Assessment Criteria and Mark Sheets

Assessment Guidelines
Learners must complete the tasks given in the assignment brief. Learners are able to request
assistance from tutors about completing the tasks, mark schemes and grade descriptors. Learners
are expected to adhere to policies and guidelines set out by the centre which includes
word/page/slide count, and plagiarism/collusion.
Context
Learners are required to refer to the guidance notes and assignment brief in order to present an
answer that would fall within the required context.
Confidentiality
Learners must seek permission and advice when using organizational/business information that
would be considered sensitive or confidential within their assignments. If the organization’s consent
is given, and anonymity is a given requirement of the organization, then the learner must respect
this.
Assessment Criteria and Mark Sheets
The assignment brief will include the mark scheme along with grade descriptors for learners to refer
to if needed. The guidance notes before the assignment questions should be used for reference in
order to ensure that learners are equipped with the information and formats required. Learners are
requested to obtain necessary advice on assignment context, format and other supporting
information to clarify and help understand the requirements.
The assessment criteria and the mark sheets will help learners identify how and where the marks
have been allocated and allow them to structure their answers accordingly.
Tutor Guidance
Learners are allowed one piece of feedback for draft answers they present. Any subject-related
questions relating to the module can also be directed to the tutor.
Word Count
It is mandatory that learners adhere to the specified word count given in the assignment brief within
a margin of -/+10%. For certain tasks, the assignment brief may specify the page count depending on
the task requirement, and although a word count may not be applicable for these, the page count
must be adhered to at all times. All tables, charts, diagrams, referencing (in-text) will be considered a
part of the assignment word count.
If the task requires learners to make a presentation, the word count will only be applicable to the
notes provided. The assignment questions may also specify the number of slides, in which case the
learners are also required to adhere to this.
Page 3 of 10
Any supporting documents used to reinforce the learners answer need to be attached at the end of
the report as appendices. Such supplementary material will equip the examiner with the required
background knowledge on the information provided within the report. However, these will not be
considered for grading nor as part of the word/page count.
All assignments submitted with clear disregard for the stipulated page/word counts may be
discounted, and the learner may have to resubmit his/her work for assessment pending
revision/review of their work.
Referencing and Professionalism
To ensure that learners follow a professional stance at all times, they need to:
Use Harvard referencing for all citations and references (including in-text)
Use professional, formal English in presenting their work
Learners must refrain from writing in a first-person perspective (i.e. ‘I’, ‘We’, ‘Me’ etc. should not
be used within the answer).
Learners should bear in mind that considerable marks are awarded for format and presentation.
Therefore, referencing and professionalism will be assessed in every task.
Plagiarism and Collusion
Plagiarism and collusion will be considered an academic offence and will be dealt with as a serious
issue.
Plagiarism can be defined as: the presentation of the work of another author without appropriate
referencing and/or attribution (leading to the false assumption that the learner is the originator of
the text).
Collusion can be defined as a circumstance in which: two or more learners present work with
distinct similarities in concept and ideas.
Learners must have access to valid plagiarism software (i.e. Turnitin) to assess ‘similarity index’
between their work and work that has been published elsewhere. This Turnitin report must be
submitted along with their final assignment scripts for reference purposes.
Excessive referencing (i.e. where unneeded/irrelevant) will also be considered an academic offence,
which will lead to learners being penalised in marks awarded for structure and format of their work
or, in serious cases, leading to the work of learners being discounted as unfit for assessment. Such
matters will be decided by academic panel.
Abbreviations Used
FA – Financial Analysts
LO – Learning Outcomes
ACs/ PCs – Assessment or Performance Criteria(s)
Page 4 of 10
Assignment 4a: Financial Analysis
Each task in this assignment constitutes 40% of the overall mark. 10% of the overall marks are to be
awarded for the application of critical thinking. 10% of the overall marks are to be awarded as
indicated by Structure and Format in the Mark Scheme below.
You have recently been recruited as a financial analyst at a medium sized organisation. The
organisation is seeking to develop offices elsewhere in the country.
You are currently undergoing a probationary period. You are expected to use this period to
demonstrate your skills as a financial analyst.
Your work should include a brief introduction to an organisation of your choice that meets the
above requirements.
Task 1
Your HR manager has asked you to analyse and explain the regulation of, and procedures relating to,
the trading of securities and new issues in the world markets.
a) Identify the key recommendations and procedures that relate to trading securities for the
organisation you are employed by.
b) Evaluate TWO key issues arising in global markets that will impact on your work as a
financial analyst for your organisation.
