Accounting (Pathways) - BSc (Hons)

2025/26 Full-time Undergraduate course

Award:

Bachelor of Science with Honours

Faculty:

Ulster University Business School

School:

Department of Accounting, Finance and Economics

Campus:

Belfast campus

UCAS code:

N400
The UCAS code for Ulster University is U20

Start date:

September 2025

With this degree you could become:

  • Accountant
  • Auditor
  • Business analyst
  • Forensic accountant
  • Fund accountant
  • Management consultant
  • Tax advisor

Graduates from this course are now working for:

  • Accounting practice
  • Banking
  • Charities and not for profit organisations
  • Commercial enterprise
  • Financial services
  • Government bodies and agencies

Overview

An innovative suite of subject pathways that offer you excellent employment opportunities within the growing professional service areas.

Summary

The BSc Hons Accounting (Pathways) is an innovative suite of subject pathways that offer you the opportunity to progress your studies within various fast growing areas of professional services. You will be able to graduate with one of the following awards: BSc Hons Accounting or BSc Hons Accounting (Forensics) or BSc Hons Accounting (Financial Economics) or BSc Hons Accounting (Management).

This suite of pathways offers you high quality teaching in subject areas such as forensic accounting, financial services and management consulting. The team involved have well established links with the accounting professional bodies, key graduate employers, public sector bodies and local industry.

In addition to their academic qualifications many of the staff delivering the programme are also professionally qualified accountants with a wide range of professional and commercial experience.

We’d love to hear from you!

We know that choosing to study at university is a big decision, and you may not always be able to find the information you need online.

Please contact Ulster University with any queries or questions you might have about:

  • Course specific information
  • Fees and Finance
  • Admissions

For any queries regarding getting help with your application, please select Admissions in the drop down below.

For queries related to course content, including modules and placements, please select Course specific information.

We look forward to hearing from you.

About this course

About

This programme has been designed to broaden your opportunities in accounting and utilise our high level employer links to ensure you get excellent employment opportunities.

All our pathways in accounting give you the opportunity to maximise professional exemptions from many of the professional accounting bodies.

You can specialise in the area of accounting through either the BSc Hons Accounting or BSc Hons Accounting (Forensics) - both of these pathways are highly sought after by employers and following your programme, you will be employment-ready in these fields.

You could decide to maintain a focus on accounting and explore other areas such as financial economics or management through the BSc Hons Accounting (Financial Economics) or BSc Hons Accounting (Management ) - both pathways offering a highly sought after skills-set in the economic, public sector, financial or managerial environment.

Structure: All modules in each pathway of the BSc Hons Accounting (Pathways) are compulsory. The structure of the suite of pathways is such that you can delay choice between these four programmes until the second-year of study on the BSc Hons Accounting (Pathways). This flexibility provides you with the opportunity to experience subject areas, before making a choice between maintaining your specialism in accounting or broadening your interest to financial economics/management.

Modules

Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.

Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.

Year One

Academic, Professional and Managerial Awareness

Introductory Accounting

Business and the Economy

Information Skills for Business

Principles of Management Accounting

Principles of Financial Accounting

Year Two

Skills for Work

Financial Accounting

Management Accounting

Personal and Business Finance

Law for Accountants

Risk Management (optional)

Money and the Economy (optional)

Managing and Developing People (optional)

Year Three

Placement (optional)

International Academic Studies (optional)

Year Four

Corporate Financial Reporting (optional)

Audit and Assurance (optional)

Taxation

International Finance (optional)

Money, Banking & Other Fin Ins (optional)

Forensic Accounting (optional)

Governance Risk and Ethics

Advanced Financial Management (optional)

Advanced Management Accounting

Economic Policy (optional)

Associate awards

Diploma in Professional Practice DPP

Diploma in Professional Practice International DPPI

Diploma in International Academic Studies DIAS

Attendance

Classes are timetabled per semester for full-time students:

Three years full-time – BSc Hons
Four years full-time – BSc Hons with DPP / DIAS

Full-time attendance is up to four days per week with 12-16 teaching hours per week, depending on level. On top of this you would be expected to spend approximately 10 additional hours of independent study time per module per week.

