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Professional Accounting

Programme content and structure

The stage at which you join the programme is determined by the qualifications you hold.

For example if you have AAT Diploma in Accounting Level 3 or 280 UCAS points, you would normally enrol at Stage 1.

If you have already achieved some accountancy qualifications you may be able to join at a later stage. For example you have the ICAEW ACA Professional Stage you would join the programme at Stage 4

Stage 1

You will study towards the AAT Diploma in Accounting Level 4, which is equivalent to the first year of study of a degree, developing your skills in preparing accounts and basic costing principles, progressing to performing complex management accounting tasks.

Stage 2

You continue your studies and have the opportunity to study for the Certificate in Finance, Accounting and Business (CFAB)* building on the skills you have learnt in Stage 1. CFAB is a great way to start your journey to the ACA qualification*

To be awarded the CFAB qualification by the ICAEW students must also successfully pass one external ICAEW examination, namely 'Accounting' or 'Financial Accounting & Reporting'

Stage 3

You study for the BA (Hons) Professional Accounting and ICAEW ACA Professional Stage. You will develop your knowledge and skills in the areas of Audit, Financial Accounting and Reporting, Tax compliance and Tax planning.

Stage 4

This stage consists of the ICAEW ACA Advanced Stage papers and Case Study. The two technical integration papers (Corporate Reporting and Strategic Business Management) enable you to demonstrate your knowledge, planning and advisory skills in these areas. The Case Study will test your professional skills in the context of a specific business issue.  Please note that complete Stage 4 students are must sit the external ICAEW exams for Advanced Stage.

Following successful completion of Stage 4, you will have passed all levels of the ICAEW qualification.  In order to gain full membership of the ICAEW, students are required to be in a formal training agreement with an authorised training employer, and complete at least 450 practical work experience days (which normally takes between 2 and 5 years). Practical work experience is undertaking real-life work of a financial, business and/or commercial nature.  As this is a requirement of membership set by the ICAEW, you should refer to the ICAEW website for more detailed information.

Delivery and assessments


Since this is a partnership programme, there are assessments from AAT, ICAEW and Manchester Metropolitan University. All of the units are taught by Manchester Metropolitan University and all classes take place at the University.
However any ICAEW exams will be sat at an external venue.



The Business School is located in Manchester Metropolitan University All Saints Campus which is just off Oxford Road, Manchester.

For specific information about location, travel and car parking click here.


Download a copy of the Course Brochure