Our BSc Accounting (including foundation year) is open to Home and EU students. It will be suitable for you if your academic qualifications do not yet meet our entry requirements for the three-year version of this course and you want a programme that increases your subject knowledge as well as improves your academic skills.
This four-year course includes a foundation year (Year Zero), followed by a further three years of study. During your Year Zero, you study four academic subjects relevant to your chosen course, preparing you for a further three years of undergraduate study, as well as a compulsory English language and academic skills module.
You are an Essex student from day one, a member of our global community based at the most internationally diverse campus university in the UK.
After successful completion of Year Zero in our Essex Pathways Department, you progress to complete your course with Essex Business School. To us, accounting means more than cutting costs and managing transactions. It’s vital for ensuring accountability by encouraging sound, ethical decision making.
From an undergraduate accounting degree at Essex you gain a firm understanding of the financial drivers underpinning business leadership, strategy, planning, governance and ethics. You explore both financial and management accounting and use case studies to apply theory to practice, skills which will be in increasingly high demand from employers in the coming years.
You’ll gain a broad understanding of accounting and benefit from academic expertise in a range of areas, studying topics such as:
preparation and analysis of financial statements
regulation in governing accounting practice
principles of cost accumulation
financial and management accounting theory
providing information to managers to assist their decision making
We ensure you gain a fully-rounded business education by introducing you to subjects such as finance and management in your first year. In your second and final years, you can choose from selected optional modules to tailor the programme to your accounting career aspirations.
In your final year of your accounting degree, you have the opportunity to put your knowledge into practice by completing an in-depth, independent research project or dissertation. This will give you the chance to further develop vital employability skills in areas of research, time management and critical thinking.
Introduction to Accounting at Essex
Watch as Dr Jacob Agyemang, senior lecturer in Accounting at Essex Business School discusses how study at university differs to that at college level from an accounting perspective, he also goes on to outline what makes our undergraduate degrees unique.
This means that you can gain a professional qualification by taking fewer exams when you graduate, giving your career a head start.
Why we're great.
We are ranked in the Top 150 for Business and Economics in THE World University Rankings by Subject 2023.
This course gives you exemptions from many professional exams.
You’ll learn the skills required to be accountable, act ethically and make financial decisions that positively impact both organisations and society.
Our expert staff
You learn from academics and industry practitioners whose research continues to have a real-world impact. Many of our highly qualified and enthusiastic team are published in world-leading journals and publications.
Our staff specialise in areas including:
accounting and economic development in the public and third sectors
regulation and corporate social responsibility
finance and banking
accounting and finance in developing economies
contemporary financial markets and their participants
corporate governance in developing countries
Dr Silvia Gaia, Lecturer in Accounting at Essex Business School, researches the fields of Corporate Governance, financial and social-environmental reporting. She has publications in academic journals such as Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, British Accounting Review, Journal of Business Ethics and International Business Review.
Our staff embed the latest research into your course, so you learn about real-world issues affecting accounting right now.
In our landmark Essex Business School building - the first zero carbon business school in the UK - you’ll see our sustainable approach to business first-hand. Set around a lush winter garden, are a wealth of inspiring teaching and study zones.
Our custom designed building provides you with superb facilities:
a virtual trading floor with Bloomberg Terminals offering direct use of Bloomberg data, information and analytics
light and spacious lecture theatres with ‘listen again’ recording to aid your study
study pods and innovation booths for group working
a café and adjacent foyer to enjoy on-site fresh food and drink
Our Colchester building is located on the Knowledge Gateway, an innovation park housing some of the East of England’s most exciting science, technology and creative businesses. Parkside Office Village sits on the site, providing potential opportunities for networking, internships and work experience directly on campus.
Skilled and agile accountants are in high demand in the graduate job market, therefore, we embed a series of core and specific skills into our undergraduate curriculum for BSc Accounting to ensure that our graduates are suited to careers in finance, accounting and management roles.
