Finance and Responsible Investment

Module description


This module introduces a range of finance issues that corporations face.  It equips students with the fundamentals of corporate finance theory to challenge finance experts.  Students learn how best to tackle finance issues they are likely to encounter, particularly how to source finance and how to appraise investments.

Additional Information:

Corporate finance theory and frameworks are internationally applicable, but different countries are developing sustainable and responsible investment approaches at vastly different paces.  The teaching materials and case studies explore the major differences in financial structuring, sustainable performance measurement, and corporate governance systems in major economic blocks.

By presenting weekly topical finance stories, students are encouraged to question and develop their own views on how corporations achieve a balance (or not) between social and environmental objectives alongside financial objectives.  

Finance is a key element in many management decisions.  This module develops student’s skills and confidence to understand and challenge finance experts, particularly when questioning the balance of financial returns and returns to other stakeholders.

Full module specification

Module title:Finance and Responsible Investment
Module code:MBAM825
Module level:M
Academic year:2013/4
Module lecturers:
  • Alistair Roy Clark -
Module credit:12
ECTS value:






Duration of module: Duration (weeks) - term 3:

4 days + study over 6 weeks

Module aims

This module provides students with a foundation in the key principles of financial management and their practical application, covering the issues of risk and return, portfolio analysis, asset pricing, the cost of capital, capital budgeting and capital structure. The module focuses mainly on evaluating alternative investment and funding options. The module will also consider responsible investment - the integration of ESG issues into investment evaluation. Including or excluding companies, partnering with stakeholders and evaluating ESG factors, whilst still aiming for a good return, can raise multiple and complex questions. The module will include reference to the performance of SRI funds, companies and projects with an environmental, social or CSR agenda

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. explain and evaluate the concepts of risk and return in financial markets.
  • 2. demonstrate how to construct a portfolio and calculate returns using asset pricing models.
  • 3. appreciate the principles of valuing securities and how their sensitivity to interest rates can be assessed.
  • 4. explain the concept of cost of capital and how to estimate this for a corporation.
  • 5. evaluate the attractiveness of real investment projects based on expected cash flows and cost of capital.
  • 6. explain how to manage financial risk, including the use of derivatives.
  • 7. assess the challenges of introducing ESG factors in investment decisions.
  • 8. evaluate the evidence on SRI funds and risk and returns in the context of green companies and projects.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 9. develop theoretical arguments based on analytical reasoning.
  • 10. rigorously analyse problems in finance.
  • 11. interpret financial data and problems in the light of established theories.

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 12. plan and manage independent study and research, and communicate effectively in writing.
  • 13. make effective use of learning resources, databases, spreadsheets and associated tools.
  • 14. critically analyse problems in academic and practical contexts.

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
Scheduled Learning and Teaching activities28Lectures

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Self Assessment Quizzes (individual)9 x 0.5 hrs 1-13 Correct answers
Group Case study 1 and presentation in class1 hour1-13Case solution and presentation proforma
Group Case study 2 and presentation in class1 hour1-13Case solution and presentation proforma

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
Assignment (Individual)100%3500 words1-13Written feedback

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Assignment (Individual)Same1-136 weeks after work marked

Syllabus plan

Different types of finance and features of modern financial management. Risk and return.  Portfolio theory and asset pricing.  Bonds.  Interest rate risk.  The cost of capital. Capital budgeting (including NPV and IRR) and cash flow  estimation. Capital structure.  Derivatives and risk management.  Applications in the context of sustainability project investments and green/ethical funds.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Basic reading:
Brigham E and J Houston (2010) Fundamentals of Financial Management (Custom Version), Sth Western Cenguage Learning.
Krosinky, C and Robins, N (2008) Sustainable Investing: The Art of Long-Term Performance. London: Earthscan.

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