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Introduction to Finance

April 2018

What is it? This is a short modular introduction to key topics and current themes in finance. It provides an overview of the financial system and various asset classes; explains the principle of arbitrage and asset pricing; provides a guide to financial statements and the valuation of firms; discusses the role of financial intermediation in the economy and sources of fragility; examines systemic financial crises in a historical context and assesses the policy responses.

Who should attend?  The course is ideal for economists and analysts working in the public and private sector who need a brief introduction to financial markets.

What is the format? The training will be delivered as a sequence of four self-contained half-day modules arranged over two days. Each module is interactive, combining formal presentations (to introduce key ideas and principles), group-work exercises and discussions (to clarify and reinforce understanding). While it is possible to select individual modules, we encourage participants to consider the entire programme.

Who will run this training programme? The training will be provided by full-time academics from Birkbeck, University of London. These trainers have provided extensive training programmes in economics and finance to various government departments.

When will these courses run? The sessions will run in April 2018.  The sequence involves two modules on Tuesday 24th April (morning and afternoon), and two on Thursday 26th April (morning and afternoon).

Where? The sessions will be held at Birkbeck, University of London in Bloomsbury, WC1E 7HX. The location is close to various transport lines.

How much will it cost? Each individual module costs £185 per module; there is discounted price of £700 for those who choose all four modules.

Is this the right training programme for me? To discuss the academic content of the modules or their suitability for your needs, contact Prof Sandeep Kapur (

How can I sign up?

To sign up or to discuss any issue related to logistics, please contact:

Justine Lloyd-Altius
Tel: 0207 631 6406
Department of Economics
Birkbeck, University of London
Malet St, London WC1E 7HX

We have been running versions of this course for the Treasury and GES since 2008. Some feedback from participants at previous training courses:

  • "Excellent: clear, well-informed, engaging style"
  • "Really clear presentation of the ideas without too much algebra…. I enjoyed it very much!"
  • "Excellent – very clear and enthusiastic, also very knowledgeable"
  • "Excellent course and teaching style. Easy to understand for a non-expert."
  • "Pace and pitch were ideal – good refresher course of degree level finance."
  • "The teacher was very accessible and knowledgeable. The question and answer sessions in between really helped to understand the material."
  • "Great course, great tutors!"

The trainers

Prof Sandeep Kapur is responsible for the academic design of this training programme. He is currently a professor of economics at the University of London, and has previously taught at Cambridge and at Wharton among other places. His current research interests lie in design of regulation, especially financial regulation. Over the last two decades he has directed Birkbeck executive education programme and in that capacity provided training in economics for various Whitehall departments.  For more details see

Dr Arup Daripa is a lecturer in financial economics at Birkbeck, University of London.

At Birkbeck, he is the Programme Director for our MSc programmes in Economics & Financial Economics. He has a PhD from Princeton and his current research interests span financial crises, banking and non-bank credit institutions. For more details see

Dr Ken Hori is a lecturer in economics at Birkbeck, University of London. He started his career in the early 1990s as a financial engineer for the Industrial Bank of Japan, but then returned to academia to complete a PhD. His current research interests are in the area of incentives in financial regulations, especially the design of CoCos and other bail-in arrangements. For more details see