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Start Date
February
August

Duration
0.5 year(s) full-time

Program Code
DCFP

SATAC Code
4GC088 (Internal)

Study as
Full-time or part-time

Mode
On-campus

Fees
$AU 13,250 per 0.5 EFTSL for students enrolled in 2020

Degree overview

  • This qualification is best suited to existing financial advisers who only need to study a selection of bridging courses to meet FASEA education requirements and would like to complete these as part of a Graduate Certificate in Financial Planning1.
  • This qualification can also be used as a direct entry pathway into our FASEA-approved Master of Finance (Financial Planning) for new entrants who do not hold a prior qualification but have industry experience in a related financial services role.
  • Study advanced financial planning courses outlined in FASEA’s education requirements including ethics and professionalism, financial advice regulatory and legal obligations, and behavioural finance client and consumer behaviour.
  • Choose your preferred learning style and balance life’s other commitments with options to study full-time, part-time, on campus, online or in mixed mode.
  • Select from elective courses in areas such as investment management, estate planning, risk management and insurance, superannuation and tax.
  • Benefit from exam preparation resources and workshops so you feel confident for your university and FASEA exams.
  • Access invaluable mentorship, industry insights and expert advice from a senior business leader through our Executive Partners Program.
  • Use your degree as a pathway into the Financial Planning Association of Australia’s (FPA) CFP® Certification Program, and the Association of Financial Advisers’ (AFA) Fellow Chartered Financial Practitioner (FChFP) program.
  • Join a university ranked No.1 in SA for postgraduate employment outcomes in Business and Management2 and in the Top 150 institutions in the world for Accounting and Finance3.
  • The University of South Australia Business School is in the top one per cent worldwide4 and has been awarded an overall five stars for excellence in the QS Stars Ratings 2019.

1FASEA will formally recognise students who have successfully completed accredited bridging courses within our Graduate Certificate in Financial Planning. 2QILT: Graduate Outcomes Survey Course Experience Questionnaire 2016-18 – Full-time Employment Indicator. Public SA-founded universities only. 32019 QS Subject Rankings. 4UniSA Business School is one of just ten institutions in Australia and 187 globally to be accredited by EQUIS (from over 16,500 worldwide). EFMD, October 2019.  

Snapshot

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For existing financial advisers

This qualification can serve as a bridging program for existing financial advisers who already hold an approved or relevant qualification and are only required to study a selection of remaining courses to meet education requirements.  

We’ve embedded three FASEA-approved bridging courses into this program which you can study based on your prior learning and FASEA-approved professional designations.

These bridging courses include:

  • Ethics and Professionalism
  • Financial Advice Regulatory and Legal Obligations, and
  • Behavioural Finance Client and Consumer Behavior.

Depending on your individual circumstances, you may need to undertake one, or all, of these courses (each course is equivalent to a 4.5 unit postgraduate course).

Completing your courses this way will be formally recognised by FASEA.

You can also choose to study bridging courses as standalone courses on campus, 100% online, in mixed mode or as intensives, providing you with the flexibility to choose the best learning option for you.

For new entrants seeking a career change

This qualification can also be used as a direct entry pathway into our FASEA-approved Master of Finance (Financial Planning) if you do not hold a prior qualification but have industry experience in a related financial services role.

Following completion of the six-month graduate certificate, you will be eligible for Advanced Standing into our master’s program, shortening the duration of your program to 1.5 years. You will need to go on to study our master’s degree to meet FASEA education requirements. 

What is a financial adviser?
Financial advisers assist clients to build and manage their personal wealth, tax, financial risk and spending over their lifetimes. They consider a number of factors such as current wealth, income and lifestyle aspirations, and develop plans so their clients can reach short and long-term financial goals.

With a strong practical focus and access to state-of-the-art technology, you will learn how to prepare detailed financial plans and documentation which meet legal and regulatory requirements.

