AF4002 - Financial Decision Making

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What will I learn on this module?

You will learn how financial information can be used to assist managers and external user groups in their decision making processes.

You will initially explore the motivations for entrepreneurial activity and techniques that can be used to appraise investment decisions.

Topic areas will include:

• Investment appraisal techniques (payback, accounting rate of return, net present value and internal rate of return)
• Practical aspects of investment appraisal (inflation and capital rationing)
• Risk and uncertainty

You will then examine how financial information can facilitate managers in making operational decisions in relation to planning and control.

Topic areas will include:

• Cost and revenue behaviour
• Break even analysis
• Costing (full and variable costing, activity-based costing and whole life-cycle costing)
• Budgeting and variance analysis
• Working capital management

Finally you will look at the informational needs of outside user groups, the nature of the information they are provided with, and how this information can be analysed and interpreted in order to enhance the effectiveness of their decision making.

Topic areas will include:

• The reporting frameworks and ethical principles that underpin financial reporting
• The nature of international financial reporting standards
• Format and content of the statement of profit or loss and statement of financial position
• Statements of cash flow
• Analysis and interpretation of financial statements using ratio analysis

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn by means of lectures and seminars, supported by tutor-directed study and independent learning. The lectures will use gapped handouts. These will introduce you to different types of financial information and will demonstrate through use of worked examples how this information can be used to make decisions. You will then be required to apply these methods by undertaking exercises in advance of your seminar. Your tutor will work through these with you in the seminar session. This will provide you with a means of formative assessment and feedback, by enabling you to determine your level of knowledge and understanding of a topic and ability to apply the techniques you have learnt. The solutions to the seminar activities will then be placed onto the module’s eLearning Portal (eLP) site for future reference. You will also be provided with a number of supplementary questions in relation to each topic area which will help you to consolidate your level of knowledge and understanding. Again solutions to these exercises will be made available through the module’s eLP site.

You will be required to complete a test after each of the three decision making areas has been covered in lectures. These will be located on the eLP. The tests will contribute to your summative mark for the module, but will also function as an additional vehicle for formative assessment and feedback as your performance will be instantly measured and the solutions will subsequently be made available via the eLP.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Support in relation to the day to day operation of the module will be provided by the module tutor in the first instance. You will also receive feedback from tutors in seminars, facilitated by the formative assessment activities, during which you will have an opportunity to ask any questions you may have in respect of the subject matter.

The e-learning portal will house the gapped lecture notes and all seminar and directed study exercises and solutions, and an electronic reading list will provide you with information in respect of the supporting texts.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
• Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the use of financial information in business and management. (MLO1)

• Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the use of financial information in the process of making justifiable operational, entrepreneurial and performance and evaluation decisions. (MLO2)

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

How will I be assessed?

You will be required to sit three tests via the eLP during the course of the semester – one for each of the three main topic areas. These tests combine to carry 20% weighting of your module mark.

Feedback will be provided by means of solutions being made available on the eLP module site.

This will address MLO1.

The main element of the assessment will be a 2 hour closed book examination at the end of the module, consisting of multiple choice and long form questions, which will carry the other 80% weighting of the total marks for the module.

Feedback will be provided by means of tutor annotated comments on your script.

This will address MLO1 and MLO2.

You will also be required to undertake exercises in advance of your seminars, and will receive class-based feedback from your tutors in respect of these on an on-going basis. The three eLP tests will also provide you with a means of formative assessment and feedback.





Module abstract

‘Financial Decision Making’ will provide you with the knowledge and numerical and problem solving skills that will greatly enhance your employability within any business environment. You will be able to evaluate individual projects by using investment appraisal techniques, taking into account risk and uncertainty, and will be able to make decisions in relation to planning and control for a business as a whole. You will also be able to assess the performance of other businesses with regard to profitability, solvency, financial structure and working capital management by means of analysing and interpreting their financial statements.

Course info

UCAS Code N800

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Newcastle Business School

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2020

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