Taking all modules into account this would equate to 40 hours per week over a semester.

Start dates

  • September 2025

Teaching, Learning and Assessment

Learning and Teaching Methods include: lectures, tutorials, seminars, case studies, experiential learning, guest speakers, practitioner master classes, workshops, directed and independent study, computer assisted learning including contemporary interactive learning technology to help enhance your learning.

Assessment Methods include:examinations, class tests, completion of worksheets, reflective logs, portfolios, critiques, reports, subject-specific essays and oral presentations, using both individual and group projects, and interactive technology. Those modules attracting professional body exemptions are laregly assessed by examination.

Attendance and Independent Study

The content for each course is summarised on the relevant course page, along with an overview of the modules that make up the course.

Each course is approved by the University and meets the expectations of:

  • Attendance and Independent Study

    As part of your course induction, you will be provided with details of the organisation and management of the course, including attendance and assessment requirements - usually in the form of a timetable. For full-time courses, the precise timetable for each semester is not confirmed until close to the start date and may be subject to some change in the early weeks as all courses settle into their planned patterns. For part-time courses which require attendance on particular days and times, an expectation of the days and periods of attendance will be included in the letter of offer. A course handbook is also made available.

    Courses comprise modules for which the notional effort involved is indicated by its credit rating. Each credit point represents 10 hours of student effort. Undergraduate courses typically contain 10, 20, or 40 credit modules (more usually 20) and postgraduate courses typically 15 or 30 credit modules.

    The normal study load expectation for an undergraduate full-time course of study in the standard academic year is 120 credit points. This amounts to around 36-42 hours of expected teaching and learning per week, inclusive of attendance requirements for lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical work, fieldwork or other scheduled classes, private study, and assessment. Teaching and learning activities will be in-person and/or online depending on the nature of the course. Part-time study load is the same as full-time pro-rata, with each credit point representing 10 hours of student effort.

    Postgraduate Master’s courses typically comprise 180 credits, taken in three semesters when studied full-time. A Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) comprises 60 credits and can usually be completed on a part-time basis in one year. A 120-credit Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) can usually be completed on a part-time basis in two years.

    Class contact times vary by course and type of module. Typically, for a module predominantly delivered through lectures you can expect at least 3 contact hours per week (lectures/seminars/tutorials). Laboratory classes often require a greater intensity of attendance in blocks. Some modules may combine lecture and laboratory. The precise model will depend on the course you apply for and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. Prospective students will be consulted about any significant changes.

  • Assessment

    Assessment methods vary and are defined explicitly in each module. Assessment can be a combination of examination and coursework but may also be only one of these methods. Assessment is designed to assess your achievement of the module’s stated learning outcomes.  You can expect to receive timely feedback on all coursework assessments. This feedback may be issued individually and/or issued to the group and you will be encouraged to act on this feedback for your own development.

    Coursework can take many forms, for example: essay, report, seminar paper, test, presentation, dissertation, design, artefacts, portfolio, journal, group work. The precise form and combination of assessment will depend on the course you apply for and the module. Details will be made available in advance through induction, the course handbook, the module specification, the assessment timetable and the assessment brief. The details are subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.

    Normally, a module will have 4 learning outcomes, and no more than 2 items of assessment. An item of assessment can comprise more than one task. The notional workload and the equivalence across types of assessment is standardised. The module pass mark for undergraduate courses is 40%. The module pass mark for postgraduate courses is 50%.

  • Calculation of the Final Award

    The class of Honours awarded in Bachelor’s degrees is usually determined by calculation of an aggregate mark based on performance across the modules at Levels 5 and 6, (which correspond to the second and third year of full-time attendance).

    Level 6 modules contribute 70% of the aggregate mark and Level 5 contributes 30% to the calculation of the class of the award. Classification of integrated Master’s degrees with Honours include a Level 7 component. The calculation in this case is: 50% Level 7, 30% Level 6, 20% Level 5. At least half the Level 5 modules must be studied at the University for Level 5 to be included in the calculation of the class.

    All other qualifications have an overall grade determined by results in modules from the final level of study.

    In Masters degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.

