Street Finance

Apply now for Semester 1, 2017

A burning social issue needs your help

Over the last ten years, consumer debt and exclusion from the financial system have risen dramatically in Australia. Both issues are particularly prevalent among 18-24 year-olds. Especially vulnerable are adolescents and young adults from disadvantaged backgrounds. Both, debt problems and financial exclusion are attributed to low levels of financial literacy.

How can you help? Enrol in Street Finance.

What is Street Finance?

Street Finance is a new third-year subject that involves students visiting secondary schools in Melbourne for the purpose of delivering three lessons on finance topics of interest and relevance to young people.

Participation in Street Finance requires students to develop a thorough understanding of the relevant areas of finance to be taught, based on materials supplied by the Department of Finance. Specific topics to be covered will change from year to year, and may include broad topics (such as budgeting) and/or topics of specific practical relevance to high school students (such as financial aspects of mobile phone contracts).

Street Finance provides a unique opportunity for students to develop their technical and communication skills, while at the same time making a tangible contribution to the community through the delivery of finance lessons to an audience that may not have access to financial education or the finance profession.

Students undertaking Street Finance will develop fundamental communication skills, including the ability to explain complex financial concepts and information to a non-expert, non specialist audience. The program is also designed to build skills and enhance confidence in public speaking, which is important for any finance professional. More broadly, students undertaking the program will gain experience in the provision of community financial education, which is an increasingly important aspect of the work of finance professionals in many parts of the profession (and particularly the community financial sector).

Students will be required to identify the best method of adapting supplied materials to the particular curriculum needs and context of an individual school. The substantive knowledge will then need to be communicated in a clear and accessible manner in presentations to high school students of varying academic abilities and backgrounds.

Students enrolled in this subject will receive instruction in relevant substantive areas from faculty in the Department of Finance, as well as specialist training in pedagogy, lesson planning and delivery from the Melbourne Graduate School of Education. Students will also have the opportunity to develop new materials which may either be used by individual schools and/or by Street Finance in the Department of Finance in future years.

Find out about how past students experienced Street Finance in an article in EXCHANGE magazine.

Learning outcomes

A student who has successfully completed Street Finance will:

  • Have specialised knowledge of at least three substantive areas of finance and financial literacy relevant to young people
  • Have a sophisticated understanding of the importance of financial literacy
  • Develop knowledge about the current status of financial literacy in Australia and government policy in the area
  • Have a nuanced understanding of some of the challenges faced by young people in the Australian economy
  • Have an understanding of community financial resources relevant to young people
  • Have an advanced and practical understanding of the challenges involved in effectively communicating complex financial concepts and ideas to a non-specialist audience
  • Understand and have the ability to critically assess theories of teaching and lesson delivery
  • Have an understanding of appropriate methods for identifying and developing written materials suitable for use to communicate to non-experts

Are you ready to make a difference?

Street Finance (FNCE30008) will be available again to third-year undergraduate students at The University of Melbourne in Semester 1, 2017. Prerequisites for the subject are successful completion of FNCE10001 Finance 1 and a valid Working with Children permit (needs to be obtained before the start of Semester 1, 2017).

Enrollment in Street Finance is limited to 20 students per semester. To apply for Semester 1, 2017, please send an email with your current CV (1 page), a current statement of results (unofficial is sufficient) and a motivation statement describing why you would like to participate in Street Finance (1 page), to Prof Carole Comerton-Forde (carole.comerton-forde@unimelb.edu.au) and Dr Carsten Murawski (carstenm@unimelb.edu.au).

An information session will take place on Tuesday, 18 October at 12:00 pm in the Steve Howard Theatre, Doug McDonell Building.

The deadline for applications is 31 October 2016.

All applicants will be invited to a 15-minute interview, which will take place in early November.

More details on Street Finance are available in the Handbook entry.

For any additional information or questions, please email Prof Carole Comerton-Forde (carole.comerton-forde@unimelb.edu.au) or Dr Carsten Murawski (carstenm@unimelb.edu.au).