Financial Planning Course Guide

Advance your financial planning career

Deakin offers a range of industry accredited courses, units and intensive programs so you can fulfil your study goals in a supportive and flexible learning environment. All courses are Financial Adviser Standards compliant.

Online study

Fit your financial planning education around your lifestyle with online study. You'll experience a premium online learning platform backed by the top-ranked tech support in Australia.**

Learn more about online study

Fully supported

Every Deakin financial planning unit has a dedicated academic who is available to support your studies and answer your questions. Plus, all of our full-time financial planning staff are either current or former advisers.

Ranked in the top 1%

With Deakin Business School being ranked in the top 1 per cent of business schools worldwide,## you'll receive a premium education and improve your career options both in Australia and around the globe.

Recognition of prior learning and pathways

Save time and money by getting your previous work and study experience recognised and earn credit towards your course. Use our pathway tool to discover your journey to becoming Financial Adviser Standards compliant.

Combine your degree with CFP® certification

Deakin University has a unique partnership with the Financial Planning Association (FPA), which allows students to combine a Master of Financial Planning degree with the CFP® Certification Program. Students who complete the CFP® Certification Unit as their elective option will satisfy the education requirements of the CFP® Certification Program upon graduating. Once the industry experience requirements of the CFP® Certification Program are met, students can apply for the CFP® designation.

Learn more about the partnership with FPA

I've thoroughly enjoyed my time at Deakin and can’t recommend this course enough for any adviser looking to further their skills and knowledge. I was motivated to complete this qualification to improve the advice outcomes for my existing clients and for clients I will advise in the future.

Jeffrey Bonnici

Master of Financial Planning student

Financial planning single and intensive units

Single units are a fast and flexible way to future-proof your career. If you're already a financial adviser, these professionally recognised units are a simple pathway to becoming Financial Adviser Standards compliant. You can choose to fast-track your learning experience with our three-day intensive programs, or choose to complete a unit over our 12-week trimester, either online or at our Melbourne Burwood Campus.

Learn more about our financial planning single and intensive units

Explore our financial planning courses


  • The Graduate Diploma of Financial Planning, Master of Financial Planning and bridging units (MAA769, MLC714 and MAA728) are Financial Adviser Standards compliant.
  • Our Master of Financial Planning provides advanced standing into the Fellow Chartered Financial Practitioner (FChFP) program awarded by the Association of Financial Advisers (AFA). Students may obtain accreditation from the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) by completing MAA747 – Administration of Trusts and Estates.
  • The CFP® Certification, SMSF Specialist Adviser (SSA)™ and Aged Care Professional™ programs, are embedded into the Master of Financial Planning.
  • Deakin Business School (DBS) is internationally accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), and is EPAS accredited by the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD). EPAS is an international quality benchmark for business programs worldwide.

Complimentary CPD webinar series

In our webinar series, Deakin's leading academic staff and special guests examine the key topics and issues facing the modern financial planning professional. You can use these webinars to gain valuable Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points by completing a short assessment task, or simply to explore areas of interest.

Find out more about our financial planning webinars

B2B partners

We're happy to discuss establishing B2B partnerships with licensees and other organisations, which provide significant benefits in the form of course discounts and rebates, support services and a personalised student experience.

Benefits of partnering with us

Forming a partnership with Deakin will provide your organisation and advisers with access to a comprehensive range of education services including:

  • a full complement of education courses that satisfy Financial Adviser Standards’ education requirements
  • the ability to complete units as part of a qualification or as separate non-award single enrolments
  • free credit assessments and mapping
  • study support and practice questions for the national examination
  • access to our top students as interns and/or work-ready graduates.

To arrange a discussion about entering into a B2B partnership with Deakin, please contact us.

Email the Financial Planning team

Benefits for current partners

If you are affiliated with any of the following organisations, please contact us to learn about the benefits in studying at Deakin, including course discounts.

  • Financial Planning Association (FPA)
  • TAL Insurance
  • Association of Financial Advisers (AFA)
  • MLC
  • STEP
  • SMSF Network
  • Self Managed Super Fund Association (SMSF Association)
  • IOOF
  • CPA Australia
  • XY Advisers
  • Fiducian
  • Australian Unity
  • ThinkCaddie
  • FSAspire CPD
  • Spark Financial Group
  • Aged Care Steps

Frequently asked questions

Browse a few of our popular questions below. If your question isn't covered, feel free to get in touch with the team.

Financial Adviser Standards requirements

What are the Financial Adviser Standards requirements?

