Financial Studies
Voc Lvl 3

Leading to a Diploma in financial studies (DipFS), this is an interesting and challenging introduction into personal finance. You will develop the knowledge and skills required to make informed financial decisions.

Your studies will include learning about many different risks involved in personal finance and the tools for effective planning. You will explore social-economic trends and their relationship with an individual’s circumstances and attitude. 

This two year course is equivalent to one A level.

This programme enables you to gain a critical understanding of personal finance management, forecasting, the risks and rewards, and impact of external influences. You will not only learn how to manage money effectively but also about income and expenditure, financial products and how public money is raised and spent.

You will be carrying out a number of activities such as group work, individual research and analysis, discussing issues, problem solving and interpreting financial information. You will also be making use of information technology to help you complete activities.

Each unit is assessed through a combination of multiple choice questions (part A) and a written paper based on a pre-released case study (part B).

All aspects of the course are subject to external examination.

Students can take additional one year courses such as a BTEC or an A level.

Financial studies has equal status with other A levels as an entrance qualification to Higher Education. Successful completion of the Diploma in financial studies will enable learners to gain UCAS points for Higher Education on finance related programmes such as business, business and management, marketing, business and finance, business and economics, accounting. The Diploma in financial studies may also support entry into employment areas such as:
  • Insurance
  • Banking
  • Office administration
  • Voluntary sector (e.g. Citizen Advice)

Please see below for careers and labour market information for financial studies - use the refresh buttons to find out about different courses and careers, and use the left and right arrows to view more detailed information.

You can find the prep work for this course at

Q:  What is the difference between financial studies and accounting?
A:  Accounting focuses on how accounts are put together, whereas financial studies explores personal finance and the role of the financial services sectors in meeting those needs.

Q:  What is the difference between financial studies and economics?
A:  Economics attempts to explain how the actions and decisions of firms, individuals and governments affect the economy.  It has links to international affairs and politics and includes topics such as supply and demand, growth, inflation, globalisation and exchange rates.  Financial studies is concerned with the actions and decisions taken by the individual in terms of their personal financial needs and how the financial sector can meet those needs, as well as how the financial services sector operates, the constraints it is under and how it is regulated.

Q:  How is financial studies examined? 
A:  Even though it is classed as a vocational course, the assessment for financial studies is only through examination.  There are two examinations per year, and you have the opportunity to resit both. There is no coursework.

Q:  Do I need to be good in maths to study financial studies?
A:  You need to be comfortable with numbers.  Examples of maths used in financial studies are:  - Expressing a change as a percentage
- Understand financial ratios
- Manipulating formulae (basic algebra).

Q:  How is financial studies regarded by universities?
A:  Financial studies is regarded as equivalent to an A level, it is graded in the same way and carries the same UCAS points.  Many universities will accept financial studies for entry onto an  economics course, but would expect  the candidate to demonstrate the required mathematics skills via another subject. 

Exam Board

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Entry Requirements

  • You should have at least a grade 4 in GCSE maths.
  • You do not need any previous knowledge of financial studies. If you have studied the subject at GCSE, you will find that parts of the course repeat what you have already studied. You might want to consider this when choosing your subjects.

Year 1

  • Unit 1 - Financial Capability for the Immediate and Short Term
  • Unit 2 - Financial Capability for the Medium and Long Term

Year 2

  • Unit 3 - Sustainability of an Individual’s Finances
  • Unit 4 - Sustainability of the Financial Services System

Employability Skills

  • Practical application of personal financial knowledge
  • Planning work, taking into account the demands of the task and the time available to complete it
  • Presenting skills: ability to present arguments, making judgements and justified recommendations
  • You will develop transferable skills such as teamwork, creative problem solving, time management and research