Financial Economics

This information is for the 2019/20 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Ian Martin, Dr Igor Makarov and Prof Michael Burkart


This course is compulsory on the MPhil/PhD in Accounting, MRes/PhD in Finance, MSc in Finance and Economics and MSc in Finance and Economics (Work Placement Pathway). This course is not available as an outside option.


Mathematical background at the level of the September Courses in Mathematics and FM458 Financial Economics Preparatory Course is assumed.

Course content

Financial Economics provides students with an in-depth introduction to the theories of asset pricing and corporate finance. The course analyses investors’ behaviour, market equilibrium, the pricing of securities, the valuation of real assets, and capital structure choice. Topics in asset pricing will encompass portfolio choice, complete and incomplete markets, mean-variance portfolio theory and equilibrium asset pricing, pricing with no arbitrage, Black-Scholes and other contingent claims pricing models, and the behaviour of financial markets during crises. Topics in corporate finance will encompass valuation methods and financing decisions in the presence of taxation, agency frictions, and asymmetric information.


40 hours of lectures and 40 hours of seminars in the MT.

Formative coursework

Problem sets, covered in classes.

Indicative reading

Readings will be based on teaching notes and journal articles.


Exam (80%, duration: 3 hours, reading time: 15 minutes) in the summer exam period.
Coursework (20%).

Key facts

Department: Finance

Total students 2018/19: 47

Average class size 2018/19: 14

Controlled access 2018/19: No

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Problem solving
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Specialist skills