Finance

Thanks to the finance track students acquire a thorough and advanced general training in finance theory, and research techniques, before choosing a specific area of research. 

3 reasons to apply:

Courses are taught only in English.

Core courses

Learning and practice in research

Presentation and intended learning outcomes

A) Course description
The purpose of this course is to enhance and extend the research approaches of students and help them in the development of a research proposal. This course provides an understanding of the meaning of science research methods, an understanding of the assumptions underlying scientific research, and discusses replication and open science.

B) Upon completion of the course, students should be able to:
1. Question what is distinctive about “science”
2. Identify the different types of management research
3. Distinguish the different philosophical assumptions in management research
4. Discover the different steps of any research process
5. Clarify the sources of low replicability
6. Implement exact and conceptual replications
7. Implement reproducibility by adopting open science methods

Research skills

1. Knowledge and intellectual abilities: research methods; critical thinking; problem solving; argument construction.
2. Personal effectiveness: integrity; perseverance; responsibility; reputation.
3. Research governance and organization: project planning and delivery; ethics; research strategy.
4. Engagement, influence, impact: communication media; communication methods.

Management Science

Presentation and intended learning outcomes

A) Course description
A researcher needs to master the theoretic foundations of management science to develop her own research agenda. The purpose of this course is to discuss three basic theoretical models. The pedagogical approach will be based on active learning. Students will have to read specific articles or articles sections or book chapters before the courses. This material will then be discussed and analyzed collectively. The assessment also requires students to prepare the topics of the course in depth and to present their insights to the class.

B) Upon completion of the course, students should be able to:
1. Characterize the strength and limitations of different models
2. Describe some of the challenges of studying management theories
3. Distinguish the basics problems and issues at the center of organization theories
4. Identify the main results of agency theory and its applications to organizational design, governance and related issues
5. Survey the scope and stakes of behavioral psychology

Research skills

1. Knowledge and intellectual abilities: Subject knowledge; Academic literacy and management.
2. Personal effectiveness: Perseverance; Self-confidence; Time-management.
3. Research governance and organization: IPR and copyright; Project planning and delivery.
4. Engagement, influence, impact: Collegiality; Communication media; Communication methods.

Engaging with the scientific literature

Presentation and intended learning outcomes

A) Course description
This course aims at helping students to critically engage with the literature in the management sciences. We will discuss practical questions such as how best to get started with a literature review, how to read an article and which online tools to use. Students will be required to reflect on their own reading progress through a learning log and will also be asked to conduct a “practitioner translation” of a research paper, in order to encourage them to reflect on how to bridge the gap between the academic and the practitioner literature.


B) Upon completion of the course, students should be able to:
1. Review and synthetize fundamental themes in a field of research
2. Characterise what makes a good literature review
3. Describe and point out some of the problems with academic literature
4. Outline the contributions that different types of empirical research can (and cannot) make
5. Critisize your own approach to reading papers and to searching academic literatures
6. Summarise and synthetize a review of the literature
7. Specify how precisely academic literature can (and cannot) be applied
8. Translate academic insights into everyday language

Research skills

1. Knowledge and intellectual abilities: knowledge base; cognitive abilities.
2. Personal effectiveness: perseverance; self-reflection; integrity; time management.
3. Research governance and organization: project planning and delivery; ethics; IPR and copyrights.
4. Engagement, influence, impact: communication and dissemination.

Qualitative research

Presentation and intended learning outcomes

A) Course description
The aim of the course is to provide a general overview on qualitative research methods to students in all management disciplines. It discusses when a qualitative research approach is relevant and what type of research design and methods are suitable for collecting and analyzing qualitative data. In particular, the use and challenges of case studies approach are addressed. Students are introduced to main qualitative data collection (e.g. interviews, ethnography) and analysis techniques (e.g. coding, narrative and discourse analysis).


Through readings of articles or book chapters to prepare for each session, students will be made familiar with the most salient scholarly work structuring the field of qualitative research (see bibliography hereafter).


The objective is not to have students develop a strong competence or expertise on qualitative methods. The purpose is rather to develop awareness on the varieties of qualitative approaches as well as some basic knowledge on what kind of topics are relevant to be studied qualitatively, what main methodological challenges are faced as well as what type of conclusions can be drawn from qualitative research.

