COMM 271 - Introduction to Capital Markets (formerly COMM 286V)

COMM 271 provides an academically rigorous overview of the capital markets and the functions of the players in those markets. The course will combine examining the markets from a purely economic perspective as well as seeing the markets from the professional’s perspective; the professional perspective will be provided by capital markets professionals. Students will be responsible for integrating the academic and professional perspectives of the markets.

Much of the material will be self-taught, as student teams (organized by the instructors) take turns presenting class lectures, supplemented by the instructors.

Learning objectives

The objective of the course is to allow students who MAY have an interest in finance and the global capital markets to:

  • identify institutions and careers in capital markets that align with their skills and interest
  • apply fundamental valuation techniques to stock and bond investments
  • understand written and verbal communications that are commonplace in capital markets
  • describe firm characteristics that are associated with fundamental firm value
  • convey written and verbal arguments on the fairness of valuation of stocks


Admission to COMM 271 is by application only, and is restricted to BCom students entering Year 2. To apply, please submit ONE pdf file containing: (i) a cover letter, (ii) a 1-page resume, and (iii) a list of university grades (a printout of your grades summary from the Student Service Centre is sufficient) to Robert Heinkel

For the 2024 Winter Session, the deadline to apply is Friday, May 10, 2024 at 4:00pm for direct-entry students (transfer students will receive an email invitation to apply). Successful applicants will be notified of acceptance in either early to mid June (direct-entry) or late July (transfers), and then registered in the course in July.

Students with a pre-existing interest in the capital markets may also consider applying to the UBC Portfolio Management Foundation Program (PMF) in their second year, however, note that admission to COMM 271 in June is not a factor in the selection of students for the PMF. This course is designed to help students prepare themselves for a capital markets career regardless of whether they plan to participate in the PMF program.

Note: This course was formerly numbered first as COMM 486V, and then as COMM 286V. If you took the course as COMM 486V, it is still counted as a lower-level elective.

Course credits:

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