Accounting A Level

Course Description

Do you want a career with huge variety working as a highly regarded, well paid professional? Whilst being numerate is important, Accounting is not Maths!

All the Accounting teaching staff have worked in accounting and finance professions prior to their teaching career and several are also Assistant Examiners helping students apply their subject knowledge and exam technique. Accounting complements most subjects well; many students combine Accounting with Economics or Business Studies, finding that they provide a good basis for a university application in one of these career areas.

Entry Requirements

Students studying four A Levels will be expected to have a minimum of 6 GCSEs at grade 7, 8 or 9 including English Language and Mathematics at grade 6 or above. Students studying three A Levels will be expected to have a minimum of two GCSEs at grade 6 and three GCSEs at grade 4, including English Language and Mathematics at grade 4.

Course Content

Accounting is a unique and diverse subject. Its academic and practical aspects will allow you to gain a critical understanding of the way in which financial information is used, and misused! After an initial grounding in bookkeeping, you will explore the different branches within the accountancy profession as a ‘Financial Accountant’, compiling and analysing the accounts of limited companies and manufacturing businesses as well as facing the dilemmas of a ‘Management Accountant’ when using financial data to plan ahead and to help make informed strategic business decisions. Will a firm break-even? Should all decisions be based on maximising profits? How are accounts legally ‘window-dressed’ to present the firm in a desirable way? Should accountants consider the ethical impact of their actions? Which non-financial issues affect the decisions made by accountants?

No previous accounting knowledge is assumed. Examination questions require the use of extended written answers to evaluate financial information; acknowledging that financial information is a tool to assist with decision- making.


The College teaches the AQA Accounting specification. Two examinations (3 hours per unit) are taken at the end of Year 2. Each unit is assessed by a written exam, where numerical calculations, the construction and interpretation of financial statements is accompanied by an extended written analysis of the findings, with some questions requiring you to make decisions, advising firms on the best action to take.

Enrichment and Work Experience

Students can participate in the annual BASE competition where we compete with other schools and colleges on a real life scenario set by the ICAEW (Institute of Chartered Accountants for England and Wales). Problem solving and presentation skills are essential!. Some students may also (subject to selection) be able to gain work experience in the finance department of the College. A trip to Jaguar will support some core topics.

Additional Information

Students studying Accounting without A Level Mathematics will study Core Mathematics to support your studies in this area.

Future Career Opportunities

As well as progressing onto an Accounting or Finance university course, success in A Level Accounting will lead you onto a variety of related Business or Economics degrees. It will also appeal to those who want to embark on a financial career as a Chartered, Cost or Management Accountant and/or as an Accounting Technician at the age of 18. Many of our students are successful in gaining employment and training with accounting firms which can lead to full professional status and further lucrative career opportunities.

Why Study at BSFC?

Bolton Sixth Form College is one of the few colleges to offer Accounting and has an outstanding A Level pass rate and higher grade pass rate which places us in the top 10% of colleges every year. You will benefit from a range of industrial visits to see how the theory works in practice. The College has excellent links with the Accounting Trainee Programme at KPMG, where students have benefited from Management shadowing opportunities and their undergraduate gap year programme. Strong links with local accountants also exist, where work experience opportunities have been an integral feature of the course via our enrichment programme.