B) Upon completion of the course, students should be able to:
1. Recognize main qualitative methods and comprehend major challenges of data collection and analysis
2. Explain the difference between qualitative and quantitative research
3. Review qualitative research papers
4. Explain what topics are pertinent to study with a qualitative research approach
5. Distinguish how to interpret findings from a qualitative research and how to assess their validity
6. Collect and use qualitative data for exploratory studies

Research skills

1. Knowledge and intellectual abilities: Research methods; Language; Problem solving; Argument construction.
2. Personal effectiveness: Self-reflection; Self-confidence; Time management; Integrity.
3. Research governance and organization: Ethics; Research strategy; Project planning and delivery.
4. Engagement, influence, impact: Collegiality; Communication media; Communication methods.

Quantitative research

Presentation and intended learning outcomes

A) Course description

This course provides students with some basics of quantitative research. Students are first introduced to the core notions of research reliability and validity, to the variety quantitative research designs and data and to the epistemological bases of quantitative research. The second part of the course is dedicated to the presentation of factor analysis and regression techniques, with a hands-on perspective.


B) Upon completion of the course, students should be able to:

1. Select the appropriate explanatory method in accordance with the research problem and the available data
2. Determine the quality of used multi-item measurement instruments in quantitative research
3. Test a multiple linear regression, to assess whether the results can be trusted, and to analyze them
4. Test a binary logistic regression and analyze the results
5. Develop a mediation and moderation analyses thanks to a regression approach
6. Implement the Johnson-Neyman technique and the floodlight analysis

Research skills

1. Knowledge and intellectual abilities: Research methods; Academic literacy and management; Problem-solving.
2. Personal effectiveness: Integrity; Perseverance; Responsibility; Reputation.
3. Research governance and organization: Ethics; Research strategy; Project planning and delivery.
4. Engagement, influence, impact: Team working; Leadership; Communication methods; Communication media.

Experimental research

Presentation and intended learning outcomes

A) Course description
This course offers an introduction to experimental methods used in management and business science. The objective is to have students work on an experimental analysis of a research question that they are interested in. This course is mainly based on the reverse pedagogy with a Do-It-Yourself spirit. After an initial discussion regarding the main principles of the experimental methodology, students are invited to produce an experimental research project, that is, to find a research idea, to design and run a pilot experiment, and to analyze and present their results.


B) Upon completion of the course, students should be able to:
1. Explain the interest of experimental methods for research in management and business
2. Survey experimental research papers
3. Design an experiment

Research skills

1. Knowledge and intellectual abilities: Research methods; Academic literacy and management; Problem-solving.
2. Personal effectiveness: Self-conficence; Responsibility; Preparation and prioritisation.
3. Research governance and organization: Health; Ethics; Respect and confidentiality; Risk management.
4. Engagement, influence, impact: Team working; Collaboration; Communication methods; Communication media.

Library resources

Presentation and intended learning outcomes

A) Course description
This seminar introduces both digital and paper libraries in academic and research settings: full-text online resources accessible both on- and off-campus, including e-books, journal articles, newspapers, magazines, and databases. Primary emphasis is on information architecture and information access data for doctoral users.
Besides that, the librarians at the University can help you search for relevant and reliable information and data, select the best sources for your paper or project, and cite that information. Philippe Soleri can meet with you in person (one-on-one or in groups), and provide assistance.


B) Upon completion of the course, students should be able to:
1. Locate academic research papers
2. Review financial and market databases
3. Characterize open access
4. Describe plagiarism, copyright, quotations
5. Collect data

Research skills

1. Knowledge and intellectual abilities: Information seeking; Academic litteracy and management.
2. Research governance and organisation: Ethics; IPR and copyright; Appropriate practice.

Track specific courses

Asset pricing and financial markets 1

Presentation and intended learning outcomes

A) Course description

This course provides some advanced empirical and theoretical analysis of asset pricing. Observed features in market movements are described, and the theoretical approach to explain them is discussed and analyzed. Econometrical methods for testing pricing models are provided.


