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Ethics in Finance (FNCE30009)

Undergraduate level 3Points: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelUndergraduate Level 3
Subject codeFNCE30009
Summer Term
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

Ethical practices instil a public trust in the fairness of financial markets and transactions, allowing them to function efficiently. Ethical practices by finance and investment professionals benefit all market participants and stakeholders and lead to increased investor confidence in global capital markets. The perspectives acquired in this subject should be useful to students in their chosen finance profession as this subject presents a framework for ethical conduct in the investment profession by focusing on the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct. Citing and discussing examples of the financial scandals that have shaken public confidence in the ethics of financial market participants, this subject explains the importance of ethics in the operation of financial institutions and in the personal conduct of finance professionals.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  • apply major intellectual theories of ethics as a basis for the analysis and resolution of ethical dilemmas in finance;
  • critically examine ethical standards and issues of questionable professional conduct in finance by addressing topical issues related to ethics in investment decisions, financial markets and financial services;
  • relate ethical principles to the financial theory of the firm including issues related to stakeholder theory, agency theory, corporate social responsibility and international businesses;
  • describe standards of professional conduct and recommend practices and procedures designed to prevent violations of ethical and professional financial market trading practices.

Generic skills

  • High level of development: written and oral communication;
  • Application of theory to practice;
  • Ability to recognise attitudes, actions and beliefs of others;
  • Working effectively within groups/ teams;
  • Adaptability to respond readily to changing situations and priorities;
  • Application of high ethical standards in professional practice and social interactions.

Eligibility and requirements


One of:

Code Name Teaching period Credit Points
FNCE20001 Business Finance
Summer Term
Semester 1
FNCE20005 Corporate Financial Decision Making
Summer Term
Semester 1
Semester 2



Non-allowed subjects


Core participation requirements

The University of Melbourne is committed to providing students with reasonable adjustments to assessment and participation under the Disability Standards for Education (2005), and the Assessment and Results Policy (MPF1326). Students are expected to meet the core participation requirements for their course. These can be viewed under Entry and Participation Requirements for the course outlines in the Handbook.

Further details on how to seek academic adjustments can be found on the Student Equity and Disability Support website: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/student-equity/home



This is an online subject (except for the final exam), so all the material is online.

  • 3 individual weekly exercises (out of 6) equivalent to a combined 2000 words due at the end of each week (10% each, adding up to 30%)
  • 2 hour written closed book exam, held in the exam period at the end of the 6 weeks (70%)
  • To pass this subject students must pass the end of semester examination.

Dates & times

  • Summer Term
    Principal coordinatorPaul Kofman
    Mode of deliveryOn Campus — Parkville
    Contact hours36
    Teaching period 7 January 2019 to 10 February 2019
    Last self-enrol date14 January 2019
    Census date18 January 2019
    Last date to withdraw without fail 1 February 2019
    Assessment period ends17 February 2019

Further information

  • Texts

    Prescribed texts

    A Matter of Trust – The Practice of Ethics in Finance, by Paul Kofman and Clare Payne, Melbourne University Press, 2018.

    The Standards of Practice Handbook, 11th Edition, 2014, CFA Institute.

  • Breadth options
  • Available through the Community Access Program

    About the Community Access Program (CAP)

    This subject is available through the Community Access Program (also called Single Subject Studies) which allows you to enrol in single subjects offered by the University of Melbourne, without the commitment required to complete a whole degree.

    Entry requirements including prerequisites may apply. Please refer to the CAP applications page for further information.

  • Available to Study Abroad and/or Study Exchange Students

    This subject is available to students studying at the University from eligible overseas institutions on exchange and study abroad. Students are required to satisfy any listed requirements, such as pre- and co-requisites, for enrolment in the subject.

Last updated: 10 August 2019