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Introduction to Finance

Module description


This module should appeal to students who wish to obtain a better understanding of financial markets and are interested in further study/career in finance. Topics covered include the role of stock and bond markets and the mechanics of investment, principles of investment, and the present value model of investment.

Additional Information:


This is a highly practical module applicable across the globe. The tools (e.g., present value of cash flows) that are taught in this module can be used to evaluate investment opportunities anywhere in the world.


Lecture notes and other resources are available online on ELE (Exeter Learning Environment). The tools and analytical frameworks discussed in this framework are good starting points for students interested in green finance.


The skills students learn in this module are directly transferable to employment. Present value can be used to evaluate any type of investment (e.g., stock, bonds, or new projects). Through this module, students can also have better understandings of the financial markets (mainly bond and stock markets). These skills are relevant for jobs in corporate finance, consulting companies, investment banks and many other industries. This module also provides a good starting point for students interested in taking CFA Level I and CFA II exams.

Full module specification

Module title:Introduction to Finance
Module code:BEE1006
Module level:1
Academic year:2023/4
Module lecturers:
  • Dr Olha Matviiets - Lecturer
  • Dr Cecilia Chen - Lecturer
Module credit:15
ECTS value:






Duration of module: Duration (weeks) - term 1:


Duration (weeks) - term 2:


Duration (weeks) - term 3:


Module aims

The aim of this module is to provide an understanding of the functioning of financial markets and a foundation for your further study/career in finance. A theoretical framework is given to understand how individuals invest in financial markets and how to evaluate various investment opportunities (for example, US treasury bills, corporate bonds, and common stocks). 

This module aims to get students acquainted with the basics of financial concepts and terminologies. This module would provide a good foundation for the students to pursue further studies or career in finance. For example, this module could be a good starting point for students to take CFA Level I and CFA II exams. Also, the concepts and ways of thinking discussed in this module may help students make better financial decisions in the future.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. demonstrate a basic understanding of stock and bond markets and various financial institutions;
  • 2. demonstrate an ability to evaluate investment opportunities using the present value framework.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 3. demonstrate a basic understanding of stock and bond markets and various financial institutions;

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 4. demonstrate analytical and problem-solving skills;
  • 5. demonstrate good learning approaches and habits in online/hybrid learning environments.

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Learning and Teaching Activity22Lectures
Guided Independent Study60Revision of the contents covered in the lectures
Guided Independent Study12Review the practice problems discussed in the lecture
Guided Independent Study24Undertake assignment and later review the feedback and solutions
Guided Independent Study10Weekly problem sets and reviewing the solutions of them
Guided Independent Study22Prepare for exams

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
ExercisesWeekly1-5Seminar discussions

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Mid-Term Examination301.5 hours1-5Written or oral feedback
Final Examination702 hours1-5Written or oral feedback

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Mid-Term Examination (30%)Examination (1.5 hours, 30%) 1-5August/September Reassessment Period
Final Examination (70%)Examination (2 hours, 70%)1-5August/September Reassessment Period

Syllabus plan

This module will cover the following topics:

  • The Corporation (Ch.1 of Berk and DeMarzo)
  • Introduction to Financial Statement Analysis (Ch.2 of Berk and DeMarzo)
  • Financial Decision Making and the Law of One Price (Ch.3 of Berk and DeMarzo)
  • Discounted Cash Flow Valuation (Ch.4 and Ch.5 of Berk and DeMarzo)
  • Bond Valuation (Ch.6 of Berk and DeMarzo)
  • Investment Decision Rules (Ch.7 of Berk and DeMarzo)
  • Stock Valuation (Ch.9 of Berk and DeMarzo)

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Core text:

Berk, J. B., & DeMarzo, P. M. (2020) Corporate Finance (5th edition): Global Edition. Pearson Education.
ISBN: 9781292304151

Access through the University’s Library:

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Other resources

Further readings (if interested):

Financial Accounting:

  1.  Libby, R., Libby, P., & Hodge, F. (2020) Financial Accounting (10th edition). McGraw-Hill.

Financial Statement analysis and evaluation:

  1. Penman, S. (2013) Financial Statement analysis and evaluation (5th edition). McGraw-Hill.


  1. Bodie, Z., Kane, A., & Marcus, A. (2018) Investments (11th edition). McGraw-Hill.

CFA textbooks:

  1. CFA Program Curriculum 2020 Level I Volumes 1-6 Box Set

Link form the University’s library:

  1. CFA Program Curriculum 2020 Level II Volumes 1-6 Box Set

Link form the University’s library:

  1. CFA Program Curriculum 2019 Level III Volumes 1-6 Box Set

Link form the University’s library:

Origin date


Last revision date