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Course Duration
2 Years

Entry Criteria
Grade 4 in English (language or literature)
Grade 4 in maths

Home » Welcome to our Sixth Form » Curriculum Subjects » Vocational (L3) Financial Studies LIBF

Why study Level 3 Financial Studies?

What will I study during the course duration?

Unit 1 highlights the importance of financial capability in meeting immediate and short-term financial needs. It introduces students to the financial services industry by focusing on the interaction between money, personal finance and the financial services marketplace. Students will gain an understanding of cash flow to meet immediate and short-term financial needs through balancing income against expenditure and will also gain an appreciation of the differentiation of financial products for savings and the key features of interest and charges on borrowing. Students will understand their key responsibilities in terms of earning, income tax, National Insurance and other personal financial considerations depending on the stage of their life cycle whilst also gaining an appreciation of why money is important through focusing on what money is; attitudes to it; and how it can affect life choices. 

Unit 2 highlights the importance of planning for medium- and long-term financial needs, with particular reference to the importance of the need to budget for future aspirations and life events. It introduces students to the features of risks and reward in managing personal finances. Students will consider the changing priorities attached to needs, wants and aspirations as individuals progress through the personal life cycle and the role of financial services in assisting lifelong financial planning and will gain an understanding of the personal approaches that individuals take towards risk and rewards and the impact of foreseen and unforeseen influences on financial budgeting. Students will understand the features of different types of financial services product, how to make informed choices about these financial services products, and when, where and how they can get financial help and advice whilst gaining an appreciation of the differentiation of financial products for investment and borrowing, and the charges attached to them. Students will gain insight into Islamic banking and will also consider the validity of data and information as a means of assisting in the financial decision-making process.

Unit 3 highlights the importance of financial sustainability for the individual, to enable the development of skills to make sure that an individual’s financial capability is sustained over a period of time, taking into consideration the personal and external factors that lead to change. Students will understand the key external financial factors that influence financial performance and the impact that this has on them as a consumer. They will also understand the importance of and be able to monitor budgets, and adapt financial plans to meet changing circumstances in order to maintain financial sustainability and avoid-long term debt. Students will gain an understanding of debt and borrowing alongside the impact of global events, developments and ethical considerations that impact on the financial services industry and the consumer.  

Unit 4 explores the financial services system and looks at how financial services providers work and compete with one another, their priorities and responses to external influences in maintaining financial sustainability. Students will gain an understanding of the importance of financial sustainability for financial services providers and systems. Students will analyse the impact of marketing techniques employed by financial services providers and the impact of changes in the financial services market and the effect this has on consumers. They will also gain an understanding of how financial services providers use marketing methods and segmentation, and approaches to attract, retain and satisfy their customers.

How will I be assessed?

All components and units are mandatory and assessed. Each unit is assessed through a combination of Multiple Choice Questions (Part A) and a written paper (Part B). A total of 200 marks are available from both units comprising 100 marks per unit. The pass mark for Part A will be 40% (14/35) of the raw marks. The pass mark for Part B will be set for each session to reflect any small variations in question paper difficulty. To pass a unit, students must achieve the minimum pass mark for both part A and part B.

The structure of the assessment ensures that all aspects of the course content are subject to external examination. No teacher-set or teacher-marked tasks or assignments will contribute to the marks and all assessment will be under strict examination conditions. 

DipFS is made up of four mandatory units which need to be successfully completed in order for the student to achieve the certificate:

  • 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

Career opportunities and Future study


DipFS is an Applied General qualification that is primarily suited to the development of a solid foundation in personal finance that underpins employment in any field of endeavour; this foundation is across a wider range of opportunities than would be found within a single apprenticeship framework.

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.

Financial capability underpins clear decisions about progression options, including life as an undergraduate, and DipFS provides an excellent platform for progression through further or higher education. As a larger qualification than the Certificate in Financial Studies, it has a higher UCAS tariff and carries the maximum points available for a qualification of its type and size, as described on our website. 

The financially related content of DipFS provides a solid foundation for continued study within business and finance-related disciplines. 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 organisational occupations.