Plymouth Business School

BA (Hons) Accounting and Finance

UCAS tariff 104 - 120
UCAS course code N420
Institution code P60
Duration 3 years (+ optional placement)
Course type Full-time
Location Plymouth

Explore the latest developments in the field and master the complex set of skills needed to embark on a career in accounting and finance. You will have the opportunity to experience accountancy in the real world while working within businesses, and graduate with credits towards your professional accountancy qualification with the ACCA, ICAEW or CIMA.

Accounting and Finance
Register in advance for Clearing

We'll give you a call on A level results day to discuss your place at Plymouth, meaning there's one less thing to worry about.

Find out more about Clearing

Careers with this subject

Our confident and dynamic graduates are employed in a wide range of roles across the sector, from accountants and financial analysts to business development and business management professionals.

Where can my accounting and finance degree take me?


Real experience every step of the way

As well as expert-led teaching, all undergraduate modules within Plymouth Business School have integrated CV building activity, for example, through micro-credentialing, problem-based learning, or embedded direct employer activity.

We have ensured every module contains a real world problem-based exercise. We have reached out to employers directly to involve real business in our assessments. You will experience real world employee engagement every month.

We know this is key to student academic and graduate success.

Careers service

The University of Plymouth has a dedicated careers service supporting you from the moment you start your degree, to three years after graduation.

Careers advice is embedded into your academic programme through workshops, events, placements, networks - working with the academic staff teaching on your course. We also offer materials, networks and resources online through our 24/7 portal, and a wide-range of activities, opportunities and support centrally in the Careers Service space within the Student Hub.

We are here to help you to explore, connect and succeed.

Discover our careers service

Key features

  • Start your career from day one, our course is accredited by the major professional accountancy bodies and new students are enrolled as student members of the ACCA or ICAEW. Our course is designed so that students are eligible for significant exam exemptions from the ACCA, ICAEW and CIMA on graduation.
  • Careers advice is embedded throughout. Meet potential future employers at accountancy-specific careers events and explore where your career might take you. Join the Devon Chamber ROOTS scheme and receive training and professional mentoring, as well as invitations to top networking events.
  • You will develop proficiency in key skills such as reflection, evaluation and group work. These skills will improve your academic performance, develop your ability to communicate, enhance your employment prospects and equip you for lifelong learning.
  • The embedded use of spreadsheet software throughout the course allows you to gain important employability skills so that you can demonstrate your value to businesses immediately. 
  • Learn about global stock markets in our Bloomberg Interactive Learning Suite. Complete an optional online Bloomberg course awarded by the Bloomberg Institute allowing students to add this onto their CV and be provided with a certificate of completion.

Course details
  • Year 1

  • Introduction to the business world of accountancy and finance. Learn how to control company finances and report company performance. Understand the important role that economics and data analysis play in the success of every business.

    Core modules

    • Introduction to Accounting (ACF4001)

      This module gives you an introduction to accounting. It focuses on the double entry bookkeeping system and how transactions are recorded in businesses. You will learn how to record transactions and events, formulate a trial balance, create basic financial statements and interpret financial information using ratio analysis.

    • Principles of Economics and Finance (ECN4001)

      This module provides an introduction to core principles of both economics and finance. It explores some basic concepts and techniques involved in economic and financial analysis at an introductory level and considers the relevance of economics and finance to broad areas such as business decision-making and risk management.

    • Data Analytics for Business Decision Making (ECN4003)

      The module introduces the area of data analytics and the role of data in business decision making. You will explore the use of accounting, economic and financial data and common decision making/analytical frameworks in informing business decisions. You will go on to examine major themes of management decision making (i.e. processes, models and analytical methods) and basic statistical analysis in the context of supporting and informing a number of key business decisions (e.g. pricing, investment).

    • Business Law (LAW407)

      This module will introduce you to the legal framework and key areas of law which affect business, including basic principles of contract and tort; company law; the impact of criminal law on business and professional services; and the impact of law in the professional content, such as for example, key elements of employment law and the protection of information.

  • Year 2

  • Learn how to create and manage budgets and develop your core accounting skills. Choose to examine stock markets in our Bloomberg Interactive Learning Suite or learn about key aspects of taxation for businesses. Discover how to manage a company’s finances to maximise its performance and how to manage a business responsibly and ethically.