Definitions:

  • Existing financial adviser: Any person who was ‘current’ on the ASIC’s Financial Advisers Register, or who provided personal advice in a foreign country to retail clients in relation to relevant financial products at any time between 1 January 2016 and 1 January 2019 (and was not prohibited from providing advice on 1 January 2019).
  • New entrant: Any person who does not meet the above definition of an existing adviser.
  • Relevant degree: An AQF 7, 8 or 9 qualification that contains at least 8 courses in one or more of the designated fields of study (and in any combination) – financial planning, accounting, taxation law, finance law, finance, business law, investments, estate law, banking, and economics.
  • Non-relevant degree: An AQF 7, 8 or 9 qualification in any other different field of study to the areas listed above.
  • Approved degree: A degree that is listed in the Corporations (Relevant Providers Degrees, Qualifications and Courses Standard) Determination 2018 – a FASEA-approved AQF 7, 8 (Graduate Diploma) or 9 qualification.

What you'll learn

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Our Graduate Certificate consists of four advanced financial planning courses which can be completed in six months full-time (or part-time equivalent). The courses you’re required to complete will depend on the level of education you currently hold.

Depending on your individual requirements, you’ll study either one FASEA-approved bridging course (Ethics and Professionalism), or all three of the bridging courses outlined below, plus an additional elective (if this is required). Electives include topics such as investment management, regulatory and legal obligations, estate planning, risk management and insurance, superannuation, and tax.

  • Ethics and Professionalism: This course develops your understanding of the complexities and importance of ethical principles and corporate governance in a demanding global business environment. You’ll cover topics such as ethical factors influencing the performance of financial services, ethical decision-making models, as well as FASEA and the professional code of ethics.
  • Financial Advice Regulatory and Legal Obligations: This course equips you with the knowledge and practical skills required to comply with Australia’s financial services legal and regulatory regimes. You’ll analyse the law governing financial products and advice, financial licensing and the professional standards that apply to financial intermediaries.
  • Behavioural Finance Client and Consumer Behaviour*: Understanding client behaviours and communication styles is critical for future financial advisers to build and maintain long-term relationships. You’ll learn to apply behavioural and psychological insights to better understand client needs and provide tailored advice for people with all levels of financial literacy.

Please refer to FASEA’s education requirements for further info.

*Students who intend to undertake the Graduate Diploma in Financial Planning or the Master of Finance (Financial Planning) should not choose Behavioural Finance Client and Consumer Behaviour as an elective in this program.

Degree structure

Course name Area and cat no. Units Reference  
First Semester (Study Period 1, 2 or 3)
Ethics and Professionalism BUSS 5446 4.5 Rule(s): 1
Introduction to Financial Planning G BANK 5042 4.5 Rule(s): 3
OR
Elective Rule(s): 2
Second Semester (Study Period 4, 5 or 6)
Elective Rule(s): 2
Elective Rule(s): 2

Study hours

For each course you study, you will need to allocate time for various classes such as lectures, tutorials, workshops, seminars and practicals. Plus, you will need additional hours to study in your own time to complete assignments, readings and projects and contribute to online discussion forums (independent study). So as a general rule, if you are studying full-time you would need to allocate 12 – 26 hours of study when at university and 14 – 28 hours of independent study per week.

Assessment

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Course assessment will comprise a mix of assignments, presentations and examinations.

In addition to meeting new education standards, FASEA has also outlined new professional requirements. This includes completing a professional year (for new entrants only), passing a national exam, undertaking Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and completing a code of ethics course.

Research

The UniSA Business School is recognised and respected for a comprehensive research program inspired by the contemporary challenges facing Australia and its region. Our focus is always on finding practical solutions and creating new knowledge. In the Graduate Certificate in Financial Planning, our lecturers are leaders in their field. You could be learning from experts who are also researching areas such as applied finance, accounting, economics sustainability and choice.

Our commitment to research with an industry focus is unprecedented. In the 2018 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) rankings, all of our assessed research was rated at or above world-class. Read more about our strengths in research.

