Do I need to go to college for level 4?

Kaffy Registered Posts: 1 New contributor 🐸
Hey all

This is my first post here, the site seems really helpful! I'm part-way through level 3 and considering my options for level 4. I've been self-studying with a textbook so far and so far so good. I'm debating whether or not I need to go to college for level 4. I've been sent information from the college and I see that ICAS is a written project which gets assessed by the college so I'm concerned that I wouldn't really be able to do that on my own!

The college course is £716 which doesn't seem *too* bad considering each exam is at least £55 to sit at level 4, and kaplan seem to add £50 onto that if you aren't a member of theirs.

Hmm, any recommendations?



  • Jo Clark
    Jo Clark Registered Posts: 2,525
    Hello Kaffy

    Welcome to the forum :)

    You do not need to go to college for level 4 and there are students/members who have completed AAT by self studying at all levels. Depending on your motivation and overall ability you may find that you benefit from attending college. If you choose not to, you can always ask questions on this forum if you ever need help or clarification on something you are studying.

    ICAS requires that your college marks the project, it is not marked directly by AAT. You could consider looking at other training providers for ICAS such as BPP, Kaplan, First Intution, Eagle etc.

    The college fee of £716 does not seem too bad as you say, however have you checked that this includes the cost of all the CBAs (exams) or will there be additional charges later in the course as you progress and sit the exams?

    My recommendation for now is to have a look at some of the level 4 material on the AAT website and see how you feel about it? I am guessing the college course would not start until September so you have a few months to think about it... why not buy a level 4 book and see if you think you could self study the level.

    Hopefully some other forum users will post thier thoughts/ideas to help you with your decision making.

    Good luck!

    JC :o
    ~ An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest ~
    Benjamin Franklin
  • Nps
    Nps Registered Posts: 782
    Now it is very unlike me to recommend college for any level, but at £716 for the whole level, you don't really have much to lose (apart from you being tied to their timetable and speed).

    My brief calculations for self study...
    ICAS - £200 min
    5 exam fees - £55 min = £275
    Books for all 5 exams (assume study text and question bank) = £150 ish. More if you buy everything.

    £625 total. That college fee of £716 seems very reasonable in comparison. As Jo says, I would check if exam fees are included.
  • MariaL
    MariaL Registered Posts: 14 Regular contributor ⭐ 😼 ⭐
    I have self studied for levels 2 and 3 through just buying the books. I have actually chose to do level 4 through a learning provider however as the cost between self study and distance learning was not too far apart. I based this on doing the ICAS project and another module as single distance learning modules. I have managed to get the distance learning course for £500 with government funding although I had to sign up as they stop this for over 24's in August. This included as much or as little support as I need, practice mock papers, all study material and online support. I mainly wanted support for written answers and the ICAS project but couldn't bear going to classroom learning each week as it just isn't me. The girls in my team at work love college based AAT as they can 'bounce ideas off each other', their words, not mine. I prefer independent learning however I understand everyone is different.
  • Clintm15
    Clintm15 Registered Posts: 248 Dedicated contributor 🌟 🐵 🌟
    Self study all the way in my opinion. I've just taken my final exam and it feels good to know that I have completed the AAT course unassisted. I feel there are advantages to taking an auto-didactic approach, the ability to revise and learn on your own is a habit worth having in my view.

    Everyone is of course different but that's my two cents.
    Level 2 - 2011
    Level 3 - 2012
    Level 4 - 2013

    F4 - Corporate Law - Dec 2015 (passed)
    F5 - Performance Management - Dec 2014 (passed)
    F6 - Taxation - Dec 2013 (passed)
    F7 - Financial Reporting - Jun 2014 (passed)
    F8 - Audit & Assurance - Dec 2015 (passed)
    F9 - Financial Management - Jun 2015 (passed)
  • omega man
    omega man Registered Posts: 283
    I self studied level 4 through Kaplan. The cost was £640 plus expenses, so about £700-£750.

    I passed everything first time and i am just awaiting the internal verifier to agree with my tutor that my project is competent.

    This may already have happened but i cannot view my statement of achievement to find out.
  • janwal
    janwal Registered Posts: 1,189
    Hi Kaffy

    I would seriously check what college is offering for £716, I am studying through college and it was more than that. It did include all exam fees but not any study material so I needed to buy all my own books on top which was about £160 for BPP books.

    Good luck with level 4

  • Nps
    Nps Registered Posts: 782
    Well I've learnt something new tonight. I thought I'd saved a fortune by self studying, but having read this thread and then looked at Kaplan's website, it seems that distance learning is much more affordable then I thought! Self studying was still right for me, but I have been surprised at how little more distance learning would have been.
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