A UK massive open online course will offer students the chance to purchase accreditation that would count towards the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants qualification.
Students who take the University of Exeter Mooc, Discovering Business in Society, and then pass an accredited online examination will be exempt from the “Accountant in Business” paper which forms part of the ACCA qualification.
The course will begin in September, and is aimed at anyone interested in learning the principles of business. This may include prospective undergraduate students, working professionals without a background in business and people interested in entering the finance profession and seeking a route to ACCA membership.
A spokeswoman for FutureLearn, the Open University-owned Mooc platform on which the course will run, said a decision had yet to be taken on how much would be charged for students wishing to take the exam.
Typically, FutureLearn charges £119 for a “Statement of Attainment” – a university-branded certificate designed to prove that students have learned the content of a course. However, the spokeswoman said it was unlikely that this would be the fee charged for the Discovering Business in Society certificate.
The cost of taking the ACCA’s Accountant in Business exam varies from provider to provider, although a student wishing to sit the paper with BPP University, for example, would pay £70 for computer-based assessment, although this price does not include any learning materials.
Helen Brand, chief executive of the ACCA and an Exeter graduate, said the Mooc was designed to help people “obtain foundation knowledge in finance and business”, adding that accreditation from her organisation meant the course “could be the start of professional training towards a prestigious and respected global qualification”.
Simon Nelson, chief executive of FutureLearn, said: “Our free online courses provide a valuable means of supplementing professional knowledge, and also reaching learners with career options they might not previously have considered.
“I’m pleased to welcome the ACCA as a world-renowned and trusted source of knowledge in business and finance; together we can provide essential knowledge to working accountants, and inspire the next generation of finance professionals.”