Course overview

If you’ve set your sights on a professional career as a Chartered Accountant, then the Flying Start BA in Accounting & Business is for you. It can fast-track you into a career with PwC, a global and highly-prestigious professional services firm.


  • A fast-track route to become a Chartered Accountant
  • Four-year degree
  • Guaranteed work placements with a competitive salary
  • A mix of work placements and university learning
  • If you achieve a 2:1 and impress on your work placements, you are likely to be offered a permanent job with PwC on graduation
  • Discounted fees in years 2, 3 and 4
  • Credit for prior learning towards 12 out of the 15 professional exams required to become an ICAEW Chartered Accountant
  • Strong sense of community on campus


The Flying Start BA in Accounting & 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
  • A degree with career impact from day one
  • Learn from world-class industry professionals and academics
  • Based at our Whiteknights campus, just 30 minutes from London

Programme overview


A career that could take you anywhere

PwC is one of the largest professional services firms and offers exciting career opportunities for graduates all over the world. PwC could offer you opportunities in a variety of service lines and the possibility of international travel and career mobility after graduation.

Who is it for?

You, if you are self-motivated and determined and have three good A Levels as well as GCSE Maths and English at Grade B (or 6). See 'Important Information' below.

Student support

We offer academic support, personal support, careers advice and professional development, as well as full support for those facing the extra challenges of moving from other countries. The University of Reading's Disability Advisory Service (DAS) offers expert advice and guidance to prospective and current students.

Bursaries and scholarships

Work placements with PwC in years 2, 3 and 4 offer a competitive salary, as well as discounted fees. Additionally, Henley has a selection of bursaries and scholarships.


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 Flying Start students have to say about the course and their experiences:

Case Study - Luisa Kent: BA Accounting & Business - The Flying Start Programme

Case Study - Addy Umashankar: BA Accounting & Business - The Flying Start Programme

Case Study- Emma Would, The Flying Start Programme 3rd year student

Case Study- Eleanor Easton, The Flying Start Programme graduate

Case Study- Ben Robinson, The Flying Start Programme graduate

Read Less

Why Henley?

Great Institution

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. We have a learning environment which is designed to enable you to develop skills which will prepare you for your future and set you apart from other graduates. From our state of the art dealing rooms in the ICMA Centre, through to our brand new building in the heart of our award winning campus, these facilities will be at your fingertips.

The Complete University Guide 2018 has once again shown strong results for our undergraduate courses, with all programme areas listed in the UK top 20 by subject area. This is sustained through our world class teaching, which is underpinned by leading academic theory and research.

As part of the University of Reading, we are consistently ranked among the top 200 universities worldwide according to QS World University Rankings 2018

Great Location

We are understandably proud of our beautiful parkland campus, voted one of the best open spaces in the UK and awarded the prestigious Green Flag for seven consecutive years. Campus is at the heart of university life and provides a special sense of community.

Campus offers:

  • A main library, home to more than 1 million items
  • 24 hour PC and wireless internet access and the latest e-learning tools
  • Award-winning catering facilities
  • A sports centre, home to state-of-the-art indoor and outdoor facilities
  • A thriving Students' Union (RUSU), housing cafés, bars, shops and amenities
  • An opportunity to join over 150 sports clubs and societies

Reading itself has a diverse range of retail and entertainment facilities. The Oracle Centre, set by the river around a mile from campus, features shops, bars and restaurants and a large multiplex cinema, while the town's popular nightlife includes everything from global music to the theatre. Our local amenities include the concert hall, traditional and outdoor theatres and the Madejski Stadium, home to Reading Football Club and the London Irish rugby team. Reading also has a vibrant live music scene and hosts the world famous rock festival. With so much going on, you are guaranteed a great time. Reading station is just 30 minutes by train to central London – close enough but not too close!

We are based in the heart of the UK’s ‘silicon valley’ or ‘M4 corridor’. As a result, we have built strong working relationships with companies. This means that we are able to host a variety of events where business and industry leaders can share knowledge and give insight to our students. This creates an abundance of opportunities for students to network, gain work experience and build relationships with local companies. As a result, you are presented with the very best opportunities to build your personal profile with these organisations.


At Reading we pride ourselves on being a residential university. The majority of our undergraduates as well as many postgraduates live in halls of residence, which provide over 4,000 rooms. All halls are located on or within walking distance of campus and close to local bus routes and facilities. Each hall is a vibrant community offering you a safe and inclusive environment in which to study and relax. Halls vary in style and size so you can choose between a wide range of study, domestic and social facilities. For more information on how to apply for halls of residence (insert link here).


