Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2020-2021 (archived)


Department: Accounting


Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2020/21
Tied to N3K209
Tied to L1T509


  • None


  • Financial Accounting and Reporting (ACCT403JN)

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • This module has been designed to extend students’ knowledge of financial statements gained from previous courses. Our students will demonstrate critical understanding of, and ability to apply financial analysis techniques to corporate data in assessing corporate performance, risk, growth potential, and value.


  • Revision of financial statements
  • Basics of analysis
  • Liquidity of short-term assets; related debt-paying ability
  • Long-term debt-paying ability
  • Profitability
  • Decision-making and statement of cash flows for investors
  • Equity valuation I
  • Equity valuation II
  • Earnings management

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of this module students should:
  • have an advanced knowledge and critical understanding of the importance and concepts of corporate financial reporting;
  • have an advanced knowledge and critical understanding of the information needs of management for control and decision-making;
  • have an advanced knowledge and critical understanding of how firms create value and how these values are reflected in the financial statements;
  • have an advanced knowledge and critical understanding of the fundamental models of corporate valuation and their relationship to published financial data;
  • have an advanced knowledge and critical understanding of the essential requirements for accounting treatments for some important items in financial statements;
  • have an advanced knowledge and critical understanding of earnings managment tactics adopted by managers for opportunistic purposes;
  • develop the ability of using financial statement analysis to forecast a firm's future performance, and estimate a firm's fundamental value.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • have acquired specialist knowledge of the main financial analysis techniques used by analysts and be able to apply these tools to published financial statements to assess corporate performance, prospects and value.
Key Skills:
  • Written Communication;
  • Planning, Organising and Time Management;
  • Problem Solving and Analysis;
  • Using Initiative;
  • Numeracy;
  • Computer Literacy.

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

  • The module will be delivered by a combination of lectures, practical sessions, case studies and guided reading appropriate for conveying the specialist knowledge and skills set out in the learning outcomes.
  • The summative assessment is a financial statement analysis designed to test students’ knowledge, understanding, and ability to apply techniques of financial statement analysis for the purpose of assessing corporate performance, prospects, and value

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 10 Weekly 2 hours 20
Practical sessions 3 Fortnightly 1 hour 3
Seminar 2 Twice 1 hour 2
Preparation and reading 125
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Written assignment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Financial statement analysis 2,500 words (max) 100% Same

Formative Assessment:

Works prepared by students for practical sessions; answers to questions either discussed during a practical session, or posted on DUO.

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