Principles of Finance

The details
Essex Business School
Colchester Campus
Postgraduate: Level 7
Thursday 03 October 2024
Friday 13 December 2024
15 July 2024


Requisites for this module



Key module for

MSC N30212 Finance and Management,
MSC N30224 Finance and Management

Module description

This module presents core concepts of finance for non-specialist students in relation to investment appraisal, business valuation, stock/bond valuation and portfolio analysis.

Module aims

The aims of this module are:

  • To provide students with no prior background in finance with the core concepts and tools in key areas of financial economics, corporate finance and asset pricing.

  • To acquire a good understanding of financial statements and knowledge of the concept of Time Value of Money, capital budgeting and valuation techniques, including the pricing of bonds or fixed-income securities and equities.

  • To provide students with the principles and technical aspects of portfolio theory and the capital asset pricing model.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students will be expected to be able to:

  1. Gain a systematic understanding of key aspects of finance for business.

  2. Be able to analyse and critically evaluate financial statements to assess financing needs.

  3. Develop a solid knowledge and understanding of the principles and methods to analyse and evaluate investment projects.

  4. Gain a comprehensive understanding of techniques to perform bond/ debt and stock valuation.

  5. Have a systematic understanding of knowledge and critical awareness of the treatment of risk and return in investment decisions.

  6. Be able to critically identify and appraise the main issues in portfolio management.

Module information


  • Introduction

    • The Corporation and Financial Markets.

    • Introduction to Financial Statement Analysis.

    • Financial Decision Making and the Law of One Price.

  • Time, money and interest rates.

    • The Time Value of Money.

    • Interest Rates.

    • Valuing Bonds.

  • Valuing projects and firms.

    • Investment Decision Rules.

    • Fundamentals of Capital Budgeting.

    • Valuing Stocks.

  • Risk and return.

    • Capital Markets and the Pricing of Risk.

    • Optimal Portfolio Choice and the Capital Asset Pricing Model.

    • Estimating the Cost of Capital.

    • Investor Behaviour and Capital Market Efficiency

Learning and teaching methods

This module will be delivered via:

  • One 2-hour lecture per week
  • One 1-hour workshop per week.

Lectures will be used for the exposition of the major concepts and tools.

Weekly workshops, following the lecture, will be used for problem solving and discussions based on current issues.

Structured activities will be also designed to develop independent learning skills.

Students will be encouraged to develop additional skills by use of MyLab platform.


This module does not appear to have a published bibliography for this year.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Individual coursework     50% 
Coursework   Individual assignment 2    50% 

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Prof Alexandros Kontonikas, email:
Prof Alexandros Kontonikas



External examiner

Dr Nikolaos Voukelatos
University of Kent
Senior Lecturer in Finance
Available via Moodle
No lecture recording information available for this module.


Further information
Essex Business School

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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