attractive accolade to potential employers. In order to achieve these module exemptions, you must successfully complete the degree course and gain relevant work experience.

Upon successful completion of the course, you will have the opportunity to apply for exemptions from the professional bodies to work towards the professional qualification. This is not, however, a condition of academic credit: assessments for the professional qualification will be independent of that undertaken for the academic award. Should you decide to apply for exemptions to the professional qualifications, there will be additional student membership fees and assessment fees.

The Professional Accounting BA (Hons) degree is recognised by the following bodies1:

AAT logo

The Association of Accounting Technicians

The Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) is a professional membership body. An AAT qualification is a route to some of the most in-demand skills in the world and provides you with a professional status. The AAT will grant exemption from the Level 4 AAT qualification. In addition, students can apply for membership of the AAT, providing they obtain the relevant working experience and demonstrate reading on professional ethics.


ICA logo

The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales

The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) offers qualifications recognised by employers and accountancy professionals. The ICAEW will grant exemption from eight of their units. Also, students can obtain the ICAEW Certificate for Finance, Accounting and Business (CFAB) providing the student completes their accounting exam.


IFA logo

The Institute of Financial Accountants

The Institute of Financial Accountants (IFA) is a professional body representing and providing certification for financial accountants in the United Kingdom. The IFA is a full member of the International Federation of Accountants. Graduates of CU London and CU Coventry's BA (Hons) Professional Accounting degree programme meet the relevant qualification criteria to obtain Associate membership and will also need to provide evidence of having completed a minimum of three years' work experience in accountancy or a closely related field as part of their membership application. Upon completion, you can apply to use the IFA designations as well as a practising certificate.


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What you'll study

This detailed course focuses on giving you the foundational knowledge needed for a successful career in accounting.

You will acquaint yourself with the key topics most accountants practice regularly, such as credit management control and analysis of financial statements. This year embeds level 4 of the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) and the Institute of the Financial Accountants (IFA) Level 4, providing you with the essential knowledge required for progression into years two and three. If you successfully complete year one, you will be eligible for a Higher National Certificate (HNC) in Professional Accounting.

Modules

  • This module will introduce you to the fundamentals of accounting. You will look at key topics such as the financial statements comprising the profit and loss and the balance sheet, and get an introduction to budgeting and costing.

    Compulsory

  • In this module, you will cover the bases of successful budgeting in relation to sales and production. In addition to the overview of budgeting practice, you’ll cover the critical processes, including creating and implementing budgets and comparing/monitoring results. There are practical elements too - you will demonstrate your knowledge through industry-style budgeting assessments.

    Compulsory

  • In this module, you will look at taxation practices, legislation and the different types of tax. There is a focus on personal tax, what is required and the surrounding legislation. You will also explore other areas and factors that may affect taxation levels, such as income tax, benefits and capital gains tax.

    Compulsory

  • In business, companies very rarely use cash to pay for assets or products. In this module you will look at credit management control and how to manage credit flow, from paying on time to monitoring liquidity.

    Compulsory

This academic year builds on the knowledge gained in year one of the degree course to cement a solid foundation of core principles. Now that you are working to a higher level after completing the HNC, you will extend your knowledge from the basic financial practices. In this year, you enter the management arena and will begin to focus on the role of leadership within accounting. Operating from a business point of view, you’ll primarily focus on the role of the accounting profession, legislation and governance.

If you successfully complete year two, you’ll be eligible for a Higher National Diploma (HND) in Professional Accounting.

Modules

  • Informed decision-making is an essential factor in business success. Therefore, you will seek to learn how to identify the key features of effective performance management systems, select appropriate performance measures and calculate differences between actual performance and standards or budgets. You’re required to showcase your knowledge of this topic, in an independent written assessment or a collaborative group presentation. 

    Compulsory

  • Looking at sole traders, partnerships and limited companies, you’ll aim to learn how to apply double-entry principles in recording transactions, adjust financial records and formulate non-complex financial statements. As preparation for a role within a business setting, you’ll also learn to specify the components of financial statements and prepare and present non-complex accounts. 

    Compulsory

  • In this entirely theoretical module, you’ll learn how to implement due diligence in both the macro and microenvironment. You’ll understand how to operate within the legal remit, affecting precision and reliability to a high standard as an accountant. As businesses constantly enter contracts, you’ll also learn the basics of contract law and assess how the law impacts you as an accountant. 

