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Financial Modelling

Module description


This module equips you with the knowledge and tools to implement financial models using Excel and Visual Basic for Applications (VBA). The module covers a range of topics in finance drawn from corporate finance, portfolio theory, fixed income analysis, risk management and international finance. The emphasis of the module is on the practical application of finance theory, with lectures on each topic followed by in-depth practical classes, in which you will work through real world problems using Excel and VBA.

Additional information:


This is an applied module that covers the implementation of quantitative financial models that are widely used in financial institutions such as investment banks, mutual funds and hedge funds, and in non-financial corporations.


The content of this module is relevant to the finance industry in an international setting, with examples drawn from a number of global financial markets.


The sustainable operation of financial markets relies on the fact that security prices reflect the fair value of the future cash flows that they promise to pay. The fair valuation of security prices is maintained by the actions of investors, who exploit deviations from fair value through the implementation of financial models such as those covered in this module.

Research in Teaching

Some of the material covered in the module draws on research in the area of applied finance undertaken by the module convener, and either published in academic journals or used as a basis for commercial consultancy. Where appropriate, references to this research will be provided.

Full module specification

Module title:Financial Modelling
Module code:BEAM046
Module level:M
Academic year:2023/4
Module lecturers:
  • Dr Wei-Ming Lee - Lecturer
Module credit:15
ECTS value:





BEAM047 (or BEAM047A) Fundamentals of Financial Management

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


Module aims

The aim of this module is to equip students with the knowledge and tools to implement financial models using Excel and VBA. The course introduces students to the general principles of building financial models, as well as a number of specific financial modelling tools, including matrix calculations, optimisation, regression analysis, out-of-sample forecasting and simulation. These methods are applied to a range of practical problems in finance, including passive and active portfolio management, risk management and currency valuation. The emphasis of the course is on practical application of the theory, with lectures on each topic followed by in-depth practical classes, in which students work through real world problems using Excel and VBA.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. explain the objectives of financial modelling and the characteristics of financial data
  • 2. download financial data from the internet for a range of securities, including stocks, bonds, derivatives and currencies
  • 3. undertake a range of financial and statistical calculations in Excel
  • 4. estimate the cost of capital for a company
  • 5. estimate the variance-covariance matrix of returns using several approaches
  • 6. estimate the optimal passive portfolio of securities, with and without investment constraints
  • 7. derive the optimal actively managed portfolio of securities
  • 8. evaluate the risk of an investment portfolio
  • 9. forecast the volatility of financial assets
  • 10. estimate a model of the term structure of interest rates

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 11. evaluate the characteristics of financial data and their statistical properties
  • 12. explain the principles of passive and active portfolio management
  • 13. estimate corporate and Treasury bond yields and yield curves
  • 14. use simulation to model the unknown distribution of financial security returns
  • 15. evaluate the characteristics and dynamic properties of the volatility of financial assets

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 16. solve applied problems using Excel
  • 17. download and manipulate complex data
  • 18. plan and undertake independent research
  • 19. present your research in a professional manner
  • 20. work effectively in teams

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 activities12Lectures
Scheduled learning and teaching activities12Practical classes
Guided independent study126Reading, preparation for classes and assessments

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Weekly practice questions Taking about 20 minutes each week1-17Correct answers provided on ELE
Weekly guided case studiesSix weekly supervised practical case studies, each lasting two hours 1-17Feedback during practical classes and suggested solutions provided on ELE

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
Individual assignment701,500 words, excluding tables, figures and references1-15, 19Standard feedback form
Group assignment 303,000 words, excluding tables, figures and references.1-20Standard feedback form

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Individual assignmentIndividual assignment (2000 words)1-15, 19July/August
Group assignmentIndividual assignment (1000 words)1-19July/August

Syllabus plan

  • Introduction
  • Portfolio Optimisation
  • Portfolio Management
  • Risk Management
  • Volatility Forecasting
  • Modelling the Yield Curve


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Benninga, S. (2014) Financial Modeling, 4th edition, Massachusetts: MIT Press.


Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

To be advised during the course.

Indicative learning resources - Other resources

To be advised during the course.

Origin date


Last revision date