Course overview

Awarded by the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT), the AAT Level 4 Professional Diploma in Accounting is the advanced and final level of the internationally recognised AAT qualification.

This course is ideal if you have completed the AAT Level 3 Advanced Diploma in Accounting. You will learn a range of higher level accounting tasks including drafting financial statements, managing budgets, evaluating financial performance and preparing personal and business tax returns.

The AAT qualification is respected by employers around the world, providing you with excellent career prospects. Once you complete this qualification you will be a fully qualified accounting technician and enjoy elevated professional status, increasing your career and salary prospects.

There will also be the option of starting your own business by becoming an AAT Member in Practice and if you want to continue to study towards professional accountancy qualifications, you will gain generous study exemptions from UK chartered, certified and management accountancy bodies.

Additional financial support may be available for this course.
Subject to availability. Terms and conditions apply.

Key facts

  • Attendance: 9.15am-1pm on Thursdays during term times
  • Duration: 18 months
  • Start date: 14 September 2017
  • Location: Godmanchester, Huntingdon (Cambridgeshire)

Membership of AAT

As a student on this programme you will need to register as a student member with the AAT. You can register online at Your AAT membership will give you access to extensive e-learning resources, forums, networking opportunities and practice assessments.

Course content

This course offers a combination of classroom lessons, regular tutorial support and online study.

You will undertake the following five units:

Financial Statements of Limited Companies

  • The external reporting environment for limited companies and groups which need to publish accounts.
  • Principles of consolidated accounts, and analysis and interpretation of financial statements.
  • Preparing a range of financial statements and identifying an organisation’s financial position.

Management Accounting: Budgeting

  • How and why budgets are prepared, helping you prepare revenue forecasts and a range of budgets for different circumstances.
  • Understanding budgetary procedure to aid organisational planning and control.
  • Preparing budgets, analysing variances and making recommendations for improving organisational performance.

Management Accounting: Decision and Control

• Managing and measuring financial performance; the range of techniques for analysing information on expenditure and making judgements to support decision making, planning and control by managers.
• Collecting and analysing information, monitoring performance and presenting reports to management.

Accounting Systems and Controls

  • Identifying the role of internal control within an organisation and recognising different approaches to making informed recommendations on how to implement or improve systems.
  • Communicating this to management and identifying the impact that changes would have on the system and its users.

Personal Tax

  • How Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax is applied to income.
  • Calculating Income Tax liabilities and income from all sources.
  • Applying relevant allowances, deductions and reliefs to prepare accurate Income Tax computations.

You will then undertake one of the following optional units:

Business Tax

  • Preparing tax returns for sole traders, partnerships and incorporated businesses.
  • Recognise trading profits, make adjustments and apply current relevant legislation.

Credit Management

  • Managing the granting of credit and collection of monies owed in compliance with relevant legislation, good practice and organisational policy
  • Understanding the implication of insolvency
  • Calculating and interpreting key ratios to assess credit worthiness


You will undertake computer based exams or projects. As an AAT accredited exam centre you will be able to take your exams at college without the need to travel to an external exam centre.

Higher Apprenticeship in Accounting

The AAT Level 4 Professional Diploma in Accounting can also be undertaken as part of a Higher Apprenticeship. Learners undertaking the apprenticeship route will also be required to undertake the AAT Level 4 Diploma in Business Skills qualification where you will develop essential business skills including commercial awareness, performance in a business environment, communication skills and managing project finances.

Entry requirements

You should be competent in complex double-entry bookkeeping and have completed the AAT Level 3 Advanced Diploma in Accounting.

Higher Apprenticeship

If you are undertaking this qualification as part of a higher apprenticeship you must be living and working in England and employed in a suitable accounting/finance role for a minimum of 30 hours per week, earning at least the National Minimum Wage for Apprentices. Unfortunately if you have a level 4 qualification or above (e.g. HNC/HND/Degree) you will not be eligible to undertake an apprenticeship.

Course fees

Please note that course fees listed below apply to courses starting before the 1 May 2017. Fees for courses starting on, or after, 1 May 2017 will be published in due course.

We offer two different payment options; payment in full, or our ‘Pay as you Learn’ monthly payment scheme – details of these payment options can be found here. Sources of financial help can be found on our student finance page.

Before making any change in your financial undertakings it is recommended that you seek advice from an independent source, for example the Money Advice Service.

Higher Apprenticeship in Accounting

Age at start of course Annual Fee Scheme (?) Pay as You Learn Scheme (?)
16-18 No fees payable No fees payable
19+ £2,650 payable by employer £149 per month payable by employer
Overseas Not available Not available

 AAT Level 4 Professional Diploma in Accounting

Age at start of course Annual Fee Scheme (?) Pay as You Learn Scheme (?)
16+ £1,987 £128 per month
Overseas Not available Not available
If you are over 19 years of age you may be entitled to apply for an Advanced Learner Loan to help fund your studies! Find out more…

In addition to course fees you will be required to pay for AAT membership, exam fees (approximately £266)*. If you are fully funded, your exam fees will be refunded upon successful completion of term 1.

* Exam fees are recharged at cost and may be subject to change.

These are current figures and may be subject to change.

The differences in course fees reflect the level of funding that is available as a result of government policies and priorities. These may be the result of age, employment status, previous education achievements or location for example, and are outside the control of CAW Business School.

What next?

After completing this qualification, you will be able to apply to become an AAT full member and use the letters MAAT after your name. You’ll enjoy elevated professional credibility and status, increasing your opportunities for career progression and fulfilling your salary expectations.

The Level 4 AAT qualification will allow you to work in a variety of roles, such as:

  • Senior Finance Officer
  • Assistant Financial Accountant
  • Payroll Manager

Become self-employed

You may choose to start up your own business. As an AAT member in practice (MIP) you can offer accountancy, taxation or related consultancy services to the public in the UK or Channel Islands. More information on this can be found on the AAT website.

Become a chartered accountant

You may decide to continue your studies by becoming a chartered accountant. All the UK chartered and certified accountancy bodies recognise the AAT Accounting qualification and will give you exemptions from certain modules. Read more.


What our AAT students say…

We asked our students what aspects of their course they have most enjoyed. Here are some of the things they had to say!

  • “Learning new skills, socialising with people within a similar field of work and with similar goals”
  • “I have really enjoyed the classes and follow up activities for homework. The resources are very good”
  • “Manageable sections. Broken down so not overloaded with information”
  • “Good tutor making a hard subject easy to understand with good examples”
Julie Shodiya“I really like the time that we are given by the tutors, especially regarding sitting exams. I previously studied with another provider and everything seemed muddled and rushed. At The College of Animal Welfare, Emma has taken time to analyse my capabilities and strengths and weaknesses. She sits with each student and gives them individual, one-to-one time. If she felt that I wasn’t ready to take an exam she would tell me. She is 100% supportive. If I ever email Emma she always responds straight away. The environment is very quiet to study and is a beautiful venue. As English is not my first language I find a lot of support and help on the VLE and from other resources, to help me with the English”. Julie Shodiya, AAT Level 4 Diploma in Accounting
Joe Kokotka"The tutors at CAW are very approachable and happy to help with any assistance you require. They also had a very good understanding of the course content, along with a good way of delivering that to me, so I could fully understand the AAT syllabus. The AAT course that CAW provides is flexible and was fitted around my work which made my life easier. The classrooms were well laid out in a way where you felt included with every member of my class, and IT facilities were always available to use".
Joe Kokotka AAT Level 4 Diploma in Accounting 
George Hay Chartered Accountants