Master of Financial Planning

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

  • Completion of an Australian Bachelor degree (or equivalent) in a similar discipline OR
  • Completion of an Australian Graduate Certificate (or equivalent) in a similar discipline OR
  • Completion of an Australian Bachelor degree (or equivalent) in any discipline and five (5) years of managerial experience OR
  • Applicants without an undergraduate qualification may be admitted to the Graduate Certificate (in the same discipline) based on approved work experience. Upon completion of the Graduate Certificate, graduates will be eligible for admission to this course with credit granted for completed units.  
Education requirements

FASEA Education Requirements

This table outlines the educational requirements for existing financial advisers in order to become FASEA accredited. It also outlines the requirements for new financial advisers wishing to enter the field.

New entrant Existing adviser with approved degree Existing adviser with relevant degree Existing adviser with non-relevant degree Existing adviser with no degree
New entrant Graduate Diploma in Financial Planning (8 units) Existing adviser with approved degree Bridging Course (1 unit) - Professionalism and Ethics Existing adviser with relevant degree Graduate Certificate in Financial Planning (4 units) Existing adviser with non-relevant degree Graduate Diploma in Financial Planning (8 units) Existing adviser with no degree Graduate Diploma in Financial Planning (8 units)
 

*Approved degrees can vary depending on the university. Visit FASEA’s website to check their list of approved courses.

Course information
  • Entry requirements
  • FASEA Education requirements
  • Units of Study
  • Career options
Units of study

Units of study

For more information about the units of study, download a brochure.

Risk Management and Estate Planning

This unit applies risk management knowledge and methodologies to the protection and distribution of wealth with effective personal insurances and estate planning. Analysis and exploration of the insurance policies and risk management products is undertaken and matched to the spectrum of client situations in the process of constructing insurance planning advice. The concept of protecting wealth is expanded to include a strong awareness of the role of estate planning. Applications of related law and compliance are built into practical client situations and a Statement of Advice, with insurance and estate planning advice recommendations will be undertaken. Professional skills including negotiating insurance analysis outcomes against costs, succession planning challenges and interpersonal skills related to difficult estate planning conversations, are given attention via podcast interviews with practitioners, structured discussions and metacognitive interactions.

This unit is designed to meet the approved degree requirements of Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority [FASEA]. Successful completion of this unit has the added advantage of satisfying the relevant FASEA education requirements of an approved degree and may count towards the annual Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirement to a maximum of 30 CPD hours per year.

Superannuation and Retirement Wealth Planning

In this unit students will critically review superannuation and retirement planning trends, compare superannuation and self-managed superannuation funds with non-superannuation options, and role play the presentation of retirement planning advice to a mock client. Technical knowledge of superannuation, related tax legislation, building retirement capital, income stream options and social security will be applied to client scenarios and modelled using financial planning software and tools. Client communication skills will be applied to negotiating retirement planning preparation and problems. Professional skills including business awareness and interpersonal skills are given attention via podcast interviews with practitioners, structured discussion and metacognitive interaction.

This unit is designed to meet the approved degree requirements of Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority [FASEA]. Successful completion of this unit has the added advantage of satisfying the relevant FASEA education requirements of an approved degree and may count towards the annual Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirement to a maximum of 30 CPD hours per year.

Principles of Financial and Investment Planning

The unit combines the higher-order responsibilities and legislative framework governing the provision of financial planning advice with the principles and functions of investing in financial markets. Matters, such as compliance and the relational role of the financial advisor are placed in the context of assessing client investment risk and defending a best-interest, multi-asset portfolio as part of a client’s financial plan. Lessons from economic events and the impact of financial advice failures provide a backdrop to a range of activities including managed fund research, aligning client risk profiles and preferences with investment choices and borrowing strategies for investing. Professional skills including interpersonal skills are given attention via podcast interviews with practitioners, structured discussion and metacognitive interaction to develop the narratives associated with informing clients of risk, returns, costs and benefits of investing. The design and content of this unit meets the requirements of a FASEA approved degree and is suited for existing advisers, new entrants and career changers entering the professional of financial planning.

Taxation Law of Australia (Bridging)

In this unit, students will acquire technical and working knowledge of the key provisions of Australian Tax Law and apply to a range of problems to determine taxation consequences. Comparisons of tax implications relating to business, individuals and trusts will be undertaken along with research and analysis to develop strategic tax planning solutions. Case scenarios will be employed to develop the students’ understanding of tax avoidance legislation and awareness of the consequences of tax avoidance and their ability to construct tax recommendations and explicate the consequences of unresolved tax problems. Professional skills including business awareness, obligations of the TPB and interpersonal skills related to presenting tax advice are given attention via podcast interviews with practitioners, structured discussion and metacognitive interaction.

This unit is designed to meet the requirements of a Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority [FASEA] approved degree and successful completion of this unit may count towards the annual Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirement for the financial advisers and planners, to a maximum of 30 CPD hours per year.

This unit aligns to the knowledge requirements of the Tax Practitioners Board.

Professionalism and Ethics (Bridging)

This unit will explore the ethical and professional capacities required of financial planning advisers. The FASEA Code of Ethics and the origins of ethics are investigated along with reflective practice exercises aimed at betterment of the client-adviser relationship and related compliance. Professional skills including leadership, and interpersonal skills are given attention via podcast interviews with practitioners, structured discussion and metacognitive interaction.

This unit is designed to meet the requirements of a Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority [FASEA] education pathway for new entrants, career changers and existing financial advisers in the financial planning profession. VU will allow students to enrol in unit as a standalone unit provided their enrolment meets what is stated in VU’s Admissions Policy, Admissions Procedure and English Language Admission Requirements Procedure. The unit contains a mandatory pass component. Successful completion of this unit has the added advantage of satisfying the relevant FASEA education requirements of a bridging unit within an approved degree and may count towards the annual CPD requirement to a maximum of 30 CPD hours per year.