    Compulsory

  • Working at an organisational level, you will study the theories and tools of finance and their relevance and application to practical problems within business. This module teaches you about the various finances businesses deal with, including loans, equity and venture capital.  

    Compulsory

There’s no better way to find out what you love doing than trying it out for yourself, which is why a work placement can often be beneficial. Work placements2 usually occur between your second and final year of study. They’re a great way to help you explore your potential career path and gain valuable work experience, whilst developing transferable skills for the future.

If you choose to do a work placement year, you will pay a reduced tuition fee3 of £1,250. For more information, please go to the fees and funding section. During this time, you will receive guidance from your employer or participating institution, along with your assigned academic mentor who will ensure you have the support you need to complete your placement.

Modules

  • This module2 provides you with an opportunity to reflect upon and gain experience for an approved placement undertaken during your programme. A placement should usually be at least 26 weeks or equivalent however, each placement will be considered on its own merits, having regard to the ability to achieve the learning outcomes.

    Optional

  • This module2 provides you with an opportunity to reflect upon and gain experience for an approved international study/work placement undertaken during your programme. A work/study placement should usually be at least 26 weeks or equivalent however, each placement will be considered on its own merits, having regard to the ability to achieve the learning outcomes.

    Optional

You will now be preparing to advance into industry, so you will experience broader strategic thinking on the application of models and theoretical concepts. At this stage, you should be able to confidently bring about rational and sensible conclusions, make sound recommendations and effectively manage decision-making. This year helps you to understand the importance of ethical behaviour for a professional accountant. You’ll explore issues relating to integrity, objectivity, conflict of interest, confidentiality and independence.

If you successfully complete the final year you’ll be awarded a BA (Hons) degree in Professional Accounting.

Modules

  • This module is centred on the assurance process and fundamental principles of ethics. You’ll learn the concept of assurance and why it is required in accountancy. In addition, successful completion of this module will give you an exemption from the Assurance module of the ICAEW certificate.

    Compulsory

  • Building on skills and knowledge gained in previous years, you will expand your knowledge of complex topics of taxation. You’ll critically analyse issues such as the processes for calculating income tax, national insurance contributions, capital gains tax, inheritance tax, taxation of trust, stamp taxes, corporation tax and value added tax (VAT) in a variety of scenarios. 

    Compulsory

  • Putting your knowledge of strategy into practice, you’ll elaborate on the role of business analysis in averting and managing financial crises. Taking control of your development, you’ll assess an organisation’s position, strategic choice and analyse the implementation of action in processes, people, finance and information technology.

    Compulsory

  • Working from a managerial point of view, you will explore the provisions of finance and the framework in which a financial manager operates. You’ll identify and evaluate various investment appraisal techniques used for management decision-making and consider pricing models related to capital assessment. You’ll learn the art of balancing the interest of different stakeholders through the financial strategic options selected by the organisation.

    Compulsory

We regularly review our course content, to make it relevant and current for the benefit of our students. For these reasons, course modules may be updated.


How you'll learn

This course is available as a full-time three-year or optional four-year sandwich course, the latter incorporating a work placement or study year in a related field2. Alternatively, part-time study is also available.

Our teaching methods are varied, offering a number of teaching styles to suit the needs of all our students, so in addition to lectures, we also utilise a blended learning approach, including online aspects, workshops and group work. We also operate an open-door policy, with additional availability via email and our online learning platform, which is currently Aula.

Progression through the modules develops knowledge and skills, including communication (written and oral), study skills, research methods, project management, presentation and career development. We will also encourage you to consider your employability and/or entrepreneurial development.

Due to the professional alignment of the course, phase tests will be a common feature when it comes to final assessments. However, a variety of assessment methods will be used. You’ll be required to deliver reports, presentations, essays and project plans as part of a group and individually.


Teaching contact hours

Full-time
If you choose to study full-time you can expect up to 20 hours of learning activities per week, made up of face-to-face teaching, individual and group tutorials, online classes and independent learning.

Additionally, you will be expected to undertake significant self-directed study of approximately 30 hours each week, depending on the demands of individual modules.

Part-time
If you choose to study part-time you'll usually receive up to 11 hours per week of blended learning, including classes, tutorials and online learning. Outside of this, there will also be independent study and online support. Please note: part-time courses run subject to numbers.

As an innovative and enterprising institution, the university may seek to utilise emerging technologies within the student experience. For all courses (whether on-campus, blended, or distance learning), the university may deliver certain contact hours and assessments via online technologies and methods.