B) Upon completion of the course, students should be able to:
1. Identify the key asset pricing "puzzles"
2. Explain how these puzzles affect investment decisions
3. Identify how the most recent theoretical models may explain these puzzles
4. Discuss how selected empirical evidence relates to model predictions
5. Construct a model building on existing models so as to capture new effects, with a view to being able to develop one’s own research
6. Develop econometric tests and analyze a cross-section of stock returns

Research skills

1. Knowledge and intellectual abilities: knowledge base, cognitive abilities, abstraction
2. Personal effectiveness: integrity, time management, perseverance
3. Research governance and organization: project planning and delivery, ethics, appropriate practice

Corporate finance and financial intermediation 1

Presentation and intended learning outcomes

A) Course description

The course will cover the big topics in corporate finance (see course outline). The emphasis is on developing theoretical foundations of corporate finance, but we will also discuss selected empirical evidence. The course provides a treatment of the milestones of research in corporate finance and aims to give students an understanding of the frontier of current research.


B) Upon completion of the course, students should be able to:

  1. Explain how key frictions (moral hazard, asymmetric information) can be captured in an economic model.
  2. Discuss how such frictions affect financial arrangements of a corporation
  3. Evaluate how selected empirical evidence relates to model predictions
  4. Explain a research paper, identify its key findings and analyze its contribution
  5. Construct and developp new models using existing building blocks, with a view to being able to develop one’s own research

Research skills

1. Knowledge and intellectual abilities: knowledge base, cognitive abilities, abstraction
2. Personal effectiveness: integrity, time management, perseverance
3. Research governance and organization: project planning and delivery; ethics
4. Engagement, influence, impact: communication and dissemination

Perspectives in Finance

Presentation and intended learning outcomes

A) Course description
This course is intended to present and discuss with students some of the most recent developments in research in finance. It is divided into six specific topics, each one being selected by the researcher teaching the course depending on his/her area of expertise (e.g. Fintech, airline finance, blockchain and bitcoin...). Each topic is illustrated by an analysis of selected published or working papers.


B) Upon completion of the course, students should be able to:
1. Explain the latest theories, and experimental or empirical results in each of the six topics covered in the course
2. Summarize and categorize the key issues and findings of a research topic
3. Critically present and assess the scientific contribution of a research article relative to the overall finance literature

Research skills

1. Knowledge and intellectual abilities: knowledge base; cognitive abilities, abstraction
2. Personnel effectiveness: integrity; time management; perseverance, commitment to research
3. Research governance and organization: project planning and delivery; ethics
4. Engagement, influence, impact: communication and dissemination; working with others

Practitioner-oriented courses

Financial econometrics

Presentation and intended learning outcomes

Financial econometrics is the application of statistical methods to financial data. It provides a set of tools that are useful for modeling financial data and testing hypothesis about how markets work and prices are formed. The course is designed to cover the essential tools of financial econometrics and empirical finance with a moderate degree of sophistication. In this sense, the course will be applied to give students the useful tools to become fully autonomous when carrying out empirical analysis in a professional context.


On completion of this course, students should be able to:
• describe the statistical properties of the OLS estimator
• translate an economic argument into a formal econometric test
• implement simple statistical tests of hypothesis
• use statistical packages to estimate econometric models
• provide an economic and statistical interpretation of a regression output
• communicate effectively in oral and written form
• work effectively in a group

Research skills

Economics for finance

Presentation and intended learning outcomes

This course introduces some fundamental economic concepts and tools and shows how these can be used to understand financial behaviors as well and the functioning of financial markets.


Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:
• describe the drivers of international trade and capital flows
• analyze the functioning of global financial markets (exchange rates, parity relations, international arbitrage)
• master the fundamental tools for international risk management
• work with economic models that underpin theories of intermediation and corporate finance
• understand the interactions between financial markets and financial decisions
• undertake a model-based analysis of financial decision-making by companies, investors and intermediaries
• apply ethical considerations to global issues
• provide concise summaries of complex cases in written form

Research skills

Psychology for finance

Presentation and intended learning outcomes

Traditional finance typically considers that financial markets are efficient because populated by rational investors who maximize their expected utility from consumption. This course departs from this view by showing how inefficiencies can arise due to investors’ psychology and limits to arbitrage. Psychology shapes investors’ preferences: Anticipatory utility, others-regarding preferences and mood are important in understanding investors’ behavior. Psychology also affects investors’ perception: overconfidence, confirmation bias and several heuristics may impair their judgment. Whether these psychological factors have an impact on financial markets ultimately depends on rational speculators’ ability to fight against mispricings. These topics will be covered through lectures and class experiments and will trigger discussions of issues such as momentum, bubbles and crashes.


