ICM211-Derivative Securities: Pricing, Hedging and Trading

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

Module Convenor: Dr Mike Smith

Email: m.j.smith@icmacentre.ac.uk

Summary module description:

This is a very practical course focusing mainly on option/volatility trading and risk management. The seminars all take place in the dealing room, and students will manage the risk of equity options portfolios on ICTrader.There are also 4 practical Excel based case studies (Option Strategist) which focus on option value and risk analysis.


The course is designed to give students a basic practical working knowledge of the pricing and trading of derivative securities, and in particular options. Most textbooks on the subject are either too mathematical/theoretical or too practitioner oriented, and this module attempts to bridge the gap between the two. By the end of the course students should be able to “speak the language” of the derivatives market whilst at the same time have an intuitive grasp of the subject. Whilst option theory is of obvious importance, the emphasis of this course is on practical application – in particular, we will look at the time/risk dynamics of options in a trading environment. The derivatives industry impacts on all sectors of investment banking, and whether or not students choose a career in derivatives trading/sales/research, they will find this course extremely useful. The overriding philosophy of the course is: “learning by doing”.

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module, it is expected that the student will be able to * Explain the underlying principles of option pricing models* Analyse the fundamental risk exposures associated with any derivatives portfolio * Interpret the different volatilities associated with options and implement successful volatility trading strategies * Understand and be able to implement hedging strategies in the face of changing market conditions * Trade as option market makers

Additional outcomes:
The module also aims to give students an insight into the City trading environment and the price formation process via online derivatives trading simulations. Students will also learn how to “think on their feet”, an essential skill in the investment banking industry.

Outline content:

* Review of Option Basics * Synthetic Futures  Option Pricing Principles* Option Price Sensitivities: Risks and Trading Applications * Volatility * Volatility Smiles * Volatility Spreads * Trading Strategies * 

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Core lectures supported by Excel based option/volatility spread analysis/case studies, and equity option trading/hedging trading simulations using ICTrader.

Contact hours:
  Spring Summer DL
Lectures 18   18
Tutorials/seminars 20 2 22
Other contact (eg study visits)      
Total hours 38 2 40
Number of essays or assignments 1 multiple choice test   1 multiple choice test
Other (eg major seminar paper)      

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 65
Practical skills assessment 10
Class test administered by School 25

Other information on summative assessment:

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Length of examination:
3 hour closed book examination

Requirements for a pass:
50% weighted average mark

Reassessment arrangements:
By written examination only, as part of the overall examination arrangements for the MSc programme.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books: Sheldon Natenburg- Option Volatility and Pricing: Advanced Trading Strategies and Techniques, 2nd Edition, Dec 2014ISBN-10: 0071818774
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: 31 March 2017

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