AF4038 - Financial Decision Making

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 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
• The statement of cash flows
• Analysis and interpretation of financial statements using ratio analysis

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

Topic areas will include:

• Costing (full and variable costing)
• Cost, volume, profit analysis
• Relevant costs for decision making
• Budgeting and variance analysis
• Balance scorecards
• Working capital management

Finally, you will 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

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn by means of lectures (24 hours) and seminars (12 hours), supported by tutor-directed study (82 hours) and independent learning (82 hours). 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 supplementary questions in relation to each topic area which will help you to consolidate your level of knowledge and understanding. 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, this will also function as an additional vehicle for formative assessment and feedback.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You will be supported by a teaching and learning plan (TLP) that outlines the pattern and content of formal sessions, tutor-directed study and independent study. 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. Your lectures will be recorded and uploaded to the e-learning portal which you will be able to access to consolidate your knowledge and develop understanding.

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 (KU):

• You will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the use of financial information in business and management. (MLO1)

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

How will I be assessed?

Formative assessment:

You will 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. You should be aware that formative feedback can, and will, occur in any communication with the academic tutor.

Summative assessment:
You will be required to sit three tests via the eLP during the semester – one for each of the three main topic areas (15%) (MLO1).

This will comprise one element:
1 1/2 hour closed book examination at the end of the module, consisting of multiple choice questions (85%). (MLO1 and MLO2).





Module abstract

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

Course info

UCAS Code N205

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years Full Time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Newcastle Business School

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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