All of our taught modules embed elements of our skills map which emulate the skills which are required by employers of accounting graduates, these generally include:
Private Client Tax Senior Associate at PwC - a multinational professional services network
Treasury Analyst at Hiscox, a multinational business insurance and home insurance provider
Junior Tax Consultant at Deloitte – the multinational and financial services network
Global Finance & Business Analyst at J.P. Morgan – global financial services provider
Junior Consultant - Valuation & Advisory at Cushman & Wakefield – commercial property and real estate consultants
Our accounting graduates enjoy successful careers in their fields.
Additional to the skills development offered by Essex Business School, BSc Accounting students can also take advantage of the University of Essex Careers Service which focuses in particular on supporting the development of undergraduate employability, including: careers fairs, career mentoring, skills development, careers advice and guidance, placement year support, job opportunities, start-up support and more.
UK entry requirements
UK and EU applicants:
All applications for degree courses with a foundation year (Year Zero) will be considered individually, whether you
think you might not have the grades to enter the first year of a degree course;
have non-traditional qualifications or experience (e.g. you haven’t studied A-levels or a BTEC);
are returning to university after some time away from education; or
are looking for more support during the transition into university study.
Our standard offer is 72 UCAS tariff points from at least two full A-levels, or equivalent.
Examples of the above tariff may include:
BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma: MMP
T-levels: Pass with E in core
For this course all applicants must also hold GCSE Maths at grade C/4 or above (or equivalent). We may be able to consider a pass in Level 2 Functional Skills Maths where you cannot meet the requirements for Maths at GCSE level. However, you are advised to try to retake GCSE Mathematics if possible as this will better prepare you for university study and future employment.
If you are unsure whether you meet the entry criteria, please get in touch for advice.
Mature applicants and non-traditional academic backgrounds:
We welcome applications from mature students (over 21) and students with non-traditional academic backgrounds (might not have gone on from school to take level 3 qualifications). We will consider your educational and employment history, along with your personal statement and reference, to gain a rounded view of your suitability for the course.
You will still need to meet our GCSE requirements.
Essex Pathways Department is unable to accept applications from international students. Foundation pathways for international students are available at the University of Essex International College and are delivered and awarded by Kaplan, in partnership with the University of Essex. Successful completion will enable you to progress to the relevant degree course at the University of Essex.
International & EU entry requirements
We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Get in touch with any questions you may have about the qualifications we accept. Remember to tell us about the qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.
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Other English language qualifications may be acceptable so please contact us for further details. If we accept the English component of an international qualification then it will be included in the information given about the academic levels required. Please note that date restrictions may apply to some English language qualifications
If you are an international student requiring a Student visa to study in the UK please see our immigration webpages for the latest Home Office guidance on English language qualifications.
If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.
Our Year 0 courses are only open to UK and EU applicants. If you’re an international student, but do not meet the English language or academic requirements for direct admission to your chosen degree, you could prepare and gain entry through a pathway course. Find out more about opportunities available to you at the University of Essex International College.
The course structure is designed to cover everything a future accountant would need to know, as well as taking a wider look at the industry. Some modules will focus mainly on the numbers whilst others will put these into perspective and teach you how managers use accounting information to make decisions.
Year zero provides with you the necessary skills and knowledge in order for you to progress onto your chosen area of study. Successful completion of year zero guarantees you entry to the first year of your undergraduate degree course.
In the first year our current students cover wider business topics that every manager needs to know. However, we are planning some changes to our first year and we’ll be tailoring it more closely to your chosen course. In second and third year you’ll have optional modules and by picking certain modules you’ll be able to maximise the number of exemptions available to you from bodies such as ACCA, helping you on the way to achieving chartered status. There’s also flexibility to study non-accounting modules through your options.
We offer a flexible course structure with a mixture of core/compulsory modules, and optional modules chosen from lists. Please be aware that we are planning changes to our first year to make it more relevant to your chosen course.
Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field. The following modules are based on the current course structure and may change in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.
