FINS1613 Business Finance - 2020

6 Units of Credit
On Campus
Banking & Finance
This course outline is for the current semester. To view outlines from other years and/or semesters, visit the archives

1. Course Details

Summary of Course

This is a first level corporate finance course that looks at the essential aspects of financial decision-making. The course begins with the different ways in which companies can be structured and the differing types of ownership that exist. Next, the principles and applications of financial mathematics are introduced and used to value securities and investment decisions. Portfolio theory is used to provide a foundation for determining the relationship between expected risk and returns in financial and real asset investments. Dividend payouts and the choices between debt and equity financing, including methods of determining the cost of capital, are also covered. Further, this course includes analysis of the influence of the capital market environment, the implications of financial risk, taxation and the conflict of interest between managers and investors on the value and operation of businesses. The course develops distinct conceptual frameworks and specialised tools for solving real-world financial problems at both the personal and corporate level. Illustrations from real-life corporate practices are used to highlight the importance and relevance of financial management to the realisation of personal and corporate financial objectives. Examples include personal financial planning, funds management, capital raisings, portfolio selection of financial securities, private equity, public floats and the pricing of assets in the stock market.

Important: Students taking this course should note that this is a summer intensive course. We will cover in 4 weeks all that is covered the standard 10 week course, including the same content and assessments. Students are advised against doing this course in conjunction with another summer course.

Teaching Times and Locations

Please note that teaching times and locations are subject to change. Students are strongly advised to refer to the Class Timetable website for the most up-to-date teaching times and locations.

View course timetable

Course Policies & Support

Course Aims and Relationship to Other Courses

FINS1613 is one of the two gateway courses (along with FINS1612) to the electives and advanced courses offered by the School of Banking and Finance. The course discusses the foundations of sound corporate financial decision-making, illustrating:
  1. How a firm’s selection of projects affects the cash flows it distributes to investors and
  2. How the cash flows received by investors influence their valuation of the firm and feed back to the firm’s project selection decision.

Topic coverage includes:
  • The different forms of business structure and ownership;
  • Financial markets and their role in the valuation of firms;
  • The difference between cash flows and accounting profits;
  • Financial mathematics for pricing of assets and financial securities;
  • Net Present Value and other alternatives of assessing projects;
  • Ways of raising financial capital;
  • Portfolio theory;
  • Cost of capital;
  • Dividend policy; and
  • Capital structure policy.
Once again, students taking this course should note that this is a Summer intensive course. We will cover in 4 weeks all that is covered the standard 10 week course, including the same content and assessments. Students are advised against doing this course in conjunction with another summer course.

2. Staff Contact Details

Position Title Name Email Location Phone Consultation Times
Lecturer-in-chargeDrIan P.L. KwanRoom 314, UNSW Business Buidling02 9385 5863To be announced at the start of Lectures.

​Please contact me by email.

3. Learning and Teaching Activities

Approach to Learning and Teaching in the Course

There is a lot of material to cover in this class and we want to ensure that it will be relevant and meaningful to you in class and after your graduate. To promote and help achieve this objective we have a number of teaching aims.

  • Create a climate of engagement, dialogue and ongoing feedback between students and teaching staff regarding the course content, teaching strategies, learning experiences and outcomes (Guidelines on Learning that Inform Teaching at UNSW (GLIT) numbers 2, 7, 10);
  • Cater for a variety of learning preferences and abilities by providing a range of learning activities and teaching methods (GLIT number 9);
  • Develop independent learning skills and create an environment that both provides structure and guidance as well as encouraging students to extend their learning (GLIT numbers 2, 11);
  • Develop skills in collaboration and teamwork, which is directly relevant to the skills required of a Finance professional (GLIT numbers 6, 14).

