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ACA - Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW)

The ACA qualification from the ICAEW (Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales) is considered to be a premium, gold standard accountancy qualification that qualifies you as a chartered accountant. ICAEW Chartered Accountants are always in demand and the ACA Qualification equips students to perform at the highest levels of accountancy, business and finance. The majority of ACAtrainees work in accounting practice and the ACA qualification has a strong practice subject focus (audit, taxation) as well as covering other key technical accounting areas.

An increasing number of students are now training in other sectors too. Once qualified, ICAEWChartered Accountants work in all sectors, from accounting practices to commercial organisations, financial institutions, not for profit organisations and the public sector.

The University of South Wales is recognised as an ICAEW Partner in Learning, working with ICAEW in the professional development of students. The University has a rich history of providing first class tuition for professional accountancy courses. We have been awarded PQ Magazine's 'Public Sector Accountancy College of the Year' three times, and our students have won multiple awards, including awards for the highest marks in Wales. 

The Professional Accounting course information brochure provides further details on part-time fees, timetables and the next available entry points.

What you will study

To qualify as an ICAEW Chartered Accountant students are required to complete:

  • 15 examinations
  • 450 days of technical work experience, which you gain by obtaining a training contract with an appropriate employer
  • Professional development (delivered through ICAEW or your employer)
  • Ethics and professional scepticism programme (delivered through ICAEW)

The ACA Qualification comprises three examination levels – Certificate, Professional and Advanced.

Certificate Level

The ICAEW Certificate in Finance, Accounting and Business (CFAB) qualification is available upon completion of the Certificate Level, and is an excellent qualification in its own right for non-financial managers - see the  ICAEW Certificate in Finance, Accounting and Business (CFAB) flyer for more details. Details of course structure and timetabling are here. Our Certificate Level/CFAB tuition is provided through USW's Commercial Services team, on a block tuition basis. For further information, including start dates and timetable, please email  

Professional Level

  • Audit and Assurance
  • Tax Compliance
  • Financial Accounting and Reporting
  • Financial Management
  • Business Planning: Taxation
  • Business Strategy

Advanced Level

  • Corporate Reporting
  • Strategic Business Management
  • Case Study

At the Advanced Level students are required to study a number of technical areas, which are then examined together in the Corporate Reporting and Strategic Business Management papers. These papers aim to simulate real-life business and accounting practice environments, and the concept is taken further with a final case study examination.

How you will study (Professional and Advanced Level)

Professional and Advanced level papers will generally be taught for one day per week, with a block revision period at the end of each paper.

Typical tuition lengths:

Professional Level papers – 11-14 weeks plus revision block

Advanced Level – 18 weeks plus revision block

Knowledge is built up and exam question practice is undertaken week on week. Students build skills gradually and sustainably, and are not absent from their work place for long periods of time (which is particularly important for smaller accounting practices)


Our Professional Accounting and Finance course information brochure provides further details on part-time fees, timetables and the next available entry points.


Students will attend workshops which will contain lecture, tutorial and question practice elements.


Professional Level: 

Modules are assessed by computer based exams. Each exam is 2.5 hours long, with the exception of the Financial Accounting and Reporting paper which is assessed by a three hour exam.

Advanced Level: 

Consists of two technical integration papers and a case study:

  • Technical integration papers are 3.5 hours long
  • Case Study will be four hours long


ACA students enjoy early responsibility and excellent career progression. Many ACA students double their salary during training. Salaries for newly qualified ICAEW Chartered Accountants are on a par with careers in law and banking and many become partners or financial directors early in their careers, leading to a greater variety of opportunities.

ICAEW Chartered Accountants work at the highest levels of some of the world’s largest organisations; 80% of UK FTSE 100 companies have an ICAEW Chartered Accountant on their board.

Visit the ACA - Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) page on the University of South Wales website for more details!





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