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Our AAT Students

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Get AAT qualified online at your own pace with live online classrooms, unlimited 1:1 tutor support, and interest-free payment plans. 

Our combined AAT Advanced Diploma & Professional Diploma in Accounting course allows you to study both levels in one affordable, convenient package.

This online course is perfect if you're already working in accountancy or have completed an AAT Foundation Certificate/Level 2 qualification. It'll allow you to take on senior accounting roles, set up your own practice or take a fast-track Chartered Accountancy course.

The AAT Advanced Diploma course will develop your skills in advanced bookkeeping, spreadsheet software, accounts preparation, final accounts for sole trader and partnerships, and management costing techniques. You'll understand VAT issues in business and professional ethics for accountants. 

On the AAT Professional Diploma course, you'll learn to draft financial statements for limited companies, recommend strategy for accounting systems, and build and present complex management accounting reports. You'll gain key financial management skills and pick two specialist study areas.

Once you've passed, you'll automatically become an affiliate AAT member. You'll also be able to achieve internationally-recognised professional MAAT status if you have the right work experience by applying for full membership.

The course is accredited by the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT), the UK’s largest professional body for accounting technicians, so it’s internationally recognised and sought-after by employers.

That’s why our AAT pass rate is a brilliant 95%.

*Based on 1,280 exam sittings and 1,215 passes by ICS Learn AAT students between July 2015 and June 2016.

In total, these two AAT qualifications have a Total Qualification Time (TQT) value of 1,080 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 AAT Advanced Diploma, sits on the Qualifications and Credit Framework at Level 3, or Level 6 in the Scottish system. The final qualification you'll receive, the Professional Diploma in Accounting, sits at Level 4, or Level 8 in the Scottish system. 

In total, you'll study twelve separate units, six for each course.

AAT Advanced Diploma in Accounting

For the first half of this of this combined qualification, the AAT Advanced Diploma in Accounting (AQ2016 Syllabus), you'll study the following units:

Advanced Bookkeeping

  1. Apply the principles of advanced double-entry bookkeeping
  2. Implement procedures for the acquisition and disposal of non-current assets
  3. Prepare and record depreciation calculations
  4. Record period end adjustments
  5. Produce and extend the trial balance

Final Accounts Preparation

  1. Distinguish between the financial recording and reporting requirements of different types of organisation
  2. Explain the need for final accounts and the accounting and ethical principles underlying their preparation
  3. Prepare accounting records from incomplete information
  4. Produce accounts for sole traders
  5. Produce accounts for partnerships
  6. Recognise the key differences between preparing accounts for a limited company and a sole trader

Management Accounting: Costing

  1. Understand the purpose and use of management accounting within an organisation
  2. Apply techniques required for dealing with costs
  3. Apportion costs according to organisational requirements
  4. Analyse and review deviations from budget and report these to management
  5. Apply management accounting techniques to support decision making

Indirect Tax

  1. Understand and apply VAT legislation requirements
  2. Accurately complete VAT returns and submit them in a timely manner
  3. Understand the implications for the business of errors, omissions and late filing and payment
  4. Report VAT-related information within the organisation in accordance with regulatory and organisational requirements

Ethics for Accountants

  1. Understand the need to act ethically
  2. Understand the relevance to the accountant’s work of the ethical code for professional accountants
  3. Recognise how to act ethically in an accounting role
  4. Identify action to take in relation to unethical behaviour or illegal acts

Spreadsheets for Accounting

  1. Design and structure appropriate spreadsheets to meet customer needs
  2. Use spreadsheet software to record, format and organise data
  3. Use relevant tools to manipulate and analyse data
  4. Use software tools to verify accuracy and protect data
  5. Use tools and techniques to prepare and report accounting information

AAT Professional Diploma in Accounting

The second part of this combined qualification, the AAT Professional Diploma in Accounting (AQ2016 Syllabus), also has six units. Four are mandatory, then you'll choose two more from four possible options.

The mandatory units are:

Management Accounting: Budgeting

  1. Prepare forecasts of income and expenditure
  2. Prepare budgets
  3. Demonstrate how budgeting can improve organisational performance
  4. Report budgetary information to management in a clear and appropriate format

Management Accounting: Decision and Control

  1. Analyse a range of costing techniques to support the management accounting function of an organisation
  2. Calculate and use standard costing to improve performance
  3. Demonstrate a range of statistical techniques to analyse business information
  4. Use appropriate financial and non-financial performance techniques to aid decision making
  5. Evaluate a range of cost management techniques to enhance value and aid decision making

Financial Statements of Limited Companies

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the reporting frameworks and ethical principles that underpin financial reporting
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of the key features of a published set of financial statements
  3. Draft statutory financial statements for a limited company
  4. Draft consolidated financial statements
  5. Interpret financial statements using ratio analysis

Accounting Systems and Controls

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the role and responsibilities of the accounting function within an organisation
  2. Evaluate internal control systems
  3. Evaluate an organisation’s accounting system and underpinning procedures
  4. Analyse recommendations made to improve an organisation’s accounting system

