Postgraduate Diploma in
Financial Planning

Become a responsible financial planner
who can positively impact the future means of your clients

  • Blended
  • Course
  • Fees
  • Structure & Content
  • Learning Philosophy
  • Admission Requirements
Course Overview
Course starts 20 January 2021
Application closes 30 November 2020

USB’s Postgraduate Diploma in Financial Planning is a sought-after qualification that culminates in the internationally recognised CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® (CFP®) designation. Doing this PGDip at USB – an FPI-accredited education provider – comes with advantages like high-level engagement with students and excellent online resources. The PGDip is presented at NQF Level 8, the same level as an Honours degree. This means it can give you access to an MBA.

  • Duration: 1 year
  • Format: Blended learning

Application deadlines

  • South African applicants: 30 November
  • RPL applicants: 31 October

Note: Students are accepted on a rolling-basis. You will be notified of the success of your application within 10 working days.

Orientation
20 January 2021
Classes (Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 18:15-20:15)
21 January - 2 December 2021

 

Programme tuition fees for 2021 Total Provisional Quotes
Students from South Africa R54 055 Download
Students from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries R58 555 Download
Students from the rest of Africa (non-SADC) R63 585 Download
Students from the rest of the world R92 085 Download
Deposit payable on acceptance of admission for 2021
Students from South Africa R11 400
Students from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries R29 278
Students from the rest of Africa (non-SADC) R31 793
Students from the rest of the world R46 043
Application fee for 2021
Application fee R 850

Overview

This one-year programme consists of one on-campus orientation day followed by two real-time online or on-campus sessions per week. The weekly sessions are presented on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, from 18:15 to 20:15. This is supported by additional pre-recorded content.

The blended learning format allows you to join the class in real time in one of two ways: via any internet-linked smart phone, laptop or device, or on campus. The online classes are delivered synchronously with the on-campus classes. This means you can study while you work. It also means that you attend classes from anywhere in South Africa. See how blended learning works at USB.

Core modules

This course is made up of four core modules:

  • Financial Planning Environment
  • Corporate Financial Planning
  • Personal Financial Planning
  • Case Study

This postgraduate programme is an investment in your career path as it allows you to establish yourself as an expert in the financial services industry.

Once you have obtained this Postgraduate Diploma in Financial Planning, you become eligible to write the Professional Competency Examination (PCE) of the FPI and to obtain professional accreditation as a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® (CFP®). This designation will communicate your expertise and credibility not only in South Africa but also internationally as the CFP® designation is internationally recognised as the benchmark for professional advice.

The CFP® professional accreditation, which therefore builds on this PGDip in Financial Planning, allows you to provide financial advice that complies with a growing number of regulations in an environment in which clients are receiving increasing legal protection and are also becoming more aware of their rights. Therefore, as a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® – or CFP® for short – you offer your clients peace of mind underpinned by an acknowledged qualification. For your clients this translates into high-quality financial advice from an advisor with the necessary qualifications, professional status and membership of a recognised professional body.

 

  • Regular applicants: A relevant Bachelor’s degree (e.g. BCom, LLB or BBusSc) at NQF level 6 (old) or 7 (new) or equivalent
  • RPL candidates: An Advanced Certificate in Financial Planning at NQF level 6 from an FPI-accredited education provider, with at least 5 years’ work experience

NOTE: International students require a SAQA evaluation to evaluate your degree according to South African standards.  USB’s International Affairs Office will handle your credential evaluation free of charge.  Please complete an online application, upload all certificates to your application. The international office will conduct an in-house credential evaluation, after we received your submission and application fee, as part of the process.

Recognition of Prior Learning
USB provides wider access to its programmes through its Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) process. In line with the requirements of the Council for Higher Education (CHE), USB may admit up to 10% of its student body under RPL. RPL candidates should have a relevant degree or National Diploma at NQF level 6. RPL candidates need to submit all the documentation and tests as required for all prospective students. In addition, they have to adhere to the following:

  • Have at least an Advanced Certificate in Financial Planning at NQF level 6 from an FPI-accredited education provider
  • Have at least 5 years of relevant working experience after obtaining a school-leaving certificate
  • Submit a comprehensive CV, indicating detailed areas of responsibility as well as information of activities outside the work environment.
  • Provide USB with at least two references (typically current or former line heads) who can testify about the candidate’s managerial or related professional abilities (on forms provided by USB).

The RPL selection process entails the following:

  • The programme head and another academic will conduct an in-depth interview with the candidate and make a recommendation about admission.
  • USB’s Admissions Committee will consider the full application including the interview recommendation and the inputs received from the references for admission.
  • A notice of admission is sent via USB’s Academic Planning Committee to the Board of the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences for notification.
  • RPL candidates need to apply by 31 October to allow sufficient time for the assessment.

From 2020, PGDip Financial Planning will be live-streamed, enabling you to attend lectures from anywhere in the world.

PROGRAMME HEAD
Dr Lee-Ann Steenkamp

 

Dr Lee-Ann Steenkamp is a senior lecturer who specialises in taxation, financial planning and climate change, as well as a Master Tax Practitioner (SA) and a member of the South African Institute of Tax Professionals (SAIT). She holds a PhD in Law from the University of Cape Town.

