Skip to content
unisa logo

Start Date
January, April, June, September

0.5 year(s) full-time


Time Commitment
10 - 15 hours per week per course

Program Code

Study as
Full-time or part-time

$AU 13,250 per 0.5 EFTSL for students enrolled in 2021

Check your eligibility
Answer a few short questions to determine your eligibility
Check now arrow-small-right

Start your credit check
You could receive credit for prior study or work experience
Check now arrow-small-right

Degree overview

  • Tailor your qualification and select bridging courses specifically outlined in FASEA’s education requirements including ethics and professionalism, financial advice regulatory and legal obligations, and behavioural finance: client and consumer behaviour.
  • Choose a qualification that best suits existing financial advisers seeking a bridging program; or those who are seeking a pathway into UniSA Online’s Graduate Diploma and UniSA’s Masters of Finance (Financial Planning) degree (offered through UniSA Business).
  • Study up to four advanced financial planning courses and choose electives in areas such as investment management, regulatory and legal obligations, estate planning, risk management and insurance, superannuation, and tax.
  • Study 100% online and complete your degree in six months full-time, or part-time equivalent.
  • Use your degree as a pathway into the Financial Planning Association of Australia’s (FPA) CFP® Certification Program.
  • UniSA Business is in the top one per cent worldwide* and has been awarded an overall five stars for excellence in the QS Stars Ratings 2019.
    (*UniSA Business is one of just ten institutions in the country and 189 globally to be accredited by EQUIS, from a total pool of over 16,500 Business Schools worldwide, EFMD, February 2020.)



This qualification can serve as a bridging program for existing financial advisers who already hold an approved or relevant qualification and are only required to study a selection of remaining courses to meet education requirements.

Our program embeds core bridging courses that have been specifically outlined in FASEA’s education standards. These include ethics and professionalism, financial advice regulatory and legal obligations, and behavioural finance: client and consumer behaviour. Depending on your requirements, you may need to undertake one, or all, of these courses.

While FASEA have not approved graduate certificates from any education provider, the Standards Authority will formally recognise students who have successfully completed accredited courses within UniSA Online’s Graduate Certificate in Financial Planning. It’s an ideal study option if you’re looking to top up your education in a few select areas, without having to put life on hold or take time off work.

  • New entrant: A financial adviser listed on the Financial Adviser Register after 31 December 2018.
  • Existing adviser: Any person who provided financial advice between 1 January 2016 and 1 January 2019.
  • Relevant degree: 8 subjects at AQF 7,8 or 9 that contain at least 8 courses in one or more of the designated fields of study in any combination – financial planning, accounting, taxation law (as defined by the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB), finance law, finance, business law (as defined by the TPB), investment, estate law, banking, and economics.

What you'll learn

What you Learn

Our Graduate Certificate consists of four advanced financial planning courses which can be completed in six months full-time, or part-time equivalent. The courses you’re required to complete will depend on the level of education you currently have.

Depending on your individual requirements, you’ll study either one FASEA-approved bridging course (ethics and professionalism), or all three of bridging courses outlined below, plus an additional elective (if this is required). Electives include topics such as investment management, regulatory and legal obligations, estate planning, risk management and insurance, superannuation, and tax.

Please refer to FASEA’s education requirements for further info.

Ethics and professionalism

Our ethics and professionalism course develops your understanding of the complexities and importance of ethical principles and corporate governance in a demanding global business environment. You’ll cover topics such as ethical factors influencing the performance of financial services, ethical decision-making models, as well as FASEA and the professional code of ethics.

Financial advice regulatory and legal obligations

The financial advice regulatory and legal obligations course equips you with the knowledge and practical skills required to comply with Australia’s financial services legal and regulatory regimes. You’ll analyse the law governing financial products and advice, financial licensing and the professional standards that apply to financial intermediaries.

Behavioural finance: client and consumer behaviour*

Understanding client behaviours and communication styles is critical for future financial advisers to build and maintain long-term relationships. You’ll learn to apply behavioural and psychological insights to better understand client needs and provide tailored advice for people with all levels of financial literacy.

*Students who intend to undertake the Graduate Diploma in Financial Planning should not choose behavioural finance: client and consumer behaviour as an elective in this program.

Study hours

Studying 100% online means you can engage with course materials at your own pace, whenever it suits you – there is no need to be online at a particular time. It’s flexible around your life so you can control your study schedule week by week. As a general rule, we recommend 10 to 15 hours of study a week for each course.



