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Q. Review the syllabus and requirements to make sure it is the right qualification for you

If you can try and speak to others who are qualified or are currently studying – if you don't know anyone then speak to Finance Training and we will try and put you into contact with someone you can talk to.


Q. Which level should you start at?

In theory it is possible to start AAT at any level. This decision should be made in discussion with Finance Training. Occasionally we consider direct entry to the University level 3 programme if the individual has substantial existing double-entry knowledge. The AAT skills check should be completed in the first instance as a starting point for these discussions.

AAT Skills Check

Q. Do you need to do the full level 2 qualification?

Rather than complete the full level 2 qualification we recommend that individuals just the AATL2 Bookkeeping Certificate.

The Foundation Certificate in Bookkeeping consists of two of the Level 2 units (Bookkeeping Transactions and Bookkeeping Controls) and we have found previously that this adequately prepares most people for further studies at Level 3 whilst providing a cheaper and quicker study path.

Q. How can you study?

There are a number of ways to study AAT:

  • Distance learning (with books and study materials)
  • Distance learning (with online lectures and discussions)
  • Day release classes
  • Evening classes
  • Blended learning

Q. How and when are you assessed?

The assessments are all completed on the computer, some are computer marked and some are human marked.

There is an assessment at the end of each unit and from 2016 synoptic assessments were introduced. These will test your understanding of connections between the different topics covered across the qualification. Synoptic assessments are sat towards the end of a qualification and are taken at specific times of the year.

  • Results for computer marked assessments will be available within 24 hours.
  • Results for human marked assessments will continue to be made available within 6 weeks.
  • Results for synoptic assessments will continue to be made available within 6 weeks of the last day of the synoptic window.

Synoptic calendar

Q. Where are assessments held?

If you are studying via classroom learning you will sit your assessments with your AAT Approved training provider. If you are studying on the University in-house programme (Bookkeeping and Level 3) the assessments will be run at Greenwich House. If you are studying via distance learning you can sit your assessments with an AAT Approved assessment venue.


Q. Can you claim exemptions for any assessments?

If you can provide evidence of gaining a previous, relevant qualification from an external awarding body, you may not have to sit all AAT assessments. We believe that if you have already studied qualification units featuring the same content, you should not need to duplicate work. This means you can fast track on the most appropriate AAT qualification.

You may be eligible for exemptions if you have:

  • Previous finance or accounting qualifications
  • An accounting or finance degree

The exemption fee is equivalent to the relevant assessment fee which covers the administrative cost of applying the exemption.

Q. What are the costs of studying AAT?

The costs will vary depending on the level you are studying and the method of study that you choose. You will need to consider:

  • Course fees
  • Any additional materials
  • AAT assessment fees (with a possible administration fee)
  • AAT student membership (annual)
  • AAT one off admission fee

See the AAT website for upto date information on their charges -

Q. What is the University programme?

At certain times of the year the University runs an AAT programme which is partly funded by the Finance Division.

  • AAT Level 2 - Foundation Certificate in Bookkeeping - starting in February (taught in-house)
  • AAT Level 3 - Advanced Diploma in Accounting - starting September (taught in-house)
  • AAT Level 4 - Professional Diploma in Accounting – starting September (taught off-site by an external provider)

Q. What are the alternatives to the University's own programmes?

The University's Level 2 Bookkeeping programme tyoically commences Feb time, with levels 3 and 4 commencing in the September. If you wanted to getgoing with your studies at level 2 earlier (or day release is not an option) then your choices are to fund your studies independently with a third party supplier or to do an apprenticeship.




Q. Are you able to get any funding support?

In general the Finance Division is unable to financially support staff from outside their own Division in studying towards AAT outside of the University programme, although we are happy to co-ordinate any bookings with local suppliers to ensure that you receive the benefit of the University discounts. Other potential areas of financial support include:

Q. Can you do AAT as an apprenticeship?

It is possible to complete AAT as an apprenticeship under the new Apprenticeship Standards.

  • Assistant Accountant Apprenticeship – includes AAT Level 3
  • Professional Accounting Technician Apprenticeship – includes AAT Level 4

Some apprenticeship providers may offer a level 3 Assistant Accountant Apprenticeship  which effectively combine AATL2  Bookkeeping Certificate and Level 3 into one programme over 18 months.


Q. What's involved with an Apprenticeship

Completing the qualification this way does have some additional requirements and so the choice of route should be carefully considered. The University can pay for tuition costs via it Finance Training are available to discuss the best option on a case by case basis. Areas for you and your line manager to consider:

  • The individual has to meet certain eligibility criteria
  • The individual must already be in a role (or appointed to one) within the University that provides the opportunity for them to gain the knowledge, skills and behaviours needed to achieve their apprenticeship
  • Fees charged by Approved Apprenticeship Providers are more expensive than that charged for traditional courses, however these fees can be paid for out of the University's levy account
  • The Levy does not in this case pay for the AAT admission fee, student subscription, and exam fees (except the Synoptic exam fee which is classed as one of the end point assessments)
  • As well as the AAT exams there is an additional end point assessment
  • A minimum of 20% of the individual’s time must be off-job training and documented - see here for more details of how this might be met
  • The line manager/mentor, individual and training provider will meet regularly to review progress

For more information on Accountancy apprenticeships is available from the AAT.   The University has produced its own general appremticeship Guide for Managers

Q. Can Finance Training an Approved Apprenticeship Provider?


The University has undergone a tendering process with training providers and has approved a number of providers who have the capability, quality and financial health to deliver high-quality apprenticeship training - see PPDs website

Q. Is the University currently running any Accountancy Apprenticeship programmes?

Currently, the University is not running any Accountancy apprenticeships cohorts (at any level) . However, that is not to say we will not in the future or that in the meantime departments can not sign up to provide an individual apprenticeship. 

For more information please contact the Apprenticeship Team in PPD, or Finance Training specifically re accountantcy standards.


Please see our CORONAVIRUS/COVID-19 Assistance pages for help with areas of Finance during the current situation.

UFS issued communications and the University website also contain information on this topic

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