Learning Activities and Teaching Strategies

This is a summer intensive course that will cover the same content and assessments as the standard course offered during normal Term time. It consists of 20 hours of face-to-face lectures and 16 hours of face-to-face tutorials arranged according to a special schedule. Students may be required to take in-class face-to-face quizzes which require the use of a portable computer with a functioning wifi or internet connection (note: PC or Mac laptop computers are fine, but iPad or similar handheld devices are not compatible with the special free software that may need to be installed prior to doing quizzes).

As a Summer Intensive, high levels of preparation and interaction are required for the course. The course provides the necessary foundation for success in both subsequent BCOM elective courses and the workplace. Lectures develop both theoretical and practical knowledge of course topics, with an emphasis placed on explaining fundamental concepts. Example problems are used to ensure students can apply their understanding. When possible, we will seek to incorporate current events and topical research.

Tutorials review lecture material and work through problems. Students are required to contribute to group discussions. The tutorials are designed to be interactive and help build understanding through application of knowledge. They provide an opportunity to discuss any difficult concepts with the tutor and peers, and hence gain an indication of one's own progress.

Each tutorial will require prior submission of an online homework assignment consisting of questions related to the previous lecture topic or topics. Completion of the homework assignments helps ensure students learn key concepts and aides the tutor in identifying areas where students require more direct instruction. Students have unlimited attempts at homework, with the last submitted mark counting towards their overall grade. Additional ungraded questions may be used to illustrate complex applications of course materials.

Students will be given continuous feedback on their progress throughout the course in the tutorial sessions, through the quizzes and the final exam. Students are strongly encouraged to devote regular study time to this course, especially due to the intensity that we will go through the material.

5. Course Resources

The website for this course is on Moodle.

The prescribed textbook for this course is:

  • Berk, Demarzo, Harford, Ford, and Mollica, Fundamentals of Corporate Finance (2018), 3rd Edition published by Pearson and available at the university Bookshop.

Lecture notes and tutorial materials will be available for download through Moodle.

6. Course Evaluation & Development

Feedback is regularly sought from students and continual improvements are made based on this feedback. At the end of this course, you will be asked to complete the myExperience survey, which provides a key source of student evaluative feedback. Your input into this quality enhancement process is extremely valuable in assisting us to meet the needs of our students and provide an effective and enriching learning experience. The results of all surveys are carefully considered and do lead to action towards enhancing educational quality.

​Based on feedback from prior editions of the course, we have adjusted the assessment frequency to reduce the course intensity. We will continue to monitor the feedback students give to improve the learning experience provided to students.

7. Course Schedule

Note: for more information on the UNSW academic calendar and key dates including study period, exam, supplementary exam and result release, please visit:
Week Activity Topic Assessment/Other
Week 1: 7 January 2020Lecture

Topic 01. Introduction

Textbook Chapters 1, 3.3, 3.4, 5.1


Topic 02. Financial Mathematics (Part a)

Textbook Chapters 3.1, 3.2, 4


Topic 02. Financial Mathematics (Part b)

Textbook Chapters 3.1, 3.2, 4


Topic 03. Loans and Bonds (Part a)

Textbook Chapters 5.3, 5.4, 6


Topic 01

Homework Assignment 01


Topic 02

Homework Assignment 02

Week 2: 14 January 2020Lecture

Topic 03. Loans and Bonds (Part b)

Textbook Chapters 5.3, 5.4, 6


Topic 04. Equity

Textbook Chapter 7


Topic 05. Investment Decision Rules

Textbook Chapter 8


Quiz 1 (on Topics 01 and 02)

30 mins. Worth 10%


Topic 03

Homework Assignment 03


Topic 04

Homework Assignment 04

Week 3: 21 January 2020Lecture

Topic 06. Cash Flows

Textbook Chapters 2, 9


Topic 07. Risk and Return/CAPM

Textbook Chapters 11, 12


Topic 08. Cost of Capital

Textbook Chapter 13


Quiz 2 (on Topics 03 and 04)

40 mins. Worth 15%


Topic 05

Homework Assignment 05


Topic 06

Homework Assignment 06

Week 4: 28 January 2020Lecture

Topic 09. Capital Structure

Textbook Chapter 16


Topic 10. Dividends/Raising Capital

Textbook Chapters 14, 17


Review of Topics 01 - 10


Quiz 3 (on Topics 05 and 06)

40 mins. Worth 15%


Topic 07

Homework Assignment 07


Topic 08

Homework Assignment 08


Topic 09

Homework Assignment 09

Week 5: 6 February 2020Final Exam

All topics are examinable.

