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Accounting A level at Sharnbrook Academy

Course description

This course gives students an insight into the role of an accountant and the world of accounting and finance.

Accounting is an increasingly popular choice in post-16 education.  It provides an academic qualification for higher education and a career opportunity for those wishing to train as accountants or enter the world of finance.  The course complements either business or economics at A level.  Students are advised to study one or two, but not three, out of accounting, business studies and economics, as universities increasingly prefer width rather than a narrowing of studies.

This course is suitable for anyone intending to progress to higher education; anyone who is intending to work in an accounting environment; anyone who is interested in accounting and/or finance and anyone interested in a business related career. We have an unprecedented number of students who have obtained a professional apprenticeship in accountancy upon leaving school at the end of this course.

Course content

The specification was introduced in 2017 and is a full A Level course with 2x three hour exams at the end of the second year.  You will learn the fundamentals of record keeping, and the purposes, techniques and consequences of effective financial accounting.  You will also consider how financial accounting helps in successful business operations and decision making.   You will study business ownership, control, profitability, performance and budgeting.  The course develops your understanding of financial accounting techniques, and how they aid business management and decision making.  You will look at costing, capital investment, budgeting, partnership accounts, and sources of finance, as well as considering social accounting issues.

The course encourages the acquisition of a range of transferable skills.  These include data skills, presenting arguments, making judgments and recommendations, problem solving and planning work.  These are important skills and can be applied to all further career paths.

Entry requirements

All students must meet the minimum entry requirements which are:

  • a minimum of five GCSE passes at A* to C, plus mathematics and English language at level 4 or above.
  • ECDL or an equivalent IT course where studied. Please note that, where a student wishes to take at least one A level course and has level 2 BTEC qualifications, those level 2 BTEC qualifications can only count for up to a maximum of two of the required GCSE passes at A* to C, or mathematics and English language at level 4 or above.

In addition to the general entrance requirements for advanced level study, given the numeric nature of this course, it is essential that students have a grade 5 at GCSE level in maths together with a grade 4 in English language and English literature.


The course will have regular assessed tests to ensure full and thorough knowledge of each new topic.  In addition, class work and homework assignments will be marked and feedback given.

The exam board is AQA and will be examined in June.

Financial information

Note taking - students MUST provide themselves with A4 lined paper, an A4 folder to keep their notes, a 30cm ruler and a simple calculator.  Specialist accountancy paper would be useful.

‘Introducing Accounting’ by Ian Harrison will be provided, as well as a school provided reference resource, giving information on topics within the course.

Future opportunities

This subject would be useful to students who are interested in a career in management, accountancy or the financial services.  The course exempts candidates from having to complete the Foundation stage of some professional accounting qualifications, and provides an excellent start to a degree in business, finance or accounting.

Further information

Holiday work before September

It is strongly recommended that students begin to look at exam papers and subject specification to have an understanding of the content, depth, topics, layouts and standards of presentation of financial records (see the AQA website) and also look at some company financial reports on Google.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Sharnbrook Academy directly.

Last updated date: 27 October 2017

Key information