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AAT Foundation Certificate and Advanced Diploma

ICS Learn


What will I learn?

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The combined AAT Foundation Certificate and Advanced Diploma in Accounting course allows you to study the first two AAT qualification levels in one convenient, affordable package.

You don't need any experience or qualifications to enrol on this online course, making it perfect if you're just starting out on your accountancy career. Once you've completed the course, you'll be qualified for mid-level accounting jobs and be able to move on to the highest level of AAT study, the Professional Diploma.

The AAT Foundation Certificate will give you a solid grasp of essential accounting skills and principles. You'll understand the basics of manual and computerised accounting and how to use these techniques in a 'real world' setting.

During the AAT Advanced Diploma, you'll master more complex financial processes, including VAT for businesses, management accounting costing techniques, advanced spreadsheet skills, and preparing final accounts. You'll also learn about professional ethics.

In total, these two AAT qualifications are worth 87 UCAS credits. They have a Total Qualification Time (TQT) value of 860 hours. The TQT is a measure of how long it will take to complete a qualification and includes the Guided Learning Hours as well as any unsupervised learning and time spent on independent research.

The first half of the course, the Foundation Certificate, sits on the Qualifications and Credit Framework at Level 2, or Level 5 in the Scottish system. The final qualification you'll receive, the Advanced Diploma, sits at Level 3, or Level 6 in the Scottish system.

The first part of this combined qualification, the Foundation Certificate in Accounting (AQ2016 Syllabus), consists of five separate units. They are:

  • Bookkeeping transactions
  • Bookkeeping controls
  • Elements of costing
  • Using accounting software
  • Work effectively in finance

The second part of this combined qualification, the AAT Advanced Diploma in Accounting (AQ2016 Syllabus), consists of six separate units. They are:

  • Advanced bookkeeping
  • Final accounts preparation
  • Management accounting: costing
  • Indirect tax
  • Ethics for accountants
  • Spreadsheets for accounting

Employer-funded Accounting courses can be enrolled as an all-inclusive package which combines course, exam, centre and AAT Membership fees.

What do I need to know?

This course is perfect for you if you're just starting out on your accountancy career and want to progress quickly to important accounting roles. It allows you to complete both the Foundation and Advanced levels of the qualification affordably, without having to enrol again. You don't need any prior experience or qualifications, but you should be comfortable with numbers and have excellent attention to detail. You must be over 19, and if English isn't your first language, you'll need an IELTS score of 5.5 or equivalent.

Awarding Body

Association of Accounting Technicians

Course info


Professional or Industry specific qualification

Study Hours

630 hours

Study mode




Total time for completion

30 months

Who runs this course?



ICS Learn is the world's most experienced distance and online learning organisation . We have been a pioneer in teaching skills and qualifications at a distance for over 127 years, giving you the opportunity to learn while earning and to fulfil your ambitions. Our aim is to make learning as accessible as possible, allowing you to get the skills, training and qualifications you want, in a way that lets you decide when, where and how you learn. Whatever your objectives are, we are here to help, support and guide you through your journey.  

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Three things to check before you take a course

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