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Accounting AS & A Level at Newcastle-under-Lyme College

Course description

In 1494 traders in Venice invented the double entry system for keeping financial records and this system forms the basis of all modern accounting practice and much economic theory. The course aims to give you an in-depth understanding of the basic principles of this system from which you will then be able to develop the skills and understanding required to produce and interpret modern accounting documents such as Income Statements and Statements of Financial Position. The course also offers a very strong foundation for further professional and academic study.

Course content

A Level Accounting (Draft Specification*)

Module 1 - Financial Accounting
Financial Accounting is what most accountants working together in practice (a bit like doctors) do. They provide services to businesses by summarising, analysing and reporting on their financial performance. They produce (or check/audit) the Income Statements and Balance Sheets that Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs need to determine how much tax to charge. They also provide financial information that investors need when deciding to invest in businesses. You’ll learn how to do all this for sole traders, partnerships and limited companies. All this involves lots of abstract numerical problem solving so if you are good at maths you’ll be good at this.

Module 2 - Accounting for analysis and decision making
Management Accountants usually work within businesses (like a Finance Director) and their role is to provide financial information for decision making within the business. They look at various methods for determining accurate costs (pretty important for measuring profit accurately) and things like capital investment appraisal which helps managers choose between different investment options, eg, building a factory in Leeds or one in Manchester. Accounting isn’t just about money though: Financial decisions have non-financial consequences, eg, redundancies, and this is where we develop an understanding of the ethical considerations firms need to consider.

The emphasis throughout the course is on developing your ability to tackle “real world” accounting problems. Key concepts are clearly explained and then applied to realistic situations which become increasingly complex as your confidence grows.

*Subject to pending Ofqual accreditation.


Entry requirements

The standard entry requirement for A Level study is 3 grade Cs and 2 Bs including Maths and English Language at GCSE. A new grade scale is in operation for maths and English which is numerical. The equivalent to a B grade will be a 6 and the equivalent to a C grade will be 5 for entry requirement purposes. To study Accounting you will need a minimum GCSE grade 6 in maths. You do not need any prior knowledge of Accounting.


Assessment is comprised of two three hour examinations at the end of two years’ study. Progression from year one to year two will be dependent on successful completion of Internal Progression exams as well as your Key Assessment profile.

Progression to year 2 will be dependent on successful completion of the first year taking into account Internal Progression Examination results and the Key Assessment Profile throughout the first year.

Financial information

Newcastle Maintenance Allowance (NMA): Anyone with a household income under £21,000 can receive £20 per week financial support to help pay for travel and meals and meet the costs of essential trips, books, stationery and equipment. The payments will be subject to full attendance on your course. A range of other financial support is available, depending on your personal circumstances. For more details visit

Future opportunities

A Level Accounting prepares you exceptionally well for all Business and Finance related courses in Higher Education and also offers exemption from the first year of the three year Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) professional qualification. If you decide that accounting is the career for you then modern apprenticeships provide a practical, work related route into the profession. Accounting qualifications can lead to all sorts of employment opportunities in banking and business as well as in conventional accountancy firms. A thorough understanding of accounting provides a solid foundation to self-employment and gives a distinct advantage to general managers as they move up through the hierarchy of their organisations.

Further information

To support your studies you will be given the opportunity to visit Lancaster University, one of the leading finance research universities in the country. You will also have the opportunity to participate in the Institute for Financial Services’ (IFS) Student Investor Challenge as an extracurricular activity.

How do I find out more?
If you wish to find out more you can contact Richard Simpson, Head of Accounting using the following details. Email: Tel: 01782 254382

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Newcastle-under-Lyme College directly.

Last updated date: 16 November 2016
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