Surrey University Stag


Module code: MANM097

Module Overview

The Foundations of Finance module provides the theoretical underpinnings of all of our MSc Finance and Accounting programmes. It introduces the pivotal concepts which form the basis of theoretical finance under three broad headings; Portfolio Theory and Practice, Equilibrium in Capital Markets and Introductory Analysis of Asset Classes. Core concepts include the relationship between risk and return, the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM) and the Efficient Market Hypothesis (EMH) but the module also extends this analysis into new theoretical areas such as Behavioural Finance.

Module provider

Surrey Business School

Module Leader

PAL Sarmistha (SBS)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

JACs code: N300

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 120

Lecture Hours: 10

Seminar Hours: 10

Captured Content: 10

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

  • Introduction to risk return & historical record

  • Risk aversion & capital allocation to risky assets

  • Optimal risky portfolios

  • The capital asset pricing model

  • Arbitrage pricing theory & multifactor models of risk and return

  • The efficient market hypothesis & behavioral finance

  • Security analysis (valuation)

  • Investing in fixed income securities

  • Derivative Securities (Options: Puts and Calls)

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Online Scheduled Summative Class Test ONLINE OPEN-BOOK CLASS TEST 50 MINUTES 30

Alternative Assessment

Not applicable

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate through a combination of written and numerical assessments their ability to

  • Identify the theories  required to explain the trade-off between risk and return to achieve investment goals in a dynamic investment environment

  • Analyse the existing theories in the related fields and select the appropriate instrument to mitigate risk associated with investment

  • Critically apply  the theoretical models that could explain investment challenges faced by the financial market during the crisis

  • Critique existing methodologies for making international investment decisions

  • Take informed decisions in complex and unpredictable situations with the help of the existing finance models.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • Open book online class test 50 minutes based on the first 6 weeks lectures to be held in week 7.

  • A 2-hour open book online exam covering all topics will be held at the end of the module. 

Formative assessment and feedback

Students will receive oral feedback during seminars.

Feedback and guidance will be given via SurreyLearn throughout the module.

The purpose of the mid-term test early in the module is to ensure that students are engaged early in the module and their understanding of core concepts and principles is evaluated.

Scripts will be marked and double marked by finance academics. A sample will also be reviewed by external examiner.

Students will get the results within 21 working days from the day of test. Final exam results will be released after the exam board.

Students can give feedback on each topic via SurreyLearn.

Module aims

  • Provide students with the core theoretical concepts required for the study of finance at the Masters' level
  • By doing this the module prepares students for their future specialisations.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
1 Identify the techniques required to trade-off between risk and return to achieve their investment goals in the dynamic practical world KC
2 Analyse and select the appropriate instrument to mitigate risk associated with investment KPT
3 Have an in-depth conceptual understanding related to a sound investment strategy K
4 Critically address the challenges faced by the financial market during the crisis CT
5 Critique existing methodologies for making international investment decisions CT
6 Take informed decisions in complex and unpredictable situations KCP

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to allow a student to develop a theoretical background in finance. Based on this finance theory the student will develop a mixture of academic and industry knowledge and by  numerical problem solving skills they will enhance analytical and decision taking powers. This is in line with the programme’s learning and teaching strategy which develops the academic skills that underpin the practical applications of finance theory.

 Learning and teaching methods:

The material is organized into nine “topics” spread over ten 3 hour classroom sessions.

The course concludes with a review session.

All announcements will be on SurreyLearn at least 24 hrs before the class. Students are expected to use the discussion forum to communicate with each other and can also give their feedback. The questions raised on SurreyLearn will be addressed in a timely manner. Students are most welcome during the office hours for any clarification related to the module.

After having the theoretical knowledge the student should try to solve the theoretical and practical exercises given in “Connect” and should also try to do the exercises (theory and practical) given at the end of the chapter of the text book. Every week students are required to do case studies, theoretical and practical exercises in seminars. So they need to practice and read the topic carefully before coming to class. The topics are closely related to each other and the students need to follow the class from the very beginning. Finally the students are expected to attend all classes.

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: MANM097

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Accounting and Finance MSc 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2021/2 academic year.