Level 3 Certificate in Financial Studies

Financial Education 

Level 3 Certificate in Financial Studies

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.


New registrations for 1 year delivery or 2 year for those centres that take the qualification over 2 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.

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.

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Unit 1 – Financial Capability for the Immediate and Short Term (T/504/8100)

Students will gain 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 – Financial Capability for the Medium and Long Term (FCML) (D/504/8110)

Students will gain the ability to plan and manage their financial needs in the medium and long-term, with particular reference to the importance of the need to budget for future aspirations and life events.

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. And the financial education content and skills 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.


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