Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2023-2024 (archived)

Module FINN43915: Private Equity and Wealth Management

Department: Finance

FINN43915: Private Equity and Wealth Management

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2023/24 Module Cap None.
Tied to N3K109
Tied to N3K209
Tied to N3K309
Tied to N3K409
Tied to N3K709


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • This course explores international banking financing decisions, the structure and financing of private equity and venture capital funds.
  • Covers topics on advanced financial analysis and valuation for global firms over different macroeconomic conditions, business, credit, financial and monetary policy cycles.
  • It is designed for students that already have a basic familiarity with corporate valuation.
  • This course is useful for students who aim for careers in private equity, investment banking, consulting, and corporate finance


  • Introduction to international bank financing during different business and credit cycles;
  • Introduction to Private Equity: Private equity as a financing tool and as an investment opportunity, how does Private Equity work;
  • Introduction to Venture Capital as a subset of the formal Private Equity Markets, what are the differences between Private Equity and Venture Capital;
  • Types and Business Models of Private Equity: How Private Equity Funds are structured, operate and govern their portfolio of companies;
  • Investing in Private Equity funds: Private Equity Fund raising
  • Private Equity Investments: How Private Equity capital is deployed for investments in various types of firms. Origination, valuation, execution, monitoring, and realization of private equity transactions, Evaluation of Private Equity investment opportunities;
  • Value Creation in Private Equities: How to evaluate and finance investment projects, including distressed investing, start-up companies, and how to determine the optimal capital structure of a firm, how can a Private Equity firm create more value for companies;
  • Corporate, Private Equity and Venture Capital financing: Analysis and simulation of the decisions that private equity and venture capital investors make in the fundraising, investing and exit stages of the private equity/venture capital cycle;
  • Private Equity Investments in Emerging Markets;
  • Distress Investing: Restructuring distressed companies;
  • How to value global firms; Assessing the business performance and prospects for a company over different macroeconomic, monetary, business, credit, and financial cycles.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Be able to conduct valuations of assets from the perspective of a private equity investor;
  • Recognize an opportunity worth financing through private equity;
  • Understand the importance of innovative strategy, capital structuring, debt management and risk allocation/assumption for private equity and venture capital activity;
  • Have explored, understood, and appreciated the complexity and contradictions of the current academic literature and its implications for professional practice, and be able to identify open questions for your own research;
  • Have demonstrated ability to learn and work independently in this area, exercising critical judgement and discrimination in the resolution of complex problematic situations.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Have highly specialised and advanced technical, professional and academic skills in the analysis of securities for investment purposes;
  • Have problem solving and analytical skills in a complex specialised context.
Key Skills:
  • Written Communication;
  • Planning, Organising and Time Management;
  • Problem solving and initiative;
  • Adaptability;
  • Numeracy;
  • Computer Literacy.

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

  • A combination of lectures, seminars and guided reading will contribute to achieving the aims and learning outcomes of this module. Summative assessment by assignment will test students knowledge and understanding of the subject-matter, their critical judgement and problem-solving skills.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 10 1 per week 2 hours 20
Seminars 4 1 per fortnight 1 hour 4
Preparation and Reading 126
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Assignment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Assignment 2500 words 100% same

Formative Assessment:

Students will receive written comments on ad-hoc exercises in real-world case studies in the class, and for group presentations on private equity/venture capital recommendations and valuations. Additional formative assessment, and feedback, may take a number of forms such as oral feedback on work prepared by students for seminars; and answers to questions discussed during a seminar.

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