Corporate Finance, Investments and Financial Markets

This information is for the 2020/21 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Georgy Chabakauri CON.2.08 and Dr Juanita Gonzalez Uribe


This course is compulsory on the BSc in Accounting and Finance. This course is available on the BSc in Business Mathematics and Statistics, BSc in Econometrics and Mathematical Economics, BSc in Economics, BSc in Management, BSc in Mathematics, Statistics and Business and Diploma in Accounting and Finance. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit and to General Course students.


Principles of Finance (FM212) or Principles of Finance (FM213)

Course content

This course is intended for third-year undergraduates and will be a broad-based follow-up to FM212/FM213 Principles of Finance. The goal is to broaden, and selectively deepen, students' understanding of finance, building on their existing knowledge of financial economics. The course will cover a broad range of topics, with both a theoretical and an empirical emphasis. These include topics in corporate finance, investments and performance evaluation and international finance. The course consists of two interchangeable ten-week components, one on investments and international finance, and the other on corporate finance.

The first component provides students with a way of thinking about investment decisions by examining the empirical behaviour of security prices. We first study the empirical evidence of the CAPM and other asset pricing models, and then analyse different tests of market efficiency focusing on event studies and investment anomalies. We also study the main empirical findings in behavioural finance. We then learn how to measure the performance of a portfolio manager and to attribute it to different types of skill. Finally, this section of the course introduces the foundations of international finance and explores issues related to international portfolio management.

The second component of the course examines theory and evidence concerning major corporate financial policy decisions. It builds on FM212/FM213 (Principles of Finance) and emphasis practical implementation, with some of the same topics covered in more depth, and some additional topics not covered before. This is achieved with a combination of lectures, problem sets, and case studies such that students can apply the concepts using real-life situations.


The goal of corporations is to take on the best possible projects (e.g. a plant expansion) and finance them in the best way possible (e.g. through profits, debt, or equity). The time and uncertainty of investment payoffs make these problems nontrivial and essential for long-term success. The course will focus on answering the following questions:


(a) Valuation: How can we value and choose projects? What is the value of a company? What should be the expected return for a project, division, and the whole firm?

(b) Capital Structure: How should corporations obtain financing? For what projects?


20 hours of lectures and 10 hours of classes in the MT. 20 hours of lectures and 10 hours of classes in the LT. 2 hours of lectures and 1 hour of classes in the ST.

Formative coursework

Students are expected to produce written work for classes and to make positive contributions to class discussions.

Indicative reading

Detailed course programmes and reading lists are distributed at the start of the course. Illustrative texts include: Bodie, Kane & Marcus, Investments (Irwin) and Grinblatt & Titman, Financial Markets and Corporate Strategy (Irwin, McGraw-Hill).


Exam (100%, duration: 3 hours) in the summer exam period.

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: Finance

Total students 2019/20: 304

Average class size 2019/20: 15

Capped 2019/20: No

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Problem solving
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Commercial awareness
  • Specialist skills