If you’re thinking about taking the ACCA, cost is probably at the forefront of your mind. How much are the ACCA course fees? How much are the exam fees? How much does tuition cost? Is the ACCA even worth it? What’s the most affordable but most effective way to study?
If you’ve got questions like that, keep reading.
In this complete guide, we break down exactly how much the ACCA costs, from enrolment to membership and everything in between. By the end, you’ll know exactly how much you need in the bank to cover your ACCA course fees and have a clear understanding of the costs involved with studying, including self-study, classroom learning and online learning
Here we go.
How much does the ACCA cost?
To understand how much the ACCA qualification costs overall, you need to consider all the elements involved and their different prices. Let’s review those, then we’ll break those down over the course of this article.
The elements of the ACCA course fees are:
- ACCA fees (student registration; subscription; exam fees; exemption fees; affiliate fees; membership fee; other specially-incurred fees)
- Learning fees (ACCA course fees; ACCA learning materials cost; ACCA tuition cost; study text cost; revision materials cost)
- Nominal costs (travelling costs; exam-day materials costs)
Let’s look at each of those ACCA fees in more detail. We’re referring to GBP here but you can get a fee breakdown in your local currency using the ACCA country-based ACCA course fee checker
Sometimes the ACCA fees do vary by country according to local discounts. For example, students in Nigeria currently enjoy a discount of almost 50% on many ACCA course fees.
ACCA Fees Breakdown
There are several ACCA course fees involved with taking the ACCA qualification. Here’s how they break down.
ACCA Registration Fee
To enroll for ACCA exams you must be registered as an active student. That means you must pay a one-time registration fee of £79 when you first enroll for the ACCA.
This is a one-time fee unless you are taken off the student register, in which case you’ll have to re-register as an active student before you can continue your ACCA studies.
You can be taken off the register if you don’t pay your annual subscription fee on time.
ACCA Subscription Fee
To be considered an active student, you must also pay an annual subscription fee of £95. In your first year, you pay both the £79 registration fee and the £95 annual subscription fee, to the total tune of £174.
As long as you haven’t been taken off the register for any reason, you only need pay the £95 subscription fee in subsequent years. This fee is due before 1st January.
You have to pay this subscription fee even if you’re not sitting any exams that year. If you don’t, you could be taken off the register and have to pay the registration fee again.
ACCA Exam Fees
When you’ve paid your registration and subscription fees, you can enter individual ACCA exams. Each exam has a fee attached, depending on the exam level, the sitting you choose and when you enter for the exam.
- Applied Knowledge Exam Fees
Your Applied Knowledge exams are only available as on-demand CBEs, and the cost depends on the exam centre you choose. View the full list of on-demand CBE exam centres here, then contact your local centre to find our their pricing structure.
As guidance, the UK currently has ten on-demand CBE centres and the cost is around £75 – £100 depending on the centre and paper.
- Applied Skills Exam Fees
These are the ACCA course fees for the UK for Applied Skills in 2018 and 2019:
- Strategic Professional Exam Fees – Strategic Business Leader
These are the ACCA course fees for the UK for the Strategic Business Leader essentials paper for 2018:
- Strategic Professional Exam Fees – Strategic Business Reporting
These are the ACCA course fees for the UK for the Strategic Business Reporting essentials paper for 2018:
- Strategic Professional Exam Fees – Options Papers
These are the ACCA course fees for the UK for the Strategic Professional Options papers for 2018:
The biggest factor impacting ACCA course fees
As you can see from the above, the cost of the ACCA exams varies massively depending on when you register.
The longer you wait before registering, the more ACCA exam fees cost – so it pays to be organised and pre-plan your exam entry. This is the biggest factor impacting overall ACCA course fees, so if you’re concerned about cost you need to be organised in what you apply for and when.
The difference here can be hundreds of pounds, so registering for early entry is well worth doing.
ACCA Exemption Fees
As well as your registration, subscription and ACCA exam fees, you also need to pay ACCA exemption fees if you have any exemptions. You can find out if you have exemptions here.
Read more: ACCA FAQs: Should I take exemptions?
ACCA exemption fees depend on the level of your exemption:
- Applied Knowledge Exam Exemption Fee: £76
- Applied Skills Exam Exemption Fee: £103
ACCA Course Fees – Affiliate Status
The next ACCA course fee happens when you attain affiliate status. You become an affiliate when you pass your ACCA exams and ethics module, but haven’t yet completed your professional experience requirement.
As soon as you gain affiliate status, you must pay an annual subscription fee of £121. This is instead of the student subscription fee of £95.
This fee applies for up to three years. After three years the fee increases to £236 annually. This is to encourage you to complete your professional experience requirement within three years after you finish the exams, so you can start enjoying the benefits of your full ACCA membership.
If you are removed from the affiliate register – if you don’t pay the annual subscription fee, for example – you have to pay a £54 reinstatement fee to get back on the list, as well as the subscription fee for that year.
ACCA Course Fees – Membership Cost
YES! You finally did it, and passed all your ACCA exams, your ethics module and your professional experience requirement. You can now apply for full ACCA membership.
There are several costs involved with ACCA membership:
- ACCA membership admission – £236
- Annual subscription fee for all ACCA members – £236
- Extended leave (special circumstances) subscription – £54
- Special assistance (special circumstances subscription – £121
- Reinstatement to become a member again if you’re removed – £54
ACCA Course Fees – Discounts
ACCA exam fees are priced to be affordable to students globally, but some students might need further reductions.
You may be eligible for a reduced ACCA membership subscription fee if you meet special requirements.
- Extended leave subscription – you’re not in active employment for various reasons and earn less than £5000 annually.
- Special assistance subscription – you are in active employment but still earn less than £5000 annually.
Read the full criteria for those special ACCA membership discounts.
How To Pay ACCA Course Fees
You can pay your ACCA course fees online via MyACCA using a credit card, debit card, pre-paid debit card, Alipay or PayPal. If this is an international payment from outside the UK, you need to contact your bank before paying, to ensure the payment won’t be blocked.
Watch Video: How to Pay ACCA Course Fees
Online is the easiest way to pay your ACCA course fees, but there are also alternative payment methods including cheque, bank drafts and postal order. Some of these incur additional administrative costs.
ACCA Exam Day Fees
If you’re adding up the total cost of taking the ACCA, don’t forget to include nominal fees like your travel costs and the cost of exam materials like a calculator, pens, and so on.
So, that’s a breakdown of the total ACCA fees. Let’s move on, and talk about the cost of tuition and learning materials.
ACCA Learning Fees Breakdown
The cost of studying for the ACCA depends on how you study. There are several options.
- Traditional learning
- Online learning (basic)
- Online learning (comprehensive)
Let’s look at each of those and the associated costs.
Cost of ACCA self-study
The ACCA are moving towards actively advising you don’t self-study, as it’s much harder to be sure you’ve learned all the right material in the right way. However, if you are self-studying for the ACCA, you’ll need several resources:
- ACCA exam resources (free)
- ACCA self-study guides (free)
- Retake guides (free)
- Student Accountant magazine (free)
- ACCA Learning Community (free)
- ACCA Facebook page (free)
If you are self-studying, there are also a couple of paid resources that you should strongly consider:
- Practice tests: The ACCA have created online practice tests for all the on-demand CBE exams. These cost £5 – £9 for a single test, or £10 to £18 for three.
- Approved Content Provider materials: Approved Content Providers offer paid learning materials and Q&A banks for each exam. These materials are assessed by the ACCA to ensure they give you what you need to pass when you’re self-studying.
The cost depends on which content provider you use and which exams you’re taking – you can search the directory here. As a guideline, you’re generally looking at £10 to £70 per item – and for each exam you might have a study text, a practice kit, passcards and a mock exam.
Overall, then, self-studying is one of the most affordable ways to study for the ACCA – but don’t fall into the trap of thinking it’s free. You’re still realistically looking at £100 – £150 for each exam, plus your ACCA exam fees.
Plus then there’s the opportunity cost, if you attempt to study alone and struggle. Which as we said, many, many students will. If not most.
In our experience, lots of students are drawn to self-study because they think it will be cheapest – but then they keep failing because they didn’t have enough support to pass.
Looking at the UK, an ACCA member generally earns up to £40,000 – compared to the average salary of £19,000 for a trainee or £25,000 for a part-qualified accountant. If you think about those figures, then the true cost of scrimping on your ACCA studies becomes clear.
Self-studying might save you a hundred pounds here and there, but it could cost you thousands. Even tens of thousands.
Let’s move onto the cost of traditional learning.
Cost of Traditional Learning
Traditional learning means bricks and mortar learning, attending physical lectures in a given location, usually with one of the big ACCA learning providers.
This is generally the most expensive way to study for the ACCA, because bricks and mortar learning providers have huge overheads that students have to cover.
For example, you’re generally looking at £500 to £750 for in-centre teaching per exam, plus £500 to £700 for in-centre revision per exam, plus £250 to £300 in-centre exam practice per exam. Then you generally need to buy learning materials on top.
That’s nearly £18,000 to £25,000 over 14 exams. If you pass everything first time.
Now, hopefully you’re thinking long-term to your future career and earnings – which might justify spending more to study for the ACCA. Traditional learning does generally give more support than self-studying because you attend actual real-life lectures with a tutor.
However, there is a big issue.
Unfortunately, continued research and pass rates are showing that the value of these traditional learning methods is limited, and you’re not necessarily any more likely to pass than the much cheaper method of self-studying.
That’s because you’re in a class with potentially hundreds of students and can’t set the pace yourself. You often feel afraid or embarrassed to ask questions, and don’t want to stop the group because you don’t understand something.
Also traditional lectures are very time-consuming, which ramps up the pressure if you’re working while you study. Students often find themselves working a full day before spending their entire evening in a lecture – tired, burnt out and struggling to concentrate.
That’s why so many students who initially tried traditional learning have moved towards online learning. Let’s look at the cost of studying the ACCA online.
Cost of Online Learning
If you study the ACCA online, there are several options with different costs attached. Let’s review.
- Basic but free online learning
Some sites offer basic but free online learning, which lots of students find more useful than traditional learning from the big providers. Generally though this is a false economy, because most students will also buy practice tests and approved content provider materials in addition and often find they struggle without tutor support.
As above, you’re generally looking at £100 to £150 per exam if you study this way, plus the opportunity costs we discussed (potentially thousands or tens of thousands).
- Online recorded/live lectures
The traditional learning providers realise their traditional methods aren’t especially effective, and so have often introduced online content platforms. These usually take the format of recorded lectures, so you can attend real-world lectures without attending physically.
This is sometimes cheaper than traditional learning but still costly, as the traditional providers still have large overheads from elsewhere in the business. You’re generally looking at £400 to £750 for live online classroom teaching per exam, plus £450 to £600 for live online revision per exam, plus £200 to £250 for live online exam practice per exam.
That’s about £15,000 to £22,000 over 14 exams, if you pass everything first time.
And again, there’s still an issue here. The problem with the online lecture format is the same as traditional physical lectures, with the only difference being that you don’t have to attend one physical location. They still take just as long, and still don’t go at your pace. And often the recording quality is awful.
For that sort of money, it simply isn’t an effective way to study for the ACCA.
- Subscription online learning
Here’s where we tell you about LearnSignal. Our founders built LearnSignal because of their own experience sitting and studying for professional exams, which they found ineffective and expensive.
For less than your weekly Starbucks, LearnSignal offers a one-stop learning platform – Gold Approved by the ACCA – that has helped thousands of students from all over the world pass their ACCA exams more quickly.
What’s the deal?
LearnSignal offers a monthly, quarterly or annual cancel-anytime subscription model where you get comprehensive learning materials and tutor videos for every exam, so you can study at your own pace, in your own time.
The videos are created by ACCA experts, course tutors and ex-examiners so they’re designed to give you exactly what you need to pass.
Then they’re short and beautifully designed by a team of education designers, so you’re using the power of digital learning to its full effect (we absorb information differently online, which is why online full-length lectures don’t work).
You get complete question and answer banks with tutors walking you through the solutions. You get unlimited 24/7 tutor support so you can ask questions. You get a marked mock exam, so you can see your progress. You become part of a thriving student community to help support and motivate you on your ACCA journey.
And we’ve just added an extensive CBE practice hub with unlimited free questions available for members, to help you build confidence on these new exams.
Plus it’s all available on any device, anytime and anywhere. So you can watch a video on the bus to work, or test yourself with a question over breakfast.
What does it cost?
- Pay monthly – £24.99
- Pay quarterly – £69.00
- Pay annually – £269.00
That covers you for every single exam, and you don’t need any other materials. And we would say it covers you for resits too, although you might not need them!
CONCLUSION AND SUMMARY
ACCA Course Fees Vary Wildly
At the risk of not answering your original question, the fact is that ACCA course fees vary a huge amount.
First you’ve got the ACCA exam fees, which covers you to become a student, maintain your student, affiliate or member status, and sit the exams (or claim your exemption).
If you enter exams early, pass every exam first time, complete four exams each year and don’t have any discounts or reinstatement fines, you’re looking at roughly £2000 – £2500 until you become a member.
Then you’ve got the cost of studying the ACCA. If you self-study or study online for free, that might cost you nothing – but you’re also much more likely to fail if you don’t have support, which could add hundreds of pounds onto your exam fee bill plus tens of thousands in lost earnings.
Or you could self-study but buy the approved learning materials and ACCA practice tests. This would cost around £100 to £150 per exam, so around £1400 to £2100 for all 14 papers. This doesn’t give you tutor support so relies on you being motivated, self-sufficient and not needing personalised help – but it is definitely better than self-studying with nothing.
If you study with a traditional bricks and mortar provider, studying might cost you £18,000 to £25,000 – but you’re probably more likely to pass than studying without any support. However, this still isn’t the most effective learning method and is the most expensive ACCA course fee by considerable distance.
You could choose online classrooms through a traditional provider, but the same applies and you’re still looking at around £15,000 to £22,000.
Or you could choose subscription online learning with LearnSignal. If you choose our most popular quarterly payment package, that would cost £69.00 per quarter, which works out as £276.00 per year. As ACCA course fees go, that’s even cheaper than self-studying with the approved content.
And significantly more effective than any other method, if you ask our thousands of students. We’re ACCA Gold Approved because our materials are exceptional, designed by ACCA experts and harnessing digital technology so you can learn more, in less time, to pass quicker.
So you don’t waste even more money on resits. And do power your way through the ACCA as fast as possible, to earn that salary increase and accelerate your career. So you don’t just save money – you make money too.
Pretty good, for less than £1 per day.
Sign up for your LearnSignal free trial now and find out for yourself why thousands of students globally trust us to help them pass the ACCA.