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Accounting & finance degree entry requirements

Considering an accounting & finance course? We unpack the degree requirements needed for both in-year and Clearing accounting & finance courses at UK universities.

Eleanor Foulds
by Eleanor Foulds
Last Updated:
17 Aug 2023

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What's an accounting & finance degree?

Accounting & finance degree entry requirements

What subjects are needed to become an accountant?

Best universities for accounting & finance in the UK

How to compare accounting & finance degrees

How to compare accounting & finance degrees in Clearing

What if you can’t find an accounting & finance degree in Clearing?

What's an accounting & finance degree?

An accounting & finance degree will equip you with the numerical and technological skills to succeed in accounting, finance or business management roles. You'll learn how a business operates, gain problem-solving skills and the ability to both communicate and negotiate successfully.

Find accounting and finance degrees.

Accounting & finance degree entry requirements

The UCAS points to study an accounting and finance degree range from 96 (CCC at A-level; MMP at BTEC level) to 144 points (AAA at A-level; DDD at BTEC level).

Accounting & Finance Degree Entry Requirements

Type Minimum Grades/Points Required (with Foundation Year) Minimum Grades/Points Required Maximum Grades/Points Required Average Grades/Points Required
UCAS Points 32 96 144 120
BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma PP MMP DDD DDM-DMM
International Baccalaureate 24 26 38 32

What subjects are needed to become an accountant?


Some universities will want you to have studied maths or business studies at A-level, but others have no specific subject requirements. Top universities will ask that you have at least an A or B in maths. General studies or critical thinking are often not accepted towards your points total.


Top universities will want you to have taken A-level maths alongside your BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma. BTEC qualifications in business, engineering or science are preferred.


You’ll need to have at least five GCSEs with a grade of C/4 or above. Two of these will need to be in English and maths.

International Baccalaureate

You’ll need to have studied maths at Higher Level, as well as Standard Level. Top universities will want you to have a 6, 6, 6 at Higher Level, with at least a 6 in maths. Some unis will just accept a Standard Level in maths if you haven’t done Higher Level maths.

Best universities for accounting & finance in the UK

Our sister site, the Complete University Guide, publishes university league tables every year ranking UK unis nationally and in 70+ subject areas. Check out the latest rankings to get an idea of the best UK unis for accounting and finance.

Don’t just consider the university rankings when deciding where to study. Choose the course that suits you best, based on factors you deem important. Consider the following:

Professional certification exemptions

Some courses are recognised by industry-specific associations, such as the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), or the Institute of Chartered Accountants England and Wales (ICAEW). Choose a course recognised by one of these if you want to gain a professional qualification after you've graduated.

Placement years

Placement years provide real work experience, and maybe a job upon graduation. Keep an eye out for universities that offer this and with what companies.

Module choices

Not all accounting & finance degrees will offer the same modules. Research carefully what each course offers, as it can impact both your enjoyment of the course and your career pathways upon graduation.

How to compare accounting & finance degrees

Whatuni’s Find a Course tool will let you compare accounting & finance degrees. Type ‘accounting’ into the search bar, click ‘search’ and browse the available courses.

Accounting and finance degrees listed on Whatuni

You can personalise the results with filters, based on what you find important. When you select a course, you’ll see the full course information, including course outline, module choices, entry requirements, fees and key course stats.

Details of an accounting and finance degree on Whatuni

Once you’ve compiled a shortlist of courses, begin your research. Order each university’s prospectus to give you an overview of learning facilities, accommodation, social activities, support and much more.

Booking yourself onto an open day tour or event too will let you scope the campus and speak to current students and/or potential tutors. Open day events are useful for helping you to get an idea of what your student life may be like.

Reading student reviews is also a key step in the research journey, offering an honest insight into what you can expect from student life. Simply enter the university and subject to see what students are saying.

Accounting and finance student reviews on Whatuni

How to compare accounting & finance degrees in Clearing

You’ll have another chance to apply for accounting & finance courses when Clearing opens in early July. Using Whatuni’s Clearing tool you’ll be able to see what courses still have places available, shortlist any you’re interested in and compare them

Some universities may also lower their entry requirements in Clearing. You can check these on the individual accounting and finance degree pages for each university on Whatuni.

In the meantime, pre-register for Clearing. You’ll receive regular advice leading up to Clearing, have access to Whatuni’s Clearing guide and be able to save and compare Clearing courses once Clearing begins.

Unis that have accounting and finance courses in Clearing includei the likes of Liverpool Hope University, the University of Reading and the University of Bedfordshire. Have a look at our handy Clearing course search tool to see every uni with available Clearing spaces.

What if you can’t find an accounting & finance degree in Clearing?

Your other options to consider are:

  • Study an accounting & finance foundation year: This is for students who don't meet the entry requirements for direct entry. The minimum UCAS points to study these courses are low, but consider the additional time and cost that comes with an extra year.
  • Study a joint honours degree: You could look for a joint honours degree, where accounting & finance make up half the degree. Subjects typically paired with accounting & finance include business, languages, law, mathematics or management.
  • Study a similar subject: Economics, statistics, maths, banking and business management all cover similar topics and can lead to careers in accounting & finance. Pay close attention to module choices and graduate outcomes before making any decisions.
  • Study an accounting & finance foundation degree or HNC/HND: Consider a foundation degree or Higher National Certificate/Higher National Diploma in accounting & finance (or related subject) instead. An HNC is equivalent to one third of a bachelor’s degree, whereas a foundation degree or an HND is equivalent to two thirds. Upon completion, you can enter work or top-up your education by enrolling in the final year of a degree.
  • Apply for an accounting & finance apprenticeship: You can find apprenticeships through the AAT website or the ICAEW website. Most jobs only require good GCSE grades. Think carefully about what you want from your future career before undertaking such a niche pathway.
  • Take a gap year and resit your exams: If you have your heart set on a course but didn’t get the grades you needed, consider taking a year out and resitting your exams in autumn or next year. During the year you can study hard and even gain some relevant work experience to boost your university application.

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