BA (Hons) Accounting and Finance

Key information

Why choose this course?

  • 93% of students are in employment or in further study (Graduate Outcomes, 2019/20)
  • Triple accredited with CIMA, ICAEW and ACCA 
  • ACCA is one of the highest pre-agreed professional exam exemptions in the UK by a university 

Accounting and financial expertise is highly valued whatever career you choose and is especially crucial to the success of any organisation, from family businesses to global multinationals, and from charities to government bodies. The insights and skills you will gain from this BA (Hons) Accounting and Finance course will prepare you to take your place in a dynamic world of finance and play an essential role in shaping decisions and strategic direction. 

Our course goes beyond the numbers, looking at the stories they tell. We are committed to bringing this to life through interactive sessions, simulations and group exercises.   

Our assessments are similarly varied and balanced. Whilst closed book exams are essential for professional exemptions, these are complemented by practical options including online tests, professional report writing, group presentations and discussions to prepare you for employment.   

You will have a dedicated support team that is 100% behind you, whatever your background. They will share their expertise, advice, networks and experience, and are focused on nurturing your potential to succeed.   

We foster strong relationships with industry and professional associations. Our exemptions from various professional exams will fast-track you to become a fully qualified accountant sooner. We offer exemptions from a choice of main accounting bodies including the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) and Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW). Our students even have the opportunity to benefit from mentors from industry partners such as PwC Watford, Legal & General, Deloitte, and the ICAEW Beds, Bucks and Herts Society.  

This course sits within the Hertfordshire Business School, which is part of a wide-reaching Enterprise Hub with many business connections. We host our own Business Academy, where you can meet entrepreneurs–in–residence, business ambassadors, and industry leaders at networking events or in guest lectures. If you have an entrepreneurial spirit, you will be encouraged to enter the Flare annual competition for students and alumni looking to start their own businesses. Winners get support, training and funding to help make their ideas a reality.

Our staff

Staff are not only academics and researchers but include innovative industry specialists with years of hands-on experience in commercial accounting and finance who add real world skills to academic theory giving you the competitive edge.   

Your teaching team is complemented by a dedicated academic support team, wellbeing team and personal tutor to help you adjust to the demands of university learning and living.   

What's the course about?

Modern careers in finance and accountancy are so much more than just numbers, they’re about making numbers talk. You’ll learn practical mathematical techniques alongside core analytical skills to help you make numerical based decisions. The modules in our course go further and will also assist you in improving your creative, digital, problem solving and reporting skills, alongside skills in leadership and business operations.  

If you are serious about a career in accounting and wish to take the relevant professional examinations, this course will help. It provides a solid basis to kick-start your journey with a number of relevant modules in management accounting, financial reporting and business operations that build on your knowledge year-by-year. 

Our approach of combining tried and tested theories, and emerging new techniques with the latest practitioner inputs and experiences, will give you a significant advantage in the workplace. Our solid relationships with professional bodies and leading companies underpin the launch of your career with the support of a wide ranging and influential network.  

We actively support you to go out on industry placement, study abroad or do an internship (including the latest online bite-sized digital experiences) to help you find your direction and to boost your CV to secure your first graduate role.    

This BA (Hons) Accounting and Finance degree follows a similar path to the BA (Hons) Accounting degree but has a stronger focus on corporate finance and business decision making.

Where you'll study 

Your teaching is on our modern campus, with self-study materials to support you from our virtual learning platform, StudyNet. BA (Hons) Accounting and Finance students have access to modern computer suites.  

You’ll study within the Hertfordshire Business School which is located on our large de Havilland Campus. You’ll be sharing this campus with others studying business, law, sports, education, and the humanities, as well as the Enterprise Hub and the Sports Village which features a gym, swimming pool, coffee shop and a climbing wall.

There are dining options, a bar, and a recreational space on campus where you can shoot some pool or play video games. The Enterprise Hub is a vibrant destination where local firms and students can work and learn in comfort. In addition to open study spaces, our Learning Resources Centre also features private study rooms, and is open 24/7 allowing you to study around your schedule. 

The Student Union bar and additional facilities are only a 20-minute walk (or short bus ride) away at our College Lane Campus. Student housing is available at both campuses. 

What will I study?

With a focus on consulting and financial storytelling, this BA (Hons) Accounting and Finance course will prepare you for a career in modern finance, helping you to turn the numbers into something engaging and relevant. You’ll also have the opportunity to study complementary topics such as economics, law, information technology and quantitative techniques.  

In your first year, you’ll learn the principles of accounting, explore and analyse financial information, as well as learn digital and professional skills.   

