Course Guide

We are extremely proud to present UNSW Finance and Banking Society’s Course Guide for 2018.

The FINSOC Course Guide will provide you with a comprehensive look into the structure, course topics, industry connection, student reviews, and tips into every finance core subject and the 17 different elective subjects available within the finance major at UNSW.

Our goal through this extensive guide is to provide valuable foresight for you regarding the FINS subjects and accordingly, enhance your decision making process regarding subject selection and fulfillment of relevant skills and competencies simultaneous with your favoured industry.


** NOTE: Pursuant to UNSW FINSOC ‘s reasonable processes to ensure the validity and accuracy of our guide, the courses reviews and relevant tips from UNSW students who have previously taken the courses, must not be relied on exclusively. Furthermore, the guide should be seen as a complementary resource to official documents from the University of New South Wales Business School, by providing insider and past students’ experiences and perspectives. UNSW FINSOC reserves the right to update the course guide pursuant to the learning of new information from changes in teaching staff, course structure and semesters.

Compulsory Finance Courses

This is the first major core subject required for a finance major at UNSW. It provides an overview of major financial markets, basics of financial instruments as well as an analysis of the roles and functions of the major financial institutions. Students will learn the theoretical fundamental background knowledge of the financial industry that is instrumental in future finance electives.

One of the compulsory level 1 courses required for a finance major at UNSW. It forms the foundation of quantitative areas in finance, introducing students to important topics such as financial mathematics, investment valuations, capital budgeting and costs of capital. The fundamentals learnt within this course are expanded upon in higher level courses of the finance major.

This core finance subject introduces students into investment theories, including application of the Markowitz portfolio theory, SIM and Factor models and CAPM. Accordingly, students will learn to design and manage portfolios, price bonds and stock options and evaluate investment performance. The skills gained from this course are fundamental in the industries of investment management and wealth management.

Students generally take this course during the second or third year of the BCom programme. The course covers the basic theory and practical knowledge that is required to manage financial functions of firms operating in many countries. There is a strong emphasis on identifying and managing risk, more specifically, exchange rate movements and government policies. The course includes topics such as international diversification, cost of capital for multinational corporations, the role of multinational banks, short-term financing and international equity markets.

Finance Sub Branches

This Course is a Finance Core.

One of the compulsory level 1 courses required for a finance major at UNSW. It forms the foundation of quantitative areas in finance, introducing students to important topics such as financial mathematics, investment valuations, capital budgeting and costs of capital. The fundamentals learnt within this course are expanded upon in higher level courses of the finance major.

This subject forms part of the corporate finance sub branch and focuses on financial decision making. This course provides a theoretical understanding and evaluation of financial transactions in a corporate finance environment, including undertaking case studies and researching current financial issues. Furthermore, the topics learnt by students include equity and debt financing, capital raising, discounted cash flows, capital budgeting and structure, mergers and acquisitions and excel modelling. The knowledge gained from this course is relevant to the investment banking industry.

This subject forms part of the corporate finance sub branch and provides students with theoretical and practical knowledge in equity valuation and analysis. Accordingly, students learn the different techniques and models in relation to DCF valuation , trade recommendation reports and financial statements. The knowledge and practical abilities gained through this course, relate to the industries of brokerage, fund management, mergers and acquisitions and investment banking.

A third level elective finance course that introduces the characteristics venture capital and private equity investments, as well as the financing of entrepreneurial firms and public to private transactions. This course is highly recommended for students with an interest in the functioning of small to medium enterprises, exploring theoretical and practical issues/decisions that they face.

Funds Management

This Course is a Finance Core

This core finance subject introduces students into investment theories, including application of the Markowitz portfolio theory, SIM and Factor models and CAPM. Accordingly, students will learn to design and manage portfolios, price bonds and stock options and evaluate investment performance. The skills gained from this course are fundamental in the industries of investment management and wealth management.

A third level elective finance course with a main focus on financial securities portfolio construction and management. It is highly recommended for students interested in financial modelling, investment management, banking and securities trading. As such, topics revolve around security analysis, alternative investments (and their risks and rewards) and a major focus on alternative hedge fund strategies.

Banking

The unifying theme in this course is the application of modern finance theory to the financial decision making and management of financial institutions of commercial banks. The subject of decision-making in financial institutions is approached from a risk perspective. The course covers the major decision areas for financial institution management within the framework of a regulatory and "corporate responsible" environment. The main topics covered are various financial risks and their management including interest rate risk, credit risk, liquidity risk, foreign exchange risk and market risk within an international context.

