Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2018-2019 (archived)

Module ECON2151: Financial Markets and Institutions

Department: Business School (Economics and Finance)

ECON2151: Financial Markets and Institutions

Type Tied Level 2 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2018/19 Module Cap None. Location Durham
Tied to NN43
Tied to N302
Tied to N304
Tied to N305
Tied to N306
Tied to N307


  • Foundations of Finance


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To provide students with a knowledge and understanding of the economic principles governing the operation of a financial system.
  • To develop students’ knowledge of the structure of financial markets and institutions and understanding of how and why institutions operate in financial markets.
  • To provide students with the opportunity to develop knowledge and understanding of theoretical and practical aspects of primary and derivative financial markets.
  • To encourage students to analyse the role of regulation within financial markets.
  • To develop students' ability to evaluate academic literature relating to financial markets.


  • Overview of the financial system;
  • Types of financial intermediaries;
  • The banking industry;
  • Mutual Funds and Hedge Funds;
  • Financial regulation;
  • Central banks and the conduct of monetary policy;
  • Money markets;
  • Bond markets;
  • Foreign Exchange markets;
  • Introduction to derivative markets and financial risk management;
  • Introduction to options markets;
  • Properties of options;
  • Trading strategies and hedging positions;
  • Forward and futures markets;
  • Swap markets;
  • Securitisation and its role in the 2008 financial crisis.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • On completion of this module students should have:
  • knowledge of the way in which financial systems operate;
  • an understanding of the functions of financial institutions and financial markets;
  • knowledge and understanding of key issues in derivative securities and markets particularly as regards their role in hedging, speculation and arbitrage;
  • an understanding of the importance of unethical conduct in financial markets and the role of regulation.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • On completion of this module students should:
  • have developed technical and academic skills to analyse the operation of financial markets and institutions and the role of regulation;
  • have the ability to examine practical issues, practice problem-solving and analysis in the study of primary financial and derivative markets and securities.
Key Skills:
  • In addition, students will have had the opportunity to further develop the following key skills:
  • written communication - through the summative assignment;
  • planning and organising - observing the strict assignment deadlines; revising relevant material in preparation for examinations;
  • problem solving - e.g. by applying the necessary analytical and quantitative skills, as well as the ability to utilise concepts relating to financial markets, in preparation for exams and assignment;
  • initiative - e.g. by searching relevant literature and information in preparation of the summative assignment;
  • numeracy - e.g. by applying core mathematical and statistical skills to answer a range of examination questions;
  • computer literacy - e.g. by word-processing the summative assignment; downloading assignment information and notes for revision and past exam papers from DUO; analysing financial data provided on Bloomberg terminals.

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

  • Teaching is by lectures, seminars and workshops. Learning takes place through attendance at lectures, preparation for and participation in seminars and workshops, analysis of Bloomberg data and independent study.
  • Formative assessment is by means of a group presentation and report, and online test. Feedback will be provided to each individual student which can then be built upon and developed for the summative coursework assignment. A seminar will also be used as a forum to discuss general feedback on the formative assessment.
  • Summative assessment is by means of an examination plus a written assignment in essay format focused on a case study.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 20 1 per week 1 hour 20
Revision Lecture 1 1 in term 3 1 hour 1
Seminars 5 2 in term 1; 3 in term 2 1 hour 5
Workshops 3 2 in term 1; 1 in term 2 1 hour 3
Preparation and Reading 171
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Assignment Component Weighting: 40%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Written coursework assignment 1500 words 100% Same
Component: Examination Component Weighting: 60%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Examination 1 hour 30 minutes 100% Same

Formative Assessment:

Group presentation, report, and online test

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