Level 3 Diploma in Financial Studies

Financial Education

Level 3 Diploma in Financial Studies

The DipFS is for students who have already achieved the Certificate in Financial Studies (CeFS). The course enables them to develop and enhance the knowledge and skills they gained in achieving the CeFS by applying them to the wider financial environment.


New registrations accepted up until November 2023. Registrations for continuing students having achieved CeFS accepted until November 2024. No delivery of qualification in academic year 2025/26 and beyond.

About the qualification

As an Applied General qualification, the DipFS is mainly designed for students aged 16 to 19. It provides an in-depth exploration of the important concepts of financial education and how to apply them in achieving longer-term financial stability.

The DipFS builds on the skills and knowledge students gained when completing the Certificate in Financial Studies (CeFS). It extends these to include areas such as sustainability in the wider financial services system, and the long-term effect of debt.

As with the Certificate in Financial Studies (CeFS) this qualification can further develop a greater understanding of financial planning, to support entry to university on finance and banking courses and a wide range of other disciplines. It also supports progression to a wide range of entry level occupations within finance, ensuring that learners understand the sector and a have range of transferrable skills and knowledge.

The DipFS prepares students for further study by developing their core skills of independent thinking, critical analysis and evaluation, verbal communication (through classroom discussion) and written communication. DipFS 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.

Why study the Diploma in Financial Studies?

DipFS Qualification Specification LIBF

What is it really like to teach or take one of our financial education qualifications? Our teachers and students share their journey with us.


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

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

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

Unit 2 - Financial Capability for the Medium and Long Term (FCML) (D/504/8110)

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) (L/504/8166)

SIF highlights the importance of financial sustainability for the individual; to enable the development of skills to make sure that an individual's financial education is sustained over a period of time.

Unit 4 - Sustainability of the Financial Services System (SFS) (R/504/8167)

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 (QN600 / 8551 / 4) has a TQT of 600 and is split between GLH of 374 and other hours of 226.


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


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 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 in a 2-hour examination.
Part B will also assess spelling, punctuation and grammar (SPAG) through the essay responses.



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