LIBF Financial Capability Qualifications

Preparing for life after education

What being financially capable can mean for you


The London Institute of Banking & Finance (LIBF) is to advance banking and finance by providing outstanding education and thinking, tailored to the needs of business, individuals, and society. Its focus is on lifelong learning; equipping individuals with the knowledge, skills and qualifications to achieve what they want throughout their career and life.
LIBF provides a balance of experience, insight and thought leadership into today’s financial world. And because LIBF has been at the heart of the sector since 1879, it creates connections and build partnerships between people and business that make banking and finance more accessible and understood, and enhance social inclusion through better financial capability.

Financial education that is structured and formally assessed can help to ensure that young people leave school with the necessary skills to make informed decisions about saving for later in life and managing their finances effectively. Students not only learn how to manage money effectively, they also learn about income and expenditure, credit and debt, insurance, savings and pensions, financial products, and how public money is raised and spent; helping them prepare for financial independence.
LIBF has worked with ASDAN China from September 2017 to introduce the LIBF Financial capability qualifications to China.
English website:
Chinese website:

Lessons in Financial Education (LiFE) is an accessible e-learning programme which will allow students to experience financial education on a ‘learning by doing’ basis. This scalable education is the perfect way to ensure more students leave school with invaluable financial awareness.
LiFE does not rely on timetabled teaching time, requiring minimal intervention by teaching/support staff; in fact, students will be able to use tutor/mentor time, after school clubs and a host of enrichment opportunities to access the learning. Students can study at your own pace on an online learning platform that really engages students with the content.

Key Value

Financial Capability Qualifications

If you’re thinking of a career in finance, LIBF Financial Capability Qualifications offer a variety of resources that can help you get ahead in today’s extremely competitive job market, helping you develop the relevant skills and experience to set you apart from other candidates. Even if you are not considering a career in finance, being financially capable can make a big difference, putting you in a great position to make sound financial decisions throughout your life.

This qualifications will give you the chance to become financially independent and prepare you for life after education. You will not only learn how to manage money effectively but also about income and expenditure, financial products and how public money is raised and spent. This wide selection of topics introduces you to many of the essential skills that employers say are missing, including independent thinking and numerical skills.

Approximately 550 institutions are currently delivering LIBF Financial Capability qualifications across the UK, with over 30,000 teenagers currently studying for them. Over 200,000 students have benefited from them since being made available to all schools and colleges in 2006.

Key Facts

• All qualifications are accredited by Ofqual

• Selected qualifications are A-level and GCSE equivalent

• Selected qualifications are included in school Performance Tables

• Selected qualifications will count towards Progress 8 Measures

• Endorsed as an effective way to use Pupil Premium

• CeFS and DipFS can award the maximum available UCAS points

• Develop wider skills in literacy, evaluating and developing arguments, presentation skills and good writing styles

• Employers value Financial Capability skills and qualifications

Qualification Specification - LiFE


  • Suitable for year 9-12 students.
  • Students who are interested in finance, or hope to build a foundation for future financial related studies and employment.
Learning resources
  • The LiFE programme is broken down into three units.
  • Students can make your way through them at your own pace, slowly building your financial knowledge and confidence.
Key skills
  • Use appropriate tools to manage a personal budget;
  • Make informed financial decisions;
  • Demonstrate numeracy skills;
  • Increase your ability to learn independently.
  • To support learning needs, LIBF provides the online learning platform, MyLIBF.
  • Resources are available 24/7, 365 days a year and can be accessed at school, college or home.
  • Guided learning hours: 48 h
Young Persons Money Index 2016
  • 58% students said they had never had a lesson involving personal finance.
  • Students studying personal finance save 60% more per month compared to students with no financial education.

Exam Details

Students Recommendation

Xiyuan Ge

After got the learning account, I guaranteed 1.5-2 hours of study time per day, and it took about 1 month to prepare. I think the part of “check your understanding” at the end of each topic is very helpful and can be a good review of the content. Even if you do not have relevant economics foundation, there is no problem in self-study. Everyone should be full of confidence.

