CIMA - Diploma in Management Accounting - Operational Level

Course Information

  • Course Code: EC353
  • Duration: 42 weeks x 6 hours
  • Study mode: Part Time
  • Price: £2050.00
  • Times: 18:00-21:00

Start Dates

  • Tuesday, 01 November 2022
  • Tuesday, 10 January 2023


The Chartered Institute of Management Accounting (CIMA) is the world’s leading, and largest, professional body of management accountants.  Their unique blend of management accounting, financial accounting and business-focused subjects produces competent and confident Chartered Graduate Management Accountants (CGMAs) who can lead their organisations to sustainable success.  CIMA ensures that you’re studying the most relevant qualification for a career in finance and business and they are with you every step of the way as you work towards gaining the globally recognised CGMA designation.

The Professional Qualifications focus on employability – bridging the skills gaps of newly qualified finance professionals worldwide, meeting the needs of both business and people.  The syllabus is truly competency based, enabling you to develop the skills employers are really looking for, including technical, finance and business skills as well as people and leadership skills. Our industry leading assessments test your application of knowledge in real world business situations.

Passing all CIMA exams is a demonstration to employers that you not only have the knowledge, but also the competencies and skills of a Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA). Passing the CIMA Diploma in Management Accounting - Operational Level is the first part of this process before you progress to higher levels to become fully qualified.

Why come to Blackburn College?

  • Teacher trained and sector specific qualified tutors
  • Purpose built facilities
  • Class sizes that allow you to discuss topics with your peers and gain quality time with your tutors
  • Renowned for providing an excellent student experience with an emphasis on pastoral care throughout
  • Excellent library facilities
  • Pay NO VAT. You wil find our fees could be up to 20% cheaper than private training providers.


Why this level?

The Operational Level is the first level of the Professional Qualification suite and consists of three computer-based Objective Tests and one Case Study exam.  The Operational level covers the implementation of strategy, as well as reporting on the implementation of strategy.  

What will I study?

Operational level is the first level of the CIMA Professional Qualification and consists of three subject areas and a Case Study.

Students will learn how to:

  • Prepare financial statements
  • Provide management accounting information
  • Use appropriate tools for decision making through a broad understanding of business


After successfully completing this level, students will receive the CIMA Diploma in Management Accounting (CIMA Dip MA).


CIMA have updated their professional qualification and there will be some changes to the syllabus for exams in November 2019, but don’t worry, CIMA can guide you through this year, and the options you have going forward. Please check with CIMA if you have any exams passed under any previous syllabus.  Differences between current and new Operational syllabus


P1 -        Management Accounting

               Old Operational syllabus

               There are no significant advantages of sitting under the old or new syllabus.


New Operational syllabus

There are no significant advantages of sitting under the old or new syllabus. Although on balance it could be argued that some of the new areas such as direct and indirect costs could be marginally easier than the existing topics of perfect information and risk attitudes.


E1 -        Managing Finance in a Digital World

The 2019 syllabus has a greater focus on marketing and HR which most students find straightforward and have practical knowledge of these areas.

The new syllabus has more focus on technology and the digital world, which you may find a little trickier as you may have less practical experience in this area.

The new syllabus will be built upon in your future studies so studying E1 under the 2019 syllabus will better prepare you for your future studies and avoid a significant knowledge gap.


F1 -        Financial Reporting

Current Operational syllabus

The syllabus has a greater focus on marketing and HR which most students find straightforward and have practical knowledge of these areas.

Group accounts has been moved to F2 so you may find the new F1 more straightforward.



E1: Managing Finance in a Digital World (formerly Organisational Management)

  • Role of the finance function
  • Technology in a digital world
  • Data and information in a digital world
  • Shape and structure of the finance functions
  • Finance interacting with the organisation


P1: Management Accounting

  • Cost accounting for decision and control
  • Budget and budgetary control
  • Short term commercial decision making
  • Dealing with risk and uncertainty in the short term


F1: Financial Reporting (formerly Financial Reporting and Taxation)

  • Regulatory environment of financial reporting
  • Financial statements
  • Principles of taxation
  • Managing cash and working capital


CIMA have produced a tool that you can access to help you plan your studies, but remember this isn't tailored to any particular study method and the courses available.   You’ll need your CIMA ID to access this.  Alternatively call their Student Service advisors who will be able to give you tailored advice for your circumstances - contact them on 0161 259 7400.


Objective Tests switched over to examine the new syllabus on 4th November 2019, with no option to re-sit under the old syllabus if you previously took an exam and failed.

We’re including the following, free of charge (unless you are receiving Leading Lancashire Funding, in which case you would be expected to pay for these):

  • All study texts
  • Revision cards
  • Exam kits                                                            
    • (worth over £250)



Entry Requirements

Entry requirements

To attend this course, you must have one of the following qualifications:

  • Chartered Institute of Management Accounting (CIMA) Certificate in Business Accounting
  • Degree in Business or Accounting
  • Association Accounting Technicians Diploma - Level 4

Evidence of previous qualification must be provided with your application for you to be accepted onto the course.


As regards working experience, CIMA do not have requirements by year of study, but once studying you will need to gain as many of the criteria as possible stated at the link below, throughout your studies at this level and through the full professional tier of qualifications:

If English is not your first language, evidence of achieving one of the following English Language qualifications within the last two years is also required: IELTS Academic Module with an overall score of 6.5 (each component pass mark must be 6.0 or above), or Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (grade B or above is required). CIM will consider other equivalent alternatives.


Leading Lancashire Funding for academic year 21/22:

To be eligible for the funding you need to be:

  • Aged 16 or over
  • Eligible to live and work in the UK
  • Employed 
  • Work for a Lancashire based SME.  ‘Lancashire’ means based in a Lancashire County Council, Blackburn with Darwen or Blackpool postcode area.  An SME (Small, Medium Enterprise) is an enterprise with less than 250 employees and a turnover of less than 50m euro’s

Please note that the tuition is fully funded but students will be expected to pay their own Registration & Exam Fees (via CIMA), book fees & Membership fees (where applicable). 

If you consider yourself to be eligible for this funding, please contact us at to confirm you wish to apply via the funded route and confirming the following:  Name, Home Address, Email, Mobile, Age, Company Name & Address and Company Registration Number (if you have one). 

How will I be assessed?

For the three main modules you will be assessed by a 90 minute computer-based examination test which will be held at Pearson VUE Centre rather than on campus at Blackburn College. There are test centres in Bolton, Salford and Manchester. You will be responsible for your organisation of travel to a test centre. 

These tests are comprised of a range of items including short multiple choice questions, number entry questions, drag and drop questions and other formats. 

The Case Study Examination is also a computer-based test. This lasts 3 hours. The Case Study test is used to test a variety of skills including research and analysis, how to present information, persuasion and communication skills. Case Study exams reflect a real life business scenario, comprising a series of time bound tasks set for students to complete based on pre-seen material.

What can I do next?

It is our intention to offer  the next CIMA Level (Advanced Diploma) following completion of the Operational Level.

After successfully completing this level however, you will receive the CIMA Diploma in Management Accounting - Operational Level and be able to use the following desigatory letters after your name (CIMA Dip MA). You may choose to use this qualification to increase your chance of promotion or move into an Accounting role. Typical roles that students studying the CIMA Diploma go on to achieve include Junior Financial Accountants and Junior Management Accountants.


For more information

For more information about this course, contact our specialist team on 01254 29 25 00 or email