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Female financial analyst

Diploma of Higher Education in Accounting and Finance

This specialist diploma is designed to provide you with an understanding of the role of accounting and financial management within business and today’s society to an intermediate level. You’ll become equipped with the technical skills to practice accountancy along with a broader academic knowledge and cover topics that will instil creative and critical thinking, reasoning, and research skills. These skills and the knowledge you’ll gain from studying this diploma can be applied to a wide range of business activities and prepare you for a variety of exciting careers in accounting, finance or more broadly within business.

 

Key features of the course

  • Covers the theoretical and practical aspects of financial accounting, management accounting and financial management to an intermediate level
  • Develops your ability to evaluate accounting and financial information 
  • Develops academic skills such as critical thinking and assessing arguments

A nationally recognised qualification in its own right, this diploma of higher education is also equivalent to the first two thirds of the BSc (Honours) Accounting and Finance (R52).

Course Summary

+Shortlist Course

Diploma

Diploma

  • Widely recognised qualification.
  • Equivalent to the first two thirds of an honours degree.
  • Enhance your professional and technical skills or extend your knowledge and understanding of a subject.
  • Study for interest or career development.
  • Top up to a full honours degree in just two years.
Course code
W18
Credits

Credits

  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
  • One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
  • You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
  • For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.
240
How long it takes
Part time – 4 years
Full time – 3 years
Time limit – 12 years
Study method
Distance learning

Course details

This diploma has two stages, each comprising 120 credits.

  • You’ll start Stage 1 with an introduction to business and management, learn the fundamentals of accounting and business data analytics and decision making.  
  • Next, in Stage 2, you'll study financial accounting, management accounting, financial management and law for accounting and finance. 

Prepare for OU study with an Access module

We offer two starting points depending on how confident you are or how long it’s been since you last studied. Choose to dive straight in at Stage 1, or if you’d prefer some extra preparation, you can get started with an optional Access module. See Entry requirements for more details.

Stage 1 (120 credits)

You’ll learn essential and fundamental knowledge relating to understanding accounting, business management, and data analytics and decision making. These modules will lay the foundations of your studies and will prepare you for Stage 2.

Please note you will only be able to study this stage over two years due to the availability of a new module. We recommend you study B100 in October 2022, B124 in October 2023 and B126 in April 2024.

ModulesCredits
You'll start your diploma with:
An introduction to business and management (B100)60
Fundamentals of accounting (B124)30
Business data analytics and decision making (B126) – planned for April 202430

Stage 2 (120 credits)

This stage develops the knowledge and skills you gained at Stage 1 and delves deeper into the theoretical and practical elements of financial and management accounting and finance/financial management. You’ll also be introduced to the main legal principles within the context of accounting and finance.

ModulesCredits
You'll study the following:
Intermediate financial accounting (B250) – planned for October 202430
Law for accounting and finance (B251) – planned for October 202430
Financial management (B252) – planned for April 202530
Intermediate management accounting (B253) – planned for April 202530

We regularly review our curriculum; therefore, the qualification described on this page – including its availability, its structure, and available modules – may change over time. If we make changes to this qualification, we’ll update this page as soon as possible. Once you’ve registered or are studying this qualification, where practicable, we’ll inform you in good time of any upcoming changes. If you’d like to know more about the circumstances in which the University might make changes to the curriculum, see our Academic Regulations or contact us. This description was last updated on 15 March 2022.


Accessibility

We make all our qualifications as accessible as possible and have a comprehensive range of services to support all our students. The Diploma of Higher Education in Accounting and Finance uses a variety of study materials and has the following elements:

  • studying a mixture of printed and online material – online learning resources may include websites, audio/video media clips, and interactive activities such as online quizzes
  • face-to-face tutorials/day schools/workshops and/or online tutorials
  • working in a group with other students
  • continuous and end-of-module assessment in the form of essays, short answer questions, and examinations
  • using and producing diagrams or screenshots
  • finding external/third party material online
  • engagement with learning and assessment within a pre-determined schedule or timetable – time management will be needed during your studies and the University will help you to develop these skills throughout your degree
  • using specialist software
  • using technology for research purposes involving access to catalogues and databases online.

For more detailed information, see the Accessibility Statements on individual module descriptions. If you feel you may need additional support, visit Disability support to find more about what we offer.


Learning outcomes, teaching and assessment

This qualification develops your learning in four main areas:

  • Knowledge and understanding.
  • Cognitive skills.
  • Practical and professional skills.
  • Key skills.

