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Graduate Certificate in Financial Planning

If you have extensive work experience but no degree, this four-course program fills the gap. Learn financial markets, financial products, financial planning, taxation law and strategies.

  • Overview
  • Structure
  • Entry requirements
  • How to apply
  • Student experience
  • FAQs

Why choose this graduate certificate?

  • Excellent pathway to a qualification in financial planning for those with extensive work experience but no bachelor degree
  • Be taught by staff from Australia’s leading schools in both banking and finance, and taxation and business law
  • Flexible study mode: Ability to study online or face-to-face, so that you can balance study with your work and personal commitments
  • Professional recognition: Meet Tier 1 requirements of the Australian Securities and Investment Commission's Regulatory Guide 146 (RG146), depending on course selection
  • Articulation pathway: Opportunity to continue your studies with the Master of Financial Planning
  • Recognition of prior learning: Courses successfully completed in this graduate certificate are transferable to the Master of Financial Planning

Who is this degree for?

  • You’re looking to develop or upgrade your knowledge and skills in investment, financial planning and taxation for a career in personal financial advisory
  • You are a professional who do not have a bachelor degree but have relevant work experience seeking a pathway into the Master of Financial Planning

Job and career prospects

The graduate certificate provides the foundational knowledge for those wanting to become a personal financial advisor.


The Graduate Certificate in Financial Planning consists of 4 compulsory courses (24 UOC).

Choose 2 to 4 compulsory core courses (12 - 24 UOC) from the following list.

FINS5510 Personal Financial Planning and Management

Provides the knowledge necessary to effectively manage personal financial resources and needs in the context of globalised financial and stock markets. Considers the whole range of personal financial affairs and the planning required to optimise available opportunities to enhance individual wealth.

Course outline
FINS5512 Financial Markets and Institutions

Serves as an introductory course. Focuses on major financial markets, including the equity, money, bond, exchange rate and derivatives markets. The basics of financial instruments in these markets, such as bank bills, treasury bonds, futures and options are taught. Exposure to the tools of analyses and the roles and innovations of major financial institutions, eg the banks and non-banks, such as finance companies, building societies and credit unions, life and insurance companies and funds management companies.

Course outline
FINS5513 Investments and Portfolio Selection

Develops a basic conceptual framework to understand modern investments. Students learn to evaluate alternative investment strategies, develop a more complete understanding of the risk-return relation, and discuss recent developments in investment management. Surveys various financial markets and provides a review of the instruments used to allocate capital and manage risk. Topics include measuring risk and return, designing portfolios, pricing risk, valuing equities, valuing fixed income securities, hedging with derivatives. Students are assessed through a variety of means; including quizzes and exams, computer exercises, and case study discussions.

Course outline
FINS5531 Risk and Insurance

Introduces the discipline of risk management and precedes advanced work in the risk management and insurance major. Focuses on the principles associated with corporate risk management and provides a structured and well-reasoned methodology in the identification and analysis of risk. Investigates the management of identified risk through both risk control and risk financing techniques. Introduces the basic principles of insurance products, as one possible risk-financing tool.

Course outline
FINS5537 Financial Planning, Advice and Ethics

This course provides students with the knowledge and skills to pursue employment in the rapidly growing financial planning industry. Addresses the important skills required for operating a financial planning practice, taking into account the regulatory and industry frameworks. Topics covered include understanding the client's situation and needs, conducting analysis and research, formulating appropriate financial planning strategies, choosing suitable products, preparing a fully compliant financial plan, implementing the financial plan and providing ongoing review and services to the client. The course also contains in-depth analysis of the importance of ethics in the operation of financial institutions and in the personal conduct of finance professionals based on market best practice.

Course outline
FINS5539 Estate Planning and Asset Protection

This course provides students with key estate planning knowledge and skills. From a financial planning practice perspective, we address the importance of estate planning issues when providing financial planning advice. This includes fundamental issues related to asset protection and succession planning. The course is practical in nature and is designed to cover the key estate planning elements impacting clients from a financial planning angle. The course will consist of a theoretical element and a practical case study element addressing issues facing clients and practitioners in the advice space.

Course outline

Choose maximum of 2 elective courses (12 UOC) from the following list:

ACTL5401 Retirement Planning

This course provides the knowledge necessary to provide effective financial advice for retirement planning in the context of increasingly complex financial products and government policies. The course will cover: current and future demographic characteristics with a focus on life expectancies; risks faced in retirement, including longevity risk, inflation risk, interest risk, adequacy risk and contingency risk; current and proposed retirement income products; the public pension, publically provided benefits and their interaction with superannuation and other private benefits; residential options, health and aged care; estate planning; designing a 'retirement plan'; and understanding the consumer.

Course outline
FINS5543 Aged Care Planning

Australia has the 4th highest life expectancy in the world and the percentage of the population in the 80 plus age group is expected to more than double by the year 2050.

Clients and their families need to navigate through the legal issues of accessing aged care as well as understanding the options for funding fees, the impact on government income support payments and taxation, the emotional aspects, the impact on carers, estate planning aspects and finding the right levels of care.

This course imparts the knowledge necessary to provide effective advice to clients in the later stages of retirement (and their families) who are looking at their current or future care needs. This is a complex area that has recently been the subject of major legislative reforms.

