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Topics in Finance

  • Enseignant(s):  
  • Titre en français: Sujets de finance
  • Cours donné en: anglais
  • Crédits ECTS:
  • Horaire: Semestre d'automne 2019-2020, 2.0h. de cours (moyenne hebdomadaire)
  •  séances
  • site web du cours site web du cours
  • Formations concernées:
    Maîtrise universitaire ès Sciences en sciences actuarielles

    Maîtrise universitaire ès Sciences en finance, Orientation gestion des actifs et des risques

    Maîtrise universitaire ès Sciences en finance : Entrepreneuriat financier et science des données

    Maîtrise universitaire ès Sciences en finance, Orientation finance d'entreprise

    Maîtrise universitaire en Droit et économie



This objective of this course is to serve as a bridge between the theory and the practice of finance, thus providing them with concrete tools to build their careers in the fast changing world of finance. The course answers requests formulated by currently employed MScF students about career orientation.

At the end of the course students are expected to have significantly broadened their understanding of the practice of finance and better situate and apply their academic knowledge in the job context, being able to:

1a. Discuss current trends in finance, e.g. in fields such as private banking and investment management, pension fund management, financial intermediation, commodities trading, including the impact of fintech.

1b. Critique the applications of theoretical concepts, and the limitations thereof, to the above fields, in the light of lessons from financial history and practice.

2a. Explain in practical terms how to use available market instruments to enter into, or hedge exposures, particularly for Foreign Exchange.

2b. Explain how to execute simple investment strategies in the market, in the light of costs and market frictions.

3a. Perform a gap analysis between their current skills and the competences required for their chosen job objective.

3b. Formulate a plan with actions to acquire those competences.

A detailed list of Learning Outcome Statements will be provided during the course.


a) Leading practitioners, from a broad range of financial institutions and backgrounds, visit the class to present the issues to share their perspective, providing students with a unique opportunity to obtain straight information about different financial careers.

b) The course includes formal lectures on cutting edge topics with practical relevance, such as human capital and lifetime wealth management, using derivatives in portfolio management and a detailed, down-to-earth explanation of the foreign exchange market.

c) Students are asked to read in their own time three books and a few articles that give them background information on the historical development of financial markets and on financial crises. Only a general knowledge of these readings is required for the exam.

The books are:

  1. "When Genius Failed", Roger Lowenstein, Random House, 2000
  2. "This Time is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly”, Carmen Reinhart & Kenneth Rogoff, Princeton University Press (selected chapters)
  3. "Financial Market History- Reflections on the Past for Investors today", Edited by David Chambers and Elroy Dimson, CFA Institute Research Foundation (selected chapters)

For the first two books, get cheap paperbacks, e.g. on Amazon (all editions are the same for the purpose of the exam). The third book is available for free in electronic form at Moreover, the CFA Institute Research Foundation will make hard copies of the third book available for free.

The detailed list of required readings will be provided in the course.

Students get advice on how to bridge the gap between their current skill set and what is required to pursue their career objectives. Material about soft skills is made available on the course Moodle site.

The interaction with the leading practitioners who visit the course, the lectures, the suggested readings and the exam format are designed to build up practical skills and abilities.


None, although first year MScF courses or equivalent are recommended. If you have additional questions please contact


1ère tentative

Ecrit 2h00 heures
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Autorisée avec restrictions

The final grade is given as an average between assignments (30%) and the final exam (70%). The final exam may consist of multiple choice questions/open questions and/or essays.

The final exam is based on the detailed Learning Outcome Statements that will be provided in the course.

Only non-programmable calculators are allowed during the exam.


Ecrit 2h00 heures
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Autorisée avec restrictions

The retake exam lasts 2 hours. The final grade is based only on the retake exam and not on assignments.

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