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Master of Financial Planning

Develop ethical and comprehensive knowledge in personal finance advisory with the Master of Financial Planning.

  • Overview
  • Structure
  • Entry requirements
  • How to apply
  • Career opportunities
  • FAQs

The Master of Financial Planning, UNSW Sydney, leads you to a rewarding career in building trusted relationships and providing sound financial guidance. Within 1.5 years, gain regulatory compliance and professional accreditation along with a deep and authentic industry awareness.

The Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) approve this program. Future financial planners can specialise in areas such as estate planning, investment, risk management and superannuation. The Master of Financial Planning equips graduates for success with opportunities for real-world work experiences, industry connections and professional recognition.

Why choose this master’s degree?

The Master of Financial Planning is delivered in a combination of online and face-to-face courses to suit your work/life balance. The core of the program is finance and business law topics that include investments, portfolio selection, Australian tax law, risk, insurance and ethics.

Depending on your career goals, you can choose electives to specialise in finance or business taxation law. Electives include real estate finance and investment, trading in financial securities, taxation of corporations, and taxation of trusts. See the program structure for detailed information.

Graduates are compliant in commercial law and taxation for financial planners, according to 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. Graduates also achieve advanced standing toward the Financial Planning Association's CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® certification program.

UNSW Business School students have exclusive access to Career Accelerator, a portfolio of professional development opportunities that include:

This Master’s degree is approved by Centrelink – eligible students can receive financial assistance.

I learnt the most up-to-date knowledge and most-needed skills in the financial planning industry and developed a deep understanding of Australian financial markets. This allowed me to adjust to my new environment in the shortest time possible and provided me with great confidence and professional recognition for my career

Elaine Wang
Master of Financial Planning
Read more about Elaine’s experience of the Master of Financial Planning
 

UNSW Business School degrees are shaped by industry leaders and world-class academics who recognise the future will present career opportunities that don’t exist today. The skills and insights gained from your Master of Financial Analysis can have an immediate positive effect on your career.

Who is this degree for?

  • Professionals seeking to further develop or upgrade knowledge and skills in financial planning, investment, taxation law, and risk management
  • People who want to become personal financial advisors

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. Find out how we prepare our graduates for career success.

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.

Our students build professional networks among more than 90,000 Business School alumni worldwide and begin their new career before graduation. This postgraduate degree incorporates a suite of professional development opportunities offered by Career Accelerator, that are exclusive to UNSW’s Business School students. Career Accelerator helps you build industry connections through networking and mentoring, and you can undertake internships and global business practicums for credit towards your degree.


The Master of Financial Planning is a 1.5 year program consisting of: 12 courses (72 UOC): 8 compulsory core courses, 2 to 4 core elective courses. If only 2 core elective courses completed, choose 2 flexible elective courses from List A and/or List B.

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.

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.

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.

Flexible core courses

FINS5517 Applied Portfolio Management and Modelling

Provides the foundation for the analysis of active funds management: the dynamic management of equity and fixed-income portfolios. Emphases are model construction (including forecasting), data analysis, the use of derivative securities (such as options, futures, FRAs, swaps), both international and domestic diversification benefits, performance and risk measures, and risk management and control.

FINS5541 Advanced Investment and Advanced Funds Management

Covers advanced techniques of modern funds management. Includes asset allocation decisions, integration of equities and bonds, domestic versus international fund components. Covers issues in pension funds management, investment in real assets and introduces hedge funds. Structure consists of lectures, computer laboratory work and may include speakers from the funds management industry.

Choose one or both of the following:

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.

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.

Flexible elective courses

If needed, choose up to two courses from the following (including at least one course from List A)

List A

FINS5516 International Corporate Finance

Management of the financial functions for firms operating in several separate countries. Necessary theory and evidence basic to an understanding of international capital and foreign exchange markets, the benefits of international diversification, use of the capital asset pricing model in foreign investment decisions and cost of capital for multinational corporations, financial management of multinational corporations, foreign direct investment and financial and political risks, the role of multinational banks and the financial benefits of Euro-currencies and Euro-bonds, international equity markets and financial management of multinational corporations in new regions such as APEC, NAFTA and the EU.

FINS5522 Asia-Pacific Financial Markets

This course covers essential elements of Asia-Pacific Financial markets. Countries include China, Indonesia, Malaysia, South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, Taiwan.

Areas of interest include interactions of institutions and finance, sections of financial markets (equity, debt, derivatives, foreign exchange), corporate governance, roles of banks, investment/valuation issues, financing/methods of funds raisings, global portfolio management, financial/currency crises and risk management.

FINS5523 Alternative Asset Classes

Examines various aspects of entrepreneurial finance for small and medium enterprises. Financial theories associated with entrepreneurial and closely held firms are analysed. Including: how to value new start-up firms/projects; optimal financing strategy; finance investment and innovation; asymmetric information and credit rationing; financing intellectual property rights; venture capital, business angles and pooled development funds; equity and debt capital from the public and private sectors.

