Unit of study descriptions - Finance

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1000-level units of study

BUSS1020 Quantitative Business Analysis

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: 1 x 2hr lecture and 1 x 2hr tutorial per week Prohibitions: ECMT1010 or MATH1005 or MATH1905 or MATH1015 or STAT1021 or ENVX1001 or ENVX1002 or DATA1001 or MATH1115 Assessment: quiz 1 (15%), quiz 2 (15%), weekly homework (15%), written assignment (20%), final exam (35%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
All graduates from the BCom need to be able to use quantitative techniques to analyse business problems. This ability is important in all business disciplines since all disciplines deal with increasing amounts of data, and there are increasing expectations of quantitative skills. This unit shows how to interpret data involving uncertainty and variability; how to model and analyse the relationships within business data; and how to make correct inferences from the data (and recognise incorrect inferences). The unit will include instruction in the use of software tools (primarily spreadsheets) to analyse and present quantitative data.
BUSS1040 Economics for Business Decision Making

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: 1x 2hr lecture and 1x 1hr tutorial per week Prohibitions: ECON1001 OR ECON1040 Assessment: written assignment (15%), on-line quizzes (10%), mid-semester exam (20%), and final exam (55%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Economics underlies all business decisions, from pricing to product development, to negotiations, to understanding the general economic environment. This unit provides an introduction to economic analysis with a particular focus on concepts and applications relevant to business. This unit addresses how individual consumers and firms make decisions and how they interact in markets. It also introduces a framework for understanding and analysing the broader economic and public policy environment in which a business competes. This unit provides a rigorous platform for further study and a major in economics as well as providing valuable tools of analysis that complement a student's general business training, regardless of their area of specialisation.

2000-level units of study

FINC2011 Corporate Finance I

Credit points: 6 Session: Intensive January,Intensive July,Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: 1 x 2hr lecture and 1 x 1hr tutorial per week Prerequisites: (BUSS1020 or ECMT1010 or ENVX1001 or ENVX1002 or DATA1001 or ((MATH1005 or MATH1015) and MATH1115) or 6 credit points in MATH units including MATH1905) and (BUSS1040 or ECON1001 or ECON1002) Assumed knowledge: BUSS1030 Assessment: Mid-semester exam (20%), major assignment (30%) and final exam (50%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day, Block mode
This unit provides an introduction to basic concepts in corporate finance and their application to (1) valuation of risky assets including stocks, bonds and entire corporations, (2) pricing of equity securities, and (3) corporate financial policy decisions including dividend, capital structure and risk management policies. Emphasis is placed on the application of the material studied and current practices in each of the topic areas.
FINC2012 Corporate Finance II

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: 1x 2hr lecture and 1x 1hr tutorial per week Prerequisites: FINC2011 Assessment: mid-term exam (25%), assignments (25%), final exam (50%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
This unit builds on FINC2011 Corporate Finance I, by extending basic concepts in corporate financing, investing and risk management. The unit presents current theories of corporate financing and their practical application in corporate investment and capital budgeting. The unit also examines securities and securities markets with an emphasis on pricing, investment characteristics and their use by corporations to manage risk. The securities examined include: bonds and related fixed income products; futures and options. The goal of the unit is to broaden students' knowledge of corporate finance in preparation for further study in finance in 300 level courses.

3000-level units of study

BANK3011 Bank Financial Management

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: a two-hour lecture and a one-hour tutorial each week during semester. Prerequisites: BANK2011 or ECOS2004 or FINC2011 Prohibitions: FINC3018 Assessment: mid-semester exam (25%); individual assignment (30%); final exam (45%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
The objective of the unit is to expose students to the management of financial risks in banks. The unit examines how financial markets impact on the management of commercial banks and the risks they are exposed to, together with the techniques and approaches used in the measurement and management of these risks. Topics covered include the theory and practice of banking from a financial management perspective, interest rate and foreign exchange market risks, credit risk, liquidity risk, financial management, interest rate and credit derivatives, investment and loan management strategies and portfolio modelling, liability and deposit management, performance analysis, and industry developments.
FINC3011 International Financial Management

