Start date

0.5 year(s) full-time


Program Code

AUD$ 19,800 per annum (per 0.5 EFTSL) for students enrolled in 2024

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

  • Join a university recognised globally in Business. UniSA Business is in the top one per cent worldwide and has been awarded an overall five stars for excellence1.
  • The Graduate Certificate in Financial Planning is best suited to existing financial advisers who only need to study a selection of bridging courses to meet FASEA education requirements.
  • 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 Treasury's education requirements including ethics and professionalism, financial advice regulatory and legal obligations, and behavioural finance client and consumer behaviour.
  • 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 exams.
  • Access invaluable mentorship, industry insights and expert advice from a senior business leader through our Executive Partners Program.
  • Develop career-ready skills employers are looking for once you graduate with enterprise skills embedded in all business courses within this program.
  • Use your degree as a pathway into the Financial Advice Association Australia's (FAAA) CFP® Certification Program.
  • Study at a Top 5 business school in Australia for quality2.
  • Ranked No. 1 in South Australia for Business and Economics3.

1UniSA Business is one of just 13 institutions in Australia and approximately 200 globally (from over 25,000 universities) to be EQUIS accredited. EFMD, March 2024. 2023 QS Stars Business School Ratings. 2Ranked #5, Australian Financial Review BOSS Best Business Schools List 2023. 32024 THE Subject Rankings.


P7240353-2.jpgFor 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 Treasury-approved professional designations.

These bridging courses include:

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

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, The Treasury.

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 and income and lifestyle aspirations, to develop plans for their clients to 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.


  • 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 2021 – a FASEA approved AQF 7 (Bachelor), 8 (Graduate Diploma) or 9 (Master) qualification.

What you'll learn


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 Treasury 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 the Australian Government's Financial Adviser Standards 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
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.



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

In addition to meeting new education standards, Treasury 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.


UniSA 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 Master of Finance, 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, with particular strengths in business and management, and marketing. Read more about our strengths in research.

Why Graduate Certificate in Financial Planning

P7240001-2_1.jpgAs 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 and current practising financial advisers. 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 Business is the only business school in South Australia accredited by both AACSB International (The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) and EFMD (EQUIS) – the world’s leading accreditation bodies recognising excellence in business education and research at a global level. These dual accreditations demonstrate the high standards we hold across all areas such as teaching, student learning and research, as well as our commitment to continually improving the quality of our programs.

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.

More ways to study

Our flexible delivery and extracurricular opportunities are designed to suit your lifestyle, preferred learning style, and career interests. You can benefit from online and on-campus study, part-time or full-time learning, Summer and Winter School intensive courses, mentoring and networking opportunities with industry, and accelerated learning pathways. Plus, you can make the most of professional development courses endorsed by industry, build leadership skills by participating in the UniSA+ Award, or seek support at our on-campus Business Student Hub.

Real-world connections

In addition to learning from teachers with professional experience as part of your studies, we also offer opportunities for you to connect with industry outside the classroom. There are a range of engagement opportunities available to you, including:

  • Build your networks and career options by participating in the Business Career Mentor Program, which pairs you with an experienced business professional
  • Undertake a Business Internship or complete an industry project, and apply the skills and knowledge gained from your studies in a real workplace setting
  • Become a global citizen through our international exchange programs – we have more than 80 partner institutions worldwide, and study options that range from two weeks to one year
  • Meet one-to-one with a senior business executive through our Executive in Residence program. You’ll receive expert guidance and gain workplace insights that will support your career development.

We host regular University-wide careers events and workshops, 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, Treasury 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 university in South Australia for Business and Economics1, 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, and 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 social 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.

12023 THE Subject Rankings.

Industry facts


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

Australian Bureau of Statistics, Catalogue 8165.0 – Counts of Australian businesses, including entries and exits, June 2012 to June 2016.


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, 2018.


Australia’s financial services sector is the largest contributor to the nation's economic growth.

Financial Services Council. State of the Art 2019

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 UniSA student, you will have unique access to work placement opportunities, overseas study tours and exchanges, networking events, internships, guest speakers and more.

Our campuses are equipped with state-of-the-art facilities including modern lecture theatres, libraries, workshops and laboratories, as well as spaces 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. You will also gain access to a range of community clinics, which provide professional and cost effective services in areas of health, business, law and psychology. 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 also has a variety of accommodation options to suit different requirements and budgets. Options include dedicated student accommodation and private rentals. See our long-term accommodation pages, or explore our student accommodation by Scape on Bank Street in Adelaide’s lively cultural precinct, an ideal 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 dedicated and convenient support service for business students, from first year right through to graduation. The team provides expert advice on study options, elective choices and any academic difficulties, and can help 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.

You can also access a range of other international student services including

    • careers advice
    • help with student visas and health cover
    • personal counselling
    • academic counselling
    • fees and finance help
    • common rooms
    • prayer rooms
    • security officers
    • accommodation services
    • UniSA’s Student Association, USASA, also provides a range of other services.

We also offer study support from our Learning Advisers which you can work with face-to-face or online. They are here to help you develop academically and professionally during your studies, and can 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 ID cards, fees and any other questions you might have.

24/7 digital environment

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, all student visa holders are required to meet their visa condition to study no more than one-third of their program in an online mode and maintain enrolment in at least one internal (face-to-face) course per compulsory study period, unless it is their final course and not available internally. If you are currently residing in Adelaide, on-campus attendance (such as seminars, workshops or examinations) and/or placements would apply, as outlined on individual course pages. If you are currently overseas, online study may be available following your individual study plan.

Student services

Your campus

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

Location This degree is delivered at the following campus.

Your program director

I am Program Director: Finance and Financial Planning in UniSA Business and Lecturer in Financial Planning and Finance. I have worked at the University of Greenwich (London) and have consulted both national and international organisations in economics, finance, and financial planning.
I teach in the areas of banking, finance, and financial planning, including personal financial planning, and personal risk management and insurance. My current research focuses on aspects of corporate social responsibility (CSR), environmental, sustainability and governance (ESG) factors, green finance, financial system governance and institutional reform, market spillovers, and the cost and provision of financial advice to lower socio-economic groups.
I am also a member of key industry professional bodies, and serve on relevant industry committees, enabling me to deliver the latest industry-informed knowledge to students. I believe my extensive experience helps me to understand and support students as they develop the necessary academic and practical skills to address real-world industry challenges, becoming experts in their area of interest.

Mr Ron McIver

Program Director

Portrait image for Mr Ron McIver
Portrait image for Mr Ron McIver

Mr Ron McIver

Program Director


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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.

*Financial Adviser Standards, The Treasury have taken on the responsibilities of the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) as of 1 January 2022. The degree is a Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) accredited program.

Louise Trevaskis

Academy and Education Manager | AMP Financial Services

Louise Trevaskis - Financial Planning industry.jpg

Louise Trevaskis

Academy and Education Manager | 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

Principal Financial Adviser | Advice SA


Mark Bastiaans

Principal Financial Adviser | Advice SA