At the end of the course, students should be able to:
• identify the sources of financial markets’ inefficiencies
• list the various types of investors’ preferences
• describe the various types of investors’ cognitive biases
• use cognitive biases to design trading strategies
• critically evaluate the impact of psychology on corporate decision-making
• work effectively in a group

Research skills

Derivatives

Presentation and intended learning outcomes

There has been a dramatic growth in markets for financial derivatives in recent years. The purpose of this course is
to discuss the potential misuses of derivatives contracts and the regulation of derivatives markets.

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  • Provide relevant recommendations about practical problems encountered by organisations
  • Communicate effectively in both written and oral modes with a range of audiences formally and informally through a variety of different techniques and media

This course is the concluding part of a 24h course on Financial Derivatives offered to the M2 Financial Markets and Risk Evaluation, which overall objective is to provide the students with the necessary skills to value, to assess the risks and to employ futures, swaps, options, and other related financial instruments. Students have the opportunity to attend the first part of the course on a voluntary basis.

Research skills

Research training seminars

Research training seminars

Presentation and intended learning outcomes

A) Description
These seminars are open to all students from TSM-DP 1st year. The purpose of this module is to provide students with a broadly based overview of current research skills to write your master thesis or your internship report.

B) Upon completion of the course, students should be able to:
- Identify an original research question
- Criticize the previous literature
- Set up a research design
- Explain research limitations
- Manage a research presentation

Research skills

1. Knowledge and intellectual abilities: Knowledge base; Cognitive abilities; Creativity
2. Personal effectiveness: Perseverance; Self-confidence; Time-management; Career management; Professional development
3. Research governance and organisation: Professional conduct; Research management

Core courses

Philosophy of science and epistemology

Presentation and intended learning outcomes

A) Course description

The purpose of this course is to present the problems encountered by researchers and PhD students when conducting qualitative research (the course will show that it is more accurate to speak of comprehensive research).


B) Upon completion of the course, students should be able to:

1. Characterize the nature of scientific knowledge
2. Debate about the epistemological and methodological problems of comprehensive research
3. Manage a case study
4. Describe results using redefinition of concepts, typology, and analysis by mechanisms
5. Develop a narration and a description

Research skills

1. Knowledge and intellectual abilities: Critical thinking; Intellectual insight; Argument construction.
2. Personal effectiveness: Self-reflection; Integrity.
3. Research governance and organisation: Ethics.
4. Engagement, influence and impact: Teaching.

Advanced quantitative methods

Presentation and intended learning outcomes

A) Course description
The course will cover empirical techniques that form the basis for quantitative research in management. The module is therefore design to introduce students to some of the core issues associated with empirical research through the review of some recent trends in research. The module will comprise a mixture of faculty-led lectures, interactive student-led presentations, and discussions.


B) Upon completion of the course, students should be able to:
1. Identify tools and resources: Data, statistical packages, tutorials and doctoral seminars, MOOC
2. Compare different quantitative research methods for designing a research project in business and management
3. Survey concrete scientific application of the quantitative method in a top-tier peer-reviewed journals
4. Point out possible challenges, in particular challenges for the validity, indentification, causality, diff-in-diff
5. Specify prerequisites, conditions, guidelines for implementation

Research skills

1. Knowledge and intellectual abilities: Research methods; Academic literacy and management; Problem-solving.
2. Personal effectiveness: Integrity; Perseverance; Responsibility; Reputation.
3. Research governance and organisation: Ethics; Research strategy; Project planning and delivery.
4. Engagement, influence and impact: Team working; Leadership; Communication methods; Communication media.

Advanced qualitative methods

Presentation and intended learning outcomes

A) Course description
A researcher needs to master the use of several methodologies in order to deeply understand studies in their field and to choose and to employ the most accurate method to answer their addressed research questions. The purpose of this course is to develop participants’ ability of reflective stance, supported by theory, and to be able to use qualitative research design and tools.