Since COVID-19, we have delivered our courses in a variety of forms, in line with public authority guidance, decisions, or orders and we will continue to adapt our delivery as appropriate. Whether on campus or online, our key priority is staff and student safety.


Assessment

The learning outcomes of modules and assignments will be clearly stated. Your work will be marked according to how well you achieve these learning outcomes, and your final feedback will refer to each outcome, as well as provide an overall percentage grade.

Assessment methods vary and include phase tests, practice assessments, written practical reports, oral presentations, tutorial tasks and assessments which take place in week 3 and week 6 of each six-week block.

Assessment Credit Value:

  • 10 credit value for Coursework/Phase Test (assignment 1)
  • 20 credit value for Phase Test Assessments (assignment 2)

The Coventry University Group assessment strategy ensures that our courses are fairly assessed and allows us to monitor student progression towards achieving the intended learning outcomes.


Entry requirements

Typical offer for 2023/24 entry.

Entry level What we're looking for
HNC 64 UCAS tariff points. Minimum 5 GCSEs graded 9-4 / A* - C including Maths and English. Minimum two A2 levels or BTEC equivalent qualification.
HND 80 UCAS tariff points. Minimum 5 GCSEs graded 9-4 / A* - C including Maths and English. Minimum two A2 levels or BTEC equivalent qualification.
Degree 104 UCAS tariff points. Minimum 5 GCSEs graded 9-4 / A* - C including Maths and English. Minimum two A2 levels or BTEC equivalent qualification.

If you do not have the typical entry requirements, we offer a number of programmes to help you secure a place. Successful completion of one of the below programmes guarantees you a place on a degree course with us, subject to meeting specified criteria.

Access to HE course
Access to HE courses aim to bring your academic skills and topical knowledge up to optimal standard for higher education study. If you undertake an Access to HE course and then successfully complete a degree programme, the remaining balance of your Advanced Learner Loan will be written off (subject to SFE requirements). For more information visit the Advanced Learner Loan website. Successful completion of our Business Studies Access to HE course will guarantee your progression onto this degree programme.

We recognise a breadth of qualifications, speak to one of our advisers today to find out how we can help you.

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Are you eligible for the CU Support Scheme?

We believe every student should have the opportunity to dream big, reach their potential and succeed, regardless of their background.

CU Support Scheme

Entry level What we're looking for
HNC 64 UCAS tariff points. Minimum 5 GCSEs graded 9-4 / A* - C including Maths and English. Minimum two A2 levels or BTEC equivalent qualification.
HND 80 UCAS tariff points. Minimum 5 GCSEs graded 9-4 / A* - C including Maths and English. Minimum two A2 levels or BTEC equivalent qualification.
Degree 104 UCAS tariff points. Minimum 5 GCSEs graded 9-4 / A* - C including Maths and English. Minimum two A2 levels or BTEC equivalent qualification.

If you do not have the typical entry requirements, you may want to consider studying an International Foundation Year through our International Pathways Programme. Successful completion could guarantee your progression onto the Professional Accounting BA (Hons) degree programme at CU Coventry.

Alternatively, visit our International hub for further advice and guidance on how to apply, travel to and live in the UK.

English language requirements

  • IELTS: 6.0

If you don't meet the English language requirements, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

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Fees and funding

2023/24 tuition fees.

Student Full-time Part-time
UK, Ireland*, Channel Islands or Isle of Man £7,950 per year Request fee information
EU £7,950 per year with EU support bursary**
£16,800 per year without EU support bursary**
Not available
International £16,800 per year Not available

For advice and guidance on tuition fees3 and student loans visit our Undergraduate Finance page and see the university’s Tuition Fee and Refund Terms and Conditions.

We offer a range of international scholarships to students all over the world. For more information, visit our International Scholarships page.

Tuition fees3 cover the cost of your teaching, assessments, facilities and support services. There may be additional costs not covered by this fee such as accommodation and living costs, recommended reading books, stationery, printing and re-assessments should you need them.

If you choose to do a work placement2, you should consider travel and living costs to cover this. There is also a tuition fee3 of £1,250 that will cover your academic support throughout your placement year.

The following are additional costs not included in the tuition fees3:

  • Any optional overseas field trips or visits.
  • Any costs associated with securing, attending or completing a placement (whether in the UK or abroad).

