Newcastle University Business School

Flying Start

Flying Start Programme


This degree is a collaboration between Newcastle University, PwC and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW). You will put classroom theory into commercial practice on placement, and then relate your practical experience back to your studies.

The Newcastle Flying Start programme offers a unique combination of:

The programme is delivered by a team of professionals from the University and PwC, who are dedicated to your success. It is designed to equip you with a range of business skills which will help you develop your future career.

If your sights are set on a career in finance, it makes sense to start early. While many other degrees offer business, accounting and finance, none can prepare you for your chosen profession as well as Flying Start at Newcastle.

Choosing Flying Start

Choosing a degree is an important decision, so it may help you to know a little more about those involved with the Flying Start programme.


We believe your career is just that: yours. You choose it. You live it. You make it happen. To get the best from it, you need the best opportunities. That’s why opportunities are at the heart of a career with us. Opportunities to grow as an individual, to build lasting relationships and make an impact in a place where people, quality and value mean everything.

We have a vision of where we want to be as a professional services organisation, and we need the best of the next generation of talent, like you, to make it happen.

You’ll be learning from the best in their field to understand the way we work with our clients. That’s why the Flying Start degree programme will help you start your career much earlier than you might think possible.

Newcastle University Business School

At the Business School, we believe that business is shaped by the desire to think differently, and the will to transform the status quo. Our thinking, combined with a first-class reputation for academic excellence, high graduate employability and student experience ensures that we are a first-choice destination for students from across the world.

We are part of Newcastle University, a Russell Group University with a proud history of over 180 years.


We are a world-leading professional membership organisation that promotes, develops and supports over 146,000 ICAEW Chartered Accountants worldwide. We provide qualifications and professional development, share our knowledge, insight and technical expertise, and protect the quality and integrity of the accountancy and finance profession.

Our ICAEW Chartered Accountancy qualification, the ACA, is one of the most advanced learning and professional development programmes available. It has integrated components which give an in-depth understanding across accountancy, finance and business.

Together we help build knowledge, skills and experience to perform to the highest level.

Find out more

Download the Flying Start brochure (PDF: 2.3MB). 

Email us with any questions:

On Campus

Find out what you'll study, and how that will help you develop your professional skills.

The degree programme

To accommodate the various elements of the programme, the academic year will follow a slightly different format from usual during years two, three and four. The academic year will start in mid-September and will finish a little later than usual in late June/early July.

You can find full details of all the modules in the Business Accounting and Finance BA Honours course entry on the Undergraduate prospectus.  

Year one

Year one is designed to be accessible and relevant to all students, irrespective of whether you've studied business or business related subjects before. In this year we concentrate on the basics, building the foundations upon which future modules are based. You will also start studying towards the ICAEW Chartered Accountant qualification.

Years two and three 

Years two and three concentrate specifically on the technical and professional aspects of accounting and finance. This covers the ICAEW Certificate and Professional Level exams. The custom-designed modules are taught in a dedicated classroom by a team of tutors. Many of the tutors are themselves qualified accountants, able to give you individual support and guidance.

By the end of the third year you will have completed modules that satisfy all the learning outcomes of the ICAEW Professional Level examinations. Many modules map directly on to the equivalent ICAEW paper.

Year four 

Year four develops your ability to discuss and analyse contemporary business issues and includes study of real-life business cases. For example, you might be asked to analyse the strategic and economic issues that led to the downfall of Northern Rock. We look at how businesses are valued and how they are financed, using real-life examples. You will also study Ethics and Corporate Governance in more depth.

Professional skills

As well as developing your technical accounting and finance skills the programme also supports and develops your professional and personal skills. Rather than offer a bespoke module to deliver this, we have embedded this throughout the syllabus.

You will develop key skills in:

  • professionalism
  • time management
  • preparing and delivering presentations
  • building networks
  • professional ethics and scepticism

The programme also has a strong focus on working in teams. You will be allocated a development team in year 1 who will be there to support you throughout your time on the degree.

There will also be opportunities to develop your coaching and mentoring skills. Before each placement PwC will be on hand to deliver some placement training and bespoke technical updates.

ICAEW Chartered Accountant Qualification

A key element of this degree programme is that you can make accelerated progress towards becoming a fully qualified member of ICAEW.

To qualify as an ICAEW Chartered Accountant, you must complete a minimum 450 days of approved technical work experience and pass all the ICAEW examinations:

  • six papers for the Certificate Level
  • six papers for the Professional Level
  • three papers for the Advanced Level

This programme provides a route for you to gain all 12 papers of the Certificate and Professional Levels. It gives you over 200 days of qualifying technical work experience with PwC while you are still at university.

