Module ASB-4903:
Financial Seminar Series

Module Facts

Run by Bangor Business School

60 Credits or 30 ECTS Credits

Semester 3

Organiser: Prof Owain ap Gwilym

Overall aims and purpose

This module is available as an alternative to the Dissertation for students on the following programmes: MSc Accounting; MSc Accounting and Banking; MSc Accounting and Finance; MA/MSc Finance; MA/MSc Banking and Finance; MA/MSc Islamic Banking and Finance; MSc International Banking; MSc International Finance; MSc Investment Management; MA/MSc Management and Finance.

AIMS: To familiarise students with a broad range of current research topics and research methodologies in the disciplines of accounting, banking, corporate finance and financial economics.

Course content

Accounting: Corporate governance; Impression management; Earnings management; Accounting and sustainability; Banking and Finance: Competition in the banking sector; Valuation for mergers and acquisitions; Corporate Finance: Event studies and the measurement of abnormal returns; Dividend policy; Financial Markets: The role of credit rating agencies in financial markets; Market microstructure and analysis of high frequency data; Economics: Monetary policy; The impact of migration on firms and economies.

Assessment Criteria

threshold

No major omissions or inaccuracies in the deployment of information/skills. Some grasp of theoretical/conceptual/practical elements. Integration of theory/practice/information present intermittently in pursuit of the assessed work's objectives.

good

Much of the relevant information and skills mostly accurately deployed. Adequate grasp of theoretical/conceptual/practical elements. Fair integration of theory/practice/information in the pursuit of the assessed work's objectives. Some evidence of the use of creative and reflective skills. High Standard: Very good performance Most of the relevant information accurately deployed. Good grasp of theoretical/conceptual/practical elements. Good integration of theory/practice/information in pursuit of the assessed work's objectives. Evidence of the use of creative and reflective skills.

excellent

An outstanding performance, exceptionally able. The relevant information accurately deployed. Excellent grasp of theoretical/conceptual/practice elements. Good integration of theory/practice/information in pursuit of the assessed work's objectives. Strong evidence of the use of creative and reflective skills.

Learning outcomes

  1. Demonstrate familiarity with previous and current theoretical and applied research across a range of core subjects in accounting, banking, corporate finance, financial economics, monetary economics and macroeconomics.
  2. Articulate a convincing motivation for a programme of research on specific topics.
  3. Access and reveiw literature relevant to a programme of empirical research.
  4. Select empirical techniques appropriate for a programme of empirical research, and demonstrate competence in fundamental tasks of data-handling and data analysis.
  5. Prepare reports on two research topics, identifying the key issues, synthesising the previous literature, explaining the key research methodologies that have been applied to the topic and reporting the results of data analysis.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Exam 60
Literature Review (dissertation report 1) 20
Empirical Study (dissertation report 2) 20

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
Seminar

Teaching takes the form of a series of eleven one-day research seminars, scheduled over a three-week period. Each student is assigned to attend six seminars, dependent on their degree programme.