The main aim of this course is to give students an understanding and current knowledge of international banking. It allows students to understand the operating environments of international banking institutions, more specifically, how to best manage the environment to create sustained value for shareholders. Basel Capital Accords provide the regulatory framework for banks that are active in the international markets and reference is made to this throughout the course. Topics covered in this course include examining the role of international banks in international investment and trade, project financing and managing cross border risks.

Derivatives

This subject forms part of the derivatives sub branch and acts as an introduction into derivative markets. This course is designed with a fundamental focus on the major areas of exchange traded options, futures contracts and fundamental pricing principles and hedging techniques in derivative markets. Furthermore, through undertaking this course students will learn the following topics of contract valuations and payoffs, arbitrage opportunities, risk management strategies, currency swap valuations and various methods for evaluating options.

This course covers interest rate risk and risk management techniques. There is an emphasis on problem solving, yet the course covers theory as well as practical applications. The course introduces students to many interest rate products and identifies both how to price them and when to use them in hedging strategies. The topics covered in the course include the interaction between interest rate risk and credit risk, duration measures, term structure dynamics and numerical and analytical techniques.

This course takes a broad view of on the operations and establishment of organisations. It is concerned with ‘how corporations are managed’. It emphasises regulatory and formal arrangements such as auditors and the appointment of directors. The course explores literature on corporate governance in conjunction with current governance arrangements for firms. Students will also analyse how participants in the stock market value firms with different corporate governance structures.

Wealth Management

A second level finance subject that delves into the investment and financial issues arising from personal wealth management activities. This course examines deeply into how to set financial plans, portfolio management, investment strategies, insurance, superannuation, tax and estate planning. It allows the students to understand how to make decisions for superannuation specifically as a trustee as well as looking into the regulatory framework.

This course provides students with the key financial planning knowledge and skills. From a financial planning practice perspective, we address the important compliance and legal issues and skills required to practice as a financial planner. This entails having a clear understanding of the client's situation, conducting needs analysis, identifying goals and objectives, understanding research, formulating appropriate financial planning strategies, choosing appropriate tools to execute the formulated strategy, preparing a compliant Statement of Advice (SoA), implementation of the advice and providing ongoing service and reviews to the client. The course is one of the key requirements for attaining ASIC RG146 Compliance.

Other

This course covers essential elements of Asia-Pacific Financial markets, including countries like China, Indonesia, Malaysia, South Korea and others. Areas of interest include interactions of institutions and finance, corporate governance, sovereign risk, financial crises, valuation issues, methods of funds raisings & global portfolio management. This course aims to increase students’ understanding of investing in emerging markets and how to modify techniques of financial analysis developed for advanced economies and apply them to emerging markets

An excellent course that exposes students to the concepts, theories and industry practice in real estate finance. This plays an important role all over the world and is a critical issue in the current economic climate. It attempts to place real estate investments on the same theoretical footing as fixed-income and equity investments. It introduces to students the valuation methods used for investment decision making and the financial knowledge for real estate. It allows students interested in working in real estate development, brokerage, mortgage to have an insight into the industry

A third year finance elective course with a main focus on loan portfolio analysis and credit risk modelling. Topics revolve around assessing credit risk and exploring strategies to manage risk in loan portfolios. In particular, it emphasises understanding in areas regarding of client needs, differing funding structures, and risk/reward for financial institutions.

A subject that builds upon the core courses of Portfolio Management and Wealth Management that provides insight into the fundamental issues related to asset protection and succession planning. A practical subject that covers all the key estate planning elements impacting clients in need from a financial planning angle. Allows students to have a real insight into the world through a practical case study element and identifying the key issues faced by clients.

In this course, we will examine how people make predictable and repeatable mistakes in financial decision-making. We will describe the nature of these mistakes and their origin, using insights from psychology, neurosciences, and experimental economics, on how the human mind works. Students then discuss how incorporating these mistakes into our finance theories can greatly improve standard finance models studied in other courses. We will also consider how understanding the functioning of the human mind allows us to design a better world – in particular, better stock markets, retirement and healthcare systems.

Designed to provide an introduction to econometric theory and its application in empirical finance. Computer lab heavy and has an extensive use of leading statistical and econometric software that is employed extensively in research and practice.