In the second year, you will expand your foundational understanding of the subject, as well as learn effective research and problem-solving techniques that will prepare you for the professional world.  

In your final year, you will build on the foundation with advanced financial reporting and accounting modules. You’ll also have the chance to pick options in areas that interest you, such as research methods, taxation, Islamic finance and banking or information systems.    

There are also opportunities to further enrich your personal development through our Go Herts certification program, placements, internships, study-abroad and Future Success team events.   

Working in a leading investment bank has always been a dream for me. I had an incredible year at Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) where I gained valuable experience, meeting and learning from extraordinary individuals, and showcasing my knowledge and skills learnt from my university studies. One of my major responsibilities during my placement was sorting different currencies and transactions in reconciliation and investigations. I had the opportunity to communicate with clients, managers, and colleagues daily. I would recommend taking a placement year to every student, as it not only boosts your confidence, helping you gain invaluable skills, but it also exposes you to the professional world, assisting you to fulfil your future career endeavours.

Rahul Saraswat

Accounting and Finance placement student

Student Blogs

Kayleigh - Week at a glance

My week at a glance

At the beginning of each week, I write up my lecture PowerPoints ready to take with me to my lectures so I can add notes to it during the lecture. I find that writing up my lectures helps me to take in the information given to us. I tend to do my reading in bits throughout the week to help break it up, but I make sure it’s done before I go to the relevant lecture. I find doing this betters my understanding of the topic that is going to be covered in that lecture!

For each Accounting module, I had an hour lecture and an hour seminar each week! For French, I had a two-hour lectorial, which is a lecture and seminar in one session! I went into university three days of the week for lectures and seminars; I had two days at home!

Towards the end of October, assignments start to get set so you have a lot more work to be doing. I like to start the research for my assignments when they get set. Don’t leave them until the last minute, you’ll do much better when you have time to think about what you’re going to write! Managing your time between assignments and work for your lectures can be difficult but if you make yourself a plan, you’ll be fine!

I lived at university, so I also had to find time to get my weekly food shop. I tended to go on one of my days off in the morning and then in the afternoon, I could get back to my uni work! I would also work for the university on open days and other events as a student ambassador, so I also had to factor that into my schedule. You need to make sure you have some time for yourself so you can wind down, you don’t want to overload yourself! I like to spend a day of the weekend watching Netflix or meeting up with friends!

Student Blogs

Kayleigh - Things you should know

Things you need to know before studying Accounting at Herts

There can be some preconceptions of what accounting is; it is NOT all maths! There is a lot of maths involved in the course, but it is not complicated maths so don’t worry, there is also a lot of written aspects too. There are several types of accounting ranging from financial to management accounting, all of which you cover over the three-year course! All the lecturers are chartered accountants, and most have worked in the industry for a significant amount of time and they have so much information for you. They’re always willing to help you as much as they can!

With any degree, there is a lot of reading. You use a different textbook for each module, and they set reading weekly for you. Most of the textbooks are on the online library and so are free to access so don’t go buying the textbooks straight away. For certain modules, doing the reading helps deepen your understanding of the topic significantly. For me, doing the reading for my Taxation module helped me to better understand the topics we studied but don’t try to do it all at once because you won’t take any information in. Remember to break it up so you don’t overload yourself!

You will be assessed in both exams and assignments for the course. Your assignments can range from an essay or a report but could also be a presentation in a group. Most modules have a mixture of exams and assignments so don’t stress too much about doing exams because you have your assignments to fall back on if necessary.

I would highly recommend that future students research what a chartered professional qualification is and the different bodies that offer them. Once you complete your degree in accounting it does not mean that you are a fully qualified accountant; you will need to complete a chartered qualification. The University offers a different amount of exemptions upon completion of the course from ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants), ICAEW (Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales) and CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants). In your first year, ACCA comes in for a highly informative talk. In this talk, they encourage you to sign up to their ACCA accelerate scheme. I would highly recommend this, the cost savings for yourself in the future is beneficial. They also send you emails keeping you up to date with everything that’s going on.

Accounting can be a difficult degree but don’t stress. Planning your time wisely and being organised with assignments will make an enormous difference. Don’t forget to enjoy your time at university and make as many new friends as you can! Good Luck!

Student Blogs

Kayleigh - Why I chose Herts

Why I chose Herts

The first reason being that Herts had the perfect course for me, Accounting with French. Herts allows you to do a language alongside a business degree which not that many other universities offer! Not only do I receive several exemptions from my professional accounting qualification, but I also got to continue studying French, which is something I really enjoyed at college and wanted to continue at university!

