Graduate Diploma in Personal Financial Planning.xml Graduate Diploma in Personal Financial Planning

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Graduate diploma in personal financial planning

Graduate DiplomaFull-time, 1 year | Part-time up to 4 years

Annual Fees(indicative 2019)

Programme code



$6,000- $6,600


February, July


$19,500+ $500 text book costs



Course related costs

Advised on enrolment



Domestic Applications due

Received all year

International Applications due

22 January for February start; 23 June for July start


Christchurch - Madras Street


Expand your expertise to help investors make the right financial choices.

This comprehensive graduate diploma focuses on equipping you with specialist skills and knowledge, enabling you to provide personal financial planning advice to a high standard of professional proficiency.

You're studies will include an introduction to finance, taxation, advanced personal financial planning, and financial risk management and insurance.

As a part of the course you'll collect and analyse information to develop a range of strategies and financial options to meet a client's needs. Based on realistic case study information, you'll produce a comprehensive personal financial plan and communicate this plan to a client.

You'll also undertake a personal financial planning project within a real business environment for a minimum of 200 hours.

Flexible study options are available for this course, and you can apply for recognition of prior learning if your previous experience is relevant.

Note. CFPCM is a registered certification mark and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERCM is a common law certification mark owned outside the U.S. by Financial Planning Standards Board Ltd. Institute of Financial Advisers is the marks licensing authority for the CFP Marks in New Zealand, through agreement with FPSB.

Credit recognition

If you have work experience in this area, or a relevant prior qualification, you may be eligible for credit recognition towards this qualification.

Programme structure

To complete this Graduate Diploma you are required to complete 120 credits. Please browse the guide below to view the course options currently available within this qualification.

Core courses
Elective Courses

To be a full time student you need to maintain a workload of 120 credits per year. We recommend you talk with us to ensure you choose electives to benefit your future career.

Entry requirements

Academic requirements
  • A bachelor's degree in any field excluding Personal Financial Planning.

Alternative requirements
  • Level 6 or 7 Diploma and relevant work and/or life experience (equivalent to a Bachelor's degree)
    or Evidence of equivalent practical, professional or educational experience eg 3 - 5 years full time work experience [relevant to business studies].
Additional requirements
English requirements
  • Applicants for whom English is not their first language may also be required to provide evidence of English language skills as listed below. Applicants who do not have evidence of English language skills and are a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident, may contact us for an assessment.

    • IELTS 6.0 Academic (no lower than 5.5 in any subtest). For acceptable alternatives refer to the English Proficiency Outcomes Chart on Ara Institute of Canterbury's website.

    Note : IELTS scores used must be taken from a single IELTS Test Report Form and are valid for two years from the date of the test.

    Students who have achieved NCEA Level 3 University Entrance requirements are not required to provide evidence of English language skills.










Acceptable Alternatives Chart

Next steps

To apply for this programme please:

  • Complete an Admission and Enrolment Form or an International Application Form

Alternatively, if you feel you have gained your learning through on the job experience talk to us about recognition or assessment of prior learning .

Application documents

Career opportunities

As a graduate of this programme you'll have the skills and knowledge to work within a variety of financial, insurance and legal service institutions, specialising in personal financial planning.

Study pathways

Your graduate diploma qualification provides the pathway to full membership of Institute of Financial Advisors and provides the academic pre-requisite to apply to become a CFPCM CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER CM.

Recommended school subjects

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Computing/ICT
  • Economics