Graduate Programme

Graduate Programme

Our graduate scheme is an exciting 3 year programme during which you will receive full support towards becoming a Chartered Accountant under ICAEW.

We’ll support you throughout the programme, from time out to sit exams to full financial support for all your course costs. You’ll also enjoy excellent support including coaching and mentoring from our dedicated teams with your own counsellor to guide you the whole way.

We have vacancies each year in the following offices: Carlisle, Glasgow, Leeds, Newcastle, Skipton, Manchester and Northallerton.


Your Training

There is no escaping the hard work and dedication required to succeed in becoming a trusted Chartered Accountant. You will spend time at college studying and completing exams, alongside working in one of our busy offices.  However training isn’t all about outstanding academic results, you will also complete our specialist development training programme to equip you with the knowledge and practical tools to ensure you have the skills to provide unrivalled client service throughout your career.

We’ve designed the programme to take you on a journey to become a professionally qualified business adviser. Sitting in our Audit and Assurance team, you'll have the opportunity to gain experience across a variety of specialist service lines including Restructuring & Insolvency, Financial Planning, Corporate Finance and Tax Consultancy. You’ll also help us provide market leading business advice and service to support our clients’ growth. It’s a busy 3 years with lots of exciting challenges and rewarding career development opportunities.

At the end of your training you will hold the ICAEW Chartered Accountant qualification, the ACA, which is one of the most advanced learning and professional development programmes available. It is valued around the world in business, practice and the public sector.


Who are we looking for?

We’re looking for talented individuals who want to be part of our journey to be one of the best accountancy firms to do business with. You will be friendly, confident and approachable with strong communication skills to help support and inspire our other trainees and your fellow peer group. You’ll help our clients to address the issues that face them and provide sound business advice to help them grow.

You will also need to have at least a 2:1 degree or above (obtained or predicted) in any discipline or the full AAT qualification. Please note that we will consider candidates with a 2:2 degree in certain locations if the degree is in a subject relevant to the role.

You must also possess a full and valid UK Drivers Licence before September 2022.

Apply now

Salary and Rewards

You will receive a competitive basic salary which increases through each year of study.

We will also cover the costs of everything you need for your study package, from overnight accommodation to train travel and time out of the office. We’re not like other firms, we won’t panic if it takes you a bit longer to get the hang of sitting professional exams. Your success reflects on us and we’ll support you as much as we can to achieve the required results.

Undergraduate Placement

Are you currently studying towards your degree and looking for a placement year which will give you the opportunity to experience life at a leading professional accountancy firm? Become a member of our team and enjoy the same responsibilities as our first year graduates.

Our placements are the best way to get a real insight into what it's like to provide trusted business and financial advice to our clients as a Chartered Accountant. You’ll be with us for around 12 months so you’ll be completing meaningful tasks on real projects and not only that, you’ll be well on your way to join us as a full time graduate trainee once you graduate.

Business Areas

No matter which team you’re part of, you’ll be adding value each day of your placement. We can currently offer placement opportunities across Audit, Accountancy, Tax, Corporate Finance and Forensic Accounting at various locations.



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Armstrong Watson

A great place to work

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Working for Armstrong Watson

"After completing an Accountancy and Finance degree at Durham University, I joined Armstrong Watson in September 2021. Naturally, starting the graduate scheme was quite daunting at first but my colleagues couldn’t have made me feel more welcome and right from day one I have felt like a valued member of the Armstrong Watson team."

Jacob Sharp, Audit & Assurance Assistant

"I joined Armstrong Watson in September 2020, having gained an Engineering degree from Exeter University. Training for the ACA qualification is helping me develop skills I gained at University and grow, working within a fast-paced, professional environment. Armstrong Watson supports and guides me throughout my professional journey ensuring that I have the skills to help a range of clients."

Daniel Healey, Audit & Assurance Assistant

"When I joined AW (from a big 4 firm), one of my biggest concerns was that the team wouldn’t compare to what I was used to - I shouldn’t have been! The greatest strength of the AW team is that the tax assistance I need is across the desk, not someone I have to look around the office for, and because we’re sat next to each other we talk about the issue at hand. That means not only am I upskilling my corporate finance knowledge, but I’m trusting the person not the brand. Furthermore, as we’re all in touching distance of each other we’re investing in our teams, spending time coaching them and helping them develop. What’s amazing about AW is that we understand who our current clients are and who we want as our clients. OK, I’m no longer working on FTSE 250 clients with complex derivatives, but helping a local engineer secure funding for growth and more resources is just one example of how a change of firm has helped me to make more of a difference than just a box ticking exercise."