We recognise the pressures all students face and we want you to gain as much as you can from your time at university. Personal 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, whether that be academically speaking, social or domestic.

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 an academic tutor who will be there to offer you ongoing academic advice and support your personal and professional development. Our full-time programme team are always on hand to provide additional support.

And More

For those who want to test their entrepreneurial and applied skills, there are many University wide, national and international competitions that students have the opportunity to get involved with. Such as IDEAFEST, University Business Challenge, Henley Business Challenge and the Cornell International Real Estate Competition to name a few.

How we teach you

Teaching and assessment

You will be taught through a mix of lectures, group projects and interactive classroom lessons. This variety gives 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 which will help develop your critical thinking and problem solving abilities. You will explore and tackle real-world challenges which 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. Not only does this ensure that you are a rounded individual, but also to ensure you have developed your transferable skills which are highly sought after by leading graduate employers.

It is recommended that a typical 20 credit module will require a total of 200 hours of study. The amount of contact hours this will involve varies from module to module, students will select modules equating to the value of 120 credits per academic year. 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 expertise or professional knowledge. It also requires a degree of self-awareness and sensitivity. Our approach is designed to nurture 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 understanding and capabilities 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.

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

Coronavirus update

Due to current government advice regarding the coronavirus pandemic, we are sadly unable to run on-campus events. However, we are working hard to provide a range of online resources and virtual events in place of these, so please do register your interest for our Open Days and we will stay in touch with updates as well as other opportunities to find out more.

When are they?

  • Friday 19 June 2020 (virtual event)
  • Saturday 20 June 2020 (virtual event)
  • Saturday 3 October
  • Saturday 10 October

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 – As for all other degree programmes, you would apply by completing the standard UCAS application form specifying BA Accounting and Business (NN41) at the University of Reading as one of your choices.
  2. Review of UCAS application – We will review your UCAS application, ensuring that you are likely to meet our admissions requirements.
  3. Online Assessment & Assessment centre – Following the review of your UCAS application, we may also invite you to complete some online assessments, which will include an online interview. Selected applicants will then be invited to attend an Open Day and Assessment Centre.

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 Henley Business School's entry requirements - i.e are invited to the assessment centre - will be offered a place on one of our alternative Accounting degree programmes.

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 - AAB
GCSE - English and Mathematics at grade B (or 6) or above
IB - Pass Diploma and achieve 34 points, including 4 in standard level Maths and English

If you meet the initial requirements, you 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 current 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]

Summary module description:

This is a ten week course which provides students with an introduction to 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]
Part 2 Credits

20 [10 ECTS credits]

20 [10 ECTS credits]

20 [10 ECTS credits]

40 [20 ECTS credits]

20 [10 ECTS credits]
Part 3 Credits

40 [20 ECTS credits]

20 [10 ECTS credits]

Financial Management - AC218

20 [10 ECTS credits]

20 [10 ECTS credits]
Part 4 Credits

Business Analysis - AC314

20 [10 ECTS credits]

40 [20 ECTS credits]

40 [20 ECTS credits]

Business and Professional Ethics - AC313

20 [10 ECTS credits]

Fees & funding

Fees 2020-21


Our full-time undergraduate Home/EU course fees are currently £9,250 per year for students starting their course in the 2020/21 academic year.

Currently, students from the UK and the rest of the EU pay the same fees. Arrangements for students applying for entry from 2020 onwards may be subject to change on the advice of the UK government.


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.

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 2020-21

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 Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the 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.

Entry requirements

A Level

Entry requirements vary depending on your chosen degree programme (see Important information) but generally you are expected to achieve grades ABB from 3 A Levels (excluding General Studies and Key Skills).

A minimum of GCSE Mathematics and English, grade B (or 5), is also required.

International Baccalaureate

Applicants completing the International Baccalaureate must pass the Diploma and achieve 32 points.

Other UK and international qualifications

We welcome students with equivalent UK and international qualifications. Please see further information on academic qualifications.

BSc Accounting and Finance

Applicants for BSc Accounting and Finance are required to obtain A Level or AS level Mathematics at grade B or above.

BA Accounting and Business

Applicants for BSc Accounting and Business are expected to achieve grades AAB from 3 Levels, with a minimum of grade B (or 6) in GCSE English and Mathematics.

Please note that in addition to meeting the School's standard entry requirements, shortlisted students applying for BA Accounting and Business will be asked to submit a supplementary application form and may be invited to attend an assessment centre run in conjunction with PwC.