The optional units you can choose from are:

Business Tax

  1. Complete tax returns for sole traders and partnerships and prepare supporting tax computations
  2. Complete tax returns for limited companies and prepare supporting tax computations
  3. Provide advice on the UK’s tax regime and its impact on sole traders, partnerships and limited companies
  4. Advise business clients on tax reliefs, and their responsibilities and their agent’s responsibilities in reporting taxation to HMRC
  5. Prepare tax computations for the sale of capital assets

Personal Tax

  1. Analyse the theories, principles and rules that underpin taxation systems
  2. Calculate a UK taxpayer’s total income
  3. Calculate income tax and National Insurance (NI) contributions payable by a UK taxpayer
  4. Account for capital gains tax
  5. Discuss the basics of inheritance tax

Cash and Treasury Management

  1. Use statistical techniques and financial information to prepare forecasts of cash receipts and payments
  2. Prepare cash budgets and monitor cash flows within the organisation
  3. Evaluate the principles of cash management within the context of regulation and government monetary policies
  4. Evaluate ways of raising finance in accordance with organisational requirements
  5. Evaluate ways of investing surplus funds within organisational policies

Credit Management

  1. Analyse relevant legislation and contract law that has an impact on the credit control environment
  2. Critically analyse information from a variety of sources to assess credit risk and grant credit in compliance with organisational policies and procedures
  3. Evaluate a range of techniques to collect debts
  4. Critically evaluate credit control in line with organisational policies and procedures
  5. Present advice and recommendations to management on the credit control system
  6. Preparing accurate computations and complete relevant parts of self-assessment tax returns

You'll choose your two optional units once you've begun your studies. Your tutor will be more than happy to help you make the decision.

This course is ideal for you if you aspire to become a fully qualified Accounting Technician and take on senior accounting roles. 

It's also suitable for you if you want to start your own accounting practice, or enter a fast-track programme to become a Chartered Accountant. You can find out more about this under 'Further Education'.

To take this course, you'll need the Foundation Certificate in Accounting (or Level 2 Certificate, as it was previously known), or some accounting experience in an entry-level or support role.

You must be over 19, and if English isn't your first language, you'll need an IELTS score of 5.5 or equivalent.

Please note that if you have a criminal record or have been made bankrupt, AAT may not accept you as a member. This means you won't be able to sit your exams. If you're unsure, please contact AAT directly for advice.

Not sure which course is right for you? Complete the AAT Skillcheck. It's a short online test with a series of multiple-choice questions that takes 30 minutes to complete, and it'll suggest the level that would suit you best.

If you have any disabilities which you believe may impact your studies or assessments, please inform your Course Advisor before enrolment so that we can advise you on whether reasonable adjustments can be made to accommodate your needs.

AAT qualifications are highly respected by employers as the gold standard in technical accounting.

  1. 77% of students agree that studying AAT has increased their earning potential
  2. 78% of MAAT/FMAATs and 73% of students are satisfied with their jobs
  3. 83% of members feel secure in their jobs

Once you've completed both levels of the combined course, you'll be a fully qualified Accounting Technician.  You'll automatically become an affiliate member of AAT, and if you have the right work experience you can apply for internationally-recognised professional MAAT status.

You could set up your own accounting practice, or begin fast-tracked further study to become a Chartered Accountant.

You'll be equipped with the skills needed to work in senior accounting roles such as:

  1. Senior Finance Officer
  2. Senior Fund Accountant
  3. Senior Insolvency Administrator
  4. Professional Accounting Technician
  5. Assistant Auditor
  6. Assistant Management Accountant
  7. Accounts Payable and Expenses Supervisor
  8. Payments and Billing Manager
  9. Commercial Analyst
  10. Cost Accountant
  11. Fixed Asset Accountant
  12. Indirect Tax Manager
  13. Payroll Manager
  14. Senior Bookkeeper
  15. Tax Supervisor
  16. Assistant Financial Accountant
  17. VAT Accountant

You don't need to wait until you've completed the full course to apply for better, more senior roles. When you've competed the first half of the combined course, the Advanced Diploma, you'll be ready to take on mid-level roles such as:

  1. Accounts Assistant
  2. Accounts Payable and Expenses Supervisor
  3. Accounts Payable Clerk
  4. Assistant Accountant
  5. Audit Trainee
  6. Professional Bookkeeper
  7. Corporate Recovery Analyst
  8. Credit Controller
  9. Finance Officer
  10. Indirect Tax Manager
  11. Insolvency Executive
  12. Payroll Supervisor
  13. Finance Assistant
  14. Senior Bookkeeper
  15. Tax Assistant

All statistics from the AAT Salary Survey Report 2017.

The Professional Diploma is the highest AAT Accounting qualification, so once you've finished your course, you'll be a fully qualified Accounting Technician.

