Course basket

Your basket is empty.
Website search function
Business & Computing

Accountancy - Higher Level Apprenticeship (HLA) Year 1 (ATI Level 4 Certificate for Accounting Technicians)

Start Date: 9th September 2024
Code: PHPC1727


Duration: 2 Years Part-time
Start date: 9th September 2024
End date: 6th June 2026
Day: Mon
Time: 09:00-18:00
Information Event: Yes

Course fee: FREE

Course Content

A Higher Level Apprenticeship is a work-based programme which enables you to earn while you learn and gain a nationally recognised professional qualification. You will be employed for example in an accountancy practice or an organisation with a suitable accounts department.  Northern Regional College will have a close relationship with your employer in mentoring you throughout your training period. The Higher Level Apprenticeship in Accountancy provides an alternative entrance route to starting your career in the accountancy and finance profession and is supported by Accounting Technicians Ireland.  It is also equivalent to a Foundation Degree programme and is recognised by leading accountancy bodies. 

This apprenticeship aims to provide a structured environment where you will develop the professional values, leadership, technical/functional competencies, and the personal and interpersonal attributes that define the role of an accounting technician.

This Higher Level Apprenticeship programme will allow you to start your highly-skilled career without the student debt that your university peers will have accumulated during their degree course – providing a real alternative to university.

During Year 1, you will spend one day per week (9am-5.15pm) at the Northern Regional College (Coleraine Campus).

You will study the following the following modules:

  • Financial Accounting
  • Business Law
  • Taxation
  • Business Management

You will also complete Work Based Assessments during the course of the year.

External Exams are held in May/June and there is a resit opportunity in August.  Exams are set and marked by ATI.

On successful completion of Year 1, you will progress into year 2.

Laura Todd, Chartered Accountant, shares her experience of studying the Higher Level Apprenticeship in Accountancy.

Laura Todd, Chartered Accountant
Anne McCallum, lecturer, provides an overview of the Higher Level Apprenticeship in Accountancy


HLA in Accountancy overview

Special Features

All applicants will be required to attend an interview.

The college will send out invitations to applicants, to attend the interview session.

Are you interested in employing an apprentice in accountancy?

Please email admissions@nrc.ac.uk and the Course Co-ordinator will be in touch

Information For Employers
Employers' Guide

Getting a Higher Apprenticeship with an employer is the same as getting a job. Following submission of your application to the college, you will be required to submit a CV.  CVs are provided to employers who are seeking to employ a HLA apprentice.   You will be invited to go through the employer’s recruitment process. It will be competitive and there are likely to be several people applying for each Higher Apprenticeship vacancy, so you will need to sell yourself and convince the employer that you are the right person for the role.

Candidates must be:

  • At least 18 years of age and meet the minimum entry criteria set by the awarding body, Accounting Technicians Ireland. The criteria is currently 96 UCAS tariff points or CCC at A Level, grade B at GCSE level in Mathematics or Accountancy and grade C at GCSE level in English. For those over 23 years of age, relevant work experience or a recommendation from your employer is required. 

  • A new employee in, or about to take up a permanent remunerative employment offer, or an existing employee moving to a new job role that requires a substantial amount of learning and skills development commensurate to the apprenticeship pathway. An exception may be made if an individual is already on an apprenticeship pathway at a lower level, with the HLA providing a progression route without the need to move to a new job role. It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure this criteria is met.

  • Employed by a company with a permanent base in Northern Ireland, have a contract of employment in place, be contracted to work a minimum of 21 hours per week (which includes day release/off-the-job directed training) with one employer, and in receipt of the appropriate wage.

  • Third country nationals, including European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss Nationals and their family members, are eligible to undertake a HLA provided they have a right to live and work in the UK.  See HLA page for further details   

NOTE: you may start your employment up to a maximum of 6 months prior to the commencement of your off-the-job training.  The College will require a copy of your contract of employment and a wage slip to provide evidence that you are employed.

Upon successful completion of this programme, you may be eligible to progress to full chartered accountancy status through the Chartered Accountants Ireland professional Level 7 programme.  Alternatively, you will be able to use your qualification as a stepping stone to study with other professional awarding bodies i.e. Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) and Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).  Having completed the Level 5 Diploma you may be eligible for module exemptions from other qualifications.

Union Street
BT52 1QA
0333 034 8197