Core courses

Pre-course Training

Two weeks before the start of the first term, MLF students attend an induction programme which involves pre-sessional courses in Maths and Financial Reporting. Preparatory work for both courses is required.

If you receive an offer, we will give you access to the MLF Maths Workbook, which you will be expected to work through before you arrive to start the maths pre-sessional course. The pre-sessional course is made up of six, three-hour classes and ends with a short diagnostic test. If you then need additional maths support this is provided during the first term.

First Principles of Financial Economics

The First Principles of Financial Economics (FPFE) class intends to equip students who, in many cases, have no prior exposure to economics, with some basic concepts and techniques, and show how to apply economics to that analysis of financial markets and financial institutions. FPFE has been designed specifically for MLF students. We cover the following topics: rational decision making, bargaining and its application to insolvency law, the economic theory of the corporation, competitive markets, the market for risk, market failures, the economic theory of contracts and asymmetric information, the formation of prices when traders are privately informed.


Students on the Finance course study the financing, valuation and governance of firms. This course is very similar to courses of the same name that are taught on the MBA, but tweaked slightly to ensure they are particularly relevant for MLF students.

The topics below are taught over the course’s twelve classes in Michaelmas (first) and Hilary (second) Terms:
The valuation of a firm’s assets
Capital Asset Pricing Model
Pricing of financial options
Investment and financing decisions
How financial markets operate
New issues of securities
Debt policy
Corporate restructurings
Financial distress
Financial derivatives
Risk management

Law and Economics of Corporate Transactions

The Law and Economics of Corporate Transactions (LECT) course is the interdisciplinary course that acts as a fulcrum for the entire MLF degree. LECT uses the tools of conventional microeconomic theory [the study of the behaviour and decision-making process of individuals, or individual firms] to help students understand how the legal structure determines the value of corporate transactions. LECT brings together students’ knowledge and the analytical techniques they have developed whilst studying the pure finance and pure law courses on the MLF, to creates a single integrated “toolkit”, for effectively considering corporate transactions, by taking into account their legal, financial and economic issues and implications.

LECT is taught in Hilary (second) Term and Trinity (third) Term of the MLF.
Hilary Term
Economic theory of contracting
The nature of agency
Hold-up costs
Strategic behaviour to be expected in contracting relationships

Trinity Term
In the third and final term, students have to apply their studies to six well-known, real-life transactions, which is why LECT is often referred to as the “Deals course”.

Students split into groups and use the theoretical materials from LECT and their finance courses, as well as what they have studied in their law electives to analyse the legal, as well as financial and economic, issues raised by the transactions.

Each group then presents its work on a particular transaction to their classmates, Faculty members and the practitioners who worked on the transaction, before the practitioners respond to give their views and explain what happened in the real scenario.

Virtual Open Day – Academic life