How long does ACCA take to study?

Man working on laptop drinking from cup


Whether you’re already studying or you’re keen to start, you’ve probably asked yourself how long it takes to complete ACCA.

In this blog we’ll cover the average study time of each level, so grab a cuppa and keep reading to find out…


According to the ACCA:launch Registered Foundation students have no deadline for completion, but this can be completed quite quickly. The three qualifications at this level are:

ACCA Diploma in Financial and Management Accounting (Level 2)
ACCA Diploma in Financial and Management Accounting (Level 3)

These both consist of two exams, plus the Foundations in Professionalism module, which can be finished in 6 months.

ACCA Diploma in Accounting and Business (Level 4)
Level 4 is likely to take you 12 months as you’ll also need to achieve work experience during your studies.

Our Academic Support team says: You can expect the full Diploma to take you around 12 months, as long as you are also getting your work experience.

Applied Knowledge and Applied Skills

According to the ACCA:launch completion of Applied Knowledge and Applied Skills could take you around 12-18 months.

Our Academic Support team says: You could complete this in as little as 12-18 months.

Strategic Professional

According to the ACCA:launch completing this level also takes around 12-18 months.

Our Academic Support team says: Strategic Professional takes most students between 12-18 months to complete.

There is a ‘seven year rule’ at this level, which means you have seven years to pass the remaining Strategic Professional exams once you’ve passed your first*. If you don’t complete them in this time, you’ll lose any passes achieved and you’ll need to re-take them in order to complete the qualification. This rule ensures that ACCA members are up-to-date with the latest skills and techniques, and that they have shown dedication to becoming an accountant.

Total ACCA studying hours, according to the ACCA: 54-72 months

Our lower estimates are for students taking 2 exams every 6 months and passing first time; this would take you around 3 years in total. Our higher estimates are for students who need to resit exams or those choosing to take it more slowly; this would take you around 4.5 years in total.

Can I complete ACCA in 2 years?

To answer this question, we first need to let you know there are four exam sessions each year. Of these, students can sit a maximum of four exams per session and a maximum of eight exams per year. So, although you could complete your exams in two years, you’ll still need three years’ practical experience before you can become a fully qualified ACCA member.

However, if you are already AAT qualified, you could benefit from exemptionslaunch and complete in two years. Taking all of this into consideration, the qualification takes most students a minimum of three years.

Can I self-study ACCA?

Self-studying ACCA has never been easier. Regardless of how quickly or slowly you plan to achieve your qualification, our cost-effective subscriptions put you in control. Choose to pay when it suits you and access all levels anytime, anywhere. We let you spread your wings.

Don’t let life put your studies on hold. Try an online ACCA course free for 7 days.



The ACCA’s guided times in this article were sourced from the ACCA website course pages in September 2020. The Eagle academic support team’s guided times are based on ACCA averages, times from our own students between November 2022 – September 2023, and data models from our AAT students’ averages.