Ethics in Finance

Subject FNCE30009 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

January, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 18-Jan-2016 to 26-Feb-2016
Assessment Period End 04-Mar-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 26-Jan-2016
Census Date 29-Jan-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 19-Feb-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 36
Total Time Commitment: Not available
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
January, Semester 1, Semester 2


Recommended Background Knowledge:

Please refer to Prerequisites and Corequisites.

Non Allowed Subjects:


Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Prof Paul Kofman


Subject Overview:

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.

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.


  • Group Wiki due start of week 4, Feb 8, 2016 (30%)
  • Final exam during week of Feb 29, 2016 (70%)

Week 1 Jan 18 – 22 [Fri Jan 22 – Webinar 1 (5-6pm)]
Week 2 Jan 25 – 29 [Mon Jan 25 – Wiki start]
Week 3 Feb 1 – 5
Week 4 Feb 8 – 12 [Mon Feb 8 – Wiki due]
Week 5 Feb 15 – 19
Week 6 Feb 22 – 26 [Fri Feb 26 – Webinar 2 (5-6pm)]
Exam Week Feb 29 – Mar 4

Prescribed Texts:

Boatright, J.R., 2009. Ethics and the Conduct of Business, 6 th Ed., Pearson Education International, New Jersey, USA.

CFA Institute, 2005. Standards of Practice Handbook, 9 th Ed., Charlottesville, Virginia, USA.

Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
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

Related Breadth Track(s): Ethics &&&&& Investing

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