FINS3625 Applied Corporate Finance - 2020

Term 3
6 Units of Credit
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 course focuses on practical applications related to financial decision making. Case studies, empirical evidences and current events are used to illustrate the process of making financial decisions commonly faced by corporate managers, investment bankers, investors and regulators. Topics discussed include: advanced issues in corporate valuation and capital budgeting; raising capital; valuation and analysis of real options; leverage choice, mergers and acquisitions and the market for corporate control and governance; and other advanced topics in Corporate Finance.  Students are expected to perform hands-on analysis and build excel spreadsheet models to assist with analysis. The course also aims to help students develop oral and writing skills through group assignments and case studies.

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

​This course focuses on the application and further development of financial concepts first introduced in FINS1613 Business Finance and FINS2624 - Portfolio Management in the corporate finance setting. It applies finance theory for the purposes of valuing businesses and understanding corporate financial transactions.  

This course assumes at a minimum that students are well-versed in the topics covered in FINS1613 & FINS2624 and can perform basic excel spreadsheet modelling.

2. Staff Contact Details

Position Title Name Email Location Phone Consultation Times
Lecturer-in-chargeMrWallace Fan

3. Learning and Teaching Activities

Approach to Learning and Teaching in the Course

This is an "Applied" course. Much of the concepts and theories would have been covered by previous pre-requisite courses. Our focus is to further extend the theories learnt to real world business situations through hands-on application working through problems presented in either current business climate or in recent case studies based on real business problems.

Students are expected to roll up their sleeves, build excel models and conduct deep dive analysis. We will create a very challenging, yet engaging and rewarding learning experience.  You will be challenged and stretched beyond your comfort zone.

To help achieve this objective we aim to deliver the following learning experience:  

  • A climate of engagement, dialogue and ongoing feedback between students, tutors and lecturers regarding the content, learning experiences and outcomes;  
  • Fostering positive attitude to lifelong Independent learning under a well guided and encouraging learning structure
  • Stimulating collaborative and respectful teamwork which is directly relevant to the attributes required of a finance professional.

Learning Activities and Teaching Strategies

The Role of Lectures  

The lectures build from the relevant core readings to set out the main ideas, conceptual frameworks and the application for the course. Various interactive learning processes will apply which may include synthesising materials from a range of sources, including your own prior knowledge and experiences. You will come to the lectures FULLY PREPARED. This means you will have read and considered all relevant readings and cases. From a time management perspective, this means you will need to allocate at least THREE hours per week for pre-lecture readings. If you need any assistance in managing your time you will find the Business School’s Education Development Unit (EDU) a useful resource.  

The Role of Tutorials  

The weekly tutorials provide you with an interactive environment in which you practice what you have learnt from the lectures. These tutorials are mainly CASE based and HANDS-ON. And you are to attempt the assigned cases and tasks PRIOR to attending your tutorials. At the tutorial, you can then fully engage in the hands-on exercises and case study discussions. By actively engaging in the tutorials, you will increase your confidence and competence in technical, presentation and critical thinking skills. They also provide you with the opportunity to enhance your interpersonal skills by interacting with others, working together in diverse groups, forging learning networks, learning about other cultures and learning to understand values and opinions different from your own.


Prior to the lectures/tutorials, students are expected to thoroughly prepare by reading all relevant material which includes the relevant readings and the assigned case(s). You are also to have attempted the assigned problems prior to your tutorials.

All cases have been carefully selected to ensure relevancy of the topics. By enrolling in this course, all students are signed on to the commitment of the following “4 Ps”:

Preparation – You will read all pre-session material and diligently prepare for the case. Otherwise, there will be limited value you would gain from this course and our face-to-face time in class. You are encouraged to prepare for the lectures with your peers and/or your group.

Presence – You will be present “physically” and “mentally”. Not being present, you cannot learn, and more importantly, you cannot add to the group discussion.

Promptness – You attend the class on time. Your lateness would unnecessarily disrupt the discussion and deprecate the decorum of the process.

Participation – It is everyone’s responsibility to share his/her understanding and view with the class in order to advance the group’s skills and knowledge.

The commitment is two-ways. The lecturer/tutor is committed to making the course a satisfying development experience. The lecturer/tutor will question and challenge students to ensure the class’ skills and knowledge base is enhanced.

Excel Competency

This course expects you to be competent with basic excel spreadsheet functions and then, throughout weekly hands-on exercises, to further improve and advance on your excel spreadsheet & modelling skills.

You are encouraged to complete an online excel training course offered by the UNSW Career Accelerator, prior to Week 1. Here is the link.

5. Course Resources

​You will be able to obtain the latest course announcements and course material via Moodle. Depending on the lectures, there may or may not be lecture slides and/or notes. Students are encouraged to read the corresponding reference material prior to lectures.  

The website for this course is on Moodle.  

There are NO textbook for this course except for assigned readings which will be provided on moodle and recommended books for reference such as:

  • Berk and DeMarzo 2019, Corporate Finance: Global Edition, 5th ed. Pearson
  • Brealey and Myers 2019, Principles of Corporate Finance, 13th ed. McGraw Hill
  • In addition, various business and financial cases would be used for tutorial discussion and will be posted on moodle.

Other resources such as the Course Outline, presentations, discussion forums, and any notices relevant to this course, will be placed on course website from time to time. It is important that you visit the site regularly to see any notices posted by the Lecturer and tutors.

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.

As a result of past student suggestions, the lecture and tutorial format has incorporated more case studies and hands-on exercises and illustration to allow for a more engaging learning experience.

Furthermore, more hands-on excel works will be assigned as tutorial exerices. Tutors will provide more feedback to your financial analysis work.

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: 14 SeptemberLecture



  • Note on Mergers and Acquisitions and Valuation by Roerster & Fortier

  • The Case for M&A in a Downturn

  • Case: Landmark Facility Solutions

Set mutual expectations and establish contract of 4 Ps

Case: Landmark Facility Solutions (Drivers behind the Acquisition)



Corporate Finance Knowledge Quiz based on assumed knowledge (FINS1613 & FINS2624)

Case discussion

Week 2: 21 SeptemberLecture

Pro Forma Statements, Projection of CFs and Short-Term financing needs.


  • Financial Analytics Toolkit: Financial Statement Forecasting

  • Case: Landmark Facility Solutions



Financial forecasting


Hands-on excel modelling on financial forecasting on Morgan Industries

Week 3: 28 SeptemberLecture

Cost of Capital


  • Beta, Leverage and the Cost of Capital
  • Case: Landmark Facility Solutions

Case: Landmark Facility Solutions

(Levered vs. Unlevered beta & WACC)



Group discussion

Hands-on excel modelling on beta & WACC estimation


Week 4: 05 OctoberLecture

Capital Structure


  • Management of Financial Policy Decisions: Capital Structure Policy

Case: Landmark Facility Solutions

(Optimal capital structure)


Group discussion 

Hands-on excel modelling

Sensitivity analysis based on debt vs. equity and other operating variables

Week 5: 12 OctoberLecture

Corporate Valuation / Capital Budgeting


  • Note on Cash Flow Valuation Methods: Comparison of WACC, FTE, CCF, and APV Approaches



Case: Landmark Facility Solutions


Group discussion 

Hands-on excel modelling

Does this acquisition create value?

Week 6: 19 OctoberFlexi Week

Flexibility Week:

  • No lecture
  • No tutorial
Week 7: 26 OctoberLecture

Debt Financing




Case: RadNet

(Debt Financing)

Group discussion 

Hands-on exercises

Week 8: 02 NovemberLecture

Equity Financing


  • A Note on Valuing Late-Stage Companies and Leveraged Buyouts

Case: Dupont

Group discussion 

Hands on exercise


Week 9: 09 NovemberLecture

Real Options


Real Options – Valuing Managerial Flexibility


Case: AquaBounty

Group discussion 

Hands on exercise


Week 10: 16 NovemberLecture




Group presentations 




Week 11: 23 November
Exams: 30 November
Exams: 07 December

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 & Careers Hub
The UNSW Learning & Careers Hub provides academic skills and careers support services—including workshops, individual consultations and a range of online resources—for all UNSW students. See their website for details.
Lower Ground Floor, North Wing Chancellery Building.
02 9385 2060

Student Support Advisors
Student 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.
John Goodsell Building, Ground Floor.
02 9385 4734

International Student Support
The International Student Experience Unit (ISEU) is the first point of contact for international students. ISEU staff are always here to help with personalised advice and information about all aspects of university life and life in Australia.
Advisors can support you with your student visa, health and wellbeing, making friends, accommodation and academic performance.
02 9385 4734

Equitable Learning Services
Equitable Learning Services (formerly Disability Support Services) is a free and confidential service that provides practical support to ensure that your health condition doesn't adversely affect your studies. Register with the service to receive educational adjustments.
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

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

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