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ACST1001 – Finance 1A

2020 – Session 1, Weekday attendance, North Ryde

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, any references to assessment tasks and on-campus delivery may no longer be up-to-date on this page.

Students should consult iLearn for revised unit information.

Find out more about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and potential impacts staff and students

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit Convenor
Poon Leung
Farida Akhtar
Teaching Assistant
Katie West
Katie West
Credit points Credit points
Prerequisites Prerequisites
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description

This is an introductory unit in finance and is a core part of the first year knowledge base in most programs. Students will examine the Australian financial system as well as an introduction to financial mathematics and the pricing of financial instruments. They will also learn about financial institutions, financial markets, and risk and regulation. Students will develop spreadsheet skills in finance which is a critical employment skill.

Important Academic Dates

Information about important academic dates including deadlines for withdrawing from units are available at https://students.mq.edu.au/important-dates

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  • ULO1: Identify major functions, risks and regulation of financial markets.
  • ULO2: Explain key fundamental concepts in finance including time value of money and risk and return.
  • ULO3: Perform valuation of cash flows including single and multiple amounts, annuities, amortised loans, bonds and shares.
  • ULO4: Apply various criteria to capital budgeting problems for decision making.
  • ULO5: Evaluate financial information using a spreadsheet.

Assessment Tasks

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Assessment details are no longer provided here as a result of changes due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Students should consult iLearn for revised unit information.

Find out more about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and potential impacts staff and students

Delivery and Resources

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Any references to on-campus delivery below may no longer be relevant due to COVID-19.

Please check here for updated delivery information: https://ask.mq.edu.au/account/pub/display/unit_status

Learning and Teaching Activities

There are 3 hours of face-to-face teaching per week consisting of 1 x 2 hour lecture and 1 x 1 hour tutorial. The schedule of lecture and tutorial class times is available at: http://www.timetables.mq.edu.au


Lectures will be held weekly. No lecture will be held in week 10 but see above for the In Class Test in that week. Lecture notes will be available in the week of the lecture, at the iLearn weekly tabs.


Tutorials will be held weekly, commencing in Week 1. No tutorials are scheduled for Week 10. Tutorials are considered compulsory but no marks are allocated. Attendance will be recorded and may be considered in instances where applications are made for withdrawal without penalty.

Tutorial enrolment or change of tutorial can be made through eStudent in the first two weeks of the semester. No tutorial changes are allowed after Week 2. Students should check on eStudent for their tutorial room, especially as tutorial room allocations may have been changed since time of enrolment. Students should attend their allocated tutorial, but exceptions may occur on a one-off basis. That is, where circumstances prevent you attending your own tutorial in a given week, you may attend an alternative tutorial if a seat is available (sign the attendance record for that alternative tutorial).

Students are expected to complete the ‘Tutorial Questions’ as a self-directed study activity before attending a tutorial. Solutions will be posted after the week in which the questions are discussed. Additional learning support will be available in tutor consultation times, and in PAL sessions. 

Recommended Text

Parino, R. et al. 2018. Fundamentals of Corporate Finance (Australian 3rd Ed.). Milton, QLD: John Wiley & Sons Ltd. 

e-text version (cheapest): ISBN 978-0-7303-5517-5 https://www.wileydirect.com.au/buy/fundamentals-of-corporate-finance-3rd-edition/

Hardcopy alternative: ISBN 978-0-7303-6346-0

The university library also has licences that enable FREE online access to the text (with limited page printing allowance per logon). See iLearn.

Note: This textbook is only a recommendation for students that want to read in more depth. It is NOT a requirement that students use this text.

Technology Used and Required


A calculator will be required during the  Week 10 In Class Test  (ICT), and the Final Examination. Note: students are expected to clearly show all steps (working) in their solutions to 'calculation' questions.

Non-programmable calculators with no text-retrieval functionality are permitted. Calculators that have a full alphabet on the keyboard are not permitted. Graphics calculators are not permitted. Calculators need the following minimum functionality: xy or ^, 1/x and log or ln functions, and a memory. Non-programmable financial calculators are permitted but it is not a requirement to use a financial calculator.

Students are assumed to already be familiar with the basic operation of their calculator prior to the start of this unit. 


Prior to the start of this unit, students are expected to be familiar at least with the basic operation of their computing device, ensuring the device is Wi-Fi enabled to access lecture activities in 'real-time'.


Students should have access to Excel 2013 (or more recent), or equivalent software that can output .xlsx files. Further, students are expected to have viewed the 'Excel Tutorials' in iLearn 'Kick-Start' by the end of Week 1. Excel will be used in lectures and tutorials from Week 1. An Excel assignment is part of the assessment. A review of Excel fundamentals and time value of money functionality is scheduled for the Week 4 lecture. We strongly recommend students to engage with Excel from Week 1. Students should refer to iLearn for links to obtain free access to Excel software.

Knowledge of Maths

A background of at least HSC General Mathematics or equivalent numerical competency is assumed. A small self-diagnostic online Maths Revision exercise is available on iLearn. The self-diagnostic exercise is not assessable itself, (although Assessable Quiz 1 questions include coverage of similar questions), but may assist in providing an indication of your understanding of the type of mathematics functions we will use in the unit. Students requiring assistance with the unit's mathematical elements throughout the term may consult with the Numeracy Centre team during appointed hours (no appointment needed).

Policies and Procedures

Macquarie University policies and procedures are accessible from Policy Central (https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/policy-central). Students should be aware of the following policies in particular with regard to Learning and Teaching:

Students seeking more policy resources can visit the Student Policy Gateway (https://students.mq.edu.au/support/study/student-policy-gateway). It is your one-stop-shop for the key policies you need to know about throughout your undergraduate student journey.

If you would like to see all the policies relevant to Learning and Teaching visit Policy Central (https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/policy-central).

Student Code of Conduct

Macquarie University students have a responsibility to be familiar with the Student Code of Conduct: https://students.mq.edu.au/study/getting-started/student-conduct​


Results published on platform other than eStudent, (eg. iLearn, Coursera etc.) or released directly by your Unit Convenor, are not confirmed as they are subject to final approval by the University. Once approved, final results will be sent to your student email address and will be made available in eStudent. For more information visit ask.mq.edu.au or if you are a Global MBA student contact globalmba.support@mq.edu.au

Supplementary exams

Information regarding supplementary exams, including dates, is available at: http://www.businessandeconomics.mq.edu.au/current_students/undergraduate/how_do_i/disruption_to_studies

Student Support

Macquarie University provides a range of support services for students. For details, visit http://students.mq.edu.au/support/

Learning Skills

Learning Skills (mq.edu.au/learningskills) provides academic writing resources and study strategies to improve your marks and take control of your study.

Student Enquiry Service

For all student enquiries, visit Student Connect at ask.mq.edu.au

If you are a Global MBA student contact globalmba.support@mq.edu.au

Equity Support

Students with a disability are encouraged to contact the Disability Service who can provide appropriate help with any issues that arise during their studies.

IT Help

For help with University computer systems and technology, visit http://www.mq.edu.au/about_us/offices_and_units/information_technology/help/

When using the University's IT, you must adhere to the Acceptable Use of IT Resources Policy. The policy applies to all who connect to the MQ network including students.