IC101-Introductory Securities and Markets

Module Provider: ICMA Centre
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Prof Brian Scott-Quinn

Email: b.scott-quinn@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:
This module is delivered at University of Reading and University of Reading Malaysia.


To provide an economic, accounting, business and management framework for understanding financial institutions, market players, financial markets, and the importance of financial intermediation. Participants will gain an understanding of commercial and investment banks, the international credit, bond and other markets. Developments in financial technology in the financial services industry including cloud computing in banking, APIs, mobile technology in developing markets and the potential use of blockchain in finance, will help prepare you for interviews and a career in finance, accounting and business management. A further aim is to provide an introduction to business models and to entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship (entrepreneurship within a large company). This is to enable you to understand the constancy of change and the opportunities arising from technological, regulatory, economic, political, demographic and other disruptions to the status-quo which may enable viable alternative business models to be developed. 

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module, it is expected that students will have gained an understanding of the financial system, financial intermediaries and the global financial markets with reference to:

- The structure of the financial system, institutions and functions of finance

- The major players in each market – both types of firm and specific firms

- The role of intermediaries – both as brokers and principals (transforming)

- Functioning of banks including recent developments in banking technology

- The importance of liquidity in the economic system and its provision

- Development of business models, corporate strategy and response to change

Additional outcomes:

A vocational degree such as finance, accounting or management, or a joint degree such as mathematics with finance, allows students to focus on their intended career from day 1 of first year. This is different to students on non-vocational degree programmes. Prior to an interview for a summer internship (essential these days in order to get into the large firms) it is important to become familiar with the different types of firm in an industry and the different careers available as an aid to career development in finance, accounting and business management. It is also necessary to try to understand one’s own strengths and weaknesses and to try to match strengths with particular job functions. Success at interview will also require that you are able to talk intelligently about what is happening in the financial world today. This requires that you read relevant articles in the Financial Times (available on BB under the tab ARC) each day. 

Outline content:

  1. The fundamentals of finance – understanding the three pillars of finance, the meaning of transformation through intermediation, industry sectors and the structure of commercial and investment banks.

  2. Primary markets – bank and capital market provision of funding liquidity,

  3. Non-bank lending, securitisation, shadow banks

  4. Financial technology, business models, governance and strategy in financial services

Please note that not all of the above will be covered in lectures. Some sections will be self-learning from your textbook and some will require additional reading beyond the textbook. 

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Each topic is presented in a lecture. Weekly seminars bring real life examples reflecting the lecture.  Seminar discussions are based on coursework set by the instructor. 

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Seminars 8
Guided independent study 172
Total hours by term 200.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 60
Class test administered by School 40

Summative assessment- Examinations:
One 3-hour unseen paper, comprising of a multiple-choice section and essay-type questions.

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:
Weekly MCT on each section of textbook

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:

The following penalties will be applied to coursework which is submitted after the deadline for submission:
• where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark;
• where the piece of work is submitted more than one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.
You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.
(Please refer to the Undergraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guideUG.aspx)

Assessment requirements for a pass:
A minimum mark of 40%.

Reassessment arrangements:

By written exam only, as part of the overall examination arrangements for the BSc programme. 

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books:
2) Specialist equipment or materials:
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding:
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 20 April 2018


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