ICM201-Portfolio Management

Module Provider: ICMA Centre
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites: ICM107 Securities, Futures and Options
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2020/1

Module Convenor: Dr Samer Jarkasy

Email: samer.jarkasy@icmacentre.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

This portfolio management module covers key topics, techniques and discussions, including investment styles, in relation to constructing and maintaining an optimal investment portfolio. The teaching approaches all topics from academic and market, practical perspectives. More detailed aims and learning outcomes are included below.


The module aims to build on the portfolio management foundation that has been introduced in the Securities, Futures and Options module. This portfolio management module covers the issues involved in understanding the investment management industry, constructing and maintaining an optimal investment portfolio (active, passive or smart beta investment styles), diversification, evaluating portfolio performance, risk management and portfolio rebalancing. The module will also introduce you to the world of alternative investments - the hedge fund industry, in particular. The compulsory, practical group project of the course will provide students with hands-on experience in constructing and managing a realistic investment portfolio.

Assessable learning outcomes:

Intended Learning Outcomes:


On completion of this module students are expected, inter alia, to:

  • Understand the various types of investment funds and financial instruments,

  • Understand the various stages of the portfolio management process,

  • Understand active, passive and smart beta investing, the differences between them, and the rationale for each style,

  • Compare and contrast top-down and bottom-up investment approaches,

  • Allocate funds between assets, taking into account the investor’s risk-return preferences,

  • Understand portfolio optimisation and rebalancing,

  • Construct a spreadsheet model for determining the composition of an investment portfolio to meet the needs of the investor,

  • Evaluate portfolio performance, compute and understand standard measures of portfolio risk-ad justed performance,

  • Understand recent trends in portfolio management,

  • Understand the key features of hedge funds.

Assessable learning outcomes:

Merged with Intended Learning Outcomes above

Additional outcomes:

Merged with Intended Learning Outcomes above

Outline content:

Topic 1:   The Investment Management Environment

Topic 2:   Portfolio Management Process

Topic 3:   Selection Stages

Topic 4:   Active Investing

Topic 5:   Passive Investing

Topic 6:   Smart Beta and Responsible Investing

Topic 7:   Diversification (Practical Perspective)

Topic 8:    Optimisation and Implementation

Topic 9:   Monitoring, Risk Management and Rebalancing

Topic 10: Hedge Funds and Other Alternative Investments

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

  • Formal lectures, in which students are strongly encouraged to ask questions.

  • Workshops, guiding students in solving a practical portfolio management task as a team.

  • Seminars, in which students are encouraged to develop their analytical skills.

  • Face-to-face as well as online availability for student consultation.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 18
Seminars 8
Practicals classes and workshops 8
Guided independent study:      
    Wider reading (independent) 10
    Other 36
    Carry-out research project 60
    Essay preparation 60
Total hours by term 0 0
Total hours for module 200

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 60
Oral assessment and presentation 40

Summative assessment- Examinations:

No examination for this module

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

  • Individual Assignment (60%)

  • Group Project and Presentation – Portfolio Management Challenge (40%)


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:

Re-assessment of individual project resubmission

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Last updated: 22 September 2020


Things to do now