Financial Studies (Level 3) - Level 3 Applied Diploma (2 years)

Exam Board: LIBF (London Institute of Banking & Finance)

Expectations of Independent Study

Students are expected to undertake one hour of additional study for every two hours studied in the classroom.  Students are expected to prepare for lessons in advance by extensive reading of the set topics, as well as making notes outside of the classroom.  They will also be expected to complete end of topic quizzes and all topics/activities available online.  This will enable all students to fully engage in lessons.  Students are also required to keep a close eye on the national and international business, personal finance and economics news, preferably on a daily basis.

Entry Requirements

Standard entry requirements. An interest in current affairs and the Financial Services industry is extremely important in determining how much a student will succeed and be engaged by this subject.

Why is it interesting?

Financial Services are the variety of products, services and facilities provided by the finance industry, which covers a huge spread of organisations that manage money including credit card and insurance companies. These range from providing bank accounts to individuals, to developing complex computer models to help governments trade and raise money. However, there is no mistaking the impact of the industry in the UK, as it contributed £127bn in gross value to the UK economy in 2018. 2.3m people are employed in financial services and related sectors in the UK, of which 751,000 are employed in London. This course will give students an insight into how the industry works, as well as giving them invaluable information on how to manage their own personal finances.

What skills and knowledge will I develop by studying this subject?

The purpose of the course is to prepare students for further study through the development of core skills of independent thinking, critical analysis and evaluation, synthesis, verbal and written communication. It 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.

• 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

This course would be suitable for students who have the following skills and interests:

Students should have an interest in the Financial Services industry and what is currently happening in the UK and global markets. There are opportunities to take part in the Student Investor Challenge for those wishing to gain an insight into trading stocks and shares; as well as a Young Financial Journalist competition for those keen on writing about the latest news on the UK economy.

Students do not need advanced mathematical skills, but should be competent in the basics of real-world application of maths, through understanding charts, graphs and indexes. An understanding of basic economics is helpful but not essential.

What career pathways are open to me if I study this subject?

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 LIBF itself also offers undergraduate degree courses of BSc (Hons) Banking & Finance or BSc (Hons) Finance, Investment & Risk, and those students gaining an A or higher at the Diploma can gain scholarships to these courses. They also offer a BSc (Hons) Apprenticeship route in Banking Practice and Management. This course is equally suitable for University entry or through Apprenticeships.

Assessment Overview

A Level - Diploma in Financial Studies

Unit 3 Sustainability of an Individual’s Finances - Paper A MCQ; Paper B written exam (2 hours)

Unit 4 Sustainability of the Financial Services System - Paper A MCQ; Paper B written exam (2 hours)