Portfolio Management and Asset Allocation

Module description

This module takes the perspective of portfolio management and aims to develop skills based on formal modelling of asset price procedures and empirical research findings particularly in an international setting.

Additional Information:


All of the resources for this module are available on the ELE (Exeter Learning Environment).

External Engagement

Previously, we had a manager from investment funds give a session on his own experience in fund management, who answered questions posed by students concerning their practical projects.


In this module, students learn how to work with portfolios. The module covers 70% CFA CBOK syllabus on the topic of the Portfolio Management and prepares students well for the CFA Level 2 exam on this topic

Full module specification

Module title:Portfolio Management and Asset Allocation
Module code:BEFM015
Module level:M
Academic year:2021/2
Module lecturers:
  • Dr Linquan Chen - Convenor
Module credit:15
ECTS value:






Duration of module: Duration (weeks) - term 2:


Module aims

This module studies portfolio management, developing student skills in the formal modelling of asset price procedures and empirical research findings, particularly in an international setting. The module expands economic analysis to take in issues arising in foreign exchange, international finance and financial economics

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. critically resolve general problems in selecting investments in a global market;
  • 2. critically formulate asset allocation models and decisions, using different asset pricing models in portfolio formations;
  • 3. demonstrate an understanding of the theories of international finance and monetary issues and apply them to real world situations; be able to resolve some practical problems arising in complex ‘real’ environments

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. develop rigorous theoretical arguments based on mathematical and analytical reasoning, interpret financial data and rigorously analyse problems in the light of established theories;
  • 5. access and critically appraise a wide body of empirical research literature;
  • 6. use relevant databases, existing research literature and techniques to conduct a detailed investigation of problems arising in financial markets and models.

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 7. plan and manage your own study, both individually and in a group, making appropriate use of learning resources, including sophisticated computer datasets
  • 8. critically analyse problems arising in both academic and practical context;
  • 9. effectively present results and achievements of individual and collaborative projects as developed through the mode of instruction using both individual and group assignments.

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 Activity2010 x 2-hour Lectures
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activity1010 x 1-hour Tutorials
Guided Independent Study120Reading, research and reflection; Preparation for coursework, exams and tutorials.

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Tutorial questions (Assigned in lectures and discussed in tutorials)Up to 10 questions 1-8Written/Verbal feedback
Group Presentation15 minutes1-9Written/Verbal feedback

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
Group Report Coursework301500 words (maximum)1-9Written/Verbal feedback
Exam (Written)421 hour 15 mins1-8Written feedback
Exam (MCQs)2845 mins1-8Written feedback

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Group ReportIndividual Report (1000 words), 30%1-9Referral/Deferral Period
Exam (Written)Exam (Written) (42%) [1 hour 15 mins]1-8Referral/Deferral Period
Exam (MCQs)Exam (MCQs) (28%) [45 mins]1-8Referral/Deferral Period

Syllabus plan

  • Portfolio management process
  • Asset pricing models in portfolio management
  • Measuring and managing market risk
  • Active portfolio management
  • International portfolio diversification
  • International parity conditions and currency determination
  • Fintech and algorithmic trading

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Basic reading:

  • Reilly, F.K., and Brown, K.C. (2015) Analysis of Investments and Management of Portfolios, 1st ed., Cengage Learning.[CA1] [TA2] 
  • Solnik, B. and McLeavey, D. (2004) International Investments, 5th ed., AIMR, UK: Addison Wesley
  • CFA ® Level II Curriculum set

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Web-based and electronic resources:

Origin date


Last revision date