Studying for an ACCA Qualification
You can use this guide to help you create your own plan as to how to progress through your ACCA studies. The ACCA qualification is made up of three levels, and we’ve provided some information for each of the levels below:
ACCA Applied Knowledge
The Applied Knowledge level consists of three modules:
- Business and Technology
- Management Accounting
- Financial Accounting
The exams at this level can be attempted any time (they’re “on-demand” exams) and in any order.
The most common approach for students at this level is to study these modules one at a time.
At the Applied Knowledge level, each module will require around 35-50 hours of study. This includes attending tuition sessions if you study via a classroom or Online Live course. Consequently, many students find that planning to study each module over 6-8 weeks is a reasonable target.
Therefore, students can aim to complete the Applied Knowledge Level in 6-8 months, which allows for plenty of time to study with a few well-earned breaks!
ACCA Applied Skills
The Applied Skills level contains 6 modules:
- Corporate and Business Law
- Performance Management
- Financial Reporting
- Audit and Assurance
- Financial Management
Corporate and Business Law can be sat at any time as an on-demand exam, whereas the remaining 5 modules are examined in one of four sittings a year: March, June, September and December.
Each module will take between 45-60 hours of study. This includes attending tuition sessions if you study via a classroom or Online Live course. Most students spend 6-8 weeks studying each module.
Many ACCA students start the Applied Skills level by completing the Corporate and Business Law module. This exam is computer-based and on-demand. It follows a very similar pattern to the Applied Knowledge modules.
Once you have completed Law, the vast majority of students will aim to complete the remaining exams over three exam sittings. You can choose to study one at a time, or tackle two ACCA exams at the same exam sitting, studying the course content concurrently. Read our advice on how to study two ACCA modules at the same time.
For those completing ACCA who are working in a financial accounting role, we recommend the following exam combinations:
If you are in a non-financial accounting role, we recommend the following exam order:
Nevertheless, the flexibility of the ACCA allows you to move through the qualification at a pace that suits you.
ACCA Strategic Professional
The Strategic Professional level has two components; essential modules that every student must complete:
- Strategic Business Leader (SBL)
- Strategic Business Reporting (SBR)
ACCA students must also pass two of four optional modules:
- Advanced Financial Management
- Advanced Performance Management
- Advanced Taxation
- Advanced Audit and Assurance
As with Applied Skills exams, Strategic Professional exams can be taken at one of four sittings a year: March, June, September and December.
If you’ve completed the Applied Skills level in line with our advice above, you can sit your first Strategic level module alongside your final Applied Skills module. For example, you could complete SBR alongside Financial Management in the example we have used above.
An example of the study route you may follow would be:
Unsure which ACCA optional modules to do? We can help you decide which ACCA optional modules to choose with our guidance here.
If you’re completely new to ACCA, read our best advice for beginning your ACCA journey by following the link above.
If you have any questions and would like to discuss your options with our expert team, please contact us below and we’ll be in touch. We’d love to hear from you!