FINS5533 Real Estate Finance and Investment

This course’s main objective is to help students acquire knowledge on the concepts, theories and valuation techniques in the field of real estate finance which is one of the largest and most important components of the financial system. It introduces analytic methods used for real estate finance and investment decision making. The main topics covered in the course are mortgage products, mortgage banking, secondary mortgage market and mortgage-backed securities (MBS), financial leverage and commercial real estate finance. In addition to a brief analysis of the global financial crisis in the real estate context and its impact on property market, this course introduces critical thinking concepts necessary to interpret and make informed forecasts about future trends and evolution in the property market. This course is especially useful to students who are interested in working the real estate development, brokerage, mortgage banking and investment banking industries.

FINS5535 Derivatives and Risk Management Techniques

Focuses on approaches to valuing standard and non-standard derivatives and on using derivatives for hedging. Theoretical, with some practical examples. Topics considered include: Forwards and futures pricing and hedging, swaps and swap valuation, numerical procedures for option pricing and hedge ratio calculation, continuous time (Black-Scholes) pricing of options and hedge ratio calculations, and introduction to exotic options.

FINS5536 Fixed Income Securities and Interest Rate Derivatives

Studies pricing, hedging and risk management of fixed income securities and interest rate derivatives. Includes: term structure dynamics (including bond price lattices, spot and forward rate models), analytical and numerical techniques, duration measures, interest rate derivative securities (including options, futures and swaps), the interaction between interest rate risk and credit risk, mortgage-backed securities and value-at-risk, the concepts of general collateral, an accessible treatment of the arbitrage-free models of the term structure, including the concept of state prices and no-arbitrage.

FINS5542 Applied Funds Management

Laboratory and theoretical based course that develops fundamental concepts of asset valuation in a world with time varying risk, in order to construct and manage an investment portfolio. The course focuses on the recent advances in quantitative finance including risk modelling, forecasting, portfolio construction and evaluation. The aim is to provide students with a practitioner-orientated view of asset management where concern is based on generating superior returns. Topics focus primarily on empirical and practical tools required to actively manage an investment over time through the extensive use of computer spreadsheets.

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.

FINS5566 Trading in Financial Securities

Studies how and why investors trade and the impact of various market structures on the interaction and outcomes of security transactions. Examines existing market structures, types of traders and the strategies they use to achieve their objectives. By concentrating on how market participants trade, the course lays the foundation necessary to understand the practical implications of the introduction of new technologies to securities trading and the economic opportunities they present to market participants. Emphasis is placed on case studies, examples, practitioner presentations and illustrations inspired by the shift from traditional to electronically-facilitated trading. Analyses securities trading venues as operating firms; in particular concentrating on implications for competition between markets and trading systems.

FINS5568 Capstone - Portfolio Management Process

The course presents a continuous and systematic approach to the process of portfolio management. The process begins with the development of a policy statement to suit the needs, constraints and preferences of an investor. A thorough examination of past, current and projected conditions of the economy, markets, industries and companies is then conducted to form risk-return expectations for the implementation of investment strategy and construction of portfolio. The last stage of the process focuses on the continual monitoring of portfolio performance and changes to both market and investor-related factors. This reality check serves as impetus for updating the policy statement and revising the investment strategy.

List B

ECON5103 Business Economics

An introduction to economic analysis and policy, with particular application to decision-making in business. The course provides students with the tools to use economic principles in decision-making and an understanding of the broader economic environment in which business decisions must be made.

MARK6104 Value Creation Through Service

Today, services are the growth engine of developed economies. A central theme then of this course is that services (the focus is on consumer services rather than B2B) possess a set of unique characteristics that require a distinctive approach to marketing strategy - both in its development and execution (this is especially true of professional services (legal, financial, health, management consultancy, etc). This is not to say that the approach is unique, but rather distinctive. The course builds upon and expands fundamental marketing management concepts and models and adapts them to the services sector. We will use marketing frameworks to examine how to improve service quality, increase and maintain customer satisfaction levels, generate customer loyalty and create a healthy service culture within the firm. Other themes include analysis of service portfolios, service concept development and testing, revenue management, service productivity and the building of a service culture, and employee engagement. In services the 7 Ps of the ‘Services Marketing Mix’ are discussed (the traditional 4 Ps plus people, processes, and physical evidence).

Exclusion: MARK6005

MGMT5050 Professional Skills and Ethics

To achieve competitive advantage in today’s global business environment, managers require skills in problem anticipation, identification and solving, along with abilities to work with and in teams and engage in ethical decision making. Thus, critical and self-reflective thinking is central to success in both postgraduate study and professional business careers.

