I am a College/University student

The most traditional route, to qualifying as a Chartered Accountant in Ireland, is to study after completing an undergraduate or masters degree. Accountancy firms and businesses hire graduates into training contracts from a range of academic backgrounds.

 You don’t have to study accountancy, business or finance at university to become a Chartered Accountant, but if you do you may eligible for exemptions meaning less exams.

If you’re looking for an outstanding career with an internationally respected qualification, Secure Your Success as a Chartered Accountant.

Studying an accountancy degree

If you are studying accountancy or finance in college, you'll be in demand when you graduate. Larger accountancy firms offer their training places after interviews with final year students (known as the "milk round") and many students secure their training contract before they sit their final exams. Other graduates apply to smaller firms, or decide to train in business, usually in our Flexible Route.

As well as taking our exams, students are required to gain relevant work experience in a training role. The required period of experience for university graduates is 3.5 years, either under a training contract or in our flexible route.

You don't need to wait until you graduate to start your application - once you have your exam results transcript, you should get in touchwith us to discuss your next steps.

Studying a non-accountancy degree 

Some of our most successful students originally qualified with a degree in a non-accounting subject – each year, about 15% of our new student intake come from non-accounting, and even non-business backgrounds. All graduates from recognised 3rd level institutions are eligible to start our programme, and you don't need any prior knowledge or experience in accountancy, or even in a business setting - we'll start you at the foundation level of our course, namely our first year exams, "CAP 1".

For non-business graduates, full time one year diplomas in accounting are offered in leading universities, aimed at students from non-business degrees.  Holders of these diplomas can expect exemptions from CAP 1, but this is not essential to start Chartered Accountancy.

As a non-accounting graduate, while you'll have a few more exams to sit, you won't have to complete more work experience than an accounting graduate - 3.5 years is the requirement for all graduates. If you're an ATI graduate, you'll be expected to complete 4 years of experience. There's more information on this on our Accounting Technicians page.

Studying a masters in accounting

Full-time, one year Masters (M. Acc) programmes are offered to business students at several colleges. These programmes will give student exemptions from CAP 1 and CAP 2, leaving just the final "FAE" exams to complete. 

Students must meet the full CAP 1 requirement on the basis of their primary qualification or external examination success in order to be eligible to claim exemption from CAP 2.

 As well as the FAE exams, masters students must complete 3 years of required work experience, either in a training contract, or in the flexible route. See our Entry Routes page for more details.

Why enrol with us?


Average salary package for newly qualified accountant in all sectors
*Leinster society salary survey 2019

No.1 in Ireland

Qualification respected and recognised by employers and recruiters

87% pass rate 

Pass rate for FAE in 2019, well above average of other accountancy bodies
*Annual Report 2019

Training options

Entry Routes

Training route: Training Contract

The Training Contract route is a structured programme that combines working and training. Traditionally employers will hire recent college or university graduates. The contract typically lasts 3.5 years. During the period of the contract the Chartered exams are taken and the relevant work experience is acquired in order to qualify.

Training route: Flexible Route

Our Flexible Route allows students to stay in their current job, study on their own terms and generate the relevant work experience now or further down the line. This route covers the same subjects, the same exams but critically, the education and experience elements do not have to run concurrently. Students don't have to be working in a relevant role when they begin their studies. This route is also a great stepping stone to help students find the career they've always wanted. 

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