Accounting and Finance undergraduates

Undergraduate study in Accounting and Finance

Gain the vital skills to succeed in the complex world of accounting and finance.

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About Accounting and Finance at Lancaster

Accounting and Finance offers some of the most stimulating and highly paid career opportunities in business, so it is no surprise that degrees in this area attract some of the most talented and ambitious students. Our aim at LUMS is to ensure that you are fully equipped to succeed in these exciting areas.

Our international reputation as one of Europe's premier centres for accounting and finance combines with expert teaching, excellent resources and a fantastic campus experience. So whichever degree you choose, you will be guaranteed a challenging and rewarding educational experience that is second to none.

The benefits

Undergraduate Courses

We offer a range of courses to provide you with the tools to secure a successful career in accounting and finance.

Scholarships for current students: Fitch Scholarships

Fitch Ratings are offering a unique opportunity for current undergraduate second Year students. This consists of a one-year finance placement and a £5k scholarship opportunity for up to 5 students on the undergraduate industry degrees in the Department of Accounting and Finance. Top performing students will be selected to work at Fitch, gaining incredibly valuable work experience and giving them a fantastic springboard into a global financial organisation, as well as £5k to support their studies.

Fitch Ratings is one arm of Fitch Group, a global leader in financial information services with operations in more than 30 countries. Fitch Group is also comprised of Fitch Solutions, a leading provider of credit market data, analytical tools and risk services; BMI Research, an independent provider of country risk and industry analysis specializing in emerging and frontier markets; and Fitch Learning, a preeminent training and professional development firm. With dual headquarters in London and New York, Fitch Group is majority owned by Hearst.

For more information about this placement and scholarship opportunity, please contact Paul McCormick.

Fitch Ratings
Sony Placement

Placements in Industry

Studying Accounting and Finance isn't just about the theory, so many of our courses include a work placement to immerse you in the realities of business life. A placement in industry is a great way to put all your learning into practice, and gain extra skills and professional experience to give you an edge in the graduate job market. It's often regarded as the most memorable, exciting and fulfilling part of our students' degrees and is a great way to discover which direction you want to take your career.

Our industry degree courses include a twelve-month placement taking place in your third year. Equipped with two years' of study, and a dedicated careers skills module to prepare you for the workplace, you will take on a responsible job within an organisation, supported throughout by your supervisor at Lancaster. On completion, you'll bring all your insights back into your studies for your final year, including a dissertation where you'll explore an aspect of your placement experience.

Every year LUMS attracts placements with a large range of leading local, national and multinational employers such as KPMG, Deloitte, PwC and more, so competition for places is fierce. We're here to support you through all stages of the application process, to maximise your chances of securing your chosen position.

Industry placements


Preparing you for the jobs market is central to everything we do, so you'll begin to explore your career options right from the start of your studies.

Top tips to get ahead for a career in the financial markets.

My name is Paul McCormick, and I am the LUMS Financial Careers Coach. My job is to provide LUMS students with advice and support in taking their first steps into this exciting industry.

As a Lancaster University Accounting and Finance student you are in a position to take advantage of career opportunities from a wide range of industries; everything from being an accountant at a ‘Big 4’ firm, to a business position that is not specifically accountancy based, or a finance role defined as investment banking or asset management, or about a dozen different finance sectors that Lancaster University Management School career staff will explore with you.

For those interested in a finance role, you may care to refer to my opening city doors website which I operate in conjunction with LUMS for a taste of things to come for you! 

Whatever your chosen career path, you might ask "what can I do before I arrive at Lancaster University to boost my career prospects?" Well, firstly, be aware that, as a first-year student, you can apply for Spring Weeks which many financial institutions run in April of your first year of university. A little research around this subject now can be invaluable, as you would have to apply in your first month of university to secure a Spring Week place. LUMS will advise you further when you arrive, but it is very good to have this knowledge beforehand. 

To apply for a first-year Spring Week, you will need a good CV. What can you do over the summer to boost your CV? Why not add technical skills via an online course in Python or similar? Volunteering is another great summer activity to add. Any work experience of any kind is going to help.    When you arrive at Lancaster, we’ll teach you formal Spring Week, internship and graduate job-hunting skills but we’ll also teach you how to network and make use of LUMS' extensive alumni network, which you can find out more about  it from my Hunting Guide.

We look forward to working with you!

Tab Content: Careers Skills

From the start of your studies, you'll begin building the key skills you'll need to succeed and we'll help you to identify potential career options which might suit you best, along with a clear strategy to help you get there. You will study a series of specialist careers modules to learn key employability skills throughout your course, as well as developing practical skills and industry insights through academic modules tailored closely to industry demands. All of our degree programmes offer an industry placement variant, where you can choose to spend an extra year acquiring valuable on-the-job experience with a leading organisation.

Specialist Employability Modules

We run two compulsory modules focused on developing key employability skills to help you achieve success in your future career:

  • Professional Skills
  • Careers Skills in Accounting and Finance

Personalised Careers Guidance

The LUMS careers team offers personalised advice, guidance and coaching to guide you through all stages of your career planning from shaping your initial ideas, to assessment centre and interview training. If you've set your sights on a job in the City, our specialist careers coach can provide unique insight and guidance throughout the competitive recruitment process.

