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:2017/8
Module lecturers:
  • Alistair Roy Clark - Convenor
Module credit:
ECTS value:






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

5 days

Module aims

Created following MBA student feedback in 2014, this intensive pre-sessional course is delivered over five consecutive days, just before the first full module of your MBA.  Specially designed for our MBA students with no specialist background in accounting and finance, the module introduces you to the language of these quantitative subjects and equips you with the skills that will enable you to address the Challenges our MBA corporate partners will assess you on throughout the year.  This is a very participative module with an emphasis on practical exercises both individual and group tasks.


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 are used by different companies
  • 7. recognise the main financial statements and understand how they are compiled
  • 8. read and understand financial statements - know what information is contained in them and where to find it
  • 9. understand the time value of money and how to calculate discounted cash flows as part of investment appraisal

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 10. perform calculations and solve equations with confidence
  • 11. present financial data in an meaningful and understandable manner
  • 12. 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

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Syllabus plan

  • The module runs over 5 consecutive days and consists of 10 sessions.  The indicative timetable is:

    Day 1

    Registration 09.45

    Session 1: 10.00 to 12.30

    • Topic 0 Introduction

      Session 2: 14.00 to 17.00

    • Topic 1 Maths refresher


      Day 2

      Registration 08.45

      Session 3:  09.00 to 12.30

    • Topic 1 continued: Maths refresher

      Session 4: 14.00 to 17.00

    • Topic 2: Lexicon of Sustainable Finance

    • Topic 3: Business Structures


      Day 3

      Registration 08.45

      Session 5:  09.00 to 12.30

    • Topic 4 Financial Reporting Statements

      Session 6: 14.00 to 17.00

    • Individual Case Study: Constructing Finance Statements

    Day 4

    Registration 08.45

    Session 7:  09.00 to 12.30

    • Topic 5: Navigating Published Annual Financial Reports and Accounts

    • Group Case Study: Rentokil Initial plc, Puma SE, Renishaw plc

      Session 6: 14.00 to 17.00

    • Guided Group Case Study Work


    Day 5

    Registration 08.45

    Session 9: 09.00 to 12.30

    • Presentations of Group Case Study Work

    Session 10: 14.00 to 17.00

    • Topic 6 Time Value of Money


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Accounting and Finance for non-specialists, Peter Atrill & Eddie Mclaney, Prentice Hall, 7th Edition (or later) ISBN 978-0-273-77803

Company annual report and accounts as required for case studies

Suggested reading:

Financial Times daily newspaper, Economist weekly magazine, Investor’s Chronicle weekly magazine

Module has an active ELE page?


Origin date


Last revision date