Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Financial Assets and Markets
Academic Year
Semester 2 (Taught over 2 semesters)
External Examiners
  • Dr Georgios Katechos (Senior Lecturer - University of Hertfordshire)
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 11 x 1 Hour Lectures
Seminar 6 x 1 Hour Seminars
Lecture 11 x 2 Hour Lectures


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 3,000 word essay  25%
Semester Exam 3 Hours   3 Hours closed book examination  75%
Supplementary Assessment 3,000 word essay  25%
Supplementary Exam 3 Hours   3 Hours closed book examination  75%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

Describe, explain, illustrate, compare and contrast: alternative paradigms/perspectives in finance and investments; different financial market participant motivations and behaviours; uses of different derivative instruments; and alternative financial asset valuation approaches and security pricing formulae.

Explain, analyse and evaluate the need for and processes of financial intermediation and financial intermediaries; analyse and evaluate the performance of institutions as financial intermediaries in the context of pertinent regulation; and formulate associated recommendations.

Explain, assess, criticize and appropriately apply theory/models to answer questions and numerical problems in investment portfolio theory, portfolio diversification, financial asset valuation and pricing, derivatives? pricing, and market efficiency.

Explain key extant finance literature; and assess that research in terms of importance and novelty, research questions, methodological approach and data, results, conclusions, achievement of objectives, and gaps for future research.

Integrate and synthesize between module topics to discuss and explain different finance theory, research and practice; explain, comment on and engage with associated current debates; and suggest potentially fruitful directions for subject area development.

Brief description

This module aims to provide students with theoretical and practical perspectives on asset pricing, financial markets and financial intermediaries; and to acquaint them with important, recent theoretical and empirical findings in the research literature. Indeed, a key objective of the module is linking theory to evidence in core empirical research findings. The module is designed to give students the necessary knowledge and skills to allow them to embark on the further postgraduate study (including research) in finance.


The following indicate what is expected to be covered in the module:

1. A review of asset pricing
2. Market efficiency: theory and evidence
3. The theory of choice: utility theory given uncertainty
4. Investment concepts and mean-variance portfolio theory
5. The state preference framework and option pricing
6. A review of capital markets and financial derivatives
7. Financial institutions and intermediation
8. The behavioural perspective in finance
9. Selected current issues for financial institutions

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number * Develop an easy familiarity with numerical data sources and numerical data * Apply numerical data to problem solving with care and accuracy * Assess the reasonableness of and interpret numerical solutions * Support assertions/arguments with appropriately developed and presented numerical data
Communication * Develop confidence in and clarity of oral communication via seminar / tutorial participation * Develop clarity and focus of written communication via production of coursework essay * Develop and use appropriate subject-specific vocabulary in oral and written communication
Improving own Learning and Performance * Identify and distil the key issues covered by lectures, seminars and directed self study * Identify and use a range of learning resources * Investigate benefits of small group working on self study * Structure study to accommodate intensive learning
Information Technology * Use a variety of electronic web- and library-based resources to review available information and retrieve pertinent information * Use various software packages for the production of the coursework essay (text, numerical tables and analysis, graphics) * Use software to complete elements of the self study (e.g., spreadsheets for ease of tabulated numerical calculations, production of summary statistics, production of graphs, etc.)
Personal Development and Career planning * Develop knowledge and skills in finance and investments which are useful/essential in a number of different occupations * Identify a variety of potential career routes within the academic, financial and professional services sector
Problem solving * Identify the precise problem to be solved * Assess which data are pertinent to the problem * Recognize that alternative solution methods might be available * Select and apply appropriate methods for solving the problem * Assess the reasonableness of problem solutions and interpret those solutions
Research skills * Identify which information sources are available to: - facilitate module study (understanding, wider reading) - provide data which allow application of module learning in real world context - provide raw input to the production of the coursework essay * Select the most pertinent information for retrieval * Retrieve information * Re-assess the pertinence and assess the credibility of retrieved information * Properly reference/attribute information sources
Subject Specific Skills * Develop skills in retrieval, assessment and criticism of the finance academic literature * Develop skills in interpretation and usage of finance and investment data * Develop competence to engage in ongoing debates on the development of finance theory and of financial products and markets
Team work * Develop experience of team work and develop team working skills via small group working on self study


This module is at CQFW Level 7