“Hello I’m Jenni, the programme director for the BSc Accounting course. I qualified as an accountant in 2008, and since then have been passionate about sharing my love of all things accounting. I’m also a strong advocate of wellbeing for all else, and have reinvented the BSc Accounting programme to stand on the three pillars of wellbeing, study skills and employability.”
We put some of our future students’ burning questions to our BSc Accounting Programme Director, Jennifer Rose and our current accounting students, Jay, Vivaldo and Sharlyn.
Would you say this course has been more difficult than you expected?
Jay – “Personally I found it quite hard as I didn’t do any accounting related subjects before university, so I found the course a little challenging. But the course builds you from the ground up and everyone is so supportive. So even though it’s challenging, it’s really enjoyable at the same time! The course starts by teaching everyone the basics, and assumes we don’t have any previous accounting knowledge and that’s really helped. The Quantitative methods module is very statistics based, so there’s no complex maths equations, GCSE maths would be sufficient! If you are struggling with anything, the lecturers are always happy to meet up and go through any problems you have. With accounting, I find repetition is important, it’s one of those subjects that once it clicks – it’s easy to understand!”
Sharlyn – “I’m an international student, so English isn’t my first language. This meant I needed some time to adjust. I also didn’t have an accounting related background, so it was quite challenging for me too. I found it helpful to do independent study and read some things in my own language. The staff at Alliance MBS are very friendly and helpful and always there to answer questions.”
Jenni – “I think students do find parts of the course hard, but that is deliberately designed to give you the maximum number of exemptions from accounting bodies like ACA, CIMA and CPA Australia. The big advantage of BSc Accounting is that it’s a small cohort, so you can easily get the support you need.”
How can I prepare for the course?
Sharlyn – “I found it helpful to gain an understanding of the basics of accounting by reading about things like debit/credit, assets, liabilities and equity.”
Jay – “I would say it’s a good idea to look at the modules you do each year, as some modules in second or third year require you to have done a certain module in first year. So it would be a good idea to have a module map planned out. But for the first two weeks, you get taster sessions, so you can reconsider if you need!”
Have you got any tips about how to make new friends?
Sharlyn – “The course has a small class size of around 40-50 students, so I got to know each of them, but I also met friends by joining societies and playing sports.”
Jay – “Personally, most of my friends are from the accounting programme, but I also have friends from other course that I’ve met through the Accounting Society. There aren’t that many students from other courses in the Accounting Society – so it also depends on what you like to do. If you join sports societies you’ll meet lots of friends from other courses.”
This programme received over 90% satisfaction scores on the National Student Survey (NSS) from students - how did you achieve this?
Jenni – “Connection to students is really important to me. We use lots of online tools (Skype, Zoom and LinkedIn) but I also like seeing students face to face – my office door is always open or I often meet students for a coffee. With the programme being small I’m able to really get to know students and specifically tailor the activities we do to meet the needs of each cohort of students, whether that’s a focus on specific study skills, wellbeing challenges or employability in certain sectors.”
Within accounting does the course prepare you more towards financial accounting or cost/managerial accounting?
Jenni – “It does both equally – we gear you up to do CIMA for management accountants, and ACCA or ACA or CPA for financial accountants.”
Do I have the option to choose any other optional course units?
Jenni – “In second year you have the option to take a course unit from elsewhere in the University (e.g. Communicate with Confidence etc) which counts towards your degree. A full list of University College courses are on the University website.”
How many credits do we need to progress each year?
Jenni – “You’ll need 120 credits per year to progress. Usually you do 60 credits in the first semester and the other 60 in the second semester. But you can also choose to do 70/50 or 50/70, but your academic advisor will have to approve this. Usually each module will give you 10 credits and you’ll need to score 40% or above to pass and obtain the credit. It’s also worth mentioning that whilst for academic purposes you need to obtain a pass mark of 40% to go on a third year accounting placement, you will need to obtain over 50% in the core subjects of accounting.”
What is the process like to secure a placement?
Vivaldo - “I’m a final year Accounting student and I completed a placement year working as a staff auditor in the audit recovery industry for PGRX UK Ltd. The application process for my placement year was pretty straight forward. I sent my cover letter and CV to the company, then I was invited for a face to face interview. In the interview, I gave a brief introduction to myself and my interests, then I answered some simple questions about myself and finally completed some exercises related to auditing.”
Jenni - “On BSc Accounting we have new links to CPA Australia which should make more placements abroad easier to secure for those starting next year.”
What are the benefits of a placement year?
Vivaldo – “My role as staff auditor was to help clients to review their accounts in order to help them recover any funding that was missed. So, I would execute the audit strategy instructed by my supervisor in order to investigate, discover and recover the funding. I have gained lots of skills and knowledge from this one year in industry. From understanding how the retail industry operates via the process of auditing their accounts, to the improvement of my personal skills such as communication and IT skills. This experience has developed my maturity and helped me to improve my strengths and work on my weaknesses. As a result, I felt more equipped to handle my final year and quickly find a graduate role after university.”