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 1 Classes: 1x 2hr lecture and 1x 1hr tutorial per week Prerequisites: FINC2012 Assessment: 2x semester tests each (20%), tutorial participation (10%) and a final exam (50%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Markets are increasingly globalised. There are very few businesses or industries that are not required to deal with issues such as foreign currency, foreign competition and direct investment. This unit is designed to allow students to extend their understanding of basic principles in finance to an international environment. Globalisation of markets introduces risks but also opens up profitable opportunities. Topics covered include: foreign currency valuation and markets; international parity conditions; measuring and managing foreign exposure; international portfolio management; capital budgeting and foreign direct investment; international tax management and international financing strategy.
FINC3012 Derivative Securities

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 2 Classes: 1x 2hr lecture and 1x 1hr tutorial per week Prerequisites: FINC2012 Assessment: group assignment (20%), mid-semester test (30%), final exam (50%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Note: Knowledge of calculus, regression, probability theory and random distributions are helpful for this subject
Options, futures and swaps are derivatives of underlying securities such as commodities, equities and bonds. These types of securities are increasingly used to manage risk exposure and as a relatively low-cost-way of taking a position in a security or portfolio. They are also being used as part of senior management compensation as a way of attempting to align the interests of shareholders with that of management. This unit is designed to provide an introduction to this important area of finance without requiring too high a level of mathematical sophistication. However, strong quantitative skills are an advantage in this subject.
FINC3013 Mergers and Acquisitions

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 2 Classes: 1x 2hr lecture and 1x 1hr tutorial per week; Additional workshops as required. Prerequisites: FINC2012 Assessment: mid-semester (20%), assignment (30%), final exam (50%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Mergers and acquisitions are a fundamental component of the corporate landscape. Students enrolling in this unit will study the economic and strategic drivers of corporate restructuring activity and their use in the design and analysis of restructuring transactions; evaluate the outcomes from restructuring transactions, both the theory based explanations and the empirical tests of the theories; learn to identify and value synergies in a restructuring transaction using several valuation methods; develop a detailed understanding of the design and economic impacts of deal structures used to effect corporate restructuring transactions; and analyse the process of merger arbitrage and its contribution to the outcome of restructuring transactions. This unit will, where possible, integrate learning outcomes in an academic and applied context, and develop an appreciation of the regulatory environment for restructuring transactions and the impact of these regulations on the process and outcomes of restructuring transactions.
FINC3014 Trading and Dealing in Security Markets

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 2 Classes: 1x 2hr lecture and 1x 1hr tutorial per week Prerequisites: FINC2012 Assessment: tutorial participation (10%), mid-semester exam (20%), trading assignment (20%), final exam (50%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
This unit is concerned with the processes which turn orders into trades in securities markets, and the forces which mould and affect both order flow and order execution. The unit provides an introduction to some fundamental ideas about market design and structure. At the end of the unit, students should be able to understand (1) how the international markets for foreign exchange, swaps, bonds and equities are organised, (2) how trading is conducted in these markets and how these transactions are cleared, (3) how the markets are regulated, if they are supervised and what risks different counterparties face in these markets. The unit aims to equip students to independently analyse international investment and financing alternatives and to estimate expected returns and costs taking into account liquidity risk, price volatility and credit risk.
FINC3015 Financial Valuation: Case Study Approach

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 1 Classes: 1x2hr lecture per week; 1x1hr workshop session per week Prerequisites: FINC2012 or FINC2002 Prohibitions: FINC3005 Assessment: Case studies (40%), group assignment (30%), final exam (30%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
This unit applies all aspects of finance theory to the general problem of valuing companies and other financial assets. This requires a synthesis of the concepts of present value, cost of capital, security valuation, asset pricing models, optimal capital structures and some related accounting concepts. The subject aims to reach a level of practical application that allows students to understand both the theoretical frameworks and institutional conventions of real world corporate valuations.
FINC3017 Investments and Portfolio Management

