What's Accountancy like?

Accountancy is much more than numbers and figures. It's an area with exciting prospects and a huge variety of possible roles. 

Many roles come with an excellent salary of around £22,000 at entry level to around £65,000-plus* later in your career. There are good benefits packages and in-job training courses to progress your career.

In Scotland, around 86,000 people work in the financial services industry. You could be working in jobs such as:

  • management accountant
  • forensic accountant
  • insurance broker
  • insurance risk surveyor
  • economist
  • investment analyst
  • investment banker

You could work in different locations in Scotland, the UK or abroad as you develop your career.

This apprenticeship gives you a unique opportunity to get workplace knowledge and experience. You'll also get an industry-recognised qualification.

(*Salary ranges from National Careers Service)

What's the qualification?

You’ll gain a Foundation Apprenticeship in Accountancy. That's the same level of learning as an SQA Higher, which is SCQF level 6.

This includes a National Progression Award (NPA) in Accountancy at SCQF Level 6.

It also includes, at SCQF level 6:


*When you complete the AAT units, you'll be awarded the AAT Level 2/SCQF 6 Certificate in Bookkeeping.

SCQF qualification levels explained

What will I learn?

You'll gain an overview of the whole accountancy sector and you'll also learn about:

  • recording financial accounting information
  • bookkeeping
  • preparing financial information
  • indirect tax
  • analysing accounting information
  • management accounting
  • professional ethics for accountants

Your Foundation Apprenticeship will also help you to develop meta-skills. Employers value these skills, which include:

  • communication
  • problem-solving
  • working with others
  • time management

You'll need these transferable skills for working in a range of other related jobs.

Where could it take me?

Your Accountancy Foundation Apprenticeship gives you lots of options, including:

  • Modern Apprenticeship: When you complete this apprenticeship, you’ll have done 3 units of the Level 3 Modern Apprenticeship in Accounting. That's because it includes units from the Modern Apprenticeship. The units are in the 'professional qualification skills and competence' element. 

  • further study: Get more training and other qualifications, such as an HND or HNC. They'll help you progress into accountancy roles. Your workplace experience will support your college application.

  • university: Scottish universities recognise Foundation Apprenticeships as equal to an SQA Higher. You’ll have accounting experience already, so it makes your UCAS application stand out. This apprenticeship also gives you 42 UCAS tariff points. Find out about points on the UCAS website.

  • straight to a job: Use your qualification and work experience to find a job in financial services. Typical starter roles include an accountancy technician. You could progress through other roles and training to become a Chartered Accountant.

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Key facts

  • You could progress to jobs in accountancy, finance and many other areas
  • Average salaries range from around £22,000 to £65,000
  • The qualification is equal to an SQA Higher (SCQF level 6)

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How will it work?

You'll do your Foundation Apprenticeship alongside your other school subjects. You'll work on projects with an employer and a learning provider, such as a college. It'll give you an industry-recognised qualification that's great for your CV.

Read our brilliant info on the Accountancy Foundation Apprenticeship to see how it works!

How can I apply?

If you're staying on at school, you can apply for a Foundation Apprenticeship.

Use the search tool to find out if this subject is available at your school. Then fill out the form that comes next, to let us know you're interested. We'll get back to you with more information.

Find out if this subject is available at your school