*Irish student fees

The rights of Irish residents to study in the UK are preserved under the Common Travel Area arrangement. If you are an Irish student and meet the residency criteria, you can study in England, pay the same level of tuition fees as English students and utilise the Tuition Fee Loan.

**EU Support Bursary

Following the UK's exit from the European Union, we are offering financial support to all eligible EU students who wish to study an undergraduate or a postgraduate degree with us full-time. This bursary will be used to offset the cost of your tuition fees to bring them in line with that of UK students. Students studying a degree with a foundation year with us are not eligible for the bursary.


Facilities

All our facilities are located at Mile Lane4. Our building has been designed to enable collaboration, creativity and innovation to flourish, and includes (subject to availability):

  • indoor and outdoor social spaces, including a café
  • a library that includes loan laptops, over 115,000 eBooks and a silent study area
  • open access IT suites and 83-inch teaching screens
  • engineering lab, science lab and a moot courtroom
  • student support and careers advice teams.


Careers and opportunities

Upon successful completion of the Professional Accounting BA (Hons) course, you should be able to:

  • Demonstrate understanding and knowledge of the theoretical, analytical and practical aspects of policies, strategies and processes within a changing environment, to meet stakeholder interests.
  • Critically appraise theories related to the development of a successful budgeting and financial strategy including the risk factors that need to be considered including country, currency and competitor risk.
  • Be proficient in developing management level strategy.
  • Develop appropriate research and analysis techniques, alongside the ability to undertake reliable market research activities.

With high demand for accounting professionals in all industries, graduates of this course have a potentially exciting list of career paths to explore.

Successful graduates will be knowledgeable across a range of accounting and management disciplines, giving you a potential advantage over candidates who have gone through the traditional route of an independent and narrowly focused course. You will have gained several module exemptions with professional accounting bodies in addition to your degree, giving you a good advantage for progression towards becoming a Chartered Accountant.

Where our graduates work

Some of our Professional Accounting BA (Hons) course graduates have gone on to further study with a master’s degree in the finance industry at institutions across the UK. Specialist areas have included Banking and Finance MA, Accounting and Finance MA and Business Administration MBA in Dubai.

Other graduates from this course have gone on to work successfully in global companies such as Santander, BDO Accountants and RSM International.


How to apply

  • Coventry University together with Coventry University London Campus, CU Coventry, CU London, CU Scarborough and Coventry University Online come together to form part of the Coventry University Group (the “University”) with all degrees awarded by Coventry University. 

    1Accreditations

    The majority of our courses have been formally recognised by professional bodies, which means the courses have been reviewed and tested to ensure they reach a set standard. In some instances, studying on an accredited course can give you additional benefits such as exemptions from professional exams (subject to availability, fees may apply). Accreditations, partnerships, exemptions and memberships shall be renewed in accordance with the relevant bodies’ standard review process and subject to the university maintaining the same high standards of course delivery.

    2UK and international opportunities

    Please note that we are unable to guarantee any UK or International opportunities (whether required or optional) such as internships, work experience, field trips, conferences, placements or study abroad opportunities and that all such opportunities may be subject to additional costs (which could include, but is not limited to, equipment, materials, bench fees, studio or facilities hire, travel, accommodation and visas), competitive application, availability and/or meeting any applicable travel COVID and visa requirements. To ensure that you fully understand the visa requirements, please contact the International Office.

    3Tuition fees

    The University will charge the tuition fees that are stated in the above table for the first Academic Year of study. The University will review tuition fees each year. For UK (home) students, if Parliament permit an increase in tuition fees, the University may increase fees for each subsequent year of study in line with any such changes. Note that any increase is expected to be in line with inflation.

    For International Students, we may increase fees each year but such increases will be no more than 5% above inflation. If you defer your course start date or have to extend your studies beyond the normal duration of the course (e.g. to repeat a year or resit examinations) the University reserves the right to charge you fees at a higher rate and/or in accordance with any legislative changes during the additional period of study.

    4Facilities

    Facilities are subject to availability. Access to some facilities (including some teaching and learning spaces) may vary from those advertised and/or may have reduced availability or restrictions where the university is following public authority guidance, decisions or orders.

    Student Contract

    By accepting your offer of a place and enrolling with us, a Student Contract will be formed between you and the university. A copy of the 2023/24 contract can be found here. The Contract details your rights and the obligations you will be bound by during your time as a student and contains the obligations that the university will owe to you. You should read the Contract before you accept an offer of a place and before you enrol at the university.

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