ICM201-Portfolio Management

Module Provider: ICMA Centre
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites: ICM107 Securities, Futures and Options
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2021/2

Module Convenor: Dr Samer Jarkasy
Email: samer.jarkasy@icmacentre.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

This investment portfolio management module covers key topics, techniques and discussions, including investment styles, in relation to constructing and maintaining an optimal investment portfolio. The teaching approaches all topics from academic and market, practical perspectives. More detailed aims and learning outcomes are included below.


The module aims to build on the investment management foundation that has been introduced in the Securities, Futures and Options module. This investment portfolio management module covers the issues involved in understanding the investment management industry, constructing and maintaining an optimal investment portfolio (active, passive or smart beta investment styles), diversification, evaluating portfolio performance, risk management and portfolio rebalancing. The module will also introduce you to the world of alternative investments - the hedge fund industry, in particular. The compulsory, practical group project of the course will provide students with hands-on experience in constructing and managing a realistic investment portfolio.

Assessable learning outcomes:

On completion of this module students are expected, inter alia, to be able to:

  • Define the various types of investment funds and financial instruments,

  • Describe the various stages of the investment portfolio management process,

  • Explain active, passive and smart beta investing, the differences between them, and the rationale for each style,

  • Compare and contrast top-down and bottom-up investment approaches,

  • Analyse and allocate among investment funds/assets, taking into account the investor’s risk-return preferences,

  • Discuss portfolio optimisation and rebalancing,

  • Construct a spreadsheet model for determining the composition of an investment portfolio to meet the needs of the investor,

  • Evaluate portfolio performance, compute and understand standard measures of portfolio risk-adjusted performance,

  • Develop awareness of rece nt trends in investment/portfolio management,

  • Describe the key features of hedge funds.

Additional outcomes:

Merged with Intended Learning Outcomes above

Outline content:

Investment Portfolio Management

Topic 1:   The Investment Management Environment

Topic 2:   Portfolio Management Process 

Topic 3:   Selection Stages

Topic 4:   Active Investing

Topic 5:   Passive Investing

Topic 6:   Smart Beta and Responsible Investing

Topic 7:   Diversification (Practical Perspective)
Topic 8:   Optimisation and Implementation

Topic 9:   Monitoring, Risk Management and Rebalancing

Topic 10: Hedge Funds and Other Alternative Investments

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

  • Formal lectures, in which students are strongly encouraged to ask questions.

  • Workshops, guiding students in solving a practical investment portfolio management task as a team.

  • Seminars, in which students are encouraged to develop their analytical skills.

  • Face-to-face / Online availability for student consultation.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 18
Seminars 8
Practicals classes and workshops 8
Guided independent study:      
    Wider reading (independent) 10
    Other 36
    Carry-out research project 60
    Essay preparation 60
Total hours by term 0 0
Total hours for module 200

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 60
Oral assessment and presentation 40

Summative assessment- Examinations:

No examination for this module

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Individual Assignment (60%) 

The individual assignment is a sample, practical application for selecting investment funds (i.e., for fund management of fund managers) utilising all student’s learnings (per the intended learning outcomes) from all lectures and supporting seminars. Submission: 1200 words essay in report format, usually due in the first week of the Summer Term (week 34) after the Easter Break, exact deadline to be confirmed.

Group Project and Presentation – Portfolio Management Challenge (40%)

This is a sample, practical application for selecting investment securities (i.e., for fund management of direct securities; stocks mainly). Students will work in groups of 5-6 for the purposes of developing an investment portfolio strategy. Each group will communicate regularly to develop a sophisticated investment strategy and construct an equity portfolio and implement this on a Portfolio Simulation platform.  After a 1-month monitoring period, each group will make a detailed presentation on their strategy, portfolio construction process and portfolio performance.

Submission in presentation format and presentations usually take place weeks 37-39, exact dates and various interim project deadlines to be confirmed at the start of the term.


Formative assessment methods:

Ongoing throughout all lectures, seminars and workshops

Penalties for late submission:

The below information applies to students on taught programmes except those on Postgraduate Flexible programmes. Penalties for late submission, and the associated procedures, which apply to Postgraduate Flexible programmes are specified in the policy “Penalties for late submission for Postgraduate Flexible programmes”, which can be found here: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/files/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmissionPGflexible.pdf
The Support Centres will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that 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.

Assessment requirements for a pass:
50% weighted average mark

Reassessment arrangements:

Re-assessment of individual project resubmission

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Required textbooks £40 - £50

Last updated: 8 April 2021


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