New AAT qualification structure gives Scottish students new career and further study opportunities

Students and pupils in Scotland have an exciting new range of accountancy qualifications available to them thanks to a relevelling of AAT academic study.

As of this year, a new AAT qualification pathway will make it more straightforward for students and those at school to gain a well-respected professional qualification that is in high demand with employers.

The relevelling of the qualifications offers a fast track into a career as a chartered accountant or entry to university. It also helps those students who are still at school to choose the right entry-level course for their career ambitions.

What are the new AAT pathways?

From 1st September 2022, AAT Level 2 Certificate in Accounting will be a SCQF Level 6 in Scotland (Highers equivalent), AAT Level 3 Diploma in Accounting will be a SCQF Level 7 in Scotland (HNC equivalent), and AAT Level 4 Diploma in Professional Accounting remains a SCQF Level 8 (HND equivalent).

This new AAT qualification pathway provides a flexible progression route into higher education. It also presents a great fast track opportunity to becoming a Chartered Accountant.  

The re-levelling also opens new funding opportunities to support your AAT studies. For example, AAT Level 3 Diploma in Accounting (SCQF L7) will now attract Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) funding, giving you a fantastic opportunity to gain a well-respected professional qualification that is in high demand.

By completing AAT Level 4 Diploma in Professional Accounting, which is on a level with he Higher National Diploma SCQF L8, students have the opportunity to apply to university or to pursue a professional accounting qualification.

What is the current situation?

Previously AAT qualifications at Level 5 and Level 6 were seen not offering a challenging enough breadth in the curriculum to school leavers. They were also felt to be too long for some mature learners. Now with the releveling the AAT qualifications are on the same level of Scottish qualifications (SQA) and align with AAT’s academic place in England.

What the financial benefits of studying the new relevelled qualifications?

The changes mean that under the Student Award Agency Scotland, there are new funding opportunities.

These include:

  • AAT Level 3 now attracts £600 funding towards costs – increase of £600.
  • AAT Level 4 now attracts between £1049 -1124 funding towards costs – increase of additional £449 – £524

What are the benefits of the realignment of qualifications?

The AAT qualification offers a fast track to employment with huge career development potential. It provides a recognised in-demand professional qualification which has now been relevelled and realigned to mirror the traditional route. This makes it easier for students at school or school leavers to pick the right course and qualification for their needs.

With clearly defined pathways to chartered or Higher education, AAT could even get you into university, should you decide to study the AAT Level 4 Diploma in Professional accounting, which is on a level with the Higher National Diploma SCQF L8.

Why study with AAT?

Employers love AAT because it provides industry designed qualifications, transferrable skills, CPD/life-long learning and career opportunities.

AAT qualifications are highly respected internationally and are regulated by all four UK qualification regulators, including Ofqual (England), CCEA (Northern Ireland), SQA (Scotland) and Qualifications Wales.

Key takeaways

  • The relevelling aligns AAT qualifications with equivalent Scottish HNC and HND certifications
  • New funding is now available for your study
  •   This new AAT qualification pathway provides a flexible progression route into higher education including University.
  • It also presents a great fast track opportunity to becoming a Chartered Accountant.  

See who is offering training in your area

More information and further reading:

Marianne Curphey is an award-winning financial writer and columnist, and author of the book How Money Works. She worked as City Editor at The Guardian, deputy editor of Guardian online, and has worked for The Times, Telegraph and BBC.

Related articles