IB13212 Foundations of Finance
Introductory description
This module sets the foundations for students based outside WBS who may be planning to study Finance in more depth in electives such as IB253 Principles of Finance 1 and IB254 Principles of Finance 2. There are no prerequisites.
Module aims
The module aims:
(a) To introduce the basic economics that underlie the key financial management decisions taken by firms.
(b) To prepare the foundations for more advanced study of Finance by encouraging you to develop a critical understanding of the main theories in Finance and the assumptions that underpin them.
(c) To provide you with opportunities to practise using the key tools and techniques of Finance.
(d) To encourage you to read the financial press and to make links with what you are learning in the classroom.
Outline syllabus
This is an indicative module outline only to give an indication of the sort of topics that may be covered. Actual sessions held may differ.
Topics covered include:
 Time value of money, compounding and discounting, future and present values of cash flows.
 Financial arithmetic: Annuities, perpetuities, applications to stock and bond valuation, Gordon Growth Model.
 Fundamentals of stocks and bonds.
 Capital budgeting in perfect markets and risk neutrality: Net present value, internal rate of return and incremental cash flows, profitability index, payback rule, advantages and disadvantages, evidence from surveys on the preference of managers for capital budgeting techniques.
 Credit risk and probability of default, promised vs. expected interest rates and default premia, capital budgeting under uncertainty with debt and equity financing assuming risk neutrality.
 Risk aversion, Cost of Capital using the CAPM, capital budgeting in perfect markets under risk aversion, risk premia, empirical evidence on the validity of the CAPM, econometric methods to test the CAPM. Weighted average of cost of equity and cost of debt, valuation from comparables.
 Capital Budgeting in imperfect markets: informationally inefficient markets, taxes, transaction costs, inflation, disagreement, bid/ask spreads.
 Definitions of market efficiency, and evidence from empirical tests  Capital Structure Irrelevance propositions, taxes, costs of financial distress, agency effects, signalling.
Company Financing: Raising financing, equity vs. debt, peckingorder hypothesis.  Dividend Policy Irrelevance proposition, taxes, transactions costs, signalling, agency effects, share buybacks as an alternative to dividends, evidence from managerial surveys.
 Financial Derivatives Options basics, valuation of put and call options at expiration, put call parity, risk management and hedging, Black Scholes pricing.
Learning outcomes
By the end of the module, students should be able to:
 Calculate the present value of various projects, using notions such as expected future cash flows, and cost of capital.
 Critically appraise the value added by a capital project by calculating the present value of expected future cash flows, and estimating the cost of capital.
 Define the different forms of market efficiency, and discuss the findings of empirical tests of the Efficient Markets Hypothesis.
 Compare and contrast the main sources of financing for a company.
 Explain what is meant by capital structure and dividend policy, and discuss the relevance of each to corporate financial management.
 Price simple financial option contracts.
 Analyse how different factors, like the time value of money, default probability and risk, affect a projectâs present value.
 Analyse how present value calculations need to be adjusted in the presence of market frictions and imperfections.
 Explain what is meant by capital structure and dividend policy decisions, and discuss the relevance of each to corporate financial management.
 Price simple financial option contracts.
 Interpret empirical evidence, and solve numerical problems.
 Explain key theoretical models and the assumptions that underpin them, and reflect critically on the limitations of those models.
 Interpret empirical evidence.
 Solve numerical problems and analyse casestudy information.
 Communicate complex ideas effectively, both verbally and in writing.
Indicative reading list
Main text book: Welch, Ivo: Corporate Finance (4th Edition, 2017).
Additional source: Hillier, Ross, Westerfield, Jaffe & Jordan: Corporate Finance (European ed., McGrawHill 2010).
Subject specific skills
Write informed critiques of key issues in Finance.
Use discounted cashflow techniques to value financial securities and/or estimate the value added by capital projects.
Construct spreadsheets to calculate Net Present Values and Internal Rates of Return, and to price simple financial option contracts.
Transferable skills
Discuss topical issues about the theory and practice of Finance.
Explain and interpret financial market information.
Solve structured numerical problems.
Construct spreadsheets to value financial instruments and test the robustness of those values to changes in key inputs.
Study time
Type  Required 

Lectures  10 sessions of 2 hours (17%) 
Seminars  9 sessions of 1 hour (8%) 
Private study  33 hours (28%) 
Assessment  58 hours (48%) 
Total  120 hours 
Private study description
Private Study.
Costs
No further costs have been identified for this module.
You do not need to pass all assessment components to pass the module.
Students can register for this module without taking any assessment.
Assessment group D2
Weighting  Study time  

Participation  10%  9 hours 
Participation in activities on a weekly basis via my.wbs 

Online Examination  90%  49 hours 
Exam ~Platforms  AEP

Assessment group R
Weighting  Study time  

Online Examination  100%  
Exam ~Platforms  AEP 
Feedback on assessment
Feedback on the performance of the cohort as a whole will:
 Indicate how many students correctly answered each multiplechoice question in the class test.
 Highlight the most common mistakes or deficiencies in the answers to each of the questions in the final examination.
Courses
This module is Core for:

UECA3 Undergraduate Economics 3 Year Variants
 Year 1 of L116 Economics and Industrial Organization
 Year 1 of L116 Economics and Industrial Organization
This module is Core optional for:
 Year 1 of UIBAMN37 Undergraduate Law and Business Studies (Qualifying Degree) with Intercalated Year
 Year 1 of UIBAMN36 Undergraduate Law and Business Studies with Intercalated Year (4+1)
This module is Optional for:
 Year 3 of UESAHN11 BSc Engineering and Business Studies

UECA3 Undergraduate Economics 3 Year Variants
 Year 1 of L100 Economics
 Year 1 of L100 Economics
 Year 1 of L100 Economics
 Year 1 of L116 Economics and Industrial Organization
 Year 1 of L116 Economics and Industrial Organization

UECALM1D Undergraduate Economics, Politics and International Studies
 Year 1 of LM1D Economics, Politics and International Studies
 Year 1 of LM1D Economics, Politics and International Studies
 Year 2 of UIBAMN37 Undergraduate Law and Business Studies (Qualifying Degree) with Intercalated Year
 Year 2 of UIBAMN36 Undergraduate Law and Business Studies with Intercalated Year (4+1)
 Year 3 of UMAAG1NC Undergraduate Mathematics and Business Studies
 Year 2 of USTAG1G3 Undergraduate Mathematics and Statistics (BSc MMathStat)
 Year 3 of UPXAF3N1 Undergraduate Physics and Business Studies
This module is Option list A for:
 Year 4 of UPXAF3ND Undergraduate Physics and Business Studies (with Intercalated Year)
This module is Option list B for:

UMAAG100 Undergraduate Mathematics (BSc)
 Year 2 of G100 Mathematics
 Year 2 of G100 Mathematics
 Year 2 of G100 Mathematics

UMAAG103 Undergraduate Mathematics (MMath)
 Year 2 of G100 Mathematics
 Year 2 of G103 Mathematics (MMath)
 Year 2 of G103 Mathematics (MMath)