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School Leavers

If you're in school, you may be wondering if a career in Chartered Accountancy is for you. The good news is there’s more than one route to becoming a Chartered Accountant.

You don’t have to study Honours Maths or a Business at Leaving Cert/A-Level, but an aptitude for these subjects will be very helpful.

Many students interested in Chartered Accountancy study a business degree at university and after that apply for a graduate programme (training contract) with an accountancy firm or a business.

Whichever course you do at college will stand to your career as a Chartered Accountant.

School leaver route 1

You can also start your studies directly out of school. If you’re bright, ambitious and want to get your career off the ground now the direct entry school leaver route offers an alternative to college.

You would start working as a trainee Chartered Accountant with an accountancy firm and begin to get the required practical work experience while working and studying part time.

In your first year, you would be studying with our sister body Accounting Technicians Ireland once you get a “merit” in the Accounting Technicians Ireland first year exams you will then progress to study with Chartered Accountants Ireland.

How do I start?

To begin the direct entry school leaver route students must get a minimum of 360 points in the Leaving Certificate out of 6 subjects (this must include English and Mathematics at Higher Level grade D or better, or Ordinary Level grade C or better) 

OR 3 GCE Advanced Level subjects at a grade C or better with GCSE Ordinary Level English and Mathematics at grade B or better.

From 2017 onwards:

The requirements under the Common Points Scale will be as follows:

  • Students must achieve a minimum of H7/O6 in 6 subjects in their Leaving Certificate in one sitting only; and
  • Students must achieve at least H7 or O5; in both English and Mathematics; and
  • Students must secure are least 356 points from any combination of six subjects in one sitting.


  • The result from one Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme Link Module can be used for points purposes but does not count as one of the six subjects with a minimum requirement of H7/O6 (i.e. a student must secure at least 6 H7/O6 in the Established Leaving Certificate regardless of which subjects are used to calculate points)
  • 25 bonus points will be applied for students attaining a grade H6 or higher in Higher Level Mathematics.

School leaver route 2

Accounting Technician also have an apprenticeship path that is funded by the State, which means neither employers nor apprentices have to pay tuition fees. This programme aims to provide young school-leavers and employees with a fast-track path to a career in accounting, which blends solid work experience with quality academic knowledge. Apprentices who successfully complete the programme may be eligible to progress to Chartered Accountants Ireland.

For more information on the scheme in the Republic of Ireland click here >>

For more information on the scheme in Northern Ireland click here >>>







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