Study Accounting and Finance in the UK

Where can I study accounting and finance?

The UK is home to three of the best universities for accounting and finance in the world – the London School of Economics and Political Science (fourth), the University of Oxford (fifth) and the University of Cambridge (sixth). You have 250 universities to choose from and more than 4000 courses up and down the country.

Undergraduate degrees you can choose from are:

• BA Hons Accounting

• BA Hons Finance

• BA Hons Accounting & Finance

Some joint degrees are also available, combining accounting and finance with related subjects like business, economics, or mathematics. 

What is the application process? 

Most finance and accountancy courses expect an A-level (or equivalent) in mathematics, business or accountancy. The entry requirements will depend on the institution, but the required grades are commonly AAB. Typical requirements for International Baccalaureate will be around 35 points, with an IELTS of 6.5 overall and no lower than 6.0 in any component. 

How long does it take to graduate?

Most accounting and finance undergraduate degrees take around three years to finish in the UK, with many offering opportunities for a year of work experience or study abroad. Postgraduate degrees are usually between one and two years.

Some universities also offer an integrated MAcc course, allowing you to complete the undergraduate and postgraduate components in four years of full-time study. 

What will I learn?

All UK degrees are flexible and modular, giving you a thorough understanding of the core subject whilst allowing you to specialise in the aspects of the course that interest you most as you progress.

Suppose you choose to study accountancy and finance. In that case, you’ll leave with an in-depth knowledge of accountancy practices, industry, commerce, and finance – with specific modules in everything from business law to auditing, entrepreneurship and corporation tax. You’ll also gain broader skills that will benefit your career, such as analytical and debating skills, problem-solving, global business issues and – of course – the English language. 

Why is the UK a good choice for accounting and finance?

The UK has a long history of understanding the numbers that drive business. London has been a prominent trade and financial hub since the middle ages and remains one of the world’s biggest and most important financial centres.

With a financial sector worth £132bn and a vibrant entrepreneurial environment for start-ups, it offers one of the most varied, well-developed, and exciting contexts to learn finance fundamentals and account for all kinds of organisations. 

Are there any scholarships for accounting and finance?

A wide range of scholarships is available to international students worldwide, ranging from undergraduate options, such as the University of Bristol’s Global Accounting and Finance Undergraduate Scholarship, which spans many bachelor’s courses in finance and accounting, to MSc scholarship opportunities.

You can also apply for one of the more high-profile opportunities, such as the Chevening Scholarships or Commonwealth Scholarships, which are open to residents of any country. 

What are my work options after I graduate?

Accounting and finance graduates have a range of career paths open to them. Approximately a third go into chartered and certified accountancy roles, while other typical jobs include company secretary, external auditor and forensic accountant.

Starting salaries for accountants are typically around £23-25,000. However, graduates who enter banking or stockbroking can expect to start on more than double that, with very high earning potential throughout their careers. Many courses are accredited by one or more industry bodies, such as the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, which can provide a crucial advantage in your job hunt.

International students who have completed an undergraduate or master’s degree can apply to stay and work in the UK for two years upon graduation through the Graduate Route.