Unit guides

Please check the timetable to see when electives are scheduled for each Centre. Please note that elective units are offered on a rotational basis in Melbourne and as part of a structured program in Singapore and Beijing. The schedule for all Centres is available in our timetable and we strongly recommend that all students plan ahead to ensure that you are able to build a study plan that meets your needs. Most units have prerequisites, you will need to consider these when planning your study. 

Detailed unit guides for core and elective units can be found by selecting the relevant button below and then clicking on the unit of choice.

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    Gateway units

  • Case Studies in Applied Finance (Graduate Certificate of Finance) (AFCP611)

    The unit provides an understanding of the finance industry and its integral role in the modern economy. The focus is on a high level, fully integrated overview of the major participants, their roles, interactions and the purpose they endeavour to fill for all stakeholders in the economy. The key structures of the finance system are examined, and how they usually work and sometimes do not work. Case studies of actual events and participants will be used to provide a sense of the application of finance in the real world - what actually happens as well as what should happen.

  • Case Studies in Applied Finance (Master of Applied Finance) (AFCP811)

    This unit provides an understanding of the finance industry and its integral role in the modern economy. The focus is on a high level, fully integrated overview of the major participants, their roles, interactions and the purpose they endeavour to fill for all stakeholders in the economy. The key structures of the finance system are examined, and how they usually work and sometimes do not work. Case studies of actual events and participants will be used to provide a sense of the application of finance in the real world – what actually happens as well as what should happen.

  • Finance Principles (AFCP810)

    This unit covers the key building blocks required to give students an appreciation of the whole finance discipline within a single unifying conceptual framework. Students will be introduced to three of the key ideas in finance: the analysis of trade-offs over time; asset valuation; and risk management. These ideas will be applied to the following subfields of finance: corporate finance; investments; and financial markets and institutions.

  • Financial Statement Analysis and Modelling (Graduate Certificate of Finance) (AFCP613)

    This unit equips students with financial analysis skills to support advanced study in corporate finance and investment analysis. Emphasis is placed on being able to interpret financial statements in the context of a company’s operational performance and strategy, to assess historical financial performance and to prepare a spreadsheet based financial model capable of forecasting integrated financial statements for a company.

  • Financial Statement Analysis and Modelling (Master of Applied Finance) (AFCP813)

    This unit equips students with financial analysis skills to support further study in corporate finance and investment analysis. Emphasis is placed on being able to interpret financial statements in the context of a company’s operational performance and strategy, to critically assess historical financial performance and to prepare a spreadsheet based financial model capable of forecasting integrated financial statements for a company.

  • Quantitative and Economic Analysis (AFCP812)

    This unit develops the important building blocks in microeconomic and quantitative analysis required for further study in applied finance. The first part of the unit develops skills in microeconomic analysis. This part develops tools in demand and supply and applies this to the consumer and the firm. It concludes with an analysis of market structure. The second part of the unit develops quantitative skills that are used in finance, including descriptive statistics, probability, statistical inference, correlation, and regression analysis. This part of the unit makes extensive use of spreadsheets in statistical modelling.

  • Core units

  • Corporate Finance (ECFS866)

    This unit is concerned with the valuation of corporate assets and how they should be financed. It is based on the theory and methods developed in prerequisite Units, particularly Portfolio Management and Valuations. The unit introduces a number of corporate finance tools, including financial modelling and financial statement analysis. There is considerable emphasis on valuation techniques, which are applied in the context of valuing companies as well as capital investment decisions. The unit explores advanced techniques such as APV, real options and Residual Income. Corporate Financial Strategy is analysed extensively from the viewpoint of its effect on corporate value, and real life situations. Other topics include mergers and acquisitions, fund raising and international investment decisions.

