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Durham University

Postgraduate Module Handbook 2021/2022

Archive Module Description

This page is for the academic year 2021-22. The current handbook year is 2022-23

Department: Economics and Finance

ECON488JN: Fundamentals of Finance

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Not available in 2021/22
Tied to N2P209J Management (Finance) (commencing in January) (suspended for 21/22)


  • None


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • The main aim of this module is to provide a rigorous grounding in the theory of modern finance at an advanced level and a thorough synthesis of the most important current research in finance , with an emphasis on the applications of the principles and relevance of the theory to the practice of financial management. Both normative and positive aspects of financial theory are examined, together with supporting descriptive and empirical evidence.


  • An introduction to the financial theory
  • The valuation of risky future cash flows
  • Stock valuation
  • Bond valuation
  • Risk & return and portfolio theory
  • Asset pricing models
  • Market efficiency
  • Introduction to options and futures contracts

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module students should have:
  • Advanced knowledge and critical understanding of essential components of modern finance theory and associated current research.
  • Explored, understood and appreciated the complexity and contradictions of the current academic literature and its implications for professional financial management practice.
  • Demonstrated ability to learn and work independently in finance, exercising critical judgement and discrimination in the resolution of complex problematic situations.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Used highly specialised and advanced technical, professional and academic skills in the analysis of relevant specific problems in financial management.
  • Had the opportunity to apply problem solving and analytical skills to issues in financial management in a complex specialised context.
Key Skills:
  • Written Communication.
  • Planning, Organising and Time Management.
  • Problem solving and analysis.
  • Using initiative.
  • Numeracy.
  • Computer Literacy.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Combination of lectures; students' presentations and discussions in seminars will contribute to achieving the aims and learning outcomes of this module. Summative assessment by written examination will test students' knowledge and understanding of the subject-matter, their critical judgement and problem-solving skills.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 9 1 per week 2 hours 18
Seminars 4 1 per fortnight 1 hour 4
Revision Lecture 1 Once 1 hour 1
Preparation & Reading 127
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Examination Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Unseen written examination 2 hours 100% Same

Formative Assessment:

Participation in computer-based student self-assessment exercise

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University