2 hours. Worth 45%.

8. Policies and Support

Information about UNSW Business School protocols, University policies, student responsibilities and education quality and support.

Program Learning Outcomes

The Business School places knowledge and capabilities at the core of its curriculum via seven Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs). These PLOs are systematically embedded and developed across the duration of all coursework programs in the Business School.

PLOs embody the knowledge, skills and capabilities that are taught, practised and assessed within each Business School program. They articulate what you should know and be able to do upon successful completion of your degree.

Upon graduation, you should have a high level of specialised business knowledge and capacity for responsible business thinking, underpinned by ethical professional practice. You should be able to harness, manage and communicate business information effectively and work collaboratively with others. You should be an experienced problem-solver and critical thinker, with a global perspective, cultural competence and the potential for innovative leadership.

All UNSW programs and courses are designed to assess the attainment of program and/or course level learning outcomes, as required by the UNSW Assessment Design Procedure. It is important that you become familiar with the Business School PLOs, as they constitute the framework which informs and shapes the components and assessments of the courses within your program of study.

PLO 1: Business knowledge

Students will make informed and effective selection and application of knowledge in a discipline or profession, in the contexts of local and global business.

PLO 2: Problem solving

Students will define and address business problems, and propose effective evidence-based solutions, through the application of rigorous analysis and critical thinking.

PLO 3: Business communication

Students will harness, manage and communicate business information effectively using multiple forms of communication across different channels.

PLO 4: Teamwork

Students will interact and collaborate effectively with others to achieve a common business purpose or fulfil a common business project, and reflect critically on the process and the outcomes.

PLO 5: Responsible business practice

Students will develop and be committed to responsible business thinking and approaches, which are underpinned by ethical professional practice and sustainability considerations.

PLO 6: Global and cultural competence

Students will be aware of business systems in the wider world and actively committed to recognise and respect the cultural norms, beliefs and values of others, and will apply this knowledge to interact, communicate and work effectively in diverse environments.

PLO 7: Leadership development

Students will develop the capacity to take initiative, encourage forward thinking and bring about innovation, while effectively influencing others to achieve desired results.

These PLOs relate to undergraduate and postgraduate coursework programs.  Separate PLOs for honours and postgraduate research programs are included under 'Related Documents'.

Business School course outlines provide detailed information for students on how the course learning outcomes, learning activities, and assessment/s contribute to the development of Program Learning Outcomes.



UNSW Graduate Capabilities

The Business School PLOs also incorporate UNSW graduate capabilities, a set of generic abilities and skills that all students are expected to achieve by graduation. These capabilities articulate the University’s institutional values, as well as future employer expectations.

UNSW Graduate CapabilitiesBusiness School PLOs
Scholars capable of independent and collaborative enquiry, rigorous in their analysis, critique and reflection, and able to innovate by applying their knowledge and skills to the solution of novel as well as routine problems.
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 4: Teamwork
  • PLO 7: Leadership development

Entrepreneurial leaders capable of initiating and embracing innovation and change, as well as engaging and enabling others to contribute to change
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 4: Teamwork
  • PLO 6: Global and cultural competence
  • PLO 7: Leadership development

Professionals capable of ethical, self-directed practice and independent lifelong learning
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 5: Responsible business practice

Global citizens who are culturally adept and capable of respecting diversity and acting in a socially just and responsible way.
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 4: Teamwork
  • PLO 5: Responsible business practice
  • PLO 6: Global and cultural competence

While our programs are designed to provide coverage of all PLOs and graduate capabilities, they also provide you with a great deal of choice and flexibility.  The Business School strongly advises you to choose a range of courses that assist your development against the seven PLOs and four graduate capabilities, and to keep a record of your achievements as part of your portfolio. You can use a portfolio as evidence in employment applications as well as a reference for work or further study. For support with selecting your courses contact the UNSW Business School Student Centre.

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism

Academic Integrity is honest and responsible scholarship. This form of ethical scholarship is highly valued at UNSW. Terms like Academic Integrity, misconduct, referencing, conventions, plagiarism, academic practices, citations and evidence based learning are all considered basic concepts that successful university students understand. Learning how to communicate original ideas, refer sources, work independently, and report results accurately and honestly are skills that you will be able to carry beyond your studies.

The definition of academic misconduct is broad. It covers practices such as cheating, copying and using another person’s work without appropriate acknowledgement. Incidents of academic misconduct may have serious consequences for students.


UNSW regards plagiarism as a form of academic misconduct. UNSW has very strict rules regarding plagiarism. Plagiarism at UNSW is using the words or ideas of others and passing them off as your own. All Schools in the Business School have a Student Ethics Officer who will investigate incidents of plagiarism and may result in a student’s name being placed on the Plagiarism and Student Misconduct Registers.

Below are examples of plagiarism including self-plagiarism:

Copying: Using the same or very similar words to the original text or idea without acknowledging the source or using quotation marks. This includes copying materials, ideas or concepts from a book, article, report or other written document, presentation, composition, artwork, design, drawing, circuitry, computer program or software, website, internet, other electronic resource, or another person's assignment, without appropriate acknowledgement of authorship.

Inappropriate Paraphrasing: Changing a few words and phrases while mostly retaining the original structure and/or progression of ideas of the original, and information without acknowledgement. This also applies in presentations where someone paraphrases another’s ideas or words without credit and to piecing together quotes and paraphrases into a new whole, without appropriate referencing.

Collusion: Presenting work as independent work when it has been produced in whole or part in collusion with other people. Collusion includes:

  • Students providing their work to another student before the due date, or for the purpose of them plagiarising at any time
  • Paying another person to perform an academic task and passing it off as your own
  • Stealing or acquiring another person’s academic work and copying it
  • Offering to complete another person’s work or seeking payment for completing academic work

Collusion should not be confused with academic collaboration (i.e., shared contribution towards a group task).

Inappropriate Citation: Citing sources which have not been read, without acknowledging the 'secondary' source from which knowledge of them has been obtained.

Self-Plagiarism: ‘Self-plagiarism’ occurs where an author republishes their own previously written work and presents it as new findings without referencing the earlier work, either in its entirety or partially. Self-plagiarism is also referred to as 'recycling', 'duplication', or 'multiple submissions of research findings' without disclosure. In the student context, self-plagiarism includes re-using parts of, or all of, a body of work that has already been submitted for assessment without proper citation.

To see if you understand plagiarism, do this short quiz:


The University also regards cheating as a form of academic misconduct. Cheating is knowingly submitting the work of others as their own and includes contract cheating (work produced by an external agent or third party that is submitted under the pretences of being a student’s original piece of work). Cheating is not acceptable at UNSW.

If you need to revise or clarify any terms associated with academic integrity you should explore the 'Working with Academic Integrity' self-paced lessons available at:

For UNSW policies, penalties, and information to help you avoid plagiarism see: as well as the guidelines in the online ELISE tutorials for all new UNSW students: For information on student conduct see:

For information on how to acknowledge your sources and reference correctly, see: If you are unsure what referencing style to use in this course, you should ask the lecturer in charge.

Student Responsibilities and Conduct

Students are expected to be familiar with and adhere to university policies in relation to class attendance and general conduct and behaviour, including maintaining a safe, respectful environment; and to understand their obligations in relation to workload, assessment and keeping informed.