Programme Ambassadors

These programme ambassadors are current students and alumni who support prospective students in their new stage of life and share their personal experience about studying at USB.

Dilshaad Samsodien
Legal Advisor at Sanlam

dsamsodien@gmail.com

MBA Graduates USB
  • Who should enrol?
  • What will you gain?

Those who want to do the preparation to obtain CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® professional accreditation. It is therefore aimed at professionals already employed in the financial services industry but who would like to further their career paths.

  • Obtain CFP® professional accreditation: Once you have passed the Postgraduate Diploma in Financial Planning at USB, you become eligible to write the Professional Competency Examination (PCE) of the FPI and to obtain professional accreditation as a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® (CFP®). This designation will communicate your expertise and credibility in South Africa as well as internationally.
  • Establish yourself as an expert: This PGDip is an investment in your career path as it allows you to establish yourself as an expert in the financial services industry. It also give you access to an MBA.
  • Earn the trust of your clients: The CFP® professional accreditation, which builds on this PGDip, allows you to provide financial advice that complies with regulations in an environment in which clients are receiving increasing legal protection and are becoming more aware of their rights. Therefore, as a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER®, you will be offering your clients peace of mind underpinned by an acknowledged qualification.
  • Study at an FPI-accredited education provider: The FPI has approved USB as an education provider based on its stringent compliance criteria. We have highly qualified academics and professional part-time faculty who facilitate knowledge transfer. We use various online resources and train you to optimally use fintech solutions. The online resources help to enhance the classroom experience and encourage peer-to-peer learning, giving you the best chance to succeed as a CFP® professional.

Testimonials from our alumni

‘What set aside the USB for me was the fact that it wasn’t a distance learning programme. The programme is offered in biweekly classes that are interactive. It is presented by brilliant lecturers who went out of their way to assist you to get through the programme. Now my goal is to write the CFP® Professional Competency Examination (PCE) and then to apply to become a professional member of the Financial Planning Institute of Southern Africa (FPI).’

Dilshaad Samsodien, PGDip in Financial Planning 2018 (cum laude),

‘I’ve worked in the financial industry as a financial advisor for almost five years during which I learnt about USB’s PGDip in Financial Planning from colleagues and legal advisors who spoke of its merits and advantages. My motivation for enrolling was to gain credibility in the industry. In my work I am starting to identify more opportunities for financial advisors to engage with clients on a higher level. I am starting to ask clients the right questions. I am able to think like a professional after completing the PGDip in Financial Planning.’

Tamsyn Gradwell, PGDip in Financial Planning 2017 (cum laude),

FAQs

Yes. Please consult the programme brochure for our Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) criteria. You must have an Advanced Certificate in Financial Planning (NQF6) and relevant work experience. We don’t prescribe a minimum number of years of work – each case is considered on individual merit.

Yes, we offer blended learning, so you can do the programme from any internet-linked device. Each of the four modules has one examination. The examinations are done online in Excel. RPNow will be switched on for proctoring.

Essentially, you need a good support structure and the ‘buy-in’ of your employer. We share the whole year’s lecturing schedule and assessment dates on Orientation Day (January 2021), so you can negotiate study leave with your employer well in advance.

The lectures are recorded and uploaded to our online platform within a couple of days. So students can catch up over the weekend. Also, the lecturing notes are uploaded at least a day prior to each lecture, so you can prepare in advance. We recommend that students form smaller study groups and help each other stay up to date. We also have two class representatives whom you can contact for additional help. We also use various online resources and train you to optimally use fintech solutions.

Do not fall behind – we cover a large volume of work in a relatively short space of time. Use week-ends to revise the previous week’s lectures. Work through all the tutorials and read the corresponding textbook chapter thoroughly. A selection of the previous year’s tests and exams are uploaded to our online platform. The lecturers conduct a special Review session prior to the first test of each module. Thereafter, the suggested solutions to the past papers are also uploaded. Practice, practice, practice.

Our student body comes from diverse backgrounds, both academically and professionally. Some have been in the financial services for many decades, others are fresh graduates. Although the majority of students have a BComm background, many are Law or BA graduates with the relevant work experience. Law students typically find the trust and estate planning sections easier (where court cases are discussed), but struggle with the investment planning section. We do provide a list of additional reading material, some of which are housed in the USB Library. We also recommend students to do extra prep work and, in some cases, do the program over two years. Ultimately, though, we have excellent internal pass rates, so our students adapt very well.

For RPL candidates: Yes. For other candidates, no. But we do find that those with some work experience in financial planning perform better.

USB is an accredited education provider of the FPI. Our graduates are therefore automatically eligible to write the FPI exam. After the December graduation, you have to attend the FPI’s workshops in preparation for the FPI exam in February (or if you prefer, August). USB also offers an additional Saturday workshop exclusively for our own graduates at no extra charge. During the workshop, our experienced lecturers will take you through a past Case Study exam of the FPI.
Note: Our PGDip Financial Planning also allows you to apply for our MBA, should you wish to further your studies.
For any other questions, please visit our website or e-mail us.

Once you are registered as a student at USB, you automatically have access to our alumni and Careers Services Office. Our graduates are also in high demand with leading financial services companies, who recruit from us. We regularly post job abs on our electronic platform.