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Start date

0.5 year(s) full-time

Program Code

2019: AUD$ 34,400 per annum (per 1.0 EFTSL)
2020: AUD$ 35,900 per annum (per 1.0 EFTSL)

English Language Requirements
  • IELTS total [6.5]
  • IELTS reading [6.0]
  • IELTS writing [6.0]
Equivalent English qualifications (PDF)

International Admission by Country
See full entry requirements


Degree overview

  • If you do not hold a relevant prior qualification but have industry experience, this program can be used as a direct entry pathway into our FASEA approved Master of Finance (Financial Planning).
  • Study courses in areas such as personal budgeting, superannuation and retirement planning, financial risk management and estate planning.
  • Benefit from flexible study options and learn full-time, part-time, on campus, online or in mixed mode.
  • Connect with a senior business leader through our Executive Partners Program.
  • UniSA is No.1 in SA for postgraduate employment outcomes in Business and Management1.
  • The University of South Australia Business School is in the top one per cent worldwideand has been awarded an overall five stars for excellence in the QS Stars Ratings 2019.
  • Join a university ranked in the Top 150 institutions in the world for Accounting and Finance3.

1QILT: Graduate Outcomes Survey Course Experience Questionnaire 2016-18 – Full-time Employment Indicator. Public SA-founded universities only.  2UniSA Business School is one of just nine institutions in Australia and 180 globally to be accredited by EQUIS (from over 16,500 worldwide). EFMD, February 2019.  32019 QS Subject Rankings.


SNoonan_UniSA BusHub_231017_004.jpgExplore an exciting career in a dynamic and growing area of the financial services industry.

As one of the leading providers of accounting and finance education in Australia, we will ensure you graduate with the knowledge and skills required for the financial services sector. 

If you do not hold a relevant prior qualification but have industry experience, this 6-month program can be used as a direct entry pathway into our FASEA approved Master of Finance (Financial Planning) (which you would then be able to complete in 1.5 years full-time with Advanced Standing). You will need to study our masters program following completion of the graduate certificate to meet educational requirements to practice. 

Financial planners 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.

What you'll learn

BUS01.pngThe Graduate Certificate in Financial Planning is made up of four courses. You will study commercial law and have the opportunity to select from a number of electives such as:

  • Investment management
  • Superannuation
  • Risk management and insurance
  • Estate planning
  • Taxation

Degree structure

Course name Area and cat no. Units Reference  
First Semester (Study Period 1, 2 or 3)
Commercial Law M COML 5009 4.5 Rule(s): 1
Second Semester (Study Period 4, 5 or 6)

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. 


P7240303-2.jpgThis degree combines theoretical and hands-on learning. You can expect your assessment tasks to differ widely – these may include:

  • case studies and reports
  • essays and assignments
  • examinations
  • an industry-relevant project
  • an oral or online presentation
  • a journal or a portfolio
  • a work placement


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 sustainability, choice, applied finance and economics.

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. We are one of only three business schools globally with an academic focus on SME business growth. Read more about our strengths in research.

Why Graduate Certificate in Financial Planning

Business_Hub_images-66 copy.jpgThis degree will equip you with the knowledge and skills to join the rapidly growing financial services industry.

If you do not hold a relevant prior qualification but have industry experience, this 6-month program can be used as a direct entry pathway into our FASEA approved Master of Finance (Financial Planning) (which you would then be able to complete in 1.5 years full-time with Advanced Standing). You will need to study our masters program following completion of the graduate certificate to meet educational requirements to practice.

Under new national regulations, anyone seeking to practice as a qualified financial planner will need to study a FASEA approved program from January 2019. All financial planners currently working in industry will need to complete a FASEA approved program by 2024 in order to continue practising.

You will develop expertise in areas such as personal budgeting, superannuation and retirement planning, investment management, financial risk management, insurance planning and tax planning.

As part of this degree, you can also study an elective which enables you to develop and present a detailed statement of advice (SOA) – a comprehensive document financial planners provide to clients based on their needs and goals.

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 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 to enhance your studies and career. Our Executive Partners are active, semi-retired or recently retired professionals who have a wealth of knowledge and experience to help you achieve your career goals.

