The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS) are a global professional body for Chartered Accountants; which forms a leading business community of 23,000 Members and 3,700 CA Students  that spans industries and time zones and is packed with local heroes and corporate leaders.

Founded in 1854, they were the world’s first professional body of accountants. From digitisation to automation and AI, the business landscape has evolved a great deal since then, with ICAS at the forefront. They are now recognised and respected as a global pacesetter in the future of finance and advancement of the accountancy profession.

What is the ICAS Foundation?   

The ICAS Foundation is a charity registered in Scotland, set up in December 2012, to support academically talented young people from disadvantaged communities to pursue a career in accounting or finance. This is achieved by providing financial support while they are at university, a mentoring scheme with an ICAS Chartered Accountant and help to secure a paid work placement to build key workplace skills.

What is the eligibility criteria?

Applicants must meet all of the following:

  • Be able to demonstrate academic talent
  • Hold a conditional or unconditional offer to study an undergraduate degree in accounting or finance at a Scottish university, the University of Birmingham or Lancaster University
  • Be living in a household where the parental / guardian income is under £34,000 per annum
  • Students must not be in receipt of a scholarship from university or a trust similar to the ICAS Foundation

Note – Applicants are required to provide evidence of household income at time of assessment.

Grants & Funding

Foundation students are required to be on track for a First-Class Honours or Upper Second-Class Honours degree at the start of their penultimate year of study. This is evidenced through submission of their exam results and twice-yearly reports.

The ICAS Foundation offers a small grants scheme, open to any accounting and finance student, where a specific funding need has been identified.  This includes financial support to purchase study materials or to attend career development events.  Further details can be found in the Grant Application Form on the ICAS Foundation website.

Applications for bursaries are considered by reference to the objectives of the ICAS Foundation, to the level of funds available and the eligibility criteria specified by Trustees.


Students are matched with a qualified Chartered Accountant who provides mentoring support throughout their university experience.  Mentors use their skills and experience to provide support in a range of areas, including providing support with job applications, access to work experience and events or directing students to study support.

“While the funding made an incredible difference to my university experience, being a Foundation student involves so much more. When meeting CAs at ICAS events, it provided insight into the extent of this global network of professionals and what it really means to be a Chartered Accountant. The relationships established through the ICAS Foundation mentoring programme supported both my professional and personal development.”

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