Benefits of studying accounting and finance

Student smiling in front of Aberdeen campus

What is accounting and finance?

Put simply, accounting and finance integrates the concepts of money with business and management. Together they cover a range of institutional and organisational processes of reporting, calculation and evaluation. 

What’s the difference between accounting and finance?

Accounting focuses on the analysis of information and recording financial transactions. While finance concentrates on the management of money and the funds of a business. 

Why study accounting and finance?

There are many reasons to study accounting and finance at university, from the highly valuable transferable skills you will develop to the career opportunities it presents. Here are our top five benefits of studying accounting and finance: 

1. Flexible career path

Graduating from university with an accounting and finance degree will leave you with a variety of career paths to choose from. You could pursue a career as a chartered accountant, stockbroker or forensic accountant, or you could head in a completely different direction and use what you’ve learnt from your degree to become a business development manager, data analyst or mortgage advisor.

2. High earning potential

Graduates that hold a degree in accounting and finance have the potential to earn high-paying salaries depending on the career path they follow. If you choose to become a public or private accountant you can expect to start on a salary of around £18,000. With further experience and the relevant qualifications, you can aim to earn as much as £100,000 a year (National Careers Service). 

3. Every industry needs accountants

Choosing an accounting and finance career path means you will have the skills to work in a profession that is constantly in high demand. Companies from all industries require accountants and finance professionals to manage their finances. High demand for accounting and finance graduates means you will have strong job security.

4. Graduate schemes and training

Studying a degree in accounting and finance results in an abundance of graduate training schemes. If accounting is the career you want to pursue then you will have the opportunity to follow a set career path after graduating. You can join an established company as a graduate trainee and follow a structured training programme with straight forward career progression. 

5. Transferable skills

An accounting and finance degree will give you a number of transferable skills that will help enhance your CV and make you a desirable employee to a range of employers. You will develop strong numerical and quantitative skills, with advanced analytical and problem-solving capabilities. Some skills typically in high demand by employers that you will learn include:

  • Communication
  • Time management and organisation
  • Knowledge and awareness of business organisations
  • Ability to argue your case and negotiate

Why study accounting and finance at the University of Aberdeen?

Accountancy degrees at the University of Aberdeen which is ranked as the best university in the UK for Accountancy and Finance (The Complete University Guide 2021), provide a high-quality and practical education that will set you up for the future.

Option to study for a joint honours degree

Take two subjects you enjoy with the option to study for a joint honours degree at Aberdeen. You can combine accountancy with a number of other subject disciplines including business management, economics, finance and legal studies to name a few. As a joint honours degree is specific to your interests, employers will be impressed by both your passion and unique skillset.

Real-life employers and scenarios

In a dynamic learning and research environment, you will learn from experts in accounting practice and benefit from real-life employers and scenarios integrated into your programme.

Professional training facilities

Choosing to study accountancy at the University of Aberdeen means you can take advantage of professional training facilities that include the Bloomberg finance lab - used by major financial companies across the world. This means you will graduate with the practical skills to join companies which use these features.

International opportunities

Graduating from the University of Aberdeen with a degree in accounting will mean you will gain a qualification that will be internationally recognised. Not only will you receive recognised certification from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS), you will also receive Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) and Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), which are used by most countries around the world - meaning you can pursue your career internationally.

How to study accounting and finance in Scotland?

If you want to study accounting and finance abroad then the University of Aberdeen International Study Centre is the place to start. Our pathway programmes combine subject-specific modules with English language lessons to prepare you for an undergraduate or postgraduate degree at the University of Aberdeen, depending on your academic background and English level.

Studying in the UK can be a huge adjustment, but by choosing to study at the International Study Centre you will receive the support and preparation you need to transition to degree study in either your second or third year, still graduating in the standard four years it would take a domestic student in Scotland – so you can start your accounting career even sooner. Or, if you choose to study our Pre-Masters Programme, you will study at the International Study Centre for 12-weeks and then go on to study your masters at the university.

What pathway programme should I study?

Undergraduate level

Undergraduate Foundation Programme

The Undergraduate Foundation Programme in Business, Economics, Accounting & Real Estate will give you the start you need to study an accounting and finance degree in Scotland. You'll spend the first year at the International Study Centre, before joining the second year of your undergraduate degree at the University.

International Year Two

Alternatively, you could study the International Year Two in Business Management & Finance if you have already gained a higher level of academic achievement in your home country. Our programme offers a fast-track route to your graduation. This is a one-year programme at the International Study Centre that is equivalent to the second year of a Scottish degree, from which you will progress to the final two years of your finance degree at the university.

Postgraduate level

Pre-Masters in Business & Law

If you’re looking to study an accounting and finance postgraduate degree abroad in the UK, you can study our Pre-Masters in Business & Law. This programme is designed to help international students transition to a postgraduate degree at the University of Aberdeen, helping you to develop the skills you need.


What is the main purpose of accounting?

The main purpose of accounting is to track an organisation’s financial health and reliability. Without an accountant, business owners would not be able to track the financial performance of their company. 

What is the future of accounting and finance?

The accounting industry is rapidly evolving, especially with the rise of technology, this means there is a constant demand for accounting and finance graduates. 

What are 5 careers in accounting and finance?

  • Chartered accountant – manage financial systems and budgets, liaise with clients, produce reports and prepare financial statements.
  • Stockbroker – buy and sell stocks, shares and other securities on behalf of clients.
  • External auditor – help businesses of all types and sizes achieve their potential, offering recommendations for improvement.
  • Management accountant – analyse financial information to guide and advise businesses to perform successfully. 
  • Chartered public finance accountant – ensure the effective operation of accounting activities in public sector organisations.

Note: Salary information is sourced externally. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the salary ranges.