KPMG School Leavers' Programme - BSc Accountancy

Birmingham Business School has partnered with KPMG and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS) to create this innovative programme. It allows you to secure a permanent position at KPMG, obtain a degree in Accountancy and start earning a salary from the first day of your studies, with all tuition and University accommodation fees paid.

Candidates for this programme apply via the KPMG Website.

Quick links: Why study this course | Fees and Funding |Entry RequirementsHow to apply

The programme will enable students to combine their academic study for a BSc Accountancy with relevant and high quality work experience at KPMG who are internationally recognised as one the world’s largest providers of auditing and professional advisory services.. TARGETJobs named KPMG the Graduate Employer of the Year 2012 and maintained their podium position as number three in the Times Top 100 Graduate Employers.

First year 

The first year of the programme provides students with a grounding in core disciplines of accounting, finance and economics. It enables students to select an elective module of their choosing from across the University and develops key transferable skills in a ‘professional skills’ module. Students would remain with the University programme during the first term but would work for KPMG during the second term. Students would return to the University in May to finish the remainder of their first year courses and complete examinations during the summer.

Second year

Year two of the programme provides more focus as students study the intermediate stages of the core accounting related disciplines in greater depth. Students study law, systems, taxation and auditing, whilst advancing their learning of accounting and finance and get the opportunity to to select an elective module of their choosing from across the University. Students complete the first term at the University before returning in term 3 to complete the remainder of their second year courses and complete examinations during the summer.

Third year

In Year 3, students gain work experience throughout the year at KPMG before returning to the University in June and studying half of their higher level credits in management accounting and finance during the summer. Students also commence their final year projects where they have an opportunity to synthesise their academic and professional experience.

Fourth year

In Year 4, students commence their remaining higher level credits in financial reporting, taxation and assurance, and submit their final year projects during the autumn term. Students leave to work for KPMG in December before returning to graduate at the University in July.

Why study this course

The programme will enable students to combine their academic study for a BSc Accountancy with relevant and high quality work experience at KPMG, and the opportunity to achieve Chartered Accountant (CA) status on completion of additional elements of the CA qualification following graduation. It will enable students to directly apply aspects of their academic education in a professional setting and reflect on their experiences as they progress through the programme.

The programme aims to develop the intellectual, analytical and communication capabilities of students to levels that can prepare them for successful careers as professional accountants, together with the transferable skills that are necessary to apply their capabilities and technical knowledge in new and challenging contexts across accounting, finance and commerce.

It will adopt a variety of teaching and learning strategies to promote high levels of knowledge, understanding and competence about what accounting is, how it is applied and how accounting measurements affect our behaviour as individuals, organisations and societies. Studies of core disciplines such as accounting, finance, information systems, economics, tax and law will be complemented by electives that enable students to broaden their knowledge in, for example, languages, arts and natural sciences.

The programme will provide an educational environment that stimulates and supports learning and personal development and utilises the extensive range of university support services to enrich the students' learning experience


First Year

Core modules

Students are required to select an MOMD to the value of 10 credits. 

Second Year

Core modules

Third Year

Core modules

Fourth Year

Core modules

The optional modules listed on the website for this programme may unfortunately occasionally be subject to change. As you will appreciate key members of staff may leave the University and this necessitates a review of the modules that are offered. Where the module is no longer available we will let you know as soon as we can and help you make other choices.

Fees and funding

KPMG pay all tuition fees and your accommodation fees while you are at university. See the KPMG website

Entry requirements

Number of A levels required:
Typical offer:
Required subjects and grades:
Minimum of B in GCSE Maths and B in GCSE English Language (or equivalent)
General Studies:

Other qualifications are considered – learn more about entry requirements

Equivalent entry requirements

International students:
For this programme we require applicants to have the legal right to work in the UK as we are unable to consider candidates who need a work permit. 

Standard English language requirements apply - Learn more about international entry requirements

International students:

Depending on your chosen course of study, you may also be interested in one of our foundation pathways, which offer specially structured programmes for international students whose qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to UK universities. Further details can be found on Birmingham International Academy web pages.

How to apply

With over 100 years’ experience of providing the most respected and highest quality degrees, Birmingham Business School  has always been a major player in business education.

The School Leaver Programme will be delivered alongside the School’s very popular BSc Accounting and Finance programme within the Departments of Accounting and Finance. The department can boast a strong history of academic excellence in both teaching and research for more than 100 years that places it at the forefront of knowledge creation and dissemination. With this foundation you can be assured that you’ll be in good company when graduating from Birmingham Business School – one of a huge alumni group of leaders across the world holding Birmingham business degrees.

Training and Development

The training and development of KPMG Audit professionals is critical to the future success of the business, which is why students on the programme are trained to become experts in their field and supported to study for a degree and a professional qualification.

Over the course of your six year school leaver programme you’ll spend around 30% of your work time studying. That’s equivalent to a day and a half a week, so you can be sure of joining a firm that takes your development as seriously as you  do. KPMG also has the largest full time Professional Qualification Training team of the Big Four – dedicated to giving you the best chance of passing your exams first time.

KPMG are unique in offering you a choice of three University programmes so that you can match your preferred learning environment to the most appropriate available programme. At KPMG your development programme isn’t just limited to studying for your degree and professional qualification though. You will also complete a full programme of KPMG courses which will equip you with the business skills necessary for a successful career in audit.

By joining KPMG you’ll be joining a long list of students who’ve already excelled in their professional exams. For example, in September 2011, 92% of KPMG ICAEW trainees sitting their Professional Stage papers passed first time, compared to an Institute average of 76%. The fact that KPMG trainees consistently outperform Institute pass marks is a real testament to our people and the quality of our training.

What support will Birmingham offer you during your study?

The University of Birmingham has a long history of welcoming students from a wide variety of social and cultural backgrounds. With this in mind they are able to offer a strong advice and support network for you during your studies. Whilst studying at Birmingham you will have all the support you need from both academic and professional staff services. This includes a personal, 1-2-1 academic tutoring system to encourage you to work closely with their academics throughout your degree. This will supplement being closely monitored by dedicated KPMG staff to help you integrate successfully both  your academic and professional activities.

Given the size of the University, Birmingham can also offer a wide range of other support services to help you shape your own future including an innovative Alumni Leadership Mentoring programme. They have brought a number of high profile Birmingham alumni together to provide dedicated, 1-2-1 mentoring support to students in their final year. This is in addition to the support available to help nurture and stimulate inquisitive minds to help shape entrepreneurs of the future.

Contact hours

The contact hours are as follows:

  • 30 hours per 10 credit module
  • 60 hours per 20 credit module

For years one and two this will total 360 hours, before self study. Contact hours in year three will total 270 hours (please note that 40 credits of year 3 is taught by ICAS externally on behalf of the University of Birmingham). Modules in the summer term are taught in a block format over 2 weeks; students attend class for 3 hours a day over 10 days. Autumn term will typically comprise of 15 hours teaching a week. 

Career opportunities

Students enrolled on the programme will be employed by KPMG, internationally recognised as one the world’s largest providers of auditing and professional advisory services.

In the UK, it is the third largest graduate recruiter and is frequently recognised as one of the best employers. The programme will be accredited by ICAS for all ICAS tests of competence and the programme accredits 2 ICAS tests of professional skills; Taxation and Financial Reporting.

This means that students completing the programme will be able to become Chartered Accountants two years after they graduate, subject to the successful completion of further vocational training that will be offered by KPMG and ICAS once they graduate.

Professional accreditation

Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS).