ICM107-Securities, Futures and Options

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: Dr Nadia Kappou

Email: k.kappou@icmacentre.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

Securities, Futures and Options provides learners with the relevant financial knowledge for analysing and valuing different classes of risky assets. It begins with the description of all main asset classes and the basic theory behind market efficiency and investors’ attitude towards financial risk. It then analyses the main framework behind portfolio theory and optimum asset allocation, followed by the introduction of the main pricing models, their applications and limitations. Furthermore, the module provides an in-depth introduction to financial derivatives (futures and options) and their valuation. All the techniques introduced are widely applied in other elements of the programme.


Securities, Futures and Options introduces techniques for analysing and valuing different classes of risky assets. It also develops ways of optimally selecting portfolios of such assets and develops models of how these portfolios may be priced in financial markets.

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module, the student will be able to: understand the theoretical basis for the economic analysis of risk; assess the characteristics of individual assets and portfolios of risky assets; construct the mean-variance efficient frontier and identify the optimal risky portfolio for a given universe of risky assets; explain the role of beta as a risk measure in the capital market equilibrium described by the CAPM; understand the use of the no-arbitrage principle to the pricing of r isky assets and describe the basic features of the arbitrage pricing theory; understand the fundamentals of forward and futures contracts, their valuation and use in simple hedging strategies; understand financial options, their characteristics and valuation. Knowledge of real world pricing and trading strategies (INVEST sessions).

Additional outcomes:

The students will develop familiarity with sources of financial market data and gain experience in analysing this data in ways closely related to market practice. The seminars will provide students with an opportunity to propose and defend explanations for the observed behaviour of investors and the resulting pattern of returns on risky assets.

Outline content:

Topic 1    Financial assets and investing in securities markets, NPV and stock valuation

Topic 2    Choice under uncertainty

Topic 3    Portfolio theory

Topic 4    The capital asset pricing model

Topic 5    Arbitrage pricing theory

Topic 6    The efficient markets hypothesis

Topic 7    Forwards and Futures

Topic 8a   Introduction to Options

Topic 8b  Options’ basic properties and valuation

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

1. Lectures: Ten two-hour lectures cover the topics

2. Seminars: students meet in small groups for a series of seminars. Seminar discussions are based on non-assessed coursework set by the instructors.

3. INVEST Sessions with Grade Point Cash counting towards the final grade. 


Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Seminars 9
Practicals classes and workshops 20
Guided independent study:      
    Wider reading (independent) 25
    Wider reading (directed) 40
    Exam revision/preparation 40
    Advance preparation for classes 8
    Preparation for seminars 18
    Preparation of practical report 10
    Group study tasks 10
Total hours by term 0 0
Total hours for module 200

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 60
Project output other than dissertation 30
Practical skills assessment 10

Summative assessment- Examinations:

2.5 hour closed-book multiple choice examination (60% of final mark)

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Coursework: Group project (6 students in each group), assessing both theoretical and practical elements of the module, (written report of up to 2,500 words, excluding spread-sheet workings and mathematical results). 30% of final mark

INVEST mark (grade point cash): 10% of final mark (full-time programme only)

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:

50% weighted average mark

Reassessment arrangements:

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

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Calculator priced at around £15

Last updated: 15 April 2020


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