IC310-Topics in Finance

Module Provider: ICMA Centre
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Dr Antony Moore

Email: t.moore@icmacentre.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

Topics in Finance explores current issues and debates within finance, encouraging students to develop and present their own ideas through coursework essays and in-class discussion.


This module aims to provide students with an understanding of finance, the ability to place financial innovations within a contemporary and historical framework and to understand how the financial industry relates to broader economic, political and social realities. Students will gain a broad appreciation of the early development of products and innovations in finance and also insight into current topics of interest to the financial community and wider society. They will develop their own independent study skills via coursework essays and their contribution to in-class discussions.

Students that worked in the finance industry during the summer vacation between their second and third year may choose to write complete a written assignment that both reflects on their placement and integrates their practical experiences into a wider perspective on the role of the financial industry as one of their two written assignments. This ability to reflect on their professional practice will enhance their understanding of the skills and employability required in their specialism.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module it is expected that the student will be able to:
•identify key issues and events in finance (both current and historical) and explain their wider significance
•build a detailed knowledge of financial events and their impact on society through extensive reading in both academic literature and professional/journalistic resources.
•Develop independent research skills:
oto identify relevant information on various subject
oto appraise critically primary sources and secondary interpretations
oto articulate arguments effectively, in writing in the coursework essays and orally in class discussion.
•For those students that completed a placement, to reflect on their personal experiences and to place them within their wider context.

Additional outcomes:
The module also aims to encourage the development of oral communication skills and the student’s effectiveness in group situations via assessed participation in class discussion. Students will also develop their IT skills by use of relevant web resources, and their numeracy by examination of academic research in finance. The module is largely examined by two coursework essays and includes a workshop session on essay-writing skills, which will enhance the students’ ability to write cogently and clearly.

Outline content:
The module will draw upon the expertise of ICMA Centre faculty who will lead sessions on areas of interest or in which they have published academic papers. Topics will vary year to year (a list will be distributed to students when choosing options in Part 2), but may be drawn from:
•The ‘Great Financial Crisis’ of 2007-8
•The History of Finance
•Regulation and compliance
•Financial engineering
•Pensions and annuities
•Corporate finance

Global context:
The module does not specifically focus on global issues. However, as finance is an international subject, the topics clearly have global relevance. The student can also choose an international subject for their second coursework essay.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Each session will be led by ICMA Centre faculty or suitable external speakers and will be a combination of lecture-based delivery followed by classroom debate. Reading materials for potential topics for debate will be provided in advance.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 18
Practicals classes and workshops 2
Guided independent study 180
Total hours by term 200.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

One essay (2000 words maximum) will be a set question based on material covered in weeks 1-5 of spring term (40%). The submission deadline will be in week 7 of spring term.

One essay (3000 words maximum) will be draw on published research from the academic finance literature. Alternatively, those students with experience of working in the finance industry may incorporate an element reflecting on their experiences (60%). The submission deadline will be in week 1 of summer term.

Formative assessment methods:

There is an essay writing workshop in week 2 of spring term.

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener 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:

    Resubmission of the second coursework essay

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    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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