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Diploma in Financial Studies (DipFS)

The Diploma in Financial Studies (DipFS) Level 3 has been designed to provide students with the opportunity to develop and enhance the knowledge and skills gained by achieving the Certificate in Financial Studies (CeFS), by applying them to the wider financial environment.

About the qualification


As an Applied General qualification, the DipFS is primarily designed for students aged 16 - 19 and provides an in-depth exploration of the key concepts of financial capability and how they are applied to achieve longer-term financial sustainability.

DipFS builds on the skills and knowledge acquired through successful completion of the Certificate in Financial Studies and extends this to include areas such as financial sustainability within the wider financial services system, and the long-term impact of debt.

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


What progression does our DipFS qualification offer?

The financially-related content of DipFS serves as a strong grounding for undergraduate study within finance and business-related disciplines, with many students going on to study accounting, business, finance and banking.

When considering the options for further study in Higher Education your students may like to consider our full-time undergraduate degrees.

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 is also supportive of the personal and financial skills that underpin clear decisions about progression options and life as an undergraduate. The qualification carries up to 140 UCAS points, which can be counted towards university applications.


DipFS consists of four mandatory units. The recommended learning hours (GLH) for an average student studying DipFS is 374 hours.

Unit 1 - Financial Capability for the Immediate and Short Term (FCIS)

FCIS highlights the importance of financial capability in meeting immediate and short-term financial needs. 

Unit 2 - Financial Capability for the Medium and Long Term (FCML)

FCML 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.

Unit 3 - Sustainability of an Individual's Finances (SIF)

SIF 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.

Unit 4 - Sustainability of the Financial Services System (SFS)

SFS explores the financial services system and looks at how financial services providers work and compete with one another.

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 DipFS (ref 600 / 8551 / 4) has a TQT of 600 and is split between GLH of 374 and other hours of 226.


All four units can be assessed by paper based examination or by the LIBF e-test electronic testing system.

Each unit is assessed through a combination of Multiple Choice Questions (Part A) and a written paper (Part B).

Unit 1 and Unit 2
Part A: 35 multiple choice questions in a 45-minute examination. 
Part B: pre-release case study requiring essay responses to 5 questions in a 105-minute examination.
Part B will also assess spelling, punctuation and grammar (SPAG) through the essay responses.

Unit 3 and Unit 4
Part A: 35 multiple choice questions in a 1-hour examination.
Part B: pre-release case study requiring essay responses to 5 questions in a 2-hour examination.
Part B will also assess spelling, punctuation and grammar (SPAG) through the essay responses.



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


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