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info_outline Classroom courses and CBEs are running from our centres and will gradually return to full capacity with additional measures to minimise the spread of the virus. See our COVID pages for details.

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AAT Foundation Certificate

(Level 2)

This level is ideal if you’re new to accountancy and finance, have previously worked in an accounts department, or are looking to change your career into accountancy.

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Full level, excluding exams (all subjects): help_outline

£916 - £2,044 (inc. VAT) £1,145 - £2,505 (inc. VAT)

Spread the cost over 6 months: help_outline

from £137.40/mth

local_offer  Save 20% when you buy all subjects in a level

Available to mix and match across all study methods.

AAT Q2022 syllabus: See our FAQs ›

1. Structure

To pass this level, you'll be examined on five units (also known as subjects), of which one includes the synoptic assessment. This tests the knowledge you have gained throughout the level, covering multiple (but not all) units. All assessments are computer-based exams (CBE).

Entry requirements

You don’t need any prior experience working in accounts to study AAT Foundation. There are no entry requirements, but you do need good maths, IT and English skills, and a willingness to learn. Take the AAT skillcheck test launch to find out which level you can start at.

If you’ve completed the AAT Foundation Certificate in Bookkeeping (FCIB) short qualification, you will be exempt from completing the first two units of this level (Bookkeeping Transactions and Bookkeeping Controls).

If you have a university degree in accountancy, or related, we recommend that you move straight onto ACCA, CIMA, or ACA.


You’ll learn the basic principles of accountancy, such as double-entry bookkeeping, recording day to day transactions and basic costing, as well as how to use accountancy software.

info New Q2022 syllabus for AAT is launching on 1st February 2022. Read more

Assessed through both unit and synoptic assessment:

Bookkeeping transactions (BTRN)
  • Number of lessons:
    Classroom: 4 days/8 evenings
    Live Online: 8 sessions
    OnDemand/Distance Learning: study at your own pace
  • Subject assessment: computer-based exam

You’ll learn how to understand and demonstrate basic financial transactions within a bookkeeping system, across supplier, customer and business accounts.

£199.00 - £509.00
(inc. VAT)

Buy now

Bookkeeping controls (BKCL)
  • Number of lessons:
    Classroom: 3 days/6 evenings
    Live Online: 6 sessions
    OnDemand/Distance Learning: study at your own pace
  • Subject assessment: computer-based exam

You’ll identify appropriate payment methods and the effect they have on the bank balance. You’ll learn about control accounts, reconciliation and the purpose of using the journal.

£199.00 - £469.00
(inc. VAT)

Buy now

Elements of costing (ELCO)
  • Number of lessons:
    Classroom: 2 days/4 evenings
    Live Online: 4 sessions
    OnDemand/Distance Learning: study at your own pace
  • Subject assessment: computer-based exam

This will teach you to understand the cost recording system within an organisation, use cost recording techniques, and provide information on actual and budgeted costs and income.

£199.00 - £429.00
(inc. VAT)

Buy now

Foundation Synoptic Assessment (FYSA)
  • Number of lessons:
    Classroom: 2 days/4 evenings
    Live Online: 4 sessions
    OnDemand/Distance Learning: study at your own pace
  • Subject assessment: computer-based exam

You’ll understand and develop the personal skills required to work effectively in a business and understand corporate social responsibility (CSR), ethics, and sustainability in the workplace. The synoptic assessment will also draw on your understanding from BTRN, BKCL and ELCO.

£299.00 - £569.00
(inc. VAT)

Buy now

Unit assessment only (not tested within the synoptic assessment):

Using accountancy software (UACS)
  • Number of lessons:
    Live Online: 4 sessions
    OnDemand: study at your own pace
  • Subject assessment: computer-based exam

You’ll process sales and purchase transactions, bank and cash transactions, perform period end routine tasks like processing journals and reconciling bank statements, and produce reports for customers and suppliers.

Please note - you will be using Xero Accounting Software for the UACS exam

(Available via Live Online, OnDemand and Distance Learning study methods only.)

