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AAT Level 3 Diploma in Accounting

Subject: Accounting & Bookkeeping

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Awarded by the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT), the AAT Level 3 Diploma in Accounting is the intermediate level of the internationally recognised AAT qualification.

This course is ideal if you have completed the AAT Level 2 Certificate in Accounting or are competent in manual double-entry bookkeeping and want to further develop your accounting skills. You will learn a range of complex accounting tasks such as maintaining cost accounting records and the preparation of income statements, reports and returns.

The AAT accounting qualification is respected by employers around the world, providing you with excellent career prospects.

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.

Key Facts

  • Attendance: Half-day/evening classes or blended learning.
  • Duration: One year.
  • Next start date: Classroom attendance - September 2024. Please note, blended learning students can start at any time.
  • Location: Huntingdon or blended learning.

Course delivery details:

Location Attendance Options Day Time
Huntingdon Half-day release (am)






Blended Learning No college attendance required, start at any time n/a n/a


Entry Requirements

Whilst there are no formal academic entry requirements to undertake the AAT Level 3 Diploma in Accounting, competency in manual double-entry bookkeeping as well basic maths and English skills are necessary.

Course Content

The Level 3 Diploma in Accounting covers a range of essential and complex accounting tasks, including maintaining cost accounting records and the preparation of reports and returns.   Students will learn and develop skills needed for financial processes, including accounting principles and concepts, advanced bookkeeping and preparing financial statements. They will also understand the business environment, technology used in finance and accounting, business issues regarding payroll and value added tax (VAT) (which may be known by another name in other countries), issues in business, management accounting techniques, ethical principles and sustainability considerations for accountants.

This qualification offers a combination of classroom or online lessons and regular tutorial support (400 guided learning hours in total). In addition to your classroom or online lessons, students will be expected to study for an additional eight hours per week.

The following four units will be studied:

Financial Accounting: Preparing Financial Statements

This unit provides students with the skills required to produce statements of profit or loss and statements of financial position for sole traders and partnerships using a trial balance. In employment, students may be required to prepare a portion of, or all, the final accounts and this unit will give them the theoretical knowledge needed to complete that task. It will also allow them to understand how final accounts have been produced, either manually or automatically through use of accounting software.

  • Legal requirements and preparation of partnership accounts, showing division of profits after adjusting for interest on capital, interest on drawings and any salaries due to each partner.
  • Preparation of final accounts for partnerships and developing skills in restructuring accounting information.
  • Preparing final accounts for sole traders, including the accounting treatment required to incorporate accruals and prepayments, provision for depreciation, irrecoverable debts and allowance for doubtful debts.

Tax Processes for Businesses

This unit explores tax processes that influence the daily operations of businesses and is designed to develop students’ skills in understanding, preparing, and submitting Value Added Tax (VAT) returns to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). The unit provides students with the knowledge and skills that are needed to keep businesses, employers and clients compliant with laws and practices that apply to VAT and payroll. Students will learn about legislation and the importance of maintaining their technical knowledge through monitoring updates. For VAT, students will understand the registration and deregistration rules, including signing up for Making Tax Digital (MTD), and the rules relating to specialist VAT schemes. Students will be able to recognise different types of supplies and calculate VAT correctly, understanding the importance of the rules relating to the recovery of input VAT and the sanctions and penalties for inaccuracies, omissions and failure to make submissions and payments within the correct timescales.

  • Understanding current VAT regulations and building your knowledge of VAT registration requirements, different VAT schemes available, penalties for non-compliance and the different types of classification of supplies.
  • Performing the calculations needed to complete a VAT return.
  • Submitting completed documentation in a timely manner while maintaining an effective working relationship with the relevant tax authority.

Management Accounting Techniques

This unit provides students with the knowledge and skills needed to understand the role of management accounting in an organisation, and how organisations use such information to aid decision making. Students will learn the principles that underpin management accounting methodology and techniques, how costs are handled in organisations, and why organisations treat costs in different ways. Students will be able to recognise different approaches to management accounting and provide informed and reasoned judgements to guide management. They will also learn how to apply these principles and appreciate why effective management accounting is crucial to any organisation.

  • Identifying why cost accounting is an important tool for an organisation.
  • Different approaches to cost accounting and making informed and reasoned judgements to guide management and help decision making.

