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Graduate Diploma in Financial Planning

Advance your career with comprehensive financial knowledge and skills from the Graduate Diploma of Financial Planning.

  • Overview
  • Structure
  • Entry requirements
  • How to apply
  • Career opportunities
  • FAQs
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The Graduate Diploma of Financial Planning, UNSW Sydney, develops a financial advisory career toward building trusted relationships and providing reliable advice. Gain specialised knowledge in financial markets, investments, insurance and more, while developing awareness of ethical and professional conduct. Earn professional recognition and build the skills and industry knowledge that strengthen your career potential.

Graduates open up career opportunities in financial planning roles that include personal financial advisor and para-planner with leading organisations or financial service firms.

Why choose this graduate diploma?

The Graduate Diploma of Financial Planning is delivered in a combination of online and face-to-face courses to suit your work/life balance. In 1 year, students can earn professional recognition and propel their career to the next level.

Gain specialist knowledge and skills in financial markets, financial products, investment (theory, evidence, and quantitative techniques), risk management, financial planning, taxation law and strategies, compliance, ethical and professional conduct. See the program structure for detailed information.

Graduates are compliant with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission's Regulatory Guidelines 146. Students are assessed on AQF Level 9, Tax Agent Service Act (2009)/Tax Practitioners Board's Tax (Financial) Advisor requirements.

Depending on the subjects chosen, graduates can achieve the entry requirements for the Financial Planning Association of Australia and/or gain compliance with the Tax Agent Service Act (2009)/Tax Practitioners Board’s Tax (Financial) Advisor in commercial law. See the student handbook for more details.

The skills and insights gained from your Graduate Diploma in Financial Planning can have an immediate positive effect on your career. Your education is shaped by industry leaders and world class academics – experts who recognise the future will present career opportunities that don’t exist today - and your potential professional network extends to more than 90,000 Business School alumni worldwide.

Who is this degree for?

  • Aspiring financial advisors who need skills and a comprehensive understanding of financial planning, investment, taxation law, and risk management
  • Professionals who seek to broaden and develop their knowledge and skills

Job and career prospects

This degree meets the Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC) RG146 Tier 1 requirements. It will prepare you to pursue a career as a financial advisor.

Why the Business School?

UNSW Business School is a leading business school in the Asia-Pacific. We rank 1st for Accounting and Finance in Australia, and within the top 50 worldwide. We are rated “Well above world standard” for Banking and Finance by the Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) government assessment. Read more about our rankings and reputation.

The Business School offers students a suite of professional development opportunities with Career Accelerator. With Career Accelerator you can build industry connections through networking and mentoring, and gain real-world experience through internships and global business practicums.


The Graduate Diploma in Financial Planning consists of  8 courses (48 UOC) : 6 compulsory core courses and 2 elective courses.

Compulsory core courses

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

FINS5539 Estate Planning, Succession 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.

Elective Courses

Complete 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.

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.

FINS5555 Behavioural Approaches in Finance

This course introduces students to the concept of behavioural finance and its impact on financial markets and decision making. We will introduce and investigate behavioural traits, including over confidence, confirmation bias and loss aversion and discuss how these traits can function as obstacles to the use of traditional finance tools as studied in other courses. We will also consider how best to avoid the pitfalls inherent in financial decision making. At the end of this course, students will understand the nature and impact these psychological factors have on important business decisions.

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.

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.

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.

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

Supporting documentation

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

The UNSW English Language requirements also apply to this program.

Students who are not graduates of Australian or NZ universities

For students who have studied at overseas universities, the normal minimum academic requirement is the equivalent of a credit average grade (65%) from an Australian university, as determined by the UNSW Postgraduate Coursework Entry Calculator. Details on assessment will be determined by your grading system so it is important that this is attached with your transcript when you apply.

Note: Applicants from non-211 universities in China wishing to study Postgraduate Coursework in the UNSW Business School, must achieve a minimum overall average of 88 in their current university’s grading system. This is equivalent to an 85% Australian scaled average using the calculator.

We will use the National Office of Overseas Skills Recognition (AEI-NOOSR). They are the government body that provides official information on the comparability of overseas qualifications with Australian qualifications using the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) as our benchmark.

In those countries where an equivalent grade has not been established, the following will be taken into consideration:

  • The standard and content of the undergraduate program completed, and
  • The standard of the institution from which the qualifications were obtained
  • Indian universities award different types of bachelor and master degrees, with different requirements in terms of length of study. At a minimum, applicants would be required to have a 3-year bachelor degree or professional bachelor degree and provide all individual marksheets.
  • Iranian universities award different types of bachelor degrees, with different requirements in terms of length of study. At a minimum, applicants would be required to have a 4-year bachelor degree.

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 three intakes per year:

  • Term 1 (February): 30 November
  • Term 2 (June)*: 31 March
  • Term 3 (September): 31 July

*Please note that not all programs have a Term 2 intake.

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.

UNSW Business School students are Australia’s best and brightest, with a reputation for drive and innovation. Our graduates have exceptional employability rates, performing well above the national average. In the 2018 QILT survey, 93% of our postgraduate students were employed full-time within four months of graduating and were earning a median wage of $120k.

Our degrees include up to two for-credit industry experiences, such as internships or global business practicums. The experiences are part of a suite of opportunities that is exclusive to UNSW’s Business School students and organised through Career Accelerator. The professional development opportunities complement your studies, build connections to industry and give you a clear advantage after graduation.

The opportunities are grouped within the Networking, Mentoring, Internships, and Global sections of Career Accelerator.

Networking

The people you meet during your time at university can play a profound role in positively shaping your career. Connect with like-minded and influential people through:

  • Industry Insights – workshop sessions delivered by industry partners
  • Industry Events – invitation-only events hosted by industry partners
  • Business Case Competitions – impress future employers with your problem-solving skills

Mentoring

Participating in a mentoring program will boost your confidence, help grow your professional network, develop your communication, teamwork and leadership skills as well as building upon your business acumen.

  • Career Mentoring Program – a 10-week program of career mentoring and coaching
  • Australian Business Essentials – mentoring for international students with no previous Australian work experience

Internships

UNSW Business School’s for-credit and not-for-credit opportunities such as traditional internships, consultancy projects, social entrepreneurship practicums, virtual internships and extra-curricular experiences.

  • Internships & Consulting Projects – for-credit projects available in person and online
  • Social Entrepreneurship Practicum – for-credit practicum to develop professional team skills in a real project
  • Business Experience – online and in-person projects for professional development

Global

The personal and professional benefits of living, studying or working in a different culture are immense and recognised by employers.

  • Global Business Practicum - work in small cross-disciplinary student consulting team on a genuine business issue, usually in Asia
  • Social Entrepreneurship Practicum - build entrepreneurial, workplace and leadership capabilities in Bali
  • Student Exchange – live and study overseas at one of our 200 partner universities

View the full suite of Career Accelerator opportunities.



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Quick facts for students

Program code
5273
Award
Graduate Diploma
Total Units of Credit (UOC)
48
Study Mode
Face to face
Online
Duration
1 year full-time, 2 years part-time
Commencing terms
Term 1 – February
Term 3 – September
Course fee*
$4,260
Program fee (total)*
$35,280
* Fees are indicative only

​​​​​​​Area of Study

Browse the list of study areas available for postgraduate study

 



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