How long will my AAT course take?

The timescales for completing your course will vary considerably according to:

  • Which course you enrolled upon, and
  • How many hours you are able to allocate to studies per week (on average)

Each AAT course has a set of Guided Learning Hours (GLH), i.e. a recommended amount of time that should be spent studying on your course. The Guided Learning Hours are further broken down into ‘hours per unit’ and the same again for each learning area within that unit:


AAT Foundation Certificate in Bookkeeping

The recommended GLH for this course is 105 hours

The qualification consists of 2 units:

Bookkeeping Transactions: GLH = 60 hours

Bookkeeping Controls: GLH = 45 hours

Within the Bookkeeping Transactions unit, there are 5 learning areas. The GLH for each learning area varies according to the level of content and/or complexity within that area, but in total, the GLH is 60. The same principle will apply to the Bookkeeping Controls unit.

Calculating the study hours per week

Obviously, each student is unique in terms of preferred learning style and the amount of hours available to devote to studying. For some, it may be easy to find 3 hours of peace and solitude during an evening whereas for others, it might be more difficult, e.g. coming home each night from a full time job along with various family commitments to contend with too!

However, the minimum amount of studying you should allocate each week (on average) is 6 hours per week. Holidays and the unexpected occurrences crop up for all of us, but a good, regular study routine will generally produce the best results.

Using the Foundation Certificate in Bookkeeping course (as per above), as an example, we have calculated how long this course is likely to take based on the following study hours per week:

  • 6 hours per week = 4.5 months
  • 8 hours per week = 3 months
  • 15 hours per week = 2 months

Again, it’s important to note that this is a ‘guide’ only – some students will take longer than this, whereas others may be able to complete the course faster than this.

Summary of Guided Learning Hours


If you would like a more detailed breakdown for a particular AAT course qualification, please do get in touch with us by emailing or via our contact page here