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Accounting and Finance (ACCA Exemption) BA (Hons) - University of Sunderland

Course overview

You can have a head start in the process of becoming a qualified accountant, thanks to the exemptions provided by this course towards the exams of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.

Accountancy has long been a popular destination for graduates because of its excellent career prospects. The average starting salary for graduates with degrees in accounting and finance is above the national average. Half of the Chief Executives of Britain’s top 100 companies in 2013 had a background in accountancy or financial management background (source: Robert Half FTSE 100 CEO Tracker).

The quality of teaching at Sunderland Business School has also gained wide recognition – for example in the area of Business, Management and Marketing we achieved the Best in the North East for Course Satisfaction, Satisfaction with Teaching and Satisfaction with Feedback according to The Guardian University Guide 2015.

CIMA logo

We are a University Partner with CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants). CIMA is the largest professional body of management accountants in the world. CIMA qualifications are recognised for equipping people with the skills and knowledge they need to be truly successful in business. We believe this partnership has the power to enhance your degree and improve your earning potential.

In the latest (2014) Research Excellence Framework the area of Business at Sunderland was ranked as 'world-leading' and 'internationally excellent'.

Right from the start, you’ll notice Sunderland’s supportive atmosphere for your studies. There is a Getting Started programme (before you arrive), a Welcome Week where you get to know your tutors, planned one-to-one ‘programme time’ with the course leader, and support and advice from your personal tutor.

Staff and students speak about studying Business and Management at the University of Sunderland:

Course content

Modules on this course include:

Level 1 (national level 4)

  • Introduction to Financial Accounting (20 Credits)
  • Introduction to Management Accounting (20 Credits)
  • Introduction to Business Management (20 Credits)
  • Quantitative Methods for Business (20 Credits)
  • Economics (20 Credits)
  • Business Law (20 Credits)

Level 2 (national level 5)

  • Financial Accounting (20 Credits)
  • Management Accounting (20 Credits)
  • Business Finance (20 Credits)
  • Business Management (20 Credits)
  • Business Taxation (20 Credits)
  • Audit and Assurance (20 Credits)

Level 3

  • Optional placement

Final Year (national level 6)

  • Business Modelling for Decision Making (20 Credits)
  • Financial Management (Professional) (20 Credits)
  • Strategic Management Accounting (Professional) (20 Credits)
  • International Financial Reporting (Professional) (20 Credits)
  • Managing Projects (20 Credits)
  • Contemporary Developments in Business Management (20 Credits)

Teaching and assessment

Teaching and learning strategies include lectures, seminars, self-directed study, workshops and case studies. As part of your active learning, you will work on problems and issues with the tutor and other students. Through analysing data and drawing your own conclusions, you will explore approaches to different business situations.

Assessment methods during the course are designed to give useful consolidation and feedback about your learning. There are also formal exams that allow you to gain maximum exemptions from professional bodies such as the Chartered Institute of Certified Accountants.

To find out more about modules, credits and how you will be assessed, please see how courses are taught. Information about our policies relating to student experience and quality assurance processes can be found on the Academic Services website.

Key Information Sets

All UK universities and colleges display Key Information Sets (KIS) on their undergraduate courses. The KIS gives you a quick overview of some standard information about a course, and has a link to more detailed information on Unistats.

Facilities & location

This course is based on the banks of the River Wear at the Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter’s. The St Peter’s Library contains over 31,000 books related to business, economics, management, human resources, marketing, strategy and tourism.

Added to this, you’ll benefit from a wide range of journals and periodicals in the St Peter’s Library, many of them in an online format. To help you make the most of the wealth of resources, there’s a full-time librarian who is dedicated to the Business and Tourism sections.

Further resources are available at the main Murray Library, which has a total of over 430,000 books with many more available through the inter-library loan service. The University spends around £1 million every year on new books and resources.

Recently we’ve developed a Student Learning Space that is designed for business students. It includes a boardroom as well as bookable areas to hold meetings and to meet with staff and clients from outside the University. There are also areas to facilitate group work and collaboration.

When it comes to IT provision you can take your pick from over a hundred PCs in the St Peter’s Library, three computer laboratories, and wireless access zones. If you have any problems, just ask the friendly helpdesk team.

