Course overview

If you’ve set your sights on a professional career, then the Flying Start BA in Accounting and Business will fast-track you into a job with a global and highly-prestigious professional firm. 

As well as a qualification from Henley, one of the most respected business schools in the world, this four-year degree will earn you accreditation with the ICAEW. So you could be fully-qualified as a Chartered Accountant within approximately a year of graduation. That’s two years faster than taking the traditional route of Milk Rounds and cold job applications.

One of the many attractive components of the degree is a sought-after work placement at PwC. This will give you hands-on experience at a top professional services firm and the chance to apply what you’ve learned. Not only will that look good on your CV, it could also provide a stepping stone to a brilliant career.


The Flying Start BA in Accounting and Business offers:

  • Three work placements during term time – leaving you free to enjoy your summer holiday with the cash you’ve earned at work
  • The strong prospect of securing of a job offer (provided a 2.1 is achieved with good references from placements) – and a competitive graduate starting salary
  • Based at our Whiteknights campus just 25 minutes from London
  • Learn from world-class, professionally-trained Henley faculty
  • Innovative high-tech environment
  • Beautiful award-winning surroundings
  • The opportunity to live in halls and experience student life
  • A degree with career impact from day one.


A job that could take you anywhere

PwC is one of the largest accountancy firms and offers exciting career opportunities for graduates all over the world. It’s a job that goes far beyond number-crunching. PwC consultants work at the highest strategic level, troubleshooting, analysing client performance and advising clients, from charities to governments and large multi-nationals to start-up businesses.

The Flying Start BA in Accounting and Business - Get to where you want to be. Faster.


Applying: Assessment Centre

Group exercise and individual interview with the PwC team. Look around, speak to students and meet the PwC staff.

Year 1: University

Full-time study

Years 2 - 4: University and PwC

Complete a 14–16 week work placement at PwC each year.

After graduating: Full-time Work

Perform well on placements & achieve a 2:1. One year away from being a ICAEW Chartered Accountant.


Take a look at some of the frequently asked questions about this course here.

Case Studies

Who better to talk about life at Henley Business School, than the Henley students themselves! See what current Flying Start students - Eleanor, Ben R and Ben F - have to say about the course and experiences so far: 

Case Study- Eleanor Easton, The Flying Start Programme year 4 student

Case Study- Ben Francis, The Flying Start Programme graduate

Case Study- Ben Robinson, The Flying Start Programme graduate

Read Less

Why Henley?

“National league tables show that Henley Business School consistently provides one of the most satisfying and rewarding student experiences in the UK.” Professor John Board, Dean.

No matter what degree you choose to study at Henley Business School, you can be sure that you are laying the strongest possible foundations for your future career. Because Henley is part of the University of Reading, ranked among the top 200 universities worldwide (QS World University Rankings 2018), home to one of the best on campus environments in the UK and some of the country's most satisfied students.

The learning

Our programmes are designed to be highly relevant, innovative and challenging, and taught through a mix of lectures, project workshops and interactive tutorials. The latest thinking and research are used to tackle real-world challenges and so test, extend and refine your knowledge and skills.

The support

We recognise the pressures all students face and we want you to gain as much as you can from your time at university, which is why support and career guidance is embedded within all of our degree programmes. At every step of the way we have a team of people on hand to provide help and advice. And when you leave, the support continues as you will automatically join the Alumni association, a group of over 70,000 people in 150 countries, for the purpose of networking and keeping up to date with news and continuing education.

The campus and location

The Whiteknights campus is a short walk or bus ride to the centre of Reading, a vibrant city on the river Thames that boasts a rich selection of entertainment and leisure activities, from music to bars to sport to shopping. Our beautiful parkland campus and halls of residence are at the heart of university life and a strong community. Its sporting, academic and social facilities cater for all tastes and interests and provide a complete student experience. Reading is just 30 minutes by train to central London – close enough but not too close!

How we teach you

Teaching and assessment

You will be taught through a mix of lectures, project workshops and interactive tutorials, giving you the opportunity to discuss, explore and apply the subject material in depth with your lecturers and fellow students. You'll be introduced to the latest thinking and research findings and be able to challenge some of those involved. Tackling real-world challenges will give you the opportunity to test, extend and refine your knowledge and skills.