Why Graduate Certificate in Financial Planning

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As one of the leading providers of accounting and finance education in Australia, you can be confident you will graduate with the knowledge and skills required to succeed in the financial services sector. 

You’ll learn from expert academics who are current practicing financial advisers themselves – including an award-winning academic who was named Financial Standard’s Power50 most influential financial advisers in Australia*. Your studies are enriched in so many ways as you’ll gain unique insights from professionals who know the ins and outs of the industry and understand the unique challenges and opportunities that financial advisers face today.

Your course content has been developed in conjunction with leading industry experts to ensure that what you learn is practical, relevant and current to today’s changing business landscape.

*UniSA Financial Planning academic, Geoff Pacecca was awarded the Financial Standard’s Power50 most Influential Financial Advisers in Australia, 2019.

Responding to industry needs
The financial services profession has recently introduced new education standards, making it more important than ever for practising and aspiring financial advisers to hold a recognised qualification.

If you’re currently working in financial planning, you’ll need to complete a FASEA-approved program by 2026 to continue practising. If you’re looking to enter the industry, you’ll now need to study a FASEA-approved program to start your career.

Examination support

As part of your studies, you’ll have the opportunity to access exam preparation resources or workshops so you feel confident and prepared for your university and FASEA exams. We’ll provide you with useful strategies, tips and support – all the information you need to succeed.

An enriching student experience

Our flexible delivery and extra-curricular opportunities are designed to suit your lifestyle, preferred way of learning and career interests. You can benefit from a blend of online and on-campus study, part-time or full-time learning, Summer and Winter School intensive courses, mentoring and networking opportunities with industry, and leadership skill development. You can also explore accelerated learning pathways and seek program support from our Business Student Hub.

Real-world connections

In addition to learning from teachers with professional experience and research expertise as part of your degree, we offer opportunities for you to connect with experts beyond your studies.

Our applied finance, accounting and economics researchers provide multi-disciplinary insights into the dynamics of domestic and global economies and financial systems. Links to UniSA research ensures your learning is connected to the latest technologies, theories and applications of finance knowledge. 

We also host regular University-wide employee master classes and employment expos, and alumni events in Australia and overseas.

Executive Partners Program

Extend your network and career by connecting with a senior business professional as part of our Executive Partners Program.

This is a unique opportunity for you to engage with a highly successful industry executive and receive invaluable mentorship, industry insights and expert advice. Their wealth of knowledge and experience will help you achieve your career goals. 

Study Financial Planning at UniSA

Hear from Geoff Pacecca, Founder and Principal Adviser of GAP Financial and UniSA Financial Planning lecturer, about our suite of programs and the benefits of furthering your unstoppable career at UniSA.

UniSA Video

Career outcomes

Your career

In addition to new education standards, FASEA has outlined new professional requirements. This includes completing a professional year (for new entrants only), passing a national exam, undertaking Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and completing a code of ethics course.

As the No.1 Business School in South Australia for postgraduate career outcomes in Business and Management1, our quality teaching and learning experiences will ensure you graduate ready to succeed.

The financial services industry is one of the leading sectors in the Australian economy and plays a key role in facilitating the productive flow of funds between industries, companies and people.

If you’re an existing financial adviser, your qualification opens up many more opportunities in your business and career.

If you’re looking to make a career change, there are a range of roles you could pursue in diverse businesses. There are opportunities in financial institutions, investment banks, superannuation and insurance funds, financial advisory firms – or you could choose to be self-employed and set up your own practice. Financial advisers can also specialise in a number of areas, such as tax planning, risk management or retirement planning.

