MBA Foundation Programme Accounting and Finance

Module description

This module aims at equipping you with basic knowledge and skills in accounting and finance to help you prepare for the
MBA’s quantitative modules in term 1. This pre-sessional course is especially designed for non-accountants, non-economists and/or non-financiers.  This is a very participative module with an emphasis on practical exercises both individual and group tasks.

Full module specification

Module title:MBA Foundation Programme Accounting and Finance
Module code:MBAM900B
Module level:M
Academic year:2015/6
Module lecturers:
  • Alistair Roy Clark - Convenor
Module credit:
ECTS value:






Duration of module: Duration (weeks) - term 1:

1 week

Module aims

This module aims to:

  • Refresh basic mathematical skills
  • Clarify the difference between accounting and finance
  • Introduce the language of finance and the lexicon of sustainable finance and responsible investment
  • Explain different types of business structures
  • Show how to construct and interpret an organisations financial statements
  • Introduce the concept of time value of money as an investment appraisal tool

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. perform basic mathematical calculations and manipulation of equations
  • 2. understand how to read data presented in graphs and tables
  • 3. use statistics and probability to analyse historical data and predict what might happen in the future
  • 4. know the difference between accounting and finance
  • 5. understand the basic language of finance and the lexicon of sustainable finance and responsible investment
  • 6. understand different business structures and why they used by different companies
  • 7. recognise the main financial statements and how to compile and read them
  • 8. conduct basic financial ratio analysis of financial statements
  • 9. use of time value of money (discounted cash flow) in investment appraisal

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 10. read and understand financial statements – know what information is contained in them and where to find it
  • 11. analyse financial information to appraise company’s past, current and future financial performance
  • 12. balance the reported financial performance of a company and its declared strategic direction

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 13. perform calculations and solve equations with confidence
  • 14. present financial data in an meaningful and understandable manner
  • 15. use financial information and analysis to support broader business arguments
  • 16. make effective use of spreadsheets and calculators

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching35Lectures, self-assessment tests, individual exercises, group case studies
Guided Independent Study10Reading and research

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Self-assessment exercises, individual exercises, group case studiesVarious as required1 - 16Correct solutions, case solution and presentation pro-forma

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Syllabus plan

  • Maths refresher
  • The language of accounting and finance
  • The lexicon of accounting and finance
  • Business structures
  • Financial reporting statements (income statements, balance sheets, cash flow)
  • Case Study 1: construction of an organisation’s financial statement
  • Measurement of financial performance
  • Case Study 2: analysis of an organisation’s financial performance
  • Time value of money
  • Financial decision making
  • Case Study 3: navigating published annual reports and accounts

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Accounting and Finance for non-specialists, Peter Atrill & Eddie Mclaney, Prentice Hall, 8th Edition ISBN 978-0-273-77803

Company annual report and accounts as required for case studies

Module has an active ELE page?


Origin date


Last revision date