Thoughts, insights & waffle


Accountancy Postgrad Decision

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Many undergraduate students are now considering what the next year, and beyond, will entail for them while also not forgetting about the small matter of final exams! One decision a lot of final year students have to make is whether to continue their studies for another year and complete a postgraduate degree. This decision is particularly common in area of accountancy as the major professional accountancy bodies offer exemptions from various professional exams to students who complete approved postgraduate courses in accountancy. This is attractive to many students who wish to minimise the number of exams they will have to take while working full time.


Accountancy & Business Graduates

For students with an undergraduate degree in business or accountancy there are currently 11 Masters in Accounting programmes recognised by CAI (and other accountancy bodies) that will provide exemptions to various levels of professional exams (CAP2 level in CAI)

See here for the list of approved Masters in Accounting programmes recognised by CAI

Note that students are required to have full CAP1 exemptions prior to getting into these masters courses. For students with partial CAP1 exemptions sitting the remaining CAP1 exams as an external student in the summer before you begin the masters is a potential path. See here for more.

Note: Although I did not ultimately do the Masters in Accounting I still sat two CAP1 exams as an external student to obtain my full exemptions prior to starting my training contract. From my perspective this allowed me to skip the first set of exams and avoid any possibility of having to sit some CAP1 exams and some CAP2 exams in the same year (also known as the “modular approach”)

Non Business Graduates

For students from non-business backgrounds (see here for another relevant post also) there are 6 approved Postgraduate Diplomas in Accounting which provide exemptions to the first level of CAI professional exams (CAP 1). These courses can be particularly useful for students to get up to speed with the areas of accountancy and business without the pressure of adjusting to a new full time role simultaneously.

See here for the list of approved Postgraduate Diploma in  Accounting programmes recognised by CAI


Note: Many of the larger accountancy firms provide sponsorship for students wishing to complete an approved postgraduate course in accountancy before entering the firm on a training contract. Students are advised to research each firm’s website regarding their policy on this (as it can vary between firms).


Finally, while accountancy postgraduate courses were the focus of this post there is a vast array of other business related postgraduate courses available to students also. Take a look at postgradireland and the various university/IT business school websites for more postgraduate business courses on offer.



For more on the pros and cons of accountancy postgrads and direct entry take a look here.




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