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FM230: Alternative Investments

Subject Area: Finance

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Course details

  • Department
    Department of Finance
  • Application code
Session oneFull - 17 Jun 2024 - 5 Jul 2024
Session twoNot running in 2024
Session threeOpen - 29 Jul 2024 - 16 Aug 2024


Applications are open

We are accepting applications. Apply early to avoid disappointment.


In an era of significant institutional and individual market turmoil, investors must look beyond traditional investment vehicles such as bonds and shares.

A substantial increase in the price of gold is just one example of a successful alternative investment at work. From hedge funds and private equity, to venture capital funds, real estate and commodities, this course explores how alternative investments can be used as vehicles for growth.

Through a combination of theory and application through empirical exercises, this course allows you to gain practical experience in alternative investments. You will learn to identify what the return-risk characteristics of alternative investments are, what drives their appeal, how to understand related technical publications, and how to construct a portfolio using them.

Through interactive classes that allow you to get hands-on experience using data, you will apply the theory to real-world situations including measuring the risks of investment portfolios, evaluating a leveraged buyout deal and analysing the profitability of a venture capital deal.

Key information

Prerequisites: Basic mathematics and statistics. Introductory Finance (to the level of FM250) or Introductory Microeconomics (to the level of EC101).

Level: 200 level. Read more information on levels in our FAQs

Fees: Please see Fees and payments

Lectures: 36 hours

Classes: 18 hours

Assessment: Two examinations

Typical credit: 3-4 credits (US) 7.5 ECTS points (EU)

Please note: Assessment is optional but may be required for credit by your home institution. Your home institution will be able to advise how you can meet their credit requirements. For more information on exams and credit, read Teaching and assessment

Is this course right for you?

This course is ideal if you are wanting to pursue a career in the financial services industry or wish to develop your own investment portfolio. The course will help you develop practical approaches using industry examples that will prepare you for roles in finance, such as in hedge funds, venture capital, private equity or trading. It is equally applicable to develop the skills needed for further academic study in this field.


  • Understand the return-risk characteristics of different alternative investments
  • Apply the course theory to measure the risks attached to different investment portfolios
  • Calculate the alphas of hedge fund strategies
  • Evaluate a leveraged buyout deal and venture capital deal


Alejandro José Otero, Bolivia

The classes were structured in a different way to home, and I really enjoyed this. The classes were more practical and I found it very interesting.


The design of this course is guided by LSE faculty, as well as industry experts, who will share their experience and in-depth knowledge with you throughout the course.

Kim Fe Cramer

Dr Kim Fe Cramer

Assistant Professor

Constantin Charles

Dr Constantin Charles

Assistant Professor


The LSE Department of Finance is devoted to excellence in teaching and research in the full range of the subfields of finance including corporate finance, asset pricing theory, risk management, empirical analysis of capital markets, behavioural finance, portfolio analysis, derivatives pricing, microstructure and financial econometrics.

The Department of Finance (formerly part of the Department of Accounting and Finance) has grown in recent years to become one of the largest and most highly-regarded finance groups in the UK and Europe. It is closely associated with the LSE's Financial Markets Group and Systemic Risk Centre which regularly host a wide variety of seminars, conferences and public addresses by leading academics and practitioners.

With over 200 post-graduate students selected from a pool of top applicants world-wide, a faculty recruited from the top departments internationally, and a steady flow of distinguished visitors, we have a stimulating environment for research and learning that is on par with the best in the world.


Applications are open

We are accepting applications. Apply early to avoid disappointment.