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 also good benefits packages and in-job training courses to progress your career.

In Scotland, around 86,000 people are employed 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 Foundation Apprenticeship gives you a unique opportunity to get workplace knowledge and experience. You will also get an industry-recognised qualification.

(*Salary ranges from National Careers Service)

Where could it take me?

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

  • Modern Apprenticeship: When you complete your Foundation Apprenticeship, you’ll have achieved 3 units of the Level 3 Modern Apprenticeship (MA) in Accounting already. That's because it includes units from the MA as the 'professional qualification skills and competence' element. 

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

  • university: Scottish universities recognise Foundation Apprenticeships as equal to an SQA Higher. Because you’ll have accounting experience already, it makes your UCAS application stand out from the crowd. This apprenticeship also provides you with 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 the financial services industry. Typical starter roles include an accountancy technician. You could progress through other roles and training to become a Chartered Accountant.

What's the qualification?

You’ll gain a Foundation Apprenticeship in Accountancy, which is the same level of learning as an SQA Higher (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 will gain an overview of the whole accountancy sector and you will 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 help you to develop core skills that employers need, such as:

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

These transferable skills are necessary and highly desirable for working in a range of other jobs.


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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 complete your Foundation Apprenticeship alongside your other school subjects. You'll work on projects supported by a learning provider, such as a college, as well as an employer. It will give you an industry-recognised qualification which will look great on your CV.

How to apply

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

You can use this simple search tool to find out if this subject is available at your school. Then just fill out the short form that follows to let us know you're interested. We'll be in touch to help you get started.

Find out if this subject is available at your school