FIN41920 Sustainable Finance

Academic Year 2022/2023

The aim of this module is to provide students with a deep foundational knowledge of the emerging theories and practice of sustainable finance and investment.

The world is changing. Environmental and social issues, from the climate crisis to changing demographics to social inequality, are rising up to the top of the global agenda. As these sustainability issues become increasingly financially relevant to real economy businesses, the financial sector needs to consider its response. At its simplest, Sustainable Finance refers to any form of financial service integrating environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria into the business or investment decisions for the lasting benefit of both clients and society at large. But what are the drivers, who are the key stakeholders and should sustainability really have anything to do with the financial sector?

We will look at what sustainable finance specifically means across the banking, investment and insurance sectors, using practical examples and case studies to bring this topic to life. We will gain an understanding of how financial institutions obtain ESG information and how they incorporate that information into their financial analysis and decision making. We will study how different policies, regulations and supervisory expectations related to sustainable finance are evolving. As well as covering the theory, the course will be practical and commercially-focussed. The course will be delivered through a combination of lectures, case studies, guest speakers, readings and class led discussion.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

At the end of the module, students should be able to demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of:
- The relevance of sustainability issues to business and therefore to the financial sector
- The evolving sustainable finance policy and regulatory landscape
- What sustainable finance means in practice across banking, investment and insurance, key stakeholders, financial instruments and tools within each sector, the response of each sector as a whole and best practice financial institutions
- Understand results from academic papers, reports and a wide variety of literature on sustainable finance.
- The ESG corporate reporting ecosystem, with a high-level overview of how financial stakeholders utilise this information and the challenges associated with that.
- Write papers and reports to a high standard and quality on the current and future issues relating to sustainable finance in theory and practice.

Indicative Module Content:

Student Effort Type Hours
Autonomous Student Learning






Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Essay: Individual essay assignment c.1,500 words - topical essay titles to be provided by the Lecturer Coursework (End of Trimester) n/a Graded No


Group Project: ESG Investing in Practice - Lecturer to provide 2 ESG funds to compare & contrast. Presentations should be c. 10 slides/15 mins long. Presentations will be delivered during class each week from Wk 7. Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded No


Assignment: Complete 2x short online courses on the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) and record a presentation comparing TCFD disclosures from two (non-FS) corporates in same industry. Week 3 n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Summer Yes - 2 Hour
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, on an activity or draft prior to summative assessment
• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment
• Peer review activities

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Feedback is given to students on their group presentation and report and individually on their presentation and their term paper. Students also peer review each other's presentations.

Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33 Thurs 10:00 - 12:20

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