FA – LO 2 (pcs 2.1, 2.2)
Task 2
Your HR manager also wants to explore your knowledge of the different types of securities, and how
you would plan, manage and review client portfolios. She has asked you to develop a short report
based on the following tasks.
a) A corporate client reviewing the management of its pension fund, currently valued at £2.5
million. Evaluate the characteristics of TWO suitable types of security and analyse the
strengths and weaknesses of each.
b) Prepare a recommendation for the client about which of the two types of security is most
suited to their needs and justify your recommendation.
c) Explain to the client how the pension fund portfolio would be managed.
d) Investigators TWO issues relating to portfolio management that may impact on the client’s
portfolio.
FA – LO 1 (pcs 1.1, 1.2, 1.3)
LO6 (pcs 6.1, 6.2, 6.3)
Assignment Word Count
Report word count: 2000 words
Page 5 of 10
Assignment 4a: Criteria and Mark Scheme
Assessment Criteria Marks Comments Mark
Allocated Given
Task 1: LO2 40 Forward contracts – description and
2.1: Identify the regulations and evaluation. Financial futures –
characteristics, operation of futures procedures relating to trading markets, types of financial future, pricing securities. financial futures. Financial options –
2.2: Evaluate issues arising in the characteristics, operation of options
global markets including (LSE) markets, types of option, option pricing,
warrants and convertibles; regulations
regarding trading of securities
Task 2: LO1 40 Bonds: Types and characteristics of
1.1: Identify different types of
bonds; pricing bonds; bond yields; the
Term Structure of Interest Rates; theories
securities and their characteristics of the term structure; bond risk – types
1.2: Evaluate the characteristics of and measurement.
each type of security for selected Equities Types and characteristics of
scenarios equities; summary measures of equity
1.3: Critical application of the performance; the pricing of equities;
equities and risk; evaluation of equities. characteristics to analyse the strengths
and weaknesses of different types of Synthetic securities – swaps, bundled and
securities unbundled securities.
LO6 Evaluation of the above for selected
6.1: Identification of client portfolios scenarios
according to customer profile The efficient markets hypothesis, Capital
6.2: Recommend and justify Asset Pricing Model (CAPM) and the
Arbitrage Pricing model, hedging and appropriate types of savings and speculation. investments.
6.3: Investigate issues relating to Portfolio Management
portfolio management. Functions of portfolio management; active
and passive portfolio management;
portfolio performance measurement.
Managing Client Portfolios.
The Efficient Markets Hypothesis, the
Capital Asset Pricing Model and the
Arbitrage Pricing Model and their
implications for investment strategy and
portfolio management
Application of critical thinking 10
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Structure and format 10
Relevance to the tasks
Use of supporting concepts and
frameworks
Professional tone and required format
Harvard references, including in-text
citations
Total Mark 100
Page 7 of 10
Assignment 4b: Investment Scenarios
Task 1 constitutes 30%of the overall mark. Tasks 2 and 3 each constitute 25% of the overall mark.
10% of the overall marks are to be awarded for the application of critical thinking. 10% of the overall
marks are to be awarded as indicated by Structure and Format in the Mark Scheme below.
As the final element of your probationary period, you have been asked to deliver a presentation to
the CEO and the HR Manager. Your presentation should consist of slides and supporting notes for
the tasks details below.
For this assignment, you need to describe two contrasting investment scenarios of your own choice.
Task 1
a) Explain the principles of investment theory using examples from your chosen scenarios.
b) Critically evaluate the use of securities for EACH of your chosen scenarios.
c) Show how the underlying concepts of market analysis and efficiency could be applied to
ONE of your chosen scenarios.
FA – LO 3 (pcs 3.1, 3.2, 3.3)
Task 2
a) Explain the purpose and characteristics of two different forms of tax that would apply to
your chosen scenarios.
b) Critically evaluate the impact of EACH of these forms of tax on your chosen scenarios.
FA – LO 4 (pcs 4.1, 4.2)
Task 3
a) Explain THREE regulations and the Financial Services industry that would impact on your
chosen scenarios.
b) Evaluate TWO risk mitigation methods that could be applied to your investments and ideas.
c) (Show how each of these methods could be applied to real world scenarios.
