Financial Planning

Institute of Banking

Financial Planning

The Graduate Diploma in Financial Planning, awarded by University College Dublin (UCD), is a highly regarded postgraduate qualification (level 9), designed for those working in, or who would like to develop a career in, financial planning and wealth management. It is designed for those who wish to develop their financial planning knowledge and skills to the highest international standards.

Who is this programme for?

The programme is specifically designed to provide financial planners with the knowledge and understanding of the applicable regulatory requirements, the mechanisms and purpose of the main investment products and the ability to satisfy their individual clients’ financial planning and investment portfolio needs.

The Graduate Diploma also seeks to deepen your technical knowledge of areas such as asset, finance and risk management and provide the tools to develop effective mutually beneficial client relationships.

When you successfully complete this programme, you will be awarded a Graduate Diploma in Financial Planning from UCD. This is a level 9 qualification on the National Framework of Qualifications.

Subjects taught

Financial and Data Analysis for Financial Planning (NFQ level 9, 10 ECTS)
This module provides students with the underpinning financial and data analysis techniques required by the financial planning professional. It will cover the (i) structure and content of financial statements and their impact on valuations (ii) calculation principles behind financial planning products and (iii) data techniques relevant to the macro environment in which financial planning takes place.

Tax and Estate Planning (NFQ level 9, 10 ECTS)
This module introduces the fundamentals of the Irish taxation system and international aspects of taxation relevant to financial planning and wealth management. It covers the key taxation provisions and reliefs of the Irish tax legislation applicable to succession and estate planning which are relevant to the financial planner

Retirement Planning (NFQ level 9, 10 ECTS)
This module deals with all aspects of retirement provision, public and private, relevant to providing financial advice. It provides you with a macro view of the regulatory environment for pensions. It explores in detail a range of issues including the structure and investment of private arrangements for groups and individuals, insured and non-insured.

Asset Management (NFQ level 9, 10 ECTS)
An understanding of robust financial planning and wealth management is an important pre-requisite for meeting customers’ financial and lifestyle objectives. This module covers core concepts in modern portfolio theory and marries them with the practical application of tools and techniques to construct and manage client portfolios. It assimilates a range of theoretical and empirical evidence to provide the best solutions when advising customers on investment and wealth management.

Risk Management in Financial Planning (NFQ level 9, 10 ECTS)
The predominant part of this module deals with the important topic of risk management in financial planning. It covers the key risks that customers face through their financial life cycle, such as mortality and illness risk, investment risk and longevity risk. The aim of the module is to create advice processes that allow you identify and analyse the key risks for clients; devise appropriate solutions; and communicate those risks and solutions effectively. The module also covers the ethical requirements and responsibilities of the financial planner.

Integrated Personal Financial Planning* (NFQ level 9, 10 ECTS)
This is the capstone module of the graduate diploma and has been designed to integrate the learning from the other programme modules. It aims to develop the analytical and synthesis skills required by financial planners when providing comprehensive financial plans. This will be achieved through your active development of a number of case studies and the construction of a comprehensive real-life financial plan.

*Before registering for this module, candidates must have completed the first four modules and be registered for/have completed the Risk Management in Financial Planning module.

Entry requirements

The minimum entry requirements for the programme are:

Relevant honours degree (second class honours, grade 2 award, minimum) in business or a related discipline
Equivalent relevant professional qualification (e.g.) Qualified Financial Adviser (QFA), with three years’ relevant work experience obtained in the banking or financial services industry, Chartered Tax Advisers (CTAs), accountants, solicitors and barristers.

Candidates should also have a working knowledge of Microsoft Excel before starting on the programme.

Professional body membership
You must be a member, or become a member of IOB to undertake this programme.

Holders of the Chartered Tax Adviser (CTA) qualification qualify for an exemption from the Tax and Estate Planning module.

Assessment Info

Assessment is a combination of continuous assessment and written exams. The pass mark is 40% in all modules in line with UCD academic policy.


Varies. Delivery is 100% online.


The fees are €4,400 for the first academic year (€6,600 for the programme in total).

We encourage candidates to register for the full academic year, but if you choose to register on a per module basis, fees are broken down as follows;

Trimester 1 - 2019/2020
•Financial and Data Analysis for Financial Planning - €1,100
•Tax and Estate Planning - €1,100

Trimester 2 - 2019/2020
•Retirement Planning - €1,100
•Asset Management - €1,100

Trimester 3 - 2020/2021
•Risk Management in Financial Planning - €1,100
•Integrated Personal Financial Planning - €1,100

Enrolment dates

Autumn Trimester (2024/2025 academic year)

Please note that the programme content and fees are subject to change in the 2024/2025 academic year. Any changes will be outlined in the 2024/2025 prospectus and at in August - the start of the new academic year.

Post Course Info

Candidates who achieve a second class honours grade 2 award (or higher) in the Graduate Diploma in Financial Planning are eligible for the award MSc in Financial Services on successful completion of the Professional Diploma in Strategic Management in Financial Services.

The MSc in Financial Services is accredited and awarded by UCD and is a level 9 qualification on the National Framework of Qualifications.

The programme acts as a gateway to the prestigious international designation Certified Financial Planner™ professional.

Financial Planning Standards Board Ireland (FPSB Ireland) require in addition to completing the Graduate Diploma in Financial Planning, a candidate who wishes to become a Certified Financial Planner™ professional in the Republic of Ireland must;

Have successfully completed the certification exam set by FPSB Ireland

Have met the three year experience requirement in financial planning as set out by FPSB Ireland

Accept continuing obligations for certification, and

Commit to the ethics and standards required for CFP® professionals.

Continuous Professional Development
If you hold an IOB designation or a designation managed by IOB, CPD hours may be awarded on successful completion of this programme.

More details
  • Qualifications

    Postgraduate Diploma (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Part time

  • Apply to

    Course provider