You are viewing information for England.  Change country.

Postgraduate Certificate in Finance - Learning Outcomes

Educational aims

The scope of the knowledge, skills and applications covered in this qualification aims to provide you with a postgraduate-level educational experience in the specialist area of finance.

The key objectives of the qualification are to enable you to: 
  • develop an up-to-date perspective on both theory and practice in national and international contexts 
  • strengthen your ability to keep pace with future developments in financial management including the knowledge of markets, players and instruments 
  • learn and apply the tools used for financial analysis and decision support in corporations, financial institutions and other organisations
  • develop appropriate information search, retrieval and analytical skills in the digital environment.

Learning outcomes

The qualification provides opportunities for you to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding, qualities, skills and other attributes in the following areas: 

Knowledge and understanding

On completion of this qualification you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the following:

  • the scope of financial knowledge and its application within a wide range of national and multinational organisations 
  • the fundamentals of financial analysis and corporate finance theory 
  • organisational performance in terms of return on investment, investment risk and capital structure management
  • the implications of corporate governance, agency theory and the related role of stakeholders. 
  • the links between corporate finance theories underpinning the cost of capital, dividend policy and efficient markets 
  • quantitative finance and its practical applications to project appraisal, company valuation
  • the core features of Islamic finance
  • the various financial risks faced by the corporations and financial institutions and ways to manage those risks and become aware of the trends in finance theory and its applications. 

Cognitive skills

On completion of this qualification you will be able to:

  • critically assess alternative methods for valuing companies, prepare and evaluate financial projections of projects and carry out sensitivity analysis 
  • calculate cost of capital using different methods, evaluate capital structures that may be applied by companies and the implications of these structures for cost of capital and valuation
  • select, access and evaluate relevant published research and information across a range of areas relevant to finance theory and its application accessed digitally through the OU library and other web-based resources.

Practical and/or professional skills

On completion of this qualification you will be able to:

  • demonstrate sound understanding of financial theory and its application in strategic decision making
  • appreciate the governance and ethical issues encountered in the finance profession 
  • identify the financial data and present the same in an analytical way, prepare financial appraisal of projects and comment and advise on the mergers and acquisition valuation. 

Key skills

On completion of this qualification you will be able to:

  • carry out financial calculations for use in corporate finance decisions (for example, investment analysis), including the use of computer spreadsheets
  • analyse and interpret financial statements and carry out valuation of companies 
  • show evidence of digital scholarship by finding, using, managing and sharing information and literature using digital resources. 

The OU’s Digital Information Literacy Framework will be used as guiding principle for developing these skills.

Teaching, learning and assessment methods

The qualification offers an integrated learning experience using a wide range of teaching and learning resources and assessment approaches.

This will include study materials supplied by the OU, online tuition provided by a dedicated subject specialist tutor, activities including practical exercises, critiquing and collaboration with other students and finally, assignments and end-of-module assessments.

The study materials will include a comprehensive range of specially-written module materials, case studies, original texts, video, audio and interactive software.

The tutor is your first point of contact throughout your study. They will answer questions on materials,, mark assignments and  run online tutorials.You will be part of an online tutor group forum where you will undertake learning activities and can explore topics as you study them. 

You will be expected to engage in a range of activities including reading texts, solving numerical problems and scenarios, researching and using relevant literature on contemporary issues in finance and applying theories to practical situations. Cognitive and practical skills are developed through a range of activities within the modules including prompted and guided search and retrieval of information, literature and databases.

The materials and the tutor support will help you to develop your skills in managing workloads. You will spend a large percentage of time working under your own direction and initiative. Your progress and learning is measured by tutor-marked assignments and examinations. Each 30-credit module will have two tutor-marked assignments (TMAs) and one end-of-module examination. Assignments and examinations will demonstrate your understanding of principles and relevant theories and their application to problem-solving situations. In addition these will demonstrate your ability to critically read and comment on academic literature in cognate areas. They will also require evidence of practical and professional skills as well as demonstrated levels of knowledge and understanding.

« Back to Postgraduate Certificate in Finance description