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Unit of study_

FINC5001: Foundation in Finance

Intensive February, 2023 [Block mode] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

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.

Unit details and rules

Unit code FINC5001
Academic unit Finance
Credit points 6
Assumed knowledge


Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Shumi Akhtar,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Supervised test
In-semester Test
In-semester Test
25% Week 03
Due date: 02 Feb 2023 at 15:00
1.5 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Assignment Major Assignment
Written report
25% Week 05
Due date: 17 Feb 2023 at 23:00
10 pages
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO9
Supervised exam
Final Exam
Final Exam
50% Week 06
Due date: 23 Feb 2023 at 14:00
2 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8

Assessment summary

  • 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

For more information see guide to grades.

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.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity 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 integrity breaches seriously.  

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

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

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
Week 04 Capital Budgeting II Seminar (3 hr) LO6
Company Cost of Capital Seminar (3 hr) LO7
Capital Structure Policy Seminar (3 hr) LO7
Week 05 Payout Policy Seminar (3 hr) LO7
Review Session Seminar (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8

Attendance and class requirements

It is strongly and highly recommended that students attend their lectures and tutorial classes.

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

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

No changes have been made to this intensive session.

Work, health and safety

Please read University’s website for information on work, health and safety matters.


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