ACCA is suitable for those who would like a career in finance, business or accountancy, who wish to become a Chartered Certified Accountant. It takes around three to four years to complete the full qualification. You’ll learn both practical and technical skills to equip you for a future in business.
The qualification is broken down into three levels: Applied Knowledge, Applied Skills and Strategic Professional. Applied Knowledge exams, as well as the Corporate & Business Law exam at Applied Skills, are computer based and are available all year round. For Applied Skills (except Corporate & Business Law) and Strategic Professional levels, ACCA offer four exam sittings per year.
We have put together recommendations for how to use the four sittings to progress most effectively through your studies. Read our advice.
You’ll learn about the role of accounting in the business environment and develop the practical skills and techniques required of an accountant.
Applied Knowledge is the entry level to the ACCA accounting qualification. If you have no previous qualifications, then you should complete the final level of the AAT or FIA Diploma first, before moving on to ACCA.
Students with two A-Levels and three GCSEs in five separate subjects (including English and Maths) or with a non-relevant degree or NVQ qualification can proceed directly on to the Applied Knowledge level.
There are three subjects in the Applied Knowledge level and these can be sat in any order.
Exams for the three Knowledge subjects are available to sit as a Computer Based Exam (CBE) at your local Kaplan centre.
Computer Based Exams consist of objective test questions and multi-task questions (MTQs). MTQs contain a series of tasks for students to complete, tasks which relate to one or more scenarios.
Exams are also available at other ACCA approved centres.
If you are AAT, FIA or CAT qualified or hold a relevant degree (e.g. Accountancy, Finance, Law or Management) then you may be eligible for exemptions from the Knowledge level. You must apply for exemptions through ACCA when you register with ACCA as a student.
We advise doing this before you begin the level to ensure you start your studies at the correct point. You can check to see if you qualify for any exemptions on the ACCA website.
This subject will introduce you to basic business principles and the business environment. You’ll learn how this affects how organisations are structured and on the role of the accounting in contributing to the efficient, effective and ethical management and development of an organisation, its people and systems.
You’ll learn accountancy techniques to support management in planning, controlling and monitoring performance in a range of business contexts.
You’ll learn the underlying concepts relating to financial accounting and technical proficiency in techniques, such as double entry accounting techniques and the preparation of basic financial statements.
Subjects can be sat in any order. Students can sit up to four subjects in one exam sitting and a maximum of eight per year. You can overlap with Applied Knowledge as long as this level is being completed.
LW is available as a Computer Based Exam (CBE) at Kaplan centres all year round and also at other ACCA approved centres. Both written and computer based versions of the LW exam are two hours long with no reading time. ENG and GLO versions of the exam are only examined by CBE in the UK.
With the exception of LW, exams for the Applied Skills subjects are available as Session CBEs sat at ACCA centres and there are four exam sittings per year. Find out more about exam entry dates.
In the UK, Applied Skills subjects are only examined by Session CBE. In some countries the subjects are still also available as Paper Based Exams (PBE) which take place at the same time as the Session CBE. Find out more about Session CBEs in your location.
Session CBEs are three hours 20 minutes long plus up to 10 minutes to read the pre-exam instructions. PBEs are three hours long with 15 minutes reading time. Find out more about the CBE exam format.
The pass mark for all subjects is 50%.
If you have a relevant degree in Accountancy, Finance, Law or Management you may be eligible for exemptions from the some or all of the Applied Skills level. You must apply for exemptions through ACCA when you register with ACCA as a student.
You’ll develop the knowledge and skills to understand the general legal framework and of specific legal areas relevant for business, while recognising the need to ask for specialist legal advice when necessary.
You’ll develop the knowledge to apply management accounting techniques to quantitive and qualitive information for planning, decision-making, performance evaluation and control.
You’ll learn the knowledge and skills relating to the tax systems for individuals, single companies and groups of companies.
You’ll learn the skills to under and apply accounting standards and the theoretical framework required to prepare financial statements of entities, and how to analyse and interpret those financial statements.
You’ll understand the process of implementing the assurance engagement and its application in the context of the professional regulatory framework.
You’ll develop the knowledge and skills necessary for a finance manager responsible for the finance function of a business, in regards to investment, financing and dividend policy decisions.
You should read through your PM notes before you begin studying FM.
ACCA have recently redesigned the Professional level (consisting of Essentials and Options subjects) to create the Strategic Professional level.
There are four exam sessions per year. You can sit a maximum of four exams at each session, and a maximum of eight distinct exams each calendar year.You can overlap with subjects on Applied Skills as long as the Applied Skills level is being completed. However, there are no exemptions available for the Strategic Professional Essentials level so all subjects must be passed to continue with your studies. Strategic Professional subjects can be attempted in any order so you do not have to sit Essentials before Options. In fact we would recommend you leave Strategic Business Leader (SBL) until later in your studies.
These are Paper Based Exams (PBEs) which are sat at ACCA centres, booked directly with ACCA. Learn more about exam dates.
ACCA and Kaplan advise you to take the external ethics exam, Ethics and Professional Skills, before you sit any exams on Strategic Professional. Please visit ACCA’s website for more details.
Using scenarios that could occur in your day-to-day working life, the case study challenges you to incorporate your technical, ethical and professional skills to create solutions and demonstrate these in your responses. This is a four hour case study exam, with no previously seen information. This replaces the previous P1 and P3 papers.
You’ll use your professional judgement to apply and evaluate financial reporting principles in multiple business contexts and situations, arming you with the skills to confidently explain reports and the impacts of transactions to a broad range of stakeholders. This replaces the previous P2 paper. The exam is three hours long with 15 minutes available for reading time.
Strategic Professional Essentials and Options can be attempted in any order.
There are no exemptions available for the Strategic Professional Options level. You only need to complete two out of the four papers.
Exams for the Strategic Professional Options papers are Paper Based Exams (PBE), which are sat at ACCA centres and there are four exam sittings per year. Find out more about exam entry dates.
Exams are three hours long with 15 minutes available for reading time.
The pass mark for all papers is 50%.
You’ll practice the professional judgement expected of a senior financial executive or advisor, in taking or recommending decisions relating to the financial management of an organisation in private and public sectors.
You’ll develop the skills and knowledge to apply strategic management accounting techniques in multiple business contexts and to add to the evaluation of the performance of an organisation and its strategic development.
You’ll learn how to provide relevant information and advice to individuals and businesses on the impact of the major taxes on financial decisions and situations.
You’ll analyse, evaluate and report on the assurance engagement and other audit and assurance issues in the context of best practice and current developments.
Face-to-face learning at one of 18 local Kaplan training centres, taught by expert tutors on a weekday, weekend or evening.
The nearest thing to sitting in a classroom. Join timetabled live lectures on your computer and post questions for live tutor feedback.
Online course of tutor-led videos and content specifically designed for efficient learning.
Self study with printed and online materials for you to work through at your own pace, with tutor support available when you need it.