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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Finance Group

 

Studying Finance at the Bachelor Level

This page describes the courses offered by the Finance Group at the Bachelor level and recommends a study plan for students wishing to specialize in finance. To specialize in finance, students of business administration (BWL) and economics (VWL) should follow the following course sequence.

 

2nd
Semester

(SS)

3rd
Semester

(WS)

4th
Semester

(SS)

5th
Semester

(WS)

6th
Semester

(SS)

Grundlagen der Finanzwirtschaft I

Grundlagen der Finanzwirtschaft II

Financial Markets & Social Science

Financial Derivatives

Financial Intermediation

Financial Markets: Economic Theory & Practice

 

Empirical Research in Finance

Banken Seminar

Behavioral Finance & Asset Pricing

Bachelor Thesis Seminar

Thesis

Students of "Wirtschaftspädagogik" should take the course "Grundlagen der Finanzwirtschaft I" followed by "Financial Markets & Social Science".

The rest of this page contains course descriptions, followed by advice for students who want to write a bachelor thesis in finance.

Course Descriptions

Courses described in German are taught in German.
 

Grundlagen der Finanzwirtschaft I (VL + ÜB, 4 SWS, 6 SP, SS)  moodle-icon

Dieser Kurs behandelt die folgenden Themen: Barwert, Zinsraten, Zinskurve, Zinsparität, Portfoliowahl, das Capital Asset Pricing Model, und Grundlagen der Investitionsbewertung.

Lehrbuch:

Corporate Finance, De Marzo and Berk, Pearson 3. Aufl.
Investments, by Bodie, Kane, and Marcus, McGraw-Hill 9. Aufl.      
Bewertung: Schriftliche Prüfung (60 min)                                                                

 

Grundlagen der Finanzwirtschaft II (VL + ÜB, 4 SWS, 6 SP, WS)  moodle-icon

Dieser Kurs bietet eine Einführung in das Finanzmanagement von Unternehmen: Welche Hauptaufgaben hat ein CFO, welche Finanzinstrumente stehen zur Verfügung, welche Informationen können z.B. aus den Jahresabschlüssen der Unternehmen extrahiert werden, um den zukünftiger Finanzierungsbedarf einer Unternehmung zu prognostizieren? Der Kurs zeigt unter welchen Bedingungen rein finanzielle Entscheidungen zu einer Erhöhung/Erniedrigung des Firmenwertes führen. In diesem Zusammenhang betrachten wir zwei wichtige finanzielle Entscheidungen: Kapitalstruktur- und Ausschüttungspolitik. Da fast jeder Finanzentscheidung eine Bewertung zugrunde liegt, schließt der Kurs mit einer Einführung in die Unternehmens- und Projektbewertung mittels Multiples Verfahren und Discounted Cash-Flow (DCF) Bewertungsmodellen.

Voraussetzung: Grundlagen der Finanzwirtschaft I
Lehrbuch: Corporate Finance, by De Marzo and Berk, Pearson 3rd edition 
Bewertung:

Schriftliche Prüfung (60 min)

 

Financial Markets & Social Science (VL + ÜB, 4 SWS, 6 SP, SS) moodle-icon

This course presents topics regarding finance as a part of social science. The course starts with a non-technical (not too technical) introduction to finance. In this introduction, we will also view finance from the perspective of science studies. In the second part of the course, we consider a range of topics at the intersection of finance and political science.

 

Prerequisite: none

Textbook:

Bernstein, P., 1992, Capital Ideas: The Remarkable Origins of Modern Wall Street, Free Press.
Bernstein, P., 2007, Capital Ideas Evolving, John Wiley & Sons.

C. Calomiris, and S. H., 2015 Haber, Fragile by Design: The Political Origins of Banking Crises and Scarce Credit, Princeton University Press.
Fourcade, M., 2009, Economists and Societies, Princeton University Press.
MacKenzie, D., 2006, An Engine, not a Camera: How Financial Models Shape Markets, MIT Press.
Rajan. R., and L. Zingales, 2004, Saving Capitalism from the Capitalists, Princeton university Press.
Mian, A., and A. Sufi, 2014, House of Debt, University of Chicago Press.