    Core modules

    • Management Accounting (ACF5001)

      This module provides you with a comprehensive coverage of management accounting. You will study areas such as budgeting, costing and variance analysis before progressing onto strategic management accounting, financial planning and control in modern organisations.

    • Financial Accounting and Reporting (ACF5004)

      This module explores the presentation and interpretation of an organisation's financial statements, including consideration of the UK financial reporting regulatory framework and current reporting issues. Further financial reporting topics such as accounting for foreign currency transactions and accounting for business combinations will be covered. Students will also explore current developments in financial and non-financial reporting.

    • Challenge Module (ACF5005)

      Through this module you can select from a choice of topics related to the big challenges business and society are facing today. These might be drawn from the UN Sustainable Development Goals or a country’s industrial strategy.

    • Careers and Professional Development (PBS500CPD)

      This module is aimed at enhancing students employability skills and knowledge especially those who will be undertaking an industrial placement in the third year of their degree. It is designed to build on skills learned in Stage 1 and helps students in their search for a placement, and in their preparation for the placement itself.

    Optional modules

    • Financial Institutions and Markets (ACF5002)

      This module deals with financial markets, instruments, and institutions. You will examine the bond market, the stock market and the foreign exchange market and explore investment banking and mutual funds.

    • Taxation (ACF5003)

      The module introduces you to the UK tax system, providing you with the necessary technical skills and underpinning knowledge to be able to prepare tax computations for UK companies and individuals. Alongside the technical focus, you will explore the principles and rationale behind the functions of the tax system and discuss current issues in taxation.

    • Academic Skills for International Direct Entry Second Year Students (DEAS200)

      The short, not for credit module will teach academic skills (including, but not limited to, time management, groupwork, information literacy and some basic critical thinking) to second year IDES. It is based in the middle of the first term.

  • Optional placement year

  • In your third year, you can choose to do a placement year, taking the opportunity to earn a salary while getting hands-on work experience. You’ll develop your financial flair and build confidence to help you in your future career.

    Core modules

    • Placement Year (PBS600PLC)

      The placement year consists of an extended period of appropriate professional experience in a business or organisation. It allows the student to gain relevant experience to consolidate their studies and prepare for final stage study and employment after graduation. Students on BA International Business may also or alternatively undertake a study placement at an approved partner institution.

  • Final year

  • Apply core knowledge to decide whether a business should undertake a major investment project. Learn how a company is financed and how cash is managed effectively. Undertake a business-specific research project and choose to learn about auditing or financial modelling.

    Core modules

    • Business Research (ACF6001)

      In this module you will carry out empirical research of an accounting or finance related topic using appropriate analytical and statistical techniques.

    • Investment Management (ACF6002)

      In this module, you will develop a broad understanding of equities and bonds as investments, considering their pricing and use in investment management along with that of derivatives. In addition, you will explore core concepts in finance including market efficiency, diversification, risk, portfolio building and evaluation.

    • Corporate Financial Management (ACF6005)

      This module provides a comprehensive coverage of management accounting. You will study areas such as budgeting, costing and variance analysis before progressing onto strategic management accounting, financial planning and control in modern organisations.

    • Credit Management: Theory and Practice (ACF6006)

      You will gain an in-depth knowledge of how to manage trade, consumer and export credit, exploring the economic importance of credit and the contribution it can make as a competitive device to add value to organisations.

    • Continued Careers and Professional Development (PBS600CPD)

      The Continued Career and Professional Development module is a development scheme designed to enhance students’ employability and builds on the stage 2 module. The stage 3 module focuses on providing students with information on graduate options and equips them with the knowledge and skills necessary for articulating and recording achievement and applying for graduate positions. The module also includes a number of workshops and events designed to develop students’ skills and knowledge, with the purpose of filling gaps in their CV’s and enhancing their employability.

    Optional modules

    • Auditing (ACF6003)

      In this module, you will consider and discuss the need for audit in society as well as the views of those critical of today’s audit function. Studying auditing scandals will help you to understand and appreciate not only the challenges faced by the auditing profession but also how current auditing standards and regulation has been developed. You will learn how to audit through studying the theory behind the audit process and then how to apply the theory using practical examples.