  • Financial Instruments (ECFS867)

    This unit covers the structure, pricing and usage of various financial instruments, including spot, forward, swaps and option contracts for equity, debt, foreign exchange and commodity markets. This unit is concerned with understanding how these financial instruments work, how they are used by end users for speculation and risk management, how they are priced and valued, and how market makers manage their risks when they trade these financial instruments.

  • Financial Risk Management (ECFS868)

    Financial risk management encompasses both quantitative skills and broader qualitative issues. In this Unit, we encourage our students to question the assumptions behind the models, to think about behavioural biases, to identify ethical issues, to consider incentives, and to think creatively of risk management solutions.

    The lectures deliver theoretical and industry relevance, using a case study methodology, by showing how the concepts studied manifest in events currently unfolding in the "real world".  And the assessable, pre-course activities help every student’s interaction, engagement, and understanding throughout the Unit.

  • Portfolio Management and Valuation (AFCP801)

    This unit equips students to apply an advanced body of finance knowledge to a range of contexts. The unit commences with an individual investor’s perspective and then progresses to the viewpoint of a professional funds manager. This enables the student to develop the ideas of portfolio theory, asset pricing and behavioural finance. The unit continues with a security analyst’s perspective to address the broad question of how to value enterprises and then drills down to security valuation, financial statement and cash flow analysis. Lastly we shift the focus to that of a derivatives trader to explore the pricing of forwards and options and employing these derivatives to achieve desired asset allocation exposures.

  • Professional Practice (AFCP802)

    In this unit, students will integrate and apply their knowledge and skills to issues and cases that simulate professional practice in finance. Students will reflect on their roles as practitioners in the finance industry and further develop their professional identity. Critical analysis skills will be utilised to evaluate, synthesise and provide reasoned responses to issues arising in financial practice.

  • Elective units

  • Advanced Valuation for Corporate Finance (AFCP859)

    This unit equips students to confidently apply valuation models in a wide range of valuation situations, including project evaluation. Examines in detail the relationship between risk and valuation, and also how to incorporate real options into a valuation.  Develops financial modelling skills, including use of the @Risk software for carrying out Monte Carlo simulation.

  • Applied Business Valuation (AFCP860)

    This unit will give students a taste of the range of assignments they might come across if they pursued a career in valuations.  The course will be equally useful for those who might commission or use valuations such as company directors, chief financial officers, company secretaries, corporate advisors and equity analysts.

  • Applied Portfolio Management (ECFS845)

    This unit considers the practical issues of money management. It reviews the major trends currently occurring in the funds management industry and the opportunities observed in financial markets. A significant portion of the Unit is devoted to syndicate style case studies. This provides an opportunity to explore the strategies and techniques employed by successful investment managers.

  • Corporate Financial Strategy (AFCP861)

    A company's financial strategy requires simultaneous decisions about capital structure, dividend and capital management, cash levels, financial risk profile and target credit rating. All of these decisions must be made in the context of the company's operating performance and growth strategies. Taking the CFO perspective, this unit will give students the opportunity to analyse and develop a company's preferred financial strategy. This unit should appeal to those involved in developing financial strategy for corporations, and investment and corporate bankers who might advise CFO's on financial strategy. The unit will also address questions of managing external stakeholders, particularly investor relations, and issues of risk allocation between various stakeholders and the role of complex financial structures. Although the unit will take a strategic perspective, students will be able to develop financial modelling skills to support the necessary analysis.

  • Corporate Treasury Management (ECFS850)

    This unit aims to give students an insight into treasury management for non-financial corporations. It will examine cash forecasting and liquidity management, financing, financial risk management and managing relationships with financial institutions, ratings agencies and within the business. We consider the issues confronting the treasurer today and the changing role of treasury in today’s environment. A key focus is how treasury fits within the broader corporation, understanding how and why a corporate treasury differs from financial institutions, how it can add value to the corporation and work to support broader corporate objectives.