Financial Advice Corporation and Commercial Law (Bridging)

This unit will examine the Australian legal system, contract and commercial law and significant elements of Corporations Law related to the licensing requirements of a financial planner and the provision of financial planning advice. The unit has a strong focus on practical applications and uses relevant case law to contextualise the law for financial planning professionals. Professional skills including negotiating on commercial law matters are given attention via podcast interviews with practitioners, structured discussion and metacognitive interaction.

This unit is designed to meet the requirements of a Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority [FASEA] education pathway for new entrants, career changers and existing financial advisers in the financial planning profession. Successful completion of this unit has the added advantage of satisfying the relevant FASEA education requirements of a bridging unit within an approved degree and may count towards the annual Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirement to a maximum of 30 CPD hours per year. 

Behavioural Finance for Financial Advisers

This unit will contextualise behavioural finance theory to the practise of professional financial planning. Established and contemporary research will be explored to build deeper understanding of the motivations, fears, preferences, decision-making biases of clients and advisers. Behavioural finance theories will be used to learn communication techniques, negotiate client uncertainties, manage the ongoing client-adviser relationship and client literacy and financial literacy. Extending this, is an examination of efficient market theory to develop understanding of the irrationalities of investor behaviour and how it applies to client investment planning. The psychology of client engagement will be combined with behavioural finance to build interpersonal skills that empower client engagement and better negotiation of conflict. The content is supported by podcast interviews with practitioners, structured discussion and metacognitive interaction.

This unit is designed to meet the requirements of a Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority [FASEA] bridging course and extend the meaning of a client’s wealth to include their behavioural bias for investment. Successful completion of this unit has the added advantage of satisfying the relevant FASEA education requirements of a bridging unit within an approved degree and may count towards the annual Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirement to a maximum of 30 CPD hours per year.

Financial Plan Construction and Client Management

This capstone unit applies prior knowledge to all elements of the financial planning process including conducting an initial client interview, planning and constructing a full statement of advice and presenting a financial plan to a client. There is a higher-order focus on written and presentation communication aimed at building and managing the client relationship, as well as meet industry standards and expectations of professional financial planning advice. Professional skills including leadership and interpersonal skills, are given attention via podcast interviews with practitioners, structured discussion and metacognitive interaction.

This unit is designed to meet the approved degree requirements of Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority [FASEA]. Successful completion of this unit has the added advantage of satisfying the relevant FASEA education requirements of an approved degree and may count towards the annual Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirement to a maximum of 30 CPD hours per year.

Business Consulting

This unit focuses on the key knowledge and skills required for successful business consulting. It will synthesise and leverage the competencies you have acquired in your earlier studies, which encompass accounting and finance, marketing, human resources and organisational change management, strategy and data analysis. The unit aims to develop capabilities which will allow you to pursue a career in consulting, or act as an effective internal consultant within an organisation. You will apply knowledge and skills acquired in the previous units of the course to effectively design, research and manage a business consulting project, deliver solutions and present practical recommendations to meet the needs of a real-world client, in an ethical manner. You will be involved in authentic engagement with a client and receive industry feedback, or draw on an industry case study, to address a complex business challenge. You will enhance your research and interpersonal skills, including problem-solving, collaboration, communication, customer-orientation and influencing.

Accounting and Financial Management

This unit focuses on the understanding and use of financial information and the composition and meaning of financial statements. It is designed from a user-perspective for those who use accounting information, rather than those whose task it is to prepare information. The unit covers accounting reports prepared for external users, as well as accounting reports used by managers to plan, control and make decisions. Students will demonstrate skills in accounting techniques used to gain intelligence to plan and control business operations and plan future business activity.

Corporate Finance

This unit provides students with an understanding of how organisations make investment and financing decisions. Students will demonstrate how to apply various valuation methods and theories to real-world settings. Students will also learn to appreciate the limitations of tools in practical settings. Specific topics include capital budgeting, investment decision rules, discounted cash flow, real options valuation, cost of capital, capital structure, dividend policy and evaluation methods such as WACC and APV. Students will demonstrate the necessary skills for making value-changing financial decisions to maximise an organisation’s value.

Art and Practice of Leadership

Uncertainty and changes call for unique leadership in businesses. The core learning in this unit is to understand the development of leadership capacity and prepare for critical transformation or transition in complex situations. A unique learning model that aims for students to increase to close the gap between their understanding and effective leadership action. The unit examines the contextual challenges facing leaders today, seeking to develop a deep personal understanding of leadership as a complex process of scanning the environment and setting the direction, and achieving organisational goals through influencing people both inside and outside the organisation. The dynamics of interpersonal power are investigated, with particular attention given to the leader as a social architect, implicit in the concepts of transformational and values-based authentic leadership.

 

For more information about the units of study, download a brochure.

Career options

Career options

Whether you are currently a financial planner who wants to progress in your industry, or you want to move into a new career in a growing field, VU Online will help you succeed. 

Potential careers include middle to senior management roles in the financial planning industry. This can include roles such as:

  • Financial adviser 
  • Financial planner
  • Insurance adviser 
  • Superannuation consultant
  • Risk adviser
  • Business development manager
  • Client service officer
STUDENT SUPPORT

VU Online provides you with the academic support you need, when you need it, throughout the course. With four layers of student support, our goal is to ensure you succeed in your studies.

Our highly experienced academics understand how to deliver a quality online learning experience and are responsive and accessible.

You will also have access to a dedicated Student Success Advisor, who provides motivation and one-on-one personalised assistance with non-academic matters for the duration of the course. You will experience the support of a community through chat, virtual seminars and discussion board activity. Your support network is only a phone call or email away.