University staff said they were delighted at the interest in the course, which it started advertising earlier this month following a launch in March.
The Certificate in Accounting is the first such course to be offered on part-time distant learning.
It offers a ‘fast track’ into accountancy, taking place over 12 months and enabling students to skip the five CIMA foundation level exams and three of the ACCA Part One tests.
The course, which covers financial accounting, management accounting and managing organisations, has won the approval of both institutes.
It does not require prior qualifications and enables students to study using the latest technology.
Alan Sangster, professor of accounting at the OU Business School, explained: ‘The course was developed to fill a perceived gap in the market and we feel it has huge appeal to a range of people.’
Robert Jelly, CIMA’s director student development, explained: ‘CIMA has its own examination, we simply see this as another pathway to join. It covers our minimum standards and more.’
‘We’re looking forward to lots of students picking it up and joining CIMA,’ he told Accountancy Age.
He added that CIMA was particularly attracted to the course because it caters to non-traditional students. ‘It widens the scope of people who can join CIMA,’ he said.
‘We’re comfortable with the brand name of the Open University, it has an excellent reputation as a business school and it has potentially global reach.’
A spokeswoman for the OU Business School said: ‘It looks like this has really taken the imagination of the public.’
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