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To be a "Full" member of any accountancy body you must have a degree. The laws accepts a "full" member of any of the three accountancy bodies as being an accountant. So if your not a "full" member you are not a recognized accountant. Therefore accountants must have degrees from a university. That being said An accounting diploma is to too two and a half years full time study. Whilst its not a degree it is far superior to any two day or two week cereal packet diploma of financial planning.