Foundation Degree in Financial Services
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With global financial markets and personal finances making the headlines daily, there’s never been a more exciting time to study finance and develop a successful career. The Foundation Degree in Financial Services is a nationally recognised qualification, designed in conjunction with employers, and endorsed by the National Skills Academy for Financial Services, to be directly relevant to your work and career progression. It is particularly suitable if you are already working within the financial sector or looking to take up a career in this area. You'll learn about concepts such as risk and uncertainty, portfolio management and investment techniques; and about the impact of economics, ethics and diversity on financial decision-making. You’ll develop an understanding of business organisations and functions – such as marketing and accounting – and how these contribute to organisational success in the financial services industry. You’ll also develop the skills to engage in lifelong learning and become a reflective practitioner in the financial services industry.
The programme of study for this foundation degree is also offered as the
Diploma of Higher Education in Financial Services (W10). The diploma of higher education might be of particular interest to those living and working in Scotland.
Fees and facts
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Flexible, part-time study through
Foundation degrees are nationally recognised qualifications focusing either on a particular job or profession; they combine work place learning with academic study. Designed and developed with external partners, you must be working either as a paid employee or as a volunteer in a related work setting.
A foundation degree is equivalent to two thirds of an honours degree. They aim to enhance the professional and technical skills of staff within a profession or those intending to go into that profession.
You can use a foundation degree to:
change careers or progress your current career, gain technical and professional skills, gain professional recognition, achieve a full honours degree through further study.
Most of our foundation degrees are also offered as diplomas of higher education for those living and working in Scotland.
There are no formal entry requirements to study this qualification.
Career relevance and employability
This qualification is particularly relevant in preparing you for work or advancing your career in the financial services industry. You might already be working (or aiming to work) in a customer-facing role as a team leader, manager or supervisor; or in an operations or administrative role in any size of financial business. If you already have a professional finance qualification, we may be able to give you credit for this study to count towards this foundation degree course.
The Foundation Degree in Financial Services will develop your skills in writing and critical thinking; analysis and evaluation; ICT; presentation and numeracy. You’ll also explore the context for your work in the financial services industry, learning the skills of successful practice in this sector, and how to use these in your current and future working contexts.
There’s more information about how OU study can improve your employability in the
OU’s Employability Statement from our Careers Advisory Service. You can also read or download our publication and look at our OU study and your career subject pages to find out about career opportunities.
Choose a pathway and register
Pathways allow you to specialise or choose particular topics that interest you. You will need to choose a pathway before registering.
Credit for previous study elsewhere
If you have already completed some successful study at higher education level at another institution you may be able to transfer credit for this study and count it towards this qualification. If you wish to apply to transfer credit you must do so as soon as possible, and before you register for this qualification.
If you are awarded credit for study completed elsewhere, you may find that you need to study fewer OU modules to complete this qualification. This may also mean that the next start date and the maximum time limit for this qualification are different to those shown above.
Credit Transfer site for more information and details of how to apply for credit transfer.
The learning outcomes of this qualification are described in four areas:
Knowledge and understanding
Practical and professional skills
Read more detailed information about the learning outcomes, and how they are acquired through teaching, learning and assessment methods.
On successful completion of the required number and type of modules you will be awarded a Foundation Degree in Financial Services and will be entitled to use the letters FD (Open) after your name.
You will have the opportunity to attend a degree ceremony.
As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the following regulations:
These regulations are also available on our
Essential Documents website.
If you have a disability
Choosing the qualification that’s right for you is very important. Depending on your disability, long-term health condition, mental health disability or specific learning difficulty, you may need to consider any challenges posed by:
the learning objectives: for example, to gain an honours degree in a language you must be physically able to speak the language
how the modules are taught: for example, some of our science qualifications require that you complete laboratory work
any work-based competency requirements.
Choosing the right qualification can be a complex mix of the subject requirements and the support you may need. To help you assess whether the qualification you are interested in will work for you, further advice is available from:
You will need a computer with internet access to study for this qualification. For most OU qualifications a Microsoft Windows (new since 2007),
Apple Mac (OS X 10.6 or later) or Linux computer should be adequate. However, some qualifications require more specific IT equipment, in which case you
will need additional software to use an Apple Mac or Linux computer. A detailed technical specification for your modules will be made available when you
register. Please note, technical specifications do change over time to match computer developments and the way we teach.
The Open University is the world’s leading provider of flexible, high quality distance learning. Unlike other universities
we are not campus based. You will study in a flexible way that works for you whether you’re at home, at work or on the move.
As an OU student you’ll be supported throughout your studies – your tutor or study adviser will guide and advise you, offer detailed
feedback on your assignments, and help with any study issues. Tuition might be in face-to-face groups, via online
tutorials, or by phone.
For more information read
Distance learning explained.