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Unit information: Applied Empirical Accounting and Finance in 2018/19

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Unit name Applied Empirical Accounting and Finance
Unit code EFIMM0047
Credit points 15
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Dimos Andronoudis
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Accounting and Finance
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law


The aim of this unit is to introduce students to doing research in accounting and finance. The first part of the unit covers principles of conducting research, doing the literature review and working with accounting and finance databases. The second part of the unit focuses on practical implementation of selected particular research methodologies. In the unit, students are exposed to research in various areas of accounting finance and learn how to develop their own research project, with an emphasis on critical assessment of the existing literature, obtaining and organising data, analysing it with relevant methods and techniques using statistical software and writing up the results in a formal fashion. The unit prepares students to do an MSc dissertation in accounting and/or finance. The unit will also provide students with various transferrable skills.

This unit is compulsory for students on the Accounting, Finance & Management and Economics, Accounting and Finance programmes. It is optional for students studying Economics, Finance & Management (EFM). However, EFM students wishing to write a dissertation on a project in Finance must choose either this unit or Introduction to Business and Economic Forecasting (ECONM2038).

Intended learning outcomes

On completion of the unit students will be able to:

  1. Understand the standard principles of interpreting and conducting research in accounting and finance at Masters level
  2. Conduct a literature review
  3. Work with widely-used accounting and finance databases
  4. Apply relevant research techniques to investigate specific accounting and finance research problems
  5. Use appropriate software to analyse data
  6. Place results in the context of the existing literature
  7. Write up the results in a formal fashion

Teaching details

25 contact hours, split between large-group lectures and small-group practical classes in a computer lab.

25 hours contact time

125 independent individual and group study time (including preparation for computer classes, coursework and exam)

Assessment Details

Summative assessment: two-hour written exam (75%) and group coursework (25%)

The exam consists of questions on general principles of conducting research in accounting and finance and on specific research methodologies.

The coursework is based on a small research task including literature review and data analysis. The submitted report is written up in a form of a short academic report (normally up to 3,000 words). There will normally be 4 students in a coursework group, and each student in the group will get the same mark.

Both the exam and coursework examine the intended learning outcomes listed above, but the exam is focused on ILOs 1, 4 and 6 and the coursework is focused on ILOs 2-7.

Formative assessment: structured problem solving exercises to get hands-on experience in doing finance research, discussed in classes.

Reading and References

There is no specific textbook for the unit. Instead, the reading combines detailed study of specific academic research papers used to illustrate each of the topics with selected parts of background references, such as:

  • Zacks, Leonard (2011), The handbook of equity market anomalies: Translating market inefficiencies into effective investment strategies, John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, NJ.
  • Saunders, Mark and Lewis, Philip and Thornhill, Adrian (2015). Research methods for business students, seventh edn., Pearson, Essex.
  • Baum, Christopher M. (2006), Introduction to modern econometrics using Stata, third edn., Stata Press