Through the study of LiFE, I was able to fully understand the subject knowledge of finance. The content of this course can help me to clarify the path in front of me, so that I could more directionally accumulate finance knowledge. Especially for the students who plan to develop business study in the future, I do think this course could help you build your basic finance knowledge. In addition, the learning process has improved my financial awareness and money management ability which greatly help in my daily life!

Xianghu Dai

I prepared LiFE at my own study pace which makes me feel less stressful and more comfortable. Although the content of the course is not difficult, it requires carefully study. For example, I need to pay attention to many details like how many hours different aged students can work. The activities that follow each topic are very helpful, because I could better understand the content though repeating learning and memorizing.

I learned a lot about economics and finance related knowledge through LiFE, such as taxes, inheritance taxes, etc., and also learned how financial institutions operate. I believe that LiFE is a very good start for students who are interested in economics and finance.


Jungwon Kim

The difficulty of studying and the exam questions are moderate, so three weeks is an appropriate length for me to prepare. During the learning, I suggest to take more notes, which will help you avoid ignoring the details.

From the very beginning I didn't know anything about finance. However, now I learned a lot of relevant knowledge. Furthermore, this is not only about knowledge, it is also about skills. I learned how to budget, like how to save and spend. It is really an important life skill!



Qualification Overview

According to the findings from The Young Persons' Money Index 2016 only 50% of young people feel they have enough knowledge to manage their personal finance with 60% of young people admitting to worrying about their personal finances. It is crucial that we join together to educate young people to manage their money well and make sound financial decisions so they can be certain that they have the required resilience for an ever-changing future.

Cross-curricular links to Mathematics and Citizenship

University Recommendation

UK University Recommendation of LIBF (Level 3)

