Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW)
The ACA qualification from the ICAEW (Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales) is considered to be a premium, gold standard accountancy qualification that qualifies you as a chartered accountant. ICAEW chartered accountants are always in demand and the ACA qualification equips students to perform at the highest levels of accountancy, business and finance.
The majority of ACA trainees work in accounting practice and the ACA qualification has a strong practice subject focus (audit, taxation) as well as covering other key technical accounting areas.
An increasing number of students are now training in other sectors too. Once qualified, ICAEW chartered accountants work in all sectors, from accounting practices to commercial organisations, financial institutions, not for profit organisations and the public sector.
The University of South Wales is recognised as an ICAEW Partner in Learning, working with ICAEW in the professional development of students. The University has a rich history of providing first class tuition for professional accountancy courses. We have been awarded PQ Magazine's 'Public Sector Accountancy College of the Year' three times, and our students have won multiple awards, including awards for the highest marks in Wales.
The Professional Accounting course information brochure provides further details on part-time fees, timetables and the next available entry points. Follow us on Twitter.
To qualify as an ICAEW Chartered Accountant students are required to complete:
- 15 examinations
- 450 days of technical work experience, which you gain by obtaining a training contract with an appropriate employer
- Professional development (delivered through ICAEW or your employer)
- Ethics and professional scepticism programme (delivered through ICAEW)
The ACA Qualification comprises three examination levels – Certificate, Professional and Advanced.
Certificate Level (Certificate in Finance, Accounting and Business, or ‘CFAB’)
CFAB is the entry qualification for ACA. Students are able to obtain exemptions from all six CFAB modules by studying our innovative, internally assessed Cert HE (Professional Accounting). Under this scheme, students study six modules between Sept-June. Details can be found in our Professional Accounting course information brochure.
Please contact Rebecca Wright for further information.
- Audit and Assurance
- Tax Compliance
- Financial Accounting and Reporting
- Financial Management
- Business Planning: Taxation
- Business Strategy and Technology
- Corporate Reporting
- Strategic Business Management
- Case Study
At the Advanced Level students are required to study a number of technical areas, which are then examined together in the Corporate Reporting and Strategic Business Management papers. These papers aim to simulate real-life business and accounting practice environments, and the concept is taken further with a final case study examination.
How you will study (Professional and Advanced Level)
Professional and Advanced level papers will generally be taught for one day per week, with a block revision period at the end of each paper. Under our blended learning approach, students are not required to attend campus each week. See more details under the ‘Teaching’ heading below.
Professional and Advanced level papers will generally be taught for one day per week, with a block revision period at the end of each paper.
Typical tuition lengths:
Professional Level papers – 6-11 weeks plus revision block
Advanced Level – 14 weeks plus revision block
Knowledge is built up and exam question practice is undertaken week on week. Students build skills gradually and sustainably and are not absent from their workplace for long periods of time (which is particularly important for smaller accounting practices)
Our Professional Accounting and Finance course information brochure provides further details on part-time fees, timetables and the next available entry points.
Our blended delivery model includes a mix of classroom-based tuition plus interactive online elements, with students only required to attend face to face classes in periodic weeks. Our online tuition includes bespoke, bite-sized pre-recorded lectures & tutorials, weekly timetabled live virtual classrooms, discussion boards and 121 pastoral and subject tutor technical support delivered via email, telephone or video call where required, in addition to face to face meetings. All face to face classes will also be broadcast live and recorded to suit students studying at distance. Our blended delivery gives students flexibility in accessing resources at a time that’s right for them, in line with their needs, learning styles and preferences.
To learn more about this style of study we'd advise reading an article written by course leader Rebecca Wright on studying a professional accountancy qualification during a pandemic.
Modules are assessed by computer based exams. Each exam is two-and-a-half hours long, with the exception of the Financial Accounting and Reporting paper which is assessed by a three-hour exam.
Consists of two technical integration papers and a case study:
- Technical integration papers are three-and-a-half hours long
- Case study will be four hours long
Our professional accounting teaching team includes nine qualified accountants and a qualified solicitor, who have significant industry and accounting practice experience, as well as significant experience of teaching professional accountancy qualifications.