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: 1x 2h lecture and 1x 1hr tutorial per week Prerequisites: FINC2012 Assessment: report 1 (16.67%), essay (16.67%), report 2 (16.67%), final exam (50%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
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This unit is designed to provide a comprehensive analytical approach to the modern theory of investments. Topics covered include: mean-variance analysis; Markowitz type portfolio analysis; portfolio construction; asset pricing theories; market efficiency and anomalies; hedge funds and investment fund performance evaluation. Although analytical aspects of investments theory are stressed, there is also an equal amount of coverage on the practical aspects of portfolio management. Current research on investments is emphasised in the course.
FINC3019 Fixed Income Securities

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 2 Classes: 1x 2 hr lecture and 1x 1hr tutorial per week Prerequisites: FINC2012 Assessment: mid-semester exam (25%), group assignment (25%), final exam (50%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
This unit is designed to provide a thorough grounding in fixed income securities, bond portfolio analysis and the use of closely related financial instruments in risk management. The unit begins with the basic analytical framework necessary to understand the pricing of bonds and their investment characteristics (introducing fundamental concepts such as duration, yield and term structure). This provides the building blocks for analysis of more complicated corporate and derivative securities. Sectors of the debt market, including treasury securities, corporate bonds, mortgage-backed securities, and convertible bonds are analysed. The use of derivatives and a selection of special topics in fixed income are also discussed.
FINC3020 Financial Risk Management

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 2 Classes: 1x 2hr lecture and 1x 1hr tutorial per week Prerequisites: FINC2012 Assumed knowledge: FINC3017 Assessment: Lab exercises (20%), group project (20%), mid semester exam (20%), and final exam (40%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Risk is an integral part of financial decisions. Financial risk management is increasingly important and financial analysts must be prepared to assess the level of risk in the marketplace. This course explores the basic concepts of modelling, measuring and managing financial risks within the regulatory framework. Topics covered include market risk (value-at-risk and expected loss), credit risk (single name, portfolio, ratings and market based models, and credit derivatives), liquidity risk and operational risk. The course relies heavily on practically based computer laboratory exercises with emphasis on simulations, real life examples and case studies.
FINC3021 Finance Theory

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 1 Classes: 1x 2hr lecture and 1x 1hr tutorial per week; Additional workshops as required. Prerequisites: FINC2012 Prohibitions: FINC2013 Assumed knowledge: HSC 3 Unit mathematics Assessment: Final (50%), mid semester (25%), assignment (25%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Note: This is a useful subject for students contemplating going on to study at honours level and/or undertake subsequent research degrees.
The aim of this unit is to provide students with a thorough understanding of some standard financial models from a mathematical perspective. Many of the greatest innovations in finance have been mathematical in nature and it is our aim to study the models along those lines. Specifically, we will concern ourselves with portfolio theory, CAPM, fundamental theorems of asset pricing and derivative valuation through the Black-Scholes and binomial models. Though some topics may appear familiar from previous courses, we will undertake a more quantitative approach to these models, starting from first principles, which will provide a greater depth of understanding. While the background mathematics will be taught as part of this unit, students are expected to be competent with basic mathematics.
FINC3022 Alternative Investments

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 1 Classes: 1x 2hr lecture and 1x 1hr tutorial per week Prerequisites: FINC2012 Assessment: mid-semester exam (20%), major assignment (30%) and final exam (50%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
This unit examines the motivations and strategies behind investing in alternative assets. Alternative assets are non-traditional investments relative to the usual mix of stocks, bonds, and cash. The unit's main emphasis is on private equity, venture capital investments, and hedge funds. The key topics include fund raising for alternative investments, the private equity investment cycle, structures for alternative-asset investment vehicles, issues behind selecting and financing private firms, valuation of high-growth, illiquid investments, and how to exit from such investments. The subject also examines the major strategies employed by hedge fund managers.
FINC3023 Behavioural Finance

