The Certificate in Financial Studies (CeFS) has been designed to encourage students to be inspired to meet their lifestyle aspirations. This will be achieved by teaching them to apply appropriate solutions from the varied choices available within the evolving and competitive financial services marketplace.
CeFS enables students to make informed decisions regarding their finances. It will also help students to become responsible borrowers, sensible savers and have an appreciation of the need for financial planning throughout their lives.
CeFS consists of three mandatory units:
Unit 1 – Why Money Matters
Unit 2 – Risk and Reward in Personal Finance
Unit 3 – Making Personal Judgements
CeFS has been accredited by Ofqual at Level 3 into the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF).
CeFS and DipFS re-development 2013-14
CeFS and DipFS have recently undergone a major review and will be available for delivery from 1 September 2013. Only the two new units for the re-developed CeFS will be available for delivery in 2013-14, although schools are free to register for DipFS, of which units 3 and 4 will be delivered in 2014-15.
To find out more information regarding the new re-developed qualifications, please click here. Alternatively, download an overview of the qualifications (pdf).
CeFS consists of three mandatory units:
Unit 1 – Why Money Matters (WMM) K / 501 / 8463
By studying WMM students will gain an appreciation of their individual needs, wants and aspirations as they progress through their personal life cycle, and understand the role that financial services can play in assisting life planning. WMM highlights the importance of money and introduces students to the financial services industry. The recommended guided learning hours for WMM is 50 hours (60 learning hours).
WMM has been accredited with 6 credits on the QCF.
View the WMM unit syllabus.
Unit 2 – Risk and Reward in Personal Finance (RAR) M / 501 / 8464
By studying RAR students will gain the ability to plan and manage their money in the short, medium and long-term. Students will be able to assess risks and appreciate the implications of financial decisions taken. They will understand the process of decision-making to become more effective in planning and monitoring their finances. Students will understand the features of different financial service products, the types of providers and the different sources of advice available. The recommended guided learning hours for RAR is 50 hours (60 learning hours).
RAR has been accredited with 6 credits on the QCF.
View the RAR unit syllabus.
Unit 3 – Making Personal Judgements (MAJ) – T / 501 / 8465
When studying MAJ students will explore how external factors affect the financial services industry’s’ products and services and how these factors can impact upon consumer choice which will enable students to make informed financial judgements within given situations. The recommended guided learning hours for MAJ is 50 hours (60 learning hours).
MAJ has been accredited with 6 credits on the QCF.
View the MAJ unit syllabus.
Unit 1 – Why Money Matters (WMM)
WMM is assessed by a single 60-minute objective test that will comprise 50 one-mark multiple choice questions (MCQs).
Unit 2 – Risk and Reward in Personal Finance (RAR)
RAR is assessed by a single 60-minute objective test that will comprise 35 one-mark MCQ’s made up of five stand-alone questions and 30 MCQ’s associated with six case studies.
WMM and RAR can be assessed either by a paper-based examination or via the ifs e-test™ electronic testing system. View further information about ifs e-test™.
Unit 3 – Making Personal Financial Judgements (MAJ)
MAJ is assessed through a paper-based examination requiring essay style answers to a case study scenario.
MAJ is assessed by a paper-based examination on set dates in February, May and June.
A minimum of 40% overall is require to pass the qualification.
The overall grade bands A-E, out of a total of 125 marks across the three units, are decided after each MAJ examination session.
View a specimen paper for Unit 1 - Why Money Matters.
View a justification and answer sheet for Unit 1 - Why Money Matters.
View the CeFS Grade Descriptors (pdf)
CeFS is delivered within centres across the UK. The recommended learning hours for the average student to complete CeFS is 180 hours of which 150 should be guided learning hours.
The ifs runs Qualification Development Days throughout the year, providing advice, guidance and an opportunity to share best practice and expertise for the delivery of CeFS. Find out more.
The ifs provides a comprehensive learning support package for tutors and students including:
- up-to-date resources revised annually enabling flexibility of delivery
- access to extensive online learner and tutor resources via the information gateway my ifslearning
- comprehensive study materials for each unit
- specimen examination papers and justifications
- on-demand assessment for Units WMM and RAR
- tutor guides for each unit
View sample learning material: Unit 1 - Chapter 1: An introduction to money.
CeFS costs £120 per student which includes registration, examination, student study materials and teaching aids and support.
If you are from a centre that is interested in delivering the Certificate in Financial Studies (CeFS), please register your interest and our Customer Support Team will contact you.
You can also contact us by calling +44 (0) 1227 818609 (option 3) or email us.
Although there are no specified entry requirements, the level of achievement required to obtain CeFS is equivalent to that of GCE level / AS Level qualifications. Applicants need to be satisfied of their ability to study, in English, at this level.
UCAS Tariff Rating
CeFS provides a route to higher education and a career in financial services. CeFS provides up to 60 UCAS tariff points that contribute to university entry.
Further information regarding acceptance of CeFS by UK higher education institutions can be found in our CeFS/ DipFS and Higher Education entry brochure.
UCAS tariff explained.
This qualification can provide a route to higher education and to a career in financial services.
Upon completion of CeFS, students can study the ifs Level 3 Diploma in Financial Studies (DipFS) which provides up to 120 UCAS points, including the CeFS points allocation.
ifs Student Investor Challenge
The ifs Student Investor Challenge is the UK’s premier investment competition for UK students aged between 14 and 19.
Running from November to April each year, the competition gives teams of four students the opportunity to experience trading on the stock market, with £100,000 of virtual money, and the chance to win an all-expenses-paid educational trip to New York.
The competition also enables students to develop their key skills in team work, communication, decision making, problem solving and time management.
Find out more.
ifs Young Business Writer of the Year
The ifs Young Business Writer of the Year competition is aimed at school and college students aged between 14 and 19 and challenges them to write a 1,000 word article debating an industry relevant topic.
Previous examples include rebalancing the UK economy and the financial impact of longevity on pensions and social care. A leading journalist picks the winning essay; one which they decide shows the greatest level of research & analysis of the subject matter, together with a reasoned and well argued conclusion.
The author of the winning entry receives £500 and the title “ifs School of Finance Young Business Writer of the Year”.
Registration is open to anyone who will be aged between 14 and 19 when the competition closes on 31 January each year.
Find out more.