    Figures from the academic year 2022-2023.

Academic profile

Over 85% of our teaching staff hold Fellowship of Advance HE (previously Higher Education Academy).

The majority of our accounting lecturers have professional qualifications and previous experience in professional practice and/or commercial business.

The University employs over 1,000 suitably qualified and experienced academic staff - 60% have PhDs in their subject field and many have professional body recognition.

Courses are taught by staff who are Professors (19%), Readers, Senior Lecturers (22%) or Lecturers (57%).

We require most academic staff to be qualified to teach in higher education: 82% hold either Postgraduate Certificates in Higher Education Practice or higher. Most academic and learning support staff (85%) are recognised as fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) by Advance HE - the university sector professional body for teaching and learning. Many academic and technical staff hold other professional body designations related to their subject or scholarly practice.

The profiles of many academic staff can be found on the University’s departmental websites and give a detailed insight into the range of staffing and expertise.  The precise staffing for a course will depend on the department(s) involved and the availability and management of staff.  This is subject to change annually and is confirmed in the timetable issued at the start of the course.

Occasionally, teaching may be supplemented by suitably qualified part-time staff (usually qualified researchers) and specialist guest lecturers. In these cases, all staff are inducted, mostly through our staff development programme ‘First Steps to Teaching’. In some cases, usually for provision in one of our out-centres, Recognised University Teachers are involved, supported by the University in suitable professional development for teaching.

Figures from the academic year 2022-2023.

Belfast campus

Accommodation

High quality apartment living in Belfast city centre adjacent to the university campus.

Find out more - information about accommodation (Opens in a new window)  


Student Wellbeing

At Student Wellbeing we provide many services to help students through their time at Ulster University.

Find out more - information about student wellbeing (Opens in a new window)  

Standard entry conditions

We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.

A level

BBB; or

BBC including one of Mathematics, Economics, Physics or Accounting

Applied General Qualifications

RQF Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma/OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Extended Diploma

Award profile of DDM.

We will also accept smaller BTEC/OCR qualifications (ie Diploma or Extended Certificate/Introductory Diploma/Subsidiary Diploma) in combination with A Levels or other acceptable level 3 qualifications.

To find out if the qualification you are applying with is a qualification we accept for entry, please check our Qualification Checker - https://www.ulster.ac.uk/study/entrance-requirements/equivalence

We will also continue to accept QCF versions of these qualifications although grades asked for may differ. Check what grades you will be asked for by comparing the requirements above with the information under QCF in the Applied General and Tech Level Qualifications section of our Entry Requirements - https://www.ulster.ac.uk/study/entrance-requirements/undergraduate-entry-requirements

Irish Leaving Certificate

120 UCAS tariff points to include a minimum of five subjects (four of which must be at Higher Level). The overall profile must include English at minimum grade H6 at Higher Level or grade O4 at Ordinary Level plus Mathematics at minimum H5 at Higher Level or Grade O3 at Ordinary Level.

OR

112 UCAS tariff points to include a minimum of five subjects (four of which must be at Higher Level). The overall profile must include English at minimum grade H6 at Higher Level or grade O4 at Ordinary Level. This course also requires you to achieve H3 in one of Mathematics, Economics, Physics or Accounting. If Mathematics is not passed at H3, you will be required to achieve a minimum H5 at Higher Level or O3 if studied at Ordinary Level in addition to one of the subjects above.

Irish Leaving Certificate UCAS Equivalency

Scottish Highers

Grades BBBCC or grades BBCCC to include one Scottish Highers from Mathematics, Economics, Physics or Accounting.

Scottish Advanced Highers

CCC or grades CCD to include grade C if undertaking one Advanced Scottish Highers from Mathematics, Economics, Physics or Accounting.

International Baccalaureate

Overall profile is minimum 26 points (13 points at Higher level).

Access to Higher Education (HE)

Overall profile of 65% (120 credit Access course) (NI Access course). To include a 20 credit Level 2 Mathematics module, passed at 60% or successful completion of NICATS Mathematics at 60% as part of the pre-2021 Access Diploma or GCSE Maths grade C*/5.

