unisa logo

Advance your career as a financial adviser with a FASEA-approved program

The University of South Australia is one of the first institutions nation-wide to offer financial planning programs and courses approved by the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA).

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 practicing. If you’re looking to enter the industry, you’ll now need to study a FASEA-approved program to start your career.

Our FASEA-approved qualifications include:

  • Bridging courses (option to study as standalone courses or embedded within the Graduate Certificate in Financial Planning)
  • Master of Finance (Financial Planning)
  • Graduate Diploma in Financial Planning
  • Bachelor of Business (Financial Planning)

We also offer a Graduate Certificate in Financial Planning as a pathway into the master’s degree.

Our degrees and courses are designed to meet industry requirements and cater to all levels of experience, with the flexibility to study full-time, part-time, at UniSA’s City West campus, 100% online, or in mixed mode. You may also be able to study some courses in intensive mode.

In consultation with our expert academics and FASEA, we’ve stepped out everything you need to know to help guide you to the study option that may be best suited to you.


CPA and FPA members receive 15% off course fees for all UniSA postgraduate Financial Planning programs and courses

If you are a member of CPA Australia or the Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA), you are eligible for a 15% discount off your postgraduate course fees. To access the discount, you’ll need to provide your relevant association membership number as part of your application.

What study option is right for me?

Decision Tree

In addition to new education standards, financial advisers are required to meet new professional requirements  set by FASEA. 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.


Existing 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 field of study different to the areas listed under Relevant degree.
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.

^The number of bridging courses required is dependent on prior learning and FASEA-approved professional designations. There is also an option to transition into the Graduate Certificate in Financial Planning and graduate with a degree.
*Credit is available for prior learning and FASEA-approved professional designations.

Study options

Qualification FASEA- approved program Mode of study Start date Duration full time (or part time equivalent)  Previous qualification required Previous industry experience required Credit available

Bridging course/s+

Option to study as standalone courses or via the Graduate Certificate in Financial Planning or UniSA Online Graduate Certificate in Financial Planning



100% Online 

Intensive mode

 Commencing in 2020  Based on individual requirements ✔   ✔
Master of Finance (Financial Planning) On-campus/Online* Feb, Aug 2 years or 1.5 with Advanced Standing*  ✔  

Graduate Diploma in Financial Planning

UniSA Online Graduate Diploma in Financial Planning


100% Online 

Feb, Aug

Jan, Apr, Jun, Sept

1 year Previous qualification and/or industry experience.

As a pathway option:
Graduate Certificate in Financial Planning˄

UniSA Online Graduate Certificate in Financial Planning˄



100% Online

Feb, Aug

Jan, Apr, Jun, Sept

6 months Previous qualification and/or industry experience.   

Bachelor of Business (Financial Planning)

UniSA Online Bachelor of Business (Financial Planning)


100% Online

Feb, Aug

Jan, Apr, Jun, Sept

3 years     ✔ 
3+1 Pathway to Masters packaged degrees (with Financial Planning)

Financial Planning degree only

On-campus/Online* Feb, Aug 4 years    

*Due to the current climate, on-campus study for these programs is not currently available however will resume as soon as we’re able to.

Undertaking your degree on campus/online offers you the flexibility to study in mixed mode and choose how you learn based on your individual needs.

Bridging courses

If you are an existing financial adviser and have previously studied an approved or relevant degree, you may only need to complete a selection of remaining courses to meet FASEA education requirements. 

From 2020, we’ll be offering three FASEA-approved bridging courses you can study as standalone courses based on your prior learning and FASEA-approved professional designations. Depending on your individual circumstances, you may need to undertake one, or all, of these courses.

Bridging courses offered include:

  1. Ethics and Professionalism
  2. Financial Advice Regulatory and Legal Obligations
  3. Behavioural Finance Client and Consumer Behaviour

Each course is equivalent to one 4.5 unit postgraduate course.

You can also choose to undertake these courses as part of our Graduate Certificate in Financial Planningand graduate with a degree in six months full-time study (or part-time equivalent). FASEA will formally recognise courses completed through this program.

Bridging courses can be studied on campus, 100% online, in mixed mode or as intensives, providing you with the flexibility to choose the best learning option for you.

+The number of bridging courses required is dependent on prior learning and FASEA-approved professional designations. There is also an option to transition into the Graduate Certificate in Financial Planning.
*If you hold a relevant undergraduate qualification, you may be eligible to fast track your studies and enter with 18 units of Advanced Standing, allowing you to complete the program in 1.5 years.
^You will need to study our FASEA-approved master’s program following completion of the graduate certificate to meet education requirements.




Study Financial Planning

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

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.

Career opportunities

The financial services sector plays a critical role in the nation’s economy, and the financial wellbeing of all Australians.

Between now and 2023, the ABS projects the number of professional finance roles in Australia will increase*, and with more than 193,400 financial planning businesses in operation, your opportunities for career progression are strong. 

With a qualification from UniSA, you’ll meet FASEA’s education requirements to practise as a financial adviser across a diverse range of roles in areas including financial planning, investment, insurance, superannuation, estate planning and more.

*Australian 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).

Industry facts

  • The main topic areas of financial advice clients seek 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.
  • Australia’s financial services sector is the largest contributor to the national economy, contributing around AUD $140 billion to GDP over the 2016/2017 financial year.
    Australian Government, Backing Australian FinTech, 2016.


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 am also honoured to be awarded the Financial Standard’s Power50 most influential advisers in Australia for the last two years running. 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
Founder, GAP Financial
UniSA Financial Planning lecturer


Geoffrey Pacecca
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
Academy and Education Manager, AMP Financial Services


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

UniSA Financial Planning lecturer


Mark Bastiaans
Principal Financial Adviser, Advice SA

UniSA Financial Planning lecturer

Why study at UniSA

UniSA is ranked No.1 in South Australia for Postgraduate teaching quality
2019 ComparED (QILT) Student Experience Survey. Public SA-founded universities only.

No.1 university in South Australia for graduate careers in Business and Mangement
ComparED (QILT): Graduate Outcomes Survey 2017-2019 - Full-time Employment Indicator (Undergraduate). Public SA-founded universities only.

UniSA Business is in the top one per cent worldwide*
 and has been awarded an overall five stars for excellence in the QS Stars Ratings 2019 
*UniSA Business is one of just ten institutions in Australia and 189 globally to be accredited by EQUIS (from over 16,500 worldwide). EFMD, October 2020.

UniSA Business is accredited by 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.