ACCA - The global body for professional accountants
Because it is entirely online, anyone in the world with access to the internet can study it, even though it is delivered by a prestigious UK university. Even if those who study it choose not to use it to further their careers or become entrepreneurs they will have a deeper understanding of how business is relevant in society
—Clare Minchington, executive director, ACCA

A new initiative, due to launch on 8 September 2014, will allow anyone, anywhere in the world to get a better understanding of how to run a business, thanks to a collaboration between global accountancy body ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants), the University of Exeter Business School and online learning platform FutureLearn. 

Together, they are launching a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) – Discovering Business in Society – which is free to study and open to anyone in the world with access to the internet. The aim of the eight-week course is to give anyone the opportunity to learn the principles of business, including prospective undergraduate students, working professionals without a background in business, people looking to return to work after an absence, or anyone seeking to further educate themselves. And for those interested in entering the finance profession and seeking a route to ACCA membership, the MOOC can be a starting point. 

Clare Minchington, ACCA Executive Director, said: 'The whole point of this MOOC is that it is all encompassing. Yes, it can be a way for someone looking to begin their journey into the finance profession with ACCA, but equally it could be useful to someone seeking to start a business to get a better understanding of what’s involved, or a parent looking to return to work with a new set of skills. It’s not unusual today for those people already in work to look to change career, and this gives them a taster of what it might be like in a business environment. It’s open to anyone, anywhere, of any age who wants to do it.  

'Because it is entirely online, anyone in the world with access to the internet can study it, even though it is delivered by a prestigious UK university. Even if those who study it choose not to use it to further their careers or become entrepreneurs they will have a deeper understanding of how business is relevant in society.'

The Discovering Business in Society MOOC will cover a range of topics, including:

  • Purpose and types of business organisation
  • The changing world of business
  • Environmental and regulatory factors
  • Economic factors
  • Internal organisation and governance

First steps to accountancy

For those who complete the course and choose to take the optional assessment at the end of the course, which does have a fee attached to it, it could be the first step on the ladder to becoming a qualified ACCA accountant. 

Those who are successful in completing the optional examinations can claim exemption from the ACCA F1 paper, Accountant in Business.

Clare Minchington said: 'The option is there to get that first part of the ACCA Qualification under your belt should you decide a career in accountancy is for you. However, we didn’t launch the MOOC just to give people the opportunity to study our globally recognised qualification. Those who study it are under no obligation to take the examination at the end. When we say it is open to all, we don’t just mean those looking to become ACCA accountants. Our ethos has always been open access and this MOOC is testament to that thinking.'

Find out more about the ACCA-sponsored MOOC Discovering Business in Society, and how to register for it, via the 'Related Links' section, left of this article.

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For further information: 

Helen Thompson, ACCA Newsroom
tel: +44 (0)20 7059 5759
mob: +44 (0)7725 498 654
Twitter @ACCANews
helen.thompson@accaglobal.com

Steve Rudaini , ACCA Newsroom
tel: +44 (0)20 7059 5622
mob: +44 (0)7801133985
Twitter @ACCANews
steve.rudaini@accaglobal.com

Harriet Otoo
PR Manager, FutureLearn
M: +44 (0)7974 307 199
E: harriet.otoo@futurelearn.com
Follow us @FutureLearn

About ACCA

  1. 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. 
  2. We support our 170,000 members and 436,000 students in 180 countries, helping them to develop successful careers in accounting and business, with the skills required by employers. We work through a network of 91 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. 
  3. 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. 

About FutureLearn

FutureLearn is a social learning platform based in the UK and providing free, online courses from world-class universities. Our leading British and international university partners join three cultural organisations – the British Library, British Council and the British Museum – and the National Film and Television School, to offer quality, higher education courses to anyone with an internet connection anywhere in the world. FutureLearn is wholly owned by The Open University, which has over 40 years’ experience in distance and online learning.