Can someone please explain to me the fundamental differences between the two as I am at a loss.
I need to decide which to go for.
You do not need a university / college degree to study to become ACCA, only A levels and as many people find that many degrees have little value in the workplace then they go down the route of getting a professional qualification without a 3 year accopuntancydegree or equivalent degree. I took the 9 months Conversion course and later on in life took a Masters degree in Charity Accounting & Finanacial Administration. A 3 year "Accounting" degree just means that you waste 3 years in not passing the ICAEW exams.