Two consortia of colleges and universities are developing financial services foundation degrees to go live in 2007.
The announcement follows the launch of a financial services foundation degree framework by the Financial Services Skills Council (Fssc) in April, which is being developed with representatives from banking, insurance, financial advice and investment, as well as further education colleges, universities and training providers.
The consultation process for the framework is open until 7 July, but two consortia in London and Manchester are already developing degrees planned to go live in 2007.
The London consortium is made up of five colleges – Tower Hamlets, Westminster Kingsway, Orpington, Havering and Hackney City – and London Metropolitan University.
David Fagan, business curriculum manager at Orpington College who is representing Orpington and Westminster Kingsway colleges in the consortium, says the degree will be mapped to the Fssc’s framework - covering themes such as regulation, ethics and the understanding of financial documentation - and will be developed according to the needs of each sector in financial services.
After studying for two years students will receive a foundation degree in financial services, while a third year of study at London Metropolitan University will result in an honours degree equivalent to an undergraduate degree.
Fagan says potential learners could be undergraduate students or employees who would do the degree in conjunction with their full-time job.
He states: “Students may not have an A-level but they may have a huge amount of work experience and therefore qualify for entry. Or they make take an A-level while they are working in conjunction with a training programme at their place of work.”
While details of the programme have not been finalised, Fagan says one method of learning could involve a “day-release” scheme whereby students attend college one day a week.
But he suggests employers may favour a more flexible, blended approach involving e-learning combined with a workshop every two to three weeks.
The degree will mainly concentrate on generic management skills, such as time management, but will also teach technical knowledge including anti-money laundering.
Meanwhile, the consortium based in Manchester involves Manchester Metropolitan University and colleges including Blackburn College.
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