£249.00 - £419.00
(inc. VAT)

Buy now

You must pass all the unit assessments and the synoptic assessment to be awarded a grade (70-79 for a Pass, 80-89 for a Merit or 90+ for a Distinction). The marks achieved in the individual units and the synoptic assessment contribute to your overall grade.

2. Study methods

Do you prefer face-to-face learning? Online learning in your own time? Have family or work commitments? We have four study methods that suit different learning styles, to fit around your life.

Study methods available for this qualification

Whichever study method you choose, you’ll be exam confident, as we offer hundreds of practice questions. We offer expert support during evenings and weekends, and we have flexible study methods and course start dates. You’ll benefit from award-winning tutors, practical learning methods, and ongoing support, even after your exams.

grid_onStudy method comparison table

OnDemand ›

Award-winning structured online course with the flexibility to start anytime and study anywhere.

  • Topic focused learning modules, containing tutor-led bite-sized videos
  • Engaging activities designed for effective online learning
  • Integrated programme to guide you efficiently through the whole syllabus

View OnDemand 5 day trial ›

Classroom courses are currently being taught via Live Online. Stay on track, study online.

A traditional scheduled programme with face to face tutor-led classes.

  • Classes with your peers at set times of day
  • Centrally located in most major cities: View all classroom locations
  • Access to our award winning OnDemand online learning resources

View Classroom demo ›

The same as classroom, but live interactive online classes at a set time.

  • Interactive live lectures delivered online by our expert tutors
  • Full weekday, weekend, afternoon or evening classes available
  • Re-watch and replay lessons through recordings
  • Access to our award winning OnDemand online learning resources
View Live Online 5 day trial › 
Distance Learning ›

Self-study online modules for you to work through at your own pace.

  • Study remotely with printed and online materials
  • Includes a variety of additional online resources

View Distance Learning 5 day trial ›

Timetables - Classroom and Live Online

date_rangeView timetables

3. Exams and sittings

Timings and working towards a sitting

You can take your exams at any time, apart from the synoptic exam, which is not available for one week in every four. Understanding when you want to sit and pass your exam will affect the end date of your course and what materials you receive. Please note, you’ll still need to book your exams separately. All assessments on this level are computer-based exams (CBE).

You’ll be awarded a grade (pass, merit, or distinction) based on how you perform across the qualification. Unit and synoptic assessments are not awarded grades individually, but the marks achieved in all assessments contribute to your overall grade for the qualification.

Book an exam

New AAT remote online exams

You can now choose to sit your exams remotely for all AAT Foundation Certificate subjects:

  • Bookkeeping transactions (BTRN)
  • Bookkeeping controls (BKCL)
  • Elements of costing (ELCO)
  • Foundation Synoptic Assessment (FYSA)

If you choose a remote exam you can sit it from the comfort of your home, on a chosen date and at a time that suits you. Your results will be released 15 days after your exam date.

  • Important information about remote online exams keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    You will be recorded for the whole duration of your exam, which will then be reviewed by the AAT for any irregularities.

    There is an additional charge for remote invigilation compared to the standard exam price.

    In order to sit these exams remotely, you need to ensure you meet the minimum supporting requirements.

    Minimum system requirements

    System Requirements
    Operating System (Windows) Windows 8.1 or higher
    Operating System (Apple) OS X 10.10 or higher
    Surpass Viewer You must have the Surpass Viewer custom browser installed on your machine. This will allow you to access the assessment.
    PSI Secure Browser You must have the PSI Secure Browser installed on your machine. This will allow your assessment to be recorded.
    Internet connection / bandwidth 512 Kbps upload and download. You are strongly advised to use a wired connection as opposed to Wi-Fi to protect against a loss of drop in connectivity.
    Download Ability to download and install software (admin rights required)
    Web camera You will need a portable webcam to allow you to conduct a room scan. Laptops with integrated webcams are permitted as long as they are portable.
    Minimum web camera resolution 640 x 480
    Microphone You will need a working microphone to pick up any audio during the recording.
    Date and time Ensure that the date and time setting on your computer are accurate for your local time zone.
    Screen resolution 1024 x 768
    Screen size Whilst a 17” monitor is recommended, laptops typically have a 14” screen. You can still sit your assessment with this, though you may be required to zoom out to see navigational buttons.

