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Course overview

In 1494 traders in Venice invented the double entry system for keeping financial records and this system forms the basis of all modern accounting practice and much economic theory. The course aims to give you an in-depth understanding of the basic principles of this system from which you will then be able to develop the skills and understanding required to produce and interpret modern accounting documents such as Income Statements and Statements of Financial Position. The course also offers a very strong foundation for further professional and academic study.

Module 1 - Financial Accounting (3 hour written exam)

Financial Accounting is what most accountants working together in practice (a bit like doctors) do. They provide services to businesses by summarising, analysing and reporting on their financial performance. They produce (or check/audit) the Income Statements and Statements of Financial Position Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs need to determine how much tax to charge. They also provide financial information that investors need when deciding to invest in businesses. You’ll learn how to do all this for sole traders, partnerships and limited companies. All this involves lots of abstract numerical problem solving so if you are good at maths you’ll be good at this.

Module 2 - Accounting for Analysis and Decision Making (3 hour written exam)

Management Accountants usually work within businesses (like a Finance Director) and their role is to provide financial information for decision making within the business. They look at various methods for determining accurate costs (pretty important for measuring profit accurately) and things like capital investment appraisal which helps managers choose between different investment options, eg, building a factory in Leeds or one in Manchester. Accounting isn’t just about money though: Financial decisions have non-financial consequences, eg, redundancies, and this is where we develop an understanding of the ethical considerations firms need to consider.

The emphasis throughout the course is on developing your ability to tackle “real world” accounting problems. Key concepts are clearly explained and then applied to realistic situations which become increasingly complex as your confidence grows.

What else do I need to know?

To support your studies you will be given the opportunity to visit Lancaster University, one of the leading finance research universities in the country. You will also have the opportunity to participate in the Institute for Financial Services’ (IFS) Student Investor Challenge as an extra-curricular activity.

What are the entry requirements?

You will have high overall GCSEs with a minimum of five 9-4 grades, which should include three or more at grade 5 or above. Your GCSEs should include English at a minimum of grade 4, and for Accounting a minimum of grade 5 in Maths.

You do not need any prior knowledge of accounting.

How is it assessed?

There is no coursework as all assessment is by two 3 hour exams at the end of the course.

What financial support is on offer?

This course is free for anyone aged 16 – 18. If you are outside this age group please contact 01782 254188.
College Maintenance Allowance (CMA): Anyone with a household income under £23,000 can receive up to £20 per week financial support to help pay for travel and meals and meet the costs of essential trips, books, stationery and equipment. The payments will be subject to full attendance on your course. A range of other financial support is available, depending on your personal circumstances. For more details visit www.nscg.ac.uk/finance

What can I do next?

A Level Accounting prepares you exceptionally well for all Business and Finance related courses in Higher Education and also offers exemption from the first year of the three year Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) professional qualification. If you decide that accounting is the career for you then modern apprenticeships provide a practical, work related route into the profession. Accounting qualifications can lead to all sorts of employment opportunities in banking and business as well as in conventional accountancy firms. A thorough understanding of accounting provides a solid foundation to self-employment and gives a distinct advantage to general managers as they move up through the hierarchy of their organisations.

How do I find out more?

If you wish to find out more you can contact Richard Simpson, Head of Accounting using the following details. Email: richard.simpson@nscg.ac.uk Tel: 01782 254382

Accounting & Finance

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