GRA 6556 Sustainable Finance

GRA 6556 Sustainable Finance

Course code: 
GRA 6556
Course coordinator: 
Stig Roar Haukoe Lundeby
Bruno Gerard
Course name in Norwegian: 
Sustainable Finance
Product category: 
MSc in Finance
2023 Spring
Active status: 
Level of study: 
Teaching language: 
Course type: 
One semester

This course aims to introduce students to the sustainability issues and ethical challenges facing today’s financial industry. It argues that the industry’s ability to generate long-term sustainable returns depends on well-functioning and well-governed markets that correctly account for ethical issues and societal and environmental risks.

This course starts with a discussion of the purpose of the company and outlines the conditions under which sustainability and ethical considerations may clash with purely financial goals. The course further asks why clients of the financial industry are increasingly demanding sustainable investment opportunities. These opportunities intend to offer competitive financial returns over the long term while also advancing sustainability goals through those investments. The course explains the strategies used to pursue sustainability goals including negative and positive screening, ESG integration, thematic investment, corporate engagement, and impact investing.

Learning outcomes - Knowledge

By the end of the course, students will

  • Comprehend the role and value of finance in the modern global economy and society
  • Become familiar with the institutional landscape of sustainable investing
  • Become familiar with the various strategies investors deploy to pursue sustainability goals
  • Develop an understanding of the reasons put forward for sustainable investing and will be able to critically evaluate the merits of this investment approach
Learning outcomes - Skills

Upon completion of the course, students should be able to

  • Formulate and critically assess arguments for and against different strategies related to sustainable finance
  • Understand the sometimes confusing vocabulary of this new field
  • Read and understand scientific articles related to sustainable finance


General Competence

The course provides ample opportunities to gain general competence in understanding the purpose of the financial industry as a part of the wider societal and environmental context. This competence provides important insights into the student’s career plans and working methods in professional life.

Course content

The course will cover among others the following topics (content may vary from year to year):

  • Purpose of the company
  • Investor demand for sustainability and the many facets of sustainable investing
  • Pricing of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) risks
  • Can investors really do well by doing good?
  • Ethics in the financial industry
  • Professional codes of conduct
Teaching and learning activities

Lectures and class discussions. Students are expected to prepare for the lecture by reading assigned materials and participate actively in the discussions. There will be various assignments throughout the course. Most learning will take place through student discussions of papers, cases, and other assignments.

Software tools
Additional information

Please note that while attendance is not compulsory in all courses, it is the student’s own responsibility to obtain any information provided in class.

This is a course with continuous assessment (several exam components) and one final exam code. Each exam component is graded by using points on a scale from 0-100. The components will be weighted together according to the information in the course description in order to calculate the final letter grade for the examination code (course). Students who fail to participate in one/some/all exam elements will get a lower grade or may fail the course. You will find detailed information about the point system and the cut off points with reference to the letter grades when the course starts.

At resit, all exam components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course.


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 (1 - 6)
1 Semester(s)
Exam code: 
GRA 65561
Grading scale: 
Point scale leading to ECTS letter grade
All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
Exam category: 
Form of assessment: 
Written submission
Support materials: 
  • BI-approved exam calculator
  • Simple calculator
  • Bilingual dictionary
2 Hour(s)
Written examination under supervision
Exam code: 
GRA 65561
Grading scale: 
Point scale leading to ECTS letter grade
All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
Type of Assessment: 
Continuous assessment
Grading scale: 
Total weight: 
Student workload
36 Hour(s)
Prepare for teaching
44 Hour(s)
Group work / Assignments
40 Hour(s)
Student's own work with learning resources
40 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.