Regional Offices, number of Applications and 2.2s


Hi everybody,

I graduated this year from Imperial College with a 2.2 in Physics and am currently doing an MSc Computer Science at UCL. I’d really like to apply to a big 4 firm for audit or tax (tax work seems really interesting! Audit I’m told may be easier to get a place on) but obviously the 2.2 is a massive problem as my application will be filtered out.

Since regional offices receive many less applications than the London office I was wondering whether I would stand a chance of getting into one of them. I am literally willing to work at any office - the thought of working somewhere else other than London is quite exciting as I’ve done all my education in London so far!

So my question is: Does anyone know of these offices taking people on without ‘exceptional circumstances’ and whether there are any documents saying the number of applications each office gets, which will hopefully help conclude what office will give me the best chance.

My academic qualifications are good (though it may turn out fairly average for the applicants) as I got 4 A*s and 6 As at GCSE and 3 As at A level and another A for AS, and the universities I’ve studied at are also good (Imperial College and UCL). I also have a lot of leadership and project management experience with university societies.

Any feedback would be appreciated! Thanks.


Hi there. First off, before you set your heart on big4, I would strongly advise you to just ring grad recruitment depts, tell them about your situation and see what they say. You have nothing to lose and will just gain more info.
Secondly, why are you so concerned about big 4?? There are many other great firms out there! When i was applying for these jobs last year, I would have been delighted just getting a contract, didn’t really matter with whom. I had wanted to be an accountant for a fair few years now (sad i know!!) and even though i was lucky enough to get a big4 job, i’m sure i would have been about as happy with a small accounting firm. You have to want this job for the right reasons…not for big4 prestige.
On a side note, I have not heard anywhere that there is a breakdown of applicants to offices. If i were you, I would not be so concerned about big 4, just do your best, apply to a bunch of firms and see where that leads to. Good luck!!


bro i think a 2:2 will get filtered out immediately but as sniper advised, ring them and discuss before you go through a whole application

you can search for 2:2 employers on the icaew training vacancies website


Hi yakron. What was your motivation in applying to do an MSc Computer Science, I think there are good opportunities in technology in the big 4. Btw I was an undergraduate at UCL CS.


As an ex-big4 graduate recruiter I would say the chances of your application getting though are very slim. The only way they will accept your application if you have any extenuating circumstances and if you do you will need to provide evidence of this. There may be other firms who would accept your application outside of the big4.


Sad truth is that the Big4 are very strict on their requirements, they have to be or else they risk undermining the credibility of the process; and risk being forced to open the floodgates to an extra 10-20k applicants with 2.2s from top 10 unis.

I know for a fact one of my friends had AAB (Math,Phys,Chem) at A-level, along with a 1st class Honours degree in Mathematics from Imperial, but was rejected by a Big4 firm because he had a Grade C in GCSE Mathematics.

I suggest going direct to head-hunters/recruitment agencies or looking at lower tier Accountancy firms. If you call them directly they are more likely to apply discretion based on your strong pre-uni academics and calibre of the actual institution.