Career advantage

Bristol alumni are in the top 4 most targeted by UK top 100 graduate employers (High Fliers Research, 2024).

Learn while you earn

You can choose to apply for a placement in your third year to gain real life experience and make career connections.

Global opportunities

Choose to study abroad for a year as part of your course, or explore options for short-term overseas opportunities to help enrich your experience.

Accounting and Finance at Bristol

Built on tradition but shaped by the very latest thinking, our accounting and finance courses cover the breadth of both disciplines. From understanding cognitive biases through the study of behavioural finance, to learning about the disruptive innovations of bitcoin, fintech, smart-beta investing and high-frequency trading. You will benefit from applying creative and critical thinking to how we measure value.

Our courses are taught by world-leading academics, many undertake internationally renowned research. You will not only learn accounting and finance but also gain a solid foundation in economics and quantitative analysis. We offer a wide range of optional units, meaning you can tailor your degree to your own interests within accounting or finance, or broaden your study beyond them into areas such as data analytics, project management, strategy, and corporate social responsibility and sustainability.

Depending on your course and unit choice, you will have access our financial trading computer room (Bloomberg) to gain hands-on experience with software used throughout the global financial services industry.

Main of our courses are accredited by professional accountancy bodies. Students are able to get exceptions from professional exams from the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) and the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA).

Our accreditations give students a head start on completing professional qualifications to become a Chartered Accountant and demonstrate that our courses are industry relevant. We have been recognised by CIMA under their academic partner excellence award for achieving the third highest pass rate in overall CIMA exams (Global Silver - pass rate excellence - overall CIMA exams).

I feel like everyone wants you to succeed and do really well, and I was surprised how much time the lecturers give; they're so willing to spend their office hours talking to you and advising you.


Career prospects

A student works in the financial trading computer room using Bloomberg Professional software
You will have access to the Professional Liaison Network (PLN), which connects students with employers in the industry through internships and a professional mentoring scheme as well as other events such as talks by alumni and professionals in the industry.

You can also benefit from the help of a dedicated Employability Adviser for the school who develops tailored and bespoke career development support for our students.

Popular employment destinations with our students include KPMG, PwC, Deloitte, EY, and many other organisations across the world. As well as the 'Big-four' accounting firms, approximately half of our students go on to work in investment banks or in the finance sector. Career paths include Business Technology Analyst, Financial Services Manager, Accounts Associate, Auditor and Assurance Graduate.

According to the 2022-23 National Student Survey (NSS), 100% of students surveyed believe staff are good at explaining things and 91% of students believe the course has developed the knowledge and skills needed for the future.

Course structure

A teacher points at a whiteboard while talking to two students.

You will gain the skills and knowledge to work effectively in the fast-paced world of business and financial services. To help you prepare for your career, we guide you to think critically, enabling you to analyse and interpret real-life issues in Accounting and/or Finance to come up with creative solutions.

In the first year you will develop your skills across the core disciplines of accounting, economics, finance and mathematics, as well as choosing at least one optional unit.

In year two you will study financial accounting, management accounting and finance in more depth, learning more advanced theory and techniques alongside optional units.

In your final year you will have flexibility and a wide choice of optional units. You may choose to specialise and strengthen your skills in a particular area, or keep your options open and follow a broader path.

You can choose to extend your degree to four years, spending your third year studying in English overseas. You will also have the option to take one of our professional placement degrees and spend a year working in a financial environment. Find out about all of our go abroad options.

Sample units may include:

  • Economic Principles
  • Globalisation and Development
  • History of Economic Thought
  • Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability
  • Organisational Crime and Corruption
  • Digital Finance
  • Behavioural Finance.

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