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Financial education qualifications Level 3 Certificate in Financial Studies (CeFS)

New registrations for one year delivery or two year (for those centres that take the qualification over two years only) accepted until November 2023. No new registrations will be accepted beyond these dates. No delivery of qualification in academic year 2025/26 and beyond.

The Certificate in Financial Studies (CeFS) covers the core disciplines of financial education. Students are encouraged to become responsible borrowers and sensible savers, and to appreciate the need for financial planning throughout their life.

Why study the Certificate in Financial Studies?

About the qualification

The course encourages students to become responsible borrowers and sensible savers, and to appreciate the need for financial planning throughout their life. It prepares them for further study by developing the core skills of critical analysis and evaluation, verbal communication (through classroom discussion) and written communication.

This greater understanding of financial planning can support entry to university on finance and banking courses and a wide range of other disciplines. It also supports progress to a wide range of entry level occupations within finance, ensuring that learners understand the sector and have a range of transferrable skills and knowledge.

CeFS is included in the 16-19 Applied General Performance Tables, has been accredited by Ofqual at Level 3 and is part of the Regulated Qualifications Framework.

Read the CeFS Qualification Specification

Unit information

CeFS consists of two mandatory units. The recommended Guided Learning Hours (GLH) for the average student to complete is 187 hours.

Total Qualification Time (TQT) is a prediction of the total time the typical student may need to complete the course. TQT consists of two elements, Guided Learning Hours (GLH) and all other hours. The CeFS (QN 600/8537/X) has a TQT of 300 and is split between GLH of 187 and other hours of 113.

What progression does our CeFS qualification offer?

The skills and knowledge developed in CeFS can be extended by taking two further units to form LIBF Level 3 Diploma in Financial Studies (DipFS), or by other options for Further or Higher Education study. CeFS offers the maximum UCAS points which can contribute to your university entry.

The transferable skills developed are also valuable for further study in unrelated disciplines. The financial education content and skills learned support students in making informed decisions about the value of personal, employment and study options and budgeting whilst studying.

View letters of support received from UK Higher Education Institutions.


Each unit is assessed through a combination of Multiple Choice Questions (Part A) and a written paper (Part B). Part A can be sat via the LIBF e-test electronic testing system or via a paper-based MCQ examination. Part B will always be sat via paper-based examination.

A total of 200 marks are available from both units comprising 100 marks per unit.

  • Part A: 35 multiple choice questions in a 45-minute examination.

  • Part B: pre-release case study requiring essay responses in a 105-minute examination.

Part B will also assess spelling, punctuation and grammar (SPAG) through the essay responses.



per student

The price includes:

  • One resit permitted for each component of each unit (no additional fee for each resit)

  • Comprehensive teaching and student resources accessible with a password

  • Centre Approval

  • Full, detailed textbook for every student and teacher for both units

  • Dedicated Relationship Manager support.

Course requirements

Although there are no specified entry requirements, applicants need to be satisfied of their ability to study, in English and Maths, at this level.


The overall qualification will be graded A* - E. To achieve a pass, students must pass Part A and Part B in both units and achieve a pass of 40% of the Uniform Mark Scheme (UMS). Units will be graded with pass / fail only.


If you are interested in registering for CeFS please complete a centre agreement form and return it via email to fcexams@libf.ac.uk.

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