Graduate Scheme FAQs
What makes Dixon Wilson different from other firms I’m looking at?
Many firms’ websites will look similar and it’s hard to set many apart when applying for a training contract. We believe that the following key areas differentiate us from other firms:
- We place a strong emphasis on ensuring our staff remain happy, challenged and motivated. Our staff turnover is exceptionally low. This is an indicator of a positive, healthy workplace which has led to most of our partners and senior staff remaining with the firm since they completed their training with us.
- The technical expertise of our partners and staff is outstanding. This is supported by the number of industry and professional prizes awarded to the firm and the staff.
- The variety and range of clients we deal with results in plenty of interesting and challenging work for our trainees.
- Our office in London, occupying the upper floors and roof terrace of a modern development on Chancery Lane, is an impressive and fun location to work with views across the city.
- Our dedication to training, with 16-20 trainees joining every year, means that the office is a vibrant and lively place to work. You will be surrounded by energetic and inquisitive trainees with excellent academic backgrounds with the partners fully supporting a range of social and charitable activities.
How do I apply?
If you would like to apply, please see our Apply Now page.
What happens after qualifying?
We encourage newly qualified accountants to consider additional training to achieve membership of other professional bodies, such as the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) or the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP).
Early opportunities exist for promotion to manager and, in the longer term, to partnership.
The training and practical experience we offer provides an excellent grounding, particularly for students who are interested in a career within the profession.
However, we recognise that most students embarking on a training contract will not have any set ideas about their futures and will prefer to keep their options open. The breadth of the training and experience we provide is equally valuable as a background to a career in all manner of industries.
What about my pay and benefits?
Students are paid at current market rates and London trainees also receive a settling-in allowance, payable in the first month of employment. Students receive salary increments throughout the training contract, upon successful completion of examinations. Student salaries are also reviewed annually.
The London office working hours are Monday-Friday, from 9am to 5pm with an hour for lunch. Students are entitled to 21 days holiday in addition to statutory holidays and paid study leave.
London trainees are required to work overtime, if necessary and are paid at the relevant hourly rate. However, excessive overtime is strongly discouraged because of the need to prepare for examinations which take priority.
A pension scheme is available to all students training in the London office.
What are Dixon Wilson looking for?
We welcome graduates from any discipline with a minimum of 120 UCAS points (300 UCAS points under the old system) and a 2:1 degree.
We look for candidates who have good academic ability and who are able to express themselves clearly, both orally and in writing. Good numeracy skills are required.
Students must have the commitment to succeed in their examinations and the aptitude to deliver a first-class professional service to our clients. They must have the ability to keep up to date with rapidly changing business conditions and the flexibility of mind to apply skills from different professional disciplines.
What subjects will I study?
The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales requires students to undertake three levels of formal examinations, the Certificate Stage, Professional Stage and Advanced Stage.
At Dixon Wilson, our students follow the ‘Pillar Approach’ pathway where the Certificate level papers are linked with the appropriate Professional level papers. This means that students sit 2 papers at a time (2 Certificate, followed by 2 Professional). Students then sit the Advanced level papers in their third and final year. We believe this approach dovetails well with the practical experiences our trainees gain over the training contract whilst working in the office.
The list below shows a typical order of the subjects you will study:
- Accounting – Certificate level
- Assurance – Certificate level
- Financial Accounting & Reporting – Professional level
- Audit & Assurance – Professional level
Year 2 (first half)
- Principles of Taxation – Certificate level
- Management information – Certificate level
- Tax Compliance – Professional level
- Financial Management – Professional level
Year 2 (second half)
- Law – Certificate level
- Business & Finance – Certificate level
- Business Planning Tax – Professional level
- Business Strategy – Professional level
- Corporate Reporting – Advanced level
- Advanced Case Study – Advanced level
- Strategic Business Management – Advanced level
How much time do I need to commit to studying?
The amount of commitment and home study required should not be underestimated, especially after a full day’s work. We would recommend at least 15 hours a week. Assistance and encouragement is always available from your colleagues, who will be more than willing to help.
I am an international student; can I apply?
Applications from international students are accepted however, Dixon Wilson does not have sponsorship status. If a candidate's application is successful, we would then look to apply for a work permit or visa on an individual basis.
What training will I receive?
Students benefit from a comprehensive training programme taught by leading commercial tutors, which is designed to enable students to pass the examinations first time.
This involves initial tuition, followed by a Certificate level paper, which is set and marked by the Institute. Once you have passed the Certificate level paper, you will begin a further intensive course to prepare you for the corresponding Professional level paper.
In addition, we have a unique in-house training programme which is designed to help students with their professional work and technical abilities. These are presented by both internal and external specialist tutors.
When can I apply?
Applications are open throughout the year, subject to the availability of places. For the London office, assessment centres are typically held between September and January for the Spring intake and between February and July for the Autumn intake.
Please keep an eye on our website for further details.
How many places are available?
We have two intakes each year, in Spring and Autumn. Trainees tend to commence employment in March or August. Typically, we employ 12 trainees in London per intake.