All the UK Chartered Accountancy bodies recognise AAT qualifications, and AAT is sponsored by the professional accounting bodies CIPFA, ICAEW, CIMA and ICAS.

You could also train with the Association of Taxation Technicians (ATT) to become a tax specialist.

You can either pay for your course in full or opt for an interest-free payment plan. You'll pay a small deposit and the rest by monthly direct debit. Our plans are flexible, so you can extend the terms or pay your balance off sooner if you choose.

Speak to our course advisors for more information on our payment plans.

Please note that the AAT Student admission fee, annual AAT student membership fee, AAT exam fees and AAT exam centre administration fees aren't included in the course price listed. Please contact us for the latest AAT fee information.

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

Extensive Resources

Once you enrol, you’ll have access to our Student Community, which will allow you to see your course materials, contact your tutor and student support team, submit your assignments and connect with your fellow students. Your course materials have been specially designed for online learning by experts in the field. 

The Student Community will give you access to a huge range of helpful resources:

  1. Live tutor-led online classrooms
  2. Interactive quizzes
  3. Progress checks
  4. Online activities
  5. Peer discussions
  6. E-books
  7. Personal journal
  8. AAT resources


We'll also give you:

  1. Kaplan textbooks in both print and ebook form

You can access your ebooks through the MyKaplan website.

Our optional live tutor-led online classrooms allow you to talk the tutor, interact with other students, and get help with anything you're stuck with. The majority are scheduled during lunchtimes, evenings and weekends so they're as easy as possible to fit around work. They're also recorded so if you can't make it, you can watch them back and re-watch them as many times as you need. 

Unlimited Support

Whenever you need help, there'll be a real person on hand.

You'll be assigned an expert academic tutor who will be with you from enrolment to graduation. Their support is unlimited and you can contact them by phone, email or via the Student Community. They’ll answer questions about coursework, study materials, assessments and exams, and help you work through any part of the course you’re stuck with. All your work will be given constructive feedback so you know exactly what your strengths are and what you can improve.

Plus, our dedicated student support team will be on hand to assist you with administrative tasks, using the Student Community, and any other non-academic queries you may have.

Your AAT tutor and support team will give you all the help you need, any time you ask. Because our courses allow you to work at your own pace, we won't chase you about deadlines or keeping up with your coursework. However, if you feel like you're falling behind at any time, just contact us and let us know - we'll do everything we can to help you get back on track.

Your AAT assessments will be computer-based and you'll sit them at an AAT-approved exam centre. You can find an AAT centre near you using the assessment venue search tool here.

Your exams are designed to assess the skills, knowledge and understanding you've developed through the course.

There are two types of assessment:

  1. Unit assessments test what you've learned in one specific unit. They don't test any knowledge you've gained on other units in the course. 
  2. Synoptic assessments test what you've learned across multiple units. They allow you to demonstrate your new knowledge and skills by applying them to real-world situations.

You must complete all the unit assessments before you sit the synoptic exam.

In total, you'll sit eleven assessments on this combined course.

Advanced Diploma

For the Advanced Diploma, you'll sit five assessments. Four will be unit assessments:

  1. Advanced Bookkeeping
  2. Final Accounts Preparation
  3. Management Accounting: Costing
  4. Indirect Tax

You'll then complete a final synoptic exam, which will cover material from all six units you've studied at Advanced Level.

Professional Diploma

For the Professional Diploma, you'll sit six separate assessments. Five of these will be unit assessments:

  1. Financial Statements of Limited Companies
  2. Management Accounting: Budgeting
  3. Management Accounting: Decision and Control
  4. + whichever two optional units you chose

The sixth assessment will be synoptic, covering knowledge and skills you've gained across all four of the mandatory units you've studied at Professional level. It won't cover any material from the optional units.

Synoptic exams for this course take place six times a year, so you might have to book in advance to secure your place.

Before you sit the real thing, you'll have completed a number of practice tests to ensure you're well-prepared. You'll sit a mock exam at the end of every unit so you know where you're doing well and where you can improve. You'll also complete a sample synoptic assessment that'll be marked and given constructive feedback by your tutor.

Once you've passed your mock tests with at least 70%, the minimum pass grade, you can arrange to sit your exams as a private candidate. To make your life easier, there'll be a list of exam centres which accept private candidates on the Student Community. If you have any problems booking your exams, we'll be more than happy to help.

The grades you can achieve are:

  1. Distinction: 90-100%
  2. Merit: 80-89%
  3. Pass: 70-79%

Please note that AAT's assessment fees and invigilation fees aren't included in the course price.

In order to sit your exams and receive your qualification, you'll need to pay:

  1. AAT Registration Fees
  2. AAT Annual Student Membership Fees
  3. AAT Exam Fees
  4. Exam Centre Administration Fees

Our course advisors can fill you in on the latest AAT fee information, and advise you on how to pay them. Exam centre fees will vary depending on the centre you choose.

A year's AAT student membership can be included on your payment plan. Please note that AAT requires you to activate your membership within four weeks of enrolment.

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