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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 Economics for Citizens

Financial Derivatives

Financial Intermediation

Financial Markets

Empirical Research in Finance

Behavioral Finance & Asset Pricing

Entrepreneurial Finance and Venture Capital

Bachelor Thesis Seminar

Thesis

Students of "Wirtschaftspädagogik" should take the course "Grundlagen der Finanzwirtschaft I" followed by "Financial Economics for Citizens" (module: "Financial Markets and Social Science").

Students wishing to write a Bachelor Thesis in Finance must take the course "Empirical Research in Finance" or the "Bachelor Praktikum Empirisches Arbeiten" followed by the "Bachelor Thesis Seminar".

 

Course Descriptions

 

Grundlagen der Finanzwirtschaft I (VL + UE, 4 SWS, 6 SP, SS) pdf

Dieser Kurs beschäftigt sich mit Finanzierung und Investition. Der Fokus liegt auf unternehmerischen Entscheidungen. Aus verschiedenen Investitionsmöglichkeiten (bzw. Finanzierungsformen) soll die vorteilhafteste gewählt werden. Nach einer Einführung in die Theorie der vollkommenen und vollständigen Kapitalmärkte, lernen Sie Methoden zur Bewertung von Zahlungsströmen kennen: Kapitalwertmethode, Annuitätenmethode, Interne-Zinssatz-Methode. Sie lernen zentrale Finanzmarktkonzepte kennen: Zinsstruktur, Arbitrage, Zinsparität mit Fremdwährungen. Den Abschluss bildet das Thema Investition unter Risiko: Sie erwerben Wissen über verschiedene Risikomaße, die Vorteile der Diversifikation und Bewertung mittels Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM).

Lehrbuch:

Berk, J.; DeMarzo, P.: "Grundlagen der Finanzwirtschaft", Pearson, 4. Auflage (2019)
Bodie, Z.; Kane, A.; Marcus, A. J.: "Investments", McGraw-Hill, 11. Auflage (2017)     
Bewertung:

Schriftliche Prüfung (60 min)

 

Grundlagen der Finanzwirtschaft II (VL + UE, 4 SWS, 6 SP, WS) pdf

Dieser Kurs stellt eine Einführung in die betriebliche Finanzierung dar. Sie umfasst eine Übersicht der gängigen Mittel zur Finanzierung von Investitionsprojekten. Entscheidungsrelevante Informationen werden aus der Buchführung abgeleitet und der Finanzierungsbedarf ermittelt. Das zentrale Theorem von Modigliani und Miller wird behandelt, sodass erkennbar wird, welche Entscheidungen wertbeeinflussend wirken und wie daher Unternehmen ihr Portfolio aus Fremd- und Eigenkapital managen. Demzufolge liegt der Fokus auf Finanzentscheidungen zur Kapitalstruktur und zur Ausschüttungsstrategie. Schließlich werden Investitionsprojekte (einschließlich Unternehmenskäufe) mit zwei Methoden analysiert: mittels Multiplikatoren sowie mittels diskontierten Zahlungsströmen (DCF) basierend auf gewichteten mittleren Kapitalkosten.

Voraussetzung: Grundlagen der Finanzwirtschaft I
Lehrbuch: Berk, J.; DeMarzo, P.: "Grundlagen der Finanzwirtschaft", Pearson, 4. Auflage (2019)
Bewertung:

Schriftliche Prüfung (60 min)

 

Financial Economics for Citizens (VL + UE, 4 SWS, 6 SP, WS) pdf

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: Grundlagen der Finanzwirtschaft I

Textbook:

Bernanke, B. S: „The Federal Reserve and the Financial Crisis“, Princeton University Press (2013)

Bernstein, P. L.: "Capital Ideas: The Remarkable Origins of Modern Wall Street", Free Press (1992)

Bernstein, P. L: "Capital Ideas Evolving", John Wiley & Sons (2007)

Calomiris, C. W; Haber, S. H.: "Fragile by Design: The Political Origins of Banking Crises and Scarce Credit", Princeton University Press (2015)

Goetzmann, W. N.: „Money changes everything“, Princeton University Press (2016)

Goldsmith, R. W.: „Premodern financial systems: A historical comparative study“, Cambridge University Press (2008)

Kindleberger, C. P.: „Manias, Panics and Crashes: A History of Financial Crisis“, John Wiley Sons, 3rd Edition (1996)

MacKenzie, D.: "An Engine, Not a Camera: How Financial Models Shape Markets", MIT Press (2006)

Mian, A.; Sufi, A.: "House of Debt", University of Chicago Press (2014)

Neal, L.: „A Consise History of International Finance“, Cambridge University Press (2015)

Rajan, R. G.; Zingales, Luigi: "Saving Capitalism from the Capitalists", Princeton University Press (2004)

Evaluation: Written exam (60 min)

 

Financial Markets: Economic Theory and Practice (VL + UE, 4 SWS, 6 SP, SS) pdf

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 and II
Textbook:

Lengwiler, Y.: "Microfoundations of Financial Economics", Princeton University Press (2004)

Pedersen, L. H.: "Efficiently Inefficient", Princeton University Press (2015)

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

Evaluation: Written exam (60 min)

 

Behavioral Finance and Asset Pricing (VL + UE, 4 SWS, 6 SP, WS & SS) pdf

This course introduces the students to the behavioral finance view on asset pricing. The first part of the course takes a historical perspective on development of securities markets. The second part discusses the foundations of the efficient market hypothesis which is the basis for the traditional "rational" view on asset pricing. The third and fourth parts focus on theoretical and empirical challenges facing the efficient market hypothesis and consider the alternative "behavioral" interpretations of the pricing of securities. The specific topics include noise trading, investor sentiment, limits to arbitrage, overreaction and underreaction to news, excess volatility, return predictability, market booms and busts, institutional trends in market development.