Herts is remarkably close to London but it’s not in London. This is perfect for me because I moved from living in a village in the countryside to quite a busy town! I come from north Lincolnshire so Herts is also far enough from home that I would have to be completely independent but not too far that it would take me all day to travel home. Well a three-hour drive to me isn’t that bad anyway. I have lived in halls and off-campus for all three years of university! This has allowed me to meet so many people and some of my best friends! Also, this meant that I was never more than a five-minute walk from the Learning Resource Centre (LRC) on campus that is open 24/7, great for when you have deadlines looming.

When I visited Herts for the first time on my applicant day, I had the best day! I met three of the lecturers that have taught me over the past three years of university, which was reassurance the lecturers were lovely! My French teacher was so encouraging and excited! When I started in September there were only five people in my French class, so it was very one to one which was so beneficial to me overall!

I know that moving away from home for the first time can be very daunting, but don’t worry! Everyone in your halls is in the same boat! Go out and enjoy freshers! Order takeaways together and get to know each other! It will be one of the best things you do! My self-confidence has improved so much because I went to university!

Alumni headshot

Alumni Stories

Theresa Lola

Meet Theresa Lola who turned her secret passion for writing into a career. She has just finished her tenure as the Young People’s Laureate for London which she completed in April 2020.

Read more stories Find out more about this course
Current job rolePoet
Year of graduation2015
Course of studyBA (Hons) Accounting and Finance
Theresa Lola

University life and experience

While Theresa did not pursue a career which directly related to her course, she believes that her modules in Accounting and Finance taught her a lot about using employability and professionalism.

The ‘balance between student academic life and social life’ is one of the main reasons Theresa decided to study at the University of Hertfordshire. She praises the vibrant campus and the variety of societies and opportunities to get involved in student life. She enjoyed exploring her other passions, like her secret writing, outside of her degree.

‘One of the things I love about the University was the fantastic range of student societies. I joined the Evacreate Society which organised music and poetry events. I eventually had the courage to perform at one of the events.’

The future

Theresa really enjoys her work as a poet and her desire to help people with her writing is evident. Her future plans are to continue to grow and work on different projects by ‘merging with art forms such as film and music and to continue to travel and connect with different people and organisations using this.’.

In June 2020 Theresa was named as the UK Alumnus/Alumna of the Year because of her outstanding achievements and was also a key contributor to the University's ground breaking Festival of Ideas Reimagined event.

Alumni headshot

Alumni Stories

Wesley Pearson

Meet Wesley. After learning about a potential career in accounting and finance from an unlikely source, he now has ambitions to become a Chief Finance Officer.

Read more stories BA (Hons) Accounting and Finance
Current job roleFinance and Operations Associate
Year of graduation2017
Course of studyBA (Hons) Accounting and Finance
A picture of Wesley Pearson

From Bugatti’s to balance sheets

Wesley found out about a potential career in accounting and finance from an unlikely source – his fellow petrolheads. He says, ‘I met a lot of people at track car driving days and many of them were accountants. That’s how they paid for such an expensive hobby! Many of my family also work in finance, and they encouraged me to follow this career path.’

Herts was close to where Wesley lived too, so commuting to campus allowed him to study whilst keeping a part-time job. He had also heard about Hertfordshire Business School’s strong reputation. Wesley says, ‘I attended a few open days at Herts, and the accounting and finance team were very welcoming.’

His favourite memories

Wesley says what he learnt on the course was broad and it gave him a great understanding of accounting. He adds, ‘With the support of my lecturers and friends, I was able to achieve a first-class degree, which carries a lot of weight in the accounting and finance sector.’

Some of his favourite memories from Herts were the interactions he had with his lecturers, the life-long friendships he built, nights out, and moving to campus in his final year. He says, ‘Because I moved to campus in my final year, I had the best of both worlds during my studies. It was great to be able to have the full campus experience.’

His future ambitions and advice

After leaving Herts, Wesley joined accountancy firm Price Bailey and qualified as an ICAEW Chartered Accountant. There, he was able to gain experience in general auditing, accounts, and tax preparation. He then joined Blick Rothenberg in London, where he focused on auditing hedge funds, private equity firms and funds.

In the new year (2023), he’ll be joining a hedge fund as their Finance and Operations Associate, which he is incredibly excited about. He says, ‘My ultimate career ambition is to become the Chief Operating Officer or Chief Finance Officer for a hedge fund.’

Wesley’s best advice to current and future Herts students is to make the most of the placement year. He says, ‘I did mine at Mazars Accountants. Completing a placement has enormous value for employers when you are looking for a job, and a placement gives you a glimpse into what work could look like. You get the chance to explore areas that do and don’t appeal to you.’