Information and policies on these topics can be found on the 'Managing your Program' website.


It is expected that you will spend at least ten to twelve hours per week studying for a course except for Summer Term courses which have a minimum weekly workload of twenty to twenty four hours. This time should be made up of reading, research, working on exercises and problems, online activities and attending classes. In periods where you need to complete assignments or prepare for examinations, the workload may be greater. Over-commitment has been a cause of failure for many students. You should take the required workload into account when planning how to balance study with employment and other activities.

We strongly encourage you to connect with your Moodle course websites in the first week of semester. Local and international research indicates that students who engage early and often with their course website are more likely to pass their course.

View more information on expected workload


Your regular and punctual attendance at lectures and seminars or in online learning activities is expected in this course. The Business School reserves the right to refuse final assessment to those students who attend less than 80% of scheduled classes where attendance and participation is required as part of the learning process (e.g., tutorials, flipped classroom sessions, seminars, labs, etc.).

View more information on attendance

General Conduct and Behaviour

You are expected to conduct yourself with consideration and respect for the needs of your fellow students and teaching staff. Conduct which unduly disrupts or interferes with a class, such as ringing or talking on mobile phones, is not acceptable and students may be asked to leave the class.

View more information on student conduct

Health and Safety

UNSW Policy requires each person to work safely and responsibly, in order to avoid personal injury and to protect the safety of others.

View more information on Health and Safety

Keeping Informed

You should take note of all announcements made in lectures, tutorials or on the course web site. From time to time, the University will send important announcements to your university e-mail address without providing you with a paper copy. You will be deemed to have received this information. It is also your responsibility to keep the University informed of all changes to your contact details.

Student Support and Resources

The University and the Business School provide a wide range of support services and resources for students, including:

Business School EQS Consultation Program
The Consultation Program offers academic writing, literacy and numeracy consultations, study skills, exam preparation for Business students. Services include workshops, online resources, individual and group consultations.
Level 1, Room 1035, Quadrangle Building.
02 9385 4508

Communication Resources
The Business School Communication and Academic Support programs provide online modules, communication workshops and additional online resources to assist you in developing your academic writing.

Business School Student Centre
The Business School Student Centre provides advice and direction on all aspects of admission, enrolment and graduation.
Level 1, Room 1028 in the Quadrangle Building
02 9385 3189

UNSW Learning Centre
The UNSW Learning Centre provides academic skills support services, including workshops and resources, for all UNSW students. See their website for details.
Lower Ground Floor, North Wing Chancellery Building.
02 9385 2060

Educational Support Service
Educational Support Advisors work with all students to promote the development of skills needed to succeed at university, whilst also providing personal support throughout the process. Check their website to request an appointment or to register in the Academic Success Program.
John Goodsell Building, Ground Floor.
02 9385 4734

Library services and facilities for students
The UNSW Library offers a range of collections, services and facilities both on-campus and online.
Main Library, F21.
02 9385 2650

Moodle eLearning Support
Moodle is the University’s learning management system. You should ensure that you log into Moodle regularly.
02 9385 3331

UNSW IT provides support and services for students such as password access, email services, wireless services and technical support.
UNSW Library Annexe (Ground floor).
02 9385 1333

Disability Support Services
UNSW Disability Support Services provides assistance to students who are trying to manage the demands of university as well as a health condition, learning disability or who have personal circumstances that are having an impact on their studies. Disability Advisers can arrange to put in place services and educational adjustments to make things more manageable so that students are able to complete their course requirements. To receive educational adjustments for disability support, students must first register with Disability Services.
Ground Floor, John Goodsell Building.
02 9385 4734

UNSW Counselling and Psychological Services
Provides support and services if you need help with your personal life, getting your academic life back on track or just want to know how to stay safe, including free, confidential counselling.
Level 2, East Wing, Quadrangle Building.
02 9385 5418

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