Knowledge to Lead

UNITAR Online Catalogue

Fundamentals of the Derivative Markets (2019)


4 Nov 2019
5 Weeks
Programme Area
Public Finance and Trade
Event Focal Point Email


The derivative markets are the financial markets for derivatives, financial instruments like futures contracts or options, which are derived from other forms of assets. The market can be divided into two, that for exchange traded derivatives and that for over-the-counter derivatives. The legal nature of these products is very different as well as the way they are traded, though many market participants are active in both. Forwards, futures, swaps, options, hybrids (such as swaptions and options on futures) and a category called "other" (including credit derivatives and weather derivatives) make up the derivative markets (also called forward markets). The word is drawn from "derive" and means that the derivative instrument cannot exist on its own; it is closely related to "something" and this something is usually a cash (spot) market instrument and it is called the underlying instrument. This foundation course will expose participants to the context of the derivative markets, discuss key theoretical concepts of the derivative markets, and provide tools to analyze the essential characteristics of each derivative market.

Learning Objectives

After the course, the participants should be able to:

  • Describe the elements that comprise the derivative markets;
  • Explain the characteristics of the various types of forward contracts;
  • Define the aspects and significance of futures markets;
  • Prepare a contract either for interest rate, currency, equity, and commodity swaps; and
  • Calculate the fair value prices of the derivative instruments.

Content and Structure

The course consists of the following modules:

  • Module 1 Derivative Markets: Context
  • Module 2 Derivative Markets: Forwards
  • Module 3 Derivative Markets: Futures
  • Module 4 Derivative Markets: Swaps
  • Module 5 Derivative Markets: Options
  • Module 6 Derivative Markets: Other Derivatives


In order to ensure the best possible outreach, the course will be delivered through e-learning. Through a multiple-instructional setting, the goal is to achieve the learning objectives by means of learning technologies that match personal learning styles and by the inclusion of non-linear learning that aims at the development of just-in-time skills of adult learners. At the same time, in order to allow participants maximum flexibility of scheduling , the learning will be conducted in an asynchronous manner. Using a state-of-the-art training architecture, UNITAR will combine self-learning with assessments and online discussions. The pedagogy - adapted specifically to professionals in full-time work - will help train participants through various experiences: absorb (read); do (activity); interact (socialize); reflect (relate to one’s own reality).

Targeted Audience

The intended audience includes members and employees of securities exchanges, dealers in other parts of the financial sector, financial market analysts, economists, company treasury managers and dealers, employees of treasury management companies, private sector bankers, central bankers, government treasury officials, large investors, trustees of retirement funds, corporate borrowers, and commodity manufacturers.

Additional Information

A certificate of completion will be issued by UNITAR to all participants who complete the course-related assignments and assessments successfully. Course schedule is subject to change. Course fee is non-refundable but transferrable to another course or participant and subject to change as per UNITAR's policy on pricing.

Recommended hardware and software requirements for taking our e-learning courses:

  • Platform: Windows XP sp3, Vista sp2, Windows 7 sp1, MacOS X.
  • Hardware: 2 GB of RAM and higher for Vista and Windows 7.
  • Software: Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Powerpoint and Adobe Acrobat Reader (downloadable for free at
  • Browser: Internet Explorer 8 or higher; Mozilla Firefox 8 or higher.
  • Internet connection: 128kbps and higher.
  • Note: JavaScript, pop-ups & cookies must be enabled.