Evaluation: Written exam (60 min) and a 20 min presentation

 

Financial Markets: Economic Theory and Practice (VL + ÜB, 4 SWS, 6 SP, WS) moodle-icon

This course is an introduction to the economics of financial markets. The focus is on asset management, but the course contents also include topics in asset pricing and market microstructure. Besides economic theory, the course will also cover empirical analyses in a Python environment.

 

Prerequisite: Grundlagen der Finanzwirtschaft I
Textbook:

Lengwiler, Y., 2004, Microfoundations of Financial Economics, Princeton University Press.

Pedersen, L. H., 2015, Inefficiently Efficient, Princeton University Press.

Ang, A., 2014, Asset Management: A Systematic Approach to Factor Investing, Oxford University Press.

Evaluation: Written exam (60 min)

 

Behavioral Finance and Asset Pricing (VL + ÜB, 4 SWS, 6 SP, SS) moodle-icon

This course introduces the students to the behavioral finance view on asset pricing. The course starts with a discussion of the foundations of the efficient markets hypothesis and then focuses on theoretical and empirical challenges faced by this hypothesis. The topics covered in the course include noise trading, investor sentiment, limits to arbitrage, overreaction and underreaction to news, excess volatility, return predictability, market booms and busts, historical/institutional trends in market development. A component of the course is an ungraded 15-20 minutes presentation by the students. 

 

Prerequisite: Grundlagen der Finanzwirtschaft I und II
Textbook:

Shleifer, A., 2000, Inefficient Markets. An Introduction to Behavioral Finance, Oxford University Press.

Shiller, R., 2015, Irrational Exuberance, Princeton Univeristy Press, 3rd Edition. 

Evaluation: Written exam (60 min)
 

 

Banken (VL + ÜB, 4 SWS, 6 SP, SS & WS) moodle-icon

Dieser Kurs behandelt Ursachen der Finanzkrise, institutionelle Grundlagen von Finanzmärkten und Finanzinstitutionen, Aufbau und Struktur von Banksystemen sowie deren Regulierung und das Rechnungswesen in Banken.

Voraussetzung: Grundlagen der Finanzwirtschaft I & II
Lehrbuch:

Saunders/Cornett: "Financial Markets and Institutitons", 5. Aufl. 2012
Becker/Peppmeier: "Bankbetriebslehre", 9. Aufl. 2013

Bewertung: Schriftliche Prüfung (60 min)


Banken Seminar (2 SWS, 6 SP, SS & WS) moodle-icon

Anfertigung einer Seminararbeit (12-15 S. Text) zu ausgewählten Themen der Bankbetriebslehre und Präsentation der Ergebnisse (45 Min.). Bewerbungen jeweils 10 Tage nach Erscheinen des aktuellen VL-Verzeichnisses an Dr. R. Saupe. Beschränkung auf 15 TeilnehmerInnen, regelmäßige Teilnahme am Seminar.

Voraussetzung: Grundlagen der Finanzwirtschaft I & II, Banken                                                                              
Bewertung: Seminararbeit

 

Financial Intermediation (VL+ÜB, 4 SWS, 6 SP, SS)  moodle-icon

Upon completion of the module, students will be familiar with the role and function of financial intermediaries in the economy. Students will be able to contribute to the debate around financial intermediaries and how they should be regulated, on the basis of arguments that rely on economic theory. 

Prerequisites: Grundlagen der Finanzwirtschaft I and Grundlagen der Finanzwirtschaft II
Literature: Lecture Notes
Evaluation: Written exam (90 min.)

 

Financial Derivatives (VL+ÜB, 4 SWS, 6 SP, WS)  moodle-icon

Upon completion of the module, students will be familiar with how standard financial derivatives such as futures, forwards, and options are structured and how they are used in risk management. They will be able to apply standard pricing methods such as the binomial model and the Black-Scholes model, but will also develop a critical understanding of the derivatives business and its role in financial markets and society.