  • Credit and Lending Decisions (AFCP856)

    In this unit we contrast quantitative credit decisioning models with the more tailored approach required for larger clients. Analytical techniques used to generate default probabilities and loss given default estimates are explained. The process of formulating a financing or credit proposal is analysed, linking the needs of the borrower and the protections required by the lender.

  • Credit Portfolio Management (ECFS896)

    The purpose of this Unit is for Students to gain a working knowledge of credit risk management and credit models, with associated applications. The unit follows on from the credit topics in Financial Risk Management and aims to provide a more in depth understanding of both credit fundamentals and the new tools of credit risk management that have emerged over the past decade.

  • Debt Capital Markets (ECFS886)

    This unit applies the principles outlined in the first year subjects (Financial Instruments and Portfolio Management and Valuations) to the process of debt capital raising in Australian, US and Asian markets. This unit aims to provide the Student with a perspective on the development of debt capital markets, a theoretical understanding of the issues and a sense of the practical aspects and mechanics of executing a debt capital market transaction.

    This unit covers all short and term debt markets, securitisation and credit derivatives.

  • Derivatives Valuation (ECFS881)

    This unit deals with important quantitative issues for derivatives market practitioners. The aim is to extend the Student's understanding of derivatives valuation. This unit looks at key numerical techniques and applies them to value exotic, GARCH and interest rate options in cases where classical Black-Scholes assumptions are inappropriate. Teaching uses both lectures and hands-on sessions with computer software.

  • Economics of Financial Markets (ECFS888)

    The aim of the Unit is to provide greater understanding of the role and interaction of economic factors with the financial sector. We utilise topical developments and issues as subject matter.

    This unit explores the structure and growth of the economy, the determination of interest rates, exchange rates and equity prices, the role of finance, the changing importance of banks, institutional investors and security markets, the economics of regulation with focus on the Global Financial Crisis and to a lesser extent the Asian Crisis.

    We also look at topical issues in Economics and Financial Markets, for example the implications of the surge in Government debt, the implications for markets of an ageing population.

  • Equity Capital Markets (ECFS991)

    This unit will cover core methods for the raising and management of equity capital. In particular, Students can anticipate completing the Unit with a fundamental working practical knowledge of the processes and core theory that is required to conclude a successful IPO or secondary market equity capital raising. The unit also explores a range of capital management techniques, including share buybacks.

  • Hedge Funds (ECFS992)

    (Currently not timetabled)

    This unit provides a broad coverage of the hedge fund industry, with an emphasis on investment management. It builds an overview of the industry, beginning with a definition. A portion of the Unit is dedicated to developing an understanding of the background knowledge required before spending a considerable amount of time analysing the different hedge fund strategies. Within each strategy, concepts such as risk/return, qualitative risks and business models are discussed. Fund of hedge funds and the role of hedge funds within a diversified portfolio is discussed. Controversies and characters of the industry add some flair to the Unit as well as providing good examples of the industry in practice.

  • Individual Research Project A (AFCP865)

    New for 2017

    This unit will allow students to undertake a supervised research project as an alternative to a coursework elective unit. The research project requires a student to identify an industry issue from the field of applied finance, critically analyse the current status of the issue, and present and critically evaluate possible responses. In addition to analysing the current state of industry practice, the project will require students to critically review not only academic, but also industry relevant, literature. Where appropriate, the research project should include a demonstration of possible responses by including a case study or pilot empirical analysis. It is expected that students enrolling in this unit will have a minimum GPA of 3.0, and will have completed an elective unit relevant to the area of the research topic. Prior to commencing the research project, students should have an agreed Supervisor, and an approved research topic and work plan. Students will have the opportunity to further explore the topic by enrolling in Individual Research Project B, which will require more detailed investigation of the issue using quantitative analysis or resolution by developing an analytical or other solution.

