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BAEcon Economics and Finance

Year of entry: 2021

Course unit details:
Empirical Finance

Unit code BMAN30190
Credit rating 40
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Full year
Offered by Alliance Manchester Business School
Available as a free choice unit? No


In the first semester, the course covers the following topics (unordered), which will be delivered in lectures, workshops and labs. These contents will be examined in the normal exam period:

  • Course introduction; project outline.
  • An overview of researches in Finance; Introduction to Event Study Methodology; a journal article for example.
  • Regression.
  • Event Study Methodology: short-term event study.
  • Datastream.
  • Research design and planning.
  • Event Study Methodology: long-term event study; How to read journal articles effectively?
  • Event Study Methodology: Measuring Abnormal Returns and test statistical significance.
  • More On Event Study Methodology.
  • Review of Event Study Methodology.

In the second semester, students will  present their reflections and plans on research to lecturers and  conduct their independent research projects. Clinic sessions will be available where students consult lecturers on issues that arise from their research.   



Unit title Unit code Requirement type Description
Investment Analysis BMAN20072 Pre-Requisite Compulsory
Foundations of Finance A BMAN23000 Pre-Requisite Compulsory
Financial Statement Analysis BMAN20081 Pre-Requisite Compulsory
Foundations of Finance B BMAN23000B Pre-Requisite Compulsory
BMAN23000(A) or (B), BMAN20072 & BMAN20081 are pre-requistes of BMAN30190. Available to BAEcon Finance specialists and Mgt (A&F)only. BMAN 30190 is compulsory for and exclusive to students specialising in Finance either singly or jointly.

Pre-requisite course units have to be passed by 40% or above at the first attempt unless a higher percentage is indicated within this course outline. If the pre-requisite unit is a compulsory course unit within your programme of study (Maths with Finance, IBFE, Accounting, BA Econ pathways for example) then progression onto the dependent unit is permitted as long as you have gained the appropriate amount of credit to progress on to the following year of your registered undergraduate programme.

Pre-requisites: BMAN23000(A) or (B) Foundations of Finance, BMAN20072 Investment Analysis and BMAN20081 Financial Statement Analysis

Importantly, although there is no pre-requisite for statistics or econometrics, it is essential that students have relevant knowledge, e.g., random variable, distribution, test statistics, regression and hypothesis testing. It is desirable students have taken introductory-level statistics or econometrics.

Co-requisites: None

Dependent course units: None




The aim of this course is to train students to conduct research in the area of finance and to prepare them so that they can complete an independent empirical research project in finance by the end of this course. The course builds on students’ existing knowledge of finance and gives students hands-on experience in research. This course encourages  initiatives, independent learning, enquiring minds, and  logical and critical thinking. It develops skills in computer literacy, numeracy, problem-solving, and written and oral communication.

The lectures in the first semester cover research methodology, with a focus on event study methodology. In the latter half of the first  semester, students select their case from a list of corporate events, mainly mergers and acquisitions. In the second semester, the students perform a short presentation outlining the reflection and plan of their independent research project and then  commence working on the project. In the project, students are required to take the event study methodology to their empirical analysis using real data. They are also required to discuss and expand based on what they find from the analysis. The final product is the student’s written project report with results interpreted and discussed in the light of relevant literature.

Students are required to take the full responsibility of their independent projects. They are expected to draw on the course contents and, importantly, on the relevant academic literature which they will gather in as part of the project. The teaching team should play a role that is purely advisory. Staff members are not supposed to give prescriptive suggestions or make decisions for the students in the project as such activities defeats the purpose of the course.


Learning outcomes

By the end of this course, students:

  • should understand the methodology covered in the first-semester lectures and be able to apply them in their research projects in the 2nd semester.
  • will have experience in  research planning and design.
  • should be able to use event study methodology to analyse relevant issues due to corporate events.
  • should be aware of various data sources in finance and be able to collect, compile and analyse the data.
  • should have developed and implemented their presentational skills.
  • will have experience in writing a project report: including an introduction, a literature review, data, methodology, description and interpretation of empirical results, relevant discussions and conclusions.
  • should have developed good capability of independent learning and investigation.
  • should have developed an understanding of the relevant literature in finance and the methodology of event studies.


Teaching and learning methods

In the first semester, students take lectures, workshops and labs on research methodology and other related issues. These contents will be examined in the normal exam period. In the second semester, students conduct an independent study on a specific corporate event and write an independent project report. The lectures, workshops and labs in the 1st semester are organized according to topics. The emphasis is on the event study methodology which is widely used in  finance researches to analyse the wealth effects of corporate events, e.g., mergers and acquisitions, IPO’s, management turnovers. There are no lectures in the second semester. There will be sessions at the beginning of the second semester where students present their reflections and plan on research. At the same time, students commence their independent projects. There will be clinical sessions  where students ask questions and receive advice on their research.

Semester 1

Lecture Hours: 20

Plus workshops 3.5 hours, labs 4 hours (details to be announced). This is provisional. Details will be available at the beginning of the course.

Semester 2 (no lectures)

1 hour of presentations

3 x 1hr "clinic" tutorials

Full details will be provided in the course outline at the beginning of the course.

Total study hours: 400 hours split between lectures, workshops, labs, clinical sessions, reading, self-study, preparation for classes and coursework.

Informal Contact Methods

1. Online Learning Activities (forums)

2. Office hours


Assessment methods

BMAN30190 is assessed by both exam and coursework. The coursework has two components: a presentation (15%) and a research project (58%). Instruction and advice for the assignments, including lengths and formatting, will be available on course website early in the first semester. The topics of projects will be allocated in the latter half of the first semester. There is an exam (25%) after the first semester. Participation in the first semester counts for 2% (details will be available in the full course description at the beginning of the first semester). Presentations will take place in the earlier half of the second semester (time to be confirmed at the beginning of the second semester). The deadline for  submitting the final project report will be announced in the earlier half of the second semester.


Feedback methods

• Responses to student questions from members of staff including feedback provided via an online discussion forum.

• Informal advice and discussion during lectures, workshops and labs.

• General feedback to exam.

• Written and/or verbal comments after group and individual presentations.


Recommended reading

There is no designated text book for this course.

Attending lectures, workshops and labs are essential to understanding the methodology required in your independent project.

Reading relevant papers, including published journal articles and working papers, in the previous literature is also essential. The lecturers will recommend some papers for  students to begin with, but students are expected to construct their own pool of relevant literature.


Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 20
Practical classes & workshops 12.5
Independent study hours
Independent study 367.5

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Alex Taylor Unit coordinator
Ning Gao Unit coordinator

Additional notes

Length of course: 23 weeks

Lecturers: Dr. Ning Gao (first semester only); Dr Alex Taylor (second semester only)

Other Teaching Staff: Dr. Olga Kolokolova, Dr. Aleksey Kolokolov. Tutors to be announced.

Programme Restrictions: This course is compulsory for students specialising in Finance either singly or jointly. BMAN30190 Empirical Finance is a basic unit for Finance, for which BMAN23000(A) or (B) Foundations of Finance, BMAN20072 Investment Analysis and BMAN20081 Financial Statement Analysis are area pre-requisites. Also open to BSc Management students specialising in Accounting & Finance.

BMAN30190 is available to study abroad and exchange students admitted through the University of Manchester International Programmes Office who will be studying for a full academic year.


For Academic Year 2020/21

Updated: March 2020

Approved by: March UG Committee

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