Making a career change to Accountancy (in my 30's) and I have chosen CIMA as the route to take. My reason, well, as I understand it, CIMA will provide me with a more Business direction, and engaging, route than ACCA, which I understand to be more dry (i.e. more sitting alone doing number crunching).
Anyway, I have no Finance related experience so I will have to study the CIMA Certificate. I shall home-study this, funding it myself, and then hopefully break into the industry with this Certificate and seek funding through the employer to complete the full CIMA professional qualification.
1) What is the best way to study the CIMA Certification? a) Buy the text-books? b) Buy only the study notes (as I've heard these teach you what you need to know to pass the exams)? c) Online tution? d) Is there free tution for this certification (a website maybe or YouTube)? e) With the ACCA qualification you can gain a degree at the same time. Do CIMA have something like this? f) How long, with two hours of study a day, should it take to pass all five exams - whats the normal amount of time?
With no previous finance experience I would highly recommend purchasing and thoroughly reading the text books as certificate level is designed to give you the building blocks needed to progress through the professional syllabus. If these building blocks are rushed you could find difficulties at the later levels.
Which books to use? I have used both kaplan and BPP over my cima career and whilst both have their flaws I prefer the kaplan as I find they are more closely linked to the syllabus. Kaplan also have free codes in the books which give access to a mock which is very similar to those purchased under cima study.
Re the degree the short answer is yes they have partnered with MMU but I think you need to have passed managerial to qualify and the price range is £1500 for the degree and £3300 for the masters.