ACCA and Oxford Brookes University have worked together to develop the BSc (Hons) in Applied Accounting which is available exclusively to ACCA students and newly qualified.
This is a unique opportunity to combine your professional achievements with a Research and Analysis Project (RAP) to gain a 360-credit Bachelors degree from a leading UK university. 330 credits are gained through passing your ACCA exams and the remaining 30 credits are gained through passing your RAP.
Know what is expected of you.
The Research and Analysis Project (RAP) is very different to an ACCA written exam. You will need to demonstrate that you have the personal and transferable skills a graduate would be expected to have on completion of a degree. These skills are those of problem-solving, analysis and evaluation, effective written and oral communication, self-managed learning, the ability to complete an independent research project, information gathering and referencing of information sources as well as reflecting on learning and its impact on future professional development.
Read the RAP Information Pack (BSc (Hons) Applied Accounting - Oxford Brookes University website) and in particular the learning outcomes and assessment criteria carefully before you embark on your research as it will help you understand the requirements of the RAP.
Don’t miss the boat.
The degree has a 10 year deadline from first registering with the ACCA as a student. Before you can submit the RAP, you must pass or be exempt from the ACCA Fundamentals exams, including sitting and passing all of F7, F8 and F9, and completing the ACCA Professional Ethics module.
Check what degree classification you might achieve.
Much depends on the exam grades for ACCA papers F4 to F9. The RAP Information Pack has a table which enables you to calculate your possible degree classification depending on what grade you get for your project. You may be one of the many ACCA students whose overall class of degree will not be directly affected by the grade awarded to your RAP (provided you pass).
However, a good performance in the RAP will demonstrate that you are capable of undertaking good quality research. On the other hand, if your ACCA average mark puts you in a position where achieving a high grade in the RAP will gain you a higher class of degree, then you must aim for your first project submission to be the highest quality research of which you are capable. Resubmissions will be capped at a C grade.
Choose your mentor carefully.
He or she does not need to have expert knowledge in the field of your research, but in order to provide positive and constructive feedback, guidance and support, they do need to be well informed about the requirements of the RAP and the transferable graduate skills you need to demonstrate. These include problem-solving, analysis and evaluation, effective communication, self managed learning, referencing and reflection.
Don’t be shy to ask about your mentor’s track record and experience in mentoring students through degree projects and dissertations.
Make sure your mentor is available to meet with you (face-to-face or virtually) at times you can manage. If you are working during the day, you may need to have your meetings in the evenings or even at weekends. Online mentoring is a great option for busy professionals as long as it is underpinned by easy access to the resources you need through, for example, a virtual learning platform.
Plan and prepare carefully.
Poor planning and preparation almost always produces poor performance. Most of our graduates tell us that they spent around 150 hours on their project work. At the outset, establish a timeline for your project which should include dates of meetings with your mentor which you will need to agree in advance.
Have you ever fancied a photograph of yourself in an academic cap and gown? Here is your chance! If you are successful, you and two guests will be invited to a graduation ceremony in beautiful Oxford or a regional overseas centre near you.
To apply for the degree visit the Kaplan Financial website.
Christine Clynes is Senior Director of Student Operations at Kaplan Open Learning.