Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2012-2013 (archived)


Department: Business School (Business)


Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2012/13 Module Cap None.
Tied to N2K307
Tied to N5K107
Tied to N6K107
Tied to N1KY07
Tied to N1DN07
Tied to N1DP07
Tied to N1DR07
Tied to N1DS07
Tied to N1DM07
Tied to N1D707


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To provide a rigorous grounding in the theory of modern finance and a thorough synthesis of the important current research in finance. There will be an emphasis on the applications of the principles and relevance of the theory to the practice of financial management. Both normative and positive aspects of financial theory will be examined, together with supporting descriptive and empirical evidence.


  • An introduction to financial theory;
  • The valuation of risky future cash flows;
  • Stock valuation;
  • Bond valuation;
  • Risk & return and portfolio theory;
  • CAPM, recent developments and applications;
  • Market efficiency;
  • Introduction to options;
  • Introduction to futures contracts.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module, students will have:
  • an advanced knowledge and critical understanding of essential components of modern finance theory and associated current research;
  • a critical appreciation of the complexity and contradictions of the current academic literature and its implications for professional financial management practice.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of the module, students will:
  • be able to learn and work independently in finance, exercising critical judgement and discrimination in the resolution of complex situations;
  • be able to use highly specialised and advanced technical, professional and academic skills in the analysis of relevant specific problems in financial management;
  • be able to apply problem-solving and analytical skills to issues in financial management in a complex specialised context.
Key Skills:
    Written communication; planning, organising and time management; problem solving and analysis; using initiative; computer literacy.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • The module is delivered in discrete Units. These are designed to enable the learning outcomes to be achieved through a combination of specially produced resources, directed reading, reflection through self-assessed assignments and guidance for further reading. Module tutors provide feedback on formative work and are available for individual consultation as necessary (by email, telephone, post or fax).
  • The summative assessment will involve a series of questions that test students’ critical understanding of relevant concepts and their ability to apply and interpret what they have learned in the module. It will be in the form of a ‘takeaway assessment’ which will be issued to students only a short time (i.e. several days) before the submission date.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Units 9 108
Tutorials 5
Preparation and reading 37
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Takeaway assessment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Takeaway assessment 3000 words (maximum) in total 100%
Component: Component Weighting: %
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity

Formative Assessment:

Written assignment of 1,500 words (maximum)

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University