Careers to consider include:

  • Client relationship manager: proactively engage clients by providing high value, holistic and strategic financial advice; identify opportunities to build new client relationships and strengthen existing ones; research the latest products and regulations; and focus on delivering a high-quality customer experience.
  • Estate planner: provide clients with legal, financial and accounting advice to ensure long term financial protection of their estate during life and post-mortem; help ensure any assets are dispersed according to the wishes of the deceased in an effective way; and develop estate plans which may include preparing wills, life insurance, family trusts and manage tax implications for beneficiaries.
  • Insurance broker: research and review available finance and insurance products to meet client requirements; arrange insurance, home loan mortgages and other types of finance for clients through banks, lenders, financiers and insurance companies; help clients understand insurance policy conditions, risks, premium rates and benefits; prepare reports for underwriters and liaise with other insurance professionals.
  • Investment adviser or manager: develop financial plans and investment strategies for individuals and organisations; monitor investment performance and review investment plans based on needs and changes in the market; buy and sell stocks and bonds for clients; and provide advice on tax implications, securities, insurance cover, pension plans and real estate.
  • Qualified financial adviser or financial planner: help clients to meet short-term and long-term financial goals; assist with legal and financial documents, financial laws and regulatory requirements; provide advice on personal investments and security planning, estate planning, tax planning, employee benefits planning and insurance planning; and deliver a high-quality customer experience.
  • Superannuation consultant: provide compliant financial advice in areas such as personal and business superannuation, retirement income stream products, pensions rollovers and annuities; interpret new legislation changes and consider the impact of those changes on the portfolio of funds, help clients understand merits of Self Managed Superannuation Funds (SMSF), and develop retirement plan strategies. 
  • Wealth manager: deliver holistic wealth management strategies and plans to help clients grow and sustain long-term financial goals; provide services across a range of areas including financial planning, investment management, and financial advice on pensions, trusts, inheritances, estate planning, retirement planning, and tax bands; and possess knowledge of software solutions and key platforms in the industry.

1QILT: Graduate Outcomes Survey Course Experience Questionnaire 2016-18 – Full-time Employment Indicator. Public SA-founded universities only.

Industry facts

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Between now and 2023, the ABS projects the number of professional finance roles in Australia will increase.

1Australian Bureau of Statistics, Catalogue 8165.0 – Counts of Australian businesses, including entries and exits, June 2012 to June 2016, Table 1–20 (includes the insurance industry).

handshake-business-team

The main topic areas of financial advice clients seek advice on are superannuation and investment advice, loans and investment advice, self-managed superannuation fund advice, and tax advice.

Financial Services Royal Commission, Some Features of the Australian Financial Planning Industry, Background Paper 6 (Part A), 2018.

money-trees

Australia’s financial services sector is the largest contributor to the national economy, contributing around AUD $140 billion to GDP over the last year.

Australian Government, Backing Australian FinTech, 2016.

How to apply

Applying to study with us:

  • go to the top of this page and make note of the SATAC code, then click Apply
  • you will be redirected through to the SATAC website to continue your application

Alternative Pathways

The Graduate Certificate in Financial Planning is not a Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) approved program. Successful completion of the Graduate Certificate will provide students seeking to meet FASEA educational requirements for financial planning accreditation with entry to the FASEA approved DMFP Masters of Finance (Financial Planning)

Scholarships

Every year, over 2,500 UniSA students are supported in their studies through scholarships and grants worth millions of dollars. Check out the scholarships below. One of them may be perfect for you. Visit our scholarships page for more.

More scholarships

Your study experience and support

Our campuses have fantastic facilities including modern lecture theatres, libraries, workshops, laboratories, tech zones, and areas that simulate real work environments. You’ll also find student gyms and campus sport activities to keep you active. We also offer flexible study options, with online resources available for accessing lecture recordings, virtual classrooms, library resources and learning support. 

Adelaide has a variety of accommodation options to suit different requirements and budgets. Options include dedicated student accommodation or private rentals. See our long-term accommodation pages for plenty of options. If you need somewhere to live, our new student accommodation by urbanest is on Bank Street in Adelaide’s lively cultural precinct, a perfect location for students. It is within easy reach of UniSA’s city and metropolitan campuses, Rundle Mall shopping, the Central Market, Chinatown, and the West End’s vibrant nightlife. It is also across the road from the Adelaide train station, and on bus and tram routes.

