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MAA728 - Financial Behaviour and Decision Making


2020 unit information

Important Update:

Classes and seminars in Trimester 2, 2020 will be online.

Last updated: 2 June 2020

Enrolment modes:Trimester 1: Burwood (Melbourne), Cloud (online)
Trimester 2: Cloud (online)
Credit point(s):1
Previously coded as:MAF714
EFTSL value:0.125
Unit Chair:Trimester 1: Campbell Heggen
Trimester 2: Campbell Heggen

For M540, M569, M640, M669, M769, M770 and N002 enrolled students: Nil

All other students: MAA745 or MAF765

Incompatible with: MAF714
Typical study commitment:

Students will on average spend 150 hours over the teaching period undertaking the teaching, learning and assessment activities for this unit.

Scheduled learning activities - campus:

1 x 3 hour seminar per week

Scheduled learning activities - cloud:

Online independent and collaborative learning including 3 scheduled online workshops of 3 hours duration


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The Financial Planning professional must be able to build a deep understanding of their client’s needs, and be able to anticipate issues many clients may have not even considered. This unit builds on the technical knowledge acquired in other units, to broaden students understanding of the professional skills and knowledge required to manage long-term client relationships, and develop comprehensive understanding of clients’ needs in order to formulate strategies and solutions that are in the client’s best interest.

Drawing on insights from the behavioural sciences, this unit requires students to develop strategies to build trust, communicate the value of advice, and engage clients at each stage of the financial planning process. Students will be introduced to the field of behavioural finance, to develop an understanding of factors that influence financial behaviour and decision making and approaches to positively influence behavioural change.


These are the Learning Outcomes (ULO) for this Unit
At the completion of this Unit, successful students can:

>Deakin Graduate Learning Outcomes


Critically draw upon the theoretical knowledge of the psychology of client engagement in the financial services context to design effective strategies for engaging a variety of clients.

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities


Think critically to solve communication problems and communicate effectively (verbal and non-verbal) with clients and peers.

GLO2: Communication

GLO5: Problem solving


Apply knowledge of behavioural biases individuals may exhibit and explain strategies to mitigate the impact of these biases on financial decision making.

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities


Adapt sound judgment when engaging in ethical practice and display professional standards reflecting responsible and sustainable practices.

GLO8: Global citizenship

These Unit Learning Outcomes are applicable for all teaching periods throughout the year


Assessment Description Student output Grading and weighting
(% total mark for unit)
Indicative due week 
Assessment 1: Report (Business) (Individual or Group 2) 3000 words 30% Week 6

Assessment 2:

Part 1: Report (Research) (Individual)

Part 2: Written Reflection (Self) (Individual)

Part 1: 1500 words. 

Part 2: 1000

Part 1: 20%

Part 2: 10%

Week 9
Closed book Examination  2 hours 40% Exam period

The assessment due weeks provided may change. The Unit Chair will clarify the exact assessment requirements, including the due date, at the start of the teaching period.

Learning Resource

The texts and reading list for the unit can be found on the University Library via the link below: MAA728 Note: Select the relevant trimester reading list. Please note that a future teaching period's reading list may not be available until a month prior to the start of that teaching period so you may wish to use the relevant trimester's prior year reading list as a guide only.

Unit Fee Information

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