IC105-Ethics in Investment Management

Module Provider: ICMA Centre
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Dr Lisa Schopohl

Email: l.schopohl@icmacentre.ac.uk

Summary module description:

Ethics in Investment Management offers a series of lectures that explore the main ethical conflicts encountered by investment professionals as they invest other people’s money. It will examine the causes and consequences of both ethical and unethical behaviour, giving students the chance to see how individuals’ decisions affect trading partners, clients and the market as a whole. Some of the topics covered in this module feature in the CFA ethics syllabus, but this module should not be seen as an alternative to the specialist training for the CFA exams.


To introduce students to the ethical difficulties encountered by investment professionals as they invest other people’s money.

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the course students will appreciate the ethical standards imposed by professional bodies and financial regulators. They will be able to identify the ethical dimension involved in the decision-making process, and be able to discuss the conflicts between economic efficiency and ethical behaviour.

Additional outcomes:

Students will gain experience in handling case studies and in debating with their peers. They will also gain significant exposure to the CFA’s Standards of Practice Handbook which contains the CFA Institute’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct

Outline content:

Lectures include:

Introduction to ethics

Ethical theories

Ethics and the finance professional

Market integrity and market abuse

Fiduciary duties in portfolio management

Duties to employers

Investment analysis, recommendations, and actions

Socially responsible investment

Remuneration and risk-taking in banking

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Lectures will be used to introduce and illustrate the theory and concepts discussed in the course. Seminars will allow the students to discuss specific cases, which further illustrate the ethical problems faced in financial markets. 

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 70
Written assignment including essay 30

Other information on summative assessment:

The written assignment is an essay of approximately 2500 words.

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:

Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. 

The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.
  • 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 for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    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.

    Length of examination:

    One 2 hour exam

    Requirements for a pass:

    A minimum mark of 40% is required for a University pass.

    Reassessment arrangements:

    As per University policy

    Last updated: 20 September 2017

    Letter 'IPO.MODCAT1STKT' - Generation started at 20/Sep/2017 13:04:52.54.

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