UWE, SWAT UK and ICAEW Announce an Exciting New Approach for those Seeking a Career in Accountancy
By Mike Sturgess
The University of West of England (UWE) in partnership with SWAT UK and ICAEW has created an exciting approach for those hoping to work in the accountancy profession. The programme combines academic, professional and practical learning alongside working within an accountancy practice. The programme comprises: a BSc accountancy degree from UWE, ICAEW ACA Chartered Accountant qualification and SWAT UK practical training. The new degree programme will be launched in September 2013.
Entry to the programme will be via direct application to UWE, rather than UCAS. It will be restricted to students who are employed or have been accepted for employment from September 2013, by an accountancy practice that is an ICAEW authorised training employer. The programme will take between four and six years, dependent on whether the student undertakes the advanced stages of the ACA qualification. Students will spend much of their time working for the firm, and will adopt a blended learning approach which incorporates short sessions at UWE, on-line seminars and self-directed managed study.
As well as an honours degree in Accountancy, the programme will provide professional qualifications along the way:
- After 13 months – AAT NVQ level 4
- After 29 months – ICAEW’s CFAB
- After 45 months – BSc and completion of the Professional Stage of ICAEW
- After 57 months – completion of the ACA advanced stage
- After 61 – completion of the case study and ACA qualification obtained.
The programme will also provide students with the option to study for an additional year to obtain an MSc in Accountancy.
The ICAEW advanced stage studying will be conducted by Kaplan with students able to use Kaplan’s local facility or join the SWAT UK programme in Kaplan’s premises in London. Various SWAT UK student training modules will also be included in the programme which will help relate the academic and professional training to the practical work undertaken in the office.
Students wishing to attend the programme need a minimum of 320 UCAS points (e.g. three ‘A’ levels - 1 at grade A and 2 at grade B). However individual employers may choose to set their entry level higher.
The University will charge fees of £27,000 over the four year degree course. Since the course will qualify as a full time course, the student will be eligible to take out a student loan. Kaplan has agreed to extend the full SWAT UK discount to fees for the advanced stage of the ACA qualification.
In designing the programme we have ensured that there is complete flexibility in how the programme is funded. Participating firms may decide to fund some or all of the fees for the programme or leave the student to fund the degree course using a student loan, on the basis that the firm is paying a salary throughout the programme. Others may decide to link full or partial settlement of the fees to success at the exams, or remaining with the firm for say two years after completing their ACA training agreement.
Dr Jane Harrington, Pro-Vice Chancellor and Executive Dean of the Faculty of Business and Law at UWE, has given the scheme her full support and in-principle approval. “This is an extremely exciting development for UWE, bringing together employers, academics and the profession in an innovative programme development. At UWE the focus is very much on applied programmes and partnership working; programmes such as this one lie at the heart of these developments. I am personally delighted that we are developing this for future students as it offers so many opportunities for them to develop in a holistic way while they are in employment.”
Mike Sturgess, SWAT UK’s chairman, commented, “UWE already has a tremendous reputation, and its students do remarkably well in the ICAEW exams, so it seemed a natural choice for this scheme, which is a true win-win for everyone. The student obtains an excellent degree alongside a professional qualification. However, unlike most students he or she will obtain years of practical experience and earn a salary alongside the course. From the employer’s perspective we believe that this programme will be extremely popular with students so that participating firms will be able to attract top candidates."
Mark Protherough, the Executive Director of Learning and Professional Development at the ICAEW added, "The rising costs of student tuition fees in the UK are making many potential students, and indeed their parents, assess the value for money of higher education. This programme will help ensure talented individuals from all backgrounds have a cost-effective route into the profession. It will also ensure that the employers have access to a wide talent pool, which is ‘work-ready’. The integration of academic, professional and practical training with hands on experience in the office will also help to provide a solid return on any employer’s investment."
For more information about the programme please see the contact information below or click a button below.
The University of the West of England (UWE)
UWE’s mission is to make a positive difference to its students, to business and to society. It has an excellent reputation for genuine partnership working which successfully enables it to promote and drive opportunity, social justice, creativity and innovation.
Based in Bristol the university has 3,500 staff and over 30,000 students, including approximately 3,000 registered overseas students. It is the largest provider of Higher Education in the South West of England.
Contact details: jane.Harrington@uwe.ac.uk or +44(0) 117 328 6302
SWAT UK works with accountants across the UK to help them comply with the regulatory regimes in which they operate, improve their efficiency and hence increase their profitability. In any year SWAT UK will provide services to about 2,500 firms of accountants. These range from sole practitioners to top 20 firms.
Contact details: email@example.com or +44(0)1752 725700
ICAEW is a professional membership organisation, supporting over 138,000 chartered accountants around the world. Through our technical knowledge, skills and expertise, we provide insight and leadership to the global accountancy and finance profession.
Our members provide financial knowledge and guidance based on the highest professional, technical and ethical standards. We develop and support individuals, organisations and communities to help them achieve long-term, sustainable economic value. Contact details: firstname.lastname@example.org or +44(0)908 248 304
ICAEW Authorised Training Employer
To ensure best practice and consistency of training to all ACA students across the world, all authorised training employers (ATEs) must comply with ICAEW universal training standards. The five main principles include:
• operate with professionalism and commitment to ACA training;
• provide students with a suitable training environment;
• offer students appropriate supervision and support;
• offer students the opportunity for personal and professional development; and
• offer students appropriate training in professional ethics.
This article is published with the understanding that SWAT UK Limited is not engaged in rendering legal or professional services. The material contained in this article neither purports, nor is intended to be, advice on any particular matter. This article is an aid and cannot be expected to replace professional judgment. SWAT UK accepts no responsibility or liability to any person in respect of anything done or omitted to be done by any such person in reliance, whether sole or partial, upon the whole or any part of the contents of this article.