Diploma: Financial Information Systems

Duration: 3 years

Delivery Site: Butterworth

Career Opportunities

Generally, graduates of the Diploma: FIS can work as junior accountants, junior management accountants, bookkeepers, and other entry-level accounting related positions.

Private enterprises, especially in the manufacturing and industrial field, and the public sector (local and provincial government departments and SARS, for example).

Purpose of the Qualification

The purpose of this qualification is for the graduate to be able to perform (manual and computerised) financial and management accounting functions as part of a finance team or independently.

It also serves as a foundation for further studies in accounting fields such as the Accounting Technician qualification and Chartered Management Accountant, for example.

Exit Level Outcomes of the Programme

  1. Upon completion of the Diploma: FIS, the qualifying learners will be able to:
  2. Prepare, analyse and interpret complex Financial Statements for companies, applying GAAP (including certain accounting standards).
  3. Manage the financial aspects of business up to the corporate level.
  4. Determine and apply various techniques whereby timeous and accurate information could be made available for decision making and control.
  5. Acquire an understanding of Information Systems in business.
  6. Audit manual and computerised business cycles, including networks.
  7. Effectively apply communication principles to a variety of communication activities, contexts for resolving communication problems.
  8. Plan, organise, lead and control business activities.

Critical Cross-Field Outcomes

The qualification is designed, and should be presented and assessed, in such a way that the following skills of the learner are promoted and developed:

The ability to:

  • Take decisions and accept responsibility.
  • Identify and solve basic problems.
  • Communicate effectively by way of mathematical and written presentations.
  • Work with others as a member of a team.
  • Collect, analyse and evaluate information.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the world to identify entrepreneurial opportunities. 

Entrepreneurship & Professional Development of Students

It is part of the Department of Accounting’s mission to instil entrepreneurial skills in our graduates to support their academic talents. Ongoing entrepreneurial exposure is presented via successful local business people and other entrepreneurial experts.

Students are encouraged to visit the websites of professional bodies such as the

Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) and South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) for more information.

Minimum Admission Requirements

National Senior Certificate (NSC)

  • A National Senior Certificate and pass at least 4 subjects (English and 3 other relevant subjects one of which must be Mathematics (not Mathematics Literacy) with an achievement rating of level 3 (40% - 49%) and above.
  • Alternatively, a Higher or Advanced Certificate in the cognate field.
  • Minimum statutory NSC requirements for diploma entry must be met.
  • Applicants are required to participate in National Benchmarking and SATAPS Tests.

Grade 12/Matric

  • Senior Certificate Requirement
  • A D-symbol for English (2nd language) on the Higher Grade. In addition, an E-symbol on the Higher Grade or a D-symbol on the Standard Grade for Mathematics and in 2 other relevant subjects.
  • National Certificate (Vocational) NC (V)
  • 40% and above pass in three (3) fundamental subjects (English, Mathematics & Life Orientation) / 50% or more for Mathematics Literacy.


  • 40% and above pass in three (3) compulsory vocational subjects (Applied Accounting, Economic Environment & Financial Management).
  • In addition to the above, the minimum Admission Point Score (APS) for admission is 21 for seven subjects.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

  • RPL may be used to demonstrate competence for admission to this programme. This qualification may be achieved in part through recognition of prior learning processes. Credits achieved by RPL must not exceed 50% of the total credits and must not include credits at the exit level.
  • The provision that the qualification may be obtained through the recognition of prior learning facilitates access to education, training and a career path in accounting and thus accelerates the redress of past unfair discrimination in education, training and employment opportunities.
  • Evidence of prior learning must be assessed through formal RPL processes through recognised methods. Any other evidence of prior learning should be assessed through formal RPL processes to recognise achievement thereof.
  • Learners submitting themselves for RPL should be thoroughly briefed prior to the assessment and will be required to submit a Portfolio of Evidence (PoE) in the prescribed format to be assessed for formal recognition. While this is primarily a workplace-based qualification, evidence from other areas of learning may be introduced if pertinent to any of the Exit Level Outcomes (ELOs).
  • The structure of this non-unit standard based qualification makes RPL possible if the learner is able to demonstrate competence in the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes implicit in this first stage accounting qualification.
  • Learners who already work in the accounting field who believe they possess competencies to enable them to meet some or all of the ELOs listed in the qualification will be able to present themselves for assessment against those of their choice.

International Students

Applications from international students are considered in terms of:

  • Universities South Africa (Usaf)/Institutional Guidelines.
  • Institutional equivalence reference document.
  • Where required, submission of international qualification to SAQA for benchmarking in terms of HEQF.

Mature Age Endorsement

Refer to requirements as per WSU’s General Rules & Regulations – Section 1.6.


For details of the curriculum and other rules, download a copy of Butterworth's 2021 Faculty of Management Sciences prospectus.