Financial Markets Foundation Qualification (FMFQ) Online Programme

Next dates: 1 April*

Duration: 6 months

*registrations close 30 March at 12pm GMT

£995** for ICMA members

£1,400** for non-members

**excluding VAT if applicable.

Download brochure The Financial Markets Foundation Qualification (FMFQ) is an introductory level programme intended for anyone entering into a career in the financial markets.

The programme is intended to provide ‘breadth of knowledge’ to make it relevant to people pursuing careers in the front office, middle office and operations areas. The syllabus content places an even emphasis on introducing and explaining the key concepts of each subject area to develop candidates’ practical knowledge and skill sets.

By completing the programme you will understand:
  • The key players in the financial markets including issuers, investors and intermediaries
  • The interaction between cash and derivative markets
  • The key features of both equity and debt products
  • The structure of the FX market

Who should study the programme?

The course is relevant to a wide range of job functions and areas; anyone who would benefit from an understanding of financial markets, participants and products – and how they all come together.

Candidates will come from organisations involved in both the sell-side and buy-side of the industry plus insurance, accounting, IT firms supporting the industry and the financial press.

The course does not assume any prior study or work experience other than a general knowledge of mathematics such as basic algebra and statistics. As an indicative guide, we would recommend a total of 90 study hours is required to go through the material. Please note this is an approximate guide.

Programme Recognition

Candidates who are successful in gaining the Financial Markets Foundation Qualification and are CFA Charter Holders qualify for 16.5 credit hours which can be used towards study with the CFA Institute. CFA Institute members are encouraged to self-document their continuing professional development activities in their online CE tracker.

Test your knowledge

Unsure if this is the right course for you? Take a short sample exam.
Download brochureThe syllabus content is divided into several topic areas, which are then broken down into multiple subtopics: 

1. Overview of the Financial Markets
  • Introduction to financial markets
  • Concept of disintermediation
  • Explain how banking and financial markets co-exist
  • Identifying the key players and their impact on the market
  • Inside a financial institution
  • Case study - how the changes in regulation are impacting the market
2. Debt Markets
  • Long-term and short-term debt
  • Discount and interest-bearing products
  • Interest rate and credit products
  • Deposits - bank to customer and interbank markets
  • LIBOR, EURIBOR and overnight indexed rates
  • Introduction to credit debt - commercial paper
  • Introduction to interest rate debt - treasury bills
  • Role of primary dealers
  • Calculating proceeds
  • Features of bond markets
  • Interest rate and credit products in the long-term market
  • Government debt in different countries
  • Corporate bonds
  • Understanding credit spreads
  • Valuing bonds - accrued interest
  • Case study - new issues in the market
3. Equities
  • Comparing equity to debt
  • Key features of equity products
  • Equity new issuance
  • Role of equity indices
  • Impact of MiFID and MiFID II
  • Role of MTFs
  • Impact of algorithmic trading
  • Equity valuation - understanding the cashflow
  • Case Study - study of an IPO
4. FX
  • Structure of the FX market
  • How the market trades
  • Understanding FX prices - spot rates
  • Reading prices and calculating simple values
  • Calculating and understanding cross rates
  • Introduction to FX forwards
5. Derivatives
  • Interaction between cash and derivative markets
  • Key uses of derivatives - risk management and risk replication
  • OTC and exchange-traded derivatives
  • Impact of legislation such as EMIR and Dodd-Frank
  • Review of currency forwards
  • Developing the model for interest rates and credit
  • Structure of the futures market
  • The role of a futures exchange
  • Process of margining
  • Options - comparison with forwards and futures
Candidates have three months to work through the content and take the FMFQ exam.


The FMFQ exam consists of a 50 multiple choice question paper covering the material you have worked through over the previous six (6) months. The deadline for taking your exam will be the final day of your study period. You will need to take and pass the exam before your deadline in order to receive your ICMA certificate.

You can take your exam online from the comfort of your with a live online proctoring service available 24/7. All you will need is a high-speed internet connection, a webcam (internal or external), a Windows or Apple operating system, and a government issued photo ID.

The exam consists of 50 multiple choice questions which candidates have two hours to complete. In order to pass, candidates must answer a minimum of 30 questions correctly, with a score of 45 or more earning a distinction.

As an indicative guide, we would recommend a total of 90 study hours is required to go through the material. Please note this is an approximate guide.

Next start date: 1 April (registrations close on 30 March at 12pm GMT)


£995 for members and £1,400 for non-members

Costs include full access to the online campus, associated learning materials and the examination fee.

Please note that payment for online courses must be received before the start of the course.


Should you have any queries about the FMFQ Online course please contact
FMFQ certificate holders

The names of the successful candidates from previous examinations are included in our list of certificate holders.

Mikkel S. Lyngbye

Organisation: ALOC A/S
Job title: Senior Sales Executive

Describe what you do on a day to day basis in your job:
Business Development Manager within the financial sector;
Employed at a ‘FinTech’ company, which provides software solutions to the Capital Markets industry;
Responsible for several of our major accounts, as well as establishing new business relations.

Reasons for taking the course:

Partly to get a certificate on my current knowledge, but also to be able to expand more rapidly in the future.

Benefits of taking this course:
Good programme, great teacher.  New contacts and updated know-how a great benefit.

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