Study CA in UK for International Students

8 minutes reading time (1660 words)

The United Kingdom (UK) is popular among students for its highly diverse and rich in finance and accounting. It is also called the world finance centre. Students from all over the world travel to the UK to study finances and accounting. The chartered accountant course is one of the most popular financial courses in the UK. It attracts the most significant number of students and has excellent job opportunities. A chartered accountant in the UK can work as a financial advisor or own private equity. There are a wide variety of other career options that students can avail of right after graduation. This makes the UK the ultimate paradise for students interested in pursuing finance and accounts in the future. 

Why Pursue CA in UK?

When planning to pursue CA in the UK, the first and most important question that comes to mind is why? Why should one pursue CA in the UK?

Well, below are some reasons why students pursue CA in the UK:

  • Officially recognized CA qualification: Students are not formally recognized as CA after graduation in the UK. To become an accredited CA, students need to pass one of the following certifications: Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA).
  • Shorter course durations: Unlike most countries, students can opt to graduate one year early in the UK. This helps them save time and money.
  • Job opportunities and placements: Students can work while studying in the UK. This means students can carry on work and graduation side by side. This helps them better understand employers and polish their practical skills.
  • Practical teaching: If students pursue CA from a top university, they can get real-life experiences and practical lessons. This includes decision-making during challenging times in company boardrooms or stock exchange trading.

Top 3 Reasons to Become a CA in UK

A student can become a chartered accountant anywhere globally, so why choose the UK. Given below are a few reasons for that:

  • Job opportunities and earning potential: A fresher CA can get opportunities to work with some of the top companies in the world and make an average salary of 49.9K GBP.
  • Training and Support: All companies in the UK provide a training agreement to fresher CA. They provide practical work experience, an attractive salary, and full support during training.
  • Global recognition: A CA graduate certified by ICAEW gets world recognition. They are recognized in over 154 countries. This gives them worldwide recognition and an opportunity to work anywhere globally.

CA Roles & Responsibilities in UK

The roles and responsibilities of chartered accountants depend on their area of focus and the industry in which they work. Thus, the duties differ for each CA.

But given below are some typical roles and responsibilities that a CA can expect:

  • Budget management
  • Performing financial audits
  • Financial advice
  • Working with clients, individuals, and companies
  • Risk analysis
  • Tax planning advice
  • Maintaining accounting records and preparing billing information
  • Preparing annual financial statements, monthly and annual financial statements
  • Negotiation of contracts with suppliers

Top Universities in UK for CA Courses

The UK is home to some of the top universities and colleges globally. These offer courses in Accountancy, Business, and Finance to become a CA in the UK.

Given below are the top 10 universities according to the QS World Ranking, along with their estimated fees:

QS World Ranking 2022


Average Fees per year (EUR)


The University of Edinburg



London School of Economics



The University of Warwick



Durham University



University of Glasglow



University of Birmingham



University of Leeds



Lancaster University



University of Bath



University of Strathclyde


How to Become a Chartered Accountant?

Becoming a chartered accountant in the UK may seem complicated, but a plan can make it easier. This includes knowing each step in detail and doing research if necessary.

Given below are all the steps on how to become a CA in the UK

Starting apprenticeship:

After graduating from a college or university, students must start a training program. This can be after their first degree or after completing their business qualification.

An Accredited Degree:

Students can also pursue accredited courses supported by ICAEW in accounting or finance. This helps graduates gain knowledge and skills.

Work to gain experience:

Once you have gained accreditation, you can go on to work and gain experience. Along with this, one must remember to gain working experience of at least three years and give professional tests.

Types of CA Courses in UK

UK universities and colleges provide almost all kinds of CA courses that students can opt to pursue. But after graduation, students need to pursue an accreditation degree. These are of four types:

  • ACCA (Chartered Certified accountant)
  • CIMA (Chartered Management Accountant)
  • ICAEW (Associate Chartered Accountant)
  • ICAS (Chartered Accountant)

All of these degrees have different requirements and provide different qualifications. Given below are details of all of them:

  • ACCA (Chartered Certified accountant): This is the most popular qualification among students. This degree enhances students' applied skills, knowledge, understanding, and planning. An ACCA graduate can expect an average salary of 19,300 EUR per year.
  • CIMA (Chartered Management Accountant): This course can be pursued in operational, strategic, management, and certification. It helps enhance students' professionalism, knowledge in accountancy, leadership, and business abilities. The average salary that a CIMA graduate can expect is 63,000 EUR per year.
  • ICAEW (Associate Chartered Accountant): Since this is a premium degree, it consists of 3 levels: Certification, professional, and advances in finance, business, and accounting. This degree is a part of an apprentice contract that includes 3-5 years of experience. This makes it the highest salary offering degree with an average salary of 134,000 EUR per year.
  • ICAS (Chartered Accountant): This degree is a rather complex one. It consists of three levels that one needs to complete - Test of Competence, Test of Professional Skills, and Test of Professional Expertise. Along with this, students need to have 450 days of work experience. The earning potential for graduates of this degree is 44,000 EUR – 66,000 EUR.

Eligibility Criteria for CA in UK

Every college and university in the UK has its eligibility criteria. This differs with every course and route of admission. There are three routes of admission that a student can pick from - Foundation Route (after 12th), Direct Entry Route (after graduation), and the ACA qualification from ICAEW (Institute of Chartered Accountants and England Wales). Given below are the requirements for each route of admission:

  • Foundation Route: This route is for students who wish to pursue CA in the UK after class 12th. The main requirement for this route is that students must have passed class 12th with the main subjects Business, Accounts, and Finance.
  • Direct Entry Route: This is for students who wish to pursue CA in the UK after graduation. They can opt to do so if they have scored 55-60 per cent marks in the UG degree.
  • ACA Qualification from ICAEW: This is the most popular route to becoming CA in the UK. Candidates with any qualification can apply, e.g. A-level school leavers, AAT graduates, apprentices, and members of the chartered bodies.

Application Process to Study CA in UK

A student must follow a specific application process to enrol in CA courses in the UK. This process is given below:

  1. Look for a suitable course for oneself.
  2. Check all entry requirements and see if they're eligible.
  3. Go to the preferred college's page and fill out the application for the respective course. This includes submitting scanned copies of academic certificates, personal statements, proof of English proficiency test, two LOR(Letter of Recommendation), and reference letters.
  4. Keep checking in for any updates.
  5. Once the student is selected, they will get notified via the website.
  6. Finally, the student can go on to process all the formalities before moving to the UK.

Jobs for CA in UK

As mentioned earlier, a CA in the UK can work as a financial adviser or own private equity. Thus, the job opportunities are uncountable. As for the salary, the average salary of a CA in the UK is 152,000 EUR. The starting salary is 78,000 EUR which can go up to 231,000 EUR with time and experience.

Given below are some job roles for CA in the UK, along with their average salary:

Job Post

Average Fees (EUR)



Finance Manager


Finance Analyst


Accountant Executive


Senior Finance Analyst


Senior Accountant


Financial Controller


ALSO READ: Job Market in UK

Top Recruiters

A CA in the UK gets an opportunity to work in some of the top countries in the world. Some of these are given below, along with the salary they offer:


Annual Salary (EUR)

EY (Ernst & Young)








Saffery Champness




PKF Littlejohn




Dixon Wilson


Marks & Spencer


Lloyds Banking Group






Kickstart your academic journey now! Studying abroad could be a long and tedious process however, at AECC , with expert counsellors, your dreams can be achieved with ease. The Counsellors will guide you through every step and help you attain your goals at ease. They will assist with courses, visas, universities, and more.

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