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University of Exeter Business School

Finance for Business

Module titleFinance for Business
Module codeBEP2050
Academic year2023/4
Module staff

David Jessop (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks




Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

Look at any business page in today’s newspaper, and you will be confronted with an array of finance issues. Companies issue profits warning or think about floating on the stock exchange. But what does all this actually mean?  This module introduces you to the key concepts in financial management decisions and finances. Numerical aptitude is required together with a basic understanding of accounting terminology.

Module aims - intentions of the module

The aim of this module is to introduce you to the basic concepts within finance: key financial mathematics, working capital management, financial statement analysis, capital structure decisions, dividend policy decisions, personal financial management, risk management, and information systems. The aim is to expose you to real business issues and decisions that you may face as a Business Manager, as well as introducing you to other areas that you may consider for further investigation in the future.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Explain the role of the finance function
  • 2. The main features of the capital markets and how the finance functions interaction with them
  • 3. Describe how business plans are developed and generate forecast financial statements
  • 4. Undertake the analysis and interpretation of financial data
  • 5. Assess the advantages and disadvantages the main sources of internal and external finance understand the factors involved in the management of working capital and calculate the effect of different strategies
  • 6. Identify the main components of the risk management process and explain how it operates
  • 7. Identify and discuss major issues involved in personal financial management
  • 8. Describe the key issues surrounding information management and how the organisation can use information systems for strategic advantage

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 9. Apply financial management concepts and practices to analyse simple business problems and recommend courses of action
  • 10. Identify and present appropriate information to assist management with determining the mix of funds from different sources and taking financial management decisions
  • 11. Demonstrate an appreciation of the usefulness or otherwise of a range of financial management techniques
  • 12. Demonstrate an awareness of the role and purpose of information systems within the organisation

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 13. Demonstrate written communication skills
  • 14. Demonstrate problem solving skills
  • 15. Demonstrate an ability to undertake independent study and manage their time

Syllabus plan


  • The role of the finance function
  • Financial Mathematics
  • The financial world: markets, institutions and products

Financial planning and analysis:

  • Analysis and interpretation of financial statements – profitability and efficiency ratios 
  • Analysis and interpretation of financial statements – liquidity, solvency and investment ratios
  • Working capital – working capital elements, policies and the cash cycle
  • Working capital – the management of inventories, receivables and payables
  • Financial planning – financial statement forecasts, reconciliation of cash flow to profit projections

Financing decisions:

  • Financing a business – internal and external sources Financing a business – raising long-term finance Cost of capital and gearing
  • Developing a dividend policy

 Financial controls:

  • Introduction to risk management

Personal financial management:

  • Personal financial management – sources of finance
  • Personal financial management – investments and pensions

 Information Management:

  • Data, Information and knowledge
  • Role of information systems in business, the economy and society
  • Key types of information system
  • Development of information system
  • Strategy aligning information and business strategies


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 teaching activity19Lectures
Scheduled learning and teaching activity1Revision session
Scheduled learning and teaching activity5Tutorials
Guided independent study125Research, revision, preparation and writing

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Weekly problems and questions to aid discussion in tutorials2-3 hours for preparation; 1 hour in-class session1-15Tutor run-through of questions and suggested solutions
Tutorial discussionWeekly1-15Feedback during seminar
Online testsVaries1-15Solutions provided via online learning environment
Written piece500 words – to be completed at the beginning of term1-15Signposting to support if deemed necessary

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Coursework paper401500 words1-5 and 8-15Mark awarded and feedback comments to individual students
MCQ assessment201 hour1-2, 4-7, 9-11 and 13-15Solutions provided via online learning environment
Written assessment401500 words3-15Solutions provided via online learning environment

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Coursework paper (40%)Coursework (1500 words) 40%1-5 and 8-15July/August
Written assessment (40%)Written assessment (1500 words) 1-2, 4-7, 9-11 and 13-15July/August
MCQ assessment (20%)MCQ 1 hour3-15July/August

Re-assessment notes

 A student if deferred in a single component will be reassessed in that component only.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Atrill, P. (2017), Financial Management for Decision Makers, 8th ed., Harlow: Pearson Education Ltd (Chapters 1-4; and 6-10) 
  • Arnold, G. (2007), Essentials of Corporate Financial Management, Harlow: Pearson Education Ltd (Chapter 1)
  • Watson, D. & Head, A. Corporate Finance, Principles & Practice, 5th ed. Harlow: Pearson Education Ltd. (Chapter 12)


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Indicative learning resources - Other resources

  • Directed reading, tutorial questions and further practice questions or as recommended / directed by convener

Key words search

Finance for Business, Finance for Non-accountants, Business Finance, Business BSc

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date