CISI Diploma

The CISI Diploma is a leading, globally recognised postgraduate finance qualification, which covers the areas of securities, investment, compliance, derivatives, corporate finance and operations.

The qualification is suitable to those needing to gain an in-depth theoretical and practical knowledge of the principal techniques and skills in their chosen discipline, in order to be able to provide their clients with confident and professional service.

Key features of the CISI Diploma
  • The Diploma provides flexibility and choice, enabling candidates to concentrate on areas relevant to their chosen career path
  • Broad subjects to provide the skills required to operate in all major areas of the industry, including the increasingly important area of operations management
  • Internationally recognised qualification, available globally
  • Addresses situations and issues which are encountered by practitioners
  • Knowledge gained is applied by candidates to answer case studies, write reports and explain techniques and terminology
  • Earn CPD hours upon successful completion of the qualification

Qualification Structure

The award is achieved by passing any three of the following narrative units:

  Bond & Fixed Interest Markets*
  Financial Derivatives*
  Fund Management*
  Global Operations Management
  Regulation & Compliance
  Private Client Investment Advice & Management

Candidates may choose any three units relating to their primary activities or interests (unless they hold a qualification which entitles them to an exemption, in which case they select two units).

*The Bond & Fixed Interest Markets, Fund Management and Financial Derivatives units will form part of a new Capital Markets Diploma from June 2015 onwards.

Changes to the CISI Diploma

Each unit of the current Level 6 CISI Diploma is now associated with a higher-level pathway, as follows. 

 Diploma in Capital Markets


 Bonds & Fixed Interest Markets; Fund Management; Financial Derivatives

Diploma in Investment Compliance

    Regulation & Compliance

Diploma in Operations


Global Operations Management

Chartered Wealth Manager Qualification     

Private Client Investment Advice & Management  (with gap-fill gives exemption from Financial Markets)

This use of the Diploma units coherently reflects the organisation of the market for the CISI’s qualifications, and this structure replaces the current three-unit CISI Diploma.

Each individual Diploma unit will continue to be offered in June and December, and candidates who wish to take one Diploma unit, or a combination of Diploma units without completing the rest of the pathway associated with that unit, may continue to do so and will be awarded a unit certificate for each Diploma unit passed. 

Candidates for PCIAM should note that this Diploma unit remains a qualification in its own right and  will continue to do so. It will remain an appropriate RDR qualification (with gap fill) and will also remain appropriate, with gap fill, for exemption from the Financial Markets unit of the Chartered Wealth Manager Qualification.

The overall award of the CISI Diploma in its current form will be made for the last time following the December 2016 examination sitting, allowing four sittings from the date of this notification (October 2014) for candidates currently studying for the Diploma to complete it under the current rules. 

To see when the next sitting of the Narrative exams are please see the Narrative exam timetable.


There are currently no exemptions from the CISI Diploma, although there are special arrangements with some of the CISI's Centres of Excellence where specified qualifications offered by those Universities are recognised as equivalent to the CISI Diploma.

Study Options

CISI learning manuals are available for: Visit the CISI bookshop

Please note: The CISI's mandatory learning manual policy requires, where available, the most up to date CISI learning manual to be purchased when booking an exam, including by an ATP on your behalf. This applies to all candidates sitting CISI exams in the UK (includes Northern Ireland, Guernsey, Jersey and Isle of Man). Candidates sitting CISI exams outside of the UK will receive the most up-to-date workbook in PDF format for that subject and is included in the international exam price.

Accredited Training Providers
The CISI accredits a wide range of training providers to deliver formal training for our exams and you can register directly with the provider of your choice. Courses and learning manuals are available for:
  • Bond & Fixed Interest Markets
  • Financial Derivatives
  • Fund Management
Find an Accredited Training Provider (ATP) near you

Sample Papers
A range of sample exam questions and/or examiner reports are available for:

Register and Book

Register with the CISI
New candidates intending to take CISI qualifications need to first register with the CISI. Upon registering, you will receive a candidate number, password and access to the CISI's online systems.

Book your exams
Candidates can book:

Register for your qualification
Prior to booking your exams you need to register for your qualification. Please be sure you have read and understood the exam regulations and policies.

The latest prices for exams are listed on the online price list.

Post-Qualification Opportunities

Obtaining the CISI Diploma entitles candidates to join the Institute at MCSI Membership level. As a Member of the Institute, you will enjoy the recognition of being a professional in a world of increasing competition. The extensive continuing professional development (CPD) opportunities available through the CISI’s suite of membership benefits ensures financial services practitioners can maintain competence and meet the requirements of firms and the regulator.

Higher Level Qualifications