  • Individual Research Project B (AFCP866)

    New for 2017

    In Individual Research Project A students will have identified and analysed, in depth, an industry issue. In this unit students will use problem solving research skills to resolve the issue(s) identified. The research skills can draw on quantitive or statistical techniques, qualitative techniques such as surveys, clinical methods such as case studies or analytical techniques. The research project requires a student to apply research skills, and creative problem solving skills, and consider the industry relevance of selected methods. Prior to commencing the research paper students should have an agreed Supervisor, and a work plan approved by the students's Supervisor. Enrolment in this unit is subject to approval by the Program Director for the Master of Applied Finance. This Research Paper is an alternative to a course-work elective.

  • Infrastructure and Property (ECFS880)

    This unit focuses on the principles, issues and documentation involved in structuring and arranging finance for property developments and infrastructure projects. It complements 'Project Finance' by focusing on the application of project financing principles and techniques to property developments and smaller infrastructure projects in non traditional areas - especially social infrastructure. It examines the structuring and arranging of capital for property developments and in tendering of certain classes of infrastructure projects. It also examines the latest developments in infrastructure delivery methods such as PPP's.

  • Investment and Credit Analysis (AFCP854)

    This unit is designed for students interested in analyst roles ranging from equity analysis and credit analysis to, banking or consulting environment. It focuses on the analysis of performance and prospects of companies.

    The unit will allow students to explore the linkage between a company’s strategy and industry competitive structure, and financial performance. The unit  will demonstrate the range of financial analysis techniques used to analyse historical and prospective financial performance, including a review of the impact of accounting and financial reporting issues in analysing a company’s financial results. The unit will explore issues in relation to financial modelling and forecasting and how these are used in various applications. Students will have the opportunity to explore in more detail and interest in equity or credit analysis application.

    Building on concepts introduced in Portfolio Management and Valuations and Corporate Finance, it complements other electives including Mergers and Acquisitions, Project Analysis and Evaluation, Project Financing and Private Equity.

  • Life Cycle Investing (AFCP855)

    Please note: This unit was previously known as 'Topics in Wealth Management'

    This unit provides an in-depth knowledge of the challenge of understanding the nature of whole of life investing.  A framework is developed to model the various risks followed with techniques to solve it whilst addressing the various complexities and uncertainties including longevity, inflation, interaction with age pension.  This unit will assist those involved in developing, managing and analysing any investment strategy for whole of life investing, particularly in the accumulation and retirement phases of the superannuation and retirement industry.

  • Managing Shareholder Value (AFCP862)

    How can a corporate finance professional contribute to the goal of value maximization? This unit examines the application of corporate finance skills to three key areas: performance measurement of businesses, capital investment decisions and corporate growth, and portfolio restructuring strategies and divestments. The unit presents a process for evaluating a portfolio of businesses, and assessing possible responses to the state of the corporate portfolio. Corporate finance transactions, such as acquisitions, divestments and spin offs will be assessed in the context of broader strategic alternatives such as performance improvement and organic growth. The unit is not about transaction mechanics, but focusses on the selection of the most appropriate transactions to assist an organization achieve its goals. This unit should appeal to those in CFO or corporate strategy roles, or corporate advisory and consulting roles.

  • Mergers and Acquisitions (ECFS842)

    This unit builds on the introduction to Mergers and Acquisitions in Corporate Finance including discussion of current trends, valuation techniques and regulations on corporate control. Statutory rules and market techniques for takeover bids, mergers, schemes of arrangement and other types of corporate restructuring are covered. Other topics include the impact of trade practices and anti-trust regulations, foreign investment regulations, regulations to restrict shareholding levels, accounting for goodwill, due diligence and post-merger integration and corporate performance. The unit includes a comparative analysis of regulations in Australia and a number of offshore markets.

