FIRN’s program of courses are open to all PhD students and early career researchers.  All PhD courses (core, elective and master classes) are listed on the FIRN website and promoted in the monthly FIRN email.  If you have any questions about the program please email info@firn.org.au.

2024 PhD Course Program – Semester 1

Finance Theory: Asset Pricing

Presenter: Michael Shin (USYD)

This course is the first in a sequence of PhD courses and seminars offered in finance and is designed to introduce students to the core of asset pricing. Asset pricing deals with understanding why different assets such as stocks, bonds, and options, have the prices they do in the market and why some assets pay more than others. In finance, the world is so complicated that we do not focus on just one model but rather different types of models depending on the problem at hand. Finance academics use a mixture of theoretical models and empirical methods to answer questions. The models, ideas, and techniques introduced in this course will provide the foundation for further topics in finance. There 1 are no course prerequisites but there will be an expectation that students are familiar with basic microeconomic theory, calculus, statistics, and matrix algebra.

In-person (on-campus) delivery at H70 at USYD Camperdown (H70.03.3270 – ABS Seminar Room 3270)

9am-5pm, 29 January – 2 Februrary 2024

Course syllabus
Register herecloses 23 January 2024

Past Courses

2023 PhD Course Program – Semester 2

Research Methods (elective)
Presenters: Professor Martina Linnenluecke & Professor Tom Smith
Online delivery
Four Day Intensive
3pm-5pm on Zoom, Monday 17 to Thursday 20 July
Course syllabus
Register here – closes 3 July

Empirical Finance
Presenter:  Professor Tom Smith (Macquarie)
Online delivery, 3-5pm on following weekends
Module 1: Saturday 22nd July

Module 2: Saturday 26th August

Module 3: Saturday 30th September

Final Exam: Thursday 9th Nov 2-5pm
Course syllabus

Register here – closes 8 July

Intermediate Econometrics
Presenter: Daniel Smith (QUT)
On-line delivery, Wednesdays from 24 July – 22 September and 3 October – 27 October..
Past Course syllabus
Register here – closes 10 July

Corporate Finance Theory
Presenter: Kentaro Asai (ANU)

This course provides an overview of modern corporate finance. The growth of corporate finance theory has been spectacular since Modigliani and Miller developed the capital structure irrelevance proposition in 1958. After reviewing Modigliani and Miller (1958), we study the optimal capital structure under various frictions in which capital structure affects firm value. We cover trade-off theory, agency problems, security design, asymmetric information, and payout policy. In addition, we cover the literature on continuous-time models and banking.

On-line delivery:

9am-12am, Tuesday (July 25): Introduction/Capital structure irrelevance

2pm-5pm, Tuesdays (July 25 – October 3): The remaining topics
Course syllabus
Register herecloses 18 July

Behavioural Finance
Presenter: Chris Veld & Joshua Shemesh (Monash)
Hybrid delivery (Zoom or Monash University Caulfield Campus, room H4.88).

Dates and times: 1pm-4pm, Tuesdays from July 25 through to October 17
Course syllabus
Register herecloses 11 July

Market Microstructure and Decentralised Finance
Presenter: Professor Talis Putnins, University of Technology Sydney
Hybrid delivery, 12pm-3pm each Friday from 11 August to Friday 3 November

2022 Course Description here
Register herecloses 28 July

2023 Masterclasses

FIRN offers PhD students and academics at FIRN member institutions access to research Masterclasses each year presented by world class international academics. The following masterclasses will be offered in 2023.

The Economics of the Asset and Wealth Management Industries

Presented by Richard Evans (University of Virginia)

Summary: With the dramatic global growth of exchange-traded funds specifically and passive investing generally, the decline in traditional pensions and the rise of defined contribution retirement investing, and the disruptive innovation of FinTech, the asset and wealth management industries have undergone a dramatic transformation in the past two decades.  Given the systemic importance of this industry to both firms and individuals alike, this transformation is of central importance to financial markets.  However, for financial economists, the connection of these industries to key economic theories is even deeper.  For example, Grossman and Stiglitz’s (1980) seminal work on the informational efficiency of markets directly maps into the world of professional investors that is asset management.  In this course, we will explore the asset and wealth management industries and both their systemic importance to financial markets and investors as well as their key connection to financial economics.

To be held at the University of Sydney Business School – Merewether Building (H04).

Schedule (24th-28th July):           

Monday (24th July)   9:00-12:30 class

Tuesday (25th July)    9:00-12:30 class; 2-4 office hours by Doodle sign up

Thursday (27th July)  9:00-12:30 class; 2-4 office hours by Doodle sign up

Friday (28th July)   9:00-12:30 class; 2-4 office hours by Doodle sign up

Course Syllabus

Register here

Finance, Intellectual Property (IP), and Sustainability

Presented by Po-Hsuan Hsu (College of Technology Management, NTHU)

This course aims to understand the role and impact of innovation activities and intellectual property (IP) in financial markets, manager decisions, and corporate operations. From an asset pricing perspective, the instructor will examine how financial market participants price various forms of technological innovation and intellectual property, such as R&D, patents, trademarks, innovation awards. From the perspective of corporate decisions, the instructor will discuss the determinants of country- and firm-level innovative capability and intellectual property development. In addition, the instructor plans to cover the role of corporate social responsibility, ESG, and green innovation in financial markets and corporate decisions. Finally, the instructor will share experience on research ideas, project choices, data collection, and empirical testing.

To be held at the University of Adelaide.

