Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2007-2008 (archived)

Module BUSI55615: Enterprising Finance

Department: Economics, Finance and Business (Business)

BUSI55615: Enterprising Finance

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2007/08
Tied to N1KG07
Tied to N1DL07
Tied to N1KG12
Tied to N1DL12
Tied to N1KG14
Tied to N1DL14


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • Medium Sized Enterprises usually have established financial systems in place but these are often underused and usually supported by the help of external, qualified accountants. Indeed this sector is often exemplified by the fact that they have just, or are just about to, appoint their own internal accountant. This module seeks to give the students the communicative competence to deal with the specialist in the finance sector - including accountants, banks and venture capitalists.


  • The content of this module is set with a Medium Enterprise context and covers the following areas:
  • Strategy, Planning and Finance Linkages
  • The Accounting System - designing account codes and responsibility centres
  • The Statutory and Management Profit and Loss Statements
  • Gross Profit and Gross Margins
  • Depreciation
  • Variance analysis
  • The Statutory and Management Balance sheet Statements
  • Fixed Assets
  • Working Capital
  • Debt and Equity Funding
  • The Cash Flow Statement
  • The Cash Flow Forecast
  • Managing the Debtors
  • The Difference Between Cash and Profit.
  • How the three financial statements interact
  • The Financial Ratio Decision tree
  • Using Financial Ratios
  • Costings
  • Applying the Direct Costs
  • Direct Costing on a Product by Product Basis
  • Product Specific Fixed Costs
  • Absorption Costs
  • Absorption Costing
  • Absorbing Overheads in a Volatile Market.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
    Subject-specific Skills:
    • By the end of the module, students should be able to:
    • Analyse and critique the format in which their accounts are currently prepared.
    • Produce up a profit and loss statement, a balance sheet and a cash flow statement, recognising the origin, recording and significance of the information presented.
    • Evaluate the importance of historical financial information.
    • Link financial forecasting to strategic business planning, accounting for sales, gross margin, employee costs and marketing.
    • Utilise basic techniques of payback analysis to evaluate investment potential.
    • Monitor and evaluate financial performance using key financial ratios.
    • Analyse the influence of cost drivers on pricing policies.
    Key Skills:

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

      • Lectures and seminars, supported by guided reading, will be used to introduce and explore the key concepts and theories.
      • Financial exercises and bespoke case studies will help them develop their ability to apply the various techniques and calculations in a wide variety of circumstances.
      • Directors and senior managers in Medium Enterprises need to be able to understand the origination, calculation and interpret the presentation of financial statements. This modular unit provides participants with understanding and knowledge of traditional financial reporting, providing them with the ability to compile and interpret reports and understand limitations and conventions.
      • After developing this basic understanding of accounting convention and financial reporting, directors and senior managers must effectively analyse the data for decision-making purposes. this modular unit gives students the ability to use the tools and techniques of financial analysis which influence key decision, making throughout budgeting, investment, costing and pricing processes.
      • The summative assignment will require the student to analyse the Financial Systems and Financial Reports in their own organisation and comment on how these aid (or not) the organisational decision making process. This assignment allows students to consider the practical application of the subject covered. Progressive completion of the Learning Log allows progress towards achieving learning objectives to be monitored throughout. Together, the Personal Statement and Learning Log provide a framework for reflection that is then incorporated within the final Presentation.

      Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

      Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
      Lectures 2 In 2 day consecutive residential session 18
      Tutorials 1 Once 5 hours 5
      Mentor visits 2 Twice 5 hours 10
      Visit by students to the place of work of one of the other students 1 Once 5 hours 5
      Preparation & Reading 112
      Total 150

      Summative Assessment

      Component: Assignment Component Weighting: 100%
      Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
      Essay 2,500 words 100%

      Formative Assessment:


      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