English language

Studying in a second language can be challenging. If your English language ability is below the minimum requirement, we may ask you to provide evidence of proficiency or to attend an English language course before you begin your studies so that you can participate fully in your degree programme.

Please see further information on English language requirements.

Qualification Short name Score required
International English Language Test Score IELTS 6.5
Test of English as a Foreign Language (paper-based) TOEFL 570
Test of English as a Foreign Language (internet-based) TOEFL 88
Cambridge Certificate of proficiency in English CPE C
Test of English for Educational Purposes TEEP 6.5

The University's International Study and Language Centre (ISLC) provides English for academic study in a variety of ways to support your progress and development. This includes pre-sessional and in-sessional support, as well as an International Foundation Programme for students who do not hold the normal entry requirements.

Careers & accreditations

Fast track your way to a professional qualification

As a graduate from Henley Business School's BA Accounting and Business degree programme you will have completed 12 out of the 15 professional exams required to become an ICAEW Charted Accountant.

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 ICAEW Chartered Accountant qualification.

On completing the degree programme you will be approximately one year away from achieving full ICAEW 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 graduates who achieve a 2:1 and impress on their work placements are likely to be offered a permanent job with the firm.

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

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

Work placements

Paid work placements at PwC in years 2, 3 and 4

Throughout your paid work placements with PwC, you’ll put the theory you’ve been learning in the classroom into practice in the office. If you impress while you’re there, and graduate with a 2:1 degree, PwC is likely to offer you a permanent job. And after you pass just three more ICAEW examinations, you could be a fully qualified Chartered Accountant roughly a year after graduating. In fact, wherever you take your career, your qualification will give you a serious competitive edge.

Work placements take place at PwC in years 2, 3 and 4 of the BA Accounting and Business degree programme. In years 2 and 3, placements will take place approximately between mid-December and the end of March, and in year 4 you will undertake a slightly longer placement, running from approximately mid-November to the end of March. The placements are a compulsory part of the programme, and you will be assessed against PwC's performance appraisal criteria as well as the University's academic standards.

The placements will be progressive, in that you will be expected to take on greater professional responsibility by your final year - and this will be reflected in your job grade and salary. Over the course of the three placements you can expect to earn a competitive salary, offsetting a significant proportion of your tuition fees.

The expectation is that you will be based at the same PwC office for all three of your placements - enabling you to build a strong network of contacts and relationships with colleagues and clients. Much of your time while on placement will be spent visiting commercial clients. Should your work placement be based at an office not within reasonable commuting distance from Reading, PwC will cover the cost of your local accommodation. We always try to ensure that you are based in an office location with other placement students from Reading so that you are not left 'on your own'.

Both PwC and Henley Business School will ensure that you are adequately prepared for, and appropriately supported during, your work placements. You will also have access to on-line learning resources and support, to help ensure that you don't completely lose touch with your academic studies while working at PwC.


Click on the headings below for more information on our undergraduate scholarships.

RREF Scholarships for Real Estate & Planning Undergraduate Courses


Reading Real Estate Foundation provides a range of undergraduate and postgraduate bursaries and hardship grants to students who will not be able to complete the course without financial assistance, as well as offering PhD studentships and graduation awards. These bursaries, grants and awards are funded each year by our generous alumni, corporate donors and fundraising events, and are administered by the RREF Disbursements Committee.

Henley Business School Bursary 2020/21


Henley Business School are offering two bursaries of up to £15,000 each over three years for undergraduate programme students starting at Henley Business School in 2020. The bursaries are enabled by philanthropic support and by funds set aside by Henley Business School.

The bursaries 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.

We accept applications from international students.


To be considered for the bursary, you will need:

  • A firm accepted offer of a place on a full-time undergraduate degree programme at Henley Business School commencing September 2020 (excluding Real Estate & Planning courses)
  • To demonstrate that you are facing financial hardship and that without support you will struggle to, or will not be able to complete the course
  • You must show evidence that you are dedicated to your studies

To apply, please complete our Application Form and Income and Expenditure spreadsheet.

The Henley Business School Disbursements Panel will review all bursary applications and you will be informed of their decision in May 2020.


Two bursaries of up to £15,000 over three years are available for Henley Business School undergraduate students commencing their course in September 2020.


3 years

End date information

3 April 2020

Case Study - Emma Would: 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

Case Study - Luisa Kent: BA Accounting & Business - The Flying Start Programme

Case Study - Addy Umashankar: 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

Emma Would

The big advantage of the course was the guarantee of work placements at PwC

BA Accounting and Business - The Flying Start Degree 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.”