Postgraduate queries

I'm halfway through a modern languages degree, but have started to regret my subject choice, and want to find a pathway into a maths-related job after I graduate (I got A* at maths A Level). What postgraduate routes could I pursue into accounting?

Two quick observations first. You're right to stick with your current degree, as languages will always be an asset. And second, the lack of a numbers-based degree will be no obstacle at all as you try to become an accountant.

As for your postgraduate options, although you certainly haven't said goodbye to exams your route into accountancy will not start with a Masters degree. First you'll need to find an accountancy firm who will take you on as a trainee, and through its links to the ACCA, the global professional body for accountants, put you through the courses that lead to the exams and professional qualifications that are essential if you want to practise as a chartered accountant.

Your numeracy skills will clearly help, but so will your ability with words, as making and presenting arguments based on figures is an important part of life as a practising accountant. Further down the line, if you want to specialise in a niche of the accountancy field, you can find postgraduate courses in areas such as international accounting.

What is an MRes?

An MRes is a relatively new beast in the postgraduate jungle, and has gained prominence as the number and variety of taught Masters has grown. An MRes is a Masters degree gained largely by research and not teaching, and offers a far better preparation for students who definitely want to go on to do a PhD. You can do an MRes in various subjects, but a key part of every course will be some generic guidance and practice in research methods that could later be applied to any area of academic inquiry.

I have been in the physical education, sport and fitness industry for over 25 years, with a first degree in PE and a Masters in sport psychology. Now I'm approaching 50, is it too late to change career and study law?

Although I always say it's never too late to change course in life, I wouldn't want you to head towards a law qualification without your eyes wide open. It will take time; it will cost money; and it's so competitive that there's no guarantee of success.

If you're still game, you'll first need to bring yourself to the equivalent level of knowledge as a law graduate, by acquiring a Graduate Diploma in Law (also known as a CPE). This can be done full-time for a year, or part-time over two years.

The next stage is the Legal Practice Course, which usually takes a year full-time, although the College of Law now runs an accelerated seven-month course starting in July. Then, you'll have to find a firm of solicitors who'll take you on a training contract and give you the practical experience across several areas of legal practice that you'll need to become a qualified solicitor. Getting such a contract is not easy and will eat up another two years of your life.

So, to sum up, while your maturity and experience of life will undoubtedly be viewed as an asset by many academics and employers in the legal world, you should be prepared for a real challenge to achieve your goal at your age.

Send your queries to Steve McCormack at steve.mcc@virginmedia.com

News
peopleChildren leave in tears as Santa is caught smoking and drinking
Arts and Entertainment
A host of big name acts recorded 'Do They Know It's Christmas?' in London on Saturday
musicCharity single tops chart
Arts and Entertainment
Steve Backshall has become the eighth celebrity to leave Strictly Come Dancing
tv
News
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
tvStrictly presenter returns to screens after Halloween accident
News
peopleFormer civil rights activist who was jailed for smoking crack cocaine has died aged 78
News
i100
News
Boxing promoter Kellie Maloney, formerly known as Frank Maloney, entered the 2014 Celebrity Big Brother house
people
Sport
Dwight Gayle (left) celebrates making it 1-1 with Crystal Palace captain Mile Jedinak
premier leagueReds falter to humbling defeat
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Commercial Property Surveyor

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the leading firms of Cha...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Executive - Central London, Bank

£26000 - £28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A truly exciting opportunity has ari...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Structural Engineer

£22500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A keen Graduate Structural Engineer with...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Data & Delivery Guru

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Graduate Data & Delivery Guru is required to...

Day In a Page

Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible
Look what's mushrooming now! Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector

Look what's mushrooming now!

Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector
Neil Findlay is more a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

More a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

The vilification of the potential Scottish Labour leader Neil Findlay shows how one-note politics is today, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Tenderstem broccoli omelette; Fried eggs with Mexican-style tomato and chilli sauce; Pan-fried cavolo nero with soft-boiled egg

Oeuf quake

Bill Granger's cracking egg recipes
Terry Venables: Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back

Terry Venables column

Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back
Michael Calvin: Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Those at the top are allowing the same issues to go unchallenged, says Michael Calvin