Timetable information in the Course Catalogue may be subject to change.

University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : Business School : Common Courses (Management School)

Postgraduate Course: FinTech Infrastructures and Innovation (CMSE11585)

Course Outline
SchoolBusiness School CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryFinancial markets have been radically transformed in recent decades through the development of new financial products, technologies, and infrastructures, a pattern that is only accelerating with ongoing developments in FinTech. This course will provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to understand the social, political/regulatory, and technological consequences of these developments.
Course description Financial markets are continually transformed through the development of new financial products and technologies. While FinTech represents the latest wave of financial innovation, earlier decades saw the development of swaps and options, exchange-traded funds, mortgage securitisation, algorithmic trading, as well as novel risk management techniques such as portfolio insurance.

This course is designed to provide students studying on the Finance, Technology and Policy MSc programme with the knowledge and skills necessary to critically examine the social, political, and technological impacts of innovation in finance on markets, institutions, and broader society.

This course addresses this topic by examining:

- The historical development of core financial infrastructures (e.g. those related to payments, lending, etc.) and the impacts innovation in these infrastructures has had on markets and society;
- How ongoing technological innovation in FinTech (e.g. in areas such as blockchain and AI) are shaping, and in some cases are replacing, these infrastructures, and their potential consequences for markets and society.

The course addresses this topic through an interdisciplinary lens. Thus, while the course draws on the economics literature on financial innovation, it also draws on concepts and theories from strategic management, political economy, economic sociology, and science and technology studies. Theoretically, the course approaches the study of financial innovation through an 'infrastructural' lens, rather than a focus on discrete technologies: that is, one that focuses on the interconnected systems/assemblages of practices, routines, standards, and devices that underpins the day-to-day operation of financial markets. The focus of lectures and seminars will be to draw practical lessons from several historical episodes of financial innovation to shed light on the possible consequences of ongoing developments in FinTech.

Course materials will evolve to reflect ongoing developments in the FinTech space. The following two lectures will introduce students to the FinTech sector and provide conceptual/theoretical tools for understanding innovations in this space:
- Introduction to Financial Technology (FinTech)
- Theorizing FinTech Innovation: products, technologies, and infrastructures

The last three weeks of the course will focus on the development of specific financial infrastructures that are currently undergoing change due to developments in FinTech. Indicative lecture titles include:
- Payment infrastructures: From SWIFT to blockchains
- Lending infrastructures: How AI is transforming consumer lending
- Trading and settlement infrastructures: From trading 'pits' to automated market makers

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Block 2 (Sem 1)
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 7, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 5, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 84 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 75 %, Practical Exam 25 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 75% coursework (Individual) - Assesses all course Learning Outcomes

25% presentation (group) - Assesses all course Learning Outcomes
Feedback Formative: Feedback will be provided throughout the course.

Summative: Feedback will be provided on the assessments within agreed deadlines.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Exhibit a critical understanding of different concepts and theories used to understand financial innovation and its consequences.
  2. Understand (at a broad level) major financial innovations and infrastructures that have emerged in recent decades, and the effect that these innovations have had on markets and broader society.
  3. Make sophisticated use of relevant concepts and theories from the academic literature on financial innovation to assess the consequences of new financial products and technologies on financial markets, institutions, and broader society.
Reading List
Pardo-Guerra, Juan Pablo. Automating Finance: Infrastructures, Engineers, and the Making of Electronic Markets. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2019.
MacKenzie, Donald. Trading at the Speed of Light: How Ultrafast Algorithms Are Transforming Financial Markets. Princeton University Press, 2021.

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Cognitive Skills

After completing this course, students should be able to:

Be self-motivated; curious; show initiative; set, achieve and surpass goals; as well as demonstrating adaptability, capable of handling complexity and ambiguity, with a willingness to learn; as well as being able to demonstrate the use digital and other tools to carry out tasks effectively, productively, and with attention to quality.

Understand how to manage and sustain successful individual and group relationships in order to achieve positive and responsible outcomes, in a range of virtual and face-to-face environments.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with Others

After completing this course, students should be able to:

Understand oneself and others, through critical reflection, diversity awareness and empathic development, in order to maximise individual and collective resilience, and personal and professional potential.

Practice: Applied Knowledge, Skills and Understanding

After completing this course, students should be able to:

Work with a variety of organisations, their stakeholders, and the communities they serve -learning from them, and aiding them to achieve responsible, sustainable and enterprising solutions to complex problems.

Communication, ICT, and Numeracy Skills

After completing this course, students should be able to:

Convey meaning and message through a wide range of communication tools, including digital technology and social media; to understand how to use these tools to communicate in ways that sustain positive and responsible relationships.

Knowledge and Understanding

After completing this course, students should be able to:

Demonstrate a thorough knowledge and understanding of contemporary organisational disciplines; comprehend the role of business within the contemporary world; and critically evaluate and synthesise primary and secondary research and sources of evidence in order to make, and present, well informed and transparent organisation-related decisions, which have a positive global impact.

Identify, define and analyse theoretical and applied business and management problems, and develop approaches, informed by an understanding of appropriate quantitative and/or qualitative techniques, to explore and solve them responsibly.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Taylor Spears
Tel: (0131 6)51 1057
Course secretaryMiss Tamara Turford
Tel: (0131 6)50 8074
Help & Information
Search DPTs and Courses
Degree Programmes
Browse DPTs
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Important Information