Student services

Student services

The Business Student Hub is a convenient, central support service for Business School students, from first year through to graduation. The team provides expert advice on study options, elective choices and any academic difficulties. It also helps with referrals to support services across the University. The Business Student Hub is there to facilitate your life at university, so you get the most out of your UniSA experience.

Our student support services will make your life at university easier. We want you to be successful, and if you need help, we're here to assist. We provide a full range of support services, including:

  • academic counselling
  • personal counselling
  • social support services, including family support and nearby childcare
  • common rooms
  • prayer rooms
  • security officers
  • services offered through our student association, USASA

When you become a UniSA student you can contact Campus Central for help with anything related to your degree. They will help you with your enrolment, ID cards, fees, timetables and any other questions you might have.

24/7 digital environment

This degree is offered online. With interactive online course materials and a 24/7 learning environment you can organise your study to suit your lifestyle. You can:

  • study online, including accessing videos and course resources
  • participate in virtual classrooms
  • submit your assignments and get feedback online
  • use forums and discussion boards for team work and communication

Our learnonline facilities include a personal learning environment with virtual classrooms, lecture recordings, emails, learning support, administration, library access and results. The environment is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so you can tailor your learning to your life. We are continually investing in innovative digital technologies for a high-quality student learning experience.

Please note some on-campus attendance (such as to attend seminars, workshops or examinations) and/or placements may apply. Any requirements like this are detailed on individual course pages.

Student services

Your campus

We have six campuses in metropolitan and regional areas, each with advanced facilities including modern lecture theatres, libraries, laboratories, and areas that simulate real work environments.

Location This degree is delivered at the following campus.

Your program director

I am a Senior Lecturer in the School of Commerce with research interests in international macroeconomics and finance. I have a particular interest in Asian economies and emerging market economies. I am a deputy editor of the Journal of International Commerce, Economics and Policy, and a Visiting Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Emerging Markets Policy at the George Mason University in Virginia, USA.

AsPr Tony Cavoli

Program Director

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Portrait image for AsPr Tony Cavoli

AsPr Tony Cavoli

Program Director

Enquire

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What others are saying

“I have over 25 years of experience in the financial services industry, including ten years working in Sydney as a Financial Services Executive. I was honoured to be awarded the Financial Standard’s Power50 most influential financial advisers in Australia for 2018 and 2019. I am currently a Principal Adviser and founder of GAP Financial. My role at UniSA allows me to bring my industry experience to develop course content that is relevant and practical for current and aspiring financial planners. Students will learn best-practice processes and client strategies using real-world case studies taken from the industry.”

Geoffrey Pacecca


Employment: Founder, GAP Financial & UniSA Financial Planning lecturer

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Geoffrey Pacecca


<br />Employment: Founder, GAP Financial & UniSA Financial Planning lecturer

Having a FASEA-approved qualification is now imperative to a successful career as a financial adviser. The new FASEA requirements will effectively reshape Australia’s network of financial advisers. Financial planners who are able to adapt to change, continually learn new things, possess good communication skills, and demonstrate flexibility and resilience will be the most successful in their career.

Louise Trevaskis


Employment: AMP Financial Services
Role: Academy and Education Manager

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Louise Trevaskis


<br />Employment: AMP Financial Services

“My UniSA degree parchment hangs proudly in my office along with my Advanced Diploma of Financial Services and Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) certificates. Clients express satisfaction in knowing that they are dealing with someone who has passed the academic requirements to hold the industry’s highest qualifications and be at the forefront of technical knowledge and skills. In an ever-changing environment, continual learning represents commitment to being the best I can be for myself, my business and my clients.”

Mark Bastiaans


Employment: Principal Financial Adviser, Advice SA & UniSA Financial Planning lecturer

MarkBastiaans.png

Mark Bastiaans


<br />Employment: Principal Financial Adviser, Advice SA & UniSA Financial Planning lecturer