Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute

  • CFAI Research Challenge team 2015

    UC team ranking second in the CFA research challenge in 2015. Back from left: Alice Lee, Beini Echo Guo (Murray & Co), Robyn Nuttall. Front from left: Sung Park (Christchurch City Council), Dr Huong Dieu Dang, CFA, Dylan Beardsley (Brycharl Corporation)

The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute aims to lead the investment profession globally by promoting the highest standards of ethics, education, and professional excellence. The CFA designation is the most respected and recognised investment management credential in the world.

About the CFA Institute University Affiliation Program

The University of Canterbury (UC)’s Bachelor of Commerce major in Finance has been acknowledged as incorporating at least 70 percent of the CFA Program Candidate Body of Knowledge (CBOK) and as placing emphasis on the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice within the program.  The programme positions students to obtain the Chartered Financial Analyst® designation, which has become the most respected and recognised investment credential in the world.

The Bachelor of Commerce degree, majoring in Finance, provides students with a strong foundation in corporate finance, financial markets and institutions, and investment analysis. The program covers a wide variety of challenging topics included in the CFA Exam Level I, Level II and Level III curricula. Students are well prepared and encouraged to sit for the CFA exam Level I by the time they graduate from UC.  Since 2011, most UC-sponsored students passed the CFA Exam Level I on the first try.

Entry into the CFA Institute University Affiliation Program signals to potential students, employers, and the marketplace that the University of Canterbury curriculum is closely tied to professional practice and is well-suited to preparing students to sit for the CFA examinations. Through participation in this programme, the Department of Economics and Finance at the University of Canterbury is eligible to award a limited number of scholarships to UC students to take the CFA exam in June and December each year. A call for scholarship applications to take the CFA exam Level I will be announced twice a year. Students will need to prepare for the exam before applying for a scholarship and before a decision can be made. For further information about the CFA exams, please visit the website.

Students with a strong background in Economic, Finance and Accounting are also welcomed to apply to represent UC at the CFAI Research Challenge. For further information about the annual competition, please contact Dr Huong Dieu Dang, CFA.

Mapping guide for CFA Exam Level 1 topics

The following mapping guide includes the CFA Exam Level I topics covered within the Bachelor of Commerce major in Finance program.

  1. Time Value of Money: FINC201
  2. Probability: STAT101
  3. Probability Distributions and Descriptive Statistics: STAT101
  4. Sampling and Estimation: STAT101
  5. Hypothesis Testing: STAT101
  6. Correlation Analysis and Regression: STAT101
  1. Market Forces of Supply and Demand: ECON104ECON105
  2. The Firm and Industry Organization: ECON104ECON105
  3. Measuring National Income and Growth: ECON104ECON105
  4. Business Cycles: ECON104ECON105
  5. The Monetary System: ECON104ECON105
  6. Inflation: ECON104ECON105
  7. International Trade and Capital Flows: FINC344
  8. Currency Exchange Rates:  FINC344
  9. Monetary and Fiscal Policy: ECON105
  1. Financial Reporting System (IFRS and GAAP): ACCT102FINC308
  2. Principal Financial Statements: FINC308
  3. Financial Reporting Quality: FINC308
  4. Analysis of Debt: FINC308FINC316
  1. Corporate Governance: FINC301
  2. Dividend Policy: FINC301
  3. Capital Investment Decisions: FINC301FINC302
  4. Business and Financial Risk: FINC201
  5. Long-Term Financial Policy: FINC301
  6. Short-Term Financial Policy: FINC301
  7. Mergers and Acquisitions and Corporate Restructuring: FINC301
  1. Types of Equity Securities and their Characteristics: FINC311
  2. Equity Markets: Characteristics, Institutions, and Benchmarks: FINC203FINC311
  3. Fundamental Analysis (Sector, Industry, Company) and the Valuation of Individual Equity Securities: FINC311
  4. Equity Market Valuation and Return Analysis: FINC311
  5. Special Applications of Fundamental Analysis (Residual Earnings): FINC311FINC302
  1. Types of Fixed Income Securities and their Characteristics: FINC201FINC203FINC316
  2. Fixed Income Markets: Characteristics, Institutions, and Benchmarks: FINC203FINC316
  3. Fixed Income Valuation (Sector, Industry, Company) and Return Analysis: FINC306
  4. Term Structure Determination and Yield Spreads: FINC203FINC316FINC312
  5. Analysis of Interest Rate Risk: FINC203FINC316
  6. Analysis of Credit Risk: FINC316
  1. Types of Derivative Instruments and their Characteristics: FINC312
  2. Forward Markets and Instruments: FINC203FINC312
  3. Futures Markets and Instruments: FINC203FINC312
  4. Options Markets and Instruments: FINC203FINC312
  5. Swaps Markets and Instruments: FINC203FINC312
  6. Credit Derivatives Markets and Instruments: FINC316FINC312
  1. Types of Alternative Investments and their Characteristics: FINC101
  2. Real Estate: FINC101
  3. Private Equity/Venture Capital: FINC311
  4. Hedge Funds: FINC311
  5. Commodities: FINC312
  1. Portfolio Concepts: FINC311FINC331
  2. Management of Individual/Family Investor Portfolios: FINC311FINC331

CFA Examinations and Scholarships

In each U.S academic year the Department of Economics and Finance can nominate up to three students and I can nominate up to three students to receive Scholarships to take the CFA Exams. The next round of scholarships will be for the December 2020 CFA Exam Level I. This will be the last paper-based CFA exam Level I.

If you would like to apply for a scholarship, you need to submit a one-page cover letter and your CV to Huong Dang between Tuesday 28 July and Monday 3 August (subject: CFA exam scholarship application). Applications submitted after 4.30pm on Monday 3 August will not be considered. 

Your cover letter should address the following two questions:

  • How well have you prepared for the exam? You may include a specific study plan.
  • How would the scholarship and the exam help you achieve your professional goals?

You may include a one-page study plan at the end of your application. You must combine your documents in one (and only one) pdf file. If you submit more than one files, only the first one will be considered. Successful candidates will be notified via email before 8 August.

For information about the CFA exam visit

For the BCom programme/CFA exam curriculum mapping guide, visit this page:

December 2020

All candidates who have registered for–what is now–the final paper-based exam in December 2020 may stay with this option or switch to any of the available 2021 computer-based administrations. 

Future of Exam Delivery

CFA Institute will transition Level I of the CFA Program to computer-based testing (CBT), in 2021. The February 2021 CFA Exam Level I, which is the first computer-based exam for Level I candidates, is now open. The exam will be administered 23 February - 1 March 2021 and offered in over 400 exam centers around the world. 

All candidates who take the CFA exam in December 2020, or any exam dates offered in 2021, will be tested using the current 2020 CFA Program curriculum. Additional details about how candidates can continue their CFA Program journey are available on Press Room COVID-19 page

2021 CFA Program computer-based testing

  • Computer-based scheduling enables CFA Institute to retire single-day test administration in favor of more convenient, socially distant computer-based test administration. Doing this offers options for candidates around the globe by increasing the number of exam administrations for every level, providing multi-day exam windows to eliminate the practice of all candidates sitting in a single day, and a broader footprint of test areas to improve flexibility. 
  • Along with Level I, the Level II and Level III CFA exams will shift from paper-based to computer-based testing starting in 2021. This change allows CFA Institute to provide smaller group sizes, better social distancing, easier scheduling with more locations, and less uncertainty about planning for our candidates.
  • The Level I computer-based exam will be offered four times per year. The Level II and Level III computer-based exam will be offered two times per year.
  • Candidates who have registered for June 2021 may revert to the December 2020 paper-based exam or select any of the available 2021 computer-based options.
  • Registration is currently open for the February Level I exam. Registration will be open on 20 August for all levels and all dates for 2021 computer-based exams. 

The FAQ page here includes more details about changes to the exam cycle, information on computer-based testing, and exam policies. This page will be updated regularly. 

CFA Program Level II and III Exam Format Changes

Historically, at Level II, the exam had 20 item sets with 6 multiple-choice questions attached to each item set. The Level III afternoon exam had 10 item sets with 6 multiple-choice questions (the Level III AM portion is essay with varying numbers of questions). 

For information on how the format will change please visit this page:

Career Tools

CFA Institute launched a new Career Tools platform to help constituents achieve success in their careers. It includes a broad range of career assessments, a robust resume/CV builder and feedback tool, an interview simulator and pitch builder, and a deep library of learning assets to support career mobility/management and soft skills development. Access is available only for CFA Program candidates, individuals pending award of the CFA charter, and CFA Institute members using their CFA Institute account credentials.