Accounting may not sound like the most glamorous job, but accountants are key players in the survival of any business. Their role is to record, interpret and communicate the financial information about a business for decision making, so it can continue to operate efficiently.
If you have a meticulous, mathematical mind then this may be the career for you. An accountancy degree, while not essential, can open doors to this field. Alternatively, it could set you up for a career in business, politics or even media.
What Are The Top Universities For Accounting And Finance In The UK?
Wondering where to study accounting in UK? Here, we have compiled a list of the best Universities for accounting in the UK, including information on entry requirements, course details and any stand-out features.
The following are the 10 best universities to study Accountancy & Finance, according to the latest 2023 league table from Complete University Guide, which ranks universities according to their entry standards, research quality, student satisfaction and graduate prospects.
10. UNIVERSITY OF EXETER
Entry requirements: AAA (including GCSE Mathematics at B/5)
The course: The three-year Accountancy and Finance BSc programme covers auditing, taxation, business law and corporate finance, among other topics. You are introduced to these concepts in the first year, then build upon this knowledge in your second year before a more in-depth exploration in final year, where you take compulsory modules in Advanced Management Accounting, Advanced Corporate Finance and Advanced Financial Reporting. On the four-year Accounting and Finance with Industrial Experience course, you can spend a year on work placement.
Biggest advantage: While there are compulsory modules, you have more freedom to specialise towards the end of your degree. In second year, half of the credits are allocated to optional modules; in third year, this increases to three-quarters of the credits. Subjects vary but include Taxation, Managerial Accounting, Financial Modelling and Auditing.
9. UNIVERSITY OF WARWICK
Entry requirements: AAA (including Mathematics or Further Mathematics, and a GCSE grade A/7 in at least one humanities or social science subject)
The course: In the first year of the Accounting & Finance BSc, you choose between three pathways: Accounting, Finance or a combination of the two. In first and second years you take core modules that are tailored to your pathway (including Financial Reporting and Accounting in Context, for instance). In your final year, you take six electives and a core module, Critical Issues in Management, where you apply your degree knowledge to a range of real-life case studies.
Biggest advantage: The university has strong ties to investment banks, accountancy firms and international companies, including JP Morgan and EY.
8. UNIVERSITY OF CHESTER
Entry Requirements: 112 UCAS points
The course: Your transformation from student to professional accounting graduate begins here. You will develop professional, in demand, Accounting and Finance skills through practical application and real business experiences. The course is accredited by ICAEW, CIMA, ACCA, CIPFA and you will secure major exemptions from the examinations of these key professional accounting bodies as you progress. This ensures that once you have graduated it will take you less time to become qualified as an accountant.
Biggest Advantage: Our specialised degree aims to improve employability by concentrating on the practical application of accounting and finance theory. The content is designed to allow you to gain major exemptions from the examinations of the key professional accounting bodies in the UK (ICAEW/CIMA/ACCA/CIPFA) in order to enhance your employability.
7. UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM
Entry Requirements: Number of A levels required: 3, Typical offer: AAB, Required subjects and grades: GCSE Mathematics at grade 6/B
The course: On our BSc Accounting and Finance degree you will be taught using a variety of methods by leading researchers and academics who have worked professionally in the accounting and finance sector. The university has strong links to industry, running workshops with representatives from accountancy firms and professional bodies to promote work placement and graduate opportunities. The facilities are also impressive, and you will have access to the Bloomberg terminals in the Trading Room.
Biggest Advantage: On successful completion of your degree you may be eligible for exemptions from some professional examinations offered by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), the Institute of Chartered Accountants England and Wales (ICAEW) and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA).
6. LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS
Entry requirements: AAA (preferably including Mathematics; if not, an A/7 grade in GCSE Mathematics)
The course: While students on the Accounting and Finance BSc programme will develop the core skills of accounting and finance, they will also study economics, mathematics and statistics and learn about the role of accounting in the economy and society. Financial management and risk, regulation, policy-making and sustainability are also covered, and the course is accredited by the ACCA, CIMA, ICAEW and CIPFA.
Biggest advantage: As well as covering a range of social sciences, you take the LSE100 course and use critical thinking and analysis to try to solve the big issues in society.
5. UNIVERSITY OF LOUGHBOROUGH
Entry requirements: AAB-ABB
The course: The Accounting and Financial Management BSc course will introduce you to the technical skills needed in an accountancy career, as well as the theoretical frameworks. The first year acts as a foundation for all of the key computing, communication and financial accounting skills you will build upon throughout the degree. In the second year you are introduced to management accounting, financial management, financial markets and derivatives, as well as the technical skills needed in financial accounting. In your final year you will study strategic management accounting and advanced financial reporting, with optional modules in financial risk management and multinational financial management.
Biggest advantage: There is a flexible Study Abroad scheme, where you can either spend the full year abroad or split your time, spending six months abroad and the other six months on a work placement.
4. UNIVERSITY OF STRATHCLYDE
Entry requirements: AAA-ABB (including an A in Mathematics; GCSE English at grade B/6 or an essay-based A-level)
The course: This Accounting & Finance BSc course combines the essential knowledge you need from the world of finance (including valuation of bonds, financial markets, statistics and financial statements) and the core principles of accounting (economics, law, auditing, taxation and financial and management accounting.) It's a flexible course, where you can try new subjects in your second and third years before writing a dissertation in your fourth year. The programme is accredited by ACCA, CIMA and the Institute of Chartered Accountants Scotland (ICAS).
Biggest advantage: For the first three years of the course, you will take classes in business alongside completing the Business School's Management Development Programme. This is a problem-solving course where you apply your degree knowledge to real business problems.
3. UNIVERSITY OF BATH
Entry requirements: A*AB - AAA (including an A in Mathematics)
The course: The first year of the Accounting and Finance BSc curriculum it gives students an introduction to accountancy, finance and also economics. In second year, you focus on finance and accounting, with modules including Advanced Corporate Finance, Financial Accounting and Reporting, and Contemporary Issues in Accounting and Finance Practice. In final year, there are more optional units to choose from than in previous years, including Investment and Trading, Management Consulting and many more.
Biggest advantage: This course is accredited by ACCA, CIMA and ICAEW. As such, graduates can apply for professional qualification exemptions from these institutions.
2. UNIVERSITY OF GLASGOW
Entry requirements: A*AB-ABB (including Mathematics at grade B or above)
The course: The Accountancy & Finance BAcc course covers both the theory and practice of financial accounting. In the first two years, you will learn the processes of accounting - including budgeting and management control, the development of accounting statements, the operation of financial markets and the regulatory frameworks in place. You will also get to grips with economics, business law, taxation and statistics. In your final two years, you will study advanced financial accounting and auditing and choose a range of optional modules.
Biggest advantage: Glasgow use external tutors on this course, so tutorials are led by professional accountants who can share their real-world experience.
1. UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS
Entry requirements: AAA (including GCSE Mathematics at A/7 and English at B/6)
The course: The Accounting and Finance BSc course aims to give you an overview of the economic market, as well as an in-depth tuition in accounting practices. The first year's curriculum incorporates statistics, mathematics and economics, as well as an introduction to financial and management accounting. In your second year, you will build upon this knowledge, with modules in corporate finance, management accounting, research methods and analytical techniques. In your final year, you can apply your knowledge to a dissertation on a subject of your choice.
Biggest advantage: In second and third year you can take optional modules, and there is a real variety on offer - from forensic accounting to corporate social responsibility and strategic management. By tailoring your studies, you can better prepare for your future career.