Schools & Colleges

Their future, your vision, our focus

We actively promote the advancement of knowledge in the field of securities and investment in schools and colleges by introducing students to the world of financial services and its many career opportunities. We can help you integrate our industry recognised financial services qualifications into your curriculum and provide support for both teachers and students.

Why work with the CISI?

Our partnerships with education centres enable educators and industry to work together to disseminate knowledge and offer real world learning experiences to encourage and develop the next generation of financial services talent.

Our qualifications, approved for delivery at GCSE (level 2) and A level (level 3) can be seamlessly embedded into your curriculum and aim to develop students’ knowledge of the financial services industry and its functions and challenge them to think about implications for their own personal finance decisions.


Recognition & employability

  • Our certificates are recognised by banks and organisations as the preferred professional qualifications for industry practitioners.
  • Up to 120 UCAS points can be gained and our qualifications will be recognised on the DfE Performance Tables.
  • Free CISI Student membership – students are associated with a chartered professional body and are able to take advantage of an extensive range of benefits. 
  • Work experience placements via our Investing in Futures scheme will enable your students to combine learning with on the job, real world experience.
  • Annual prizes are available to the best performing student undertaking CISI qualifications at your school/college.
  • Recognition for the overall highest achieving student(s) each year at our prestigious Annual Awards Ceremony, hosted by a representative of the Lord Mayor of the City of London.

Accessible & affordable

  • Flexible teaching structure and the functionality to hold exam testing at your school/college.
  • Free teacher training, the services of a peripatetic teacher and provision of teaching materials.
  • Educational bursaries of up to £900 are available, as well as Government funding opportunities.

Connections & opportunities

  • Our connections with financial services organisations, our 40,000 members and our branches in your local area can offer you added value and the opportunity to build partnerships, via practitioners to support classroom teaching, career presentations or mentoring.
  • Links with over 40 UK universities which we’ve recognised as leading institutions in financial services education.

Connect your students to a career in financial services

If your school is interested in joining our network please contact our Education Development team:

+44 20 7645 0714

Our team will help you through the registration process, arrange a site visit to discuss your application and approve your test centre so you can get started. Once your school/college is registered you will be recognised as a centre accredited to teach and test CISI qualifications.

CISI Level 2 Award in Fundamentals of Financial Services

 View the syllabus

Learning objective

To provide an understanding of financial services and an overview of key concepts and terminology relating to it.

Students will gain a broad insight into the fundamental components of the financial services industry. This would include looking at different types of banks, commonly used financial products, such as shares, bonds and insurance, as well as an introductory understanding of markets and how they work.

Syllabus summary

  • Ethics and integrity in financial services
  • Introduction – saving and borrowing
  • Banking
  • Equities
  • Bonds
  • Markets
  • Other areas of financial services


  • 100 GLH
  • Delivered over 1 year
  • Online exam graded pass/fail

CISI Level 3 Certificate for Introduction to Securities & Investment

(A/S Level equivalent)

The Certificate is gained by achieving two units:

Introduction to Investment (Financial Products, Markets & Services)
Extended Project (Certificate)


It is a requirement of the Extended Project that all reference sources and their annotation in the project report should follow a consistent referencing format for texts, journals, website pages etc.

Candidates are free to choose their own system of referencing, however the following links to the Harvard referencing system may be useful for you.

University of Exeter: Referencing -The Harvard System
University of the West of England: UWE Harvard: Referencing guidance
Birmingham University: Harvard: reference list and bibliography

Supporting documentation

CISI Level 3 Diploma in Finance, Risk & Investment (DipFRI)

(A Level equivalent - may also be taken as part of the International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme)

Learning objective

To provide an understanding of the key characteristics, mechanisms and influences on financial markets and institutions. Students will gain an insight in to data analysis, investment appraisal and accounting and the role and responsibility of financial services in society.

Declared purpose

The CISI Level 3 Diploma in Finance, Risk & Investment is an Applied General Qualification within the area of financial services (Accounting & Finance). It has been specifically designed to be taught in schools and colleges to equip learners with a broad range of transferable knowledge and skills gained through applied learning to enable progression into Higher Education or employment.

The qualification will give candidates an understanding of the key characteristics, mechanisms and influences on financial markets and institutions, and includes a grounding in data analysis, investment appraisal, accounting and the role and responsibility of financial services in society as a whole.

It supports progression to a range of finance and business related higher education courses when combined with other qualifications.

The Diploma is regulated by Ofqual as a level 3 qualification on the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF)

Qualification structure for academic year 2016/17

The Diploma is gained by achieving four units:

Unit 1
Money, Economies & Uncertainty** 
Unit 2
Investment Decision Making, Accounting & Governance** 
Unit 3
Financial Products, Markets & Services
Unit 4
Extended Project (Diploma)

** On successful completion of Units 1 and 2, a candidate will achieve the CISI Level 3 Certificate in Finance, Risk and Decision-Making.

Supporting documentation

Information for candidates sitting during academic year 2015/16

International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme

We are delighted to be partnering with the International Baccalaureate (IB) on their Career-related Programme (CP), and have agreed a finance pathway for 16-19 year olds that is being piloted in a number of schools, as follows:

Three recommended units from the IB Diploma Programme:

IB DP Mathematics (SL)
IB DP IT in a Global Society (SL or HL)
IB DP (SL or HL)**
IB CP Core
CISI Diploma in Finance, Risk & Investment

**The third IB Diploma may be chosen from the following subject groups:

The above combination of IB Diploma Programme (DP) courses enables students to demonstrate numeracy skills, IT skills, as well as communication skills – all considered key by financial services employers – and provides a broad base to complement the specialist CISI unit in finance, risk and investment. However, this combination is not prescriptive and other subjects may be considered.


“The package enables students to achieve a maximum of 200 revised UCAS points, while also gaining valuable personal and interpersonal skills, helping students to secure university places, apprenticeships or jobs in the finance industry.”

Dr Peter Fidczuk, UK Recognition and Development Manager, International Baccalaureate

Progression to higher education

The Diploma in Finance, Risk & Investment is recognised by higher education institutions as fulfilling entry requirements to a range of finance and business related higher education courses when combined with other qualifications, including:

Teaching Resources and Support for Student Learning

For Schools

Classroom resources

Teacher portal

  • Online teacher portal providing teaching materials and CISI updates

Teacher training

Peripatetic teacher

  • We can facilitate sessions with our peripatetic teacher on more challenging areas of the syllabus

Financial services practitioner presentations

  • We can contact CISI members in your local area to arrange for them to come in and talk to your students about working in the industry

For Students


  • CISI textbook
  • Financial Services Jargon Buster– a glossary of industry words and terminology
  • Free access to member only areas of the CISI website, as well as free Student membership of the CISI, including member benefits


  • Work Experience opportunities and Insight days through our 'Investing in Futures' initiative, which partners financial services firms with CISI schools/colleges

Career Insight

Get into Finance

  • Get into Finance is a who, what, why and how introduction to financial services. The guide includes case studies as well as CV and interview advice.

Personal finance books

  • #yourmoney provides a comprehensive introduction to the world of money for 16 to 25 year olds, meeting a pressing need to provide straightforward information on key financial facts for young adults as they take on responsibility for their personal finances.

A community partnership is developing the next generation of finance professionals in Liverpool

Groups of students “Speednetwork” with local practitioners at the CISI Careers in Investment Management conference at Tilney Bestinvest, Liverpool An initiative between the CISI, Archbishop Beck Catholic Sports College, Liverpool City Council and the Liverpool Learning Partnership is encouraging Merseyside young people to aspire to careers in financial services.

Through a teaching post sponsored by the CISI, sixth form students at local schools and colleges are coming together to study for our Certificate for Introduction to Securities & Investment. This AS equivalent Level 3 qualification comes with UCAS points and a pathway into the professional qualifications required when joining the industry, either at apprenticeship or graduate entry.

The initiative is very well supported by local practitioners, who host lessons at their firms’ offices on a monthly basis, delivering a practical spin on the theory learnt in those lessons, and mentor students completing an Extended Project. Local firms also offer work experience to the CISI students and host and support a “Careers in Investment Management” conference annually.

James Charlton, Investment Manager at Tilney Bestinvest and President of the Liverpool, Chester & North Wales CISI Committee said “The programme has been extremely successful in fostering links between students at local schools studying for CISI qualifications and local financial services employers. The branch committee work tirelessly to create opportunities for students, and our members have been a tremendous support. Their participation has been fundamental to the success of the programme."

"It’s widely recognised that if you’re seeking a career in Wealth Management, outside of London, Liverpool is the place to be and we are committed to educating, developing and retaining the next generation of talented investment professionals in our city.”

Costs & Funding

Qualification Costs

The CISI is committed to making its courses accessible, we provide students in full-time education with a 50% discount. The breakdown of costs (including the discount) per student for the 2014/15 academic year is as follows:

Level 2 Award in Fundamentals of Financial Services (for 16-19 year olds) Exam fee Workbook price Total cost
Fundamentals of Financial Services £30.00 £40.00 £70.00
Level 3 Diploma in Finance, Risk and Investment (A Level equivalent) Exam fee Workbook price Total cost
Money, Economies and Uncertainty £40.00


Investment Decision Making, Accounting and Governance £40.00
Introduction to Investment £40.00 £40.00* £120.00

Extended Project £40.00 n/a
Students benefit from one free exam resit for all modules.

Government Funding

The qualifications are listed as eligible for funding as defined under Section 96 of the Department for Education's (DfE) Learning and Skills Act 2000. Search for these qualifications on the Learning Aim Reference Application:

  • Award in Fundamentals of Financial Services - 60134847
  • Award for Introduction to Investment - 50107823
  • Certificate for Introduction to Securities & Investment - 50062670
  • Certificate in Finance, Risk & decision Making - 60079782
  • Diploma in Finance, Risk & Investment - 60078339

CISI Educational Bursary

The CISI's Educational Trust sponsors a bursary scheme for students aged 16-19 studying at schools or colleges undertaking CISI qualifications. An award can be made for a maximum of two pupils at each centre teaching CISI qualifications per academic year, a maximum of 30 weeks at £30 per week, per student, a total of £900.