Frequently Asked Questions


General questions

I am currently working in a non-finance role but would like to make a career transition into a finance role — what programs can I do?

You can apply to either of two programs:

  • Graduate Certificate of Finance (16 credit points) OR
  • Master of Applied Finance (48 credit points)

Each application is assessed on its own merits. Many students from a non-finance background successfully complete the course and transition into rewarding finance roles.

What is Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) / Credit and exemption?

Programs can recognise learning (RPL) gained through work experience, training programs, industry accredited qualifications, and so forth. RPL can reduce the number of units for some students, shortening the time to complete your degree.

Further information on RPL is available from the credit and exemption page.

Industry professionals without a bachelor’s degree may be eligible for entry to the Graduate Certificate of Finance with a demonstrated willingness and ability to study and at least five year’s relevant professional work experience.

Do I need a degree to enrol in a program?

Industry professionals without a bachelor’s degree may be eligible for entry to the Graduate Certificate of Finance if you can show a willingness and ability to study and at least five year’s relevant professional work experience.

Successful completion of the Graduate Certificate of Finance will satisfy the admission requirements for the Graduate Diploma of Applied Finance and the Master of Applied Finance.

What counts as a finance-related degree?

Finance-related degrees are in the business and finance disciplines or have a close affinity to business and finance. Depending on specialisations, these degrees may include Bachelor (or higher) studies in:

  • Actuarial Studies
  • Business (Accounting) (Banking) (Finance) (Economics) (Actuarial Studies)
  • Commerce (Accounting) (Banking) (Finance) (Economics) (Actuarial Studies)
  • Economics
  • Finance

Bachelor degrees in other disciplines which include the completion of a significant number of finance / business units may also be considered.

What counts as a non-finance-related degree?

Non-finance-related degrees are in disciplines that have no specific study in finance-related areas. Such degrees include studies in:

  • archaeology
  • education
  • geography
  • history
  • languages
  • law
  • management
  • engineering
  • medicine
  • psychology
  • science

What counts as 'equivalent' to a finance-related Bachelor degree?

Successful completion of Chartered Financial Analysts (CFA) level 3 will be recognised as equivalent to a Bachelor’s degree in a finance-related discipline.

Successful completion of the following accredited qualifications will be recognised for conversion of a Bachelor’s degree in any discipline to a finance-related discipline:

  • Diploma in Treasury Management from ACT
  • Chartered Financial Analysts, level 1 or 2
  • Professional Risk Manager designation from PRMIA AND AFCP613 Financial Statement Analysis and Modelling (or equivalent)
  • Financial Risk Manager Designation from GARP AND AFCP613 Financial Statement Analysis and Modelling (or equivalent)

Students with a non-finance-related degree will need to complete or receive exemption from the four (4) compulsory gateway units of study. If you hold a Graduate Certificate of Finance (or equivalent) you will be eligible for an exemption for the four (4) gateway units, providing you meet the other admission requirements for the MAppFin.

My undergraduate degree was not in Finance — am I still eligible to apply?

Yes, you can apply for the Graduate Certificate of Finance OR if you have 2 years professional work experience in the field of your undergraduate degree or in finance, you may apply to Master of Applied Finance.

While an undergraduate degree in a finance related discipline will assist you in studying our program, applicants with an undergraduate degree in any discipline are eligible to apply. Those students without prior formal studies in a finance discipline will be required to complete up to four gateway units.

Academic qualifications are only one component we consider when accessing the suitability of an applicant to our program.

What is "relevant professional work experience"?

Relevant professional work experience includes roles requiring technical or specialist expertise or managerial/decision-making functions in either the finance industry or the industry of your prior degree. Formal graduate programs within recognised financial institutions will be considered. Participation in continuing professional development programs and on-going industry memberships complement the knowledge, skills and professional requirement for recognition of work experience.

In the granting of admission or credit on the basis of work experience a number of factors will be considered, including: the number of years of work experience; how current that experience is; its relevance to the finance industry and/or the applicant's prior degree; and the type of role(s) the applicant has undertaken. Professional work experience could include roles requiring technical or specialist expertise, or managerial/decision-making functions.

Can I enrol in this program by correspondence or on-line?

Yes, for the Graduate Certificate of Finance. This course is entirely online.

No, for the Graduate Diploma of Applied Finance and the Master of Applied Finance. Attendance at lectures is essential for these programs.

One of the key benefits as identified by students and alumni is the ‘classroom experience’. The ability to share knowledge and work experiences with peers and lecturers and to learn from each other is highly valued by students.

Is there a quota?

Class sizes are limited in both the full-time and part-time programs. We recommend you submit your application early to avoid disappointment.

What kind of opportunities would be available for graduates who complete the program/s?

Students who have completed our programs have gone on to occupy senior positions within banking, corporate finance, stockbroking, investment management, venture capital, project finance and risk management firms in Australia and overseas. The Master of Applied Finance is internationally recognised as one of the leading professional finance graduate courses available.

Can I take longer than the suggested time to complete the program?

Yes, we appreciate that some students will need to slow their rate of study due to outside circumstances such as work commitments. The program allows students to set their own rate of progression through the qualification. Although many students do complete the part-time programs within the recommended time period, others choose to take slightly longer. (Maximum completion times apply for all awards.)

Course-specific questions

Master of Applied Finance

What is the duration of study?

The minimum time to complete the Master of Applied Finance is one full-time equivalent year with full recognition of prior learning, or up to 1.5 full-time equivalent years without recognition of prior learning.

The maximum time allowed to complete the Master of Applied Finance is seven years.

If I have recognised prior learning in a finance related area can I still complete the MAppFin in one year (full time equivalent)?

Yes, applicants with a finance-related prior degree will receive an exemption from the 4 gateway units, providing they also have a minimum of 2 years professional relevant work experience.

If I have no prior studies in finance, can I still complete the MAppFin in one year (full time equivalent)?

No, your program of study will take a minimum of 1.5 years (FTE) study.

Elective units are organised into specialisations (or streams) – do I have to specialise?

No, we organise the elective units into streams to make it easier for students to plan their studies around the areas of finance in which they are most interested. Some students have a specific career path in mind when they begin the program and therefore want to specialise in that area. Many of our students prefer to gain a broad understanding of finance and will select elective units from across several or all streams. Completion of a stream does not lead to a ‘specialisation’ at the end of the program.

What is my program of study?

Program of study can be found on the Master of Applied Finance program page.

Can I do other units in Macquarie University?

No, in general, students enrolled in the Applied Finance Centre programs may only enrol in Applied Finance Centre units.

Do you require a specific GPA level?

No, but the overall performance in your undergraduate degree will be taken into consideration as well as other factors forming your application.

I am interested in a particular area of finance and therefore, I am not sure if I want to do a full Master of Applied Finance program. Should I still consider the MAppFin?

You may want to consider the Graduate Diploma of Applied Finance. This way you can select the core units and elective units that cover the areas of finance in which you are interested. Alternatively you can undertake our specialised programs: 

After completion of any of these programs you may articulate into the MAppFin with full credit. This means with a further 16 credit points of study you can be awarded the MAppFin.

Graduate Diploma of Applied Finance

What is the duration of study?

The minimum time to complete the GradDipAppFin is six months full-time equivalent. The maximum time to complete the GDipAppFin is four years. A normal load for part-time students would be 4 credit points per term.

Can I transfer from Graduate Diploma of Applied Finance to Master of Applied Finance?

Yes, providing you have been progressing satisfactorily in the GradDipAppFin.

Alternatively, you may take the remaining half of the MAppFin after completing your GradDipAppFin.

What is my program of study? 

Program of study can be found on the Graduate Diploma of Applied Finance page.

Can I do other units in Macquarie University?

No, in general, students enrolled in the Applied Finance Centre programs may only enrol in Applied Finance Centre units.

Do you require a specific GPA level?

No, but the overall performance in your undergraduate degree will be taken into consideration as well as other factors forming your application.

Graduate Certificate of Finance

What is the duration of study?

The minimum time to complete the GradCertFin is six months. The maximum time to complete the GradCertFin is four years. A normal load for part-time students is one unit per term.

Can I study this program on-line?

Yes, for the Graduate Certificate of Finance. This program is entirely online.

The 4 units are delivered online over 12 week terms, with the flexibility of working and studying at a pace to suit the student.

Can I apply if I do not have a degree?

Yes, if you have a minimum of five (5) years of professional work experience and can demonstrate:

  • Broad knowledge and skills in key concepts and principles in your field
  • An ability to evaluate and critically analyse key issues in your field
  • Demonstrate problem solving skills in a business environment;
  • Effective communication in a business / professional environment; and
  • Demonstrate an awareness of contemporary issues relevant to your field.

What level of mathematical skill is required in this program?

Finance has a high level of numerate content. Consequently, this program is, in parts, mathematical and arithmetical. The applied nature of this program means that the focus is on application of knowledge rather than complex mathematical derivations.

You will develop the skills you need as you study the program.

I am from a non-finance background is there a preferred order of study for the gateway units? 

No, you may complete them in any order.

Can I articulate from the Graduate Certificate of Finance to the Graduate Diploma of Applied Finance?

Yes, to progress from the GradCertFin to the GradDipAppFin you must have at least 2 years full-time equivalent, relevant professional work experience.

Can I articulate from the Graduate Certificate of Finance to the Master of Applied Finance?

Yes, to progress from the GradCertFin to the MAppFin you must have at least 2 years full-time equivalent, relevant professional work experience. You will receive full credit for your GradCertFin.

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