Plymouth Business School

BA (Hons) Accounting and Finance with Foundation Year

Make your mark in the world of business. Throughout this course you’ll 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’ll experience accountancy in the real world while working inside businesses, and graduate with credits towards your professional qualification with the ICAEW, ACCA or CIMA.

The course starts with a foundation year 0, specifically designed to introduce and develop essential skills for success in Higher Education, including critical thinking and research skills, and the knowledge and understanding of key facets of business, accounting and economics.

NSS results for BA (Hons) Accounting and Finance

We’re very proud of our National Student Survey (NSS) 2019 return showing that 100% of students were satisfied with the course overall. 97% of students agreed staff were good at explaining things and 91% agreed the course challenged them to do their best work. According to the 2019 DLHE survey, 89% of students were in work/study six months after finishing the course*.

Let our graduates inspire you

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

Discover the inspiring stories of our graduates

Careers with this subject

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

Advice from graduate Ben Waters:

"The resources available at Plymouth are fantastic, be it the lecturers and lectures themselves, the supplementary resources such as the employability and careers team and library, or the social element like the societies and Students’ Union."

Read more from Ben in his case study.

Reflections from graduate Sabina Niemier:

"Lecturers frequently brought in examples from real life, spoke to us about different career types and jobs and what they did or skills we would need in the future."

Read more about Sabina

Key features

  • The foundation year is an integral part of the extended degree and you will benefit from experienced university lecturers. Whilst completion of the foundation year will not lead to a separate award or qualification in its own right, you will be able to confidently progress to programmes within our suite of courses in Plymouth Business School
  • Get a head start by gaining credits during your studies that count towards your professional qualification. On graduation you’ll be eligible for exam exemptions from the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA).
  • Learn about global stock markets in our Bloomberg Interactive Learning Suite.
  • Start your career from day one of your degree – all students are automatically enrolled as student members of the ICAEW or ACCA.
  • Many of our lectures are recorded and available to view online. You will be able to access all recorded lectures from any year of your study.
  • Map out your own successful career, following past graduates into jobs such as trainee chartered accountant, auditor or financial analyst.
  • Career advice is embedded throughout the course. Meet potential future employers at accountancy-specific careers events and explore where your career might take you.
  • Flexibility to explore topics that interest you with a range of elective options in second and final years.

Find out more about the course from Programme Leader Kevin Finnegan by downloading this PowerPoint presentation

Course details

  • Year 0
  • In this year, you’ll experience a supportive environment to assist in the transition to successful study in higher education. You will learn about academic writing, critical thinking skills and begin to develop your research skills, as well as develop your knowledge and understanding through an introduction to key aspects of business, accounting and economics. You’ll also have the opportunity to do independent research into an area of your studies that interests you, with a supervisor to guide and support you through the process.

    Core modules
    • ECN001 An Introduction to Economics

      This module provides an introduction to the key theories and concepts of modern economics, and essential mathematical modelling and statistical analysis skills in order to explore contemporary economic issues.

    • STO001 Introduction to Academic Writing

      The module will provide participants with an introduction to the themes of Being Enterprising, Education for Sustainable Development (EfSD) the international context, and governance/ citizenship and within this thematic context will develop a range of academic and professional skills including: researching (multimedia); critical thinking, academic writing; feedback and reflection. The module will provide a thorough underpinning to working and learning in a higher education context and will provide opportunities for reflecting on formative and summative feedback.

    • STO002 Introduction to Business and Accounting

      The module will introduce the components, functions & context of a business including contemporary organisational constructs. Participants will explore the impact of different models on purpose, values, stakeholders & reporting. Globalisation, sustainability, ethics and entrepreneurship are core themes. Accounting principles including cash-flow, income statements & balance sheets will be introduced & the relationship between management theories accounting explored.

    • STO003 Research Skills

      The module will enable students to experience research skills at an introductory level and to develop a range of academic and professional skills within the area of research. Students will work as part of small teams within research topics that will develop their understanding the importance of effective collaboration to deliver sound outputs. The module also aims to bring students mathematics ability to the required level for undergraduate level.

    • STO004 Supervised Research Project

      The student integrates subject specific knowledge and skills to develop a specialist area of knowledge in depth and - with supervision from a subject specialist - conducts their own research investigation and reports their findings.

  • Year 1
  • You’ll be introduced to accountancy and the business world in general. You will learn how to control company finances and report company performance while understanding the important role that macro and micro economics play in the success of every business.

    Core modules
    • ACF102 Introduction to Financial Accounting and Reporting

      This module provides a continuation of accounting understanding into the reporting requirements of limited companies and the more complex aspects of the double entry system. It further develops the regulatory needs and the need for good quality information. Students will refresh studies of the double entry system, but will become more familiar with journal entries and amending information that may be incorrect. In addition the module deals with the developments in the frameworks of an accountant or finance professional by illustrating essential professional skills.