A unique feature of this course is that the course outlines a process to follow for providing advice and integrates the financial considerations with personal and emotional aspects of accessing aged care services. A predominant part of the course covers the issues of moving into residential care, but various topics also cover the issues for the other living options including retirement villages, granny flat rights and home care packages.

Find the course outline PDF for this course in the archives

TABL5511 Legal Foundations of Business

Law is an increasingly significant factor in business. In any business decision fundamental legal questions may arise about the potential liabilities of the parties, the rights that the parties have and how the business or transaction should be organised. This subject introduces the Australian legal system; outlines alternative forms of business organisation; discusses the legal framework of business regulation; and examines areas of law particularly relevant to business including the law of contract and torts, the laws relating to specialised commercial transactions, the regulation of restrictive trade practices and sales promotion, and intellectual property.

Course outline
TABL5540 Self Managed Superannuation Funds Law

The number of self managed superannuation funds (SMSFs) is growing at an exponential rate. This course looks at all the regulatory rules for establishing, administering and closing a SMSF.

Find the course outline PDF for this course in the archives

TABL5901 Principles of Australian Taxation Law

Principles of Australian Taxation Law is intended to provide students with a sophisticated but broad understanding of the Australian taxation system from a legal perspective. In this course, the fundamental elements of the Australian direct and indirect taxation regimes are analysed. The course investigates the principles of the taxation of income and deductions rules, timing issues in taxation and the capital gains tax rules. The course also gives students an understanding of the Goods and Services Tax and as well as an introduction to tax administration.

Course outline

The Graduate Certificate in Financial Planning is a pathway program to a qualification in financial planning. There are 2 categories of entry.

Category A

To be eligible for the program, you need to have:
  • A recognised bachelor degree (or equivalent qualification), as determined by UNSW Business School; and
  • At least 2 years full-time relevant work experience

OR

Category B

Professionals without a bachelor degree can apply to the program if they have:
  • At least 4 years full-time relevant work experience; and
  • Completed some professional course or study

The UNSW English Language requirements also apply to this program.


Supporting documentation

Applicants need to provide a detailed resume (outlining relevant competencies and achievements) and evidence of other academic and professional qualifications.

Articulation pathway

In order to articulate into the Master of Financial Planning, you have to successfully complete four courses within the Graduate Certificate in Financial Planning, and achieve a minimum overall grade (WAM) of 65.

Contact us if you require further clarification on this articulation pathway.

Application checklist

Before you apply, ensure that you:

  1. Choose the right program that matches your interests and career aspirations
  2. Meet the entry requirements of the program
  3. Check if you are eligible to apply for credits or advanced standing based on recognition of prior learning (RPL) for this program
  4. Note: You can apply for credits during the online application process

  5. Have the various supporting documentation for your application. E.g.

   a. Official academic transcripts
   b. Proof of completion of qualification
   c. Proof of identity and citizenship
   d. Proof of relevant work experience (if required)

    You can upload the above documentation during the online application process

How to apply

You can apply for this program online:

There are two intakes per year:

  • Semester 1 (March) intake, apply by November 30
  • Semester 2 (July) intake, apply by May 30

Late applications may be accepted after the closing dates subject to the availability of places.

Need help?

Still need help finding the right postgraduate business program for you? Contact us now.

We know you're busy balancing postgraduate study with your personal and other work commitments. So UNSW Business School's dynamic learning spaces, facilities and student support helps you make the most of every day on campus.

Expand your professional network

Your postgraduate cohort is more than a valuable future business network – you'll make lifelong friends in class and at a range of social events. Join a student club – there are more than 180 social, cultural, sports and professional clubs to choose from. The Graduate Student Association is a great place to start.  Find out more

All the support you need to achieve

If it has been a while since you last studied, you may need to brush up on your skills. We'll help with study skills workshops and Career Mentoring programs. Our Meet the Executive series offers unique behind the scenes business insights and the Business School's LEAD Business Leadership program, as well as many other orientation, leadership and mentor programs, can open the door to new opportunities. Find out more

Stay active on campus

Exercise boosts your mental wellbeing and can help you deal with exam or assignment pressures. It's easy to stay fit with state of the art sporting facilities on campus, including a 50m indoor pool, fitness centre, squash courts and a range of competitive sports teams.

Everything you need in one place

The UNSW Kensington campus is like a village hub, with cafes, bars, banks, a post office, medical and dental centres as well as retail outlets. It's a short bus trip to Sydney's CBD, many beautiful beaches, the SCG and Centennial Park, and movie theatres at Fox Studios.

Make the most of every opportunity

Your postgraduate degree is a unique chance to get a new perspective on life. So get involved – as well as student clubs and social activities there are internships, volunteer projects, competitions and international exchanges on offer. It's a great way to further develop your leadership, project management or specialist skills.

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Quick facts for students

Program code
7273
Award
Graduate Certificate
Total Units of Credit (UOC)
24
Study Mode
Face to face
Online
Duration
0.5 years full-time, 1 year part-time
Commencing semesters
Semester 1 - March
Semester 2 - July
Course fee*
$4,110
Program fee (total)*
$16,440
* Fees are indicative only

​​​​​​​​​Area of Study

Browse the list of study areas available for postgraduate study

 

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Search Degrees​​

Find a degree, course or interest