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Diploma Pathway by distance learning

SparklySparkly Well-KnownRegistered Posts: 139

Is anyone out there doing the Diploma route by distance learning?

I have referred to the forums a lot over the last year but have only recently figured out how to actually post in the forums (DOH!)! So many of you seem to be doing the units which I think are on the NVQ pathway and also a lot of you are studying at college.

I was wondering if there is anyone out there who is studying at home by theirself on the Diploma route that I could 'chat' to, to see how they're finding it and how they are going about planning their studies.

I've completed IAC, ECR and FRA and and hoping to put in to do DFS in December. At the moment I also need to catch up on the skills tests! With there being no definite deadlines set they have fallen by the wayside.

I decided its about time I joined the online community then maybe studying from home won't be quite so lonely!

It would be good to hear from anyone out there!



  • *Jo*Jo Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 509
    Hi Kelly, im doing the diploma pathway by distance learning too :)

    Ive completed both exams on the intermediate stage and all of the simulations apart from Unit 32 Professional Ethics. of all the skills tests so far i found Unit 15 the hardest. Im fine with the figures but when it comes to explaining things in writing I find it harder.

    Which Skills tests are you studying at the moment?

  • one-eyed-wombleone-eyed-womble Feels At Home Registered Posts: 31
    Hi Kelly,

    I too am doing the Diploma route via distance learning :) I still have one skills test to complete from Intermediate which is Unit 15. I agree Jo, I def found this one the hardest too! I hope to get it out of the way in the next week or two.

    I've just started Unit 33 aiming to sit the exam at the end of Nov, and hopefully get my project started. And then next June, it's 3 exams - the 2 tax units and DFS - which is a worry!

    If anyone needs any help, I'm happy to help if I can.

  • *Jo*Jo Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 509
    Im hoping to get this simulation out of the way then I will register for the final level. Hopefully I will be able to study for at least one exam by December. So far i've only studied one unit at a time. Keep thinking I should try and do at least two at once but havent quite got around to it. How do you fit it in Roz, do you studyplan or just study as and when?
  • SparklySparkly Well-Known Registered Posts: 139
    Hi Jo & Roz,

    So far I have done the exams for units 30, 5 & 6, and none of the skills tests. oops! I've got to the end of the course companion for unit 31 and am hoping to do that skills test shortly. I have just started studying unit 11, DFS which I'm hoping to sit in December. If I'm going ok with it I might brave putting in for unit 33 as well but so far I have only sat one exam at a time even though I know if I was studying at college they would probably be putting me in for two at a time! I'm hoping on slotting the other skills test in somewhere in between but sometiems there just doesn't seem enough time!

    It's nice to have found someone in the same situation as myself! Thanks Roz for the offer of help :)

  • one-eyed-wombleone-eyed-womble Feels At Home Registered Posts: 31

    Yes Sparkly, my learning provider sent me a timetable to take 2 exams, but I bottled it and have just gone for the one. I figure as there is only 11 weeks before the exams again (!!) and effectively 7 months before the June ones, I thought it was a more even split to do one and then three. I know you mean Sparkly, I'm worried about sitting more than one exam too. Like Jo, I've only ever studied one module at at time, so not quite sure how I'm going to organise myself for next year. Also, it's hard to know how much material is in each module, as next year's tax books haven't been released yet.

    I do have a study plan, otherwise I don't keep on track! I've worked back from the exam, given time to practice exams papers and then set a length of time to each chapter based on how long it is. But I don't have set times to study, just as and when. I always carry my book though, so can catch little chunks of reading if I can. I aim to study for 10 hours a week. I think everyone finds their own way of learning. I seem to have to write notes from the chapter, which obviously takes longer than just reading it, before I can tackle the questions. I'd be interested to know what works for others.

  • *Jo*Jo Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 509
    Hello all :)

    When I first started the course I used to copy everything in the book just to get it too stick in my head!! (Its been a long time since I was at school, Im 34). Now I tend to read the text, make notes if I can't get it too stick and spend alot of time googling if I dont understand something. Bized has some good stuff for ratio's I found the site helped me loads for Unit 15. I attempt most of the questions some I write/type some I do in my head. Kaplan do send you a study guide and general schedule but Im not very good at sticking to it. I tend to study most lunch hours at work and evenings/weekends fit in what I can. Sometimes I feel jealous at those on the forums who have study leave but then again at least I can pick and choose when I study. Methinks I need to get more organised for the final level mind as that will require alot more work.
  • AmpsieAmpsie Well-Known Registered Posts: 145

    I'm doing the same - distance learning diploma route.
    I did dfs last June and am doing Mac this december and taxes next June.

