IC204-Portfolio Management

Module Provider: ICMA Centre
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Pre-requisites: IC102 Introductory Finance/Trading Simulation I
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2022/3

Module Convenor: Dr Nikoloas Antypas
Email: n.antypas@icmacentre.ac.uk

Type of module:


Summary module description:

The module examines the issues involved in understanding the investment market, constructing an optimal investment portfolio, evaluating the performance of that portfolio, and adjusting its composition through time.

This module is delivered at University of Reading and University of Reading Malaysia.


The module aims to provide students with a detailed knowledge of both the theoretical underpinnings and the practical techniques required to form and manage portfolios of assets. By the end of the course, students should be able to demonstrate their understanding of the fundamental principles that guide modern portfolio theory and investment analysis, appraise the arguments and empirical evidence behind some of the most controversial issues in the field and apply the basic quantitative techniques needed in portfolio construction and estimation.

Assessable learning outcomes:

Students who successfully complete the module will be able to:

  • List and explain the various types of funds and instruments 

  • Discuss alternative equity investment styles, evaluating the historical performance of each 

  • Optimally allocate wealth between assets, taking into account the investor’s risk aversion 

  • Evaluate the performance of portfolios, using various methods to allow for risk;

  • Discuss the evidence on whether stock markets are informationally efficient with particular reference to behavioural explanations for asset pricing anomalies 

  • Explain the differences between, and the rationales for, active and passive management.

Additional outcomes:

The course also considers the practical issues surrounding forming and managing a portfolio. In addition, the students will learn how to prepare a professional report and make an effective presentation on a piece of research undertaken while working in a group environment. In this way, the students learn to manage the interpersonal challenges of group-work, improve their abilities of setting, allocating and monitoring tasks and hone their communication and presentation skills.

Outline content:

  • Topic 1: The Investment Environment 

  • Topic 2: Risk Aversion and Asset Allocation Decisions  

  • Topic 3: Portfolio Theory  

  • Topic 4: CAPM and APT 

  • Topic 5: Market Efficiency and Behavioural Finance  

  • Topic 6: Style Investing 

  • Topic 7: Performance Evaluation 

  • Topic 8: Active Portfolio Management  

  • Topic 9: Passive Portfo lio Management  

  • Topic 10: Hedge Funds 

Global context:


Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

The student will be inducted to the topics via lectures, seminars, and the assignment. Self-study and learning through teamwork is also necessary for the module.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Seminars 10
Guided independent study:      
    Wider reading (independent) 130
    Preparation for presentations 10
    Group study tasks 15 15
Total hours by term 175 25 0
Total hours for module 200

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 10
Oral assessment and presentation 40
Class test administered by School 50

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

One in-class test usually administered in 8th week of teaching of the autumn term (50%). 

1 investment outline (report) with deadline in the first two weeks of the spring term (10%). 

1 group presentation in the first two weeks of the summer term (40%).

Formative assessment methods:

One essay as part of a group project that allows students to think and reflect on the Portfolio Management theories and the practicalities of being a find manager. The students receive feedback that will inform the remaining of the project work.

Penalties for late submission:

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: https://www.reading.ac.uk/cqsd/-/media/project/functions/cqsd/documents/cqsd-old-site-documents/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:

A weighted average of 40% or more.

Reassessment arrangements:

Re-examination for Part 2 modules takes place in August/September of the same year via an individual project.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Required text books: 16. IC204 Portfolio Management: Bodie, Kane and Marcus, Investments, 2014, McGraw Hill, RRP: £55.99  


Last updated: 22 September 2022


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