Module ASB-3215:
Portfolio Management

Module Facts

Run by Bangor Business School

10 Credits or 5 ECTS Credits

Semester 2

Organiser: Prof Owain ap Gwilym

Overall aims and purpose

To provide an advanced level of understanding of investment approaches and their theoretical and empirical underpinnings.

Course content

Common investment philosophies and approaches to investment risk; The strategies of investment funds, e.g. mutual funds, pension funds, hedge funds and sovereign wealth funds; Strategic and tactical asset allocation; Links between market efficiency and active/passive portfolio management; Benchmarking, performance measurement and attribution; Testing for excess returns: theory, methodologies and findings; Real-world issues in the implementation of investment strategies.

Assessment Criteria


Satisfactory standard: 40-49 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.


Average Standard: 50-59 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: 60-69 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 standard: 70+ 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. Explain key concepts relating to market efficiency and critically evaluate approaches to testing market efficiency.

  2. Assess the empirical evidence relating to market efficiency.

  3. Apply appropriate techniques to measure and interpret the performance and the risk associated with investment strategies.

  4. Critically evaluate common investment philosophies including value investing, growth investing, and small-cap investing, and the related empirical evidence.

  5. Demonstrate a critical understanding of benchmarking and models of expected returns.

  6. Demonstrate a critical knowledge of methods used to test empirically for excess returns.

  7. Articulate the theoretical rationale proposed in the academic literature for the apparent excess profitability of some strategies

  8. Demonstrate a critical awareness of issues relating to the real-world implementation of trading strategies inspired by academic research, including the impact of liquidity, leverage, and trading costs on returns and risk.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Written assignment, including essay Coursework of 1000 words

An analysis of real-world data, involving a written submission. This will include screenshots or similar representations of Excel-based data analysis (including formulae). Submission of associated Excel file(s).

EXAM Exam S2 1.5 hours 60

Teaching and Learning Strategy


Traditional lectures plus worksheet questions which students prepare in advance. Some classes involve worked illustrations in Excel.

Private study 80

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
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others

Pre- and Co-requisite Modules

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: