Contact to find out more


Comprised of four parts – a foundation, advanced and two specialist level courses – and covering everything from the first steps in raising finance on the capital markets to an in-depth look at topics like securitisation, this is an integral diploma for any professionals in the primary markets.

Diploma Outcomes

By completing this diploma you will be able to:

  • Identify the key stakeholders in the primary markets and key concepts of corporate finance.
  • Identify the different methods of underwriting, origination and syndication in the primary markets.
  • Understand the key financing characteristics of debt and equity from a primary market perspective, including pricing decisions and launch requirements.
  • Assess current liability management techniques, their applicability and outcomes.
  • Identify and discuss events of default, debt ranking and covenants.
  • Other learning outcomes will depend on selection of specialist courses.

How do I get a Diploma?

ICMA Diplomas are expressly designed to deliver the technical skills needed by capital market professionals to excel in their jobs and to advance their employment opportunities. They offer structured, yet flexible, study programmes for individuals at different points in their careers. The diplomas are backed by the trade body at the heart of the debt capital markets, which is the standard setter for many areas of market practice including primary market issuance, secondary market trading, repo and collateral and sustainable finance.

The ICMA diploma is made up of three or four courses*, all of which must be completed in two years. To achieve and ICMA diploma you will need to complete the following:
  • One or two foundation courses* – depending on where you are in your career you might choose to start with the Financial Market Foundation Qualification to learn about the different asset classes, followed by the Introduction to Primary Market Qualification to learn more about the fundamentals of corporate finance and issuing securities in the capital markets. Alternately, for those with more experience you may be exempt from having to do a foundation course at all. Note that all foundation courses are assessed, and you must pass the exam/s before taking the next course.
  • One advanced course – you will need to complete our flagship course for debt capital markets, the Primary Market Certificate, and successfully complete the exam to gain a diploma.
  • One or two specialist level courses – a standard diploma will normally include two specialist courses, although you might only take one specialist course if you’ve completed two foundation courses.

* For those with a degree in the relevant subject OR more than two years’ experience working in DCM roles, you may qualify for an exemption to the foundation level of the programme and become eligible to achieve your diploma by completing the advanced course plus two specialist courses. Please contact for more details.

Confused? Contact us at to find out more, including whether you qualify for a course exemption.


ICMA Members: EUR 4,500 - 7,750 + VAT (if applicable)
Non Members: EUR 6,250 - 9,950 + VAT (if applicable)

Who should attend?

The diploma is designed for those working in the origination, syndication and transaction management areas of investment banks or securities houses and for those who roles include raising funds in the international capital markets.

Programme Recognition

ICMA Diplomas are jointly awarded by ICMA and the ICMA Centre, Henley Business School, University of Reading. ICMA is approved by the Securities & Futures Commission of Hong Kong as providing Continuous Professional Training (CPT) and a member of CPD® Certification Service, and the programme contains course/s which have been accredited by the CPD® Certification Service.

ICMA recommends that up to 120 learning hours can be associated with this programme, depending on attended/undertaken hours of study required to successfully complete the learning outcomes.
Please ask ICMA Education for more details on the CPD details of your diploma on


The Diploma in Debt Capital Market can be achieved by completing one/two Foundation, one Advanced and one/two Specialist courses:

Please ask about other eligible courses by contacting

  • Foundation:
    • Financial Markets Foundation Qualification (FMFQ) OPTIONAL
      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.

    • Introduction to Primary Markets Qualification (IPMQ) MANDATORY
      This qualification offers participants a broad overview of international finance, from the different entities requiring finance, to the roles of the banks and securities markets in providing it. The IPMQ is an entry-level qualification requiring a basic understanding of debt and equity, it is also a valuable basis for the ICMA Primary Market Certificate (PMC).
  • Advanced:
    • Primary Market Certificate (PMC)
      The course examines the entire life cycle of bond issuance, from considering the financing choices through to the closing of transactions in the marketplace. While the training examines the theoretical principles underpinning the markets and the instruments and financing techniques that are available, emphasis is placed on interpreting and using that knowledge in practical case studies. Candidates who gain this qualification will have all the requisite tools to add value to their company’s activities in the primary markets.
  • Specialist:
    • Introduction to Securitisation
      This course is designed to provide delegates with a thorough introduction to securitisation. The syllabus will cover the different structures with a primary focus on European transactions.

    • Inflation-Linked Bonds & Derivatives
      This course is primarily designed to increase the awareness of the concept of inflation as an investable asset class. Beginning with the fundamentals of inflation, the syllabus goes on to explore the key aspects and benefits of inflation-linked bonds and other structures such as swaps and options.

    • Understanding Swaps
      Swaps are the most actively traded derivative product. This course covers those swap products with an interest rate component including interest rate swaps, overnight index swaps, asset swaps and currency swaps.

    • Introduction to Sustainable Bonds
      This introductory course gives you a deep understanding of the mechanics of green, social, sustainability and sustainability linked bonds, taking you from the big picture policy context to introducing the underlying drivers of market development, main product features and regulation. We discuss the Green and Social Bond Principles and Sustainability Bond Guidelines, and then the Sustainability-Linked Bond Principles. We then explain how they work in practice, including evaluation and selection of eligible projects for funding, the role of external reviewers and guidance on reporting.

    • Fintech in the Capital Markets: Spotlight on Primary
      A review of the role of technology in debt capital markets, focusing on the need for technology in the primary capital markets across several key themes including the role of technology, how it is currently being used (and how it might be used in the future) and the opportunities and challenges technology presents to this sector of the financial markets

    • Introduction to Digital Assets & Securities
      An introductory level programme intended for anyone seeking a foundation in digital assets.  The syllabus offers an overview of digital assets (including Bitcoin and Ethereum), distributed ledger technology as well as the key underpinnings of blockchain technology.  In addition, the programme offers candidates an understanding of the regulatory space as well as important cash-leg tokens such as CBDCs and stablecoins.
    • Introduction to the Buyside
      An overview of the financial marketplace including who the different buyside investors are and what are their motivations and investment strategies. The course also provides participants with a refresher on fixed income and the risks associated with that instrument in particular.

    • Introduction to Market Infrastructure
      A broad overview of the roles, products, processes and institutions that comprise financial services, including the motivations and innovations that drive the industry and the rules that regulate it.

Follow ICMA Education:

ICMA Zurich
T: +41 44 363 4222
Dreikönigstrasse 8
8002 Zurich

ICMA London
T: +44 20 7213 0310
110 Cannon Street
London EC4N 6EU
ICMA Paris
T: +33 1 8375 6613
25 rue du Quatre Septembre
75002 Paris

ICMA Brussels
T: +32 2 801 13 88
Avenue des Arts 56
1000 Brussels
ICMA Hong Kong
T: +852 2531 6592
Unit 3603, Tower 2
Lippo Centre
89 Queensway, Admiralty
Hong Kong (general enquiries) (education enquiries) (sustainable finance)
Copyright © 2024 International Capital Market Association.