All assessments, including exams (if required) are 100% online, meaning you’ll never need to travel to submit an assignment or find an exam venue.

Some of your assessments may include:

  • an industry-relevant project
  • an online presentation
  • essays and reports

Degree structure

Please note, courses may not be displayed in order of study.

First year
UO Ethics and Professionalism (BUSS 5447) , Note(s): 1
UO Introduction to Financial Planning G (BANK 5048) , Rule(s): 3
, Rule(s): 2
, Rule(s): 2
, Rule(s): 2

Study Financial Planning on Demand

Geoff Pacecca, Principal Adviser: GAP Financial and UniSA Online financial planning academic gives an insight into what the Graduate Certificate in Financial Planning is about, and how it has been designed to suit busy adults on the go.

UniSA Video

Why Graduate Certificate in Financial Planning

Why this Degree

You’ll learn from expert academics who are current practicing financial advisers themselves – including an award-winning academic who was named Financial Standard’s Power50 most influential financial advisers in Australia.* Your studies are enriched in so many ways as you’ll gain unique insights from professionals who know the ins and outs of the industry and understand the unique challenges and opportunities that financial advisers face today.

As one of the leading providers of accounting and finance education in Australia, your course content has been developed in conjunction with leading industry experts to ensure that what you learn is practical and relevant. Throughout your studies, you’ll have access to cutting-edge research associated with meeting client specific needs in light of complex regulatory requirements.

Our Centre for Applied Finance and Economics provides multi-disciplinary research on the dynamics of domestic and global economies and financial systems, bringing together economists, accountants and finance specialists from a range of backgrounds.

Extend your network and career by connecting with a senior business professional as part of our Executive Partners Program. This is a unique opportunity for you to engage with a highly successful industry executive to enhance your studies and career. Our Executive Partners are active, semi-retired or recently retired professionals who have a wealth of knowledge and experience to help you achieve your career goals.

UniSA Business is the only business school in South Australia accredited by both AACSB International (The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) and EFMD (EQUIS) – the world’s leading accreditation bodies recognising excellence in business education and research at a global level. These dual accreditations demonstrate the high standards we hold across all areas such as teaching, student learning and research, as well as our commitment to continually improving the quality of our programs.

*UniSA Online Financial Planning academic, Geoff Pacecca was awarded the Financial Standard’s Power50 most Influential Financial Advisers in Australia, 2018.

Career outcomes


Your career

Under new national regulations, all financial planners currently working in the industry will need to complete a FASEA-approved program by 2026 in order to continue practising. People looking to start their career as a financial planner will need to study a FASEA-approved program from January 2019.

In addition to new education standards, FASEA have also outlined new professional requirements. This includes completing a professional year (for new advisers only), passing a national exam, undertaking Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and completing a code of ethics course.

If you’re an existing financial adviser, your qualification opens up many more opportunities in your business and career.

If you’re looking to make a career change, there are a range of roles you could pursue in diverse businesses. There are opportunities in financial institutions, investment banks, superannuation and insurance funds, financial advisory firms – or you choose to be self-employed and set up your own practice. Financial planners can also specialise in a number of areas, such as tax planning, risk management or retirement planning.


Careers to consider:

Qualified financial planner or financial adviser: help clients to meet short-term and long-term financial goals; assist with legal and financial documents, financial laws and regulatory requirements; provide advice on personal investments and security planning, estate planning, tax planning, employee benefits planning and insurance planning; and deliver a high-quality customer experience.

Investment adviser or manager: develop financial plans and investment strategies for individuals and organisations; monitor investment performance and review investment plans based on needs and changes in the market; buy and sell stocks and bonds for clients; and provide advice on tax implications, securities, insurance cover, pension plans and real estate.

Insurance broker: research and review available finance and insurance products to meet client requirements; arrange insurance, home loan mortgages and other types of finance for clients through banks, lenders, financiers and insurance companies; help clients understand insurance policy conditions, risks, premium rates and benefits; prepare reports for underwriters and liaise with other insurance professionals.

Estate planner: provide clients with legal, financial and accounting advice to ensure long term financial protection of their estate during life and post-mortem; help ensure any assets are dispersed according to the wishes of the deceased in an effective way; and develop estate plans which may include preparing wills, life insurance, family trusts and manage tax implications for beneficiaries.

Superannuation consultant: provide compliant financial advice in areas such as personal and business superannuation, retirement income stream products, pensions rollovers and annuities; interpret new legislation changes and consider the impact of those changes on the portfolio of funds, help clients understand merits of Self Managed Superannuation Funds (SMSF), and develop retirement plan strategies.  