Career outcomes

Your career

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 career-ready.

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.

Between now and 2020 the availability of finance-related roles in Australia is expected to increase by:

  • 19 per cent (financial brokers and dealers, and investment advisers)
  • 21.9 per cent (financial investment advisers and managers)
  • 11 per cent (insurance agents and sales representatives)2

Careers to consider include:

  • Estate planner: developing strategies to manage assets during life and post mortem; assisting to prepare valid wills and trusts; administering deceased estates
    You could find yourself working at financial institutions, investment banks, superannuation funds, insurance funds, financial planning practices, advisory businesses and regional banks locally or overseas, or in specialist finance teams across a range of organisations
  • Insurance broker: providing professional financial advice about insurance matters; advising on levels of insurance cover; managing risk and compensation claims; negotiating with other parties
  • Investment adviser: providing advice on investment matters including the buying and selling of shares, property and other assets; establishing trusts; analysing available data and information to provide personal investment recommendations
  • Qualified financial planner or adviser3: helping clients to meet short-term and long-term financial goals; assisting with legal and financial documents, financial laws and regulatory requirements; advising on personal investments and security planning, estate planning, tax planning, employee benefits planning and insurance planning
  • Superannuation consultant: providing professional financial advice regarding superannuation products and funds to best meet new customer/member needs; educating and engaging members across superannuation related services; offering end-to-end resolutions of complex enquiries

1QILT: Graduate Outcomes Survey Course Experience Questionnaire 2016-18 – Full-time Employment Indicator. Public SA-founded universities only.  2Australian Government Department of Employment, Occupational Employment Projections 2015.  3To meet the educational requirements for practice, you will need to go on to study our FASEA approved Master of Finance (Financial Planning) following completion of the graduate certificate. 

Industry facts


Between now and 2020 employment in Australia for financial investment advisers and managers is projected to increase by 11,400 (21.9 per cent)1.

1Australian Government Department of Employment, Occupational Employment Projections 2015. 


193,489 businesses are in financial services, representing the economy's fastest growing industry1.

1Australian Bureau of Statistics, Counts of Australian Businesses 2012-2016


Australia’s financial services sector is the largest contributor to the national economy, contributing around AUD $140 billion to GDP over the last year1.

1Australian Government, Backing Australian FinTech, 2016.

How to apply

How to apply for international students will give you helpful information about the application process at the University of South Australia. When you are ready, apply through our International Application System. If you would like to talk to someone near you about studying at the University of South Australia, we have agents all over the world who can assist you. Find an Education Agent in your country.

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)


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

As a student at the University of South Australia you will have unique access to networking events, guest speakers and more.

Our campuses are equipped with state-of-the-art facilities including modern lecture theatres, libraries, workshops, laboratories, and areas that simulate real work environments. These are all supported by the latest technologies and a 24/7 online learning platform. We have health services on campus, gymnasiums, technology zones and great student lounges. There are campus sport activities to keep you active, and if you are keen to explore the social side of university life, there are movies, cooking demonstrations, parties and lots more.

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.

International Student Services will make your life at university easier. We want you to be successful, and if you need help we will be there to assist. Support services include: 

  • careers advice
  • help with student visas and health cover
  • personal counselling
  • academic counselling
  • fees and finance help
  • common rooms
  • prayer rooms
  • security officers
  • services offered through our student association, USASA
  • accommodation services

We also offer study support from our Learning Advisers. You can work with them face-to-face or online. They are here to help you develop academically and professionally during your studies. They also offer help with the English language.

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

Portrait image for AsPr Tony Cavoli
Portrait image for AsPr Tony Cavoli

AsPr Tony Cavoli

Program Director


Ask UniSA

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What others are saying

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: Academy and Education Manager, AMP Financial Services

Louise Trevaskis - Financial Planning industry.jpg

Louise Trevaskis

<br />Employment: Academy and Education Manager, AMP Financial Services

As a financial planner, you must be prepared to work with a variety of people and be prepared to maintain your accreditation that allows you to compete with others in an industry growing and changing all the time.

Andrew McInerney

Employment: Chief Financial Officer, Jobs Statewide


Andrew McInerney

<br />Employment: Chief Financial Officer, Jobs Statewide