Accounting and finance

Where precision meets strategy, accounting and finance paves the way for a solid understanding of financial landscapes and decision-making in the business world.

If you choose accounting and finance it opens doors to a strategic understanding of the financial architecture that underpins every business. You’ll gain proficiency in financial reporting, budgeting, and analysis, honing the skills needed to navigate the world of corporate finance.

It can lead to many different career paths, from becoming a certified public accountant (CPA) or financial analyst, to going into roles such as financial management, investment banking, or corporate strategy. You could be at the heart of financial decision-making, contributing to the financial health of organisations and influencing business growth.

Whether ensuring regulatory compliance, conducting financial audits, or crafting investment strategies, accounting and finance offers a great opportunity for those looking for a rewarding career in the financial sector.

The impact you could make
  • Promote economic stability by advocating responsible financial practices.
  • Uphold ethical financial practices for more integrity in business.
  • Support small businesses by offering financial guidance and support.
What you could study
  • Financial markets
  • Taxation
  • Banking and investment
  • Corporate finance
  • Accounting
  • Business policies
  • Management accounting
  • Business ethics

Study options

Options to study in this field include:

Chat to a current accounting and finance student

Chat to a current accounting and finance student using UniBuddy.

Some conversation starters for you:

  1. Ask which modules they really enjoyed.
  2. Find out how easy it was for them to make friends on their course.
  3. Do they have any tips on your personal statement?
  4. Did they do anything to prep for uni before they went?
  5. Are there books, podcasts or YouTube channels they would recommend?

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Example module
"My favourite modules include finance, as it is useful to understand the corporate industry, and Excel computing as I can learn to use code to handle tasks efficiently."
First year accounting and finance student. University of Bath
Example assignment
"An employee relations vlog was a fun way of expressing what I learnt throughout the course. I also enjoyed any and all numerical based examinations as I am keen on the analytical side."
Second year accounting and finance student, University of Surrey

Subjects it's useful to have studied first

Some accounting and finance courses or apprenticeships will have requirements for previous qualifications in certain subjects. Entry requirements vary, so always check with the provider.
Hard skills you'll develop
  • Ability to prepare accurate and compliant financial reports
  • Develop expertise in identifying and managing financial risks
  • Solid understanding of tax laws and regulations
  • Hands-on experience with accounting software used in the industry
Soft skills you'll develop
  • Analytical thinking
  • Attention to detail
  • Time management
  • Integrity and ethical decision-making

Careers: Where it can take you

Find out more about your career prospects from studying accounting and finance. The following information is based on a typical accountant role.

Average salary
Up to £77,643
Available jobs
212,687 vacancies in the past year
6.48% growth over next 8 years

What is a… financial cyber-crime investigator

Financial cyber-crime investigators take on the role of digital detective, using advanced tools and expertise to protect financial systems from online threats. These investigators conduct in-depth analyses of cyber incidents, respond to security breaches, and use digital forensics to trace the steps of cyber-criminals. Their work involves collaborating with law enforcement, conducting security assessments, and staying ahead of emerging cyber threats. It’s a vital role in safeguarding digital landscapes against malicious activities, ensuring the integrity and resilience of financial institutions.

Getting in: Entry requirements

Find out more about what you'll need to study accounting and finance at university or as an apprenticeship.

Average requirements for undergraduate degrees

Entry requirements differ between university and course, but this should give you a guide to what is usually expected from accounting and finance applicants.

A levels
Scottish Highers
Other Level 3/Level 6 qualifications (e.g. Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma or SQCF Level 6) may be accepted as an alternative

Considering an apprenticeship?

Applying for an apprenticeship is just like applying for a normal job. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Deadline

    Apprenticeships don't follow the same deadlines as applying to uni, the deadline is down to the employer.
  2. Where to apply

    You apply directly through the employer.
  3. No limits

    You're not restricted to one apprenticeship application; you can do as many as you like.
  4. Apply to university and apprenticeships

    There's nothing stopping you applying to university through UCAS, while also applying for apprenticeship vacancies.

Let’s talk about… finance & accounting apprenticeships

Not sure if a traditional degree is for you? Listen to our new podcast to learn more about studying degree apprenticeships in finance and accounting.

Explore further

Go deeper into topics around accounting and finance with the following:

  1. Economist: Money Talks podcast

    This weekly podcast is a great way to keep up with current issues in the world of global economics.
  2. MoneyWeek magazine

    Keep up-to-date with financial and economic debates, so you’re one step ahead in your studies.
  3. Professional bodies

    There are professional bodies for various areas of accounting and finance – find the one nearest to your career interest and sign up to their newsletter.

Application advice

Whether it's personal statement tips or what to write in a cover letter for an apprenticeship application, our application advice will help you get ahead in your accounting and finance journey.
Skills, experiences, and interests to mention
  • Do you have hands-on experience with any accounting software like QuickBooks or Excel? Share how you use them academically and personally.
  • Have you ever entered a maths or finance-related competition, or maybe you were part of a maths club? They’re both great achievements to highlight.
  • Did you take (or are you taking) further maths at GCSE level? That’s a strong demonstration of your aptitude for numbers and learning.
  • Show your commitment to academic excellence by talking about achievements in related subjects like economics or statistics.
  • Are you able to communicate financial concepts and proactively engage with the subject through a blog or other platform?

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