    I found dfs ok but i'm finding mac really hard going. It feels like ther's so much to learn i don't know how i'm going to get it all to sink in and remember it!

  • SparklySparkly Well-Known Registered Posts: 139
    Hi All,

    I'm studying with BPP. It may sound a backward way of doing it but because I find things sink in more for me if i'm writing/copying things out, I start at the end of a chapter, copying out the key points/note and then go back and read through the chapter to take in the information in more details, before working through the questions at the end of the chapter!

    I don't have a specific plan (but I think I should really!). I try to get an afternoon a week in at work as my boss allows me this time. Then I try to slot studying in when I can at home, but am not very disciplined at finding the time to do it! I have given myself a rough plan of when to have worked through each of the chapters in the book, allowing time at the end to fit in revision and lots of past papers before the exam.

    I keep thinking I would like to try tackling two exams this time and then the final two in June but am worried that it might be too much and I might end up failing both of them leaving me behind!! I'm definately aiming to do the two tax exams together, it's just fitting in the other exam! Maybe they will catch up with launching the computer based examsand then we'll be able to do them when we like, so far they seem to launch a unit on the computer just as I've sat the paper one!

  • *Jo*Jo Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 509
    Hi Ampsie,

    Sounds like your well away with it all. I haven't even got as far as thinking about what each unit contains yet let alone decide which one/s im gonna sit in December (ok ok so more probally will be which ONE seeing how i havent even enrolled on technican level yet).

    Roz am I right in thinking you have managed to enroll on technican level but haven't finished advance certificate level yet? apologies if im getting mixed up :blushing: If so maybe its time I enrolled seeing how it will take a while for the books etc to come.

    It is nice having fellow distance learners to chat to :thumbup:
  • *Jo*Jo Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 509
    Sparkly wrote: »
    Hi All,

    Maybe they will catch up with launching the computer based examsand then we'll be able to do them when we like, so far they seem to launch a unit on the computer just as I've sat the paper one!

    Now that would be ideal, computer exams might mean not having to book a day off work to take my exams grrrrrrrrrrr.

    Your lucky Kelly to be given an afternoon a week to study. I dont get anytime not even exam days, they come off my measley 20 days a year holiday lol.

    So what does everyone do at work? Im a full time assistant accountant at a Manufacturers. Im hoping to finish AAT and then go on to do CIMA.
  • AmpsieAmpsie Well-Known Registered Posts: 145
    I started off training to be a certified bookkeeper then moved onto AAT. I'm hoping to go onto ACCA when i finish.

    I'm an Accounts Analyst for a telecoms company. We're qute small so i get to do all the areas of accounts, payroll, tax and final accounts with an accountant who comes in once a month to check up on me!

    It's nice but i do sometimes feel that i get no guidance as i'm left to do it all myself most of the time!

    My boss lets me have an afternoon a week to study at my desk (that's what i'm doing now!) But it's hard to get on with it at home.

    I did write out a study plan so i had an aim of when i had each section finished but i'm slipping behind! Can't believe where the time goes!

  • one-eyed-wombleone-eyed-womble Feels At Home Registered Posts: 31
    *Jo wrote: »
    Roz am I right in thinking you have managed to enroll on technican level but haven't finished advance certificate level yet? apologies if im getting mixed up :blushing: If so maybe its time I enrolled seeing how it will take a while for the books etc to come.

    Yes, you are right in thinking that. I should be sitting Unit 15 CMCC skills test this week from Intermediate, but already enrolled and started on the material for MAC. So basically, overlapping the two levels. I'm with Premier Training and they never questioned the fact that I still had one skills test to go when I called up to order the Technician course with them. I don't know what learning provider you are with, but I would say it's certainly worth a phone call to see if they will let you enrol.

    I'm working in purchase ledger at the moment, and it's a really busy job so don't even get time during lunch to study. Must be great getting an afternoon off to study. I'm envious!! My company are quite good though, and have said they will give me more responsibility as my studies progress.

