Those pursuing a career in Accounting should enjoy working with numbers, be effective communicators and work well with people as they will have to analyse and interpret financial information to meet the needs of different users, including managers and investors. Accountants must be prepared to take on challenges and be able to adapt to a constantly changing and dynamic business environment.
Normally the majority of our students become qualified accountants. However, many of the skills that students will acquire during their studies at Queen’s will be of great value in different career and life situations. Core transferable skills include the ability to learn independently, problem solve, understand financial information and work productively as part of a team.
The Accounting degree offers a firm base for either further academic study or taking the final examinations of the main professional accountancy bodies. It attracts students of the very highest calibre and is recognised by the accounting profession, industry and the public sector. As a result, Accounting graduates from Queen’s are much sought after throughout Britain, Ireland and further afield.
The Accounting course attracts the maximum exemptions available for any undergraduate programme from the examinations of Chartered Accountants Ireland, subject to meeting specified criteria. Exemptions are also available from the examinations of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.
The Accounting Group at Queen’s liaises closely with prospective employers and with colleagues in the Student Guidance Centre, particularly with respect to Careers, Employability and Skills. For example, details of the Accountancy Northern Ireland Milkround are included in the Financial Services Sector Recruitment booklet and dedicated Careers Employability and Skills’ events and workshops are provided for Queen’s Accounting students. These activities enhance the employability of our students and support graduate recruitment and selection. In association with the Student Guidance Centre, the Accounting Group organises an annual Accounting Employers and Professional Bodies Mini Fair. This is attended by representatives from the main accountancy firms and professional bodies, and it provides an opportunity to inform Queen’s Accounting students of the opportunities available after graduation and enable employers to engage with our students.
The Accounting Group at Queen’s hosts an annual Employer Liaison meeting which is attended by senior representatives from accountancy firms and other employers, together with student representatives. This meeting offers an opportunity to engage with employers to inform them of developments within the Accounting degree programmes and provides a forum for their input into future changes.
Graduate Careers and Achievements
A degree in Accounting from Queen’s offers a firm base either for taking the examinations of the main professional bodies or further academic study. Career options as a qualified accountant are extremely varied and the employment opportunities for our Accounting graduates remain strong, both nationally and globally. Queen's has traditionally provided a high proportion of graduate entrants to the Accounting profession in Northern Ireland and many of our former graduates have risen to the top of their fields.
If you choose to work ‘in practice’ for an accountancy firm you might be involved in preparing tax returns, tax planning, audit and forensic work, internal audit, corporate finance, consultancy or even preparing accounts. For more information on what these jobs entail, please visit the websites of both the local and international accountancy firms.
The majority of qualified accountants work ‘outside practice’; for example, in industry, in the public sector, voluntary sector or the banking sector. They are involved as financial or management accountants, internal auditors and often in senior management roles.
The Prospects website provides further information regarding the types of jobs that attract BSc Accounting graduates.
Further study is also an option open to BSc Accounting graduates. Students can choose from a wide range of Masters programmes as well as a comprehensive list of research topics, as shown on the Queen’s Management School website.
Other Career-related information: Queen’s is a member of the Russell Group and, therefore, one of the 20 universities most-targeted by leading graduate employers. Queen’s students will be advised and guided about career choice and, through the Degree Plus initiative, will have an opportunity to seek accreditation for skills development and experience gained through the wide range of extra-curricular activities on offer. See Queen’s University Belfast fullEmployability Statementfor further information.
Degree Plus and other related initiatives: Recognising student diversity, as well as promoting employability enhancements and other interests, is part of the developmental experience at Queen’s. Students are encouraged to plan and build their own, personal skill and experiential profile through a range of activities including; recognised Queen’s Certificates, placements and other work experiences (at home or overseas), Erasmus study options elsewhere in Europe, learning development opportunities and involvement in wider university life through activities, such as clubs, societies, and sports.
Queen’s actively encourages this type of activity by offering students an additional qualification, the Degree Plus Award (and the related Researcher Plus Award for PhD and MPhil students). Degree Plus accredits wider experiential and skill development gained through extra-curricular activities that promote the enhancement of academic, career management, personal and employability skills in a variety of contexts. As part of the Award, students are also trained on how to reflect on the experience(s) and make the link between academic achievement, extracurricular activities, transferable skills and graduate employment. Participating students will also be trained in how to reflect on their skills and experiences and can gain an understanding of how to articulate the significance of these to others, e.g. employers
Overall, these initiatives, and Degree Plusin particular, reward the energy, drive, determination and enthusiasm shown by students engaging in activities over-and-above the requirements of their academic studies. These qualities are amongst those valued highly by graduate employers.