Undergraduate Course

Accounting and Finance with Foundation Year

BA (Hons)

Course details

Study options

Full-time: 4 years

UK fee

£9,250 per year (2024/25)

UCAS points

72 (September 2024 entry)

UCAS code


Course level



BA (Hons)

Start date



Derby Campus

Course description

Top15For learning opportunities - Accounting and Finance**National Student Survey 2023
Top5for student to staff ratio - Accounting and Finance**Guardian University Guide 2024

Foundation Year - helping you to achieve more

Including a foundation year as part of your four-year study programme will give you a head start in your academic and professional life. The foundation year offers the chance to strengthen your skills, knowledge and confidence – with extensive support from our expert staff – before you advance to stage one of your honours degree. It could also be beneficial if you are planning a career change and want to get to grips with aspects of subjects which are new to you.

Our degrees with a foundation year are continuous, meaning that you won’t need to apply again once you have successfully completed the first year.

Accounting – your questions answered

In the below video, Senior Lecturer, Darren Byrne, answers some of the most frequently asked questions about Accounting at the University of Derby.

Darren Byrne, Senior Lecturer in Accounting, talking to camera.

Studying Accounting and Finance with a Foundation Year will provide you with a firm grounding in the skills and knowledge you need and introduces you to the subject of accounting, enabling you to achieve your full honours degree in four years.

Our BA (Hons) Accounting and Finance prepares you for the professional world in a way that is relevant, inspiring and practical. It gives you a sound understanding of all the key accounting and financial principles so that you’re ready to take up a management position in industry and commerce or to become a professional accountant.

Preparing you for a career in accountancy

As you start your degree, you’re introduced to the most important concepts of accounting within a business framework. As your studies progress, you learn advanced techniques and cover various accounting specialisms. The final stage sees you tackling more complex projects, considering ethical questions, evaluating strategic business issues, and using your skills in research and critical analysis to devise solutions to real management problems.

Choice and flexibility are cornerstones of this course. After stage two, you can opt to take a work placement or move straight to the final stage. In the final year, you can select two options to specialise in an area that particularly interests you or which matches your career aspirations. You’ll also complete an independent study on a relevant theme of your choice.

Throughout, you’ll also develop your teamwork, leadership and project management skills to enhance your employability. 

Mazars Accelerate Progamme (MAP) 

The BA (Hons) Accounting and Finance course, in partnership with international accountancy firm Mazars, offers our students the opportunity to secure a paid placement at one of the Mazars offices. This will be subject to a successful application process. Students can apply for the Mazars industrial placement in their first year. This is exclusive to students studying on the BA (Hons) Accounting and Finance programme. If successful, your placement will commence at the start of your third year. 

Depending on your performance in your placement year and your final degree award, Mazars may offer you a place on their audit graduate trainee programme. You’ll also benefit from mentoring and insight visits to their offices in your first and second year. 

Graduate Andy Glanville

I recently went to Copenhagen with the university. We were fortunate enough to attend lectures on money laundering and fraud at Copenhagen University. It was a brilliant experience and I would recommend it to anyone!

Andy Glanville
BA (Hons) Accounting & Finance

Hands on learning

Between stages two and three of your degree, you could broaden your experience with an optional placement year. Our students have undertaken placements with organisations such as Boots, the NHS, Faurecia and local accounting practices including Smith Cooper and Duncan & Toplis. Students on placement have the opportunity to study for a ‘Diploma on Professional Practice’ to gain an extra qualification while on placement.

Fieldtrips will help you to translate theory into practice. We have visited companies such as PKF Cooper Parry as well as a council finance department. A recent fieldtrip to Chatsworth House featured an informative talk by the Chief Executive of the Devonshire Trust and the Head of Visitor Experience for the Chatsworth Group. Such opportunities deepen your understanding of the wider business world and underpin your live coursework projects. 

Student in Bloomberg Lab

How Derby helped Michael Hackley achieve his career goals

Our Accounting and Finance degree gave Michael Hackley all the knowledge and skills he needed for his career

Read more about Michael's story hereRead more about Michael's story here

Ready to join your professional body

We’ve designed the BA (Hons) Accounting and Finance course to ensure that, if you select the relevant module pathway, you’ll be eligible to apply for all 9 of the maximum exemptions offered by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and apply for a range of exemptions offered by CIMA, ICAEW, CPA Australia and AIA – which means you can achieve membership of your professional body quicker and accelerate your career progression.

We are partners with ACCA and part of their ACCA Accelerate programme. ACCA Accelerate offers many benefits to our students, which they can take advantage of whilst studying their undergraduate degree.

You could choose to pursue other professional accounting qualifications too. Our course gives you the chance to apply for a range of exemptions offered by:

The flexibility and choice offered by the Accounting & Finance programmes means you can achieve membership of your professional body quicker and accelerate your career progression.

An artists impression of the new Derby Business School.

New Derby Business School in the city centre

We're building a new Derby Business School, serving as an international centre of excellence. The superb new teaching facilities will build on our established reputation for inspirational teaching and research excellence, as we shape the next generation of qualified business leaders.

Find out more about our new Derby Business SchoolFind out more about our new Derby Business School

Global thinking

We’re committed to helping you develop an international outlook and you could take part in optional overseas fieldtrips. On a trip to Copenhagen, our students visited the Louisiana Modern Art Museum to learn more about the problem of art fraud, bringing to life themes such as business ethics, forensic accounting, audit and assurance.

Expert teaching

Our accounting and finance teaching team are all professionally qualified, with industry as well as academic experience. Because they have also taught on courses for ACCA and CIMA, they can keep you up to date with the latest professional standards.