Simon Turner, Audit & Assurance Partner

"Studying AAT has given me valuable skills and knowledge that I can apply in my day to day work, and I will now be going on to study the ACA qualification. Working within a professional environment with the acquired skills from AAT has given me the confidence to progress within the workplace and moving forward hope my career will develop with the knowledge and expertise my training has given me."

Abigail Graham, Trainee Chartered Accountant

"Having gained an English Language Degree at Newcastle University, I joined the team in October 2011. Training for the ACA qualification helped me pursue my career goals by allowing me to further develop the skills I gained at University. Armstrong Watson supported and guided me throughout, offering useful learning and development advice during every step of the process. A career in accountancy is never dull, as the day to day workload is varied and continues to challenge me. I now work directly with clients and help provide advice to a very wide portfolio of sectors. Working within a team I feel valued and I have a good peer group who support me."

Rhys Davies, Audit & Assurance Director

"I joined Armstrong Watson two and a half years ago after completing an Accountancy and Finance degree. What initially attracted me to the firm was the ability to progress and gain experience in a wide range of departments across 14 offices and also feel part of a close team. I joined Armstrong Watson’s Chartered Programme in September 2015 and I am thoroughly enjoying every aspect of my job.

The firm ensure I gain as much experience as possible, tailoring my practical work experience to what I am studying at college, building my knowledge and understanding."

Annabelle Wood, Audit & Assurance Senior

"I joined Armstrong Watson in 2009 excited by the prospect of gaining qualifications as an apprentice while working full time; my preferred approach over University. Over the past nine years I’ve been supported through the AAT and ATT qualifications and given the opportunity to work with some fantastic people in different departments and locations across the firm. I’ve recently progressed to an Accounting Supervisor role advising and supporting mainly agricultural clients in and around Carlisle. The varied workload continues to challenge me day by day; just one of the things which makes Armstrong Watson a great place to work."

Murdo Laurie, Accounting Manager

"I applied for the Armstrong Watson chartered Scheme after hearing about the opportunities a friend had been given during her time on the programme. Armstrong Watson are always providing me with a broad range of experience across different offices and departments to help support my chartered studies. Not only has this helped me to put the ACA theory into practice, but it has allowed me to continually build on my professional development in the workplace. I joined the Cumbria Chartered Accountancy Student Society as both ICAEW Student Council (ISC) representative and chair and I thoroughly enjoyed the roles, and the firm fully supported my involvement allowing me time out to travel to London and Cambridge to attend quarterly ISC representative meetings for the student council."

Lauren Graham, Audit & Assurance Assistant Manager

“I was really keen to take up the opportunity offered to me for a secondment in the Kendal office as Accounting Supervisor. I was nervous and not sure of what to expect but I knew the experience would broaden by knowledge, push me and improve my potential . I am always keen to put myself out of my comfort zone, learn new skills and try and better myself. I am only two months in and absolutely loving the Kendal office, the people are amazing, the office is amazing, and I love being a part of their team. Everyday is a challenge, but that’s what drives me, and it really proves that opportunities within the firm are there, you just have to have the right attitude and push yourself.”

Leanne Harkness, Accounting Supervisor

“Earlier this year I was offered the opportunity to move to our Glasgow office to manage the accounting department as the Accounting Manager. This was an opportunity for me to step out of my comfort zone and further my progression within the firm. Over the last 9 months the role has presented me with plenty of new challenges, tasks and increased responsibilities which I’ve enjoyed being able to deal with whilst also helping my own team progress. Personally the time I’ve been in Glasgow has helped me develop my skillsets and broaden my network within the firm with colleagues and clients. Overall this secondment has been a brilliant experience for me, made easier by the great team in Glasgow and the wider support from around the firm.”

Dan Cozens, Accounting Manager

Our Values


We share an enthusiasm for our firm and our clients. We have a real desire to contribute to making Armstrong Watson and our people successful, as well as ensuring our clients achieve success.


We can be relied upon as others have confidence in us, in our ability and in our integrity.


Actively demonstrate compassion, consideration and kindness for others.


We show fairness, consistency, integrity and are committed to being truthful, sincere and frank.