This course will cover four main topics: (1) Issues and challenges of qualitative inquiry in management research, (2) Core methods and practicalities of qualitative inquiry in management research, (3) Qualitative data analysis, (4) Ethical research practice. The pedagogical approach will be based on active learning. Students will have to read research articles before some of the classes. This material will then be discussed and analyzed collectively. Participation in the course is required and based on the quality and quantity of discussion contributions. The final assessment consists in a written final examination related to a previous exercise.


B) Upon completion of the course, students should be able to:
1. Identify and formulate appropriate qualitative research questions and interview questions
2. Analyze the main qualitative research methods
3. Assess different styles of presenting qualitative research findings
4. Develop an interpretive understanding of data collected
5. Collect and use qualitative data

Research skills

1. Knowledge and intellectual abilities: Research methods; Language; Problem solving; Argument construction.
2. Personal effectiveness: Self-reflection; Self-conficence; Time management; Integrity.
3. Research governance and organisation: Ethics; Research strategy; Project planning and delivery.
4. Engagement, influence and impact: Collegiality; Communication media; Communication methods.

Research ethics, plagiarism and academic integrity

Presentation and intended learning outcomes

A) Course description

This workshop looks at research ethics and the role of the researcher and allow student to acquire an overview of important issues in research ethics, like responsibility for research, ethical vetting, and scientific misconduct.


B) Upon completion of the course, students should be able to:
1. Discuss research ethics
2. Debate about plagiarism
3. Outline consent & data privacy
4. Analyze the replication crisis in social sciences and assess statistical power
5. Explain new trends of research: preregistration and open science

Research skills

1. Knowledge and intellectual abilities: Research methods; Analysing.
2. Personal effectiveness: Integrity; Reputation.
3. Research governance and organisation: Ethics; Respect and confidentiality; Appropriate practice.
4. Engagement, influence and impact: Public engagement

Intellectual property rights

Presentation and intended learning outcomes

A) Course description
This session will introduce students to intellectual property rights and more especially to main principles of copyright and application to the thesis.


B) Upon completion of the course, students should be able to:
1. Survey the intellectual property law: Interests, justifications, composition
2. Analyze rights of the authors
3. Describe main principles of copyright and application to the PhD thesis

Research skills

1. Knowledge and intellectual abilities: Academic literacy; Intellectual insight.
2. Personal effectiveness: Integrity; Reputation.
3. Research governance and organisation: Ethics; Appropriate practice.
4. Engagement, influence and impact: Global citizenship.

Writing retreat

Presentation and intended learning outcomes

A) Course description
The writing retreat is aimed at second year students. Its purpose is to provide dedicated writing time, while developing productive writing practices and discussions around writing-in-progess. Attendees will be required to bring their laptop and will be expected to commit to the full schedule. The writing retreat programme is the following one: Introductions, writing warm up, writing goals; Planning writing; Writing; Taking stock, setting new writing goals; Writing; Taking stock, new goals, feedback on retreat: outputs and outcomes.


B) Upon completion of the course, students should be able to:
1. Discuss research ethics
2. Debate about plagiarism
3. Outline consent & data privacy
4. Analyze the replication crisis in social sciences and assess statistical power
5. Explain new trends of research: preregistration and open science

Research skills

1. Knowledge and intellectual abilities: Research methods; Analysing.
2. Personal effectiveness: Integrity; Reputation.
3. Research governance and organisation: Ethics; Respect and confidentiality; Appropriate practice.
4. Engagement, influence and impact: Public engagement.

Track specific courses

Asset pricing and financial markets 2

Presentation and intended learning outcomes

A) Course description
This course covers the latest theoretical, experimental and empirical research in asset pricing and financial markets. It focuses on selected issues that will be analyzed in depth, from theory to evidence, with the dual objective to cover the issue and to present various methodologies.

Topics covered are three-fold.

The first part deals with questions of information aggregation in financial markets (18 hours). The second part focuses on the design and interpretation of the results of some experiments in asset pricing (6 hours). The third part deals with behavioural issues in portfolio choices and asset pricing (6 hours).

The first objective of the course is to familiarize students with some of the most important research strands and recent advances in the field. The second objective is to put students in a position to conduct their own independent research in the field by providing them with the necessary methodological tools.