The level and depth of your learning gradually increases as you work through the qualification. You’ll be supported throughout by the OU’s unique style of teaching and assessment – which includes a personal tutor to guide and comment on your work; top quality course texts; elearning resources like podcasts, interactive media and online materials; tutorial groups and community forums.

Read the detailed learning outcomes here

Credit transfer

If you’ve already completed some university-level study somewhere else, you may be able to count it towards this qualification – which could save you time and money by reducing the number of modules you need to study. At the OU we call this credit transfer. It’s not just university study that can be considered, you can also transfer study from a wide range of professional or vocational qualifications such as HNCs and HNDs.

Credit transfer is not available for October 2022 registrations as some of the curriculum is currently in development. If you would like to begin your studies in October 2023, we will start accepting credit transfer applications from February 2023.

You should apply for credit transfer before you register, at least 4 weeks before the registration closing date. For more details and to download an application form, visit our Credit Transfer website.


On completion

On successfully completing this course, we’ll award you our Diploma of Higher Education in Accounting and Finance.

International recognition

If you intend to use your Open University qualifications to seek work or undertake further study outside the UK, we recommend checking whether your intended qualification will meet local requirements for your chosen career. Find out more about international recognition of Open University qualifications.

Regulations

As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the qualification-specific regulations below and the academic regulations that are available on our Student Policies and Regulations website. 


Entry requirements

There are no formal entry requirements for this qualification.

However, a basic understanding of mathematical operations, such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division would be helpful.

How much time do I need?

  • Most of our students study part time, completing 60 credits a year.
  • This will usually mean studying for 16–18 hours a week.

Find out if you have enough time to study with our time planner

Preparing for study with an Access module

Students who start their study with an Access module are more likely to be successful when they advance to Stage 1 of their qualification. They’re specially designed to give you a gentle introduction to OU study, boost confidence in your study skills, and help you gain a broad overview of your chosen subject area.

You’ll also benefit from:

  • feedback from your tutor through regular one-to-one phone tutorials
  • support from a dedicated team throughout your study
  • detailed written feedback on your work.
The Access module we’d recommend studying in preparation for this qualification is our:

People, work and society Access module

What you will study

This multidisciplinary module provides an excellent introduction to studying with The Open University; you'll get to cover a wide range of subject areas, including childhood and youth studies, social science, psychology, health, business and law.

View full details of People, work and society Access module

Science, technology and maths Access module

What you will study

This multidisciplinary module is an ideal starting point if you have little or no previous knowledge of the sciences, technology and mathematics. It’ll help develop your study skills in advance of your OU qualification, and you get to explore a number of STEM subjects including science, engineering and design, environment, mathematics, and computing and IT.

View full details of Science, technology and maths Access module

How much will it cost in England?

We believe cost shouldn’t be a barrier to achieving your potential. That’s why we work hard to keep the cost of study as low as possible and have a wide range of flexible ways to pay to help spread the cost.

  • Fees are paid on a module-by-module basis – you won't have to pay for the whole of your qualification up front.
  • A qualification comprises a series of modules, each with an individual fee. Added together, they give you the total cost.
  • Most OU students study part time at a rate of 60 credits a year.
  • Our current fee for 60 credits is £3,228*.
  • Our current fee for 120 credits, which is equivalent to a year's full-time study, is £6,456*.
  • At current prices, the total cost of your qualification would be £12,912*.
  • .

*The fee information provided here is valid for modules starting before 31 July 2023. Fees normally increase annually in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees.

Additional costs

Study costs

There may be extra costs on top of the tuition fee, such as set books, a computer and internet access. If your income is not more than £25,000 or you are in receipt of a qualifying benefit, you might be eligible for help with some of these costs after you start studying.


How will I study this course?

With our unique approach to distance learning, you can study from home, work, or on the move.

You’ll have some assessment deadlines to meet, but otherwise you’ll be free to study at the times that suit you, fitting your learning around work, family, and social life.

For each of your modules, you’ll use either just online resources or a mix of online and printed materials.

Each module you study will have a module website, with:

  • a week-by-week study planner, giving you a step-by-step guide through your studies
  • course materials such as reading, videos, recordings, and self-assessed activities
  • module forums for discussions and collaborative activities with other students
  • details of each assignment and their due dates
  • a tutorial booking system, online tutorial rooms, and your tutor’s contact details
  • online versions of some printed module materials and resources.

If you have additional needs, we can also provide most module materials in alternative formats. Find out more about materials on our accessibility webpage.