Our staff have recently edited an influential book entitled Contemporary Issues in Accounting – the Current Developments in Accounting Beyond the Numbers, exploring the challenges and opportunities which are likely to impact accounting professionals in the near future.

Our extensive professional networks bring an extra dimension to the teaching on this course. We have introduced employer mentors who provide students with one-to-one support and guidance. A team from HMRC also visits the University to run a mock assessment centre, especially useful for students taking taxation modules.

Further networking opportunities are arranged through our dynamic Accounting Society, established and run by students. They organise activities such as mentoring sessions, social and fundraising events.

Facilities and resources

You can make the most of our exciting Financial Markets Lab, a high-specification facility used in various modules and assessments on the course. You could even work towards the Bloomberg Market Concepts Certificate to enhance your CV.

In addition, you’ll learn how to use Microsoft Excel for accounting applications and there is the opportunity to become familiar with SAGE, the accounting bookkeeping package.

What you will study

Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.

Kedleston Road, Derby Campus entrance

Undergraduate Open Days

The best way to find out if studying at Derby is right for you is to experience an Open Day. Get a feel for the city and campus, tour our first-class facilities and see where you could be living.

Book your Undergraduate Open DayBook your Undergraduate Open Day

How you will learn

During your foundation year you will be assessed mainly by coursework, and with some in-class tests. For the rest of your degree there are a range of assessment methods used throughout the degree.
During the first and second stages, you will learn mainly through: 
  • formal lectures
  • tutorials
  • workshops

From the second stage, you are expected to work more independently and take greater charge of your own learning, while receiving guidance and direction from the academic staff.

Examples of projects

The Independent Study module is an important element of the final year, enabling you to pursue in-depth research into a theme of your choice. Recent examples include investigating issues such as the impact of sugar tax on businesses in Derby, financial fair play rules in football and the movement towards narrative or integrated reporting.

Some of these projects involve live briefs for employers: one student completed a study on internal control systems on behalf of Derby Museums.

How you are assessed

In the first stage of the BA (Hons) Accounting and Finance, assessments are designed to help you gauge your own level of learning through constructive feedback. The range of assessments includes:

  • computer-based assessments
  • examinations
  • essays
  • business reports
  • portfolios

Personal academic tutoring

Your personal academic tutor will work with you to help you get the most out of your time at university. Having someone to talk to about your academic progress, your university experience and your professional aspirations is hugely valuable. We want you to feel challenged in your studies, stretched but confident to achieve your academic and professional goals.

Find out more about personal academic tutoring

Who will teach you

David Thompson

David Thompson
Programme leader

Lecturer in Accounting

View full staff profileView full staff profile

Entry requirements

2024 entry

These are the typical qualification requirements for September 2024 entry. Contextual offers may apply to students who meet certain criteria.

RequirementWhat we're looking for
UCAS points72
A LevelDDD
T LevelPass
GCSEGCSE Maths and English are preferred, however if you don't have these qualifications you will be able to undertake Maths and English at Level 2 as part of your course of study
Access to HEPass Access to HE Diploma with 60 credits: 45 at Level 3 with a minimum of Distinction: 0, Merit: 24, Pass: 21

English language requirements

IELTS: 6.0 (with at least 5.5 in each skills area)

Fees and funding



£9,250 per year





Further information about our fees and support you may be entitled to.

Additional costs and optional extras

How to apply

Please look at our application deadlines before you apply.

UK students

If you are in Year 13 and applying for a full-time undergraduate course (including our joint honours courses), we recommend that you apply through UCAS.

Apply through UCAS

If you are applying to study part-time, or already have your qualifications, or wish to join at Year 2 or 3, you should apply directly to the University.

Apply directly to the University


Accounting and finance graduates are in demand the world over, so you will have the opportunity to work in many diverse fields. Our former students have gone on to excel in a range of local practices, multinational accounting firms, merchant banks and other major businesses.

On graduation – and depending on the module pathway you have selected – you can apply for exemptions from ACCA, CIMA, ICAEW, CPA Australia and AIA professional qualifications. This will shorten the time you need to become a fully qualified member of your chosen professional body. Representatives from the various professional bodies visit the University to explain more about their institutions, the exemptions available and the potential career paths you can consider.

Our Careers and Employment Service will provide you with support from day one of your course to ensure you leave Derby as a ‘work-ready’ graduate – industry aware, motivated and enterprising. Throughout your studies, you’ll also benefit from our Development Planning (PDP) scheme which enables you to reflect on your learning and develop your career ambitions. In addition, your programme will support you in your preparation for the work place. Your second year module, Professional Development Skills for Accounting Graduates, is tailored to the needs of the accounting profession. The module is designed to ensure that you are ready to apply for internships, placements and or graduate roles.

The support continues once you’ve completed your course too: you are entitled to further help and guidance from the Careers and Employment Service for up to three years after leaving the University. 

Further study

You can choose to continue your studies at Derby with the MSc Accounting and Finance. You may be entitled to an alumni discount on your fees if you decide to extend your time with us by progressing from undergraduate to postgraduate study.


Contact us

If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.

Contact us Contact us

† Additional information about your studies

5 years with an optional placement year

Teaching hours

Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.

Additional costs and optional extras

We’re committed to providing you with an outstanding learning experience. Our expert teaching, excellent facilities and great employability prepare you for your future career. As part of our commitment to you we aim to keep any additional study costs to a minimum. However, there are occasions where students may incur some additional costs.

The information provided on this page is correct at the time of publication but course content, costs and other individual course details do change from time to time and are updated as often as possible, so please do check these pages again when making your final decision to apply for a course. Any updated course details will also be confirmed to you at application, enrolment and in your offer letter.

Included in your fees
Optional costs not included in your fees

Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.

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