Overall profile of 24 credits at distinction and 21 credits at merit in taught modules (60 credit Access course) (GB Access course)

GCSE

For full-time study, you must satisfy the General Entrance Requirements for admission to a first degree course and hold a GCSE pass at Grade C/4 or above in English Language, plus Mathematics with a minimum grade C*/5.

Please note that for purposes of entry to this course the Level 2 Certificate in Essential Skills - Application of Number is NOT regarded as an acceptable alternative to GCSE Mathematics.

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.

Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.

Additional Entry Requirements

Acceptable alternative qualifications include:

Ulster Foundation Degree
Pass in Foundation Degree in Accounting with an overall mark of  55%, plus a minimum of 55% in each final year module, excluding Work Based Learning for year 2 entry.

Pass HND with overall Merit to include 60 distinctions. Plus GCSE Maths Grade C*/5.

Pass HNC with overall Distinction to include 90 distinctions in all level 4 credits. Plus GCSE maths grade C*/5.

You may also meet the course entry requirements with combinations of different qualifications to the same standard as recognised by the University (provided subject requirements as noted above are met).

Exemptions and transferability

The majority of students enter this programme in year 1 at Level 4. However applicants who provide evidence of previous relevant successful study may be considered for entry to Level 5 of the programme. Exceptionally applicants may be considered for entry at Level 6. Transfer will normally be admitted with exemptions depending on prior accredited knowledge.

There is a facility for transfer to other undergraduate degree programmes depending upon the nature of the subject matter of the other degrees and academic achievement.

Students who transfer from another university should present module information. Ulster University can consider giving module exemptions on a like for like basis for succesful prior studies.

The programme has been accredited by all UK and Ireland professional accounting bodies such as: Chartered Accountants Ireland (CAI), Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and Chartered Institue of Management Accountants (CIMA). You have the opportunity to gain maximum exemptions from professional examinations depending on the pathway selected for study and the final module mark obtained.

The Department of Accounting, Finance and Economics have high level and well established partnerships with the following major accountancy bodies: Chartered Accountants Ireland (CAI); The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS); The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW); The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA); The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA); The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA); The Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA); The Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Ireland (CPA); The Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIT); The Association of International Accountants (AIA); and The Institute of Internal Auditors UK and Ireland (IIA).

Careers & opportunities

Graduate employers

Graduates from this course are now working for:

  • Accounting practice
  • Banking
  • Charities and not for profit organisations
  • Commercial enterprise
  • Financial services
  • Government bodies and agencies

Job roles

With this degree you could become:

  • Accountant
  • Auditor
  • Business analyst
  • Forensic accountant
  • Fund accountant
  • Management consultant
  • Tax advisor

Career options

There is a considerable demand for those with accounting knowledge in business, industry and the public service. This suite of pathways provides you with an excellent basis for pursuing a professional qualification with one of the accountancy bodies and/or if you want to expand your knowledge in other allied areas of business.

As a graduate, you may take up a position as an Accounting Practitioner providing audit, accountancy, forensic services and taxation services to a variety of businesses and individuals. You can avail of many accounting and finance roles in any type of business e.g. Financial or Management Accountant in a large commercial enterprise or within central or local Government; a Taxation Specialist; a Management Consultant or an Educationalist.

You may, depending on classification obtained, be permitted to go on to further study at postgraduate level. On successful completion of your programme, it may be possible to progress to a Postgraduate Diploma / Masters in Advanced Accounting or Masters in Strategic Accounting.

Work placement / study abroad

After successful completion of your second year on the programme, you will have the option of a paid placement year in a range of local and international locations. This will provide a link between the subjects you have studied and their application in a 'real world' setting.

Satisfactory completion of the placement year will lead to the award of the Diploma in Professional Practice. You also have the option to study abroad for a year; satisfactory completion of a study abroad year will lead to the award of the Diploma in International Academic Studies.

Through our excellent links with businesses and accounting employers, there are also opportunities for you to avail of short-term placements over the summer months.

Professional recognition

Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA)

Accredited by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) for the purpose of exemption from some professional examinations.

Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW)

Accredited by the Institute of Chartered Accountants England and Wales (ICAEW) for the purpose of exemption from some professional examinations.

Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)

Accredited by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) for the purpose of exemption from some professional examinations through the Accredited degree accelerated route.

Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)

Accredited by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) for the purpose of exemptions from some professional examinations.

Chartered Accountants Ireland

Accredited by Chartered Accountants Ireland for the purpose of exemption from some professional exams.

Apply

Start dates

  • September 2025

Fees and funding

Scholarships, awards and prizes

Student achievements on the BSc Hons Accounting (Pathways) are recognised through an extensive range of prizes and awards sponsored by both professional bodies and leading employers including Abacus, Baker Tilly Mooney Moore, BDO, CIMA, Deloitte, EY, Henry Murray & Co., KPMG, PwC and many others.

At a previous prize-giving ceremony Mr John Poole, a Senior Partner with leading global professional service firm KPMG, stated that “it’s essential that employers and the University work together to develop the great talent pool that exists in Northern Ireland and to reward them for their efforts and successes. As a significant employer of graduates, we will continue to work with the University and its students to achieve our common goal, namely the development of business leaders of the future who will help grow Northern Ireland businesses through the current economic environment and beyond”.

Additional mandatory costs

It is important to remember that costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges) and normal living will need to be covered in addition to tuition fees.

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses (in addition to tuition fees) we make every effort to highlight them above. We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals, as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free Wi-Fi are also available on each of the campuses.

There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.

Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as a part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs, as well as tuition fees.

See the tuition fees on our student guide for most up to date costs.

Contact

We’d love to hear from you!

We know that choosing to study at university is a big decision, and you may not always be able to find the information you need online.

Please contact Ulster University with any queries or questions you might have about:

  • Course specific information
  • Fees and Finance
  • Admissions

For any queries regarding getting help with your application, please select Admissions in the drop down below.

For queries related to course content, including modules and placements, please select Course specific information.

We look forward to hearing from you.


For more information visit

Disclaimer

  1. Although reasonable steps are taken to provide the programmes and services described, the University cannot guarantee the provision of any course or facility and the University may make variations to the contents or methods of delivery of courses, discontinue, merge or combine courses and introduce new courses if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Such circumstances include (but are not limited to) industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key staff, changes in legislation or government policy including changes, if any, resulting from the UK departing the European Union, withdrawal or reduction of funding or other circumstances beyond the University’s reasonable control.
  1. If the University discontinues any courses, it will use its best endeavours to provide a suitable alternative course. In addition, courses may change during the course of study and in such circumstances the University will normally undertake a consultation process prior to any such changes being introduced and seek to ensure that no student is unreasonably prejudiced as a consequence of any such change.
  1. The University does not accept responsibility (other than through the negligence of the University, its staff or agents), for the consequences of any modification or cancellation of any course, or part of a course, offered by the University but will take into consideration the effects on individual students and seek to minimise the impact of such effects where reasonably practicable.
  1. The University cannot accept any liability for disruption to its provision of educational or other services caused by circumstances beyond its control, but the University will take all reasonable steps to minimise the resultant disruption to such services.

Testimonials

The Accounting Pathways degree has helped develop my personal and professional skills. You will be supported by friendly lecturers who are experts in their field. It is a challenging yet equally rewarding degree that will open up many career opportunities for you. Ulster University has great links with employers, you will be given the opportunity to meet face to face with representatives from world leading firms in the Accounting and Finance Industry.(Philip Stothers, Recent Graduate)

I would highly recommend choosing The Accounting Pathways degree as it offers excellent opportunities for students. In addition to learning all things accounting, students receive the opportunity to enhance skills required within the workplace and for interviews, build resilience and increase confidence levels. Whilst the course requires commitment, and a strong work ethic, it is extremely rewarding. Teaching across all modules is to a high standard and the support network is fantastic. I have really enjoyed my time at Ulster. (Clare Morrison, Final Year Student)

Lecturers were very knowledgeable of the area. All had worked in industry, so were able to provide good feedback and real world experience. (National Student Survey comment).

Great employer links. Supportive lecturers. Personal rapport built with lecturers. Enjoyed the small classrooms. Helped with study abroad opportunities. (National Student Survey comment)