Course Description

As an Applied General qualification, the Diploma in Financial Studies (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.

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 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. Within DipFS the student explores the political, economic, social, technological, ethical and legal impacts of personal finance in the short, medium and longer terms.

Through this, a greater understanding of the impact that global events can have upon consumers and the wider financial services industry is developed. DipFS therefore enhances the ability to make informed financial decisions through effective planning to manage the risks and challenges involved in personal finance.

Topic Content

  • Importance of financial capability in the immediate, short, medium and long term.
  • The impact of external influences at different stages in the personal life cycle
  • Risk and reward in managing personal finance
  • Personal and external factors that lead to change
  • Maintaining financial sustainability and avoiding long-term debt
  • The financial services system and financial sustainability (individual and general)
  • Marketing techniques


Why study finance?

Skills that you will develop

  •  The qualification will encourage students to:
  • analyse financial data and information, financial services products and services and make judgements about suitability for people in different circumstances;
  • develop an understanding of the concept of financial sustainability and ethics to enhance financial literacy;
  • analyse, synthesise, evaluate and reflect;
  • demonstrate numeracy skills including the ability to manipulate financial and other numerical data to reflect the conceptual activity of financial maths;
  • use appropriate data and information to make arguments;
  • structure and communicate ideas logically and coherently; and
  • learn independently in preparation for further / higher academic study

This course is suitable for:

  • anyone with an interest in the Financial Services industry
  • students who are competent in the basics of real-world application of maths
  • students who wish to further their studies within finance and business-related disciplines, with many students going on to study accounting, business, finance and banking

Assessment structure

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 (year 12)
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 (year 13)
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.


This qualification develops knowledge and understanding of the financial services sector and enhances skills that are valued within that sector, but does not qualify students for direct entry to a particular occupational role.

Students will be in a position to make informed choices, whether this be to pursue a career within the financial services sector immediately or after further study, or whether to apply the financial skills that they have developed to other careers or study options.

For students seeking to continue in education, DipFS provides a foundation for further study in business and finance-related disciplines, as well as a wide range of other commercial or not-for profit sectors.

For students who choose to move straight into employment, DipFS may support access to employment in areas such as in insurance, banking, and office administration, or in the voluntary sector such as with Citizens Advice.

Curriculum map

Visual curriculum maps 2023 Updatedfinance