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Professional Certificate in Banking

The Professional Certificate in Banking (PCertB®) is specifically designed for those starting out in a management career in financial services, particularly in retail and commercial banking.  It provides essential core knowledge of the industry, the external environment in which it operates and the interaction between the two.  The PCertB is a widely recognized and valued qualification in its own right, and forms the first stage of the BSc (Hons) degree I Banking Practice and Management.

Programme Aims

The Professional Certificate in Banking has the aims to enable students to:

  • Gain a through grounding in the workings of the sector both from an organisational point of view and in respect of financial markets.
  • Appreciate the essential concepts of risk that underpin financial decision making at every level.
  • Provide assurance to industry employers that the knowledge developed is based on comprehensive understanding of the fundamental principles on which the industry is built.
  • Gain the ability to develop general financial services knowledge.
  • Provide current, applied learning opportunities for UK and international students who are either new to the financial services and banking sectors or are seeking continuing professional development opportunities.
Learning Outcome

  On successful completion of this programme, students should be able to:

  • Develop relevant specialist knowledge (including an awareness of the range of financial services institutions, their functions and how the interrelate) and the ability to evaluate and apply this to specific areas of banking and wider financial services activities.
  • Develop an awareness and understanding of the ways in which regulation and legislation impact on and are relevant to organisations within the banking and financial services sector.
  • Develop an understanding of the measures commonly employed by organisations to monitor performance in their core business sectors.
  • Provide an awareness of the need for, and the value of, effective customer service.
  • Enable students to set and prioritise objectives and prepare, implement and monitor plans for the achievement of organisational objectives in the light of available and required resources.
  • Develop a more in-depth knowledge in banking to serve more competently in practical banking positions.
Mode of Delivery

Teaching may include the following:

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Exercises
  • Case Studies
  • Mini-cases
  • Analysis of reports
  • Presentations
  • Discussion
  • Computer simulation
  • Programming
  • Self-study
Course Duration
Full Time: 12 Months
Part-time: 12 Months
Course Intake

Full-Time/Part-Time: January, April, July, October

Entry Requirement

Minimum Age

At least 18 years old

Minimum Academic Entry Requirement

  • Any 3 ‘A’ level subjects with Grades B, C and C or the International Baccalaureate (28 points) or equivalent High School/Year 12 qualification OR
  • Polytechnic Diploma in a non-relevant field, OR
  • Students with 2 ‘A’ level subjects may enter via the ACCA 'Fundamental papers F1-F6 (or part thereof), students may be eligible for entry/exemption 


  • Applicants must hold GCSE Mathematics at minimum grade C (or equivalent) and English Language at minimum grade C (or equivalent) or an IELTS score of 6.0 with no element below 5.5 (or equivalent English language qualifications).

Mature applicants

To be considered for mature entry you will be required to meet the following criteria:

  • Be aged 30 or over with 8 years of relevant experience
  • Unable to meet the standard entry criteria for Professional Certificate in Banking (PCertB)

As a mature applicant, you are required to submit a current CV supported by a 500 to 600 word statement indicating why you have chosen to undertake the programme and how it will support your career plans. If you do not meet the minimum entry criteria for GCSE (or equivalent) in Mathematics you should briefly describe your Mathematical ability as part of your statement. If invited to progress an interview may be held.

You may be required to successfully complete the Financial Markets and Risk module as Continued Professional Development, prior to being accepted into the programme.

Module Synopsis

Financial Markets and Risk
The module is designed to provide an introduction to the environment within which the financial services industry operates and to explore the main components of the financial system. It begins by describing the major financial institutions, the markets within which they operate and the main participants in the markets. The emphasis is on how the financial system works and on the inter-relationships between market participants and stakeholders.

The module goes on to explain the core concepts of a monetary system, such as the money supply, inflation and the factors influencing interest rates and foreign exchange rates. It describes the role of monetary policy in controlling inflation and the role of the central banks in providing liquidity to the markets. The module also explores the concept of risk, and the nature of the risks relating to the financial markets, financial institutions and non-bank companies. There is focus on the management of risk.This includes the concept of hedging and financial products and strategies for managing risk, but also extends to issues such as systemic risk, capital adequacy and liquidity risk.

The module also explains the principles and nature of regulation in the financial markets, and the impact of regulation on the markets and financial institutions. There is emphasis on current trends and issues in the financial markets, including those of ethics and sustainability, so that the module has direct and up-to-date relevance for individuals working in the financial services industry.

Assessing Financial Performance
All enterprises need to set objectives and monitor achievement in the core areas of their business. An important aspect of business activity is the ability to report performance to a variety of users. At a corporate (or business-unit) level, the objectives and outcomes will frequently be expressed in financial terms. However, it is likely that objectives will also be expressed in non-financial terms – particularly at a business department / function or individual level.

The module commences with an examination of the users of financial information, their information needs and the qualitative characteristics of useful information. The module develops with a study of the accounting system that produces the financial statements which measure business performance, position and liquidity. The module progresses with a review of the budgetary process in organisations, recognising that operational performance targets are most commonly communicated and monitored via this process. This review explicitly acknowledges that while many budgets are expressed in financial terms, it is equally important to have budgets / targets based on key operational measures and to regularly monitor actual levels of achievement against those targets.

The module concludes with a review of the ‘balanced scorecard’ approach to measuring performance and the use of performance indicators in the non-financial elements of the balanced scorecard approach.

Fundamentals of Leadership and Management
Effective management is fundamental to the success of any organisation. An understanding of the different types of organisational structure, and the ability to analyse an individual’s own organisation and an individual’s place within it are therefore critical to an individual’s ability to manage effectively.

This module focuses on the principles of management, in terms of the management of people, systems and self. It also identifies the importance of management skills in the strategic context, personal skills for the delivery of quality customer service. The increasing importance of organisations recognising the influence of the external environment, its stakeholders and operating in a socially responsible manner are also explored.

The syllabus topics have been chosen to develop the student’s knowledge and understanding of organisational structures and theories, institutional management issues and their importance for effective management within the workplace. The module also allows students to appreciate the importance of effective organizational management when dealing with customers and other external stakeholders.

Marketing Financial Services
The focus of this module is how financial services organisations identify, understand and meet the needs, expectations and aspirations of customers to ensure the effectiveness of an organisation’s marketing effort.

A key aspect is understanding the importance of being aware of changes in the marketplace (including the competitive landscape), which will have a significant impact on the customers of financial services organisations and the way the organisation interacts with them.

The module introduces a range of marketing tools, techniques and concepts and examines how these can be used in practice. Focus is given to how financial services organisations employ marketing practices to ensure sustained and profitable growth in their business. Particular attention is paid to the importance of effective relationship marketing and the need for excellent customer service to support and underpin it.

The syllabus topics have been chosen to provide relevant learning about the role of marketing as a core and significant component of management activity in organisations, and the importance of building effective relationships with, and providing excellent service, to customers.

Attendance Requirements
  • STP holders - 90%
  • Non-STP holders - 75%
Assessment and Graduation

A range of assessments is used within the programme to assess knowledge and understanding.  Modules will be assessed by means of one objective test or one short answer question and two summative coursework assignments.

Failure and Reassessment

Where students repeat a module either as a resit or a resubmission, the mark will be capped at a pass mark.  Students have a maximum of 4 attempts at assessment of any module, including resits/resubmissions.

Calculation of Grades

A student’s module performance grade is determined by their overall weighted average percentage score in accordance with the following:

Pass: 45 - 49%
Distinction: 70 - 100%

Teacher-Student Ratio

1 Teacher: 60 Students

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