Prerequisites: Grundlagen der Finanzwirtschaft I and II
Textbook:

Shiller, R. J.: "Irrational Exuberance", Princeton University Press, 3rd Edition (2015)

Shleifer, A.: "Inefficient Markets: An Introduction to Behavioral Finance", Oxford University Press (2000)

Barberis, N. and Thaler, R. H.: "A Survey of Behavioral Finance", Handbook of the Economics of Finance, Amsterdam: North-Holland (ed. G. Constantinides, M. Harris, and R. Stulz, 2003)

Evaluation: Written exam (60 min)

 

Entrepreneurial Finance and Venture Capital (VL + UE, 4 SWS, 6 SP, WS) pdf

The course provides an introduction to entrepreneurial finance and venture capital, providing an overview of the venture capital industry and standard valuation techniques used in the area. Upon completion of the course, students will be familiar with (i) economic challenges faced by startups and how various forms of entrepreneurial finance help address them; (ii) main sources of entrepreneurial finance; (iii) institutional aspects of the venture capital industry; (iv) key valuation methods.

Prerequisite: Grundlagen der Finanzwirtschaft I and II
Textbook:

Lecture notes

Lerner, J.; Leamon, A.; Hardymon, F.: "Venture capital, private equity, and the financing of entrepreneurship", John Wiley & Sons (2012)

Evaluation: Written exam (90 min)

 

Banken (VL + UE, 4 SWS, 6 SP, SS) pdf

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 and II
Lehrbuch:

Saunders, A.;Cornett, M. M.: "Financial Markets and Institutions", 5. Aufl. (2012)
Becker, P.; Peppmeier, A.: "Bankbetriebslehre", 9. Aufl. (2013)

Bewertung: Schriftliche Prüfung (60 min)

 

Financial Intermediation (VL + UE, 4 SWS, 6 SP, SS) pdf

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 II
Literature: Lecture Notes
Evaluation: Written exam (90 min)

 

Financial Derivatives (VL + UE, 4 SWS, 6 SP, WS) pdf

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, Mathematik I, Statistik I or equivalent knowledge
Literature: Hull, J. C.: "Options, Futures, and Other Derivatives", Pearson, 9th Edition (Global Edition, 2017)
Shreve, S.: "Stochastic Calculus for Finance I: The Binomial Asset Pricing Model", Springer Verlag (2005)
Shreve, S.: "Stochastic Calculus for Finance II: Continuous-Time Models", Springer Verlag (2008)
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.

 

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

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.

To apply, please submit your documents (application form, recent transcript) to: finance-group@hu-berlin.de by the last Monday before the commencement of classes at the latest.

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

 

Bachelor Thesis Seminar (dt.) (SE, 2 SWS, WS)

Die Studierenden verfassen eigenständig eine wissenschaftliche Arbeit auf dem Gebiet Finance. Ein Bestandteil des Seminars ist eine unbenotete Präsentation.

Wenn Sie sich bewerben möchten, senden Sie bitte Ihre Dokumente (Bewerbungsformular, aktueller Notenauszug) bis zum letzten Montag vor Beginn der jeweiligen Vorlesungszeit an: finance-group@hu-berlin.de.

Voraussetzung: Bachelorpraktikum "Empirisches Arbeiten" oder Seminar "Empirical Research in Finance"
Lehrbuch: Wissenschaftliche Aufsätze
Bewertung: Keine

 

Bachelor Thesis Seminar (engl.) (SE, 2 SWS, SS)

This course prepares students for undertaking independent research in the field of finance. Students will carry out a presentation as part of the seminar.

To apply, please submit your documents (application form, recent transcript) to: finance-group@hu-berlin.de by the last Monday before the commencement of classes at the latest.

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, which will prepare them for successfully completing the thesis. There is an English version of the seminar, and a German version of the seminar, respectively. The English version of the seminar is offered every semester by Dr. Beatriz Mariano. The German version of the seminar will be offered every winter semester, currently by Prof. Dr. Max Bruche.

A Bachelor Thesis in Finance should involve a quantitative element. Consequently, students will have to have taken a course on empirical research methods before being admitted to the Bachelor Thesis Seminar: There is either the course "Empirical Research in Finance" offered by Dr. Beatriz Mariano, in English, or the course "Bachelorpraktikum Empirisches Arbeiten" offered by Prof. Dr. Alexandra Spitz-Oener, in German. In addition, students must have successfully completed Grundlagen der Finanzwirtschaft I (Finanzierung und Investition) and Grundlagen der Finanzwirtschaft II (Investmentanalyse und Portfoliomanagement). Students with the strongest background in finance will be given preference in registering for these seminars. We therefore recommend taking 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 the Monday preceding the start of each semester.

Once the Bachelor Thesis Seminar is completed, the formal process for writing the thesis is as follows:

  • You must obtain a registration form from the examination office (Prüfungsbüro), and fill in the required parts. The examination office will also check that you meet all formal requirements.
  • You can then take the completed form to administrative office (Sekretariat) of the Finance Group. Your supervisor will then sign the form, and it will be sent back to the examination office, so that the thesis can be oficially registered.
  • Once a thesis has been registered, it must be completed and submitted at the examination office within the allotted time specified by the examination office. Please enquire at the examination office for specifics.