ACCA - The global body for professional accountants
As the global body for professional accountants, we have led innovation in the profession, starting computer based exams way back in 1998. Access to the accountancy profession is important to ACCA; one of our core values is that of opportunity – enabling those with ability to become a finance professional, with or without a degree. Using the online technology that is now part of all our everyday lives means that this partnership is opportunity in action
—Helen Brand OBE, chief executive, ACCA

The University of Exeter will develop the first massive open online course (MOOC) to be sponsored and accredited by ACCA, called ‘Discovering Business in Society’

FutureLearn today announces ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) as the first professional accountancy body to sponsor massive open online courses (MOOCs) on the social learning platform for professional recognition. 

The global body for professional accountants will work with FutureLearn’s world-renowned university partners to make cutting-edge learning content in the fields of accountancy, finance and business, available to FutureLearn’s international learner base, online, free of charge. The first MOOC to launch as a result of this collaboration will be called Discovering Business in Society, developed by academics at the University of Exeter. 

Launching on FutureLearn in September 2014, the course is aimed at anyone interested in learning the principles of business, including prospective undergraduate students, working professionals without a background in business and anyone interested in entering the finance profession and seeking a route to ACCA membership. 

The course will receive professional accreditation from ACCA, granting exemption from paper F1 (Accountant in Business) of the ACCA Qualification. This will provide those learners who fully participate and pass the associated exam with the opportunity to continue on a journey to ACCA membership and a rewarding career in finance. 

Simon Nelson, Chief Executive of FutureLearn, said: 'Our free online courses provide a valuable means of supplementing professional knowledge, and also reaching learners with career options they might not previously have considered. I’m pleased to welcome the ACCA as a world-renowned and trusted source of knowledge in business and finance; together we can provide essential knowledge to working accountants, and inspire the next generation of finance professionals.'

Professor Robin Mason, Dean of the University of Exeter Business School said: 'The Business School is one of the UK’s leading institutions and brings together inspirational and internationally-respected business teachers from around the world. With two-thirds of our research rated as world-leading or of an internationally excellent standard, we are perfectly placed to deliver a course that is both engaging and informed by cutting edge thinking. We are used to embracing new ways of learning: we are one of the few universities to be chosen to deliver the KPMG School Leavers programme. We are very much looking forward to joining together with the ACCA and FutureLearn to be a part of this new and exciting opportunity.'

Helen Brand OBE, Chief Executive of the ACCA, said, 'We’re delighted to be working in partnership with FutureLearn, and the  University of Exeter – from where I graduated. We’ll be working together to provide access to MOOCs for people who wish to obtain foundation knowledge in finance and business. This could be the start of professional training towards a prestigious and respected global qualification. But it doesn’t stop there – MOOCs can also be used by our members to meet their needs for continuing professional development throughout their careers.

'As the global body for professional accountants, we have led innovation in the profession, starting computer based exams way back in 1998. Access to the accountancy profession is important to ACCA; one of our core values is that of opportunity – enabling those with ability to become a finance professional, with or without a degree. Using the online technology that is now part of all our everyday lives means that this partnership is opportunity in action.'

Learners can sign up for the course now, via the 'Related Links' section, left of this article.

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Notes to editors

People signing up for the new course will join an international community of learners on FutureLearn, which has been built to support learning through conversation. Discovering Business in Society will incorporate FutureLearn’s strong storytelling elements, guiding learners through a compelling narrative made up of videos, articles, case studies and other rich media features.

For further information, please contact:

Harriet Otoo, PR Manager: media.enquiries@futurelearn.com
0207 412 7490

Steve Rudaini – steve.rudaini@accaglobal.com
Direct: +44 (0)20 7059 5622
Mobile: +44 (0)7801133985
Twitter @ACCANews

About FutureLearn:

FutureLearn.com is the first UK-led multi-institutional provider of free, open, online higher education courses. It offers courses for people to access and enjoy wherever they are in the world on multiple devices.  Courses will be created by the Universities of Bath, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, East Anglia, Edinburgh, Exeter, Glasgow, Leicester, Loughborough, Kings College London, Lancaster, Leeds, Monash, Nottingham, The Open University, Queen’s Belfast, Reading, Sheffield, Southampton, Strathclyde, Trinity College Dublin and Warwick.  In addition, the British Council, British Library and the British Museum have all agreed to partner with FutureLearn to share content and their expertise and collaborate in the development of courses through FutureLearn.com.

About ACCA 

ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the global body for professional accountants. We aim to offer business-relevant, first-choice qualifications to people of application, ability and ambition around the world who seek a rewarding career in accountancy, finance and management.  We support our 162,000 members and 428,000 students in 173 countries, helping them to develop successful careers in accounting and business, with the skills required by employers. We work through a network of over 89 offices and centres and more than 8,500 Approved Employers worldwide, who provide high standards of employee learning and development. Through our public interest remit, we promote appropriate regulation of accounting and conduct relevant research to ensure accountancy continues to grow in reputation and influence. 

Founded in 1904, ACCA has consistently held unique core values: opportunity, diversity, innovation, integrity and accountability. We believe that accountants bring value to economies in all stages of development and seek to develop capacity in the profession and encourage the adoption of global standards. Our values are aligned to the needs of employers in all sectors and we ensure that through our qualifications, we prepare accountants for business. We seek to open up the profession to people of all backgrounds and remove artificial barriers, innovating our qualifications and delivery to meet the diverse needs of trainee professionals and their employers. 

About the University of Exeter 

The University of Exeter is a Russell Group university and in the top one percent of institutions globally. It combines world-class research with very high levels of student satisfaction. Exeter has over 18,000 students and is ranked 8th in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide league table, 10th in The Complete University Guide and 12th in the Guardian University Guide 2014. In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) 90% of the University’s research was rated as being at internationally recognised levels and 16 of its 31 subjects are ranked in the top 10, with 27 subjects ranked in the top 20. Exeter was The Sunday Times University of the Year 2012-13.

The University has invested strategically to deliver more than £350 million worth of new facilities across its campuses in the last few years; including landmark new student services centres - the Forum in Exeter and The Exchange on the Penryn Campus in Cornwall, together with world-class new facilities for Biosciences, the Business School and the Environment and Sustainability Institute. There are plans for another £330 million of investment between now and 2016.