SQA Advanced Diploma Financial Services

The SQA Advanced Diploma in Financial Services (SCQF 8) develops skills and knowledge that are specific to the UK financial services industry, including product, service and legislative knowledge. The topics covered include: personal financial services, business accounting, economics, financial services regulatory framework, personal and business lending, principles of insurance, pensions provision, and financing international trade.

The SQA Advanced Diploma in Financial Services also provides an understanding of the roles and responsibilities of financial services providers.

SQA Advanced Diploma in Financial Services provides learners with a progression route into employment. It also provides opportunities for further study, including university degree programmes. Typically, an SQA Advanced Diploma takes two years to complete.

This qualification is available through a growing number of colleges, training providers and universities around the world.

Alternative assessment guidance 2023-24

This subject will not have alternative assessment guidance for session 2023-24. You should refer to the Group Award/Unit specifications for detailed delivery and assessment information. For general support on delivery and assessment see the HNVQ assessment guidance 2023-24.

Why deliver this qualification

SQA Advanced Diplomas have been developed by SQA in partnership with colleges, universities and industry — so employers recognise that they provide sound evidence of ability.

The unit-based structure supports flexible delivery. A unit is typically 40 hours of timetabled learning.

There is a wide choice of optional Units which will enable centres to offer courses tailored to meet local needs.

The SQA Advanced Diploma provides progression routes to further study (see Progression).

Who does this qualification suit

The SQA Advanced Diploma in Financial Services is suitable for a wide range of candidates including:

  • school leavers
  • adult returners to education
  • individuals in employment who wish to enhance their career prospects
  • people who wish to start their own business

Entry Requirements

As with all SQA qualifications, entry is decided by the college or learning provider. As a guide, the college or learning provider will look for:

  • school-leaving qualifications equivalent to Level 3/SCQF Level 6 meaning the student has the ability to study at the higher level
  • a centre devised test which shows the student’s ability to study at SQA Advanced Diploma level.
  • relevant work experience


The SQA Advanced Diploma in Financial Services can provide advanced entry to degree-level study.

Offer this qualification

Centres that wish to come forward for approval should contact SQA’s Business Development Team for guidance.

Assessors and verifiers must be able to meet SQA’s general requirements for technical/occupational competence as outlined in the Systems and Qualification Approval Guide.

Centres with devolved authority are eligible to seek approval through their own internal approval process.

How to assess

Each individual unit specification gives detailed information on the Evidence Requirements and approaches to assessment for each Unit.

Ongoing course assessment will apply.

Assessment/e-assessment support packs are available for this qualification.

Qualification structure

SQA Advanced Diploma in Financial Services

Group Award code: GP0N 48 (240 SCQF credit points)

SQA Advanced Diploma in Financial Services at SCQF level 8 consists of 23 mandatory Units.

Course tutor guide (including course framework)

For further information on the structure and units of these qualifications please refer to the Course Tutor Guide (1.53 MB).

Unit Specifications