AC417      Half Unit
Corporate Financial Disclosure and Investor Relations

This information is for the 2020/21 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Ken Lee OLD 3.29 and Dr Pascal Frantz OLD 3.07


This course is available on the Global MSc in Management, Global MSc in Management (CEMS MiM), Global MSc in Management (MBA Exchange), MSc in Accounting and Finance and MSc in Accounting, Organisations and Institutions. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Other students may be admitted if they have knowledge of financial accounting and finance acquired at undergraduate level, and only with the agreement, in writing, of the MSc (Accounting and Finance) Course Tutor.

The course is capped to two sections of around 55 students; ie, 110 total. Enrolment on this course is constrained by section size and the number of sessions available. Students are admitted on the course on a first-come-first-served basis. If the course is over-subscribed, students on the waiting list will continue to be admitted on a first-come-first-served basis as places become available, but MSc students on the Accounting programmes will only then be given priority although cannot be guaranteed a place if no places become available. Therefore, to avoid frustration and possibly being unable to take the course, students wishing to reduce the risk of non-admittance on the course should prioritise their courses and register early for their preferred, “must have” courses. Late registration or changes to earlier course choices may be unsuccessful.

Course content

Investors view firms through the lens of financial accounting and reporting. This course aims to examine this lens by covering topics on the interaction of financial accounting and reporting with capital markets with a focus on corporate disclosure and communication strategies. The course views corporate financial reporting as an information system and reviews the theories and empirical regularities on the demand for and supply of accounting information in capital markets while also assessing the stock market impact of communication strategies.

Some of the topics covered in the course include: Determinants of accounting choices; Capital markets and the earnings game; Voluntary disclosure theory and practices; The signalling role of accounting information; Capital market consequences of accounting and disclosure choices; Financial reporting and corporate governance;  Communication challenges during a corporate crisis; Communication with capital markets during equity offerings. The course is based on a number of theories, empirical applications, and case studies, so that students gain an understanding firm’s corporate information environment and communication strategies.

Detailed choice of subjects to be covered will be determined by those lecturing on the course and may vary to some extent from year to year. Knowledge of basic accounting and finance is assumed.


33 hours of seminars in the LT.

Teaching is delivered in three hour sessions each week. Each session is conducted in groups of about 50 students, often involving case study analyses, application exercises and group presentations and discussions. This mode of teaching requires good advance preparation by the students; hence, every student should be ready to contribute to the discussion when called upon. Active participation is expected and encouraged.

Formative coursework

Formative assessment will be in the form of class exercises and case-studies on topics covered during the course. Students will be expected to hand in two assignments in the LT.

Indicative reading

The course relies mostly on journal articles and chapters from relevant books supplied in study packs.  In the first part of the course the relevant books are:

• Gibbons, R (1992) ‘A Primer in Game Theory’;

• Scott, W (2011) Financial Accounting Theory (Prentice Hall)

In the second part of the course the key text is: 

• Laskin, A (2018) ‘The Handbook of Financial Communication and investor relations’ (Wiley)


Exam (60%, duration: 2 hours) in the summer exam period.
Group exercise (40%) in the LT.

The group exercise will consist of class participation and group work.


Student performance results

(2016/17 - 2018/19 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 29.2
Merit 50.5
Pass 15
Fail 5.3

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2020/21 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the situation of students in attendance on campus and those studying online during the early part of the academic year. For assessment, this may involve changes to mode of delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Accounting

Total students 2019/20: 144

Average class size 2019/20: 48

Controlled access 2019/20: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Specialist skills