Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2018-2019 (archived)


Department: Business School (Economics and Finance)


Type Tied Level 2 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2018/19 Module Cap None. Location Durham
Tied to NN43
Tied to N302
Tied to N304
Tied to NN42
Tied to N204
Tied to N206


  • Introduction to Management Accounting (ECOS1151)


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • Give students a grasp of major techniques of modern management accountancy.
  • Instil an appreciation of the theoretical underpinnings of these practices.
  • Develop a critical awareness of the limitations of management accounting techniques.


  • Introduction; corporate goals; objectives of management accounting in the organisational context. Value of information.
  • Information for Decision-Making: Activity-Based Costing (ABC); Activity-Based Management [ABM]; Cost-volume-profit (CVP) analysis: sensitivity analysis and multi product cost volume profit analysis.
  • Relevant information for decision making; limiting factor analysis (single scarce resources).
  • Linear programming: application to managerial decision problems. Pricing decisions (customer profitability & target costing).
  • Appraising Risk: decision-making under conditions of risk and uncertainty; decision tree analysis.
  • Capital budgeting in making management decisions.
  • Information for Planning and Control: Budgetary control and planning. Standard costing and variance analysis. Variance investigation models; behavioural aspects of budgeting.
  • Quality costs and concerns.
  • Accounting for Just In Time (JIT) technique.
  • Management control systems and performance measurement.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Recognise the importance of organisational goals in the choice and design of management accounting information systems.
  • Able to apply management accounting information in decision making.
  • Able to assess the mechanics of limiting factor analysis.
  • Able to use accounting information in pricing and target costing.
  • Able to evaluate the impact of uncertainty and risk on breakeven analysis (CVP model).
  • Able to construct standard costing and provide critical analysis of the reported variance.
  • Recognise the behavioural aspects of management accounting information, and be able to organise possible methods of ensuring goal congruence and preventing dysfunctional behaviour.
  • Able to assess issues on quality cost and concerns.
  • Able to illustrate the different techniques of performance measurement and management control.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Evaluation the relevance of costs in the decision process.
  • Employ the linear programming approach to scarce resource allocation.
  • Making use of spreadsheet software.
Key Skills:
  • Written Communication -e.g. through preparation of seminar tasks and summative assessment.
  • Interpersonal Communication – e.g. using e-mail to communicate with other students and tutors; discussing solutions to exercises in workshop meetings with both the workshop leader and other students in the group, for example, working as a group to prepare the case study analysis and report required for certain seminar tasks.
  • Planning and Organising - e.g. preparing for fortnightly workshops; preparing the relevant material before lectures. Large amounts of information need to be organised in a meaningful manner for students to be successful in this module.
  • Problem Solving - e.g. by applying the necessary analytical and quantitative skills, to make use of the taught material.
  • Initiative – e.g. by searching relevant literature and information sources in preparation of summative assignment.
  • Computer Literacy - e.g. by word-processing and spreadsheet applications in tackling workshop questions; accessing, and downloading information from the module's web pages; using e-mail to communicate with tutors and other students.

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

  • Lecture delivery will cover the technical material underpinning the course as preparation for seminars which will enable students to develop appropriate skills and understanding of concepts.
  • The formative assessment seeks to ensure basic technical outcomes are achieved early in the module to enable the development of more advanced skills in later sessions.
  • Summative assessment consists of a time constrained in-class test and an examination. The broad topic of the in-class test will be released approximately one month ahead of the assessment. Students will be able to take one textbook into the test, ie the recommended reading for this module. The examination addresses the students' understanding of the key concepts introduced in the module.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 10 fortnightly 2 hour 20
Revision Lectures 2 weekly 2 hour 4
Seminars 8 4 in term 1, 4 in term 2 1 hour 8
Preparation and Reading 168
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Examination Component Weighting: 70%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
One written examination 2 hours 30 mins 100% Same
Component: In-class test Component Weighting: 30%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
One in-class test 1 hour 100% An individual assignment

Formative Assessment:

Online Multiple Choice Test.

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