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 six students for the Awareness Scholarships to take the CFA exam in either December or June the following year. The next round of scholarships will be for the December 2019 exam Level I.

What is involved?

If you plan to take the exam level 1 this December and would like to apply for the registration fee waiver scholarship you should email a one-page cover letter and your CV to Dr Huong Dang at (subject: CFA exam scholarship application).

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. Please combine your documents in one (and only one) pdf file. If you submit more than one files, only the first one will be considered.

The deadline to apply for a scholarship to take the CFA exam in December 2019 is 4.30pm (sharp), 26 July 2018. Late submissions will not be considered. There will be no other call for scholarship applications this year.

For information about the mapping guide for the CFA exam level I topics see the Mapping Guide on this page

For information about the scholarships read the How to apply for a student scholarship guide.

For information about the CFA exam visit the CFA Program Curriculum webpage.

Future of Exam Delivery

 CFA Institute will transition Level I of the CFA Program to computer-based testing (CBT), targeted for 2021. This capability enables CFA Institute to keep pace with the evolution of global testing and credentialing practices and will enhance the overall candidate experience. 

Under CBT, the CFA Institute will offer a wider selection of test venues, more flexible scheduling, and expedited exam results delivery. Candidates will test in proctored test centers around the world.

As a natural evolution in how the CFA Institute design and deliver credentialing programs, these efforts are part of a larger digital transformation for the CFA Program. For example, a one-stop digital learning platform, known to candidates as the Learning Ecosystem (LES), is now available for Level I candidates. The LES offers the entire Level I CFA Program curriculum, all existing study tools, and features that help candidates track and manage their learning through an online, personalized learning experience. 

For more information, visit this page

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: