FM431A      Half Unit
Corporate Finance A

This information is for the 2024/25 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Cynthia Balloch



This course is compulsory on the MSc in Economics and Management. This course is available on the Global MSc in Management, MSc in Accounting and Finance, MSc in Econometrics and Mathematical Economics, MSc in Economics, MSc in Economics (2 Year Programme) and MSc in Finance and Risk. This course is not available as an outside option.

Global MSc in Management ('Accounting and Finance' and 'Finance' concentrations only).

This course is available with permission on the Diploma in Accounting and Finance with the approval of the Programme Director. This course is not available as an outside option.

Outside students should consider taking FM474 Managerial Finance as an alternative option.

This course cannot be combined with FM474 Managerial Finance. 

This course is not capped, any eligible student that requests a place will be given one.

This course does not permit auditing students.


Basic Mathematics and Statistics knowledge. The course is self-contained but it covers a broad set of topics. Some prior knowledge of economics, finance and accounting is advised.

Course content

The course provides a broad introduction to a range of key topics in corporate finance. The first part of the course investigates how companies finance their activities by issuing debt, equity, and other securities, and the interaction of business policy with financial policy. This illustrates the driving forces behind capital structure decisions and choices over debt and equity finance. Special consideration is given to the tax implications of those choices, the possible costs of financial distress, the incentive implications of financial decisions and the signalling impact of those for financial market participants. The second part of the course covers project valuation, discount rates, how future cash flows are discounted accounting for differences in capital structure and establishes how companies should select their investments. The course combines conceptual material with a series of cases, with an emphasis on the application of theory to real business decisions.


20 hours of lectures and 9 hours of seminars in the AT.

Formative coursework

Students will be set weekly formative assignments. Solutions and guidance will be provided during the weekly lecture and seminar classes. 

Indicative reading

J. Berk and P. DeMarzo, Corporate Finance, Pearson International Edition. Full details of reading will be specified in the Course Programme and Reading List which will be distributed at the first lecture.


Exam (90%, duration: 1 hour and 30 minutes, reading time: 10 minutes) in the spring exam period.
Class participation (10%).

Key facts

Department: Finance

Total students 2023/24: 222

Average class size 2023/24: 23

Controlled access 2023/24: 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

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