Schedule:           

Monday, October 23. Lecture from 9am to 12pm and 1pm to 3pm; consultation office hour 3pm to 5pm

Tuesday, October 24. Lecture 9am to 12pm and 1pm to 3pm; consultation office hour 3pm to 5pm

Saturday, October 28. Lecture 9am to 12pm and 1pm to 3pm; consultation office hour 3pm to 5pm

Course Syllabus

Register here – closes 9 October

2023 PhD Course Program – Semester 1

Finance Theory
Presenter: Professor Tom Smith, Macquarie University
Online delivery, 3-5pm on the following weekends:

Module 1: Saturday 25th February

Module 2: Saturday 25th March

Module 3: Saturday 29th April

Final Exam: Thursday June 15th 2-5pm
2023 Course syllabus
Registrations for 2023 here.

Advanced Empirical Finance*
Presenter: Professor Federico Nardari, University of Melbourne
Online delivery, 1.30-6.30pm (Melbourne Time)
Module 1:          11, 14 and 15 of March
Module 2:          3, 5 and 6 of April
Module 3:          23, 26 and 27 of May
2023 Course syllabus
*this is an advance capstone course with a pre-requisite knowledge requirement
Registrations for 2023 here.

Empirical Corporate Finance
Presenter: Alfred Yawson, University of Adelaide
Online delivery, 3 hour class on 10am-1pm (Adelaide time)
The course is held on the following dates:
March 7, 9, 14, 16, 21, 23, 28, 30 + April 4 & 6.

Final Assignment Presentation: Thursday 27 April
2023 course syllabus
Registrations for 2023 here.

2022 Masterclasses

FIRN offers PhD students and academics at FIRN member institutions access to research Masterclasses each year presented by world class international academics. The following masterclasses were offered in 2022.

Masterclass in Household Finance, 2022
Presenter: James Choi, Yale School of Management

On-line delivery
Monday 20 June to Friday 24 June, 2022, 9.45am – 1:00pm (AEST)
2022 Course syllabus
Register here

Masterclass in Corporate Finance, 2022
Presenter: Gordon Phillips, Tuk School of Business at Dartmouth
In person at UNSW, Sydney Monday 28 November to Friday 2 December.
2022 Course syllabus
Register here

2022 PhD Course Program – Semester 2

Behavioural Finance
Presenter: Joshua Shemesh & Chris Veld (Monash)
The objective of this unit is to teach doctoral students topics that are on the forefront of the academic literature. The topic for this course is behavioural finance, which combines elements of finance and psychology into a new field that has gained a lot of importance in recent times. The unit will cover research papers and will also provide students with the skills to conduct finance research.
On-line delivery. Preliminary dates and times: 1pm-4pm, Wednesdays from July 27 through to October 19
Exact dates and times to be confirmed.
Preliminary Course syllabus
Register here

Corporate Finance Theory
Presenter: Kentaro Asai (ANU)
On-line delivery: 2pm-5pm, Tuesdays from July 18 through to November 20
Course syllabus
Register here

Intermediate Econometrics
Presenter: Daniel Smith (QUT)
On-line delivery, 10am-1pm on Thursdays from July 28 through to October 28.
Past Course syllabus
Register here

Market Microstructure and Decentralised Finance
Presenter: Professor Talis Putnins (UTS)
Classes on planned to be held on Fridays 2pm-5pm during August-October. Exact dates to be confirmed
Course Description
The full course syllabus will be available soon
Register here

PhD Workshop

Introduction to economic models of disclosure and cost of capital
Presenter: Greg Clinch, Macquarie University
This workshop is designed to introduce students to some of the analytical models used in accounting and finance research to investigate disclosure and cost of capital. There are two broad objectives:
1. To become familiar with and gain an understanding of analytical models relating to disclosure;
2. To explore how those models can be used to develop our intuition regarding the link between disclosure and cost of capital.
Course outline
2022 workshop dates to be confirmed

PhD Course Enrolment Procedure

  • Download the course syllabus from the FIRN website and ensure that you meet the pre-requisite knowledge requirements.
  • Enrol through our online booking system (links will be on the FIRN website).  You will need to indicate:
  • You have permission from your PhD Supervisor (or PhD Coordinator) to do the course.
  • Whether you are doing the course for credit recognition
  • You agree to the FIRN terms and conditions (see below)
  • That you have your school’s approval to undertake the course off-campus (if applicable) for insurance purposes

FIRN will:

  • Forward your enrolment details to the PhD course co-ordinator who will record your grades in the course and submit the final grades to FIRN
  • Track your enrolment in each course and provide you with a certificate when you complete each course

Terms and conditions:

  • PhD students understand and accept they meet all pre-requisites before enrolling in a FIRN course.
  • PhD students understand that FIRN’s PhD program involves “advanced courses” specifically designed to be challenging.
  • PhD student enrolments are accepted on the understanding they intend to complete the full course program including all assessment requirements (Note: travel funding approval is often conditional upon students completing the full program).
  • PhD students may not attend FIRN courses on a casual basis – no exceptions.
  • PhD students have obtained their Supervisor’s approval (in writing) before enrolling.
  • If, for any reason, a PhD student is unable to complete the course they must notify their supervisor, PhD co-ordinatior and FIRN by email.  The course co-ordinator is not responsible for managing your enrolment.  If PhD students don’t complete all of the assessments then they receive an automatic 2- Fail Did Not Complete recorded on FIRN’s records. 
  • Academics are also able to enrol in the courses for professional development and should enrol through the online booking system.
  • One course auditor per institution is allowed.  Course auditors must have a PhD.