Threshold concepts in finance: conceptualizing the curriculum

Susan Hoadley*, Leonie Tickle, Leigh N. Wood, Tim Kyng

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Graduates with well-developed capabilities in finance are invaluable to our society and in increasing demand. Universities face the challenge of designing finance programmes to develop these capabilities and the essential knowledge that underpins them. Our research responds to this challenge by identifying threshold concepts that are central to the mastery of finance and by exploring their potential for informing curriculum design and pedagogical practices to improve student outcomes. In this paper, we report the results of an online survey of finance academics at multiple institutions in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and the United Kingdom. The outcomes of our research are recommendations for threshold concepts in finance endorsed by quantitative evidence, as well as a model of the finance curriculum incorporating finance, modelling and statistics threshold concepts. In addition, we draw conclusions about the application of threshold concept theory supported by both quantitative and qualitative evidence. Our methodology and findings have general relevance to the application of threshold concept theory as a means to investigate and inform curriculum design and delivery in higher education.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)824-840
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 18 Aug 2015


  • finance
  • learning and teaching
  • statistics
  • threshold concepts


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