Wealth manager: deliver holistic wealth management strategies and plans to help clients grow and sustain long-term financial goals; provide services across a range of areas including financial planning, investment management, and financial advice on pensions, trusts, inheritances, estate planning, retirement planning, and tax bands; and possess knowledge of software solutions and key platforms in the industry.

Client relationship manager: proactively engage clients by providing high value, holistic and strategic financial advice; identify opportunities to build new client relationships and strengthen existing ones; research the latest products and regulations; and focus on delivering a high-quality customer experience.

Industry facts


Between now and 2023, the ABS projects the number of professional finance roles in Australia will increase.

Australian Bureau of Statistics, Catalogue 8165.0 – Counts of Australian businesses, including entries and exits, June 2015 to June 2019,


The main topic areas of financial advice sought are on superannuation and investment advice, loans and investment advice, self-managed superannuation fund advice, other services and tax advice.

(Financial Services Royal Commission, Some Features of the Australian Financial Planning Industry, Background Paper 6 (Part A), 2018)


Australia’s financial services sector is the largest contributor to the nations economic growth.

Financial Services Council. State of the Art 2019

Your study experience and support

Study On Demand

Our online career-focused degrees give you full control and ultimate flexibility over your study. It’s Study On Demand, on your schedule, on your terms.

  • Study 100% online - no need to come onto campus
  • Choose from four start dates in January, April, June and September
  • Learn in 10-week blocks
  • Get support seven days a week - including on weeknights
  • Access learning resources 24/7
  • View course content before your term starts
  • Work while you study
  • Plan your study schedule ahead of time
  • Fast-track your studies and receive credit for past study and/or work experience.

Why UniSA Online?

Student services

Our graduates get jobs

You will be studying with a university known for its employment outcomes. Your UniSA degree is more than just a piece of paper – it will prepare you to start your career, or take it to the next level. In fact, UniSA undergraduates studying online have graduate employment rates well above the national average1.

Specifically designed for online learning

Our team of academic and online experts have created interactive and media-rich course material using innovative digital technology and state-of-the-art teaching and learning resources. Every degree has been specifically designed for online learning to ensure you graduate with the skills and knowledge for your future career.

Backed by industry

Every UniSA Online degree is overseen by an experienced industry advisory board. We've also consulted with industry experts with a wealth of experience to design course content that reflects the most cutting-edge developments in your field. Our industry connections will enrich your online study experience - you'll be presented with industry problems that real organisations face. You'll also gain the skills and knowledge that industry are telling us they need in graduates.

Expand your professional network from wherever you are

Online study doesn’t mean studying on your own. You’ll connect with a community of other like-minded students – you’ll be able to share, debate and collaborate ideas through virtual classrooms, online chat, video conferencing, and online communication tools.

 1UniSA External UG full-time employment rate 83%
Graduate Outcomes Survey 2018

Student support

Student services

Studying can be challenging, especially when you’re also juggling work and other life commitments. You’re not studying 9-5, Monday to Friday, which is why we provide personalised, extended hour support services – including on weekends – so you can get help when you need it. 

Dedicated Student Adviser support

Our Student Advisers will be an important part of your student journey – they’ll help you enrol, discuss your study goals, communication preferences, and will be your first point of call for all your general study questions. They’ll link you to an extensive range of support services and resources across the University and will help schedule appointments with specialised services if required.

Online academic support seven days a week

You’ll be supported by our highly experienced academic team of Online Course Facilitators and Online Tutors. Our academics will guide you through your learning and ensure you have an outstanding, high-quality education.

They can help you with your course materials and assessments, provide feedback on your work, assist you with referencing as well as answer any other course-specific queries. You’ll be able to contact your academics via email, online discussion forums and live messages in the online learning environment.You can also communicate in real-time and chat face-to-face with your academics online.

24/7 tech support

Our IT Help Desk is available 24/7 to provide assistance with your computer set up, student email, software requirements and other UniSA apps and student applications. You’ll be able to get support no matter what time it is.

24/7 digital environment

Our interactive online environment is a one-stop-shop for all your study needs. You’ll be able to track your progress through the student dashboard, plan your study schedule, receive reminders on due dates for tasks and assessments, as well as collaborate and network with a community of other like-minded students.

Using innovative technology in online education, your study experience will be highly personalised based on your learning activities throughout your degree. Just like your own personal study coach, you’ll get tailored feedback to enhance your learning outcomes and ensure you’re successful in your studies.

