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ACCA - what constitutes "part-qualified"?

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    My situation is that I'm in the third year of my undergraduate degree - East Asian Studies - unrelated to accountancy I know, but it had a fair number of business and economics related modules. After finding those modules really interesting, I have wanted to get more into that side of things as a career. I was (am?) considering doing a London External degree in maths and economics, as I think it will be really interesting. However, it doesn't actually help me progress to a career.

    I have been looking into the ACCA for quite a while, and it is definately something I would like to go for. However, I do have questions about how to become qualified, and what precisely jobs advertised as for "part qualified" people means.

    I remember reading that to become qualified, you need to pass all three levels and have something like 450 days work experience. I would assume this means that you work at the same time as studying, or are you expected to gain all three levels before you're able to start working?

    Perhaps related, as for "part qualified", is a normal route that people will study the level 1, then once they have passed that, they may look for relevant work experience? Or again, are you only able to look for work after passing level 3, whilst in the mean time you may only do summer internships and such?

    Is it possible to start studying at one institution, do the level 1, then say move to London and continue at an institution starting at level 2? Or is it more advisable to just do it by distance learning through Kaplan or something?

    Finally, will it necessarily hurt my applications that my degree is not directly related? Do you think the London External degree would add value, or would I just be doing it for personal enjoyment?

    Thanks for any help - after researching on the internet, this part-qualified/qualified status is more confusing than ever!
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    part-qualified is just anyone who has passed an ACCA exam - most job ads will specify how many exams(roughly) and how much practical experience they are looking for.
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    Oh right, so would it be fair to say that (if you're not being sponsored to do it) then you would pretty much have to be at level 2 standard before employers start to look at you then? From what I've read, it seems fairly easy to get through all of the level 1 exams in 6 months, would you agree with that?
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    No, I wouldnt.

    If employers are willing to take people on without having even started ACCA, they are willing to take you on at any stage with any amount of experience.

    Part 1 is far from easy - there is a lot of subject matter to learn and some of the concepts will take a considerable amount of time to really learn well. If you are working full-time, the problems are compounded.
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    The definition isn't clear but by my own reckoning it would be someone with 1 years work experience and knows what they are doing.

    Having passed 1 ACCA exam may technically qualify you as 'part qualified' but those job adverts imply they want someone who can start a job without having to learn the very basics.

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Updated: March 18, 2007
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