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Degree type


Course length

4 years full-time


Durham City

UCAS code


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Typical offers

Typical offers
A Level AAB
International Baccalaureate 36

Course details

Not sure what to study? We have a suite of accounting degrees (BSc AccountingBA Accounting and Management and BA Accounting and Finance). This degree is a single honours accounting degree. If you would prefer to study more finance, please see BA Accounting and Finance. If you would prefer to study more management skills, please see BA Accounting and Management?

Accounting is the ideal choice if you have an analytical mind and like solving problems – contrary to popular opinion, you don’t have to be a maths expert to study accounting - communication in both written and verbal form is just as important as crunching numbers. Accountants are trusted business advisors and work in many areas of business. This single honours degree will immerse you in the study of accounting and business from day one. Offering maximum professional accreditation from some ICAEW, ACCA and CIMA examinations, on successful completion you can graduate as a partly exam-qualified accountant, with only work experience and a few final exams to complete to be fully-qualified (subject to optional module choices and to achieving specific grades in certain papers).

The degree has six subject pillars and one theme:

  • Financial accounting
  • Management accounting
  • Technology
  • Audit and assurance
  • Taxation
  • Research in accounting
  • Employability theme

The subject pillars build throughout the degree so that you can identify links between modules. The employability theme helps you to understand the connection between work done and employability skills gained.

Employability is woven into every aspect of the course, from modules developed in consultation with accounting bodies and leading employers to the placement year, which is a valuable opportunity to gain first-hand industry experience and start building a network of business contacts. If the placement route isn’t right for you, we also offer the option to complete the course in three years or take a year abroad.

The degree has been designed for maximum professional exemptions which means the first two years are made up of core modules. You will have an opportunity to study subjects connected to your specific interests during the final year. You will also complete an independent piece of research in an area related to your work experience or an area of special interest.

The BSc in Accounting combines academic excellence, insightful research and exceptional global business connections. On completion, you will be equipped with the skills to become an innovative business thinker in and beyond your career.

Course Structure

Year 1

Core modules:

Financial Accounting teaches the techniques of double entry accounting and its application in recording transactions, adjusting financial records and preparing non-complex financial statements.

Quantitative Methods 1 provides the fundamental quantitative techniques needed for your degree. Additionally, it provide a rigorous introduction to the foundation mathematical techniques needed for various modules throughout the degree program.

Fundamentals of Management Accounting teaches you to understand, apply and critically appraise the fundamental knowledge and techniques that underpin the area of management accounting, from planning and control to costing and decision making.

Ethics and Sustainability will introduce you to the social and ethical contexts in which business operate, using real-world examples. You will learn about the professional codes of ethics, learn to identify when an issue arises and develop the skills to propose alternative solutions. Additionally, you will gain understanding of the UN Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs) and their implication in the wider business societies.

Introduction to Financial Economics introduces the basic principles of microeconomics and macroeconomics. Microeconomics explores areas including the role of consumers and businesses in the marketplace, markets in action, market structure, strategic rivalry and growth strategies. Macroeconomics includes exchange rates and the balance of payments, globalisation, fiscal policy, inflation, unemployment and economic growth.

Foundations of Finance introduces the key principles of corporate finance and their importance to firms. It also provides students with a solid grounding in issues of finance as they relate to business and financial markets.

Principles of Taxation enables you to understand the general objectives of tax and to complete basic calculations in relation to income tax, national insurance contributions, capital gains tax, corporation tax, and VAT. You will also be able to prepare basic tax computations and provide tax advice to individuals and companies.

Year 2

Core modules:

Financial Management explores the areas of financing, managing financial risk and investment decisions. You will learn how businesses operate and how accounting and finance functions support businesses in achieving their objectives.

Management Accounting covers the major techniques in modern management accountancy including decision making, appraising risk and budget control.

Taxation looks at areas such as income tax, national insurance contributions, capital gains tax, corporation tax, inheritance tax, VAT and stamp taxes in more depth.

Financial Reporting explores international accounting and reporting concepts and ethics, single company financial statements and consolidated financial statements. You will also learn about International Financial Reporting Standards and how it applies to specified scenarios.

Assurance develops your understanding of the critical aspects of managing an assurance engagement (including audit engagements). It covers the process from acceptance, planning and managing through to concluding and reporting.

Business Strategy and Technology provides you with an understanding of how an organisation develops and implements strategy, including any ethical implications.

You will also benefit from additional employment-focused activities in Year 2, such as:

  • Placement preparation training
  • Year 3 option choices taster sessions

Year 3

Year 3 is spent on placement. During the year you will be assigned an academic tutor who will visit you, liaise with your employer and provide the support to ensure you gain the most from your experience.

The placement year, which requires a minimum of 40 weeks of work experience, is an opportunity to put learning from the first two years into practice in the workplace. You will also gain valuable experience and a tailored skill set to take forward to your final year. The skills and professional network gained during the placement year will give you a head start with graduate employers.

Year 4

Core modules:

Research Methods in Accounting equips you with the knowledge and skills to undertake an independent research project. You will learn to distinguish between research philosophies, identify appropriate research methods, plan a research project and complete a literature review.

The Dissertation, on an accounting topic of your choice, develops your ability to plan and manage your own learning. It provides you with an opportunity to research the topic and present your findings and conclusions.

In recent years, optional modules have included:

  • Corporate Reporting
  • Tax Planning for Business
  • Corporate Governance
  • Audit and Assurance

Please note this is the current structure of the programme and is indicative of the modules that will be offered for the Academic Year 2025/26 and is subject to change.


You may be able to take a work placement. Find out more.


