Alternative Investments - BUSN7760

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2021 to 2022
Spring Term 6 15 (7.5) Mengyu Zhang checkmark-circle


The curriculum considers the alternative investment techniques available in the global financial markets. Portfolio analyses will be extended to include focuses on commodities, real estate, private equity and hedge funds. The module will include an investigation of the underlying rationale for such investment types as well as providing an understanding of the construction and management of relevant strategies.
The syllabus will typically cover:
• Introduction to Alternative Investments and their characteristics
• Hedge Fund Strategies
• Investing in Commodities
• Real Estate investment instruments
• Private Equity / Venture Capital Valuation
• Formulation and implementation of various active and passive investment strategies, as well as the analysis and management of risks associated with particular strategies.


Contact hours

The module will be taught by lectures, seminars and private study.
Total Contact Hours: 32
Private Study Hours: 118

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods
Group Written Report- 2000 words: 30%

Examination – two-hour, closed book, unseen: 70%

Reassessment methods
Reassessment will be on a like-for-like basis.

Indicative reading

Core Reading
Anson, M. J. P. (2006). Handbook of Alternative Assets. 2nd Edition. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons.
Anson, M. J. P., Chambers, D. R., Black, K. H., and Kazemi, H. (2012). CAIA Level I: An Introduction to Core Topics in Alternative Investments. 2nd Edition. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons.
Anson, M. J. P., Fabozzi, F. J., and Jones, F. J. (2011). The Handbook of Traditional and Alternative Investment Vehicles: Investment Characteristics and Strategies. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons.
Baker, K., Filbeck, G. (2013). Alternative Investments: Instruments, Performance, Benchmarks and Strategies. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons.

Additional Reading
Brueggeman, W.B. & Fisher, J. (2016) Real Estate Finance and Investments. Columbus, OH: McGraw-Hill
German, H. (2005) Commodities and Commodity Derivatives: Modelling and Pricing for Agriculturals, Metals and Energy. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons
Lhabitant F.S., (2006) Handbook of Hedge Funds. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons
Stefanini, F. (2006) Investment Strategies of Hedge Funds Chichester: John Wiley & Sons
Tamvakis, M.N. (2015) Commodity Trade and Finance. 2nd Edition. Abingdon: Informa Routledge

See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

- Demonstrate critical knowledge and systematic understanding of the hedge fund industry: Its structure and approaches to operations as well as key investment strategies.
- Demonstrate critical knowledge of various commodities and understand how to operate in such markets: The potential benefits of commodity investments including their links to hedging and diversification.
- Demonstrate critical knowledge and understanding of various real estate investments: The potential to enhance portfolio investment strategies as well as the related risk analysis.
- Demonstrate critical knowledge and understanding of private equity methods of investment: The risks and potential returns of such investment strategies including venture capital and leveraged buyouts.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

- Analyse, compare, discuss and critically evaluate various alternative investment strategies
- Develop suitable communication skills using appropriate formats
- Apply both quantitative and qualitative techniques for solving problems
- Work effectively and efficiently both independently
- Work effectively and efficiently within a team


  1. Credit level 6. Higher level module usually taken in Stage 3 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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