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AAT Foundation Certificate in Accounting Level 2
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About this course

The Association of Accounting Technicians is well recognised and respected as a professional membership body throughout a wide range of businesses and requires its members to have a professional and ethical approach throughout their accountancy and finance careers.

The AAT Foundation Certificate in Accounting is an ideal starting point for anyone wishing to pursue a career in accountancy of finance, providing grounding in the core accounting skills and knowledge needed to progress either to employment or to further study. It is suitable for young people who have just left school as well as for adults returning to work after a break or for anyone wishing to change career. 

What will I learn?

The AAT Foundation Certificate in Accounting includes five mandatory units:

  • Bookkeeping Transactions
  • Bookkeeping Controls
  • Elements of Costing
  • Using Accounting Software
  • Work Effectively in Finance

The first two units introduce you to double-entry bookkeeping, which is fundamental to the preparation of financial accounting records and statements.  Elements of Costing provides an introduction to another key subject for accountants, management accounting.  In Using Accounting Software you will learn how Sage accounting software can be used to maintain financial records, and Work Effectively in Finance will explain the role of the accountant in the workplace, including an introduction to the important topics of professional ethics and sustainability.

Entry requirements

AAT does not set any formal entry requirements for the study of the AAT Foundation Certificate in Accounting.  However, for the best chance of success, it is recommended that students should have a good standard of English and Maths before starting the course.  GCSE at grade C in both subjects, or equivalent, is recommended.  If you do not have formal qualfications in English and Maths, please discuss your situation with the course tutor during your interview.


Any student who has been involved in bankruptcy proceedings, IVA, or other arrangements with creditors should contact AAT before enrolling on the course.  Such arrangements will not normally prevent you from studying AAT, however it may not be possible for you to sit assessments until the arrangements have expired.

Study, assessment and qualifications

During weekly classes your tutor will introduce you to the skills and knowledge needed for each unit,using a variety of resources including lectures, handouts and e-learning via the college virtual learning environment.  Time in class will always include the completion of practice questions to consolidate knowledge, and this will be reinforced by home study. 

Homework will be set most weeks, and you will also need to allow time at home for reading and working through questions in your textbooks.  Regular attendance in class is essential to maximise your chance of success.

The AAT Foundation Certificate in Accounting is assessed by online examinations which will be taken at stages through the course.  Bookkeeping Transactions, Bookkeeping Controls, Elements of Costing and Using Accounting Software are assessed individually in end-of-unit assessments. 

In addtion, towards the end of the course you will sit a synoptic assessment which will assess the unit Work Effectively in Accounting and Finance, as well as knowledge and understanding from the other units of the course.

Individual unit assessments are not graded, however, you will receive an overall grade for the qualification of Pass, Merit or Distinction.


Additional costs and information

The course fee includes all tuition and the cost of your first attempt at each assessment. You will need to buy textbooks costing approximately £100 and your tutor will tell you what textbooks to buy at the start of the course. Before you can sit any assessments you will need to register with AAT, at a cost of approximately £130. 

We recommend that you register as early as possible as this will give you access to the many study resources provided by AAT. Should you need to re-sit any assessments, you will need to pay a re-sit fee of approximately £40 per assessment.

You will need to bring paper, pens and pencils and a calculator to each class. You will also need a large folder, such as a lever-arch file, to keep your handouts and notes in good order.

What could I do next?

The accountancy and finance knowledge developed in the AAT Foundation Certificate in Accounting provides the underpinning knowledge needed to progress to the AAT Advanced Diploma in Accounting (Level 3).