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Bradford University School of Management to launch groundbreaking degree in financial planning

3 April 09

One of Europe's leading business schools is launching a groundbreaking degree to equip the next generation of financial planners with vitally-needed skills.

Bradford University School of Management's four-year BSc in Financial Planning will set a new standard when it commences in September 2010. With many British consumers struggling with debt and insufficient savings, the Independent Financial Advisory (IFA) profession has never been more important and the degree will provide the highly-qualified graduates it needs.

The BSc has been developed in partnership with the Yorkshire Independent Financial Advisor Forum, which has more than 200 IFA members. Students will gain immeasurable experience with a one-year work placement during the course.

They will graduate not only with a BSc degree but with the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII)'s Certificate in Financial Planning as well as substantial credits towards the CII's Diploma in Financial Planning. Graduates will therefore be placed on a fast-track towards Chartered Financial Planning Status, the pinnacle of achievement in the profession.

Financial planning is a rapidly-evolving sector which will require more graduates as it seeks parity with more established professions like accountancy and law. Professor Arthur Francis, Dean of the School of Management, said they had worked closely with the forum and others in the industry to ensure that the school's financial planning graduates will be much sought-after by future employers.

"This is an opportunity for increased engagement with employers in Bradford, Yorkshire and nationally to develop the expertise in our graduates and contribute to both students' employability and business expertise in financial planning." said Professor Francis.

"We are dedicated to working with employers to provide expertise the economy needs in the future."

Chairman of the Yorkshire Independent Financial Advisor Forum David Cubitt said: "We're delighted that the School of Management has committed to this groundbreaking project which will have a significant impact on our profession and for jobs in the region. This is a proud day for Bradford and the region."

The BSc is crucial to the forum's plan to develop a national centre of excellence for financial planning, Mr Cubitt said. This will create new jobs at a time when many businesses in the financial services sector are downsizing to cut costs.

Others backing the new qualification include prestigious financial services group AEGON UK. Its Head of Industry Development Dr Peter Williams who assisted with the development, said: "Bradford University School of Management is one of the UK's leading business schools and their commitment to the future of IFAs and advice is testimony to how quickly the current financial services industry is becoming a profession."

3 April 09

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Further information for Media Enquirers

For further information please contact the University of Bradford Press Office on 01274 23 3089/3084.

Out of office hours call 07879 437996. Alternatively, e-mail or fax on (01274) 236280.