Last Updated on August 28, 2023
Accounting and Finance degree entry requirements 2021
What A-Levels do you need to be an accountant? What are the Accounting and Finance degree entry requirements you need to study this subject? We unpack it all.
by Jamie DobbsLast Updated:11 Aug 2021
An Accounting and Finance degree will equip you with the numerical and technological skills to succeed in accounting, finance or business management roles. You’ll learn how a business operates, gain problem-solving skills and the ability to both communicate and negotiate successfully.
The UCAS points to study an Accounting and Finance degree range from 80 (BB at A-Level; MMP-DM at BTEC level) to 144 points (AAA at A-Level; DDD at BTEC level).
|Type||Minimum Grades/Points Required (with Foundation Year)||Minimum Grades/Points Required||Maximum Grades/Points Required||Average Grades/Points Required|
|BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma||PP||MMP-DM||DDD||DDM-DMM|
Some universities will want you to have studied maths or business studies at A-Level, but others have no specific subject requirements. Top universities will ask that you have at least an A or B in maths. General studies or critical thinking are often not accepted towards your points total.
Top universities will want you to have taken A-Level maths alongside your BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma. BTEC qualifications in Business, Engineering or Science are preferred.
You’ll need to have at least five GCSEs with a grade of C/4 or above. Two of these will need to be in English and maths.
You’ll need to have studied maths at Higher Level, as well as Standard Level. Top universities will want you to have a 6, 6, 6 at Higher Level, with at least a 6 in maths. Some unis will just accept a Standard Level in maths if you haven’t done Higher Level maths.
According to the Complete University Guide League Tables 2022, the top universities for accounting and finance include:
- University of Strathclyde (1st Overall)
- University of Bolton (1st for Student Satisfaction)
- University of Dundee (1st for Graduate Prospects)
- London School of Economics and Political Science (1st for Research Quality)
Other universities found in the overall top 10 include University of Warwick, University of Glasgow and University of Leeds.
Don’t just consider the university rankings when deciding where to study. Choose the course that suits you best, based on factors you deem important. Consider the following:
Professional certification exemptions
Some courses are recognised by industry-specific associations, such as the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), or the Institute of Chartered Accountants England and Wales (ICAEW). Choose a course recognised by one of these if you want to gain a professional qualification after you’ve graduated.
Placement years provide real work experience, and maybe a job upon graduation. Keep an eye out for universities that offer this and with what companies.
Not all Accounting and Finance degrees will offer the same modules. Research carefully what each course offers, as it can impact both your enjoyment of the course and your career pathways upon graduation.
You can personalise the results with filters, based on what you find important. When you select a course, you’ll see the full course information, including course outline, module choices, entry requirements, fees and key course stats.
Once you’ve compiled a shortlist of courses, begin your research. Order each university’s prospectus to give you an overview of learning facilities, accommodation, social activities, support and much more.
Booking yourself onto an open day tour or event too will let you scope the campus and speak to current students and/or potential tutors. Open day events are useful for helping you to get an idea of what your student life may be like.
Reading student reviews is also a key step in the research journey, offering an honest insight into what you can expect from student life. Simply enter the university and subject to see what students are saying.
You’ll have another chance to apply for Accounting and Finance courses when 2021 Clearing opens on Monday 5th July. Using Whatuni’s Clearing tool you’ll be able to see what courses still have places available, shortlist any you’re interested in and compare them
Some universities may also lower their entry requirements in Clearing. You can check these on the individual accounting and finance degree pages for each university on Whatuni.
In the meantime, pre-register for Clearing 2021. You’ll receive regular advice leading up to Clearing, have access to Whatuni’s 2021 Clearing guide and be able to save and compare Clearing courses once Clearing begins.
You’re other options to consider are:
- Study an Accounting and Finance foundation year: this is for students who don’t meet the entry requirements for direct entry. The minimum UCAS points to study these courses are low, but consider the additional time and cost that comes with an extra year.
- Study a joint honours degree: you could look for a joint honours degree, where Accounting and Finance make up half the degree. Subjects typically paired with accounting or finance include business, languages, law, mathematics or management.
- Study a similar subject: economics, statistics, maths, banking and business management all cover similar topics and can lead to careers in accounting and finance. Pay close attention to module choices and graduate outcomes before making any decisions.
- Study an Accounting and Finance foundation degree or HNC/HND: consider a foundation degree or Higher National Certificate/Higher National Diploma in accounting and finance (or related subject) instead. An HNC is equivalent to one third of a bachelor’s degree, whereas a foundation degree or an HND is equivalent to two thirds. Upon completion, you can enter work or top-up your education by enrolling in the final year of a degree.
- Apply for an Accounting and Finance apprenticeship: you can find apprenticeships through the AAT website or the ICAEW website. Most jobs only require good GCSE grades. Think carefully about what you want from your future career before undertaking such a niche pathway.
- Take a gap year and resit your exams: if you have your heart set on a course but didn’t get the grades you needed, consider taking a year out and resitting your exams in autumn or in 2022. During the year you can study hard and even gain some relevant work experience to boost your university application.