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COMPGS06 - Financial Institutions and Markets

This database contains 2016-17 versions of the syllabuses. For current versions please see here.

CodeCOMPGS06 (Also taught as: COMPM026)
PrerequisitesAn understanding of the fundamentals macro-economics & software services.
Taught ByDonald Lawrence & Industrial SMEs
AimsThe module exposes participants to an overview of the financial information sector and interaction with global financial markets, which constitute an important application domain of computer science in the southeast UK as well as main global financial centers. The module facilitates transfer of substantial domain knowledge based on IB Analyst training program the lecturer delivers in major int’l firms. Successful candidates may continue with modules COMPGF03 &/or COMPGS07 to gain deeper understanding of  risk management & financial information systems in this domain.
Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the module, participants will understand the function of financial information systems in the context of the broad structure of public and private sector banks, asset managers, brokers, regulators, exchanges, clearing houses, and infrastructure utilities. All together this eco-system supports the effective and liquid global financial market place. Participants will:

  • have an overview of the dynamics, key inter-dependencies and comparative advantages between issuer, intermediary and investor; 
  • understand the different motivations of stakeholders, and how participants navigate market, credit, operational, liquidity and reputation risk in order to maximize risk adjusted returns; 
  • examine the impact of e-commerce, information technology and smart-sourcing of empirical analysis, price discovery, best execution, confirmation, affirmation, settlement, and risk within exchange and off-exchange markets; 
  • become familiar with market cause and effect enabling more effective and credible interaction with industry professionals to optimize comprehension of business requirements; 
  • understand the significance of historic/current cyclical trends enabling participants to apply the knowledge gained in communication and collaboration with management in the financial services domain.


Public and Private Sector Institutional Participants
Overview of Consumer, Corporate and Investment Banking Financial Services
The Factors Affecting Economic Cycles and Financial Institution Risk Adjusted Returns
Time Value of Money, Discounting, Nominal and Effective Yield Measurement
Capital Equilibrium between Issuer and Investor
Capital Market Valuation and Measurement
A Day in the Life of a Transaction
Roles, Responsibilities and Controls of Deal Makers, Processing and Technical Staff
Cash and Derivative Instruments, Transaction Services, and Advisory

Method of Instruction:

Lecture presentations, associated case studies, labs & tutorials & UCL Finds debates & conferences. 


The course has the following assessment components:

  • Written Examination (2.5 hours, 75%)
  • Coursework Section (25%)

To pass this course, students must:

  • Obtain an overall pass mark of 50% for all sections combined.
  • Pass the coursework section.


Saunders, ‘Financial Institutions Management’, 2003.

Valdez, ‘Introduction to Global Financial Markets’, 2002.

Lewis, 'Flash Boys', WWNorton 2014.    

Roberts, ‘Wall Street’, 2002.

Steiner, ‘Mastering Financial Calculations’, 1998.