ICM228-Topics in the History of Finance

Module Provider: ICMA Centre
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Prof Adrian Bell

Email: a.r.bell@icmacentre.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

Topics in the History of Finance offers a series of lectures drawing upon original research on historical problems in finance.  Students prepare their own essay based on any historical topic of their choice.

This module aims to provide students with an understanding of the origins of Financial Markets, and with a broader appreciation of the early development of products and innovations in Finance - which many assume are recent twentieth century inventions.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module it is expected that the student will be able to:
identify and explain key issues and events in the History of Finance

  • acquire a detailed knowledge of the events through extensive reading in specialised literature
  • locate and assemble information on the subject by independent research
  • appraise critically the primary sources and historical interpretations of the subject
  • organise material and articulate arguments effectively in writing, both under timed conditions and in assessed essays.

Additional outcomes:
The module also aims to encourage the development of oral communication skills and the student’s effectiveness in group situations. Students will also develop their IT skills by use of relevant web resources, and their numeracy by examination of medieval use of figures and of changes in monetary values over time.

Outline content:

The module will focus on topics that can throw light on the development of financial markets over time. It is not restricted by date, but will draw mainly upon Medieval Europe for its focus. Topics will include:

Forward Contracts for the supply of Wool in the 13th Century

Early Italian Merchant Banks – Riccardi, Bardi

Sovereign Credit

Medieval Foreign Exchange

Medieval Pensions

Medieval Real Estate

Global context:
The module considers Finance in its historical context and this is global in its reach. It moves from Mesopotamia, via Ancient Greece to medieval and early modern Europe. Students are able to write an essay on any topic and this includes finance history in its widest international sense.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Lectures accompanied by seminars encouraging group work, use of primary evidence and debate. The topics will be supplemented by expert visiting lecturers.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 10
Tutorials 1 1
Guided independent study 89
Total hours by term 100.00 1.00
Total hours for module 101.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:
Students choose their own essay title and write an essay of 3000 words. They receive detailed feedback on a draft title and plan.

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

Assessment requirements for a pass:
A mark of 50% overall.

Reassessment arrangements:
Re submission of essays in September

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books: Niall Ferguson, Ascent of Money (2012), Penguin, ISBN 0718194004 RRP £8.24.
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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