Events and Networking

Every year the LUMS careers team provides a packed programme of events including campus visits by major employers, careers fairs and skills-based workshops. There are extra opportunities to enhance your skills, such as the Lancaster Award - an excellent way to provide tangible evidence of your achievements to potential employers.

Tab Content: Careers in Accounting

Accounting and Finance is often the chosen route to becoming a professional accountant, but there's actually a much broader range of career options for Accounting and Finance graduates ranging from IT consulting to management consulting.

Qualifying as a professional accountant

If you choose to pursue a career as a professional accountant, you'll need to gain work experience with an accounting firm after you graduate, and pass a series of exams set by one of the four professional accountancy bodies. This is the standard process, and applies to all graduates regardless of the degree subject studied - it's one of the reasons that the accounting professional boasts members drawn from such a wide range of disciplinary backgrounds. The four major professional accountancy bodies are:

Accounting Firms

Professional accounting firms are grouped into three broad areas, each offering different rewards and benefits. Larger firms usually offer the more generous financial rewards, better study support and a wider range of post-qualification career opportunities whilst smaller firms normally have a more personable and relaxed working environment. Choosing the right organisation for you will depend on several factors including your degree result, personality, career aspirations, location and lifestyle.

  • Multinational Professional Service Firms - the biggest names in accounting: Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PwC.
  • Second-Tier Professional Service Firms - Not quite the biggest, but these firms command a significant national and international presence and include BDO, Grant Thornton and Mazars.
  • Regional Accountancy Practices - Ranging from sole practitioners to large partnerships, these firms provide services to thousands of smaller businesses who play a crucial role in the UK economy.

Application Process

The procedures can vary from firm to firm, but most of the large firms use the following selection methods:

  • Stage One - Online Application Form: This covers your personal details, preferred specialism and geographic location. Accuracy is key at this initial stage, so our careers support can ensure you complete this correctly.
  • Stage Two - Psychometric Tests: Under a time limit, you'll complete a series of questions to assess your verbal reasoning and numeric skills. Preparation is key to success at this stage, so our career service offers a practical question tool to help you refine your skills.
  • Stage Three - Assessment Centre Workshop: Normally conducted at the firm, you'll complete a series of activities such as presentations, team exercises and a partner interview to evaluate your personal characteristics.

Tab Content: Careers in Finance

The financial sector includes a range of highly desirable career pathways, which is why many of our students aspire to work in this area. As the rewards are high, the competition for graduate jobs is fierce so achieving a competitive edge is crucial to your success. Our dedicated approach to financial careers support is designed to provide you with relevant insight, specialist expertise and knowledge of hiring practices to help your secure your dream career.

Specialist careers coaching

Standing out in the competitive financial sector requires a deep understanding of the organisations that operate within it. That's why we've partnered with a financial careers coach, Paul McCormick, who has more than 30 years' experience at several leading investment banks and financial technology institutions including Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan, Barclays and Thomson Reuters.

Together, we've created a unique package of specialist financial careers support that sets LUMS apart from other institutions, with an excellent track record for helping LUMS students secure placements, internships and graduate programmes with Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays, Thomson Reuters, Bloomberg and many more.

Our support includes:

  • Access to the LUMS Financial Career Insight Series
  • Personalised advice on sector, company and roles
  • CV and cover letter development, tailored to the "City"
  • Application review
  • Company and sector insight to explain reasons for choice at interview
  • Insight into financial industry trends and challenges
  • Mock interviews and assessment centre preparation based on current hiring practices and interview techniques used by financial firms today.

What our students say

"Opening City Doors and Paul McCormick helped me prepare for every step of the recruitment process but most importantly made me realise what employers really look for. Paul McCormick is a markets professional and that makes the difference." Konstantina Kalantzi, MSc Advanced Financial Analysis

“What differentiates Paul from other career coaches is his extensive market knowledge. He knows the industry inside-out and is an excellent teacher who’s always happy to answer any of your queries however urgent they may be. I managed to secure an internship in a tier 1 financial institution and all the credit for it goes to Mr McCormick. I am very lucky to have been working with him and I will always value his advice”. Dominika Stylinska, Accounting & Finance

Student Societies

LUMS has a number of student societies where you can meet others with shared interests, make new friends, develop your skills and enhance your employability. The Lancaster University Investment and Finance Society (LUIFS) is an excellent example of this, bringing together a group of like-minded finance enthusiasts who host an active annual calendar of activities. They develop strategies, organise events, invite speakers, build an investment portfolio, run campaigns, and offer mentor support — all to inspire fellow students. Check out the LUIFS website for their latest insights.

LUIFS website
LUIFS logo


If you're planning to qualify as an accountant, our exemptions from professional accounting exams for specific modules will fast-track your career journey, giving you more time to focus on developing your expertise. Visit our partners below to find out more.


    Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales

  • ICAS

    Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland

  • CIMA

    Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

  • ACCA

    Association of Chartered Certified Accountants


    Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy


Student Profiles

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