Tutor support

You’ll have a tutor for each module, who will introduce themselves before the module begins.

Throughout the module, they will:

  • mark your assignments and give feedback to help you improve
  • guide you to learning resources
  • support you, whether with general study skills or help with a specific topic.

Tutorials

Tutorials throughout the course could be online, face-to-face or a mixture of the two, and they’re always optional.

Online tutorials are live presentations with module tutors in dedicated online tutorial rooms, and are sometimes recorded.


Assessment

Our assessments are all designed to reinforce your learning and help you show your understanding of the topics. The mix of assessment methods will vary between modules.

Computer-Marked Assignments

  • Usually a series of online, multiple-choice questions.

Tutor-Marked Assignments

  • You’ll have a number of these throughout each module, each with a submission deadline.
  • They can be made up of essays, questions, experiments or something else to test your understanding of what you have learned.
  • Your tutor will mark and return them to you with detailed feedback.

End-of-Module Assessments

  • The final, marked piece of work on most modules.
  • Modules with an end of module assessment won’t usually have an exam.

Exams

  • Some modules end with an exam. You’ll be given time to revise and prepare.
  • You’ll be given your exam date at least 5 months in advance; you’ll need to attend one of our many exam centres in the UK or Europe.
  • All exams taking place before 31 December 2023 will be remote exams that you will complete at home or at an alternative location.

Progressing to a point where I felt more comfortable writing my assignments, and having my scores reflecting that, made me quite happy because it showed the hard work was being rewarded.

Patrick ‘Ricky’ Skene, BSc (Hons) Sport, Fitness and Coaching

Other support and resources

Throughout your studies, you’ll have access to our subject-specific Student Support Teams.

They’ll help you with any general questions about your study and updates to your OU account.

To help with your studies, you’ll also have access to:

  • our online library, with high-quality online resources to support your study
  • other university libraries in the UK and Ireland
  • the online Help Centre, which has general information about OU study and support, along with study skills advice
  • free Microsoft Office 365 software
  • IT and computing support from our Computing Helpdesk.

Find out more about student support and being a part of the OU community.

Skills for career development

The ability to analyse, report and manage financial information is a much sought-after skill in organisations. By completing this diploma you’ll be equipped with transferrable skills and knowledge that can be applied in many areas of an organisation. Here are some of the skills which this diploma will help you acquire.

  • Understanding the contexts within which an accounting and finance professional operates including wider organisational, ethical and governance issues
  • Understanding, applying and assessing a range of qualitative and quantitative concepts, methods, tools and techniques
  • Interpreting financial and accounting information.
  • Communicating and presenting accounting and finance information clearly and succinctly.
  • Constructing logical and coherent arguments and applying critical thinking.

Career relevance

The skills and knowledge you’ll develop by studying this diploma will equip you to follow a number of career paths, and are recognised by employers as having great value for work in accounting, finance and business management areas. A qualification in accounting and finance can lead to opportunities in a wide range of areas such as auditing, taxation, management and financial reporting. Some careers may require further study, training and/or work experience beyond your degree such as becoming a Chartered Accountant or a Chartered Financial Analyst.

Accreditation

The Open University Business School is one of the few institutions worldwide that are triple-accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) the European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS), and Association of MBAs (AMBA). These are internationally recognised quality standards which independently validate the quality of the School’s teaching, research and operations. The School undergoes regular reviews to ensure that standards are maintained and has successfully retained its triple accredited status since 2004. This qualification is accredited through inclusion in these reviews.

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Exploring your options

Once you register with us (and for up to three years after you finish your studies), you’ll have full access to our careers service for a wide range of information and advice. This includes online forums, website, interview simulation, vacancy service as well as the option to email or speak to a careers adviser. Some areas of the careers service website are available for you to see now, including help with looking for and applying for jobs. You can also read more general information about how OU study enhances your career.

In the meantime if you want to do some research around this qualification and where it might take you, we’ve put together a list of relevant job titles as a starting point. Some careers may require further study, training and/or work experience.

  • accountant 
  • management accountant
  • financial accountant
  • business analyst
  • financial analyst 
  • budgetary advisor
  • fund manager 
  • risk analyst
  • management consultant
  • investment analyst
  • tax advisor/analyst
  • auditor 
  • project manager
  • finance manager
  • financial controller.

Register for this course

Start dates
Credit transfer: apply by 11/08/2022
Credit transfer: apply by 08/12/2022

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