We understand that deciding where and what to study is a very important decision for you. We’ll make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the courses, services and facilities as described on our website. However, if we need to make material changes, for example due to significant disruption, or in response to COVID-19, we’ll let our applicants and students know as soon as possible.
Components and modules explained
Components are the blocks of study that make up your course. A component may have a set module which you must study, or a number of modules from which you can choose.
Each component has a status and carries a certain number of credits towards your qualification.
What this means
You must take the set module for this component and you must pass. No failure can be permitted.
Core with Options
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component but you must pass. No failure can be permitted.
You must take the set module for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
Compulsory with Options
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
The modules that are available for you to choose for each component will depend on several factors, including which modules you have chosen for other components, which modules you have completed in previous years of your course, and which term the module is taught in.
Modules are the individual units of study for your course. Each module has its own set of learning outcomes and assessment criteria and also carries a certain number of credits.
In most cases you will study one module per component, but in some cases you may need to study more than one module. For example, a 30-credit component may comprise of either one 30-credit module, or two 15-credit modules, depending on the options available.
Modules may be taught at different times of the year and by a different department or school to the one your course is primarily based in. You can find this information from the module code. For example, the module code HR100-4-FY means:
The department or school the module will be taught by.
In this example, the module would be taught by the Department of History.
What is economics? And what are the main economic theories and principles? Build your understanding, studying topics in microeconomics and macroeconomics. Develop your knowledge of economic implications and build your analytic skills in using simple mathematical techniques and economic diagrams.
Mathematics and Statistics for Economics and Business
Want to use mathematical techniques to solve problems? And to calculate basic statistical measures? Develop mathematical skills like number work, algebra, geometry, probability and statistics that can be used on any course requiring mathematics above Higher GCSE standard. Learn to solve relevant problems and know how to present data clearly.
The module aims to provide students with a basic understanding of essential elements of Financial Accounting and Corporate Finance. The syllabus will cover growth-mindset and planning, types of business, financial statements, ratio analysis, corporate finance functions, long-term and short-term finance, financing strategies, investment appraisal and Portfolio Theory.
Academic Skills covers the key areas that you will experience during your degree, preparing you for aspects of academic study at undergraduate level. The module enables you to develop and enhance your existing abilities by focusing on the core skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking in an academic context. It does this with both generic texts and also, crucially, those related to your subject area. Academic Skills provides strategies for successful communication and interaction through independent and collaborative learning offering opportunity to further enhance your research skills. The content is designed to ensure that you acquire a range of transferable employability and life skills.
This module introduces financial accounting and basic principles and techniques needed to analyse and interpret financial statements. Although the module is intended as an introduction for students majoring in accounting it will also benefit students who wish to gain some insight into the practices of accounting.
You’ll look at the nature and role of accounting and consider who uses accounting information and for what purposes. You’ll discuss the contents of annual reports, especially the narrative sections, and the qualitative characteristics of accounting information. Finally, the module will be concerned with key elements and the format of financial statements. You’ll earn to prepare company financial statements using trial balance and cover the techniques that can be used to analyse and interpret financial statements.
This module is intended for students majoring in accounting and those who have a keen interest in gaining an understanding of elementary financial accounting. Learn the basic principles and techniques for preparing and constructing a set of comprehensive financial statements.
The module commences with an introduction to double-entry booking keeping and accounting equations that govern the recording of business transactions. You’ll then discuss the recognition and measurement principles for accounting for some key items in financial statements, including inventory, accruals, prepayments, long-term assets, and long-term finance, using International Financial Reporting Standards as reference. Finally, the preparation of financial statements from the trial balance for various types of entities, incorporating a variety of simple adjustments.
Quantitative Methods and Finance is an introduction to the subject of quantitative methods and their applications in finance, accounting and management. The module is designed to provide a sound foundation for your future studies in finance, accounting or management. The topics covered include maths revision, the time value of money, rates of change (calculus), statistics, probability distributions and simple regression.