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 1 Classes: 1x 2hr lecture and 1x 1hr tutorial per week Prerequisites: FINC2012 Assessment: mid-semester exam (30%), group assignment (20%), and final exam (50%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Behavioural Finance explores financial market 'anomalies' - factors that are not traditionally explained by efficient markets theory - such as why stock prices exhibit momentum and reversals, why large swings in stock prices occur over short time periods, and how individual investors differ from institutional investors.
FINC3024 Personal Finance and Superannuation

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 1 Classes: 1x 2hr lecture and 1x 1hr tutorial per wk Prerequisites: FINC2011 Assessment: assignment 1 (20%), assignment 2 (30%), 3hr exam (50%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
This subject is about financial decision making by individuals rather than corporations. It provides a framework for analysing individual decisions on spending and saving, portfolio management (including human and financial capital), retirement and bequests. Models incorporate personal preferences, and account for investment, labour income and longevity risks. In this subject we motivate, describe and analyse retirement savings systems (including superannuation). Current regulatory settings and policy debates are emphasised.
FINC3025 Real Estate Finance

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 1 Classes: 2 x 1hr lecture and 1 x 1hr workshop/tutorial per week Assessment: mid-semester examination (25%); case slide deck (15%); case pitch (10%); final examination (50%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
This unit provides students with the knowledge and skills to value and manage real estate within the context of a mixed-asset portfolio. In particular, the unit explores the micro-economic and macro-economic foundations of real estate, real estate valuation techniques, mortgage and debt calculations, real estate portfolio management, capital management and listed real estate firms. Graduates can seek employment in the property management industry, funds management industry and financial analysis roles.
FINC3301 Applied Portfolio Management A

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 1 Classes: 2x 1.5hr workshops per week Prerequisites: FINC2012 Corequisites: FINC3015 Assessment: investment update report (10%); functional team analysis (10%); stock pitch and sector outlook report (40%); investment update presentation (10%); individual stock pitch ideas and discussion (30%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Note: Department permission required for enrolment
Applied Portfolio Management is a two-semester program that enables undergraduate students to apply their academic knowledge and acquire practical skills by managing a portfolio of Australian equity securities using real money in real time. Students gain exposure to the world of asset management by assuming the role of analysts and are responsible for construction, monitoring and management of the University of Sydney Student Managed Fund. Analysts are divided into industry teams and begin with an evaluation of the existing investments. Following thorough economic, industry and company research and analysis, each team of analysts is required to identify opportunities in their industry and present an investment thesis to highlight undervalued stocks that may offer superior investment performance. Students make presentations on potential investments to academics, industry professionals and other analysts, who perform the role of an investment committee. Students report to the investment committee and advisory board and produce an annual report of the fund¿s activities. There is an emphasis on team-based learning and interaction with industry professionals who act as mentors to students.
FINC3302 Applied Portfolio Management B

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 2 Classes: 2x 1.5hr workshops per week Prerequisites: FINC3301 Corequisites: FINC3017 Assessment: functional team project report (30%), annual report (25%), investment pitch and discussion (30%), investment update presentation (10%), stock selection performance (5%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Note: Department permission required for enrolment
Applied Portfolio Management is a two-semester program that enables undergraduate students to apply their academic knowledge and acquire practical skills by managing a portfolio of Australian equity securities using real money in real time. Students gain exposure to the world of asset management by assuming the role of analysts and are responsible for construction, monitoring and management of the University of Sydney Student Managed Fund. Analysts are divided into industry teams and begin with an evaluation of the existing investments. Following thorough economic, industry and company research and analysis, each team of analysts is required to identify opportunities in their industry and present an investment thesis to highlight undervalued stocks that may offer superior investment performance. Students make presentations on potential investments to academics, industry professionals and other analysts, who perform the role of an investment committee. Students report to the investment committee and advisory board and produce an annual report of fund activities. There is an emphasis on team-based learning and interaction with industry professionals who act as mentors to students.
FINC3600 Finance in Practice

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 2 Classes: 3 hour workshop style classes (combined lecture/problem solving) Prerequisites: completion of at least 120 credit points including FINC2011, FINC2012 and FINC3017 Assessment: mid-semester exam (30%), group assignment (30%), final exam (40%) Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Note: This unit should only be undertaken by students in their final semester of the Finance major.
While finance is strongly influenced by theory, it is ultimately an applied field. Through a comprehensive analysis of practitioner-focused topics this unit develops skills in implementing and assessing financial analyses. This unit challenges students to incorporate market practicalities, and to communicate their recommendations to diverse audiences. The unit uses a problem solving/case-based approach to learning and serves as the Finance major capstone.

