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

Voices
A Russian hunter at the Medved bear-hunting lodge in Siberia
Save the tigerWildlife charities turn to those who kill animals to help save them
News
Davis says: 'My career has been about filling a niche - there were fewer short actors and fewer roles – but now I'm being offered all kinds of things'
PeopleWarwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
News
i100
Sport
Frank Lampard will pass Billy Wright and equal Bobby Charton’s caps tally of 106 caps against
sportFormer Chelsea midfielder in Etihad stopgap before New York contract
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
The first film introduced Daniel Radcliffe to our screens, pictured here as he prepares to board the train to Hogwarts for the first time.
booksHow reading Harry Potter helps children grow up to be gay-friendly
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Aladdin is performed at the Tony Awards in New York in June
theatreBrit producer Lythgoe makes kids' musical comedy a Los Angeles hit
Sport
Usain Bolt of Jamaica smiles and shakes hands with a competitor after Jamaica won their first heat in the men's 4x100m relay
sport
News
Chancellor George Osborne, along with the Prime Minister, have been 'complacently claiming the economy is now fixed', according to shadow Chancellor Ed Balls
i100... which is awkward, because he is their boss, after all
Life and Style
A small bag of the drug Ecstasy
Health
Life and Style
Floral-print swim shorts, £26, by Topman, topman.com; sunglasses, £215, by Paul Smith, mpaulsmith.co.uk
FashionBag yourself the perfect pair
News
news
News
Netherlands' goalkeeper Tim Krul fails to make a save from Costa Rica's midfielder Celso Borges during a penalty shoot-out in the quarter-final between Netherlands and Costa Rica during the 2014 FIFA World Cup
newsGoalkeepers suffer from 'gambler’s fallacy' during shoot-outs
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmReview: A week late, Secret Cinema arrives as interactive screening goes Back to the Future
Extras
indybest
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

Primary Teacher

£90 - £150 per day + travel expenses: Randstad Education Newcastle: Upper Key ...

Primary Teacher

£90 - £115 per day + travel expenses: Randstad Education Newcastle: Primary NQ...

Primary Teacher

£90 - £115 per day + travel expenses: Randstad Education Newcastle: Primary NQ...

PE Teacher

£90 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: We are currently recruiting...

Day In a Page

Save the Tiger: Meet the hunters tasked with protecting Russia's rare Amur tiger

Hunters protect Russia's rare Amur tiger

In an unusual move, wildlife charities have enlisted those who kill animals to help save them. Oliver Poole travels to Siberia to investigate
Transfers: How has your club fared in summer sales?

How has your club fared in summer sales?

Who have bagged the bargain buys and who have landed the giant turkeys
Warwick Davis: The British actor on Ricky Gervais, how the Harry Potter set became his office, and why he'd like to play a spy

'I'm a realist; I know how hard this business is'

Warwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
The best swim shorts for men: Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer

The best swim shorts for men

Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer
Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

Meet the couple blamed for bringing Lucifer into local politics
Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup