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: 2020/1

Module Convenor: Prof Brian Scott-Quinn

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

Type of module:

Summary module description:

An introduction to the economics of banking, types of money including cryptocurrencies, and sustainable finance focussed on the role of the finance industry in mitigating climate change impact.  


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 and in particular in relation to the question “what is money”  will help prepare you for interviews and a career in finance, accounting or business management. A key part of the module is on ‘sustainable finance’ which involves understanding the science of climate change and how this can be translated to developing ratings for companies depending on how environmentally friendly they are. This is then widened to ratings of companies on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues including diversity on boards and in senior management, equality of opportunity and pay, avoidance of child labour in developing countries etc., modern slavery etc. 

Assessable learning outcomes:

Intended learning outcomes: 


Assessable learning outcomes: 

By the end of the module students will be able to: 

  • Understand the role of financial intermediation in society including the provision of liquidity and a means of transferring resources over time 
  • Understand the role of different types of financial intermediaries 

  • Assess credit and liquidity risk 

  • Understand ‘what is money’ and how countries are converting to electronic money and cryptocurrencies 

  • Be able to talk confidently about environmental, social and governance issues and in particular about how the finance industry can mitigate climate change impact 


Additional outcomes:

As the final (May) exam essay question is distributed well in advance, this enables students to start to learn the meaning of researching a topic in depth, remember what they have learned from their research when they sit down to the exam and being able to condense understanding into a concise essay to be written to a deadline.   

Outline content:

  • Financial intermediation 

  • The role of banks and investment banks 

  • Credit risk and liquidity provision and liquidity risk 

  • The meaning of ‘money’ including electronic and cryptocurrencies 

  • Climate and environmental risks and how  they impact companies, banks  and investors 

  • Social and governance factors in investment and lending decisions. 


Global context:

The module uses real-world examples taken from a variety of markets across the world. 

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Seminars 8
Guided independent study:      
    Wider reading (independent) 25
    Wider reading (directed) 50
    Exam revision/preparation 10 34
    Preparation for seminars 21
    Essay preparation 12
    Reflection 20
Total hours by term 0
Total hours for module 200

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

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Formative assessment methods:

Question sets discussed during the seminars with feedback provided during those seminars and on the Blackboard wiki. 

Penalties for late submission:

The Module Convenor 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[1] (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:


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 - textbook provided at no cost

  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: 4 April 2020


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