Programmes are assessed through written assignments, group presentations and formal examinations designed to test your knowledge and abilities and to develop transferable 'soft' skills, highly sought after by leading graduate employers. The University's exam period falls between April and June in the summer term whilst other forms of assessment take place throughout the academic year.

Personal development

Programmes at Henley Business School are built upon academic excellence, strong research and the practical application of business and professional ideas and concepts. We offer high-quality technical skills training as well as a deep understanding of the importance of personal development for leaders, a thread that runs through all of our degree programmes.

We believe that effective leadership requires more than first-class business acumen or professional knowledge. It also requires a degree of self-awareness and sensitivity. Our approach is designed to nurture emotionally intelligent graduates who can be fully effective in their chosen careers. Work placement or internship opportunities will help you to apply and further develop your knowledge and skills in a working environment.

Career guidance and support is embedded within all of our degree programmes. You will receive practical support ranging from CV and application advice to workshops and graduate careers fairs. In addition we welcome guest speakers from a wide range of organisations and sectors, who will offer you unique insights and important networking opportunities.

Ongoing support

Whilst our reach and scale are truly global, our attention to detail in every part of the Henley experience will always be personal to the needs of each and every student.

Our students are highly self-motivated and determined individuals but university study can present additional pressures which we take seriously.

To ensure you gain as much as you can from your time at university you will receive dedicated support throughout your studies, starting the moment you apply. Freshers' week at the start of term features a wide range of welcome events, designed to familiarise you with Reading and everything university life has to offer.

Upon enrolment you will be assigned a personal tutor, an academic member of staff in the School who will be there to offer you ongoing help and advice, and our full-time programme team are always on hand to provide additional support.

Open days

Thinking of applying to a Henley Business School programme at the University of Reading? Our open days will give you the opportunity to experience Henley Business School at the University for yourself and find out about the courses you are interested in - find out more

When are they?

Friday 15 and Saturday 16 June 2018 

Register your interest here

If you have already applied to study at Henley, make sure you sign up for a visit day to get a feel for what life would be like as an undergraduate student here.

How to apply

The admissions process for BA Accounting and Business has additional application requirements which are outlined below.

There are 3 stages in the admissions process

  1. UCAS application – You need to meet the academic requirements, or tell us of any extenuating circumstances. 
  2. Supplementary application form – You need to show evidence of the PwC Professional competencies. 
  3. Assessment centre – You need to show evidence of your motivation and aptitude of the course.

If you meet the initial requirements, you will be sent a supplementary application form, which will help you prepare for the assessment centre. At the assessment centre we will look for  evidence of The PwC Professional five core skills:

  • Whole leadership – We need you to lead yourself and others by making a real difference in the work you do. This means delivering results in a responsible, authentic, resilient, inclusive and passionate way.
  • Business Acumen – You’ll bring business knowledge and awareness, or have a willingness to learn about business, and can bring innovation, and fresh thinking to create distinctive value for PwC clients.
  • Technical capabilities – In your role you apply a range of technical capabilities to deliver quality and value for our clients and PwC.
  • Global Acumen – In a continually complex and changing world, you’ll need to operate and collaborate effectively, with a mind-set that transcends geographic and cultural boundaries.
  • Relationships – You’re skilled at building relationships of high value which are genuine and rooted in trust.

The assessment centre

Group Assessment

The group exercise allows us to observe how you interact and collaborate with others in a team. We give you a pack of information and ask you to use it as a team to come up with solutions to a range of issues.

The exercise gives you an opportunity to demonstrate the ability to communicate effectively, influence others and manage a team task with changing priorities under timed conditions.


This is a one-to-one competency-based interview to give you an opportunity to demonstrate a range of skills and attributes that are important to a career in accountancy. We are looking for you to demonstrate a clear interest in business, so you should be prepared to talk in some detail about a topical business issue. In addition, we want to see that you have carefully considered your choice of degree and career, so you should also be prepared to discuss this.

Preparation will be particularly important for the interview but on the day you will also need to listen carefully, communicate clearly and concisely, and give specific examples to demonstrate different skills and attributes.

