MentorToSucceed
Oxford Brookes University (OBU) Certified Mentor

What is BSc in Applied Accounting?

The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and Oxford Brookes University have signed an agreement to offer to ACCA students the opportunity of obtaining a degree in the same time as they are working towards full membership.

Oxford Brookes University (OBU) applies the same rigorous evaluation standards as for the students participating to the courses on campus. The advantage for ACCA students is that they will get credits for the exams already completed and they follow a simplified route towards the degree.

The program is intended to serve ACCA students that fulfil the eligibility criteria. Based on the 2018 – 2019 Information Pack that is the official program guide published by Oxford Brookes, a student mainly has to:

  • hold a recognised English language qualification certificate and transcript (if applicable), which must be submitted to and approved by ACCA, before passing any of papers Financial Reporting (FR, was F7); Audit and Assurance (AA, was F8); Financial Management (FM, was F9).
  • opted-in to the BSc degree scheme, before passing any of the three papers listed above
  • complete the program within 10 years of the earliest of the date of your first ACCA examination pass or the date of your first ACCA exemption being granted.

You can read more about them in the article “Am I eligible?” or download the Eligibility check-list from the Resources section.

By having to submit 2 different reports, the Research and Analysis Project (RAP) and Skills and Learning Statement (SLS), you are faced with having to develop an extend set of skills raging from how to conduct research, present facts, draw conclusions, reflect on your learning and hold a presentation. These are the skills that will support you in your endeavour to climb high on the career ladder.

This is why I would sum up the answer to the question “What is BSc in Applied Accounting?” as a valuable asset for your future career.

 

You can read more about the program on Oxford Brookes University website:

https://www.brookes.ac.uk/business/undergraduate/acca/

Am I eligible for submitting my RAP towards obtaining my BSc in Applied Accounting?

Now that you have verified your eligibility for the program BSc in Applied Accounting, you should consider planning the timing for the research.

Based on the Information Pack for 2018 – 2019 submission periods 37 and 38, that represents that latest program manual, a student may submit their work once:

  • He or she is registered with Oxford Brookes University i.e. have met the English language requirement and have opted-in to the BSc degree scheme before passing any of the three ACCA Skills Level papers Financial Reporting (was F7), Audit and Assurance (was F8) and Financial Management (was F9).
  • has passed the three ACCA Skills Level papers Financial Reporting (was F7), Audit and Assurance (was F8) and Financial Management (was F9) and has passed, or gained exemption from, the other six papers at the Knowledge Level and Skills Level at least two months prior to the start of the submission period in which he/she is seeking to submit
  • completed the ACCA Ethics and Professional Skills module (or the previous Professional Ethics module) by the deadline.
  • He/she is within 10 years of the earliest of the date of the first ACCA examination pass, or the date of the first ACCA exemption being granted. Otherwise
    your eligibility will be withdrawn.
  • ACCA subscription fees are up-to-date. You cannot submit a RAP if your ACCA account is suspended.

For any questions or doubts about your eligibility, please contact ACCA at students@accaglobal.com.

 

You have a limited window of opportunity to submit your work and gain the degree, so make sure you plan your time wisely and have a backup plan on how to maximize your success.

Keep in mind you only have 3 chances of submitting your paper, so it is important to pick the right mentor to guide you, have a proper timeline, select a topic that gets you excited and keep a positive mindset.

How to choose your mentor

One of the requirements for obtaining your BSc in Applied Accounting from Oxford Brookes University (OBU) is submitting a Research and Analysis Project (RAP). For this OBU requires the involvement of a Project Mentor that is registered with OBU, ensuring a level of confidence in the knowledge and skills of that individual.

The first step is to search the Directory of Mentors and identify a couple of suitable options. My suggestion would be to get in touch with the short-listed mentors and have a brief discussion with them about how they work and how well do they fit to your style.

I strongly believe there has to be a match between mentor and mentee to ensure a successful relation.

You should focus on a couple of characteristics that will ensure you can establish a bridge. From my perspective the most vital traits are:

  • Openness: A mentor should be ready to listen to your opinions and ideas and understand that each mentee has his own style and approach
  • Fair: There is no point on playing hide-and-seek. The mentor should have the strength to recognize work well done and in the same time have the strength to communicate when things should be better
  • Supportive: The entire research work is complex and each mentee has a different way of doing it. Your mentor should be there to support you when you go through a motivational low and help you remember why you are doing it.
  • Challenging: There is no right or wrong solution, there is always space for discussion and assessing different paths. A right mentor should be willing to challenge your ideas, help you make a list of options and act as a sound-board for debating them.
  • Holding you accountable: At the end of the day the mentee is the one being evaluated by OBU. Your work has to be at the highest level of quality. Your mentor should be ready to remind you of that and push you to reach your potential.