Prerequisites: Grundlagen der Finanzwirtschaft I and Mathematik I
Literature: Lecture Notes
Evaluation:

Written exam (90 min.)

The following courses are intended for students who want to write a bachelor thesis in finance. More information about writing a bachelor thesis follows below.

 

Bachelor Thesis Seminar (Saupe) (2 SWS, WS) moodle-icon

Anfertigung einer Bachelorarbeit (30 S. Text)  und Präsentation der Ergebnisse (45 Min.) Regelmäßige Teilnahme am Seminar erforderlich. Bewerbungen jeweils zum 30.9./31.3. an Dr. R. Saupe. Beschränkung auf 15 Teilnehmer

Voraussetzung:

Banken Seminar oder Bachelor Praktikum Empirisches Arbeiten. Bevorzugt werden Studenten mit den stärksten Kenntnissen im Gebiet Finance (Finanzierung).

 

Empirical Research in Finance Seminar  (2 SWS, WS & SS)

This course introduces students to the major issues faced by an empirical researcher in the field of finance. The first part of the course focuses on the practical issues of carrying out an empirical research project, including the development of a research question, the literature review, the collection and processing of data, and the econometric analysis. In the second part of the course, the students will carry out an independent empirical analysis in the area of corporate finance, make a presentation and write a related seminar paper. The presentation will not be graded. The course lays a foundation for writing a bachelor thesis in empirical finance.

If you are interested, please email beatriz.mariano@hu-berlin.de before 15.10.2018

Prerequisites: Grundlagen der Finanzwirtschaft I and Grundlagen der Finanzwirtschaft II
Literature: Academic papers and lecture notes
Evaluation: Seminar paper

 

Bachelor Thesis Seminar (Mariano) (2 SWS, WS & SS)

This course prepares students for undertaking independent research in the field of finance. Each student will be allocated a research topic, which they are required to pursue independently. On the basis of this work, students will carry out a presentation and prepare a written piece of work in which they are expected to develop coherent arguments and to critically evaluate the issues surrounding the allocated topic.

If you are interested, please email beatriz.mariano@hu-berlin.de before 15.10.2018

Prerequisites: Empirical Research in Finance
Literature: Academic papers
Evaluation: None

 

Writing a Bachelor Thesis in Finance

Students who would like to write a Bachelor thesis in Finance must register for the Bachelor Thesis Seminar. This seminar is offered every semester and is currently conducted by Dr. Rainer Saupe. A prerequisite for the Bachelor Thesis Seminar is to complete either the Banken Seminar or the Empirical Research in Finance Seminar. Students with the strongest background in finance will be given preference in registering for these seminars. We therefore recommend to take as many finance courses as possible if you would like to write your thesis in the area of finance. The application deadlines for the Bachelor Thesis Seminar are 30.9. and 31.3. of each year.

Most Bachelor thesis topics will be in the area of financial intermediation (banking), but topics in corporate finance, investments, asset pricing are also available. If you are interested in banking you must complete the two banking elective courses. Bachelor thesis topics will be distributed during the Bachelor Thesis Seminar.

Please pay attention to the following points regarding Bachelor theses:

  1. A thesis needs to be registered at the examination office. The corresponding form is available at the examination office or the study office. The preliminaries for a thesis will also be examined there.
  2. The administered deadline starts the day after the announcement of the thesis topic. It applies to all students without exceptions. Any exceptions can only be granted by the examination board. An exception requires grave reasons and proof.
  3. The examiner needs to register the topic and the deadline via the application form. After announcement of the topic it needs to be transferred to the examination office without delay. The students will receive a copy of the application form after the entry at the examination office or the study office.
  4. The compliance with or exceedance of the deadline will be determined through direct deliverance of the thesis at the examination office and registered officially.