Financial Studies Diploma (Equivalent to A Level) - Level 3 Applied Diploma (2 years)

Exam Board: IFS

Introduction to the Course

The Diploma in Financial Studies (DipFS) provides an in-depth exploration of the key concepts of financial capability and how they are applied to achieve longer-term financial sustainability. Its purpose is to prepare students for further study through the development of the core skills of independent thinking, critical analysis and evaluation, synthesis, verbal communication (through classroom discussion) and written communication. Within DipFS the student explores the political, economic, social, technological, ethical and legal impacts of personal finance in the short, medium and longer terms. Through this, a greater understanding of the impact that global events can have upon consumers and the wider financial services industry is developed.

Entry Requirements

Standard entry requirements.

Course Content

  • Importance of financial capability in the immediate, short, medium and long term.
  • The impact of external influences at different stages in the personal life cycle.
  • Risk and reward in managing personal finance.
  • Personal and external factors that lead to change.
  • Maintaining financial sustainability and avoiding long-term debt.
  • The financial services system and financial sustainability (individual and general).
  • Marketing techniques.


Unit 1 - Financial Capability for the Immediate and Short Term

Unit 2 - Financial Capability for the Medium and Long Term

Unit 3 - Sustainability of an Individual’s Finances

Unit 4 - Sustainability of the Financial Services System The qualification will encourage students to:

  • analyse financial data and information, financial services products and services and make judgements about suitability for people in different circumstances;
  • develop an understanding of the concept of financial sustainability and ethics to enhance financial literacy;
  • analyse, synthesise, evaluate and reflect;
  • demonstrate numeracy skills including the ability to manipulate financial and other numerical data to reflect the conceptual activity of financial maths;
  • use appropriate data and information to make arguments;
  • structure and communicate ideas logically and coherently; and
  • learn independently in preparation for further / higher academic study. Each unit is assessed through a combination of Multiple Choice Questions (Part A) and a written paper (Part B)

The structure of the assessment ensures that all aspects of the course content are subject to external examination. The written paper for each unit synoptically assesses the students’ ability to integrate the skills, concepts and knowledge from the unit.

Future Career Progression

The financially related content of this qualification serves as an excellent grounding for undergraduate study within finance and business-related disciplines, with many students going on to study accounting, business, finance and banking. The skills developed and enhanced during the course provide valuable study skills appropriate for these disciplines and others, and students have pursued a wide range of other undergraduate courses following this qualification. However, the core skills of critical analysis and evaluation, synthesis and written communication, and independent learning are transferable and provide a strong grounding for further study in other fields; typical examples include engineering, technology, or not for profit style organisations. The transferable skills developed are also valuable for further study in unrelated disciplines.