Professional Standards and Development
This module combines two important aspects of professional development for the finance industry: career development and professional standards. Initially students receive an overview and practical workshops on roles in Investment Banking and Asset Management, followed by information on the latest industry recruitment procedures. The second section of the module introduces students to the CFA Institute’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct. In particular, it provides students with a foundation in the study of ethics, challenges to ethical behaviour, and the role played by ethics in the investment profession. Students will study real-world examples of ethical decision making.
Internationalisation: This module incorporates the globally recognised CFA Institute’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct, which offers lifelong learning opportunities to guide investment professionals with ethical decision making throughout every stage of their careers.
Sustainability: All of the lecture material and the basic text e-book are available on ELE (Exeter Learning Environment).
External Engagement: This module follows the CFA curriculum.
Employability: This course is designed equip students with the skills and knowledge that will enhance their employability in the Finance industry.
Full module specification
|Module title:||Professional Standards and Development|
|Duration of module:||
Duration (weeks) - term 1: |
6Duration (weeks) - term 2:
The module is designed to enhance your employability through a guided programme of study that will prepare you to find and apply for appropriate positions in the finance industry. Careers guidance and skills development will be delivered through seminars, workshops and online resources. You are expected to engage with alumni and potential employers with the support from the Post Graduate Employability and Careers Consultant in the Business School Careers Team.
The module also introduces ideas and concepts that will help you understand the importance of ethical behaviour in the finance industry. In addition to introducing you to the globally recognised CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct, that CFA candidates must follow to achieve the broader industry expectations, you will also be able to demonstrate an understanding of the professional standards by analysing a real-world case study using the Ethical Decision Making Framework.
ILO: Module-specific skills
- 1. be able to demonstrate a capability for the practical aspects of managing your career, locate appropriate services and resources that will help you with your career planning and graduate job search;
- 2. describe the process of job acquisition, with specific regard to the various types of process that might be involved in applying for and securing graduate level jobs;
- 3. be able to distinguish between ethical and legal standards, and describe the importance of maintaining professional standard in the investment industry;
- 4. be able to explain the ethical responsibilities required by the CFA Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct and describe why Global Investment Performance Standards (GIPS) were created;
- 5. be able to apply the Ethical Decision-Making Framework using case studies based on real-world situations.
ILO: Discipline-specific skills
- 6. demonstrate a strong understanding of employability formulas, such as the STAR technique and the Present-Past-Future technique to construct interview answers;
- 7. practise and develop your skills at CVs and application forms, through analysing what is required by recruiters, by reflecting on company values and the job description;
- 8. gain the confidence and clarity in navigating ethical issues within the investment management industry.
ILO: Personal and key skills
- 9. identify, critically reflect on, and provide examples of own experiences that demonstrate your personal and key skills and their relevance to graduate employment;
- 10. exercise diligence, independence, and thoroughness in making ethical investment decisions;
- 11. work independently, as an individual or in a group; organising and maintaining your own programme of study to meet graduate recruitment and academic deadlines;
Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)
|Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities||Guided independent study||Placement / study abroad|
Details of learning activities and teaching methods
|Category||Hours of study time||Description|
|Scheduled Learning and teaching activities (Career)||10||Lectures|
|Scheduled Learning and teaching activities (Career)||19||Workshops|
|Scheduled learning and teaching activities (Ethics)||3||Lectures|
|Scheduled learning and teaching activities (Ethics)||4||Workshops|
|Guided independent study (Career)||46||Additional reading, career research and one-to-one careers appointments|
|Guided independent study (Ethics)||68||Reading and research, web-based activities|
|Form of assessment||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
|Mock interview||1 mock interview of 30 minutes||1, 6, 9||Immediate feedback after interview|
|Personal Branding (CV & LinkedIn)||1-2 page CV||1, 2, 6, 7, 9,11||Written feedback from the PGT Employability and Careers Consultant|
|CFA Ethical Challenge Case Study||Participation||3 5, 8, 10,11||Immediate feedback after presentation|
|The Standards of Practice online exam||Contains 75 multiple-choice questions based on application of the Code and Standards||3 - 5||Online feedback|
Summative assessment (% of credit)
|Coursework||Written exams||Practical exams|
Details of summative assessment
|Form of assessment||% of credit||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
|Career Development Plan||20||300 600 words||1,2,6,7,9,11||Written feedback from the PGT Employability and Careers Consultant|
|Application Assignment||30||1000 words||1,2,6,7,9,11||Written feedback from the PGT Employability and Careers Consultant|
|Ethical case study group Assignment (5 students per group)||50||2000 2500 words||3-5,8,10||Written feedback|
Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)
|Original form of assessment||Form of re-assessment||ILOs re-assessed||Timescale for re-assessment|
|Career Development Plan||Career Development Plan (20%, 300-600 words)||1,2,6,7,9,11||2 - weeks|
|Application Assignment||Application Assignment (30%, 1000 words)||1,2,6,7,9,11||2 - weeks|
|Ethical Case group assignment (5 students per group)||Ethical Case Study Individual Assignment (50%, 2000- 2500 words)||3-5,8,10,11||4 - weeks|
The module will run over two terms plus an introduction lecture in the Introduction Week. It will be delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, workshops, guest speaker sessions and online resources. The module will cover following
- Career planning & resilience in the workplace
- Finding and applying for finance jobs
- Psychometric testing and assessment centres
- Personal branding & networking skills
- Applying the competency framework in a CV, application form and interview setting
- Ethics and trust in the investment profession
- Code of ethics and standards of professional conduct
- Professionalism and integrity in capital markets
- Global investment performance standards
- Ethical decision-making framework
Indicative learning resources - Basic reading
Inkson, K, Dries, N. and Arnold, J. (2015) Understanding Careers, London: Sage
[RA1] Cuddy, A. (2016). Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges. London: Orion Publishing Group.
Ethical and Professional Standards, CFA® Program Curriclum L1 and L2, CFA Institute
The Standards of Practice Handbook, CFA Institute
Career Zone on-line careers resources:
Professional Standard on-line resources:
Ethical Decision Making: https://www.cfainstitute.org/en/ethics-standards/ethics/ethical-decision-making
Module has an active ELE page?
Last revision date