Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2019-2020 (archived)


Department: Management and Marketing


Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2019/20 Module Cap
Tied to N1KR17
Tied to N1N317


  • None


  • Managing Finance

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • Financial Risk Management (Taught)


  • To build on the core module 'Managing Finance' by providing students with the advanced knowledge needed to understand the strategies proposed by specialist practitioners in the field (e.g. corporate treasurers), and the skills to contribute to discussions of risk management up to board level.


  • Introduction. Return-Risk tradeoffs. Efficient frontier. CAPM model.
  • Trading in markets. Short selling. Plain Vanilla derivatives: Forwards, futures, swap and options.
  • How traders manage risks using parameters such as Delta, Gamma etc.
  • Interest rate risk. Duration and convexity of bonds.
  • Value at Risk (VaR). Expected shortfalls (ES). Difference between ES and VaR.
  • Credit risk. Credit default swaps (CDS).
  • Volatility.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module students should have a critical understanding of:
  • institutional aspects of generic bonds, bills, forwards, futures, swaps and options (‘financial derivatives’ henceforth);
  • general techniques used in the valuation of financial derivatives;
  • hedging techniques using structured financial derivatives;
  • computational methods for financial risk assessment and management.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of the module students should be able to:
  • identify and evaluate the principal financial risks faced by a large company;
  • apply techniques of asset portfolio management, with particular emphasis on bond and bill portfolios;
  • identify and evaluate the methods by which those risks can be managed, and the extent to which such methods should be used;
  • devise and propose credible financial risk management strategies based on a range of generic, and structured, financial derivatives;
  • critically assess financial risk management strategies proposed by a company’s risk management practitioners.
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 via online learning, divided up into study weeks with specially produced resources within each week. Resources vary according to the learning outcomes but normally include: video content, directed reading, reflection through activities, opportunities for self-assessment and peer-to-peer learning within a tutor-facilitated discussion board. Tutors provide feedback on formative work and facilitate discussion board communication as well as being available for individual consultation as necessary (usually by email and Skype).
  • The summative assessment of the module is designed to test the acquisition and articulation of knowledge and critical understanding, and skills of application and interpretation within the business context.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Video content, directed reading, self-assessed assignments and guidance for further reading 150
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Essay Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Written Essay 4,000 words maximum 100% Same

Formative Assessment:

A written assignment of 1,500 words, or its multimedia equivalent, which may involve some group work.

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