B) Upon completion of the course, students should be able to:
1. Identify key frictions that prevent the efficient aggregation of information in markets prices.
2. Explain how such frictions can be captured in a mathematical model of trade with asymmetric information.
3. Solve the corresponding models discussed in class.
4. Describe the various categories of experiments
5. Evaluate whether an experimental design is suited to test a specific theoretical prediction
6. Evaluate portfolio choices and asset prices in light of recent insights in behavioral finance
7. Assess the impact of fintech on individual investors and financial markets

Research skills

  1. Knowledge and intellectual abilities: knowledge base; cognitive abilities, creativity, abstraction
  2. Personnel effectiveness: integrity; time management; perseverance, commitment to research
  3. Research governance and organization: project planning and delivery; ethics, appropriate practice
  4. Engagement, influence, impact: communication and dissemination; working with others

Corporate finance and financial intermediation 2

Presentation and intended learning outcomes

A) Course description
This course covers the latest in Corporate Finance and Financial Intermediation. It focuses on selected issues that will be analyzed in depth, from theory to evidence, with the dual objective to cover the issue and to present various methodologies.
The first objective of the course is to familiarize students with some of the most important research strands and recent advances in the field; given the volume of recent work, the course is necessarily incomplete, but the three parts thrives to be representative. The second objective is to put students in a position to conduct their own independent research in the field by providing them with the necessary methodological tools.


The course consists of 3 parts, each taught for 5 sessions of 3 hours (for a total of 45 hours), one on Theoretical Corporate Finance (Andrea Attar), a second one on Financial Intermediation and Fintech (Matthieu Bouvard), and the third one on Empirical Corporate Finance (Ulrich Hege).


B) Upon completion of the course, students should be able to:
1. Identify frictions in capital markets and assess how these frictions shape an economic environment (firms, financial intermediaries, regulators, institutions)
2. Evaluate which model is best suited to capture these frictions
3. Solve the models discussed in class
4. Evaluate a model's contribution relative to the existing literature
5. Formulate empirical predictions from a theoretical model
6. Evaluate an empirical design and the validity of an identification strategy
7. Propose empirical strategies to test the results of a model
8. Evaluate the relevance of new research ideas in corporate finance and financial intermediation

Research skills

1. Knowledge and intellectual abilities: knowledge base, cognitive abilities, abstraction.
2. Personnel effectiveness: integrity, time management; perseverance, commitment to research
3. Research governance and organization: project planning and delivery, ethics, appropriate practice
4. Engagement, influence, impact: communication and dissemination.

Research training seminars

Research training seminars

Presentation and intended learning outcomes

A) Description
These seminars are open to all students from TSM-DP 2nd year. The purpose of this module is to provide students with a broadly based overview of current research skills to write your PhD dissertation.


B) Upon completion of the course, students should be able to:
- Identify mobility grants
- Discover the international job market conference
- Compare academic posters and analyse poster sessions
- Design a poster and resources to help with poster design
- Improve networking skills

Research skills

- Knowledge and intellectual abilities: Inquiring mind; Argument construction
- Personal effectiveness: Networking; Career management; Responsiveness to opportunities
- Research governance and organisation: Funding; Research strategy; Appropriate practice
- Engagement, influence and impact: Communication methods; Communication media; Collegiality

Teachers' pedagogical practices

Teachers' pedagogical practices

Presentation and intended learning outcomes

A) Description
It is a requirement of TSM that all PhD students who undertake any teaching duties should have attended the teachers' pedagogical practices which is designed for Postgraduate Teaching Assistants. The aim of this workshop is to address some of the basic skills and understanding teaching assistants will need for their work. It assumes that participants have little or no previous teaching experience.


B) Upon completion of the course, students should be able to:
- Draw on an inventory of best experiences
- Review best practices with senior instructors
- Diagnose recurring pedagogical issues
- Role-play a 30-minute lecture

Research skills

- Knowledge and intellectual abilities: Argument construction; Innovation
- Personal effectiveness: Career management; Continuing professional development; Reputation; Integrity
- Research governance and organisation: Ethics; Appropriate practice
- Engagement, influence and impact: Teaching; People management; Mentoring; Influence and leadership; Communication methods