If the facilities at The Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter’s are first class, the location is outstanding: it looks out over the River Wear and is less than a mile from the seaside. 

It’s a vibrant learning environment with an international dimension thanks to the presence of students from around the world. At the same time, the University is fully plugged into the world of business as a result of strong links with industry organisations.


The Reg Vardy Centre

The Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter's, St Peter's Way, Sunderland, SR6 0DD

Entry requirements

Our typical offer will be in the region of 112 points from a minimum of two A Levels or equivalent (for example 1 x AVCE double award). Read more on the new UCAS Tariff point system for 2017.

We accept a maximum of 6 points from Level 3 Key Skills qualifications.

We also require three passes at GCSE grade C or above, which must include Mathematics and English Language, or a minimum of Level 2 Key Skills in Communication and Application of Number.

If English is not your first language, please see our English language requirements.

Other acceptable qualifications

BTEC National: 112 points from a BTEC Certificate or Diploma.

Access Courses: We would require successful completion of an Access to Higher Education course that is accredited by the Quality Assurance Agency. We would also require a minimum of grade C in GCSE in Mathematics and English Language or the equivalent as part of your course.

Scottish Highers: Our typical offer is for 112 points.

Irish Leaving Certificate: Our typical offer is for 112 points.

International qualifications: Please call the Student Helpline for advice on other acceptable qualifications. The number from outside the UK is +44 191 515 3000.

Any other qualifications: If you have any other qualifications not listed here, you may still be eligible. Please contact the Student Helpline for advice: 0191 515 3000.

Returners to Learning: If you are a mature student, you may benefit from our dedicated Returners to Learning Progression Scheme. For further information email or call the Student Helpline: 0191 515 3000.

If you wish to be considered for direct entry to a different year of a course, please contact the Student Helpline: 0191 515 3000.

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)

If you feel you already know some of the topics covered in this course, either due to previous learning or from experience of work, then you may not need to study all of the course.

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) is the name given to the process of gaining credit towards a qualification because of something you have learnt in the past. If you are eligible for APL you won't have to learn the same topic again, and so you can be exempt from a module, set of modules or year of a course. 

Read more about APL in the Quality Handbook (.pdf). If you think you may be eligible for APL, please contact the course leader.

Fees & finance

The annual fee for this course is:

  • £9,250 if you are from the UK / EU
  • £10,750 if you are an International student

If you are not sure whether you qualify as a UK, EU or International student, please see the International section of this website.

Scholarships and bursaries may be available to you – please see the Fees and Finance section of this website for more information.

Employment & careers

Career destinations

Many students on this course will be considering a career as a professional accountant, whether as a financial accountant or a management accountant. A financial accountant will typically work for many different clients while a management accountant is employed by just one organisation and has a say in the running of that organisation.


To further enhance employability we encourage you to undertake a 48-week placement between your second and final year. It effectively becomes a third year of a four-year course. Placements are paid, with an average salary of £14,000-£18,000 a year depending on your location.

Placements are an excellent opportunity to put your learning into practice and understand the context for your new knowledge. The contacts made during placements can also be valuable for future job offers. Recent placement employers include: IBM, Procter & Gamble, BT, Nissan, Marriott Hotels, PricewaterCoopers and Adidas.

Guest speakers

Our invitations to guest speakers allow you to listen to people who are already in the type of management position that you may one day hold. Recent speakers include Maurice Duffy, CEO of Global Blackswan, Mike Johnson, CEO of Castrol and Executive Vice President of BP, Uday K. Dholakia, Senior Partner of Global Consulting, Neil Stephenson, CEO of ONYX, James Ramsbotham, CEO of the North East Chamber of Commerce, as well as other representatives from a number of our region’s largest employers.

Student Business Society

The University supports student-led initiatives that help you gain practical experience of management. The Business Student Society organises events and guest speakers, as well as attending tours of various companies. With its professional approach, it’s a great way to put into practice the lessons about how to make organisations function effectively. There is something for every student who is studying a subject related to business.

University Language Scheme

It is usually possible to take a module from the free University Language Scheme. This can be studied on top of your 120 credits or in some cases, can earn credits towards your degree.