    • Financial Modelling (ACF6004)

      The module covers financial modelling for bonds and rates, equities, currencies and options. While analysing and modelling each category of securities with specific and pertinent approaches, it stresses the underlying principles governing all valuation processes. The module also equips the students with the skills to use software, such as Excel, for implementing models and perform analysis.

    • Academic Skills for International Direct Entry Final Year Students (DEAS300)

      This module focuses on the study skills required for the study of business in UK HE for international direct entry final year students, it provides generic skills for students who are new to UK HE, such as information literacy, criticality, different types of assessment, assignment briefs, preparation and planning, and marking rubrics.

Every undergraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the course aims, the course structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest course structure and may be subject to change:

BA Accounting and Finance programme specification 7058

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

In light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the changeable nature of the situation and any updates to government guidance, we may need to make further, last minute adjustments to how we deliver our teaching and learning on some or all of our programmes, at any time during the academic year. We want to reassure you that even if we do have to adjust the way in which we teach our programmes, we will be working to maintain the quality of the student learning experience and learning outcomes at all times.
Entry requirements

UCAS tariff

104 - 120

A level: 104-120 points from a minimum of 2 A levels. This course considers general studies.

BTEC: 18 Unit BTEC Extended Diploma: DMM in any subject.

BTEC National Diploma modules
If you hold a BTEC qualification it is vital that you provide our Admissions team with details of the exact modules you have studied as part of the BTEC. Without this information we may be unable to process your application quickly and you could experience significant delays in the progress of your application to study with us. Please explicitly state the full list of modules within your qualification at the time of application.

Access: Pass a named Access to HE Diploma in any subject with at least 33 credits at merit/distinction.

IB: 26 - 30 overall to include 4 at any subject at Higher Level.
English and Maths accepted within: Higher Level = 4   Standard Level = 5

All applicants must have GCSE (or equivalent) mathematics and English at grade 4/C or above.

Short of the entry requirements for this course? Don’t worry you may be eligible for a foundation year to prepare you for possible entry onto this course for the following year.

We welcome applicants with international qualifications. To view other accepted qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

Fees, costs and funding

The UK is no longer part of the European Union. EU applicants should refer to our Brexit information to understand the implications.

New Student 2021 2022
Home £9,250 To be confirmed
International £14,200 To be confirmed
Part time (Home) £770 To be confirmed
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per 10 credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances. For more information about fees and funding please visit www.plymouth.ac.uk/money.

Undergraduate scholarships for international students

To reward outstanding achievement the University of Plymouth offers scholarship schemes to help towards funding your studies.

Find out whether you are eligible and how you can apply

Additional costs

This course is delivered by the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business and more details of any additional costs associated with the faculty's courses are listed on the following page: Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business additional costs.

How to apply
All applications for undergraduate courses are made through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). 

UCAS will ask for the information contained in the box at the top of this course page including the UCAS course code and the institution code. 

To apply for this course and for more information about submitting an application including application deadline dates, please visit the UCAS website.

Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email international-admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.

Meet our experts

  • Lecturer in Accounting
    Extensive accounting experience in a range of sectors
  • Lecturer in Accounting
    Pioneered our partnership with Devon Chamber of Commerce and Babcock mentoring
  • Professor of Credit Management
    Chartered Institute of Credit Management Chair
  • Lecturer in Accounting and Finance
    Extensive experience in multi-disciplinary research

Support from lecturers was invaluable 

International student Sabina reflects on the invaluable support from academics with extensive industry experience, how inspiring careers events and advice was embedded into the course and how an optional placement year made all the difference.

"The course is very strongly and successfully focused on preparing us for careers while encouraging practical thinking. The purpose and learning objectives of studies and assignments were clear so I always felt like I was developing."

Read Sabina's story

Plymouth Business School

  • ? Committed to social, economic and environmental responsibility
  • ? Supporting the internationally recognised focus on sustainability and social purpose of the University
  • ? Leading business ready graduates onto a successful career and happy life
  • ? Supporting graduates to make informed choices based on current economic and market trends
  • ? Building students resilience and confidence
  • ? Promoting practical skills development