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Unit of study_

FINC5001: Foundation in Finance

This unit introduces foundational concepts in capital markets and corporate finance, equipping students for further studies in the discipline. The firm and the role of financial institutions are explored before developing important skills in financial mathematics. The unit then moves to the valuation of tradable securities and their pricing in the capital markets. The decisions firms make around capital structure and payout policy are studied. The unit concludes with an exploration of information and market efficiency. The tools of finance allow decision makers to navigate risk and uncertainty.


Academic unit Finance
Unit code FINC5001
Unit name Foundation in Finance
Session, year
Intensive July, 2021
Attendance mode Block mode
Location Remote
Credit points 6

Enrolment rules

Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff and contact details

Coordinator Evelyn Lai,
Type Description Weight Due Length
In-semester test (Record+) Type B in-semester exam In-semester Test
In-semester Test
20% Week 02
Due date: 09 Jul 2021 at 15:00
1.5 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Assignment Major Assignment
Written report and oral presentation
25% Week 04 10-15 pages/5 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO9 LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8
Assignment Major Assignment
Summary of oral presentation
5% Week 04 1 page
Outcomes assessed: LO9 LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO8 LO7
Final exam (Record+) Type B final exam Final Exam
Final Exam
50% Week 06
Due date: 05 Aug 2021 at 09:00
2 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8
Type B in-semester exam = Type B in-semester exam ?
Type B final exam = Type B final exam ?
  • In-Semester Test: The In-Semester Test will assess the materials covered in the first half of this unit. You will be expected to demonstrate your understanding of this material by being able to answer detailed questions on these topics.


  • Major Assignment: The Major Assignment requires you to demonstrate an understanding and proficiency in the application of finance knowledge, data work, and research skills to a specific task relating to a company.


  • Final Exam: The Final Exam will assess all the material covered in this unit.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a high distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100

Awarded when you demonstrate the learning outcomes for the unit at an exceptional standard, as defined by grade descriptors or exemplars outlined by your faculty or school. 


75 - 84

Awarded when you demonstrate the learning outcomes for the unit at a very high standard, as defined by grade descriptors or exemplars outlined by your faculty or school.


65 - 74

Awarded when you demonstrate the learning outcomes for the unit at a good standard, as defined by grade descriptors or exemplars outlined by your faculty or school.


50 - 64

Awarded when you demonstrate the learning outcomes for the unit at an acceptable standard, as defined by grade descriptors or exemplars outlined by your faculty or school. 


0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

For more information see

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Special consideration

If you experience short-term circumstances beyond your control, such as illness, injury or misadventure or if you have essential commitments which impact your preparation or performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website provides information on academic honesty, academic dishonesty, and the resources available to all students.

The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic dishonesty or plagiarism seriously.

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic dishonesty. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of dishonesty, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 Introduction and Financial Mathematics Seminar (3 hr) LO1
The Firm, Agency, Investors and Society Seminar (3 hr) LO2
Financial Markets, Institutions and Funds Management Seminar (3 hr) LO2
Week 02 Investor Preferences, Diversification and Portfolios Seminar (3 hr) LO3
The Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM) and Arbitrage Pricing Theory (APT) Seminar (3 hr) LO3
Market Efficiency Seminar (3 hr) LO4
Week 03 Risk-adjusted Discounted Cash Flows Seminar (3 hr) LO1 LO5
Capital Budgeting I Seminar (3 hr) LO6
Capital Budgeting II Seminar (3 hr) LO6
Week 04 Company Cost of Capital Seminar (3 hr) LO7
Capital Structure Policy Seminar (3 hr) LO7
Payout Policy Seminar (3 hr) LO7
Review Session Seminar (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Required readings

Brealey, R. A., Myers, S. C., and Allen, F. (2020); Principles of Corporate Finance (13th ed.); McGraw Hill Irwin.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University’s graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. Compute the risk-adjusted present value and future value of single cash flow streams, mixed cash flow streams, annuities and perpetuities
  • LO2. Understand the contemporary institutional environment of financial markets and key participants.
  • LO3. Discuss and explain the relationship between various measures of risk and return and apply the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM).
  • LO4. Discuss and explain the concept of market efficiency and the role of information in financial markets.
  • LO5. Value bonds and stocks through the principles of valuation.
  • LO6. Solve capital budgeting problems and describe and integrate them into practical considerations.
  • LO7. Explain the impact of investment, financing and dividend decisions on firm value.
  • LO8. Apply and integrate key financial concepts to real-world problems.
  • LO9. Operate and contribute in a team-based structure.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities
No changes have been made since this unit was last offered.


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