CFA Institute Program

  • CFAI Research Challenge team 2015 with Huong Dieu Dang

    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 and Master of Business major in Financial Management have 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 programme.  These programmes position students to obtain the Chartered Financial Analyst® designation, which has become the most respected and recognised investment credential in the world.

The BCom, majoring in Finance and MBus majoring in Financial Management, provide students with a strong foundation in corporate finance, financial markets and institutions, and investment analysis. These programmes cover 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 exams 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.

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 (ending on 31 August), the Department of Economics and Finance can nominate up to three students and Dr Huong Dieu Dang, CFA can nominate up to three students to receive scholarships to take the CFA Exams. The next rounds of scholarships will be for the computer-based 2023 CFA Exam Level I. 

To apply for a scholarship:

You need to submit a one-page cover letter and your CV on the CFA platform (see CFA Student Guide to Student Scholarships). If you do not submit any of these required documents, your application will be rejected.

Your cover letter should address the following two questions:
• How well have you prepared for the exam? You should include a specific study plan.
• How would the scholarship and the exam help you achieve your professional goals?
In your cover letter, you must indicate your planned exam time. You should 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.

Scholarships cannot be transferred from one to another student so it is extremely important that you will only apply for a scholarship if you are fully committed to take the exam. If you are not sure, you should not apply.

If you have registered for a CFA exam, you will not be eligible to apply for a scholarship.

For frequently asked questions regarding Computer-based testing, download CBT Slides June 2020 and/ or click here:

2023 CFA Program Curriculum

Major revisions at Levels I and II for 2023, coupled with the updates made for the 2022 cycle, will better equip candidates with relevant knowledge and skills that reflect current investment practice. For the 2023 exam cycle, content at Level III will remain frozen from the 2022 curriculum.

Please visit the website to find out what has changed in Level I and II, and to see a list of topics and readings for each exam: 

Note that when candidates register for their CFA exam, they receive the curriculum aligned with the exam they will take. All candidates sitting for exams in 2023 will therefore be tested on the 2023 curriculum.

The CFA Institute are adding 20 new testing locations across APAC and EMEA for CFA exams, beginning with the February and May 2023 windows. Pease visit the website to see a list of the new locations and their availability.

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.

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.