The Financial Adviser Standards announced education requirements for all financial advisers to promote professional standards in the industry. All advisers will need to have completed further study by 2026, and a national examination by January 2022. While the extent of the study required will depend upon your qualifications and recognition of prior learning (RPL), as a minimum all existing advisers will need to complete further studies in Ethics for Financial Services (MAA769). All advisers will also be required to pass a national examination by 1 January 2022.
Learn more about Financial Adviser Standards' education requirements

What is an approved degree?

An approved degree is a degree qualification (undergraduate or postgraduate in financial planning) that has been accredited by Financial Adviser Standards.
Go to a current list of approved degrees

What is a relevant degree?

Financial Adviser Standards does not listed any degrees as being relevant degrees. Instead it defines a relevant degree as a completed bachelor, graduate diploma, or masters qualification in a related field, which contains at least eight units in one or more of the designated fields of study:

  • financial planning (includes financial advice areas of superannuation, retirement, insurance, estate planning)
  • investments (includes all types of investments (e.g. shares, derivatives, foreign exchange, options etc.)
  • accounting
  • taxation/tax law (as defined by the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB))
  • finance law
  • finance
  • business law (as defined by the TPB)
  • estate law
  • banking
  • economics.

How do I know which requirements apply to me?

We have created a unique adviser education pathway tool, designed to help you discover which courses or units are required depending on your previous education and professional experience.

Recognition of prior learning

How do I find information on Deakin credits?

Deakin will grant Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) in-line with Financial Adviser Standards education requirements. While we are able to provide an informal indication of credit entitlements either via our adviser education pathway tool, to obtain official approval you will need to submit an online RPL application form at the same time as your course application.

If admission into Deakin is offered, credits will be confirmed with your offer or as soon as possible after an offer has been made. There are no costs involved in applying or seeking a formal credit assessment.
Learn more about applying to Deakin

Will Deakin provide credit for professional designations?

Once a professional designation is approved by Financial Adviser Standards, you may be eligible for up to two credits in our Graduate Diploma of Financial Planning and up to four credits in our Master of Financial Planning.

What if I completed my qualifications more than 10 years ago?

Financial Adviser Standards has not placed a time limit on qualifications completed by existing advisers. Deakin will grant credits regardless of age, in-line with Financial Adviser Standards' education requirements.


What is the cost of a unit?

The 2022 cost for a unit in our postgraduate financial planning courses (Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma and Master of Financial Planning) is $3525. The cost for a unit studied as a stand-alone (non-award) unit is $3937. This cost may be reduced if you are part of a large dealer group or professional association that has a formal agreement with Deakin.
Learn more about fees at Deakin

What payment assistance is available?

Payment assistance is available for postgraduate award courses through FEE-HELP for domestic students. Please note that FEE-HELP is not available for units taken as a single enrolment.
Learn more about FEE-HELP

Planning your studies

Where can I complete my studies?

All units are available online via our award-winning Cloud Campus. This provides you with the flexibility to study what, when and how you want, so you can fit your studies into your busy lifestyle. Units are also offered face-to-face at our Melbourne Burwood Campus.

How many offerings do you have each year?

Three. Deakin operates a trimester study schedule, which means Trimester 1 runs from March to June, Trimester 2 from July to October, and Trimester 3 from November to February.

How many units should I do at a time?

If you are currently working full time we recommend taking only one unit per trimester until you are comfortable with a larger study load.

What is the advantage of commencing my degree sooner rather than later?

Commencing as soon as possible will allow you to pace your studies over an extended time and not risk meeting the cut-off date. An earlier commencement is particularly important if you need to undertake six to eight units of the Graduate Diploma of Financial Planning to ensure your studies are well completed before 31 December 2025.

Can I transfer to a Master of Financial Planning after completing a Graduate Diploma of Financial Planning?

Yes. After completing the Graduate Diploma of Financial Planning, you can transfer onto the Master of Financial Planning with full credits.

Contact us

For more information or to have your questions answered, please get in touch.

To learn more about B2B opportunities with Deakin, contact our Financial Planning Partnerships Coordinator.

Email Homa Mahdinejad


*2019 Student Experience Survey, based on undergraduate students.
#ARWU Rankings 2022.
^Australian Graduate Recruitment Industry Awards, 2017, 2018, 2019 winner.
~According to the Voice Project IT Service Quality Support Benchmark Survey.
^^Australian Graduate Survey 2010–2015, Graduate Outcomes Survey 2016–2019 (GOS), Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT).
**According to the Voice Project IT Service Quality Support Benchmark Survey.
##EQUIS accredited.