  • Modelling Prices and Risk (ECFS899)

    Quantitative modelling is an essential part of modern finance yet models are often misinterpreted and misused. The aim of this unit is to build an understanding of modelling techniques for prices in liquid markets (currencies, commodities, equities). We consider techniques for analysing the distribution of possible prices over both short and medium term horizons. Applications will therefore include the risk analysis of short-term trading and investment portfolios as well as future cash flows for a project (in non-financial corporations). Model risk is a focus of this unit, helping students to appreciate the deficiencies of all models, to make appropriate model selections and to consider the ethical dimensions of price and risk modelling. You will improve your modelling abilities and also your capacity to communicate and interpret complex technical information.

    Unit will be rested in 2018

  • Private Equity Investment (ECFS895)

    This unit uses the principles developed in Corporate Finance in the context of private equity investing.

    The overall structure and dynamics of the industry are discussed and the key issues of assessing, valuing, negotiating, monitoring and exiting private equity investments are dealt with in detail. This unit covers the full spectrum of private equity investments, from venture (seed and start-up) to management and leveraged buy-outs (late stage).

  • Private Wealth Management (ECFS906)

    This unit is aimed at students interested in a career in private wealth management ("PWM") who would like a better understanding of the major issues facing private wealth managers and their clients. By PWM, we mean the business of financial advising/selling directly to individual investors. This unit focuses predominantly on the advice and advisor side of the business.

  • Project Finance (ECFS877)

    Large Scale Investments are challenging to value, risk manage, structure and finance. Typical examples include economic and social infrastructure such as toll roads or hospitals, tunnels, mines and petroleum developments. Project Finance is the discipline of crafting bespoke financial structures to meet the needs of stakeholders including equity and debt investors, host governments, suppliers, consumers and affected communities to enable finance for LSIs to be raised. This course examines Project Financing’s rationale and methodologies through case studies, readings, lectures and class discussions. Four main themes run through the course: Valuing Projects, Structuring Projects, Managing Risk in Projects and Financing Projects. A major assignment allows students to develop skills in project evaluation through financial modelling and deal structuring. Case studies develop critical thinking and illustrate how the different stakeholders (sponsors, lenders, hosts and community) see value and risk in a transaction. Funding, risk structuring and recent transactions are highlighted in class and through practical case studies.

  • Resource Industry Investment Analysis (ECFS902)

    This unit considers valuation issues that are unique to the minerals and energy industries. This unit is structured around the value chain from exploration through extraction and to the market, and the methods by which resource companies seek to create shareholder value at all of these stages. This unit intends to address two aims. The first is to understand investment decisions that an analyst within a resource company may face; the second is to understand the financial information that resource companies release to the market so that we may compare the performance of resource stocks.

  • Risk and Portfolio Construction (ECFS871)

    This unit deals with the identification, measurement and control of various risks within an investment management process. The emphasis is on gaining an in-depth qualitative understanding of the concepts.

    The sessions are partly treated as if the class group is an investment management firm's asset allocation committee. Emphasis is placed on the process that could be undertaken in a hypothetical firm. Discussion of the portfolio manager's mandate and how this affects the definition of portfolio risk leads to questions of the fundamental concepts of risk, sources of risk and the variety of control methods needed. Qualitative and quantitative control methods are examined. Portfolio construction techniques follow, with a focus on a wide range of optimisation techniques controlling these risks.

  • Strategic Bank Management (AFCP863)

    The global financial crisis of 2007-08 highlighted the dependence of the real economy on the financial sector, and how subtle flaws in bank regulation can result in a failure of the financial system as a whole.

    One response to the crisis has been more restrictive banking regulation. The effectiveness of the regulation is yet to be seen, however it has made the task of generating returns for bank shareholders significantly more challenging, further compounded by a global economy that has still not fully recovered.

    This elective will allow students to navigate the new dynamics of the financial system and the objectives of the various stakeholders within that system, and to create management frameworks that work effectively within the complex regulatory constraints on financial firms.

     The unit investigates the inherent trade-offs in the design of incentives and risk-adjusted performance measures, and guides students to create bank business strategies that can be operationalised via credit concentration limits, delegated authorities, etc.

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