COMPGS06 - Financial Institutions and Markets

Note: Whilst every effort is made to keep the syllabus and assessment records correct, the precise details must be checked with the lecturer(s).

COMPGS06 (Also taught as: COMPM026)
An understanding of the fundamentals of software engineering and economics.
Taught By
Donald Lawrence (100%)
The module provides an overview of the financial information sector and global financial markets, which constitute an important application domain of computer science in the Greater London area. The module prepares students with sufficient domain knowledge so that they can continue with module COMPGS07 to learn and understand the functioning of the many kinds of financial information systems used in this domain.
Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of the module, students will understand the function of financial information systems in the context of the broad structure of public and private sector banks, insurance, asset managers, brokers, regulators, exchanges, clearing houses, and infrastructure utilities that together support the effective and liquid global financial market place; will have an overview of the dynamics, key inter-dependencies and comparative advantages between issuer, intermediary and investor; will understand the different motivations within the regulatory and compliance environment, and how participants navigate around market, credit, operational and reputation risk; will examine the impact of e-commerce, information technology and out-sourcing on empirical analysis, price discovery, best execution, confirmation, affirmation, settlement, and risk within exchange and off-exchange market; will be familiar with market cause and effect enabling more effective and credible interaction with financial professional to better comprehend their business requirement; and will understand the significance of historic and current cyclical trends and be able 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 and Processing Staff
Cash and Derivative Instruments, Transaction Services, and Advisory

Method of Instruction:

Lecture presentations with associated tutorials.There are 2 coursworks, equally weighted.


The course has the following assessment components:

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

To pass this course, students must:

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


Saunders, ‘Financial Institutions Management’, 2003.

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

Roberts, ‘Wall Street’, 2002.

Steiner, ‘Mastering Financial Calculations’, 1998.