Small-group teaching in workshops is used to deliver subject-specific learning and opportunities for group discussion and debate. You’ll also benefit from one-to-one support and self-directed learning to develop your critical thinking skills.

In addition, the Department hosts specialist accounting events and extra-curricular activities where you can further develop your knowledge and start to build industry networks.

All learning is supported by Learn Ultra, our state-of-the-art virtual learning environment which stores all course materials in one place. You can also use it to submit assignments and get involved in group discussions.

As you progress through the course, you’ll find an increased focus on self-directed learning and independent research in preparation for professional or postgraduate life. Teaching staff offer drop-in surgeries to support self-directed learning.


Modules are assessed via a combination of examinations, written assignments and reports, projects and presentations.

The range of assessment methods is designed to assess your knowledge and understanding of the material, test your capacity to solve problems, enhance your written and oral communication skills, and assess your ability to relate your learning to real-world issues.

The 10,000-word dissertation in an area of accounting of your choice is worth one-third of your final-year credits.

Entry requirements

A strong proficiency in Mathematics is required. If Mathematics is not taken as an A level subject, GCSE grade 6/B in Mathematics/Core Maths B is required. 

We particularly welcome the introduction of the Core Mathematics Qualification and we will accept a Core Maths Qualification (grade B minimum) in lieu of our GCSE Mathematics requirement.

A level offer - AAB

Contextual offer –BBB/ABC

BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma/OCR Cambridge Technical Extended DiplomaDDD

IB score - 36 to include 665 in higher-level subjects. If Mathematics is not taken at a higher level, then it is required at standard level 6.

  • In the context of widening participation, we will consider contextual offers, including guaranteed contextual offers for participation in a supported progression programme.
  • We consider all A level subjects, with the exception of General Studies, therefore General Studies would not be included in any offer.
  • We also consider other level 3 qualifications, including T-levels.

Alternative qualifications

International students who do not meet direct entry requirements for this degree might have the option to complete an International Foundation Year.

English language requirements

Country specific information

Fees and funding

The tuition fees for 2025/26 academic year have not yet been finalised, they will be displayed here once approved.

The tuition fees shown for home students are for one complete academic year of full time study and are set according to the academic year of entry. Fees for subsequent years of your course may rise in line with an inflationary uplift as determined by the government.

The tuition fees shown for overseas and EU students are for one complete academic year of full time study, are set according to the academic year of entry, and remain the same throughout the duration of the programme for that cohort (unless otherwise stated).

Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.


We are committed to supporting the best students irrespective of financial circumstances and are delighted to offer a range of funding opportunities. 

Find Out More

Career opportunities

Business School (School of Economics, Finance and Business)

Our students graduate with specialist knowledge in areas of accounting and of finance, as well as the analytical, IT and problem-solving skills that are highly valued by employers in the UK and internationally. This combination of academic knowledge and transferable skills will open up a range of career opportunities in the financial world and beyond.

Our focus on employability extends beyond the classroom. You will benefit from employability-focused events that will give you a competitive edge in the job market. From interview advice and employer talks to subject-specific careers fairs, we work with you to achieve your goals.

Previous graduates have gone on to work within the accountancy profession and for businesses as accountants, specialising as auditors, financial accountants, tax specialists, management consultants etc. Graduates have also specialise in areas of finance such as financial analysis, risk management and investment banking. For employers such as PWC, KPMG, Deloitte, EY, Grant Thornton, National Audit Office, Capita, Deutsche Bank and Sage Plc. Many have been offered places on graduate talent schemes across a range of sectors, while others have taken on roles in charitable organisations and in general management.

Of those students who graduated in 2020-21:

  • 100% of accounting graduates are in paid employment or further study 15 months after graduation across all our programmes

Of those in employment:

  • 100% are in high skilled employment

(Source: HESA Graduate Outcomes Survey. The survey asks leavers from higher education what they are doing 15 months after graduation. Further information about the Graduate Outcomes survey can be found here

Department information

Business School (School of Economics, Finance and Business)

The Departments of Accounting and Finance are two specialist departments within Durham University’s Business School; one of the UK's longest established business schools. We offer an inspiring and stimulating learning environment, and consistently rank highly for the quality of our teaching, research and for graduate career prospects.

Our reputation is down to the expertise of our staff. Their global experience, outstanding research insight, professional experience and real business connections keep us at the leading edge. We offer a wide selection of courses in both accounting and in finance, including specialist routes that are designed to provide maximum accreditation from professional accountancy qualifications.

Areas of study in accounting may include financial and management accounting, the legal, regulatory and social context within which accounting operates, the mechanisms by which individuals plan their tax affairs, the role of the accountant in achieving sustainable business practices and the influence of artificial intelligence (AI) and big data on the world of accounting. You won’t just learn the technical side of accounting, but you’ll also have the opportunity to think critically about how accounting impacts on the global world of business.

If you are interested in finance your studies may include areas such as corporate finance, investments, financial institutions and the vast array of sophisticated financial products traded in today’s global financial markets.

Both our finance and our accounting courses offer a final year dissertation – an independent piece of research – which helps you build your research skills and allows those looking for further Masters study able to demonstrate their research skills.

For more information see our Business School website.


  • 11th for Accounting and Finance in The Complete University Guide 2024
  • 3rd in The Guardian University Guide 2024
  • Top 100 in the QS World University Subject Rankings 2023


For a current list of staff, please see the Business School website.


You’ll be taught across the University campus by world leading academics from the Business School. You’ll have access to the Business Schools modern, spacious meeting rooms and study areas. The University campus is within walking distance of the historic centre of Durham, a city with UNESCO World Heritage Status. Resources include up-to-date financial information and online databases. In addition, you’ll have access to Durham University’s prestigious libraries and archives.


Find out more:

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