Investment and portfolio management

This module covers the field of investment. It describes the main participants, their objectives and constraints, and the major investment markets. The module covers investment strategies for bonds, equities, and structured products including the use of derivatives in managing risk. Portfolio optimisation and asset allocation are covered, as well as how to measure portfolio performance. Ethical investment, the role of taxation, and behavioural investment biases are also explored in this module. By the end of the module you will be able to evaluate individual securities, investment strategies and portfolio performance in the context of investor objectives, constraints and behavioural biases.

Vocational relevance

Investment and portfolio management is of particular relevance to those working, or intending to work, in the investment management sector, whether as an investment intermediary or in a banking or fund management role. The module will also provide you with skills you will use in obtaining professional qualifications and may allow you exemptions from part of such qualifications. The module is also of general interest to those wishing to learn how portfolio and investment management is carried out in practice.


B861 is an optional module in our:


Module code


  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
  • One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
  • You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
  • For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.
Study level
Across the UK, there are two parallel frameworks for higher education qualifications, the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Northern Ireland and Wales (FHEQ) and the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF). These define a hierarchy of levels and describe the achievement expected at each level. The information provided shows how OU postgraduate modules correspond to these frameworks.
OU Postgraduate
Study method
Distance learning
Module cost
See Module registration
Entry requirements

Find out more about entry requirements.

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What you will study

Modern finance theory offers sophisticated tools to allocate the investments to various financial assets. This module aims to equip you with the necessary knowledge and skills to construct, manage and evaluate the performance of portfolios of assets for individual and institutional investors.

At the end of the module you will be able to choose between different bonds, equities and structured products as well as make asset allocation decisions. You will also be able to decide on and know how to manage a diversified investment portfolio and its currency risk. You will also know how to measure the investment performance of a fund or portfolio as well as understand the fund management industry and the context in which investments are made.

The module also provides insights into the emerging field of behavioural finance that draws from psychological theories and tries to explain investment behaviour.

The following are the main topics covered in this module:

  • investment objectives and constraints
  • the investment market and its participants
  • managing bond and equity portfolios
  • alternative asset classes, including currency
  • the use of derivatives in investment management.
  • asset allocation
  • evaluation of portfolios (mutual funds, pension funds and other institutionally managed funds)
  • international diversification; investing in emerging markets
  • behavioural finance

You will learn

It will enable you to:
  • understand how to value financial securities including bonds equities and derivatives.
  • be aware of investment objectives and the constraints of different types of investors
  • understand the trade-off between risk and return for securities and portfolios
  • understand the different approaches to asset allocation
  • understand structured products, that is, combinations of securities and derivatives which deliver a particular risk /return combination
  • understand the various risks inherent in investment and know how to use derivatives and other products to hedge (mitigate) such risks.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

Your tutor will help you with the study material, mark and comment on your assignments and provide advice and guidance. You will contact your tutor by email, phone or via your tutor group forum on the module website.

Contact us if you want to know more about study with The Open University before you register.


The assessment details for this module can be found in the facts box above.
You must use the online eTMA system to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs).

Course work includes

2 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
No residential school

Future availability

Investment and portfolio management starts once a year – in May. This page describes the module that will start in May 2023 when we expect it to start for the last time. A replacement module is planned for May 2024.


As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the academic regulations which are available on our Student Policies and Regulations website.

    Entry requirements

    All entrants must hold a BA/BSc degree awarded by a recognised university, or equivalent.

    Various higher education and professional qualifications are considered equivalent to a degree. If you hold a qualification that you believe is an equivalent level to a UK degree you should contact us. The Open University Business School Masters Programme Committee is responsible for judging whether applicants’ qualifications meet the requirements for admission.

    You will also need an appropriate facility in English language, sufficient to be able to work effectively at postgraduate level; generally this means capability equivalent to an International English Language Test System (IELTS) score of 6.5.  To assess your English language skills in relation to your proposed studies you can visit the IELTS website. If you think either of these possibilities may apply to you, please speak to an adviser.

    It is strongly recommended that you are comfortable with the use of numerical methods and use of spreadsheets. If you are unsure about these skills we suggest you familiarise yourself with illustrative numerical skills and methods prior to study. To help you decide whether you are ready, you may want to try this diagnostic quiz.

    If you have any doubt about the suitability of the course, please contact us


    Start End England fee Register
    06 May 2023 Oct 2023 £1690.00

    Registration closes 13/04/23 (places subject to availability)

    May 2023 is the final start date for this course. For more information, see Future availability.

    Future availability

    Investment and portfolio management starts once a year – in May. This page describes the module that will start in May 2023 when we expect it to start for the last time. A replacement module is planned for May 2024.

    Additional costs

    Study costs

    There may be extra costs on top of the tuition fee, such as set books, a computer and internet access.

    Ways to pay for this module

    We know there’s a lot to think about when choosing to study, not least how much it’s going to cost and how you can pay.

    That’s why we keep our fees as low as possible and offer a range of flexible payment and funding options, including a postgraduate loan, if you study this module as part of an eligible qualification. To find out more, see Fees and funding.

    Study materials

    What's included

    An extensive variety of specially written resources presented in different media and designed exclusively for this module. Audio-visual material, published articles, case studies and access to The Open University library. 

    Computing requirements

    You’ll need broadband internet access and a desktop or laptop computer with an up-to-date version of Windows (10 or 11), or macOS (11 'Big Sur' or higher).

    Any additional software will be provided or is generally freely available.

    To join in spoken conversations in tutorials, we recommend a wired headset (headphones/earphones with a built-in microphone).

    Our module websites comply with web standards, and any modern browser is suitable for most activities.

    Our OU Study mobile app will operate on all current, supported versions of Android and iOS. It’s not available on Kindle.

    It’s also possible to access some module materials on a mobile phone, tablet device or Chromebook. However, as you may be asked to install additional software or use certain applications, you’ll also require a desktop or laptop as described above.

    If you have a disability

    This module is delivered online and time spent using a computer and the internet will therefore be extensive. Written transcripts of any audio components are available, as are printable versions of the online text-based material. Some online material may not be available or fully accessible using a screen reader (and mathematical and scientific materials may be particularly difficult to read in this way). Alternative formats of the study materials may be available in the future. Our Services for disabled students website has the latest information about availability.

    If you have particular study requirements please tell us as soon as possible, as some of our support services may take several weeks to arrange. Visit our Disability support website to find more about what we offer.