Course Title AS/A Level Accounting
Level: 3
Code MS037

Overview of the Course

Accounting is recognised as a popular subject that provides excellent progression to higher education or employment. During the course you will understand how accounting information and procedures play an important role in business decision-making. These organisations could be sole traders, partnerships or limited companies. You will learn to deal with a variety of accounting principles and techniques to interpret Financial Accounting data and reports. The course also introduces you to Management Accounting, where you learn to evaluate and analyse the financial strengths and weaknesses of a company. The financial performance is evaluated using a variety of techniques including Ratio Analysis, Variance Analysis and Budgeting. You will develop a written structure when recommending courses of action and discussing the impact of ethical considerations.

What are the career opportunities?

Accounting offers huge employment potential if you are interested in a career in this sector. The sector is a key driver and contributes 12% to the UK economy; employing 2.2 million people. AS and A Level Accounting provides a step to a career in accounting or related fields and provides a foundation for your studies in higher education. Some of the degree students have gone onto include: Accounting and Finance, Forensic Accounting and Business Management. It is also the first step to professional exams such as AAT, ACCA, ACA and CIMA. Accounting would also provide an excellent basis if you might ultimately like to start you own business.

What are the entry requirements?

To study three AS Levels or two AS Levels and one Applied Qualification then the entry requirements are six GCSEs at or above grade C/4 including three subjects or more at or above grade C/5.

Should you wish to study four AS Levels the entry requirements are six GCSEs at or above grade C/4 including two subjects or more at or above grade C/5 and two subjects or more at or above B/6.

In addition to the above a minimum of 9 grade points are required from maths and English combined.

To study Accounting your grades must include GCSE maths at grade 4 and English grade 5.

How long is the course and when can I start?

The A Level is a full-time two-year programme, starting in September, with the opportunity to take AS after one year.

How is the course structured and how will I be assessed?

The A Level is assessed at the end of the two years. Exams normally take place in May or June. The AS will become a standalone qualification for which there will be exams at the end of the first year.

What employability skills will I develop on this course?

You will build knowledge and understanding of key concepts, principles and techniques that you can apply to real-life scenarios, developing the ability to solve problems logically, analyse data methodically, make reasoned choices and communicate effectively. A Level Accounting allows you to develop quantitative data analysis and interpretation skills, whilst the inclusion of ethics and an emphasis on management accounting will give you the confidence to communicate information to non-accountants and future clients. AQA have worked with ICAEW and CIMA, as well as teachers and universities during the development of the new subject criteria, to bring you improved and refined content in the latest specifications.

Work experience

Work experience is an essential element of your Study Programme and you will be supported to secure a five day work experience placement during term two. This will allow you to gain first hand exposure to the sector you wish to work in, start to develop key employability skills and most importantly confirm your career goals.

Study programme enrichment opportunities

During your Accounting A Level you will be invited to attend a Pathways to Accounting and Finance programme, a workshop that is tailored to provide you with inspirational guest speakers from industry and practice which are organised to support you in your studies. Bury College Alumni Kane Bennett is amongst the speakers to offer expert advice and career guidance. Kane achieved A Levels in the following, A* Accounting, A Mathematics and B Economics, before progressing onto The University of Manchester where he was awarded a 2:1 BsC Honours Degree in Accountancy. Following university, Kane joined a graduate’s scheme at professional services network PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and has now secured employment as a Trainee Tax Accountant.

Are there any additional costs or requirements?

You will be preparing financial statements for a wide range of business organisations and will also need to develop skills of analysis and evaluation. In order to be able to develop these skills you need to have a good level of numerical and written skills.

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