TABL5503 Taxation of Corporations

The company remains the most widely used vehicle for the collective investment of capital. The central role of the company in our modern liberal market economy requires special and close consideration of the taxation of it, and its members. Corporate tax integration policy has led to the introduction of the imputation system, and the technical legal rules surrounding the distribution of corporate profits are a focus of this subject. Because the imputation system confers tax benefits upon shareholders, a variety of anti-avoidance rules have been constructed to prevent the use of those benefits in tax arbitrage strategies.

TABL5505 Taxation of Trusts

The trust is a major form of vehicle used for holding investment assets, for transferring family wealth to future generations and for income splitting. In addition, fixed public trusts, which are now commonly known as public unit trusts, funds or 'collective investment vehicles', have become a major form of public investment vehicle. Most superannuation funds are, in fact, trusts. The trust is not a distinct legal entity and is not taxed as a separate entity. The primary rule is that the beneficiary under a trust is subject to tax. Only where the beneficiary is not subject to tax will the trustee be assessed to pay tax. This course is mainly concerned with establishing when the primary rule applies, and when it is displaced by the exceptional rules. An understanding of the specific tax treatment of trusts is important to any student setting out to acquire, or refine, an understanding of the Australian tax system.

TABL5510 Taxation of Superannuation

This course provides a general introduction to the taxation of superannuation in Australia, in particular to the main types of superannuation funds and how their income is taxed, the treatment of contributions to those funds, and the taxation of benefits paid on retirement or termination of employment. The concessional tax treatment of income earned by superannuation funds and the benefits paid out are examined in detail. The course also explores areas such as the superannuation guarantee scheme, which is the Government's main tool for implementing its retirement incomes policy, and the superannuation contributions surcharge.
  

TABL5515 Taxation of Capital Gains

This course centres upon the basic structure and central concepts of the Australian Capital Gains Tax. It considers the policy rationale for taxing capital gains, and provides in-depth technical analysis of the legislation. It covers the general scheme, detailed calculation provisions, the impact of CGT on entities (such as companies, trusts and partnerships) and on specific assets, and the CGT concessions that exist in the roll-over and exemption provisions for individuals and large and small businesses. The course explores some of the key anti-avoidance provisions that exist, and aims to provide a thorough understanding of the key aspects of the Australian CGT.

TABL5525 Taxation of Employee Remuneration

This course examines the treatment of employee remuneration in the Australian taxation system. We start by examining the employer/employee relationship, contrasting it with the principal/independent contractor relationship. This distinction is central to understanding our tax laws. Tax collection obligations imposed on employers, including under PAYG and the pay-roll tax system, are considered in detail. Employers' obligations and employees' rights under the superannuation guarantee system are examined, as are tax concessions for contributions and the taxation of payments made on termination of employment (eg, arising from redundancy, unfair dismissal or death). The course examines the treatment of personal services income when it is derived through an interposed entity, and the tax consequences of salary sacrifice arrangements and salary packaging. Finally, we look at the Tax Office's response to arrangements aimed at avoiding tax on payments for services performed.

TABL5551 Taxation Law

The complexity and comprehensiveness of the Australian tax system mean that tax considerations are now of major importance in most business decisions. After outlining tax policy, tax mix and tax reform considerations, this subject concentrates on income taxation in Australia. Topics include: concepts of income; allowable deductions; tax accounting; taxation of partnerships; trusts and corporations; anti-avoidance provisions; tax administration; capital gains tax; and fringe benefits tax.

TABL5555 Taxation of Property Transactions

Property transactions are one of the most common and significant dealings forming a large part of just about every Federal and State tax base. This course examines all income tax, CGT, GST, land tax and stamp duty consequences of acquiring, holding, developing, building on, leasing, disposing of or otherwise dealing with land and buildings, including various real property investment options.

There are 2 categories of entry.

Category A

To be eligible for the program, you need to have:
OR

Category B

To be eligible for the program, you need to have:

Additional supporting documentation

Category B applicants need to provide a detail resume (outlining relevant competencies and achievements) and evidence of other academic and professional qualifications.

The UNSW English Language requirements also apply to this program.

Note: No other requirement (such as GMAT, GRE, personal statement, academic referee) is considered unless otherwise specified.

Pathway option

If you don't meet the entry requirements, theGraduate Certificate in Financial Planning is a pathway to the Master of Financial Planning (for domestic students only).

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

Credits may be awarded depending on your previous studies and/or professional qualifications completed, as determined by UNSW Business School. You will be notified of the credits in your official letter of offer.

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
9273
Award
Masters Degree (Coursework)
Assumed Knowledge
Commerce or Finance
Total Units of Credit (UOC)
72
Study Mode
Face to face
Online
Duration
1.5 years full-time, 3 years part-time
Commencing terms
Term 1 - February
Term 2 - June
Term 3 - September
Course fee*
$4,260
Program fee (total)*
$53,400
* Fees are indicative only

​​​​​​​Area of Study

Browse the list of study areas available for postgraduate study

 



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