GRA 6547 Research Methodology in Finance

GRA 6547 Research Methodology in Finance

Course code: 
GRA 6547
Course coordinator: 
Patrick Konermann
Course name in Norwegian: 
Research Methodology in Finance
Product category: 
MSc - Core course
2024 Spring
Active status: 
Level of study: 
Teaching language: 
Course type: 
One semester

Welcome to this mandatory and important research methodology course in Finance. The importance of this course can be summarised in the following three questions:
1) What do I need to be able to identify the empirical predictions of a financial or economic theory?
2) What do I need to be able to test the empirical predictions of the theory?
3) What do I need to be able to critically evaluate the research methodology used in financial research?
Answer: Research Methodology in Finance.

Learning outcomes - Knowledge

During the course, students should develop knowledge about:

  • Regression analysis,
  • Time series modelling,
  • Cointegration and volatility modelling, and
  • information search strategies.
Learning outcomes - Skills

Upon completion of the course, the students should be able to:

  • Estimate regression models, perform hypotheses tests on parameter estimates, and test for violations of the underlying assumptions.
  • Estimate univariate and multivariate time series models and identify which model is most suitable for a given data series.
  • Construct models capturing the long-run relations between cointegrated variables and estimate univariate GARCH models.
  • Search for articles on a given topic and evaluate their sources critically.
  • The students will obtain an understanding of information harvesting strategies, including search techniques and critical evaluation of sources.

Moreover, the course provides students with the necessary skills to extract data from Wharton Research Data Services (WRDS) and implement the econometric techniques in R.

General Competence

This course introduces students to important econometric techniques that are used in empirical finance. It focusses on the assumptions underlying the different theories and methods covered. Hence, it is expected that students have a critical attitude towards the realism of these. 

Course content

Regression analysis

  • Classical linear regression model (CLRM)
  • CLRM assumptions and the diagnostic tests
  • Panel regressions

Time series modeling

  • Univariate time series analysis
    • Moving average (MA) processes
    • Autoregressive (AR) processes
    • ARMA processes
    • Box-Jenkins methodology
    • Forecasting in econometrics
  • Multivariate time series analysis
    • Vector autoregressive (VAR) models
    • Block significance and causality tests
    • Impulse responses and variance decompositions

Cointegration and volatility modeling

  • Cointegration: Modelling long-run financial behavior
    • Stationarity and unit root testing
    • Cointegration
    • Error correction models
    • Testing for cointegration
    • Parameter estimation in cointegrated systems
  • Modeling volatility: GARCH models
    • Models for volatility
    • Autoregressive conditionally heteroscedastic (ARCH) models
    • Generalized ARCH (GARCH) models
    • Estimation of GARCH models

Information search strategies

  • Search strategies
  • Literature review articles
  • Evaluation of sources
Teaching and learning activities

The course elements include lectures, in-class exercises, and assignments. A class will typically start with a review of the last class and a discussion of in-class exercises. During the lectures, we will introduce new econometric techniques and discuss their practical application in R. To strengthen the students' understanding of these concepts, the students have to submit assignments (group work). In these, they download the data themselves from a database (e.g., WRDS), import the data into R, run econometric analyses, and produce tables and graphs summarizing their findings in their solution paper. Here, strong emphasis will be placed on the interpretation of the results from a statistical as well as from an economic point of view.

Software tools
Additional information

The exam for this course has been changed starting academic year 2023/2024. The course now has three exam codes instead of one. It is not possible to retake the old version of the exam. Please note new exam codes in the Exam section of the course description. 

It is the student’s own responsibility to obtain any information provided in class.

Honour Code
Academic honesty and trust are important to all of us as individuals and represent values that are encouraged and promoted by the honor code system. This is a most significant university tradition. Students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with the ideals of the honor code system, to which the faculty are also deeply committed. Any violation of the honor code will be dealt with in accordance with BI’s procedures for cheating. These issues are a serious matter to everyone associated with the programs at BI and are at the heart of the honor code and academic integrity. Please ask if you have any questions about your responsibilities under the honor code.


All courses in the Masters programme will assume that students have fulfilled the admission requirements for the programme. In addition, courses in second, third and/or fourth semester can have specific prerequisites and will assume that students have followed normal study progression. For double degree and exchange students, please note that equivalent courses are accepted.


Deviations in teaching and exams may occur if external conditions or unforeseen events call for this.


Exam category: 
Form of assessment: 
Written submission
Group/Individual (1 - 3)
1 Week(s)
Library assignment
Exam code: 
GRA 65477
Grading scale: 
Examination when next scheduled course
Exam category: 
Form of assessment: 
Written submission
Group/Individual (1 - 5)
1 Semester(s)
Submission is due one week before the end of classes.
Exam code: 
GRA 65478
Grading scale: 
Examination when next scheduled course
Exam category: 
Form of assessment: 
Written submission
Support materials: 
  • BI-approved exam calculator
  • Simple calculator
  • Bilingual dictionary
3 Hour(s)
Final written examination under supervision
Exam code: 
GRA 65479
Grading scale: 
Examination when next scheduled course
Type of Assessment: 
Ordinary examination
All exams must be passed to get a grade in this course.
Total weight: 
Student workload
36 Hour(s)
Prepare for teaching
50 Hour(s)
Group work / Assignments
50 Hour(s)
Student's own work with learning resources
24 Hour(s)
Sum workload: 

A course of 1 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of 26-30 hours. Therefore a course of 6 ECTS credits corresponds to a workload of at least 160 hours.