What you will study
This module aims to equip you with the necessary theoretical, applied and critical skills to be prepared to take financial management responsibilities within an organisation.
The module consists of four parts. The first part of the module aims to provide you with the knowledge and skills to understand the financial information provided in organisations' annual reports which are a major source of information for investment analysts, investors and other stakeholders. You'll be able to use financial analysis tools to analyse, interpret and better understand the financial performance of organisations.
In the second part of the module you'll explore the impact that the business environment has on financial decision making, the processes for cash flow forecasting and other aspects of business forecasting.
In the third part, you will learn about how to value and invest in projects and to value shares in companies.
The final part of the module will acquaint you with mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance, ethics and disclosure of information which are the heart of responsible financial management in our era. This part of the module will also introduce the emerging field of Islamic finance, tracing its origins, scope and implications for financial decisions in a global economy.
The module then moves on to provide the theoretical, analytical and practical knowledge required to make financial policy decisions on financing the organisation. The focus will be on one of the key financial policy decisions that a chief financial officer or financial director has to take - how to structure and mobilise the funds required to finance the organisation.
The main topics covered in this module are:
- how to understand annual reports and financial statements
- financial analysis: ratios, trend analysis and forecasting
- the time value of money
- corporate finance theory
- the sources of finance, capital structure and the cost of capital
- the capital and money markets
- equity and fixed income (bond) valuation
- project evaluation techniques including net present value, profitability index, internal rate of return, and payback method
- company valuation
- mergers and acquisition
- corporate governance and disclosure in national and international contexts
- models of corporate governance and stakeholder perspectives
- Islamic finance.
You will learn
It will enable you to:
- understand, analyse and interpret financial statements
- analyse the performance of organisations
- evaluate how the financial environment impacts upon an organisation's financial strategy
- understand the capital structure of organisations and the determinants of the cost of capital
- examine how organisations finance their business and the financial markets they access to do so
- gain knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals of financial analysis and corporate finance theory
- critically assess alternative methods for valuing companies, prepare and evaluate financial projections of projects and carry out sensitivity analysis
- analyse and interpret financial statements and carry out valuation of companies
- understand the implications of corporate governance, agency theory and the related role of stakeholders.
- understand quantitative finance and its practical applications to project appraisal, company valuation, methods and risk management
- understand the core features of Islamic finance.
This module will be delivered on the innovative online platform of FutureLearn. You may already know FutureLearn, which was founded by The Open University, for the free short courses it hosts for universities and institutions around the world. In addition to these free short courses, FutureLearn has a growing collection of full fee-paying university courses linked to undergraduate and masters-level qualifications. These fee-paying courses feature additional options and tools that aren’t available on the free courses.
If you’ve studied with the OU recently, you’ll find that FutureLearn works a little differently. For example, it’s entirely online and highly interactive, so you won’t be using printed or offline course materials. However, you’ll still have access to our tools and resources, as well as new options that aren’t available in the OU’s virtual learning environment. Importantly, as a fee-paying student, you’ll still have the same excellent tutor support that you would on any of our other modules.
This module is divided into four programs: Risk and Return, Corporate Governance and Islamic Finance, Investment and Funding, and Valuation, Mergers and Acquisitions. Each program runs for eight weeks with a week’s break between each program.