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Luton Sixth Form

Financial Studies (LIBF Level 3 Diploma (DipFS)

Why study Financial Studies?

Financial Studies provides an in-depth exploration of financial markets, both as a consumer and service provider. You will learn about the different financial products available to you at different stages of the life cycle. Studying this qualification will give you an appreciation of the importance of financial markets in the UK and how the financial industry operates. The outcome of the qualification is you will be able to create a flexible financial plan for a customer and recommend and market financial products for a service provider. The knowledge, understanding and skills gained can help in securing employment, L4 apprenticeship and university.

Entry Requirements

The first year is an equivalent of an AS Level, and completion of the second year leads to a full A Level equivalent, therefore our general entry requirements apply. You must also have:

  • GCSE Maths – grade 4

In addition, you need to be comfortable taking exams and your written English should also be of a good standard, preferably with grade 5 GCSE English.

The Course

This course contains the following four modules:
First year:

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

Second year:

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

Course Activities

Course activities include:

  • Research, e.g. different financial products and their suitability for people in different circumstances.
  • Class discussion.
  • Education trips/conferences
  • Practice case study assignment writing.
  • Practice mock exam papers, both written and multiple choice.
  • Calculation of financial data.
  • Complete tests after each topic.

Career and Progression Opportunities

This course can lead directly into working and studying for a professional qualification in the financial services industry. The London Institute of Banking and Finance both examines and supports

financial professionals in studying for a career in financial planning, and provides professional education to more than 120 countries within the banking and finance industry.

Course Structure and Assessment

The course is divided into four modules over two years, and is the equivalent of one A Level. Units 1 and 3 are examined in January, and Units 2 and 4 in May, with results received within three weeks.

Unit 1: Financial Capability for the Immediate and Short Term

  • The concept of the personal life-cycle and appropriate financial products for different stages
    in life
  • Specific financial products – bank current accounts, credit cards, bank loans, mortgages,
  • Managing your money and budget.
  • Calculation of income tax and National Insurance.
  • Interest rates and the impact of this cost on borrowing.

Unit 2: Financial Capability for the Medium and Long Term

  • How unforeseen influences have an impact.
  • The impact of different attitudes to risk on financial planning.
  • How to differentiate between products for investment.
  • Key features of Islamic banking.

Unit 3: Sustainability of an Individual’s Finances

  • State benefits system and how it can support an individual.
  • Implications of debt for individuals from different cultures.
  • The impact of global events.
  • Impact of changes on the consumer in the financial services industry.

Unit 4: Sustainability of the Financial Services System

  • The competitive environment of financial service providers.
  • Importance of sustainability of providers and systems.
  • Approaches used by providers to attract, retain and satisfy consumers.
  • How market segmentation and product development meets consumer needs.


All four units have the same assessment approach, two separately marked examinations:

Part A – 45-minute multiple choice online assessment (40%)

Part B – written assessment (65%). Pre-released case study material will be analysed first in class before the assessment so candidates have full appreciation of the scenario before finding out what the questions will be.

Additional Information

Examination Board: London Institute of Banking and Finance.


Case Study