celtac-frost
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Hi,

I've been a professional accountant for some time and I am fully CIMA qualified.

For reasons not particularly relevant to this post, I need to get an academic degree (Bachelor's or above) and ideally as fast as possible. Being brutally honest, having taken 4 years to get CIMA qualified, I'm not particularly looking to spend too much more time on this - especially as I'm also in full-time employment - so I'm wondering...

What is the fastest way to use my CIMA qualification to get a degree? I've found that Manchester University seem to be offering a 1 year online Master's course in Strategic Management Accounting that seems like it might be the best way but I wondered if a) anyone had any experience with this or b) anyone knows a better/faster way?

Thanks!
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ajj2000
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(Original post by celtac-frost)
Hi,

I've been a professional accountant for some time and I am fully CIMA qualified.

For reasons not particularly relevant to this post, I need to get an academic degree (Bachelor's or above) and ideally as fast as possible. Being brutally honest, having taken 4 years to get CIMA qualified, I'm not particularly looking to spend too much more time on this - especially as I'm also in full-time employment - so I'm wondering...

What is the fastest way to use my CIMA qualification to get a degree? I've found that Manchester University seem to be offering a 1 year online Master's course in Strategic Management Accounting that seems like it might be the best way but I wondered if a) anyone had any experience with this or b) anyone knows a better/faster way?

Thanks!
How unbothered about what sort of degree it is are you? Undergrad, masters or either?
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celtac-frost
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(Original post by ajj2000)
How unbothered about what sort of degree it is are you? Undergrad, masters or either?
Not bothered at all - as long as it's Bachelor's or higher, it's fine.
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ajj2000
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(Original post by celtac-frost)
Not bothered at all - as long as it's Bachelor's or higher, it's fine.
Hi - I have looked into this before for people so if you get stuck let me know and I'll hunt through old emails. I had a look at the CIMA website and couldnt find a page. I'm sure there used to be one so worth looking or calling and emailing CIMA to see if they have a list.

From recollection Northants uni had a really quick and easy route to as bsc or msc with a bit more effort.

I noted some options on this thread: https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=3446913 I think they all work for CIMA - CIMA used to have a far broader range of ongoing options than ACA so again worth contacting them directly.

You could also check the ICAEW page as most of these course also give loads of exemptions for CIMA:

https://www.icaew.com/membership/sup...ities-for-acas

I think its worth checking Wales - St Davids and Northampton as I think at times they have had very quick routes to a Bsc which might be less limiting than taking a masters.
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Anonymous370
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(Original post by ajj2000)
From recollection Northants uni had a really quick and easy route to as bsc or msc with a bit more effort.
https://www.northampton.ac.uk/course...ce-top-up-msc/
So, the quickest way then is an entire year at Uni via distance learning ? Manchester Uni had something similar, a one year course.
EDIT: something interesting to note is that it is £2205
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celtac-frost
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(Original post by Anonymous370)
https://www.northampton.ac.uk/course...ce-top-up-msc/
So, the quickest way then is an entire year at Uni via distance learning ? Manchester Uni had something similar, a one year course.
(Original post by ajj2000)
Hi - I have looked into this before for people so if you get stuck let me know and I'll hunt through old emails. I had a look at the CIMA website and couldnt find a page. I'm sure there used to be one so worth looking or calling and emailing CIMA to see if they have a list.

From recollection Northants uni had a really quick and easy route to as bsc or msc with a bit more effort.

I noted some options on this thread: https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=3446913 I think they all work for CIMA - CIMA used to have a far broader range of ongoing options than ACA so again worth contacting them directly.

You could also check the ICAEW page as most of these course also give loads of exemptions for CIMA:

https://www.icaew.com/membership/sup...ities-for-acas

I think its worth checking Wales - St Davids and Northampton as I think at times they have had very quick routes to a Bsc which might be less limiting than taking a masters.
Thank you! It looks like that Northants route is the fastest then - same as the Manchester one. 1 year online course but essentially learning how to write a dissertation and then writing one, seems to be how it works.

That's the MSc level anyway. Seems like the comparable BSc option is this, which also takes 1 year:
https://www.northampton.ac.uk/course...p-up-bsc-hons/

I think I will give Northants a ring and see if they can let me know what my options are. It does look like 1 year will be the quickest I can do this in, sadly.

Thanks again for this response though. It's really helpful. Also makes me feel slightly less like I'm insane for trying to do this, that other people have tried. If you do happen to find anything else (especially anything that's a faster route than a year), I'd love to hear!
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ajj2000
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(Original post by Anonymous370)
https://www.northampton.ac.uk/course...ce-top-up-msc/
So, the quickest way then is an entire year at Uni via distance learning ? Manchester Uni had something similar, a one year course.
EDIT: something interesting to note is that it is £2205
I guess there are two definitions of quick:

- least work required
- shortest time period to get the degree if working flat out.

The course you have linked to only seems to require a 60 credit dissertation - would would equate to half a year equivalent at undergrad level. The Wales - Trinity course seems to require about the same amount of work on a dissertation

The Northampton undergrad appears to be even less onerous as only 40 credits worth of courses required.
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celtac-frost
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(Original post by ajj2000)
I guess there are two definitions of quick:

- least work required
- shortest time period to get the degree if working flat out.

The course you have linked to only seems to require a 60 credit dissertation - would would equate to half a year equivalent at undergrad level. The Wales - Trinity course seems to require about the same amount of work on a dissertation

The Northampton undergrad appears to be even less onerous as only 40 credits worth of courses required.
I have to admit, I've never done any kind of academic qualification - I did AAT and then moved on to CIMA so the whole credits thing is still a little mystfiying to me. Any idea roughly how long in words a 60 credit dissertation is? (Sorry to ask - I promise I've tried googling for this kind of information but it all seems very vague - I guess because maybe each course is so different?)

In terms of the definition of quick, I work full-time so I'm not going to be able to go absolutely Hell for leather on it (it took me 4 years to do CIMA while working full-time, to give you an idea)...

How/where did you see that the Northampton undergrad only needs 40 credits of courses? I feel like I'm missing something somewhere. I mean, if I could get that done in a few months full-time, I'd probably be able to live without work in that period (but I certainly couldn't go for 6 - 12 months without working!).
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ajj2000
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(Original post by celtac-frost)
I have to admit, I've never done any kind of academic qualification - I did AAT and then moved on to CIMA so the whole credits thing is still a little mystfiying to me. Any idea roughly how long in words a 60 credit dissertation is? (Sorry to ask - I promise I've tried googling for this kind of information but it all seems very vague - I guess because maybe each course is so different?)

In terms of the definition of quick, I work full-time so I'm not going to be able to go absolutely Hell for leather on it (it took me 4 years to do CIMA while working full-time, to give you an idea)...

How/where did you see that the Northampton undergrad only needs 40 credits of courses? I feel like I'm missing something somewhere. I mean, if I could get that done in a few months full-time, I'd probably be able to live without work in that period (but I certainly couldn't go for 6 - 12 months without working!).
I'm afraid I'm a bit out of touch with higher education. Perhaps post on the mature students board and see if someone there can give pointers? Or look for posts by who is a mature student. I believe undergrad courses (7 months a year when you take holidays into account) are 120 credits so in terms of workload i'd guess 60 credits is half of this. Anyway, 4 years for CIMA is pretty good isn't it? At least you are used to working and studying.

Personally I dislike dissertations with a passion! Just checked the Northants course and I think you are right. It seems to have changed since last year when it looked. Actually all of the options seem to change pretty regularly.
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ajj2000
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https://www.glos.ac.uk/courses/descr...ourseCode=AFTM

Gloucester give a bit more detail about what they require for 60 credits.
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celtac-frost
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(Original post by ajj2000)
I'm afraid I'm a bit out of touch with higher education. Perhaps post on the mature students board and see if someone there can give pointers? Or look for posts by SomeoneSay who is a mature student. I believe undergrad courses (7 months a year when you take holidays into account) are 120 credits so in terms of workload i'd guess 60 credits is half of this. Anyway, 4 years for CIMA is pretty good isn't it? At least you are used to working and studying.

Personally I dislike dissertations with a passion! Just checked the Northants course and I think you are right. It seems to have changed since last year when it looked. Actually all of the options seem to change pretty regularly.
Thanks again for all these responses (and for bringing in @SomeoneSay) - this helps enormously. There's so much information here that I'm going through that I couldn't seem to easily find before and I appreciate it.

I think 4 years for CIMA while working full time is fine in terms of time taken to do it (and I passed every exam first time, which made it quicker!) although you can do it in less than half that if you're fully devoted to it... I guess the issue now is I've already spent 4 years doing CIMA and it was horrible, like I can't even tell you how close to a full-blown nervous breakdown I had, and I really don't want to go back into that mode, but I need to get a degree... which is why I'm trying to find the fastest and, if you like, easiest option to do that.

I think looking at everything you've both posted on here, the Manchester BA Hons one looks like the best option. Really appreciate that link you shared, @SomeoneSay - it's a year part time, which is a lot of time but it looks like it's mostly assessed on two relatively short (2000 words) reports - which sounds less likely to break me than a 15,000 word dissertation.

Anyway, this has really really helped. Can't say that enough. Thank you for taking the time to reply! I feel so much clearer and knowledgeable than I did a few hours ago!
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celtac-frost
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Thank you for finding this! It definitely seems like the least taxing option to convert CIMA into a degree. Really appreciate it.
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ajj2000
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Agreed - the MMU course looks the best option to me - no horrible long dissertation, no exams and all the exam stress and needing to rotate your life around. Plus pretty interesting I'd imagine.
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celtac-frost
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(Original post by ajj2000)
Agreed - the MMU course looks the best option to me - no horrible long dissertation, no exams and all the exam stress and needing to rotate your life around. Plus pretty interesting I'd imagine.
Sadly, I got in touch with them and it seems the MMU course no longer exists. Seems like my only option for a 1 year course is the Northants one but that's 1 year full-time on campus, rather than remote, so not really doable. Gargh, this is so frustrating!
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ajj2000
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(Original post by celtac-frost)
Sadly, I got in touch with them and it seems the MMU course no longer exists. Seems like my only option for a 1 year course is the Northants one but that's 1 year full-time on campus, rather than remote, so not really doable. Gargh, this is so frustrating!
Ah, nightmare. There is a real history of these courses for qualified accountants starting but not going anywhere after a couple of years. Maybe people are attracted but once the initial rush is over not enough take the course?

Have you spoken with CIMA to see if they have a page with alternatives? The LondonExternal MBA course used to give 50% exemptions for qualified accountants. There don't seem to be as many now (I think 75 credits exempt out of 180) but may be an option.
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celtac-frost
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(Original post by ajj2000)
Ah, nightmare. There is a real history of these courses for qualified accountants starting but not going anywhere after a couple of years. Maybe people are attracted but once the initial rush is over not enough take the course?

Have you spoken with CIMA to see if they have a page with alternatives? The LondonExternal MBA course used to give 50% exemptions for qualified accountants. There don't seem to be as many now (I think 75 credits exempt out of 180) but may be an option.
I'm not sure what other people's motives are for taking the course. I guess it does seem strange to want to go from a professional equivalent of a Master's "down" to an academic Bachelor's if you're interested in accounting...

I tried speaking to CIMA earlier but they had some weird thing going on with their customer service department - apparently a problem with their headphones that meant all I could hear was a quite heavily delayed echo of my own voice and then about 5 seconds later a reply. It was impossible to have any kind of meaningful conversation so I just asked for an email address and have emailed my query to them instead. Hopefully they'll be able to help (and if they can, I'll share it here for anyone else in the same strange boat).
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Anonymous370
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(Original post by celtac-frost)
I tried speaking to CIMA earlier but they had some weird thing going on with their customer service department - apparently a problem with their headphones that meant all I could hear was a quite heavily delayed echo of my own voice and then about 5 seconds later a reply. It was impossible to have any kind of meaningful conversation so I just asked for an email address and have emailed my query to them instead. Hopefully they'll be able to help (and if they can, I'll share it here for anyone else in the same strange boat).
Yep, I've done a couple of calls to them over last few weeks, echo issue did come up few times, so either try again phoning them up or email... Their customer service and website don't seem much decent to me atleast tbh. As for their website, I realised the best way to use it is to use it with INCOGNITO mode (of Chrome or whatever) every time, otherwise it fails again and again, and is so frustrating...
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(Original post by celtac-frost)
Sadly, I got in touch with them and it seems the MMU course no longer exists. Seems like my only option for a 1 year course is the Northants one but that's 1 year full-time on campus, rather than remote, so not really doable. Gargh, this is so frustrating!
This totally sucks and is a real shame...
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