Over recent years it has become apparent that students on the Business Studies and Leisure degree programmes at the University of Glamorgan perform poorly in the core accounting modules. Given that a high proportion of undergraduate accounting courses in the UK are delivered to nonspecialists, research into the performance of such students is important. With reference to previous literature, this study investigates the extent to which background factors affect the performance of students studying the nonspecialist Level 1 and Level 2 modules. The study is based on the September 1998 intake of students utilizing background information collected from the student files and performance measures from the university's Student Administration System. Explanatory variables are analysed using a factor analytical approach via principal component analysis. Multiple regression analysis is then performed on the results of the three accounting modules. The findings of this study are that the explanatory power of such models is limited and that perhaps a more qualitative approach to assessing factors influencing student performance would be more worthwhile.