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Finance for strategic decision-making

This module will provide you with the necessary tools to use financial information and other data for making management decisions. You will learn a range of accounting and data analysis techniques as well as being introduced to the workings of the financial markets. Additionally, the module will make use of Excel spreadsheets and discuss good spreadsheet practice.

Vocational relevance

The module is designed for professionals from a wide range of contexts and backgrounds who need to actively to engage with the challenges of using financial and other quantitative information for making decisions.


B874 is a compulsory module in our:

Excluded combinations

Sometimes you will not be able to count a module towards a qualification if you have already taken another module with similar content. To check any excluded combinations relating to this module, visit our excluded combination finder or check with an adviser before registering.


Module code


  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
  • One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
  • You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
  • For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.
Study level
Across the UK, there are two parallel frameworks for higher education qualifications, the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Northern Ireland and Wales (FHEQ) and the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF). These define a hierarchy of levels and describe the achievement expected at each level. The information provided shows how OU postgraduate modules correspond to these frameworks.
OU Postgraduate
Study method
Distance learning
Find out more in Why the OU?
Module cost
See Module registration
Entry requirements

Find out more about entry requirements.

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What you will study

The module aims to equip you with a range of techniques, skills and knowledge to enable you to make effective strategic decisions.

Unit 1: Decision-making techniques
This unit provides an overview of macroeconomics and financial forecasting considerations. Then, having learned some basic ideas around probability, you'll be introduced to the powerful technique of decision trees. Finally, you'll learn how to evaluate business investment cases.

Unit 2: Financial markets, institutions and instruments
In this unit you'll discover how markets operate, who the key players are and what instruments are traded within them. This will include discussions on shares, bonds, derivatives and the foreign exchange.

Unit 3: Introduction to strategic decision-making and statistical modelling
For the first half of this unit you'll be introduced to game theory: a method of making decisions whilst trying to predict and take account of the reactions of others. The second half is an introduction to data analysis as you learn how to manipulate and interpret data.
The three units in this module will require you to study seven hours per week, for 19 weeks between November and March.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

Your learning will take place within a tutor-facilitated group of approximately 20 students. Your tutor is responsible for providing individual tuition, professional advice and support, mentoring, assessment and regular feedback on your performance throughout the module. There are five online tutorials plus a webinar run by a member of the central academic team.

Contact us if you want to know more about study with The Open University before you register.


The assessment details can be found in the facts box above.

You must use the online eTMA system to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs).

Course work includes

1 Tutor-marked assignment (TMA)
4 Interactive computer-marked assignments (CMAs)
End-of-module assessment
No residential school

Future availability

Finance for strategic decision-making starts twice a year, in May and November. This page describes the module that will start in November 2021 and May 2022. We expect it to start for the last time in May 2028.


As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the academic regulations which are available on our Student Policies and Regulations website.

    Entry requirements

    This is a compulsory module in our MBA and Postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration programmes. It can only be studied after successful completion of the first two modules Managing in a changing world (B870) and Creating and sustaining value (B872).


    Start End England fee Register
    07 May 2022 Oct 2022 £1570.00

    Registration closes 14/04/22 (places subject to availability)

    05 Nov 2022 Apr 2023 Not yet available

    Registration closes 13/10/22 (places subject to availability)

    06 May 2023 Oct 2023 Not yet available

    Registration opens on 01/09/22

    This module is expected to start for the last time in May 2028.

    Future availability

    Finance for strategic decision-making starts twice a year, in May and November. This page describes the module that will start in November 2021 and May 2022. We expect it to start for the last time in May 2028.

    Additional costs

    Study costs

    There may be extra costs on top of the tuition fee, such as set books, a computer and internet access.

    Ways to pay for this module

    We know there’s a lot to think about when choosing to study, not least how much it’s going to cost and how you can pay.

    That’s why we keep our fees as low as possible and offer a range of flexible payment and funding options, including a postgraduate loan, if you study this module as part of an eligible qualification. To find out more, see Fees and funding.

    Study materials

    What's included

    As well as the individual tuition provision you will have access to regular opportunities for engagement with other students, university library access, an extensive variety of specially written resources, mainly online and designed exclusively for this module, audio-visual material, published articles, case-studies help you develop your management thinking abilities.

    You will need

    You will need access to Microsoft Excel (or alternative spreadsheet software). As an OU student, The Open University gives you free access to Microsoft Office 365 for the duration of your studies and for up to two years after. Excel is included in this package along with other applications such as Word and Outlook mail and 1TB of online storage with OneDrive.

    Computing requirements

    You'll need a desktop or laptop computer with an up-to-date version of 64-bit Windows 10 (note that Windows 7 is no longer supported) or macOS and broadband internet access.

    To join in spoken conversations in tutorials we recommend a wired headset (headphones/earphones with a built-in microphone).

    Our module websites comply with web standards and any modern browser is suitable for most activities.

    Our OU Study mobile App will operate on all current, supported, versions of Android and iOS. It's not available on Kindle.

    It's also possible to access some module materials on a mobile phone, tablet device or Chromebook, however, as you may be asked to install additional software or use certain applications, you'll also require a desktop or laptop as described above.

    If you have a disability

    Elements of this module are delivered online and include the use of real-time online discussions and an interactive whiteboard space, so time spent using a computer and the internet will be extensive. If you use assistive technology or have a hearing or speech impairment and have concerns about accessing this type of virtual environment and materials you can visit the system provider's website for information and contact The Open University to discuss it further before registering.

    Written transcripts of any audio components and Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) versions of printed material are available. Some Adobe PDF components may not be available or fully accessible using a screen reader. Alternative formats of the study materials may be available in the future.

    If you have particular study requirements please tell us as soon as possible, as some of our support services may take several weeks to arrange. Visit our Disability support website to find more about what we offer.