Introduction to Finance is designed to give you an introduction to the wider finance subject area ass well as firm foundation for further studies in finance. You’ll gain a overview of the financial system, instruments and markets, and ideas about finance concepts and problems. The topics covered include investment companies, return and risk, and behavioural finance.
You’ll develop and be able to transmit knowledge about the financial system, instruments and markets and ideas about finance concepts and problems at an introductory level; be aware of, at an introductory level, different ways of thinking about and analysing financial phenomena; and, reflecting the principles of how we approach Finance at Essex Business School, you’ll gain an appreciation of the role that finance plays in society as whole.
Introduction to Management is a broad-ranging module intended to provide a foundation in the most significant issues in management theory and practice, as well as to prepare you for related modules in subsequent years of your degree course.
Because theoretical explanations – i.e., academic interpretations of what managers do and even of what they say they do – and what managers actually do in real organisations on a day-to-day basis may differ, we will also draw out some of the connections and dis-junctures between management theory and management practice. Our teaching also emphasises the ethics of managing and how to balance the bottom line of the business with the organisation's wider responsibilities to society and other stakeholders.
In keeping with Essex Business School's research and intellectual strengths and interests in Business and Society, the overall aims are that students will learn about and critically reflect on the past, present, and futures of values, value and value creation. It will explore themes of what is considered "valuable" and why, along with different models of value creation. The latter will, of course, acknowledge the traditional business school focus on the private sector but move beyond this to include the public and third sectors as well as the social economy and frameworks for de-growth necessitated by the Climate Emergency
Be well prepared for the world of work, management, and leadership in the 21st century.
Professional and Academic Development (Accounting)
A key module across all our Accounting coursers; Professional and Academic Development (Accounting) is a foundation in core academic skill requirements with the intention of improving the standard of work across all first-year modules. The module will also enable you to begin to focus on career planning and employability skills and establishing a career path. In addition, this module ensures all students have adequate access to their personal tutor on a regular basis.
The primary aim of this module is to deliver a range of study skills and introduce professional development at the start of Essex Business School students’ undergraduate programmes.
Giving you a broad overview of economics for business, The Business Economics module provides an introductory overview of modern economics, including examples in microeconomics that have a bearing on the world of business, i.e., the organisation of firms, the economic implications of their objectives, and the markets in which they operate, and examples in macroeconomics, i.e., the global environment where firms operate.
You’ll gain a basic understanding of the key ideas in economics, both in micro and in macroeconomics, and to apply these to explain contemporary issues in the news, in the business world and policymaking.
Extend your knowledge of financial accounting by mastering the preparation and analysis of the published financial statements of limited companies operating on their own, or within group structures. You investigate the regulation of financial reporting, the function and content of the main published statements, and problems connected with the treatment of taxation, depreciation, and specific aspects of the asset-expense distinction.
Management accounting enables you to provide three key areas of information to any business: costing, decision-making, and planning and control. In this module you focus on costing, but also see how this area overlaps with the other two, as all three areas always interact. You also develop your knowledge and understanding of management accounting and the context in which it operates.
Explore how financial theory can aid financial decision-making in corporations. You discover how to apply the value maximization principle to corporate decisions, such as investment decision, borrowing decisions, and dividend decisions.
Develop your understanding of the role of management accounting in organisational decision-making and control. You explore the uses of management accounting information in facilitating planning, control and decision making by managers.
This module links subject understanding to employability, ensuring you’re prepared to take advantage of graduate opportunities at the point they’re advertised. You gain an understanding of the graduate labour market and recruitment processes, as well as timelines for recruitment and interview and assessment centre techniques. You also learn about options for postgraduate study.
This compulsory module equips you with effective study practices to excel in your second year at Essex Business School. It gives your guidance on how to use feedback effectively to improve and develop your academic skills and improve your performance. It provides the opportunity to create an action plan for your personal and professional development whilst at university.
