Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2007-2008 (archived)


Department: Economics, Finance and Business (Business)


Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2007/08
Tied to N1K017
Tied to N1KC17


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To provide students with a critical appreciation of the financial tools of business management, in particular, the techniques of financial statement analysis and a critical understanding of the key skills of valuing investments and financial securities. In addition, it provides a critical evaluation of the factors affecting the financing mix of a firm and of the financial markets in which firms operate and gives insight into topical issues in the area.


  • Fundamental Concepts of Accounting: Understanding financial statements; Role of Accounting: Users, Characteristics of accounting information; Accounting Conventions; Distinction of Profit and Cash.
  • Evaluating Financial Performance: Balance Sheet and Asset Reporting; Profit and Loss Account and Income Reporting; Impact of Judgement; Cash Flow Statement; Diagnosing profitability, risk and growth; Ratio Analysis.
  • Value Creation and Working Capital Management: Operating Cycle; Debtors and Creditors; Stocks; Cash Management.
  • Value Creation and Short-Term Decision Making: Nature of costs; Overhead allocation; Break-even Analysis and Contribution margins; Cost Volume Profit relationships.
  • Management Control Systems: Nature of management control data; Elements of a control system; Budgeting and performance measurement systems.
  • Managing Finance to Create Value: An Introduction: Key questions; Financial managers and value creation; The Balance-Sheet model of a firm; Goals in the corporate firm and agency issues; The role of financial markets; An introduction to discounting.
  • Making Value - Creating Investment Decisions: Capital Investment Process; Identifying and estimating a project's cash flows; Techniques of investment appraisal; Value-creation and the risk-return trade-off.
  • Value-Creation and Financial Markets: Do financial markets value firms correctly?; The implications of the way in which financial markets value firms.
  • Making Value - Creating Financial Decisions: Raising Capital and valuing securities; Methods and processes of raising equity capital; Debt capital - sources and characteristics; Estimating the cost of capital and valuing securities.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module, students will have:
  • an advanced knowledge and critical understanding of the key financial statements and techniques for their interpretation;
  • explored and appreciated issues relating to working capital management;
  • explored and appreciated the concepts of budgeting and short term decision analysis;
  • explored and appreciated the factors affecting the financing mix of a firm;
  • demonstrated a critical appreciation of the fundamentals of financial markets in which firms operate.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of the module, students will have:
  • acquired and used the key skills of valuing investments and financial securities and have a critical appreciation of those skills.
Key Skills:

    Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

    • Learning outcomes will be met through a combination of lectures, groupwork, case studies and discussion, supported by guided reading. The summative assessment of the module, by written examination, will test students' acquisition and articulation of knowledge and their ability to apply what they have learned in a particular context.

    Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

    Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
    Workshops (a combination of lectures, groupwork, case studies and discussion) 42
    Preparation and Reading 108
    Total 150

    Summative Assessment

    Component: Writen Examination Component Weighting: 100%
    Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
    Written Examination 3 hours 100%

    Formative Assessment:

    A written group report on Board Room Simulation company.

    Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University