Offer of a place on a degree programme

Successful applicants will be offered a place on the BA Accounting and Business degree programme. Applicants who are unsuccessful in applying to BA Accounting and Business but who meet the Henley Business School's entry requirements may instead be offered a place on the BA Accounting and Management degree programme or an alternative programme.

Faculty & Staff

Contact Image

Contact Us

If you have any questions, please contact us by email at or by phone on +44 (0)118 378 4262.

Important Information

Entry requirements:
A Level - AAA- AAB from 3 A Levels
GCSE - Mathematics at grade A, English at grade B or above
IB - Pass Diploma and achieve 34-35 points

You will be required to complete a supplementary application form and may be invited to attend an assessment centre, run in conjunction with PwC

UCAS code:
NN41 (degree programme) READG R12 (University)

4 years full time including three paid work placements with PwC

Course modules

The module descriptions set out on this page are correct for modules being taught in the 2017/18 academic year. Optional module listings are indicative and may be subject to change

Part 1 Credits

20 [10 ECTS credits]

20 [10 ECTS credits]

20 [10 ECTS credits]

20 [10 ECTS credits]

To provide students with an introduction to the foundations of English law: the English legal system, the law of contract and some aspects of the law of tort.

10 [5 ECTS credits]

10 [5 ECTS credits]

20 [10 ECTS credits]

Students must choose optional modules to the value of 20 credits from an approved list of modules. A complete list of optional modules is available from the Programme Director and a list of current options can be found in the relevant school handbook. There is no guarantee that in any one year all module will be available. New optional modules may also be added.

Part 2 Credits

20 [10 ECTS credits]

20 [10 ECTS credits]

20 [10 ECTS credits]

20 [10 ECTS credits]

40 [20 ECTS credits]
Part 3 Credits

40 [20 ECTS credits]

20 [10 ECTS credits]

20 [10 ECTS credits]
Part 4 Credits

40 [20 ECTS credits]

Fees & funding

Fees 2017-18


Our full-time undergraduate Home/EU course fees are currently £9,000 per year for students who started their course in or before the 2016/17 academic year. From the start of the 2017/18 academic year, tuition fees will rise to £9,250 in line with the rise of the statutory maximum cap in England.


Fees for students from outside the EU are slightly higher and set by the University on an annual basis. Please see the University's student finance pages for further information. 

Work placements with PwC

For students taking BA Accounting and Business, which contains placements in years 2, 3 and 4, the fee level will be set at 80% of the full fee in these years.

Living costs

Please note that tuition fees do not include accommodation and other living costs. Students are advised to budget for between £160 and £240 per week depending on their accommodation charges.

International students, who often need to allow for additional accommodation and living costs during three vacations are advised to budget for at least £12,000 per year excluding tuition fees.

Financial support 2017-18

University sources of funding

We believe that fees must not be a disincentive for talented young people applying to university and have a strong record in providing financial support to students from all over the world and a wide range of backgrounds through scholarships, bursaries and other awards.

Please see further information on student finance or contact  

External sources of funding 

This information applies to students who normally live in England. Please see further information provided by the UK government on student finance.  If you normally live in another UK region or outside the UK, different rules will usually apply. Please see alternative information for students from ScotlandWalesNorthern Irelandthe EU and overseas.

Tuition Fee (Student) Loan

Students who have not studied a higher education programme before can apply for a tuition fee loan to cover the full cost of their tuition fees. This loan is paid directly to the University. Graduates only start to pay back this loan once they are working and their salary is above the minimum threshold. EU students from outside the UK who meet certain conditions are also eligible to apply.

Maintenance (Student) Loan

Students can apply for an annual maintenance loan. Loans will be assessed on household income. The amount of maintenance loan available is reduced if a student is receiving a maintenance grant. Repayments will be made in the same way as for a tuition fee loan.

Maintenance Grant

Students from families with low incomes can apply for a non-repayable maintenance grant. Those from families with incomes above the threshold can apply for a partial grant. These grants are available to cover living costs such as accommodation, food, travel and materials. Students don't have to pay these grants back. Students apply online at the same time as applying for the tuition fee (student) loan. Grants are paid in three instalments, at the start of each term.

