This course is discontinued

ECON4520 – Finance Theory 2: Option theory with applications

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

Choose semester

Course content

Topics include:

  • Theory of pricing of derivative assets, such as forward and futures contracts and in particular options
  • Applications to real options, i.e., multiperiod investment problems under uncertainty ("compensation") to employees
  • Some knowledge of actual options markets

Learning outcome

The basics of absence-of-arbitrage pricing models, including the ability to evaluate when, how, and to what extent the models are applicable. Binomial trees in discrete time as well as diffusions in continuous time. Ability to formulate a non-financial investment problem as a real options problem.


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Formal prerequisite knowledge

Bachelor's degree in Economics, or equivalent

Recommended previous knowledge

ECON3120 – Mathematics 2: Calculus and Linear Algebra / ECON4120 – Mathematics 2: Calculus and Linear Algebra (could be taken in parallel with this course, at the latest), ECON4515 – Finance Theory 1: Portfolio choice and equilibrium models (discontinued). Students who have not taken ECON4515, should at least have background in microeconomics from [ECON3210 / ECON4210 – Decisions, markets and incentives (discontinued), or ECON4140 – Mathematics 3: Differential Equations, Static and Dynamic Optimization, or take one of these in parallel.


Lectures: 2 hours per week throughout the semester.

Seminars: 2 hours per week through parts of the semester.

There might occur weeks exempt from teaching (where students are expected to do compulsory term paper).

1 compulsory term paper to hand in, with one extra opportunity for those who fail.

Access to teaching

A student who has had the compulsory term paper approved, is not entitled to hand in the term paper again. A student who has previously been admitted to the course, but who has not completed the compulsory term paper, is entitled to repeat the course, contingent on available capacity.


A 3-hour written school exam. Students are not allowed to present themselves to the written school exam if the 3 compulsory term papers are not approved.

When the compulsory term papers are approved, the result will be registered. Students can retake the written exam later without handing in compulsory term papers again.

Examination support material

Resources allowed: A calculator is allowed.

Language of examination

The problem set will be given in English. Answers can be given in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or in English. See § 5.4 in Regulations governing studies and examinations at the University of Oslo.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Students who might wish to retake the exam later, are not guaranteed that the course is ever repeated with a similar reading list, nor that the exam arrangement will be the same.

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.

Facts about this course







Teaching language