 

“A mentor is not someone who walks ahead of us to show us how they did it. A mentor walks alongside us to show us what we can do.” – Simon Sinek

 

A genuine desire to help and see their mentees succeed is what makes a great mentor. That is definitely the key to my success.

How to select a topic for your RAP towards BSc in Applied Accounting

Oxford Brookes University (OBU) offers the students a choice between 20 topics to pursue for the research paper. They range from restructuring, information systems, impeding legislation, etc all the way to risk management.

There are 2 topics that have precise requirements in terms of industry that can be selected. Usually with the publishing of the new Information Pack, the new industries will be released.

Once you have the list of topics in hand, I would suggest you consider the following criteria for coming up with a short list.
  1. Comfort zone: Decide if you want to stay in your comfort zone by selecting a topic that is strongly related to your day-to-day work. Or you could pursue something that you were always curious about that but far away from your core knowledge

  2. Curiosity: Is there an area that you have admired from the distance? Maybe now is the time to pick the study on employee motivation, budgetary control systems, or mergers or any topic that you are curious about but not necessarily related to your current path

  3. Career path: If you want to move into internal audit in the future, might be valuable to take the time now and do the research on this topic as it will provide knowledge for your future profession. Or how about costing? Exploit to the maximum this research to maximize the impact by adding skills valuable for you in the next years.

 

My proposed approach would be to create a list by going through the following steps:

Step 1: Select the area that you have the most experience in

Step 2: Select the area that will move you 50% out of your comfort zone

Step 3: What is the subject you found most interesting during your ACCA studies?

Step 4: Where do you see yourself professionally in the next 3 years?

At the end of this exercise you should have narrowed down the list to maximum 4 topics of interest. Give it 2 days to sink in and then consider selecting top 2 topics.

You can also block some time during the first meeting with your mentor to discuss the short list and draw a conclusion.

At the end of the day, you have to be confident that you can do the research and write a paper that will get you to the success you are aiming at.

Assessment criteria for BSc in Applied Accounting from OBU and ACCA

Oxford Brookes University (OBU) installed an anonymous marking process for all research papers submitted. Hence, you should keep in mind to remove all reference to your name in all documents submitted and keep on the fist page only your ACCA number.

Each paper goes through the following process of review:

  • The first assessor will review the submission and grade it. A report will be generated containing specific feedback.
  • If the paper receives a “Fail” grade, a second assessor will review it and generate a report.
  • Additionally, sample of “Pass” reports will be reviewed by a second assessor.
  • In case there is a difference of opinion between the 2 assessors, the chief moderator will be involved and support the process of reaching a decision.
  • More than that, a sample of reports are subject to external review to ensure a steady application of standards across all papers.
  • OBU implemented an additional layer of review, by selecting a sample of students that will be required to go through a viva, an oral examination.

There are nine criteria that will be reviewed and assessed. The full RAP assessment criteria can be found here.

Below is a summary of what you should aim at for each section based on the Information Pack 2018 – 2019.
Document submitted
Assessment criteria
Aim at
Research and Analysis Project (RAP) Understanding of accountancy / business models Models/ concepts/ theory selected are highly relevant for your research paper.

You provide to the reader the perception of wider reading by using a broad range of sources.

Application of accountancy / business models Models/ concepts/ theory is critically applied providing insightful information.
Evaluation of information, analysis and conclusions Information used is rigorously evaluated and selected with care.

Analysis provided shows high level of critical thought.

Presentation of project findings Report is written in a professional manner within the prescribed structure that can engage the reader and provide a coherent analysis of information
Communication Grammar and spelling are mainly accurate and the language used is appropriate and fluent
Information gathering and referencing Referencing is properly done on a consistent basis from a broad range of relevant sources
Information technology Evidence of the use of a spreadsheet, online information sources and other relevant software
Skills and Learning Statement (SLS) Self-reflection All 4 questions are answered and provides evidence of reflecting at what happened during the research, what judgements were made, actions taken and self-reflection on strengths and weaknesses.
Presentation Communication skills Presentation that was provided to your Mentor should be submitted.

The presentation should have between 10 and 20 slides appropriately structured summarizing report results. Presentation should provide the perception that it can be delivered in the time allocated of 15 minutes.

 

Make sure you keep these criteria in mind when you write your research report.
I would suggest you print the table above and use it as a final check on your report before submission to increase your chances of success.