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Introduction to finance FN1202

This course will provide a non-technical introduction to Finance and an overview of the Finance discipline.

The course emphasizes particularly banks and credit markets, and their role in generating economic growth as well as financial crises. Basic economic theories and models developed to understand these phenomena are covered, and the theoretical analysis is complemented with a historical perspective.

Topics covered

Main topics of the module include:

  • Discounting and present value
  • Risk and return
  • Financial markets and trading
  • Mutual and hedge funds
  • Venture capital and private equity
  • Valuations of firms and projects

Learning outcomes

If you complete the course successfully, you should be able to:

  • Discuss and critically assess different approaches to valuation, including the present value rule and discounting.
  • Summarize the evidence on historical returns of different assets.
  • List and explain the types of securities that firms can issue to finance themselves.
  • Outline and describe the historical development of financial markets and institutions.
  • Discuss and critically assess the historical evolution of forms of banking and of banking regulation.


Unseen written exam (3 hrs).

Essential reading

  • Corporate Finance by Jonathan Berk and Peter DeMarzo, Pearson Global Edition.
  • Money, banking and financial markets by Cecchetti et al, McGraw-Hill.

Course information sheets

Download the course information sheets from the LSE website.