Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Corporate Finance and Financial Markets
Academic Year
Semester 2 (Taught over 2 semesters)
Reading List
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Essay  2000 Words  40%
Semester Exam 3 Hours   Semester exam  60%
Supplementary Assessment Essay  2000 Words  40%
Supplementary Exam 3 Hours   Semester exam  60%

Learning Outcomes

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

Describe, explain and illustrate the structure, characteristics, attributes, purposes and operation of financial markets and a variety of financial market instruments.

Explain and analyse the operational risks faced by banks, including sustainability risks and the management of these risks and evaluate the rationale for existence of financial institutions and the need for financial intermediation.

Describe and explain and illustrate the issues of capital structure, dividend policy, leasing versus purchase policy, working capital management, accounting-based valuation and financial distress prediction (and associated matters).

Describe, derive, interpret and apply models which have been proposed to illuminate these issues.

Relate key financial issues one to another, to associated theory and to the preferences and expectations of key stakeholders.

Appraise corporate responsibility and sustainability issues.

Brief description

This module aims to provide students with a thorough treatment of financial markets and institutions and the key financial decisions which are faced by the directors and managers of firms, which include: (i) capital structure; (ii) dividend policy; (iii) leasing (versus borrowing and purchasing) policy; and (iv) working capital management. Sustainability and the interests of all stakeholder groups are key considerations. The module examines the context in which decisions on these issues are made, and analyses relevant controversies and debates.


This introduction will consider the structure of firms, their possible objectives and sustainability issues, financing decisions and implications of the Efficient Market Hypothesis for the corporate finance manager. The following topics will be covered:

• Firm structure and their objectives
• Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability issues
• Sources of Finance
• Debt versus equity Financing
• Signalling and agency theory
• The Efficient Market Hypothesis
• Introduction to the different types of markets i.e. continuous/call/money/capital
• Current issues within the global financial markets

Financial markets
• Financial instruments and innovation
• Market microstructure
• Principles of banking
• Financial Intermediation
• Risk and Regulation in Banking, including sustainability risks

• Classification of tax systems
• Basis of assessment and advance corporation tax (and its abolition)
• Basis of deduction
• Revenue and Capital Expenditure
• Relief for Capital Expenditure: Capital Allowances
• Trading Losses
• Transfer pricing

Cost of capital and capital structure
• Cost of Capital (Ordinary shares, retained earnings, preference shares, debt, Weighted Average Cost of Capital)
• Gearing and Debt/equity ratio
• Theories of Capital Structure: Traditional and Modernist views
• Modigliani and Miller derivations and arbitrage examples
• Market imperfections: Corporate and personal taxes; risky debt; bankruptcy costs; signalling and agency theories;
• Empirical evidence;
• Investment appraisal: adjusted present value (APV)
• ​Financing choice and Sustainability

Equity finance and dividend policy
• Methods of issuing equity
• Signalling theory, agency theory and clientele theory
• Dividend relevance versus irrelevance
• Dividend policies and alternative distribution channels.

• Finance Lease/ Operating Lease
• Financial accounting and tax accounting treatment
• Reasons for leasing, and lease evaluation

Working Capital Management
• Reasons for investing in WCM
• Objectives of WCM and policies, sustainability issues
• Cash conversion cycle and WCM requirement
• Stock management, cash management, debtor management, creditor management
• overtrading and the economic order quantity model Reasons for investing in WCM
• Objectives of WCM and policies, sustainability issues
• Cash conversion cycle and WCM requirement
• Stock management, cash management, debtor management, creditor management
• overtrading and the economic order quantity model

Accounting-based valuation and distress prediction
• Accounting-based valuation models
• Financial distress prediction models
Select and calculate appropriate financial and non-financial performance measures which effectively encourage the business as a whole to meet its objectives including those for sustainability;

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. Apply/ Derive complex mathematical formulae.
Communication Develop confidence in and clarity of oral communication via example class/tutorial participation. Develop clarity and focus of written communication via development of answers to self study questions/ assignment production. 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, tutorials and 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 of word-processing skills in assignment. Use of Refinitiv Workspace to explore practical examples and research company data
Personal Development and Career planning Preparation for seminar tasks will encourage initiative, independence and self-awareness. Identify a variety of potential career opportunities within the financial and professional services sector. Use of Refinitiv Workspace will introduce students to financial data, news and analytics used in the workplace.
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 a real world context Properly reference/attribute information sources.
Subject Specific Skills Develop competence in understanding and appropriately applying Corporate Finance models/ theory to practice. Develop competence in understanding the key financial decisions which are faced by the directors and managers of firms. Develop competence in understanding and analyzing financial market transformations and market efficiency.
Team work Develop experience of team work and develop team working skills via small group working on self study. Group work during seminars.


This module is at CQFW Level 5