This unit prepares students to engage advanced critical and reflective skills in analysing the ethical principles and standards of professional practice in financial services, and to understand (and effectively apply) the legal compliance requirements of the financial adviser profession. Students learn to identify complex ethical issues and propose sound solutions; effectively apply resources available in support institutions; and use creative skills to improve the ethics regime of the profession. Client management concepts and principles are practised in the context of: enhancing communication, conflict resolution and trust building skills; developing ethical and legally compliant solutions to systemic problems; and applying recent theoretical developments in social psychology and behavioural finance to foster ethical cultures.


Teaching periods
Start and end dates
Last self-enrolment date
Census date
Last withdraw without fail date
Results released date

Learning outcomes

Students who successfully complete this unit will be able to:

  • Apply legal and regulatory requirements in professional contexts, and evaluate legal and moral consequences of non-compliance
  • Critically analyse complex situations that may lead to conflicts of interests and unethical behaviour, and provide ethical and professional solutions
  • Demonstrate advanced communication skills and effective application of client engagement psychology in financial planning contexts
  • Critically reflect on cognitive and behavioural patterns in financial decision making, and provide ethical client management solutions
  • Work effectively as a leader or a member of a team

Teaching methods


Type Hours per week Number of weeks Total (number of hours)
Face to Face Contact (Phasing out)
3.00 12 weeks 36
Unspecified Learning Activities (Phasing out)
Independent Learning
9.50 12 weeks 114

Swinburne Online

Type Hours per week Number of weeks Total (number of hours)
Directed Online Learning and Independent Learning
2.00 12 weeks 24
Unspecified Learning Activities (Phasing out)
Individual Study
10.50 12 weeks 126


Type Task Weighting ULO's
Online DiscussionIndividual 10 - 20% 1,2,3,4 
Presentation and ReportGroup 30 - 40% 1,2,3,4,5 
Reflective EssayIndividual 30 - 50% 1,2,3,4 
TestIndividual 10 - 20% 1,2 


  • Financial planning best interest duty: professional and legal requirements 
  • The ethics regime; frameworks and decision making
  • Applying and comparing code of ethics in financial planning practice
  • Ethical issues and dilemmas in financial planning services
  • Conflicts of interest: understanding and managing systemic sources
  • Advanced applications of professional conduct: applying integrity, resisting power pressure, and giving voice to values
  • Behavioural finance: managing individual congnitive bias and improving heuristics
  • Advanced ethical reasoning and social intuitionist approaches to decision making

Study resources

Reading materials

A list of reading materials and/or required textbooks will be available in the Unit Outline on Canvas.