National Scholarship Programme

Students from families with low incomes may be eligible to receive help with tuition fees, subsidised accommodation, a cash bursary or other help. Awards are paid by the University and Students can apply once they have received an offer for a place on a degree programme. Please see further information on the National Scholarship Scheme.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements vary depending on your chosen degree programme but generally you are expected to achieve grades AAB from three A Levels (Excluding General Studies and Key Skills). A minimum of GCSE Mathematics grade A and English, grade B or above, is also required. Applicants completing the International Baccalaureate must pass the Diploma and achieve 35 points. Please see the information on each of our degree programmes for specific entry requirements. We also welcome applicants with equivalent UK and international qualifications.

Further information


For enquiries about applying through UCAS

International Office

For enquiries from students outside the EU and information where you can meet us:

Careers & accreditations

Fast track your way to professional accreditation

As a graduate from Henley Business School's BA Accounting and Business degree programme you will have completed all 12 of the 'professional level' papers contributing to the ICAEW's Associate Chartered Accountant (ACA) qualification. This will leave you with just three 'advanced level' papers to complete after graduating.

In addition, the professional experience gained during your work placements with PwC will count towards more than half of the technical work experience days required as part of the ACA qualification.

On completing the degree programme you will be approximately one year away from achieving full ACA chartered accountant status - putting you ahead of other graduates entering the accounting profession, and enabling you to excel and advance in your future career.

Career progression

There is no obligation for you to work at PwC after completing the BA Accounting and Business degree programme, though successful graduates will receive an offer of employment from the firm.

As a graduate from this degree programme, you can expect a premium starting salary on account of the practical experience gained during the course of the programme - as well as your progress towards completion of the ACA qualification.

The programme truly does offer a fast track to a graduate career in the professional services sector.


Available Scholarships for all Undergraduate Programmes

The Henley Business School Academic Excellence Scholarship


Henley Business School is keen to attract students who are expected to achieve academic excellence in their A level results but may find it challenging, for whatever reason, to undertake a university degree.

We are offering two scholarships to students who have committed to enrol on any of our undergraduate programmes in Business, Accounting, Finance or Real Estate and Planning. (Details of these can be found on our undergraduate page)


To apply for this scholarship you must complete and submit your application, paying particular attention to your personal statement. This statement should set out your academic and extra-curricular activities, along with a brief explanation as to why this scholarship would make a difference to you. There is no formal application form, send your personal statement in an email or as a word document attachment. This submission will be considered alongside your entry qualifications in determining the award recipients. In the event of a tie you may be invited to participate in an interview in front of a judging panel. Submit your application via email to:

Contact us

If you have any queries relating to the Undergraduate Academic Excellence Award then please contact Ms Jacqui Fletcher at the Henley Business School. Telephone +44 (0) 118 378 6063 or email

  • You must be a Home or EU student to apply for this award.
  • You must be applying through UCAS as a new student, entering a full time Undergraduate programme led by the Henley Business School starting 2016 and have accepted the ‘University of Reading’ as your Firm Choice by 30th June 2018.
  • You must be entering year 1 of study and be new to the Henley Business School, UoR.
  • You should be expected to achieve academic excellence in your A level results, and
  • You should be able to demonstrate that the additional financial support would remove a barrier to further education.

The scholarship is £9000 in total. It provides £5,000 in the first year and £2000 in year 2 and the final year.

  • This money can be used towards local travel, books or accommodation.
  • The money will be paid directly into your bank account.
  • There are two scholarships available in 2018-19.
  • Payment will only be activated once you have successfully enrolled onto your chosen degree.

First, Second and Final year of Undergraduate study.

End date information

31st August 2018

More information

The Henley Alumni Bursary


Henley Alumni Bursary

The philanthropic support of the Henley Business School alumni community has enabled us to create a new bursary of up to £15,000 over three years for Undergraduate Programme students starting at Henley Business School in 2018. This will be awarded from income raised for the Henley Alumni Fund.

The Bursary will be awarded to applicants who can demonstrate significant financial need and who will contribute to the diversity and experience of their programme. A consideration of the wider impact of your Undergraduate degree on graduating will also be taken into account. 


To be considered for this Bursary, you will need:

  • A firm accepted offer of a place on a full-time Undergraduate degree programme at Henley Business School commencing September 2018 (excluding Real Estate & Planning courses)
  • You should demonstrate evidence that you are facing financial hardship and that without help you will not be able to complete the course
  • You must show evidence that you are dedicated to your studies

To apply, please download a Henley Alumni Bursary Application Form.

The Henley Alumni Fund's Disbursements Panel will review all bursary applications and you will be informed of their decision at the beginning of May 2018.


One bursary of up to £15,000 over three years is available for a Henley Business School undergraduate student commencing their course in September 2018. 

Bursaries cannot be transferred to another intake or mode of study.

Should you have any queries relating to the Henley Alumni Bursary then please contact or call +44 (0) 118 378 4192.


3 years

End date information

5pm on 6 April 2018

Case Study - Ben Francis: BA Accounting & Business - The Flying Start Programme

Case Study - Eleanor Easton: BA Accounting & Business - The Flying Start Programme

Case Study - Ben Robinson: BA Accounting & Business - The Flying Start Programme

Ben Francis

‘The course offers relevant technical knowledge, the opportunity to gain exemptions from professional accountancy exams and is delivered by a team of enthusiastic, industry- experienced lecturers who are always willing to go the extra mile to support you in any way they can.’

BA Accounting and Business - The Flying Start Degree Programme

Ellie Easton

"Everyone is so willing to help, and there’s a real sense that they have all invested in your long-term future"

BA Accounting and Business - The Flying Start Degree Programme

Ashley Merredew
BA Accounting and Business, Year 2

"I picked the programme as it gives you a competitive edge over other students studying other accountancy exams as the course fast tracks you into becoming an accountant. The quality and range of subjects combined with the knowledge and experience of lecturers provides an exciting and diverse programme."

Chloe Wheeler
BA Accounting and Business, Year 2

"When leaving school I felt that I did not want to miss out on the University experience, but I was also worried that if I went to University I may find it hard to gain employment at the end of my time due to the current economic climate. As such, applying for the Accounting and Business programme seemed to combine my wishes, as I could combine the experience of going to University with that of gaining valuable work experience and completing professional exams. This course meant that I did not have to repeat any exams after finishing my University degree course as some of the exams already count towards the ICAEW accreditation."

James Donnelly
BA Accounting and Business, Year 3

"I strongly believed that this course was an ideal start to my career in the business world.  The opportunity to experience student life whilst also gaining professional real life experience was one which I couldn’t refuse!  From day 1, lectures, tutorials and all other university work is focused towards the progressions through our ICAEW qualification.  Lecturers are knowledgeable, experienced and approachable making learning both interesting and fun.  As a campus the University of Reading covers all my needs; sport, social and study, all within walking distance of student halls.”

Olivia Otamiri
BA Accounting and Business, Year 3

"From about the age of 13 I knew I wanted to be an accountant and there was a PwC office not too far from where I live. I did my research and fell in love with the profession and company. Once I came across the BA Accounting and Business programme at the University of Reading I knew it was the best opportunity.  Now I’m here, it's a wonderful experience meeting people from all over the world who share similar dreams to you and are just as hard working. If you're a student out there and you want to be a chartered accountant, I believe this programme will fit you like a glove."

Charlotte Simes
BA Accounting and Business, Year 4

“Because the course is so close-knit, I’ve made many good friends and connections. And the feeling of community not only includes classmates, but lecturers and representatives from PwC as well. Knowing I’ll have the support of this community right through my PwC career and beyond makes me much more confident about working in a business environment.”

Ben Francis
BA Accounting and Business, Year 4

“The course offers relevant technical knowledge, the opportunity to gain exemptions from professional accountancy exams and is delivered by a team of enthusiastic, industry-experienced lecturers who are always willing to go the extra mile to support you in any way they can.”

Rachel Franklin
BA Accounting and Business, Year 4

“I applied for the BA Accounting and Business programme because of the excellent links with industry and PwC, and also because of the beautiful campus at Reading. The exam accreditations are another bonus – you’re on a fast-track to the ICAEW ACA qualification, giving you an advantage over other students studying a traditional accounting degree. As year groups are relatively small compared to other degree programmes, there’s a strong sense of community among the students and staff at the business school too.”