Student services

What others are saying

My UniSA degree parchment hangs proudly in my office along with my Advanced Diploma of Financial Services and Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) certificates. Clients express satisfaction in knowing that they are dealing with someone who has passed the academic requirements to hold the industry’s highest qualifications and be at the forefront of technical knowledge and skills.

In an ever-changing environment, continual learning represents commitment to being the best I can be for myself, my business and my clients.

Mark Bastiaans

Employment: Advice SA
Role: Principal Financial Adviser


Mark Bastiaans

Employment: Advice SA
Role: Principal Financial Adviser

Having a FASEA-approved qualification is now imperative to a successful career as a financial adviser. The new FASEA requirements will effectively reshape Australia’s network of financial advisers. Financial planners who are able to adapt to change, continually learn new things, possess good communication skills, and demonstrate flexibility and resilience will be the most successful in their career.

Louise Trevaskis

Employment: AMP Financial Services
Role: Academy and Education Manager

Louise Trevaskis - Financial Planning industry.jpg

Louise Trevaskis

Employment: AMP Financial Services
Role: Academy and Education Manager

I have over 25 years of experience in the financial services industry, including ten years working in Sydney as a Financial Services Executive. I was honoured to be awarded the Financial Standard’s Power50 most influential financial advisers in Australia for 2018. I am currently a Principal Adviser and founder of GAP Financial.

My role at UniSA Online allows me to bring my industry experience to develop course content that is relevant and practical for current and aspiring financial planners.

Students will learn best-practice processes and client strategies using real-world case studies taken from the industry.

Geoffrey Pacecca

Employment: GAP Financial
Role: Founder


Geoffrey Pacecca

Employment: GAP Financial
Role: Founder

IT Requirements

As a general rule of thumb, any desktop or laptop computer purchased in the past three years should be capable of meeting your online learning needs. While mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones will be able to access most of your online course content, there are likely to be elements of most courses where we recommend you use a desktop or laptop computer. Your computer should be able to:

  • run a modern browser (Internet Explorer 10, Firefox 24, Safari 5, or Chrome 32 or later versions)
  • run Java, and in some cases Flash (devices running on Apple's iOS operating system, such as iPads, iPhones, do not run Flash)
  • run programs to create documents, spreadsheets and presentations
  • use a web camera and headset (or ear pods with microphone)
  • Some UniSA Online degrees require an online exam. The online exam software – Remote Proctor Now – has specific capability requirements. Please refer to the system requirements prior to conducting your exam to ensure your computer is compatible.

Access free IT software and resources

As a UniSA Online student, you'll:

  • Get free access to the full Office 365 ProPlus suite, which includes full versions of Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, OneNote, Publisher, Access and Lync software. Install the full suite on up to five different devices (PC and Mac compatible). 
  • Get 1Tb of personal storage that syncs with your PC or mobile device through OneDrive - it's like an extra hard drive that allows you to open any of your files from any of your devices, whenever you need them. 
  • Get free access to LinkedIn Learning - Access more than 5000 video courses on a broad range of topics such as: the Microsoft Office suite, time management and study skills, health and wellbeing, communication and presentation skills, photography, film making and designing your own games or mobile apps.
  • Be able to connect with others using Skype for Business, Yammer and the Outlook Web App.

There are some degrees that have specialised software requirements. We've made this software available to students to access for free - you'll be able to download and install any of the required programs on your own device anywhere and anytime. See if your degree requires specialised software.

Check your device

Our computer system test will determine if your device has the base system resources and software required to study online. It'll also check the speed of your internet connection.

See if your computer, laptop or device is all set up and ready to go – it takes just a few seconds.

How to apply

The application process is easy – just follow these simple steps:

  1. Check your eligibility

    Take our eligibility checker and answer a few short questions to see if you’re eligible. You’ll be given an option to continue your application, save it for later or request a call back from a Degree Adviser if you have any questions.

  2. Gather your relevant documents

    If you're eligible, you'll receive an email outlining the entry requirements and the relevant documentation you need in order to be considered.

    In order to verify your academic qualifications, you'll need to upload relevant documents like your official parchment, certificates or transcripts. If you have work experience, you will need to upload your CV as well as any other documents like work references, professional recognition or accreditation or your training certification.

    Your email will contain information on the specific documents you need to provide as well as a link to log in to your application. You'll be asked to create an account and set your own password.

  3. Complete your application and send through your documents

    In order to proceed with your conditional offer, you’ll need to complete your application and provide required evidence of your previous study or work experience.

Ask UniSA

More FAQs