This module looks to deconstruct what accounting and regulation is, and the role of international standard setters and politics in standard setting. You will look at accounting theory which forms the foundations for the approaches to accounting that are currently taken in society, we will look at the way that this forms the conceptual framework and the discuss the measurement approaches that are taken. It continues with a more in-depth look at corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting, including discussions about recent initiatives as well as academic findings. You’ll then look at fair value accounting in terms of its valuation measurements, its strengths and weaknesses in comparison with historical cost accounting and its relationship with the global financial crisis.
Other issues covered are of foreign currency translation - to compare the different methods which can be used to account for it. And issues related to Off-balance Sheet accounting with a particular focus on lease contracts and the role that these tools have played in encouraging opportunistic behaviours that lead to the bankruptcy of global companies and to the recent global financial crisis. Finally, you’ll discuss the accounting treatment of goodwill and other intangible assets.
Management accounting serves the purpose of identifying, measuring and communicating economic information to permit management and workforce make informed judgements and decisions. Investigate the technical issues in cost management and performance measurement systems, and wider issues concerning the role of management accounting in shaping management structures and decisions in manufacturing and service contexts.
In this module, you evaluate contemporary developments and research in the field of management accounting, using real-life business case studies. You explore management accounting within economic, political, social and cultural contexts, exploring issues such as deregulation, globalisation and increasing customer demands. You examine strategic issues such as cost management, performance measurement and management controls and explore how organisational and technological changes are impacting the discipline both nationally and internationally.
Develop your legal knowledge by studying Partnership Law, followed by various aspects of Company Law (including professional negligence), together with the rules of Agency, Insolvency principles, the offence of Insider Dealing and Employment Law.
Applications for our full-time undergraduate courses should be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Applications are online at: www.ucas.com. Full details on this process can be obtained from the UCAS website in the how to apply section.
Our UK students, and some of our EU students, who are still at school or college, can apply through their school. Your school will be able to check and then submit your completed application to UCAS. Our other EU applicants or independent applicants in the UK can also apply online through UCAS Apply.
The UCAS code for our University of Essex is ESSEX E70. The individual campus codes for our Loughton and Southend Campuses are ‘L’ and ‘S’ respectively.
For information on transferring from another university, applying when you are not at school or college, and applying for readmission, please see How to apply and entry requirements
Please note that this course is not open to international applicants.
If you are an undergraduate student residing in the UK who has received an offer to study with us in October 2023, you will receive an email invitation to book onto one of our Applicant Days. Our Colchester Campus Applicant Days run from February to May 2023 on various Wednesdays and Saturdays, and our Southend Campus Applicant Days run from March to June 2023 on various weekdays and Saturdays. Applicant Days provide the opportunity to meet your department, tour our campus and accommodation, and chat to current students. We appreciate that travelling to university events can be expensive. This is why we have increased our Applicant Day Travel Bursary cap, allowing you to claim up to £150 as reimbursement for travel expenses. For further information about Applicant Days, including Terms and Conditions and eligibility criteria for our Travel Bursary, please visit our Applicant Days webpage.
Visit Colchester Campus
Home to 15,000 students from more than 130 countries, our Colchester Campus is the largest of our three sites, making us one of the most internationally diverse campuses on the planet - we like to think of ourselves as the world in one place.
If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tours allows you to explore our University from the comfort of your home. Check out our Colchester virtual tour and Southend virtual tour to see accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.
Our staff travel the world to speak to people about the courses on offer at Essex. Take a look at our list of exhibition dates to see if we’ll be near you in the future.
At Essex we pride ourselves on being a welcoming and inclusive student community. We offer a wide range of support to individuals and groups of student members who may have specific requirements, interests or responsibilities.
The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include, but are not limited to: strikes, other industrial action, staff illness, severe weather, fire, civil commotion, riot, invasion, terrorist attack or threat of terrorist attack (whether declared or not), natural disaster, restrictions imposed by government or public authorities, epidemic or pandemic disease, failure of public utilities or transport systems or the withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications. The University would inform and engage with you if your course was to be discontinued, and would provide you with options, where appropriate, in line with our Compensation and Refund Policy.
The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and
Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.