Business Awareness

This unit provides students with an understanding of the business, its environment and the influence that this has on an organisation’s structure, the role of its accounting function and its performance. Students will examine the purposes and types of businesses that exist, and the rights and responsibilities of key stakeholders. Students will learn what the micro- and macro-economic environments are and the impact and influence that changes in these environments can have on performance and decisions. This will include an understanding of the basic business law relating to the preparation of financial statements for different types of entities. Students will learn about the concepts of risk, types of risk and risk management for a business.

  • Preparation of final accounts for sole traders, developing your understanding of accounting systems and the environment and principles under which organisations operate.
  • Accounting adjustments and accounting for fixed assets.


Computer based exams will be undertaken. As we are an AAT accredited exam centre these exams can be taken at College without the need to travel to an external exam centre.

Course Fees

Course fees can either be paid in full before the beginning of the course, on an annual basis, or via our ‘Pay As You Learn’ monthly payment scheme. A CAW Loans2Learn scheme is also available, details can be found below.

If you have not achieved your qualification by the planned end date detailed in your individual learning plan, continued support and course access is available by paying monthly direct debit payments until certification is achieved.

Full Fee Pay As You Learn
£2,086 £174 per month

Awarding Body Fees*

Payment for AAT membership, exam fees (approximately £465*) and textbooks (approximately £33 per unit) will also be required.

* Awarding Body Fees are payable by all students or employers and recharged at cost and may be subject to change.

For students needing to finish the old syllabus, exam fees are approximately £250 plus the AAT annual registration fee.

If you are 19 years of age or over and are thinking of starting a course with us at level 3 or above, you may qualify for one of the government’s Advanced Learner Loans to help fund your studies. You won’t have to pay anything back until you earn over £25,000 a year, there is no credit check and your household income isn’t taken into account when applying; plus it’s easy to apply. To find out more, check if you’re eligible and apply, head over to our dedicated Advanced Learner Loans page.

The CAW Loans2Learn scheme is a personal loan that can help you to spread the cost of your course into manageable payments. The loan can be used to fully or partially cover your course fees (but does not cover any awarding body fees, such as enrolment and examination fees). Please contact us for more information.


Sources of financial help can be found on our student finance page. Before making any financial decision it is recommended that you seek advice from an independent source, for example the Money Advice Service.

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

This course is eligible for the Ministry of Defence Enhanced Learning Credits (ELC) Funding. Read more here.

What Next?

After completing the AAT Level 3 Diploma in Accounting qualification, you will have the opportunity to apply for the AAT Level 4 Diploma in Professional Accounting course.

The Level 3 AAT qualification will allow you to work in a variety of roles, such as:

  • Assistant Accountant
  • Accounts Payable Clerk
  • Credit Controller

CAW Connect

After you complete your studies with CAW Business School, you will be invited to join our alumni association, CAW Connect. CAW Connect is a social networking website and education hub which gives you the opportunity to connect with other alumni, enjoy industry discounts, make use of exclusive careers advice and resources, find new job opportunities and keep up-to-date with the latest industry news. Find out more about CAW Connect


"I enjoyed being in the classroom and was able to form friendships with the other students. This meant we were able to support one another and stay in contact between sessions".
Jasmine Hall, AAT Level 3 Diploma in Accounting (September 2021)

"All staff within CAW are extremely helpful, from front of house to the IT guy including all the tutors I had. All so very supportive and understanding. Course layout was easy to follow and lesson capture was invaluable".
Robyn, AAT Level 3 Advanced Diploma in Accounting (2020)

"Small class size allows for lots of dedicated time with [the tutor]. I havn't received this at other places I have studied at, so I really value the focused help here".
Priya, AAT Level 3 Advanced Diploma in Accounting (2019)

“I like the way that the lecturer enthusiastically links up the theories of accounting with the practical realities / situations that are encountered in the financial working environment. The students on our course are of all ages, from late teens to late fifties, they bring with them a wide range of work and life experiences. Our lecturer is enthusiastic and the lecture room facilities and amenities are good. The lectures are backed up by a comprehensive on-line Virtual Learning Environment (VLE)”.
John Coslett, AAT Level 3 Diploma in Accounting


What our AAT students say…

We asked our students what aspects of their AAT 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”

Case Study - Danielle Chelley

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