  • *Jo*Jo Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 509
    Afternoon all,

    Best of Luck with the CMCC unit Roz, I did call Kaplan the other day and they confirmed I can begin Technician straight away. Im just waiting for my boss to get back to me about whether the company is going to pay for it now. When I was offered the job they said they would fund my studies but I had already paid myself for intermidiate so I said I would get back to them about technician.

    Im anxious to get started studying soon as the exams aren't that far away. Im thinking about trying for MAC first as well. It fits in well with my job so shouldn't be too hard (fingers crossed :tongue_smilie:).

    Im thinking of taking the two tax exams as options. Whats everyone else doing? My boss has said only the business tax will be relevant here but Im trying to think of in the future. Figured Both Taxes will be better than the auditing option as Im hoping to go on to further study anyway.

    Has anyone done the Simulation for Professional Ethics yet? AAT don't have any practice papers for it so i'm wondering what to expect. There's a couple in my Kaplan workbook but previously Kaplan's sims differ alot to the AAT ones.
  • steveJsteveJ Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 694
    I'm studying the advanced certificate with premier training by distance learning. I haven't done any skills tests, but hoping to do them after the december exams before the diploma stage. I'm still in 2 minds about doing both the FRA and ECR in December !

    I work on a production line which isn't the most mentally challenging job so I get a chance to study throughout the day, so on some days I can study for around 4 hours including a bit of time at home, but I always need that day or two break to let it sink in.

    I started off by writing out everything from a chapter, then going through the whole book again answering the questions, but now I find it much better to highlight bits that stand out, read the notes at the end and then attempt the questions.

    I'm a bit ahead of my timetable at the moment, so will try to keep up the pace.
  • *Jo*Jo Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 509
    Hello Steve,

    It took me ages to get around to actually sitting the exams at advanced certificate stage. When I started I did the two exams at different times. Working full time makes it hard to fit in any more study than I already do.

    Best of luck with the course I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

  • SparklySparkly Well-Known Registered Posts: 139
    Hi All,

    Finally getting round to 'talking' to you again. I agree, it's great to have fellow distance learners to chat to.

    I work in the accounts department for a manufacturing company. We're the UK function of an international company and there are only four of us in our department. My actual job title is 'Financial Analyst', sounds posh eh?! I think its more to do with the fact that my boss doesn't like job titles with the word 'assistant' in them!! My job involves a lot of reprting, both internally and externally. I report on a daily basis the production within the mill (a paper mill) and also compile weekly KPI's. I'm also responsible for completing the monthly VAT and Intrastat returns and various forms for the Office of National Statistics. I'm the (un)lucky person that gets to post all the journals for our month end closing! Because our parent company is in the US we are govenrned by SOX compliance which seems to be very hot on segregation of duties, and my duty is journal posting. Yay! (not!)

    I also help out with the purchase ledger side of things as our purchase ledger clerk is only in the office part time. That's my main duties but I get all sorts ofother things thrown at me too!

    I'm sticking with the plan of aiming to do one exam in December. I'd like to have done two but I also have a couple of part time jobs and I just don't think I could fit enough quality study time in. I've decided rather than try to push myself to do more exams at once and risk not doing so well, I would rather concentrate my efforts on one at a time and hopefully continue to do well! My boss agreed with me on this one so it must make sense!

    I can take an afternoon a week to study in the office because I'm not taking time out to go to college. The problem is disciplining myself to stop and then actually do the studying, and also making sure I take a whole afternoon, not just a couple of hours! I'm trying to get more done at home too but so far I'm not doing too well on that one!
  • taskeytaskey Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 1,800
    i am doing nvq by distance learning and i am hoping to do DFS in december too. i am also looking at doing a tax unit, but not too sure yet.

    i am sure we can all help each other along the way

  • Lyn32Lyn32 Feels At Home Registered Posts: 85
    DFS and BTC

    I'm doing the distancelearning too I had finish my textbook and tried to attempt all the past exams paper. I was bored by the couple of chapter on DFS is a lot of reading I find it hard just reading all the time.

    I am looking for a revision session somewhere in Reading I call my old college, far too expensive to attend a revision there.

    Any idea appreciate your help!
  • SandyHoodSandyHood Font Of All Knowledge Registered, Moderator Posts: 2,034

    AAT run revision days themselves
    There will be some in London, and I'd think the DFS will be around £60 for the day.
    There are about 40 students to the class.
    [email protected]
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