    • ACF104 The Accounting Professional

      An introduction to management accounting through a practical case study. Students will consider the different accounting disciplines and some of the main opportunities and challenges facing accounting professionals today. The module will also introduce a range of key employability skills.

    • ACF105 Fundamentals of Accounting

      This module provides an introduction to accounting for students, who mainly intend to specialise in this area. The module largely deals with the double entry bookkeeping system and the means by which transactions are recorded in businesses. In addition the module explains the basic accounting framework and emphasises the professional skills needed by those in the accounting and finance profession.

    • ACF108 Understanding Financial Markets

      This module provides an introduction to the operation and exploitation of financial markets. The opportunities and risks associated with investing in financial markets are explored, along with the risk management strategies that investors can use to generate a profit.

    • ECN1009 Economics for Business

      This module provides an introduction to economics in a business context. It explores some basic concepts and techniques involved in economic analysis at an introductory level, and considers the relevance of economics and the economic environment, to business decision-making.

    • LAW1211 Business Law

      An introduction to the legal framework and key areas of law which affect business, including basic principles of contract and tort as it affects business; business organisations, including company law; employment law; and property and environmental Law as it affects business.

  • Year 2
  • Learn how to create and manage budgets, as well as how to decide on whether a business should undertake a major investment project. You will have the opportunity to examine stock markets in our state-of-the-art Bloomberg lab and will learn how to manage a company’s finances in order to maximise its performance. You will develop your financial accounting skills, while having the opportunity to learn about tax and how to manage a business responsibly and ethically.

  • Optional placement year
  • This year, you will have the option 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. 

  • Final year
  • In your final year, you will develop your core knowledge of financial accounting, management accounting and financial management. You will have the opportunity to explore a range of other areas such as accounting for sustainability, auditing and financial modelling. Our highly regarded work-based learning module will help you to develop your knowledge and skills in a weekly work placement with a local organisation. Our dedicated careers team will help you to find a graduate role, following previous graduates into jobs such as trainee chartered accountant, auditor or financial analyst.

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 with Foundation Year Programme Specification Sep19 6220

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.

Entry requirements

UCAS tariff

32 - 80

18 Unit BTEC National Diploma/QCF Extended Diploma

PPP-MMP 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.

International Baccalaureate

24-25 overall to include 4 at any subject at Higher Level. English and Maths accepted within: Higher Level = 4, Standard Level = 5.


If overseas & not studying English within IB – Must have IELTS: 6.0 overall with 5.5 in all elements.

Access courses

Pass access course (any subject) plus GCSE English and Maths grade C / 4 or above or equivalent.

New Irish Highers: From 2017 32-80 points.

City and Guilds Level 3: We will accept with a minimum of Merit overall alongside a good GCSE profile, including English and Maths grade C / 4.

Cyprus Apolytirion: 15/20 to 16/20 overall to include a pass in Maths and IELTS: 6.0 overall with 5.5 in all elements.


GCSE’s or equivalent: Maths and English at Grade C/4 or City and Guilds; Key Skills Level 2 will be considered on an individual basis.

English language requirements

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

Fees, costs and funding

EU applicants should refer to our dedicated Brexit webpage for details of the implications of the UK’s plans to leave the European Union.

New Student 2020 2021
Home/EU £9,250 £9,250
International £13,800 £14,200
Part time (Home/EU) To be confirmed To be confirmed
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per a number of 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

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

  • ? Year 0: 86% coursework, 14% exams
  • @ Year 1 – final year: 29% coursework, 71% exams
  • " Gain credits towards professional qualifications
  • b Eligible for exam exemptions from ICAEW, ACCA and CIMA on graduation
  • , Flexibility: explore a wide range of elective options in your second and final year

Let our graduates inspire you

Interactive Learning

Stock market learning for financial professionals of the future

“The Bloomberg Interactive Learning Suite allows students to research fields such as corporate finance, derivative markets, portfolio and risk analytics, real time data and investment simulations. Using the latest technology, the students are able to undertake real world learning which both deepens their research and enriches coursework. It enables them to develop their analytical skills, enhance their decision making using real time data and prepares students for a challenging employment marketplace.”

Hilary Duckett, Associate Professor at Plymouth Business School 

Find out more about the Bloomberg partnership

Study sessions for students by students: Peer Assisted Learning Scheme (PALS)

To complement your formal learning we offer regular sessions that provide the opportunity for you to learn with and from your peers. Share knowledge, discuss ideas, and ask questions in a relaxed and friendly environment
Find out more about how PALS can benefit your studies

Enterprise Challenge 

Our students benefit from an interactive learning environment, as part of this experience BA (Hons) Accounting and Finance have previously run various learning activities such as team building in Haldon Forest and the Enterprise Challenge with Dartmoor Zoo. As part of the Enterprise Challenge students were invited to create a hypothetical new exhibit for local attraction Dartmoor Zoo. Teams had a budget of £20,000, and they had to consider the animal’s requirements, costs and ratings in terms of public appeal, educational value, conservation value and ease of keeping.

Find out more about the Enterprise Challenge