What will I study?
The Finance major covers three key areas: capital markets and financial institutions; investments and financial planning; and corporate finance.
Learn how individuals, businesses and institutions raise funds to implement investment strategies. And gain knowledge as to how they allocate these funds to a variety of investment opportunities.
Your major structure
In your first and second year are comprised mostly of core subjects that are prerequisites for your major, plus breadth and elective subjects.
Most of your major subjects will be in your final year, along with the remainder of your electives and breadth subjects.
Breadth is a unique feature of the Melbourne Model. It gives you the chance to explore subjects outside of commerce, developing new perspectives and learning to collaborate with others who have different strengths and interests — just as you will in your future career.
Some of our students use breadth to explore creative interests or topics they have always been curious about. Others used breadth to improve their career prospects by complementing their major with a language, communication skills or business expertise.
Sample course plan
View some sample course plans to help you select subjects that will meet the requirements for this major.
Sample course plan - Finance Major
- Major Prerequisite
- Major Core
- Major Elective
- Breadth or Elective
This sample course plan names compulsory subjects in the BCom and minimum subjects required for the finance major. If you intend to pursue Honours in Finance, you will also need to complete ECOM30002 Econometrics 2 in your final year.
Explore this major
Explore the subjects you could choose as part of this major.
This subject is an introduction to investment analysis, with emphasis on equity securities and fixed interest securities. The topics covered focus on issues fundamental to financial managers, money managers, risk managers, financial advisers and regulators. These topics include: fundamental ideas in asset pricing; modern portfolio theory and its applications; equilibrium theories of asset pricing; portfolio performance evaluation; empirical evidence on security returns; key issues in pricing fixed interest securities; the term structure of interest rates; techniques in fixed interest portfolio management and the pricing of floating rate notes and interest rate swaps.
- Derivative Securities12.5
This subject focuses on the application and valuation of derivative securities, such as forwards, futures, swaps and options. The emphasis will be on arbitrage relations, valuation, and hedging with derivatives. The topics covered include; Forwards and futures: the mechanics of trading, price determination, hedging strategies; Swaps: definition and valuation; Options: payoffs, arbitrage bounds, trading strategies, the binomial model, the Black-Scholes model and its relationship to the binomial, hedging, American options and dividends, options on futures, limitations of the binomial and Black-Scholes Models.
And one Level-3 Finance elective subject, chosen from:
- International Finance12.5
Topics include concepts, operation and terminology of foreign exchange markets; international investment decision making; sources of and approaches to dealing with foreign exchange exposure; political risk; and international funding mechanisms and decision making in multinational business organisations.
- Asian Capital Markets12.5
Asian Capital Markets
This subject introduces issues impacting the emergence of Asian capital markets and their integration with global markets. The subject analyses governance and structural issues affecting the development of bond, equity, foreign exchange and derivatives markets. The subject also identifies alternative sources of capital available to corporate entities and discusses issues confronted by fund managers investing in the region or in individual countries.
- Entrepreneurial Finance12.5
Issues associated with financing entrepreneurial ventures, and the valuation and investment issues associated with new ventures. Major topics include investment analysis, financing the new venture, harvesting, and renewal in the entrepreneurial firm. The subject covers entrepreneurial finance, venture capital and general principles of investing in high (biotechnology, nanotechnology, information technology, e-business) and low technology.
- Street Finance12.5
Street Finance is an innovative subject that involves finance students visiting secondary schools in Melbourne for the purpose of delivering three lessons on finance topics of interest and relevance to young people.
Participation in Street Finance requires students to develop a thorough understanding of the relevant areas of finance to be taught, based on materials supplied by Department of Finance. Specific topics to be covered will change from year to year, and may include broad topics (such as budgeting) and/or topics of specific practical relevance to high school students (financial aspects of mobile phone contracts).
Street Finance provides a unique opportunity for students to develop their technical and communication skills, while at the same time making a tangible contribution to the community through the delivery of finance lessons to an audience that may not usually have strong avenues of access to financial education or the financial profession.
Students undertaking Street Finance will develop fundamental communication skills, including the ability to explain complex financial concepts and information to a non-expert, non specialist audience. The program is also designed to build skills and enhance confidence in public speaking, which is important for any finance professional. More broadly, students undertaking the program will gain experience in the provision of community financial education, which is an increasingly important aspect of the work of finance professionals in many parts of the profession (and particularly the community financial sector).
Students will be required to identify the best method of adapting supplied materials to the particular curriculum needs and context of an individual school. The substantive knowledge will then need to be communicated in a clear and accessible manner in presentations to high school students of varying academic abilities and backgrounds.
Students enrolled in this subject will receive instruction in relevant substantive areas from faculty in the Department of Finance, as well as specialist training in lesson planning and delivery. Students will also have the opportunity to develop new materials which may either be used by individual schools and/or by Street Finance in the Department of Finance in future years.
- Ethics in Finance12.5
Ethics in Finance
Ethical practices instil a public trust in the fairness of financial markets and transactions, allowing them to function efficiently. Ethical practices by finance and investment professionals benefit all market participants and stakeholders and lead to increased investor confidence in global capital markets. The perspectives acquired in this subject should be useful to students in their chosen finance profession as this subject presents a framework for ethical conduct in the investment profession by focusing on the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct. Citing and discussing examples of the financial scandals that have shaken public confidence in the ethics of financial market participants, this subject explains the importance of ethics in the operation of financial institutions and in the personal conduct of finance professionals.
- Algorithmic Trading12.5
Global equity markets have changed fundamentally over the last decades Regulatory reforms to promote competition for trading services have led to considerable fragmentation of markets. New entrants and new technology have contributed to innovative new trading mechanisms and pricing structures. Today, markets are overwhelming electronic, with trading occurring using algorithms rather than manually. Graduates wishing to pursue careers in financial markets need to understand the new market structure that exists and have skills to understand and implement trading strategies in this environment. This subject will ensure students develop these skills and knowledge, through a combination of lectures and hands-on experience of manual and robot trading in online experimental markets.
The class is quite unique. Despite growing importance of computerised trading in financial markets, there exist hardly any finance classes that expose students to the issues, let alone allowing them to develop the skills to conceive robot traders themselves through participation in experimental online markets.