module specification

FS4001 - Introduction to Financial Markets and Law (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Introduction to Financial Markets and Law
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 30
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 300
81 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
219 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 20%   CWK: Learning Reflection - 1000 words (500 generic +500 subject specific)
Coursework 30%   CWK: Individual essay - 1500 words
Unseen Examination 50%   EXU: Unseen examination - 2 hours
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year City Wednesday Morning

Module summary

The module focuses on the organisation, structure and functions of financial markets, and the principles of English law and the English legal system as applicable to the financial services industry. It provides the theoretical and practical framework for understanding the relationship between the operation of the financial markets and the legal system.

Module aims

The module aims to provide:
1. an overview of  the organisation, structure and functions of financial markets;
2. an introduction to the participants and processes relating to financial markets;
3. an introduction to the concepts and principles of English Law and its role in the banking and finance sector;
4. an awareness and understanding of the main legal and regulatory issues relating to the banking and finance sector;
5. an introduction to the arguments for and against regulation and to assess the role and different forms it may take;
6. a supportive environment for the development and application of academic and analytical skills in written and oral forms;
7. the opportunity to explore how the  academic aspects of the course relate to potential career opportunities in Banking and Finance and the introduction of personal development planning;
8. the opportunity to develop a range of academic and interpersonal skills to assist students in settling into University life and enhance their employability.


Introduction to academic skills: academic reading, writing, memorising, researching, critical thinking, time management, group work, presentation and reflection.
Career Management: Introduction to career planning and developing at Personal Development
Portfolio to increase employability

The organisation, structure and functions of financial markets
Participants in financial markets: banks, building societies, pension funds, open-ended funds, closed-ended trusts, hedge funds, analysts, regulators and others
Capital markets: equity markets and debt markets
Money markets: discount market, gilt-edged market, repo market, and parallel markets
Derivatives markets and commodity markets
Foreign exchange and Eurocurrency markets
Insurance markets

The legal context of Banking and Financial Services
Sources of English Law; development of the English Legal System through Custom, Common Law, Equity, Acts of Parliament and EU Law.
Law of Contract; law of contract; offer, acceptance, intention to create legal relations, consideration, capacity, formality, legality, genuine consent, misrepresentation, mistake, duress and undue influence.
Tort of Negligence; the nature of duty, breach, damage, vicarious liability, contributory negligence, defences.
The need, role and desirability of regulation in the financial services industry

Learning and teaching

The broad teaching strategy adopted in this module is focused on providing a supportive learning environment for students to develop a range of generic academic and employability skills embedded into the core discipline related learning.

Delivery will be based on a mixture of lectures and workshop activities. The lectures will deliver the core academic and theoretical content of the syllabus together with introductory aspects of skills development. These will be supported by the workshops which will explore the academic content using a problem based learning approach and practice and develop employability and academic skills including group work, academic writing, research, presentations. The Activities Week in the first semester will also support both the academic content and the skills development 

There will be a 1 ½ hour lecture each week supported by directed reading and other media such as videos.
The will be a 1 ½ hour workshop that will utilise a variety of teaching tools will including group activities, presentations, discussion, quizzes.

Students will be introduced to the University’s virtual learning platform which will be used to provide supporting class materials, weblinks and discussion forums.

Personal Development Planning (PDP) and reflection skills will be introduced in this module andpracticed through periodic reflective exercises.


Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:

1. analyse the structures and functions of financial markets and their interconnectedness;
2. evaluate the participants and processes relating to financial markets;
3. examine the main sources, principles and application of English Law to the financial services industry;.
4. express and apply legal principles in the financial services environment;
5. discuss the importance and function of regulation in the financial services industry; and
6. demonstrate confidence in the use of academic, analytical, communication and presentation skills
7. demonstrate the ability to work independently and in a group context.

Assessment strategy

Diagnostic and formative assessment will take place on a weekly basis in to develop theoretical, analytical and oral and written communication skills.

By Week 2, students will be given a formative assessment task to be submitted in Week 4.
In Week 4, students will be required to submit the formative assignment that they received in Week 2.
In Week 5, students will receive feedback on their formative assignment and they will be asked to reflect on their feedback. This will support and develop their learning and will help them in preparing for the summative assignment .
In Week 6, students will have the opportunity to discuss the formative assessment feedback in class.
In Week 7, students will submit the summative assignment of reflective coursework of 1000 words focusing on the learning of the module and the student’s broader learning experiences.
In Week 8, students will receive feedback on the summative assignment submitted in Week 7.

Summative and formative assessment will take place with the submission in week 15 of coursework of 1500 words.  The coursework will require students to consider both the legal and financial elements of the module.

Summative assessment will take place between weeks 29 and 30 with a 2-hour unseen written examination. This will primarily focus on written communication skills and the knowledge and understanding of the academic aspects of the syllabus


Cheshire, G. C., Fifoot, C. H. S. and Furmston, M. P. (2007) The Law of Contract 15th Ed., Oxford University Press, Oxford
Cooke, J.  (2007) ‘Law of Tort’ Pearson Education Ltd., London
Elliot, C. and Quinn, F. (2010) ‘The English Legal System’ Pearson Education Ltd., London
Howells, P & Bain K., (2007) Financial markets and Institutions, 5th Ed., Financial Times Prentice Hall, London
Pilbeam, K. (2010) Finance & Financial Markets, 3rd Ed., Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke
Smith, K. and Keenan, D. (2007) ‘English Law: Text and Cases’ 15th Ed., Pearson Education Ltd., London
Valdez, S. (2010) An Introduction to Global Financial Markets, 5th Ed., Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke

Pocket Study Skills series published by Palgrave Macmillan on topics such as ‘Writing for University’ (Godfrey, J., 2011),  ‘Planning your Essay’ (Godwin, J., 2009), ‘Doing Research’ (Thomas, G., 2011), ‘Referencing and Understanding Plagiarism’ (Williams, K. And Carroll, J., 2009), Brilliant Writing Tips for Students(Copus. J., 2009), ‘Getting Critical’ (Williams, K., 2009), ‘Success in Groupwork’ (Hartley, P. and Dawson, M., 2010)

Academic Journal Articles - accessible electronically
Aggarwal, R. and Goodell, J. W. (2010) ‘Financial markets versus institutions in European countries: Influence of culture and other national characteristics’ International Business Review, Volume 19, Issue 5, October 2010, Pages 502-520
Lee, C-C and Chiu, Y-B (2012) ‘The impact of real income on insurance premiums: Evidence from panel data’ International Review of Economics & Finance, Volume 21, Issue 1, January 2012, Pages 246-260
Moshirian, F. (2008) 'Financial services in an increasingly integrated global financial market', Journal of Banking & Finance, In Press, Available online 21 March 2008.
Professional Journal Articles
Taylor, M. (2011) ‘The re-regulation that failed to bell the cat’ Financial World September 2011, 35-36