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Start date

2 year(s) full-time

Program Code

2021: AUD$ 37,700 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

  • Study one of the first Master’s degrees in Australia approved by the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA).
  • This qualification is best suited to professionals who hold a prior qualification and are seeking a career change in the financial services sector. 
  • Study core courses in business and finance, and gain specialist expertise in areas such as ethics, financial regulation and applied financial planning.
  • Fast-track your studies and shorten the overall duration of your degree by gaining credit or Advanced Standing for relevant previously completed courses and qualifications.
  • Experience our state-of-the-art Iress Trading Room and learn with the same technology used by the world’s leading banks and investment firms.
  • 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.
  • Join a university ranked No.1 in South Australia for postgraduate teaching quality1.
  • UniSA Business is in the top one per cent worldwide2 and has been awarded an overall five stars for excellence in the QS Stars Ratings 2019.

1ComparED (QILT) Student Experience Survey 2018-2019. Public SA-founded universities only. 2UniSA Business is one of just ten institutions in Australia and 189 globally to be accredited by EQUIS (from over 16,500 worldwide). EFMD, February 2020.


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This program is approved by the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) and will equip you with the education requirements to practice as a qualified financial adviser.

We’ve worked closely with industry to develop our course content, and regularly consult with FASEA to ensure your Graduate Diploma meets the most up-to-date industry standards.

Our Master of Finance (Financial Planning) is best suited to new entrants with a non-relevant degree.*

Depending on your previous qualification/s, you may also be eligible to apply for credit or Advanced Standing, which means you could potentially finish your degree sooner, saving you both time and money.

If you do not meet the entry requirements for the master’s program but have industry experience in a related financial services role, you can use our Graduate Certificate in Financial Planning as a direct entry pathway.

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 further your skills in preparing 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 2018 – a FASEA-approved AQF 7, 8 (Graduate Diploma) or 9 qualification.

What you'll learn


This program consists of 16 advanced financial planning courses, which you can complete in 1.5-2 years of full-time study (or part-time equivalent). Your qualification will complement your industry experience and advance your knowledge in specialist areas such as investment management, estate planning, superannuation, and tax. You’ll study compulsory bridging courses that have been outlined in FASEA’s education requirements including ethics and professionalism, and financial advice regulatory and legal obligations. As a graduate, you can be confident you’ll leave with the essential education requirements to practice as a qualified financial adviser.

A master’s degree is an opportunity to sharpen your technical ability, legal knowledge and professional expertise. Aside from learning new and relevant legislation, regulations and codes of practice, you’ll also enhance your skills in building and managing client relationships – a critical focus area for future financial advisers.

Throughout your studies, you’ll gain contemporary career planning strategies and techniques to boost your employability and achieve your career goals. You’ll also have opportunities to network and connect with leading industry bodies such as the Financial Planners Association (FPA) and the Association of Financial Advisers (AFA), as well as other industry professionals.

Degree structure

Course name Area and cat no. Units Reference  
First Semester (Study Period 1, 2, or 3)
Statistics for Data Science MATH 4044 4.5 Rule(s): 2
Accounting for Management M ACCT 5011 4.5 Rule(s): 2
Economic Principles for Business ECON 5020 4.5 Rule(s): 2
Financial Advice Regulatory and Legal Obligations COML 5017 4.5 Rule(s): 3
Second Semester (Study Period 4, 5 or 6)
Financial Theory and Financial Markets BANK 5014 4.5 Rule(s): 3
Corporate Finance BUSS 5233 4.5 Rule(s): 3
Investment Management BANK 5013 4.5 Rule(s): 3
Marketing Management MARK 5025 4.5 Rule(s): 2
First Semester (Study Period 1, 2 or 3)
Personal Finance G BANK 5043 4.5
Ethics and Professionalism BUSS 5446 4.5
Introduction to Financial Planning G BANK 5042 4.5
Superannuation G BANK 5045 4.5
Second Semester (4, 5 or 6)
Risk Management and Insurance G BANK 5044 4.5
Estate Planning G BANK 5041 4.5
Applied Financial Planning G BANK 5040 4.5
Taxation ACCT 5017 4.5 Rule(s): 4

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, 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.


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 (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 Master of Finance (Financial Planning)

Business_Hub_images-66 copy.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 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 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.

*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 program delivery and extra-curricular opportunities are designed to suit your lifestyle, preferred way of learning and career interests. You can benefit from 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.

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 planner or adviser: 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.

Professional accreditation and recognition

The Master of Finance (Financial Planning) is a Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) approved program.

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.


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 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 Finance, and my research is in the area of stock valuation and investment. Before academia, I worked in Finance and Management consulting for several years. I am an engineer by trade and hold an MBA, a MSc in Finance and Investment from Durham University and a PhD in Finance from the University of Sydney. Our programs are industry-informed and designed with the employability of our graduates in mind. Therefore, students will be engaged in industry-driven issues and apply theories to real world applications in the courses, while enhancing their soft skills. That’s why our graduates are sought after by top employers in Finance and Property industries.

Dr Reza Bradrania

Program Director

Portrait image for Dr Reza Bradrania
Portrait image for Dr Reza Bradrania

Dr Reza Bradrania

Program Director


Ask UniSA

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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


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

Louise Trevaskis - Financial Planning industry.jpg

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


Mark Bastiaans

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

As an international student, studying a FASEA-approved program at UniSA was the first step to becoming a certified Financial Planner in Australia. UniSA gave me the opportunity to build my confidence and professional network through a range of organised networking events with key contacts in the financial industry. Studying at UniSA was also an invaluable experience with access to the IRESS Trading Room where we had the opportunity to trade and learn with market data.

Karen Figueroa Vargas

Master of Finance (Financial Planning)

Karen Figueroa.jpg

Karen Figueroa Vargas

Master of Finance (Financial Planning)

Financial planning is a rapidly changing environment especially when it comes to legislation and compliance. Studying this masters degree at UniSA allowed me to build upon my existing knowledge and helped me to develop the transferable skills needed to adapt to the requirements of a role within today’s finance industry.

Andrew Galea

Master of Finance (Financial Planning)

Andrew Galea.PNG

Andrew Galea

Master of Finance (Financial Planning)