30

Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting

Subject specific skills

  • knowledge of some of the contexts in which accounting can be seen as operating (examples of contexts include the legal, ethical, social and natural environment; the accountancy profession; the business entity; the capital markets; the public sector)
  • knowledge of the main current technical language and practices of accounting (for example, recognition, measurement and disclosure in financial statements; managerial accounting; auditing; taxation) in a specified socio-economic domain
  • knowledge of some of the alternative technical languages and practices of accounting (for example, alternative recognition rules and valuation bases, accounting rules followed in other socio-economic domains, alternative managerial accounting approaches to control and decision-making)
  • skills in recording and summarising transactions and other economic events; preparation of financial statements; analysis of the operations of business (for example, decision analysis, performance measurement and management control); financial analysis and projections (for example, analysis of financial ratios, discounted cash flow analysis, budgeting, financial risks)
  • knowledge of contemporary theories and empirical evidence concerning accounting in at least one of its contexts (for example, accounting and capital markets; accounting and the firm; accounting and the public sector; accounting and society; accounting and sustainability) and the ability to critically evaluate such theories and evidence age
  • knowledge of theories and empirical evidence concerning financial management, risk and the operation of capital markets (in cases of degrees with significant finance content).
  • Analysis, deduction and induction. Economic reasoning is highly deductive, and logical analysis is applied to assumption-based models. However, inductive reasoning is also important. The development of such analytical skills enhances students' problem-solving and decision-making ability.
  • Quantification and design. Data, and their effective organisation, presentation and analysis, are important in economics. The typical student will have some familiarity with the principal sources of economic information and data relevant to industry, commerce, society and government, and have had practice in organising it and presenting it informatively. This skill is important at all stages in the decision-making process.
  • An appreciation of the nature of the contexts in which finance can be seen as operating, including knowledge of the institutional framework necessary for understanding the role, operation and function of markets and financial institutions (e.g. the economic, legal, regulatory and tax environment, both national and international; the firm; the capital markets and the public sector).
  • A knowledge of the major theoretical tools and theories of finance, and their relevance and application to theoretical and practical problems (e.g. concept of arbitrage and examples of its use; financial mathematics and capital budgeting criteria; informational efficiency; optimal risk sharing; portfolio theory; asset pricing models and the valuation of securities; cost of capital; derivative pricing; risk management; information asymmetry; principal agency relationships; signalling; Fisher separation and capital budgeting criteria; behavioural finance; term structure and the movement of interest rates; determination of exchange rates and financial intermediation).
  • An ability to interpret financial data including that arising in the context of the firm or household from accounting statements and data generated in financial markets. The interpretation may involve analysis using statistical and financial functions and procedures such as are routinely available in spreadsheets (eg Microsoft Excel) and statistical packages. It may assume the skills necessary to manipulate financial data and carry out statistical and econometric tests (e.g. estimation and interpretation of asset pricing models; financial modelling and projections; event studies and residuals analysis; elements of time series analysis, such as serial correlation mean reversion, and stochastic volatility).
  • An understanding of the relationship between financial theory and empirical testing, and application of this knowledge to the appraisal of the empirical evidence in at least one major theoretical area. The appraisal should involve some recognition of the limitation and evolution of empirical tests and theory (eg the efficient markets hypothesis; anomalies; pricing of derivatives and other securities; bond portfolio management; exchange rates; raising capital and capital structure).
  • An understanding of the financing arrangements and governance structures of business entities, and an appreciation of how theory and evidence can be combined to assess the effectiveness and efficiency of such arrangements (e.g. decisions as to sources of finance and financial structure; the pricing of corporate securities; the market for corporate control; corporate governance structures and mechanisms; financial planning and international dimensions of finance).
  • An understanding of the factors influencing the investment behaviour and opportunities of private individuals (bonds, equities, and derivatives; risk aversion; risk/return trade-offs; portfolio management and performance measurement; pensions and long term savings; the tax treatment of savings and investments; international diversification; forex risk; objectives of and constraints on institutional investors and advisors).
  • An understanding of financial service activity in the economy, and an appreciation of how finance theory and evidence can be employed to interpret these services (for example, information asymmetry, adverse selection and moral hazard could be employed to analyse the fundamental nature of services, such as insurance, pensions, bank lending and consumer credit, and also explore fundamental problems arising in such financial service provision. Efficient market hypothesis could be used to explore evidence for fund manager performance and the effectiveness of equity and bond saving services).
  • Problem solving and critical analysis: analysing facts and circumstances to determine the cause of a problem and identifying and selecting appropriate solutions.
  • Research: the ability to analyse and evaluate a range of business data, sources of information and appropriate methodologies, which includes the need for strong digital literacy, and to use that research for evidence-based decision-making.
  • Numeracy: the use of quantitative skills to manipulate data, evaluate, estimate and model business problems, functions and phenomena.
  • Self-management: a readiness to accept responsibility and flexibility, to be resilient, self-starting and appropriately assertive, to plan, organise and manage time.

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses: