module specification

FS6052 - Personal Finance (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Personal Finance
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 15
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 150
45 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
105 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Seminar 10%   Participation in Action Learning Sets during four Seminar sessions
Coursework 40%   Individual Report 2000 words
In-Course Test 50%   In-Class Test 60 minutes
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester City Thursday Afternoon

Module summary

The module develops knowledge, skills and attitudinal competencies relating to the domains of financial capability, such as managing and keeping track of finances, financial planning, making financial choices and staying informed.

Module aims

The module aims to:
1.  enable students from a wide variety of backgrounds and with widely differing personal circumstances to develop financial capability
2.  develop competencies and encourage confidence in the five areas of financial capability identified by the Financial Services Authority
3.  provide a supportive environment for the development of attitudinal competencies via Action Learning
4. provide the opportunity to develop group work skills.
5. develop personal financial awareness and career development skills.


Ecological financial worlds/arenas/perspectives:
Scenario analysis
SWOT analysis
CoBAL approach

Knowledge competency:
Personal finance concepts and theory
Effective rates of interest, time value of money, inflation and taxation in a personal context

Skills Competency:
Personal financial calculations and spreadsheets
Web searches

Attitudinal Competency:
Behavioural finance, Psychology of financial decision-making
Action Learning strategies

Money management:
Personal balance sheet management
Budgeting,  reducing expenditure, increasing income
Debt management
Investment management

Keeping track of finances

Planning ahead:
Financial planning process; Cash flow forecasts; Delay discounting & Locus of control
Pension planning
Financial protection, insurance
Personal tax and trust planning

Making choices:
Borrowing choices, evaluation of loans/mortgages
Saving and investment options

Staying informed

Competency based Action Learning (CoBAL):
Integration of Competencies and Action Learning for effective financial performance; Case studies

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 knowledge, skills and attitudinal competencies in relation to financial decision making and problem solving activities.

Lectures:  2 hours per week supported by exercises and directed reading
Seminars: 1 hour per week; seminars will require students to prepare material in advance

A variety of teaching tools will be used including presentations, web material, videos, group discussion, Action Learning, quizzes and online discussion.

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 assessed in this module and practiced through periodic reflective exercises.
The module is relevant to future career opportunities in all organisations, as financial capability is considered as an indispensable part of living skills.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module students will be able:
1.  to critically evaluate personal finance concepts and theory and their practical application in relation to one's own individual circumstances
2.  to develop knowledge and skills competencies in the domains of financial capability, such as managing and keeping track of finances, financial planning, making financial choices and staying informed
3. to employ Action Learning strategies for the development of attitudinal competencies 
4. demonstrate the ability to work independently and in a group context.
5.  to develop increased ability and confidence in dealing with the complexities of making financial decisions

Assessment strategy

Diagnostic and formative assessment will take place on a weekly basis in seminars to develop understanding as well as theoretical, analytical, interpersonal and communication skills.

Summative and formative assessment will take place in the form of participation in Action Learning Sets during four seminars.

Summative and formative assessment will take place with the submission in week 9 of coursework in the form of an essay applying theoretical principles and strategies to the practical issue identified during participation in Action Learning Sets.  The length of the essay should be 2000 words. 

Summative assessment will take place in week 15 with a 1-hour unseen written in-class test.  The examination paper will contain a total of three questions; students will be required to answer any two questions.  All questions will be worth equal marks.


Callaghan, G. Fribbance, I. and Higginson M. (Eds.) (2007) 'Personal Finance' Wiley/The Open University, Chichester
McGill, I. and Brockbank, A. (2004) The Action Learning Handbook, Routledge Farmer., London
Redhead, K. (2008) 'Personal Finance: A Guide to Money Management' Abingdon, Routledge
Redhead, K. (2008) 'Personal Finance and Investments: A Behavioural Finance Perspective'‎, Abingdon Routledge

Academic Journal Articles - accessible electronically via electronic databases such as Science Direct)
Bolton, G. (2005) 'Taking responsibility for our stories: in reflective practice, action learning and Socratic dialogue', Teaching in Higher Education, 10, 271-280.
Herschbach, D., Technology and efficiency: competencies as content. Journal of Technology Education, 1992. 3(2): p. (14).
Zuber-Skerritt, O. (2002) 'The concept of action learning', The Learning Organization, 9, 114 - 124
Professional/Policy Articles/Reports
Atkinson, A., McKay, S., Kempson, E. and Collard, S. (2006) Levels of Financial Capability in the UK: Results of a baseline survey, Prepared for the Financial Services Authority by Personal Finance Research Centre University of Bristol
Tieman, R. (2011) ‘Europeans learn the P2P habit’ Financial World  July-August 2011 Page 49

The Financial Services Ombudsman:
The Money Advice Service
The Personal Finance Society (PFS):