The Diploma in Financial Studies (DipFS) has been designed to inspire students to meet their lifestyle aspirations through applying appropriate solutions from the wide range available within the evolving financial services marketplace.
DipFS enables students to make informed decisions regarding their finances and helps them to become responsible borrowers, sensible savers and financial planners. Dip FS focuses on personal financial forecasting and monitoring, personal financial responsibility, ‘financial footprints’, other people’s financial choices and the longer-term impact and potential consequences of decision-making.
In addition, DipFS explores the financial services marketplace from the point of view of the provider and considers the methods that providers use in order to satisfy customer needs, wants and aspirations whilst operating competitively and profitably.
DipFS consists of six mandatory units:
Unit 1 – Why Money Matters
Unit 2 – Risk and Reward in Personal Finance
Unit 3 – Making Personal Judgements
Unit 4 – Financing the Future
Unit 5 – Financial Services from the Providers' Perspective
Unit 6 – Enhancing Financial Capability
DipFS 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).
DipFS consists of six 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 4 – Financing the Future (FTF) D / 501 / 8699
By studying FTF students will gain an appreciation of new concepts, including personal financial forecasting and monitoring, personal financial responsibility, ‘financial footprints’, other people’s financial choices and the longer-term impact and potential consequences of decision-making. The emphasis of this unit is on developing the skills of application and analysis. The recommended guided learning hours for FTF is 55 hours (70 learning hours).
FTF has been accredited with 7 credits on the QCF.
View the FTF unit syllabus.
Unit 5 – Financial Services from the Providers' Perspective (TPP) J / 501 / 8700
When studying TPP, students will explore the key external factors that impact upon the provision of financial services and the main influences that determine how financial services providers operate. Students will have the opportunity to explore the financial services marketplace from the point of view of the provider, gaining insight into the challenges that providers face.
Students will study the wider environment and consumer influences that are considered by financial service providers. The focus of the unit is how providers satisfy customer needs, wants and aspirations whilst operating competitively and profitably. The recommended guided learning hours for TPP is 55 hours (70 learning hours).
TPP has been accredited with 7 credits on the QCF.
View the TPP unit syllabus.
Unit 6 – Enhancing Financial Capability (EFC) L / 501 / 8701
When studying EFC, students will explore how to become active consumers able to influence their own financial position by making informed choices on the basis of a thorough awareness of financial issues.
EFC will enable students to evaluate information from a variety of sources, including marketing materials and the media, and to make reasoned financial judgements across a wide range of scenarios. This enables students to become confident, informed consumers capable of planning, monitoring and controlling their short, medium and long-term finances. The recommended guided learning hours for EFC is 70 hours (70 learning hours).
EFC has been accredited with 7 credits on the QCF.
View the EFC 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 MCQs made up of five stand-alone questions and 30 questions associated with six case studies.
Unit 3 – Making Personal Financial Judgements (MAJ)
MAJ is assessed through a paper-based examination requiring essay style answers to a case study scenario and is held on set days each year in February, May and June.
Unit 4 – Financing the Future (FTF)
FTF is assessed by a single 75-minute objective test which comprises of 42 one-mark MCQs: seven are stand-alone questions and 35 questions are based on seven case studies each with five associated questions.
Unit 5 – Financial Services from the Providers' Perspective (TPP)
TPP is assessed by a single 75-minute objective test which comprises 42 one-mark MCQs: 21 are stand-alone questions and 21 questions are based on three case studies each with seven associated questions.
Unit 6 – Enhancing Financial Capability (EFC)
EFC is a single paper-based written examination requiring essay style answers based on pre-released case study material. Students are required to answer one question from a choice of two. EFC is a paper-based examination and is held on set dates each year in May and June.
Units 1, 2, 4 and 5 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™.
Units 3 and Unit 6 are assessed by a paper-based examination only.
A minimum of 40% overall is require to pass the qualification.
The overall grade bands of A-E (out of a total of 124 marks, across the three papers) are decided after each EFC examination session.
View a specimen paper for Unit 4: Financing the Future.
View a justification and answer sheet for Unit 4: Financing the Future.
View the DipFS Grade Descriptors (pdf)
The ifs’ Level 3 Diploma in Financial Studies (DipFS) is delivered within centres across the UK. The recommended learning hours for an average student studying DipFS is 390 hours of which 330 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 DipFS. 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 student and tutor resources via the information gateway my ifslearning
- specimen examination papers and justifications
- on-demand assessment
- Tutor guides for each unit
View sample learning material for Chapter One: Budgeting and personal financial forecasts.
DipFS 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 Diploma in Financial Studies (DipFS), 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.
* Students must study CeFS before studying DipFS.
The level of achievement required to obtain the Diploma in Financial Studies (DipFS) is equivalent to that of GCE level / A2 Level qualifications. Applicants need to be satisfied of their ability to study, in English, at this level. For those students who have completed the ifs Level 3 Certificate in Financial Studies (CeFS) the credit achieved from the completion of those units can be transferred to DipFS.
UCAS Tariff rating
DipFS carries a UCAS tariff of up to 120 points and can provide a route to higher education and to a career in financial services.
Further information regarding acceptance of DipFS by UK higher education institutions can be found in our CeFS / DipFS and Higher Education entry brochure.
UCAS tariff explained.
When considering your option for further study in Higher Education you may like to consider the ifs full-time undergraduate degrees that can be studied in various locations in the UK.
UCAS tariff points earned through studying CeFS and DipFS can be counted towards student application. Find out more.
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.