Level 3 Advanced Certificate in Financial Studies

Qualification Level 3 Advanced Certificate in Financial Studies
Subject Area Business
Attendance Full-Time
Age Group(s) 16-18 year olds
Duration 2 Years

Course Content

The course encourages students to become responsible borrowers and sensible savers, and to appreciate the need for financial planning throughout their life. It prepares them for further study by developing the core skills of critical analysis and evaluation, verbal communication (through classroom discussion) and written communication.

This greater understanding of financial planning can support entry to university on finance and banking courses and a wide range of other disciplines. It also supports progress to a wide range of entry level occupations within finance, ensuring that learners understand the sector and have a range of transferrable skills and knowledge.

Purpose of the qualification As an Applied General qualification, the Certificate in Financial Studies (CeFS) is primarily designed for students aged 16–19 and provides a comprehensive introduction to personal finance. Its purpose is to prepare students for further study through the development of the core skills of critical analysis and evaluation, synthesis, verbal communication (through classroom discussion) and written communication.

CeFS develops the knowledge and skills required for young people to make informed financial decisions by introducing them to the risks and challenges involved in personal finance and the tools for effective planning. Within this, it provides a solid basis for creating financial inclusion, by exploring social-economic trends and their relationship with an individual’s circumstances and attitudes.

This qualification is aimed at learners aged 16-19-years old and 19+.

Course Outcomes

The financially related content of this qualification provides a foundation for continued study within the finance sector and a wide range of other business-related disciplines; many students go on to study subjects such as accounting, business, finance and banking at university or through further vocational training. The transferable skills developed are also valuable for further study in unrelated disciplines. The financial capability content and skills support students in making informed financial decisions about employment and further study options. This qualification carries the maximum UCAS points.


For students who wish to develop a wider understanding of the socio-economic impacts of personal finance, the skills and knowledge developed in CeFS can be extended by taking two further units to complete the Diploma in Financial Studies.

CeFS therefore provides both a valuable qualification in its own right and an early exit point for students who wish to gain a foundation for study in financial services without developing or extending this knowledge further to include areas such as financial sustainability and the long-term impact of debt. As a free-standing qualification, CeFS provides a platform for progression through further or higher education and has letters of support from universities.

Entry Requirements

4 GCSEs grades 4 or above successful completion of Level 2 qualification in Business with an overall merit or above.


The qualification will be assessed externally.

Equipment Required

There are no specific resource requirements for this qualification



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