Student Blog: Mel, BA(Hons) Accounting and Finance

Studying with us can open the doors to your perfect career. We sat down with former student Mel to learn all about her journey from student to Chartered Certified Accountant.

Hi Mel, can you start by telling us what made you apply to study a degree?

As I had a child at primary school and a was also employed so commuting to Inverness or Aberdeen wasn’t an option. When UHI Moray started to offer the course, it persuaded me to apply.

I was only planning to do the HND at first. However, as my studies progressed and after speaking to my lecturers, I was convinced to extend my study to the degree.

How do you feel this course has developed your knowledge, skills and overall experience?

I studied full time. The first two years were all classroom based. The face-to-face aspect helped massively and the lecturers were always on hand to answer any queries. In the 3rd year, it changed so that although there were classroom lectures, some of the lessons were done remotely from other UHI colleges. This continued in the 4th year and then COVID hit so the final semester of my degree was fully remote.

The course itself developed my knowledge in the accounting area and developed my confidence in the subject. The course also covers different accountancy areas such as financial accounting, management accounting, auditing and tax which gave a good insight in each individual area.

Were there any challenges?

Going back to education after 20 years was quite daunting, however I was pleasantly surprised that there were a mix of ages.

You’re now a Chartered Certified Accountant at Ritsons, was that the path you always wanted to go down?

No – I had previously taken an admin course at UHI Moray but discovered that what I really enjoyed was the accounting aspect. So I knew I wanting to gain a qualification in accounting but was not sure where it would take me.

When I gained my HND qualification, I then applied to different accountancy firms in the area. I landed an interview with Ritsons and was offered a position. I worked at Ritsons around my degree, so as I was studying, I was also developing and gaining practical experience. I gained a 1st Class honours degree, however, the pathway to becoming a Chartered Accountant can vary, depending on the professional body joined.

The degree at UHI is tailored to the ACCA professional qualification and uses the same study material so I decided to pursue that route. Alongside more exams, there are certain practical work experience objectives as well as being employed for a certain time in an accountancy firm.

What are the highlights of studying at UHI Moray? 

The support available is first class. All of the lecturers I had both in Moray and remotely from Perth and Inverness were fantastic.

Lastly, what advice would you give to anyone considering studying at UHI Moray?

Take the first step and apply. The lecturers are also accountants who have a wealth of knowledge and experience in different areas of accounting.  

With a qualification in business, administration, or accounting, you could work in just about any industry. Local employers offer jobs for administrators and managers, while an accountancy or business qualification could take you anywhere in the world.

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