University Recognition
Lancaster University
TIMES UK University Ranking No.9
We are typically happy to consider the IFS Diploma in Financial Studies as an alternative to an A level at grade A. However, we do generally ask for applicants to have completed the Certificate in Financial Studies first. One thing to bear in mind that with is that they would still need to meet an A level subject requirements for the course they are applying for. For example, if a course required Maths or a Science subjects at grade A they would still need to meet these alongside their IFS Diploma.
Loughborough University
TIMES UK University Ranking No.11
We do accept the Diploma in Financial Studies alongside two A Levels for entry. We would prefer the qualification in combination with two A Levels from our preferred subject list, as detailed below. We do not accept the qualification alongside a vocational qualification such as a BTEC. Preferred academic A Level subjects: Biology, Chemistry, Economics, English Language, English Literature, Geography, Government and Politics, History, Languages (non-native), Law, Maths/Further Maths, Physics, Statistics. A typical offer would be A in Diploma in Financial Studies, with AB from two A Levels."
University of Leeds
TIMES UK University Ranking No.13
We do consider the Level 3 IFS Diploma in Financial Studies but require students to take A levels alongside it. Our typical entry requirements for these students onto our Economics and Finance related courses are that a grade A would be required in the IFS Diploma, alongside AA at A-level. Please note that applicants also have to meet our minimum Maths and English requirements for their chosen course – (I) GCSE Maths grade A and English Language grade B. Or if they have a B an (I) GCSE English Literature we will accept a C in (I) GCSE English Language. Or if they
also have an A / AS Level in Maths or EnglishLanguage/Literature with a grade C or above, we will then be able to accept a lower grade at GCSE level as the A level supersedes it.
University of Surrey
TIMES UK University Ranking No.14
We can currently consider the IFS Diploma in Financial Studies. However, I’m afraid the entry requirements for September 2018 have not yet been completely finalised, so I would recommend you check back with us towards the end of September to ensure this information is still correct.
University of East Anglia
TIMES UK University Ranking No.15
We consider the IFS Diploma in Financial Studies as equivalent to one A-Level.
University of Sussex
TIMES UK University Ranking No.18
We would be happy to consider this qualification as a substitute for an A-Level.
University of Bristol
TIMES UK University Ranking No.19
Our admissions team have previously accepted students onto our Economics, Finance and Management courses who have studied the IFS Diploma in Financial Studies (DipFS). This has been
in place of 1 A-level, using the same grades - i.e. an A in the IFS Diploma equals an A in an A-level. Applicants would therefore need to have two additional A-levels alongside the diploma in order to be considered for entry onto our courses. Please note that many of our courses within the School require Maths as a specified subject. The diploma cannot substitute for A-level Maths - so for those courses we would require Maths to be taken as one of the remaining two A-levels. We also cannot accept the certificate - it must be the full diploma.
University of Southampton
TIMES UK University Ranking No.21
We do accept the LIBF Diploma in Financial Studies in place of one A-level. Typically students will come to us with the Diploma and two further A-levels. For Economics programmes we look for grades AAB to include Mathematics at A-level.
University of Sheffield
TIMES UK University Ranking No.24
The full DipFS is accepted for entry when combined with two A Levels (in acceptable/required subjects where applicable). However the DipFS should not duplicate the A Level subjects offered. For example, it would not normally be accepted in combination with A Level Accounting.
University of Leicester
TIMES UK University Ranking No.25
We do consider the IFS Diploma in combination with A Levels and would be looking for ABB from a combination of two A Levels and the Diploma for entry to our Business/Economics courses. Applicants from China would also need to meet our English Language requirements which are IELTS at 6.5 (no less than 5.5 in each component) or equivalent qualification we would accept.
University of Essex
TIMES UK University Ranking No.30
We can consider the DipFS for entry onto our Essex Business School and Economics-related courses, however, it must be taken alongside other qualifications that all equate to the equivalent of three A-Levels. For example, a DipFS plus two A-levels.
University of Reading
TIMES UK University Ranking No.31
We'd happily accept it in lieu of 1 A-level, except for Mathematics where Mathematics is a required subject.
Royal Holloway University of London
TIMES UK University Ranking No.34
We confirm that we would be happy to consider the LIBF Diploma in Financial Studies (DipFS) alongside two full A Levels, in order to meet the entry requirements for our Management/Economics/Finance related courses.
The University of Liverpool
TIMES UK University Ranking No.39
The qualification is equivalent to an A Level, however this can only be considered for students applying for Accounting and Finance.
Queen Mary University of London
TIMES UK University Ranking No.40
Typical A-Level entry requirements for programmes within the School of Economics and Finance and the School of Business and Management are grades AAA. For Economics and Finance programmes,
A-Level Mathematics is a compulsory subject. For these subject areas we are happy to accept the LIBF Diploma in Financial Studies at grade A in place of one A-Level.
The University of Buckingham
TIMES UK University Ranking No.41
We are happy to accept the LIBF Diploma in Financial Studies when offered with two additional A-level subjects for entry to our Economic/Business related courses.
Keele University
TIMES UK University Ranking No.42
This qualification is equivalent to an A level and therefore we would accept this in lieu of an A level qualification when studied alongside other level 3 qualifications and if an applicant met all subject specific requirements.
Swansea University
TIMES UK University Ranking No.44
Swansea University will make offers when CeFS (Certificate in Financial Studies) and DipFS (Diploma in Financial Studies) qualifications are combined with others
Cardiff University
TIMES UK University Ranking No.46
The general entry requirements are: Grade A in IFS Diploma in Financial Studies plus grades AA in two A-Level subjects. For Economics (L100) and Economics & Finance (LN13), we require Maths to be one of the A-Level subjects. For degrees including a European Language, we require the relevant language to be one of the A-Level subjects.
Coventry University
TIMES UK University Ranking No.47
Diploma in Financial Studies where the overall breadth of study is equal to the course entry requirements
University of Central Lancashire
TIMES UK University Ranking No.50
We require the IFS qualification same as A level requirement.
University of the West of England
TIMES UK University Ranking No.60
This qualification holds tariff points and holds them at the same level as an A-Level, so we would effectively accept this as an equivalent qualification.
Bangor University
TIMES UK University Ranking No.61
We would consider this qualification in our offer making for programmes within Bangor Business School.


1. Register via ASDAN China official Website
2. Level 1- LiFE fee including:

▪ MyLIBF learning resources;
▪ All units examination fee;
▪ Certification and postage fee.

3. After paying successfully, students can receive:

▪ Detailed exam and preparation information;
▪ MyLIBF account and using guides.

4. Login MyLIBF to study and prepare the exam.

5. Take the exam according to the examination rules and examination centre regulations.

6. Receive the results and certifications.

7. Attend resit if you need.

Specimen Papers