MBAX9123 Corporate Finance - 2020

Weekly, Online
Term 1
6 Units of Credit

Offering Selection
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, which has an overarching theme of value creation, introduces a number of key ideas in corporate finance:

  • the time value of money and discounted cash flow analysis
  • the risk-return trade-off, diversification, and the cost of capital
  • the role of financial strategy and financial markets.

Special focus is placed on the firm's primary financial functions, including investment policy and financing policy, and the ways in which they can affect the ability of a firm to enhance its economic value.

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

Many students in the AGSM MBA programs are practising managers, and so while they will be helped to conceptualise key ideas in corporate finance, they will be required to apply, reflect, and relate the materials to the management settings around them. The course content will incorporate thought leadership from across the academic and practitioner worlds.

Since this course focuses on how corporate finance can contribute to a firm's value, central questions include:

  • what is value?
  • how is it measured?
  • how does a well-run organisation create value?

Additonal Course Details

3. Staff Contact Details

Position Name Email Location Phone Consultation Times
Class FacilitatorAndrew Hingston
Course CoordinatorOleg Chuprinin
+61 2 9385 5856

For questions about the course content or assessments, please post your question to the General Forums on the Moodle course site.

For questions that are inappropriate for posting on the Moodle course site forums, please email your class facilitator using the above contact details.

4. Learning and Teaching Activities

Approach to Learning and Teaching in the Course

The recommended approach to learn each Unit is as follows:

  1. Review your summary notes for all previous Units of the course (30 min).
  2. Perform a skim read of the course notes to identify the structure and content, mark any sections that appear to be important (5 min).
  3. Read the course notes and/or watch the teaching videos (55 min).
  4. Write a summary of the main points in the Unit (30 min). You may find it helpful to visualise these main points using a mind-map or other tools.
  5. Attempt exercises in the course notes and prepare answers to the 'Discussion Questions' from the separate document under the 'Course resources' section of the Moodle course site (1 hour).
  6. Attempt the Quiz (1 hour).
  7. Bring your answers to the discussion questions to class (for face-to-face students) or discuss them in the Moodle forums (online students).

The preparation time for each Unit should be approximately 4 hours. Some students have found it helpful to adopt the 'pomodoro method', which involves a 25 minutes on and 5 minutes off rotation in order to maintain concentration and productivity.

Note that you will be working extensively on your Assignment during Weeks 5 to 10, so the workload during these weeks may be higher.

Learning Activities and Teaching Strategies

You have four major resources to help you learn:

  1. Course Resources: These comprise the course notes, video and audio narrations and the discussion questions and solutions. You will do much of your learning outside the classroom by working through the course notes and completing the associated discussion questions.
  2. Class Facilitator: Your facilitator will guide your learning by leading discussions, answering questions, providing practical insights and giving feedback on your assignments.
  3. Fellow Students: Your colleagues are an invaluable source of learning for you. Their work and life, and their willingness to question and argue with the course materials, the facilitator, and your views, represent a great learning opportunity.
  4. AGSM Learning Toolkit: This toolkit is available on the Moodle course site. It includes some guides that will help you learn more about effective study practices and techniques.

Course Structure

The topics of each Unit of the course are as follows:

  1. Introduction and Overview - overview of the foundational concepts of the course
  2. Present and Future Value - essential tools of financial analysis
  3. Valuing Cash Flows and Projects I - methodologies for evaluating projects
  4. Valuing Cash Flows and Projects II - more detailed frameworks for preparing the Net Present Value analysis
  5. Capital Budgeting Applications - assessing an opportunity for expansion using the principles covered in Units 3 and 4
  6. Debt and Equity - an introduction to some key instruments for raising capital
  7. Risk and Return I - measuring risk from the perspective of shareholders
  8. Risk and Return II - a framework for pricing risk using the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM)
  9. Financing and Leverage - a framework for understanding the usage of debt and equity in the company's capital structure
  10. Financial Strategy - an introduction to dividend policy, long-term finance, and mergers and acquisitions

6. Course Resources

The course materials are available from the 'Course Resources' section of the Moodle course site. The key resources include:

