ICAS Foundation Programme

Applications Now Open for 2024 Entry

Applications are now open for Autumn 2024 entry to the ICAS Foundation programme. Click on the Find Out More button for more information. We aim to reply to all applications within six weeks of the closing date, 31 May 2024.

The ICAS Foundation Programme provides an all-encompassing range of support for students planning to study accounting or finance at university.

We aim to support academically talented young people from family backgrounds with limited resources, who wish to attend university but may not have the means to do so without additional financial support.

You can read our students' stories in the meet our students section of our website.

There is more information about our eligibility criteria below.

Bursary Funding

Eligible students joining our programme receive an annual bursary of up to £2,500 paid in 2 equal instalments each year. This bursary is designed to help with the costs involved in studying at university and preparing for the workplace. Here are some examples of how our current students have used the bursary:

  • Help with accommodation and living costs.
  • Purchase of textbooks, laptop, tablet or printer.
  • Reduce hours at part time work over exam periods.

Lewis McArdle

Receiving a bursary from the ICAS Foundation helped me so much during my time at university - without it, I would have struggled to effectively balance my time between work and study.

Lewis McArdle, Smithycroft Secondary School, graduated from Glasgow Caledonian University in 2020

Mentoring Scheme

Our mentoring scheme matches every student with an experienced Chartered Accountant, who can offer guidance and encouragement throughout their time at university. Our mentors have a wide range of relevant experience, and our mentoring scheme is designed to ensure that, as far as possible, our students are matched with a mentor who can relate to their learning experience and career ambitions.

Internship and Graduate Roles

We want to ensure all our Foundation students have the opportunity to develop their experience while studying and then progress into their chosen career after graduation. As part of this, our penultimate and final year students receive regular updates on relevant opportunities currently open for application. Our programme has an excellent reputation among employers in the sector, and our students have an outstanding track record of attaining graduate CA training roles after university.


The ICAS Foundation bursary is only open to students who are planning to study, or who are currently studying, an accountancy or finance related degree at university. We can support university students at:

  • Any Scottish university
  • Approved partner universities in England (currently Lancaster University, the University of Birmingham, Middlesex University (current students only) and City, University of London)

In addition:

  • Students should be UK citizens or UK residents with leave to remain (EU / international students are not eligible to apply).
  • The student's parental, guardian or household income should be under £34,000 per year.
  • They should be in receipt of government support (from the Student Awards Agency Scotland, Student Finance England or similar) to study at university.
  • Students should generally not be in receipt of similar financial support from any university, trust or foundation. (This excludes the SAAS Young Student Bursary or any standard funding provided by an eligible university to all of their students.)


Applications open each Spring for entry in the next academic year (for instance, March to May 2024 for Autumn 2024 entry). Applications will only be considered outside this period in exceptional circumstances.