If you are interested in sitting your exam remotely, you must download the AAT Remote Invigilation user guide launch so you know what you need to do before, and during, the exam. The AAT has also provided RI versions of the exam (MyAAT - Lifelong Learning Portal) which contain additional features: a calculator tool and a dedicated area for rough workings, as physical calculators and blank paper are not permitted. So before you book, it is worthwhile to see whether or not you can use these features.

If you have any questions, please contact Student Service on 0161 259 7400.

How long does it take to pass?

Most students complete this level within six to 12 months, however this varies depending on the study method you choose. There is no specific sitting time for AAT Foundation exams, you can complete your exams all year round.

Recommended ways to study

We advise that you complete the Bookkeeping Transactions (BTRN) unit before studying for Bookkeeping Controls (BKCL) or Using Accounting Software (UACS). You should complete your studies for all units (with the exception of Using Accounting Software) before you attempt the synoptic assessment.

4. Study materials and delivery costs

Study materials

The following materials are included in each course:

  • Study text
    A textbook covering the full subject syllabus with worked examples and activities.
  • Pocket notes
    Our AAT pocket notes are pocket-sized, brief revision notes that highlight and prioritise the essential topics you need to understand to pass your AAT exams.
  • Exam kit
    The exam kit gives you plenty of exam style questions and answers to test your knowledge and practice.
  • Learning and assessment plan/study programme
    Outlines the course structure.
  • Online syllabus coverage
    Covers key topics for Distance Learning and full coverage for other methods.
  • Integrated workbook (Classroom, OnDemand, Live Online)
    The integrated workbook helps you work through the syllabus, with room to write your notes. It helps you keep everything in one place to make it easy to study and revise from.

Classroom, Live Online and OnDemand students will receive printed and online study materials, while Distance Learning students have the option of printed and online, or online only.

To buy the materials separately...

You can buy AAT books for each subject on this level from Kaplan Publishing.

Buy AAT bookslaunch

Delivery costs


How much it costs to deliver your study materials and how long it takes depends on where in the world you live.

Delivery fees are as follows:

UK and NI - £7 for the first package, £7 for subsequent packages
EU - £35 for the first package, £30 for subsequent packages
Rest of the World - £50 for the first package, £50 for subsequent packages

Please note that due to varying interpretations of the post-Brexit EU/UK trading agreement, some EU countries are imposing import duty on the value of the goods received from the UK. It is payable by the end consumer via the delivery company and your delivery may be withheld until paid. This may vary from country to country and be up to a value of 20% of the value of the study material.

A package relates to all the materials for a specific subject, for example AAT Bookkeeping transactions (BTRN). If purchasing a course for more than one subject, the additional package charges will apply.

Delivery fees are capped at 3 x the cost, per single order. So, if you buy 5 courses for UK delivery in a single order, it will be £7 x 3, rather than £7 x 5.

Our standard delivery times for Live Online, OnDemand, Online and Distance Learning are:

UK – 3 to 5 working days
EU – 5 to 7 working days
Rest of the World – 7 to 10 working days subject to availability.

Our standard delivery deadline for UK classroom courses is one week prior to the first course date.

Delivery charges apply to Classroom, Distance Learning, OnDemand, Online and Live Online courses which include printed materials. If delivery charges are applicable for your course, they will be shown during the online checkout process, before you complete your payment details.

5. MyKaplan: online learning environment

Illustration of a person working on MyKaplanplay_arrow
MyKaplan explained (1m:26s)

MyKaplan is an online learning portal with practical resources to help you prepare for your exams.

Online features

  • View your online materials in one place and access your content in a few clicks
  • Contact a tutor directly using live chat. You can also email or request a callback
  • Complete practice tests and get instant feedback
  • Take part in forum discussions with students and tutors and find answers to common questions
  • Instant mock exam results
  • Access on mobile, tablet, computer or through the dedicated mobile app
  • Access to VideoBank - hundreds of tutor-led videos to help you get the most out of your course.

Access duration

Your chosen study method determines how long you can access your content for.

Six months from last course date, with a three month extension policy if required, then £50 for a further three months.

Live Online
Six months from last course date, with a three month extension policy if required, then £50 for a further three months.

Nine months from enrolment date, with a three month extension policy if required, then £50 for a further three months.

Distance Learning
18 months from enrolment date, with a three month extension policy if required, then £50 for a further three months.

computerMinimum system requirements for MyKaplan

6. Tutor support

We'll support you every step of the way throughout your AAT learning experience with us. You can contact a tutor and get the help you need quickly and easily.

Provided by our Academic Support team (our dedicated team of expert tutors):

  • Live chat (instant response via online messenger system)
  • Email (we'll get back to you within 4 hrs)
  • Discussion forum (we’ll get back to you within 4 hrs)
  • Request a callback so you can speak to a tutor (we’ll arrange a call with you within 24 hours). Please note request a callback is only available to UK based students.

Academic Support opening times

Monday - Thursday: 8am - 8pm
Friday: 8am - 5:30pm
Saturday: 9am - 5pm
Sunday: 9am - 1pm

7. Testing and Mocks

We have a wealth of materials to help you revise for and pass your exams. All study options come with the following:

Knowledge checks
As you go along, knowledge checks help assess your understanding of a topic before you move onto the next one.

Progress tests
These are short tests based on key topics to get you ready for sitting the mock exams.

Mock exam
Practice your exam technique with mock exams with the look and the feel of the real exam, so you can continually check your progress.

Additional video learning resources
If you’re studying Classroom, Live Online or OnDemand, you’ll get access to the full OnDemand learning modules, found on MyKaplan.

8. Pricing structure

Unit prices can differ depending on your study method, location and the time you choose to study (if you’re choosing Classroom). Go to our study methods page to learn more about each option.

Units are all priced individually, so you can purchase them altogether (for a discount), or separately as you need them. This also helps you split the cost to make it more affordable.

Scheduled Flexible
Classroom Live Online OnDemand Distance Learning
from £429 (inc.VAT) from £379 (inc. VAT) from £319 (inc. VAT) from £199 (inc. VAT)

Funding options

Apprenticeships ›

You may be eligible for an Apprenticeship through your employer, depending on your circumstances. For more information, contact our Student Services team.

Employer sponsored ›

Your employer may fund the costs of your studies if you're already working in a related field and want to develop your learning. You'll need to speak to them to see if you're eligible and whether they would be willing to fund the cost.

Payment plans ›

The AAT Foundation Level is covered with our interest-free payment plan. The plan lets you spread the cost of your studies over six months, with no extra costs. You'll need to buy a full level to take out a payment plan.

Why study AAT Foundation with Kaplan?


Hear from an expert tutor in 4 hours or less, available 7 days a week.


We’re the UK’s largest AAT training provider. Over 7,500 students study with us


Our study options work around your lifestyle.


Spread the cost of your course with multiple funding options available.

Don't just take our word for it

Alex Calliman

“I chose Kaplan because it offered me the resources and flexibility I needed to study. Having the study materials online was extremely helpful because I travel a lot for work and it meant I could study anywhere.”

Alex Calliman
Kaplan AAT Live Online student, 27

Julie Dove

“Being able to study at home gives me so much more flexibility around my job. When it’s really busy at work I generally don’t get time to study during the week, so I make it up at the weekend.”

Julie Dove
Kaplan AAT Distance Learning student, 40

Tessa Wheatley

“I chose Kaplan because it offered me the resources and flexibility I needed to study. Having the study materials online was extremely helpful because I travel a lot for work and it meant I could study anywhere.”

Tessa Wheatley
Kaplan Distance Learning student, 37

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AAT prize draw terms and conditions

*The prize is non-transferable or refundable. AAT exam fees and AAT membership fees are not included in the prize. The winner will receive access to their remaining levels of AAT via MyKaplan website. OnDemand study method only. Other study methods are not included. They will have access to OnDemand for 1 year per level up to a maximum of 4 years. A refund will not be given for the previous AAT products purchased, including the product used to enter the prize draw.

Residents in Northern Ireland can enter the prize draw without making a purchase, see full terms and conditions for details.