Question practice reinforces technical knowledge and exam technique each and every week on all of our programmes. The learning environment here is friendly and supportive, and we are able to offer an exceptional level of pastoral support.
- Dr Jared Davies, academic manager, professional and postgraduate accounting
- Rebecca Wright, course leader
- Nicola Gilbert
- Shane Johnson
- Rosemary Eaton
- Rhian Gosling
- Rebecca Smith
- Claudia Scicluna
- Teresa Marsh
Our tuition fees include the provision of a wide range of ICAEW published materials per paper, including study manuals, question banks, course exams, unseen questions and mock exams.
Progress tests and mock examinations for each paper reinforce exam technique skills.
Student performance reports for sponsoring employers are available.
We regularly revalidate courses for quality assurance and enhancement
At USW, we regularly review our courses in response to changing patterns of employment and skills demand to ensure we offer learning designed to reflect today’s student needs and tomorrow’s employer demands.
If during a review process course content is significantly changed, we’ll write to inform you and talk you through the changes for the coming year. But whatever the outcome, we aim to equip our students with the skillset and the mindset to succeed whatever tomorrow may bring. Your future, future-proofed.
The most popular entry route to the qualification is a good undergraduate honours degree (1st or 2:1), but entry is also available to people with no qualifications, A-level school leavers, AAT graduates, apprentices, and members of other Chartered bodies. Trainees are ultimately required to enter a training contract with an approved employer.
Completion of the AAT qualification gives exemption from up to 5 of the ACA exams.
You must apply for student membership and exemptions (where applicable) with ICAEW before joining the course. Visit www.icaew.com for more information.
Please note that whilst this course does not require a DBS Check for entry, some professions will not consider candidates who have certain types of criminal convictions. Therefore, if you have a criminal conviction and you are considering a particular career path we would recommend that you check with the relevant professional body or refer to their recruitment policy to make sure that your conviction will not disadvantage you.
August 2023 - July 2024 Fees
Part-time UK: TBC
August 2024 - July 2025 Fees
Part-time UK: TBC
At the University of South Wales, you’re investing in so much more than a degree. We strive to provide our students with the best possible experience, no matter what you chose to study. Whether it’s access to top of the range mac books and PCs, state-of-the-art facilities packed with industry-leading equipment and software, masterclasses and events led by industry experts, or a wide range of clubs and societies to meet likeminded people, better tomorrows start with extra perks.
Each course also has their own unique student benefits to prepare you for the real word, and details of these can be found on our course pages. From global field trips, integrated work experience and free course-related resources, to funded initiatives, projects working with real employers, and opportunities for extra qualifications and accreditations - at USW your future, is future-proofed.
As a student of USW, you’ll have access to lots of free resources to support your study and learning, such as textbooks, publications, online journals, laptops, and plenty of remote-access resources. Whilst in most cases these resources are more than sufficient in supporting you with completing your course, additional costs, both obligatory and optional, may be required or requested for the likes of travel, memberships, experience days, stationery, printing, or equipment.
|ICAEW membership *||
Students will be required to pay separately for ICAEW student membership, exemption and external examination fees. For the latest information, visit: https://careers.icaew.com/en/how-to-become-a-chartered-accountant/cost-of-the-aca
Funding to help pay for (or cover) course tuition fees and living costs
Whilst you’re studying, you’ll have two main financial obligations – tuition fees and living costs. There’s lots of financial help available from the University of South Wales and external funding sources, that may provide loans (which have to be paid back) and grants, scholarships and bursaries (that don't).
To learn about course fees, funding options, and to see if you are eligible for financial support, visit our Fees and Funding pages.
Applications for ICAEW Professional and Advanced levels should be made directly through our MyUSW online portal.
Please state which paper(s) you wish to study in the personal statement section of the application form. To apply for Certificate level modules, please contact Rebecca Wright.
International and EU students
Apply directly to the University if you live outside the UK/EU.
ACA students enjoy early responsibility and excellent career progression. Many ACA students double their salary during training. Salaries for newly qualified ICAEW Chartered Accountants are on a par with careers in law and banking and many become partners or financial directors early in their careers, leading to a greater variety of opportunities.
ICAEW Chartered Accountants work at the highest levels of some of the world’s largest organisations; 80% of UK FTSE 100 companies have an ICAEW Chartered Accountant on their board.