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University of Exeter Business School

Personal Finance

Module titlePersonal Finance
Module codeBEE1040
Academic year2023/4
Module staff

Dr Boon Han Koh (Lecturer)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks




Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

Why study personal finance? All of us must make decisions that have crucial implications for our financial wellbeing. Society places more and more responsibility on the individual to make informed financial decisions. As we grow older, we take on more responsibility for our lives and later for our families. Lifelong financial planning ensures that we live within our means, are able to mitigate the effects of life’s misfortunes, and understand opportunities to increase our income and wealth when they arise.

This module develops an understanding of important household financial decisions in the context of lifelong financial planning by introducing important theoretical concepts, showing how actual calculations are made, and then discussing how these decisions are important for individuals and society. The individual decision is considered in the context of the macroeconomy, and, vice versa, how the state of the macroeconomy can then affect the individual.

In addition to practical knowledge that will be useful to all students studying the module, students are expected to take away a considerate perspective on the social dimension of personal financial decisions, in a world where financial illiteracy limits the progress of society. Students develop their critical thinking, numeracy, and logical thinking skills in this module.

Students will be assessed through quiz and exam, where they will be required to demonstrate their understanding of key concepts and issues in personal finance through a combination of essay-based questions and calculations.

The assessment structure on this module is subject to review and may change before the start of the next academic year. Any changes will be clearly communicated to you before the start of term and if you wish to change module as a result of this you can do so in the module change window.

Module aims - intentions of the module

The module aims to give students an understanding of the basic concepts and techniques related to the management of personal finances. It will provide an understanding of budgeting, savings & debt, financial markets, housing & mortgages, taxes, insurance, and pensions. Students will be introduced to financial products such as tax-efficient savings, credit cards, mortgages, bonds, stocks and shares, and annuities. The impact of taxation upon financial decisions will also be considered, as will the need to protect themselves from life’s misfortunes. Crucially, this module does not offer financial advice, but instead provides students with the opportunity to deepen their knowledge and understanding of personal finance, so that they can make their own informed financial decisions.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. comprehend and demonstrate key concepts of personal finance: equivalised disposable income, time-value for money, interest rates, compounding & discounting, pricing of bonds & stocks, loan amortisation, income tax & capital gains tax;
  • 2. learn and demonstrate how important financial products works: types of savings and investments, unsecured and secured loans, pensions, insurance;
  • 3. develop an understanding of how households behave in the UK and globally in terms of their personal finances;
  • 4. understand and articulate reasoned views on why personal financial management is important;
  • 5. understand and articulate how societal and policy changes can impact the financial wellbeing of the individual

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 6. develop the ability to explain key concepts of personal finance and apply them to financial decisions that are relevant for your current and future financial wellbeing

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 7. understand the need for lifelong financial planning by analysing personal financial decisions;
  • 8. develop an understanding of how themes in personal finance are interconnected and how individual decisions connect to the macroeconomy, and vice versa
  • 9. develop written and problem-solving skills and an understanding on the implications of national and global events on personal finances.

Syllabus plan

  • Rationale for Personal Financial Management
  • Income & Expenditure
  • Savings & Debt
  • Investments:
    • Rates, Bonds & Markets
    • Investments
  • Housing & Mortgages
  • Tax
  • Insurance
  • Pensions

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 Activity10Lectures
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activity5Tutorials
Guided Independent Study135Reading, research and reflection. Preparation for lectures, tutorials and assessments

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
ExercisesIn class1-9Indicative solutions provided

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
Examination7090 minutes1-9Exam mark breakdown by question
Quiz3060 minutes1-9ELE

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Examination (70%)Examination (70%) 90 minutes1-9August/September Reassessment Period
Quiz (30%)Quiz (30%) 60 minutes1-9August/September Reassessment Period

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Callaghan, G., I. Fribbance, and M. Higginson (2011). Personal Finance. Chichester: Palgrave Macmillan (available as digital resource)


Additional material will be provided through ELE.

Key words search

Personal Finance, Finance, Economics

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


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NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date