Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2012-2013 (archived)


Department: Business School (Business)


Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2012/13 Module Cap
Tied to N1D317
Tied to N1D217
Tied to N1D314


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • This elective builds on the material covered in the core module Managing Finance and primarily aims to examine how the appropriate use of financial strategy can add value to the corporation. By integrating corporate financial decisions with wider issues of corporate strategy, the Module addresses the problem of conflicting objectives within the corporation and informational asymmetries between internal and external agents. The Module also examines how corporate managers can take advantage of the growing sophistication of financial markets in organic internal development as well as dynamic external growth of corporations.


  • Introduction to Corporate Finance
  • Investment Appraisal
  • Cost of Capital
  • Gearing and Shareholder Wealth
  • The Dividend Decision
  • Corporate Restructuring
  • Foreign Exchanges and Derivatives
  • Venture Capital Investment

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module students will have:
  • critical understanding of how lessons learned from the financial markets can be applied to the world of corporate financial management and strategy;
  • advanced knowledge and critical understanding of how managers make financial decisions in a world of uncertainty and imperfect information;
  • critical understanding of how the structure of organisations can influence corporate decision-making and performance;
  • critical knowledge of the main methods of company valuation, their merits and disadvantages;
  • critical understanding of the determinants of capital structure and payout policy, including non-financial stakeholders’ interest, the costs of financial distress, and the informational content of gearing and dividends;
  • critical understanding of the role of takeovers as a tool for corporate control;
  • critical understanding of the financing issues associated with smaller firms.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of the module students will have:
  • demonstrated ability to learn and work independently in finance, exercising critical judgement and discrimination in the resolution of complex problematic situations;
  • had the opportunity to apply their problem solving and analytical skills to issues in finance in a complex specialised context.
Key Skills:

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

    • The module is delivered in discrete Units. These are designed to enable the learning outcomes to be achieved through a combination of specially written material, directed reading, reflection through self-assessed assignments and guidance for further reading. Module tutors provide feedback on formative work and are available for individual consultation as necessary (by email, telephone, post or fax).
    • The written assignment will test students’ understanding of relevant concepts and their ability to apply and interpret what they have learned to the analysis of a particular issue in depth.

    Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

    Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
    D L Study Units (a combination of specially written material, directed reading, self-assessed assignments and guidance for further reading) 150
    Total 150

    Summative Assessment

    Component: Written Assignment Component Weighting: 100%
    Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
    Written Assignment 4,000 words maximum 100%

    Formative Assessment:

    1 Compulsory Tutor Assessed Assignment, (1,500 words).

    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