4000-level units of study

BUSS4000 Honours in Business

Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Prerequisites: BUSS4001 AND 2 x Honours coursework units in the specialisation area ((BUSS4112 and BUSS4113) or (BUSS4212 and BUSS4213) or (BUSS4312 and BUSS4313) or (BUSS4412 and BUSS4413) or (BUSS4512 and BUSS4513) or (BUSS4612 and BUSS4613) or (BUSS4712 and BUSS4713) or (BUSS4812 and BUSS4813)). Corequisites: BUSS4104 Mode of delivery: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Note: Department permission required for enrolment
This unit is administrative only and serves as a consolidation for all marks to represent a single final mark for students undertaking Honours. Marks will be calculated as follows: BUSS4001 (20%); BUSS4X12 (10%); BUSS4X13 (10%); BUSS4104 (60%).
BUSS4001 Business Honours Research Methods

Credit points: 12 Session: Semester 1 Prerequisites: Students must meet the entry requirements to the Honours program, including completion of a pass undergraduate degree and a major in the specialisation area Assessment: research methodology assessment (50%), research proposal development (50%) Mode of delivery: Block mode
This unit is an introduction to research methods used in business disciplines. The unit provides students with an understanding of the range of methods that may be used to answer research questions, their strengths and weakness and underlying philosophical assumptions. Key elements of the research process are addressed, including the purpose of the research; devising the research questions and hypotheses; selecting a research strategy; methods and procedures for data collection and analysis; and interpreting and reporting the results. Students learn important research terminology, how to write a research proposal and ethical considerations in conducting research.
BUSS4412 Finance Honours A

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 1 Prerequisites: Students must meet the entry requirements to the Honours program, including completion of a pass undergraduate degree and a major in the specialisation area Corequisites: BUSS4001: BUSS4413 Assessment: assignment 1 (20%), mid-semester exam (30%), assignment 2 (20%), final exam (30%) Mode of delivery: Block mode
This unit covers advanced research-integrated coursework topics in asset pricing, derivative pricing, portfolio management theory and behavioural finance. Students develop numerical and analytical/discursive skills to demonstrate their depth of understanding of finance theory and how it applies to the real world. Through research led teaching, students also learn to apply behavioural finance concepts in current research and communicate complex analysis in a succinct format.
BUSS4413 Finance Honours B

Credit points: 6 Session: Semester 1 Prerequisites: Students must meet the entry requirements to the Honours program, including completion of a pass undergraduate degree and a major in the specialisation area Corequisites: BUSS4001; BUSS4412 Assessment: individual presentation (20%), assignment 1 (30%), and assignment 2 (50%) Mode of delivery: Block mode
This unit covers literature in the fields of advanced corporate finance (and market microstructure). The research led teaching in this unit is designed to help students to form research questions, develop testable hypotheses, identify and apply appropriate research methods to test these hypotheses. Armed with advanced research skills, students are able to critically review both empirical and theoretical papers within the research fields of advanced corporate finance and market microstructure.
BUSS4104 Business Honours Thesis

Credit points: 24 Session: Semester 2 Prerequisites: BUSS4001 + 2 x Honours coursework units in the specialisation area Corequisites: BUSS4000 Assessment: individual thesis (100%), oral thesis communication (0%) Mode of delivery: Supervision
This unit comprises the research and writing of a supervised thesis on an approved topic in business. A written Honours Thesis and presentation of the research work is undertaken.