FA – LO 5 (pcs 5.1, 5.2, 5.3)
Assignment Word Count
Maximum 12 slides
Word count for notes of 500 words
Page 8 of 10
Assignment 4b: Criteria and Mark Scheme
Assessment Criteria Marks Comments Mark
Allocated Given
Task 1: LO1 30 Underlying Concepts and objectives of
3.1: Identify and explain the principles investment
of investment theory. Motives for investment; risk & return;
3.2: Critically evaluate the use of pricing securities; market efficiency.
securities for selected scenarios Types and characteristics of different
3.3: Application of the underlying securities
concepts of market analysis and Money Market Investments
efficiency. Markets & investors; securities quoted on
a yield basis; securities quoted on a
discount basis.
Task 2: LO2 25 Definitions and characteristics of Income
4.1: Identify the range of taxes, their
tax, capital gains tax, inheritance and
corporation tax, Wealth taxes? Property
purposes and their characteristics. taxes, IPO taxes, transfer pricing and
4.2: Critical evaluation of the impact of taxation, revenue/profit recognition/
repatriation and impact of tax liability. taxation for selected scenarios
Evaluation of impact of taxation (e.g.
Piketty’s ‘Capital in the 21st Century’).
Effects of taxation on investment
decisions.
Task 3: LO5 25 Tax avoidance and evasion, tax havens.
5.1: Explain the regulations prevailing
Regulatory environments, reporting
standards and auditing rules
in the financial services industry Hedging, Arbitrage & Speculation
5.2: Evaluate risk mitigation methods in Speculation – nature & objectives,
investments. speculation using futures, speculation
using options, Arbitrage – nature &
5.3: Application of the methods to real objectives, arbitrage using futures;
world scenario examples. arbitrage using options; Hedging – nature
& objectives, hedging risk on individual
equities, hedging market risk on equity
portfolios, hedging interest rate risk.
Application of critical thinking 10
Structure and format 10
Relevance to the tasks
Use of supporting concepts and
frameworks
Professional tone and required format
Harvard references, including in-text
citations
Page 9 of 10
Total Mark 100
Page 10 of 10
Assessment Criteria for all Assessments
Marks Criteria
70-100 The answer submitted has an outstanding result with negligible number of mistakes.
The answer shows an appreciative level of knowledge and clear understanding of related models,
theories and frameworks. Analytical techniques used show the wide area of knowledge the student
has.
The ability to apply and contextualize the models, theories and frameworks are clearly
recognisable.
The analysis and the use of research data, as well as the ability to use the data to reach acceptable
and accurate conclusions is exceptional.
Answers show independent thought and clarity of the student answer has led to an overall focused
and evaluative answer.
The answer has followed proper Harvard referencing.
60-69 The answer shows an above average standard with few errors.
The answer shows a decent level of knowledge and fairly clear understanding of related models,
theories and frameworks. The use of analytical techniques is obvious throughout the answer in a
manner that reflects a very good level.
The ability to apply and contextualise the models, theories and framework are of a good standard.
The analysis and the use of research data, as well as the ability to use the data to reach acceptable
and accurate conclusions is above average levels.
Answers show independent thought and clarity of the student answer has led to an overall focused
and evaluative answer with little inconsistency.
The answer has followed proper Harvard referencing.
50-59 The answer shows an above average standard with errors.
The answer shows a general level of knowledge and fairly clear understanding of related models,
theories and frameworks. The use of analytical techniques is obvious throughout the answer in a
manner that reflects a good level.
The ability to apply and contextualise the models, theories and framework are of a reasonable
standard. But the link between theory and practical knowledge appears to be restricted.
The answer shows more assumptions than conclusive evidences a nd valid arguments. However, the
ability to interpret and evaluate is evident.
Answers show independent thought and clarity of the student answer has led to an overall focused
and evaluative answer with some inconsistencies.
The answer has followed Harvard referencing in the bibliography at an acceptable level.
40-49 There are several shortcomings throughout the answer.
The knowledge level reflected in the answer is limited especially in understanding of related
models, theories and framework.
The case material has been repeated instead of evidencing knowledge.
The use of analytical techniques is inadequate.
A certain level of relevance is evident in Harvard referencing.
30-39 Answer submitted is quite weak and lacks proper focus.
There are number of poor grammar and spelling errors.
The lack of understanding in subject knowledge, related models, theories and frameworks is
evident.
Contextualisation, interpretation, and evaluation are of a poor standard.
Reflects only basic levels of Harvard referencing in the bibliography.
0-29 Requires more work on answering skills.
There is very little evidence of appropriate subject knowledge.
The use of models, theories and frameworks is quite poor.
The analytical skills and contextualization is almost non -existent.
Answer produced has little relevance to the assignment briefs.
The overall output is well below the required standard.
Considerable amount of work is needed as the overall answer it quite poor and unacceptable

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