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The University of Southampton

ECON3016 Empirical Finance

Module Overview

Specifically the module aims to provide a bridge to the more theoretical articles in finance theory, by offering a simple framework of conceptual knowledge that enables thinking while making financial decisions. As such the module gives an appreciation of the scope of the whole disciplines' subject matter and lays the foundations for more specialized courses that have a narrower focus.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Stock prices and returns behave and whether they are forecastable
  • Construct simple models to assess whether a stock price is over or undervalued
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the tradeoffs between stock market risk and return and explore various ways of quantifying risk
  • Conduct event studies for assessing the impact of events on stock prices
  • Simulate popular investment strategies and assess whether you can make money out of them


: This course confronts economic theories (e.g. efficient markets, CAPM) about stock prices and returns with real world financial data. The first part of the course deals with how prices and returns should behave in an efficient market and introduces statistical techniques to assess whether such behavior is supported by the data. The second part of the course looks at departures from the efficient markets framework by introducing various popular investment strategies used by fund management companies as well as techniques used to assess whether it is possible to beat the market by following such strategies. At the end of the course students should also become well versed in the overall characteristics of equity markets and modern fund management practices.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods


Independent Study122
Total study time150


Assessment Strategy

The course grade is determined based on a student's performance in the two-hour final examination and 2 graded homework assignments. 90% of the final grade will be the final exam whereas the 2 homework assignments will carry a weight of 5% each.


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework  (2 hours) 10%
Exam  (2 hours) 90%


MethodPercentage contribution
Exam  (2 hours) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Exam  (2 hours) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Linked modules

Prerequisites: ECON2006 OR ECON2026

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