Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2020-2021 (archived)

Module ECON49810: Advanced Finance for Business (EBS)

Department: Economics and Finance

ECON49810: Advanced Finance for Business (EBS)

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 10 Availability Available in 2020/21
Tied to N1T817


  • None


  • ECON49710 Finance (EBS)

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To build upon the material covered in the core module Finance, providing a rigorous training in the theory and application of modern finance at an advanced level.
  • To familiarise students with empirical issues in finance, and the approaches to analysing corporate financial decisions within financial theory frameworks.
  • To examine how the appropriate use of financial strategy can add value to the corporation.


  • Properties of Equity Markets
  • Historic returns, differentiating between various types of risks, and computing appropriate risk measures
  • Portfolio Theory
  • Determination of reasonable portfolios
  • Equilibrium Pricing Models
  • Relationship between expected return and relevant risk (CAPM)
  • Performance measurement
  • Multi-factor Pricing Models
  • Smart-Beta Strategies (Arbitrage Pricing Theory)
  • Economic reasons for abnormal returns o Behavioural Finance
  • Mergers, Acquisitions and Corporate Control
  • Sources of acquisition synergies; structuring acquisitions; financing acquisitions; shareholders wealth effects; LBOs, MBOs and other forms of restructuring.
  • Properties of Bond Markets
  • Market volume, trades products, typically used key rates
  • Management of Bond Portfolios
  • Risk management
  • Trading strategies
  • Derivatives Markets
  • Financial Products
  • Valuation of derivatives
  • Risk management

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Upon successful completion of the module, the students will have:
  • an understanding of advanced financial theory from an international perspective;
  • critical understanding of how lessons learned from the financial markets can be applied to the world of advanced multi-asset portfolio management from both the buy side and sell side perspective;
  • advanced knowledge and critical understanding of essential components of modern finance theory and associated current research.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Upon successful completion of the module, students will:
  • be able to use highly specialised and advanced technical, professional and academic research skills in the analysis of relevant specific problems in finance;
  • be able to apply problem solving and analytical skills of research to issues in finance 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

  • Learning outcomes are met through classroom-based workshops, supported by online resources. The workshops consist of a combination of taught input, groupwork, case studies, spread sheet simulations/analyses and discussion. Online resources provide preparatory material for the workshops – typically consisting of directed reading and video content.
  • The formative assessment consists of classroom-based exercises involving individual and group analyses and presentations on specific business situations/problems relevant to the learning outcomes of the module.
  • The summative assessment of the module, by a take-away examination completed over a limited time period, will test students’ acquisition and articulation of knowledge and their ability to apply what they have learned in the business context. The use of a take- away examination will also encourage students to engage with and revise the whole module content, to encourage the development of a coherent, comprehensive understanding of the subject.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Workshops - combination of lectures, groupwork, case studies and discussion 6 Over a 3-day teaching block 4.5 hrs 27
Webinars / online videos 2
Preparation and Reading 71
Total 100

Summative Assessment

Component: Written Assignment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Written examination 3000 words max 100% Same

Formative Assessment:

The formative assessment consists of classroom-based exercises involving individual and group analyses and presentations on specific business situations/problems relevant to the learning outcomes of the module. Oral and written feedback will be given on a group and/or individual basis as appropriate.

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