Language skills increase your international mobility and you can choose between French, German, Spanish, Mandarin, Japanese and Arabic at a range of levels. If your first language is not English, please check with your tutor about entry requirements.

Staff and students talk about the benefits of the University Language Scheme:


The University of Sunderland is committed to ensuring that every student has an impressive range of opportunities to enhance their CV and gain valuable experience:

  • Work placements
  • Graduate internships
  • Studying abroad
  • Student Ambassador Scheme
  • Mentoring
  • Starting your own business
  • Student jobs and volunteering
  • Careers advice

For full details, please see our Employability page.

The Enterprise Place

If you have a good idea for a new business and have the dedication and motivation to make it happen, then we want to hear from you. The Enterprise Place, based on-campus at St Peter's Gate Business Centre, is the perfect environment for entrepreneurial students and graduates to turn their business ideas into reality. You will have access to free hot desk space, IT facilities, specialist advice and support and business mentors and networking opportunities.

To find out more about how we can help you start a business, please contact the University's Enterprise Team:

Tel: 0191 515 3751


Support for your learning

You can expect stimulating contact time that includes lectures, workshops, seminars and case studies. There is also a significant amount of time where you will be researching and studying on your own in preparation for assignments and seminars. If you have individual queries or difficulties within subject areas, you can book an appointment with your tutor to gain more in-depth support and guidance.

A distinctive feature of Sunderland’s business courses is ‘programme time’ – timetabled and regular sessions that all students have with their course leader. This time allows the development of additional course-specific skills, such as numeracy for finance modules. Programme time also gives you an opportunity to meet with your course leader, give feedback and exchange information about progress.

From the start of the course, you will be allocated a Personal Tutor. You’ll meet him/her in agreed timetabled sessions throughout the year, both individually and within a group.

Personal Tutors are a useful point of contact for any queries about your course and extra-curricular activities. They can also point you towards more specialist support, such as student counselling, financial advice and chaplaincy support.

In addition, all students at Sunderland Business School have access to our Student Academic Advisors. They provide workshops on study skills and follow up with one-to-one support and guidance.

Support from day one

Even before you arrive at the University you can access our Getting Started programme. On arrival, there is a Welcome Week where you can meet all the staff involved with your course and also receive full information about services available from the University.

Support for your development

To help ensure the course is meeting aspirations for personal development, we invite students to fill in questionnaires at the end of modules. This provides a structured way for you to keep us up-to-date with your views.

During your course, and particularly towards the end of it, we encourage you to make full use of the resources at our Careers and Employability Service. The Service helps you explore your options, clarify your ideas, develop a career focus and make effective applications.

For more information about all the support services you will have access to as a Sunderland student, please see Student support and guidance.

"My first impression of studying at Sunderland was how friendly and helpful everyone was."

Izam Rahman - Student

Izam Rahman


"My first impression of studying at Sunderland was how friendly and helpful everyone was. The academic and non-academic staffs are very supportive, more than I could have imagined.

"There is no such thing as 'stupid' questions and no enquiries are troublesome for them. They will guide and be there as long as you want them. They are like parents for a big family of students.

"The course is challenging yet as long as you are pro-active, you will find it very uplifting and rewarding. Achievements can be measured in a lot of ways, but to be in an Accounting and Finance course is already a big achievement.

"Brilliant staff, beautiful scenery, great location, modern facilities, and a well-designed module for Accounting and Finance, need I say any more?"

Apply for this course

September start

Apply straight away through UCAS, or read our 7-step guide to applying to university.

Want to know more about this course or the University of Sunderland? Order a prospectus or come to our next Open Day to see the facilities and talk to academic staff:

    Next Open Day

  • Date: Saturday 12th November 2016
  • Time: 9:30am-4:00pm
  • Type: University Open Day
  • Location: Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter's

Contact Sunderland

Course Leader:
Philip Dodds FCCA

Contact the Student Helpline for further information about studying at the Universty of Sunderland:

Tel: 0191 515 3000


The details

Course Name Accounting and Finance (ACCA Exemption)
Classification BA (Hons)
Course Mode Full-time
Course Level Undergraduate
Duration 3 or 4 years
Study Location On-campus (Sunderland)
Starting 18 September 2017
UK/EU Fee £9,250
Intl Fee £10,750

Entry requirements

112 points

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