  1. Course Notes - Your readings for each Unit of the course. This is your main learning resource.
  2. Readings - Some of then;Units have additional readings. The links to these readings are provided in the course notes.
  3. Teaching Videos - We have recorded some teaching videos for selected Units of the course.
  4. Discussion Questions and Solutions - These are the practice exercises and discussion questions for each Unit. They are separate from the Course Notes and are listed in some Microsoft Word documents located under the 'Course Resources' section of the Moodle course site. If you are in a face-to-face class, these will be discussed in class and should be prepared beforehand. If you are in an online class, these will be discussed in the forums.
  5. In addition to course-based resources, please also refer to the AGSM Online Learning Toolkit (available on Moodle) for tutorials and guides that will help you learn more about effective study practices and techniques.

The course website also contains detailed instructions for each assessment of this course. Each assessment has a dedicated section of the course website.

The course materials are the only required academic reading for this course. However, it is important to supplement the course notes with your own regular reading of The Australian Financial Review or the Financial Times.

If you are interested in supplementing the course notes with a textbook, the recommended textbooks for this course are:

  • Brealey, R, Myers, S & Allen, F 2017, Principles of Corporate Finance, 12th edn, McGraw-Hill Irwin.
  • Graham, J, Smart, S B, Adam, C & Gunasingham, B 2014, Introduction to Corporate Finance, Asia-Pacific edn, Cengage Learning Australia.

The UNSW Library gives you access to many online journals and magazines.
You can access the library website here:

In addition to course-based resources, please also refer to the AGSM Online Learning Toolkit (available in Moodle) for tutorials and guides that will help you learn more about effective study practices and techniques.

7. Course Evaluation & Development

Continual Course Improvement

AGSM courses are revised each time they run, with updated course outlines and assessment tasks developed. Changes relating to any industry developments will also be included.

Additionally, the AGSM surveys students each time a course is offered. The data collected provides anonymous feedback from students on the quality of course content and materials, class facilitation, student support services and the program in general. This student feedback is considered during all course revisions.

Student Response

Students in 2019 expressed that they appreciated having access to course resources that appealed to different learning styles. In particular, students appreciated having access to both detailed course notes and also teaching videos.

Response to Student Feedback

Some inconsistencies between the course notes and videos have been corrected. An appendix has been added to Unit 9 providing more details on the capital structure effects in the presence of dividend imputations. The due dates for all components of the assignment have been brought forward by one week to align with the 10 Unit course structure. Based on specific ideas and feedback from students, various other incremental improvements have been made to the course notes, discussion questions, and solutions (thanks!).

8. Course Schedule

Week Activity Topic Detail/Engagement Assessment Task
Week 1 Unit 1Introduction and Overview


Assessment 1 : Participation
Week 2 Unit 2Present and Future Value

Unit 2 Quiz

Assessment 2 : Quizzes
Week 3 Unit 3Valuing Cash Flows and Projects I

Unit 3 Quiz

Assessment 2 : Quizzes
Week 4 Unit 4Valuing Cash Flows and Projects II

Unit 4 Quiz

Assessment 3 : (a) Proposal
Assessment 2 : Quizzes
Week 5 Unit 5Capital Budgeting Applications

Unit 5 Quiz

Assessment 2 : Quizzes
Week 6 Unit 6Debt and Equity

Unit 6 Quiz

Assessment 2 : Quizzes
Week 7 Unit 7Risk and Return I

Unit 7 Quiz

Assessment 2 : Quizzes
Week 8 Unit 8Risk and Return II

Unit 8 Quiz

Assessment 2 : Quizzes
Week 9 Unit 9Financing and Leverage

Unit 9 Quiz
Spreadsheet Due

Assessment 3 : (b) Spreadsheet and Report
Assessment 2 : Quizzes
Week 10 Unit 10Financial Strategy

Unit 10 Quiz
Report Due

Assessment 3 : (b) Spreadsheet and Report
Assessment 2 : Quizzes
Week 11 Study Break

Presentation Due

Assessment 3 : (c) Presentation
Week 12 Study Break

Final Assessment Due

Assessment 4 : Final assessment

9. 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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