AC417      Half Unit
Corporate Financial Disclosure and Investor Relations

This information is for the 2023/24 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Pascal Frantz MAR 3.30


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 Programme Director.

The course is capped to three sections of around 55 students; ie, 165 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: The market for information – the role of sell-side analysts, investor relations and the buy-side; Voluntary disclosure theory and practices; Determinants of accounting choices; The signalling role of accounting information; Capital markets and the earnings game; 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 and mergers and acquisitions.

The course is based on a number of theories, empirical applications, and case studies, so that students gain an understanding of the firm’s corporate information environment and communication strategies. It has a quantitative flavour as it relies in large parts on game theory. Prior knowledge of game theory is however not a prerequisite as the course introduces the relevant concepts.  Also, the course does not rely on a strong mathematical background.

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.


30 hours of seminars in the AT.

There will be two 90 minute 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 a single group assignment in the AT.

Indicative reading

The course relies mostly on HBR readings, lecture notes, journal articles, and chapters from relevant books supplied in online study packs.


Exam (70%, duration: 2 hours) in the January exam period.
Group exercise (30%) in the AT.

The group work will comprise two assignments, the last one including a presentation.

Student performance results

(2019/20 - 2021/22 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 32.8
Merit 57.8
Pass 9.2
Fail 0.2

Key facts

Department: Accounting

Total students 2022/23: 164

Average class size 2022/23: 82

Controlled access 2022/23: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Personal development skills

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