Portfolio Management module (BU42003)

In this module you will learn about the assets that are traded in stock markets, as well as insights offered by behavioural finance for portfolio investments.

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Module code


This module gives you an overview of stock markets and will also explore the composition of portfolios and consider behavioural aspects of investing in them. Having an awareness of stock markets is beneficial for many reasons:

  • personal investment opportunities
  • understanding the economy
  • seeking entrepreneurial opportunities
  • future employment possibilities

What you will learn

In this module you will:

  • learn about stock markets and the techniques used to value the assets that are traded in these modern markets and included in investors' portfolios
  • learn how investors analyse portfolio performance and learn about the fast-growing world of behavioural finance theory and how it helps us understand investment decision-making in practice
  • discover the importance of ethical issues associated with managing a portfolio of securities
  • learn about the different approaches to measuring portfolio performance and investigate the performances of portfolios which include fund investments, bonds and hedge funds
    • Bond securities are an important part of modern financial markets and you will learn about their key features and the way in which these assets are valued.

By the end of the module you will:

  • develop the skills to analyse information from a number of sources and use problem solving skills to analyse, evaluate and interpret a range of portfolio
  • understand the notion of behavioural finance and the importance of understanding the ways in which investors behave in practice, including the differences between this and traditional theoretical predictions. 
  • have an awareness of human psychology, learning that investors are in fact not rational, creating a conflict with traditional theories
  • realise the potential role of biases when making portfolio decisions and understand why these exist
  • develop transferable skills of managing time effectively to undertake the relevant reading for the course and prepare for the test and exam for this module

Assignments / assessment

Multiple choice test (20%)

  • In-person computer test, based on the first half of the module

Final Exam (80%)

  • In-person three hour unseen exam

Teaching methods / timetable

3 x one hour in-person sessions each week, combining lecture material, problem-solving and class discussions. All sessions will be recorded to provide the opportunity for revision.

Week Topics covered
1 Performance measures for managed funds and asset allocation
2 Ethical investing and hedge funds
3 Professional ethical standards; bonds: valuation and duration
4 Bonds: Interest rate risk
5 Bonds: Passive and active management
6 Introduction to Behavioural Finance: Wants and benefits
7 Behavioural shortcuts and errors
8 Correcting shortcuts and errors
9 Expected utility and prospect theory



This module is available on following courses: