Level 3

AAT Accounting Level 3 Diploma (Online and On Campus)

Duration Age Group Study Start Cost Available Locations
£1995 * Southend Campus
Duration Age Group Study Start Cost Available Locations
£1995 * Southend Campus


This AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians) advanced level course is a mid-level accounting qualification, ideal for anyone who is looking to advance their existing knowledge of accounting.

This Level 3 course is part of the National Skills Fund initiative and is fully funded for eligible learners. Alternatively, you can apply for an advanced learner loan to cover the cost of studying this course. Please ask a member of college staff for more information. 

Online and On Campus

This flexible course is delivered by South Essex College in partnership with Mindful Education and combines online learning with face-to-face lessons in the classroom. 

Please note: classroom attendance is weekly, every Tuesday (day) or Wednesday (evening).

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: I noticed that an interview was required to get on this course. Would this be face-to-face?

A1: This would be arranged through a virtual platform such as Microsoft Teams

Q2: What is the AAT annual membership for?

A2: You need to be a member of AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians) to be able to study on the programme. We are vetted to enable us to deliver the programme and act as centre in order for you to complete your studies.

Q3: Would students need to go into the college? If so how often and for how long?

A3: We are partnered with Mindful Education and offer Blended Learning. You will need to follow the study programme and watch and complete virtual pre-recorded lessons. You can do this at your own pace at any time using a mobile phone, tablet, laptop or main frame computer.

You will need to do at least six to eight hours of blended learning and then attend college once a fortnight for a two-hour session. On alternate weeks you will have a one-hour virtual session on Microsoft Teams with our specialist AAT tutors.

Q4: Are books included in the price of the course? Would students need to buy the additional book mentioned in the course information?

A4: Books are recommended, but not essential. We have found our students like as much revision and exam practise as possible, so by buying books provides additional resources to improve skills and knowledge.

Q5: I’m looking to do this course alongside a full-time job, so was wondering how much time per day/week for example would be needed to complete the course. Is there a timetable for assessments/exercises to complete the units?

A5: As stated in response to question 3, you will need to do at least six to eight hours of self-studying. You will follow lessons set by Mindful Education via the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). The lessons are released slowly at a pace that has been tried and tested for many years by Mindful Education.

When you start the course you will be provided with a schedule that will clearly state when each unit will be studied, how many lessons you have for each unit and when each lesson will be released. As long as you make sure you keep on schedule, you can complete the lessons at any time, so if you wake up early and want to have an hour’s study time with a quick cup of tea, then it is possible. A train journey is also a great time to do some studying.

When you submit your work after completing the activities, it is marked and you get to see the answers. This means you can work as and when you want to, just as long as you have completed everything expected before you have your on-campus sessions or virtual sessions via Microsoft Teams.

Q6: Is there support available if I need help with understanding the course content or assistance with the work?

A6: The VLE from Mindful Education is amazing and allows you to send questions to your tutor. They will collate the questions received throughout the week and then answer them either in the on-campus or virtual sessions on Microsoft Teams each week.

This method also helps the specialist tutors understand the issues students encounter when doing the units. The specialist tutors will set up a place for everyone to meet and chat on TEAMS so you can pose questions along with your peers as they may also find they are struggling. Meeting other people and learning together is just one of the reasons why most people prefer to study at a college or learning centre.

Entry Requirements

  • GCSEs at grade 4/C in English and maths, or equivalent
  • You must have a sound knowledge of bookkeeping principles to undertake the AAT Level 3 programme
  • Achievement of an AAT Level 2 Foundation Certificate in Accounting is advantageous but not essential

Course Structure

This qualification covers a range of complex accounting tasks. You will learn and master financial processes, including accounting principles and concepts, advanced bookkeeping, final accounts, VAT issues in business, management accounting costing techniques and ethical practices for accountants. You will also gain software skills through spreadsheet training for accounting.

On successful completion of this course, you will be awarded an AAT Level 3 Advanced Diploma in Accounting. This internationally recognised AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians) qualification enables those working in accounting or those who looking to pursue accountancy as a career to gain knowledge, practical experience and the all-important certification often sought by employers.

Units of Study

The Level 3 course covers a range of key areas, including:

  • Advanced Bookkeeping
  • Indirect Tax
  • Final Accounts Preparation
  • Management Accounting: Costing
  • Ethics for Accountants 
  • Spreadsheets for Accounting

You will also develop business communications and lifelong learning skills, applying what you learn on the course to the wider industry context.

Assessment & Feedback

This course is assessed through computer-based exams and a synoptic assessment, which draws on and assesses knowledge and understanding from across the qualification.

We have partnered with Mindful Education to deliver this course through our Online and On Campus model. 


Online video lectures are available on demand, and can be viewed from your phone, tablet or computer, meaning you can choose how, when and where you want to study. Each lesson lasts around 45 minutes and is accompanied by animations and motion graphics to bring concepts to life. Exercises, interactive case studies and analytical tools help to enhance the learning experience further.

On campus

On campus, you benefit from regular college classes – without having to commit to attending multiple evenings each week. Experienced tutors will discuss and reinforce what you have learnt during your online study and are on hand to provide guidance on progress and assessment. Discussion and debate with classmates will help you apply theories to situations you face in the workplace.

Note regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19): Due to the nature of our Online and On Campus courses, with key concepts being taught online through high-quality video lectures, students are able to continue their studies seamlessly with social distancing in place. Some of the regular ‘On Campus’ lessons can be replaced by remote ‘virtual classroom’ sessions led by college tutors. This flexible approach can be easily adapted to suit government guidance and college policies.

Course Cost

Advanced learner loan may be available

Adult, part_time_evening: £1995

This Level 3 course is part of the National Skills Fund initiative and is fully funded for eligible learners. Alternatively, you can apply for an advanced learner loan to cover the cost of studying this course. Please ask a member of college staff for more information. 

Weekly college classes will be held every Tuesday (day) or Wednesday (evening).
Course duration is 10 months

Costs based on 2021-22:

  • Course Cost Total: £1995

    Includes Tuition fees of £1695 and assessment fees of £300  (this covers one sitting of each assessment, if a student fails an assessment an additional fee will be incurred)

  • AAT (First time learner) admission fee £49** Level 2 only*** 
  • Membership (£101**)
  • Exams fee £60 per resit*
  • Additional course books (optional, see below)

Recommended reading (Additional course books):

L2 and L3 Osborne Tutorial and Workbooks

L4 BPP publishers

  • Level 2 £110 (Approx)
  • Level 3 £120 (Approx)
  • Level 4 £120 (Approx)

*All first exams are included in the course cost but resits must be paid for.

**Fees do increase yearly

***If the annual membership expires, then a re-instatement fee of £36 would need to be paid.

What Next...

On successful completion of this course, you can progress to the AAT Level 4 Professional Diploma.

Career opportunities

The skills and knowledge you will gain throughout this qualification will qualify you for roles including Finance Officer, Assistant Accountant and Bookkeeper. You will also be eligible for AAT Bookkeeper (AATQB) status, giving you the option to work as a freelance bookkeeper.