The degree programme contains custom-designed modules that satisfy the learning outcomes of ICAEW’s Professional Level examinations. Providing you pass these modules with a mark of 50% or 55% (depending on the module), you will be able to complete the requirements for ICAEW’s Professional Level by the end of year three.

This means that once you graduate, you will only have the three ICAEW Advanced Level examinations to pass in order to complete all the examinations needed to qualify as an ICAEW Chartered Accountant. Some of the material that you study in year four of the degree programme will help you with these final papers.

On Placement

Guaranteed paid work placements with PwC take place in years two, three and four.

Placements give you the opportunity to apply the theory you learn about in class, and also the opportunity to sample life in a different city. The placements take place across the UK and enable you to work with a team of professionals on assignments for PwC’s prestigious list of clients.

The placements will also give you a broader perspective on business and contribute to the development of your personal and professional skills. The work experience gained counts towards your ICAEW training requirements.


Opportunities for placements exist across the UK. The numbers of available placements vary from office to office.

PwC will work with you to decide on an appropriate placement location from the opportunities and locations available. Wherever you are based, the nature of an audit means that travel will be involved throughout your placement. This could mean spending time in a number of different cities across the UK.


In years two and three the placements usually take place between January and April. The year four placement is slightly longer and takes place between mid-November and April.

Detailed training is provided by PwC before the first placement. All students receive training updates before the placements in years three and four. While on placement you will be supported by a network that includes staff from the University and PwC.

You will receive an attractive salary with paid holiday. PwC will provide your accommodation for the placement period if you are asked to move to a city away from your home location.

ICAEW requirements

Your work placements with PwC will contribute to the approved technical work experience required by ICAEW in order to qualify as an ICAEW Chartered Accountant.

By completing the three work placements you will accumulate approximately half of the approved technical work experience required by ICAEW in order to qualify.

After Graduation

A very high proportion of our students go on to further their careers with PwC on graduating.

In 2015, 100% of our graduates secured graduate positions with PwC. While you aren't obliged to join PwC (and neither are they obliged to employ you), it is re-assuring to know that the programme provides you with an opportunity to progress to employment with one of the top graduate employers.

The ICAEW ACA papers and work placements that you will do give you the opportunity to be much closer to qualifying as an ICAEW Chartered Accountant compared with other UK graduates. If you do join PwC, within about 13 months you can become fully qualified as an ICAEW Chartered Accountant.

The design, content and structure of the programme is specifically tailored to the needs of aspiring ICAEW Chartered Accountants. The feedback from our graduates is that you take much of what you learn at Newcastle forward into the early stages of your career. 

How to Apply

Demand for this programme is high. We are looking for people from a variety of backgrounds who have the personal qualities to succeed.

We consider each applicant individually taking into account past performance and potential. Entry requirements can be found on the BA Business Accounting and Finance course entry on the Undergraduate prospectus.

All applications must be submitted via UCAS. Details of the application deadlines are on the UCAS website.

We recommend that you apply early for this programme as it is highly popular and the number of places is limited.

After you apply

Your UCAS form will be reviewed by a member of staff. If you're selected at this stage, we'll ask you to complete a Supplementary Application Form (Word: 45KB). We'll also invite you to attend an Open Day and Assessment Centre.

Open Day and Assessment Centres

The Open Day and Assessment Centres are held from December to March. They are held at the University over the course of one day.

You arrive in the morning, giving you the chance to look around the University and Business School. You'll find out more about the degree and meet staff and students involved in the programme.

During the afternoon you take part in an Assessment Centre. This involves an interview and group assessment exercise and is conducted with the help of PwC. You'll have the opportunity to ask questions throughout so that you can get a good feel for what the programme is about.

You will receive feedback soon after you attend.

Receiving your offer

If you have been successful, you will be formally notified of an offer through the UCAS system.

The recruitment process takes longer than for most other degree programmes, but this reflects our commitment to recruit applicants with the right mix of skills and abilities for this programme.

Professional ethics

The placements with PwC are an integral part of the degree programme. To complete this training you will be required to sign an employment contract and an ICAEW training agreement with PwC and register as a provisional member of ICAEW.

These requirements apply to all PwC graduate trainees or any other accountancy trainee entering the profession.

Download the‌ PwC professional ethics guide(PDF: 26 KB).