This course provides a grounding in the core areas of corporate finance and enables you to gain a basis on which to build the specialist financial expertise that you’ll develop through your MSc in Finance. 

You’ll examine financial statements and explore how these can be employed to measure the performance of organisations. 

You’ll then look at the business environment that organisations work within and its impact on their financial decision making. You’ll also explore how organisations finance themselves and the factors that determine their cost of funding.


What you will study

This course aims to equip you with the necessary theoretical, applied and critical skills to be prepared to take financial management responsibilities within an organisation. The first part of the course 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. You’ll also learn certain of the implications of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) on the reported financial performance.

In the second part of the course 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.

The course 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 course are:

  • how to understand annual reports and financial statements
  • financial analysis: ratios, trend analysis and forecasting
  • the impact of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) on financial reporting
  • 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.

 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   

 Vocational relevance

Corporate finance will be of particular interest to you if you are working, or planning to work, in the finance sector of an organisation or in the finance division of a company or public sector/not-for-profit organisation. It will also benefit individuals who work, or intend to work, outside of the finance domain but who wish to expand their knowledge and skills in order to increase future opportunities.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

Your tutor will help you with the study material, mark and comment on your assignments and provide advice and guidance. You’ll be able to contact your tutor by email, telephone or via your tutor group. 

Contact us if you want to know more about study with Intratest Business School before you register.


The assessment details for this course can be found in the facts box above. You must use the online eTMA system to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs).

Residential School

Satisfactory participation at a compulsory four-day residential school or 21-day online equivalent is required. The residential school has long hours (one day runs from 09:00 to 20:30) but with regular breaks. Students participating in the online version should expect to spend about 1.5 hours per day on various tasks and activities. The school is an opportunity to meet other managers and tutors and to work in small groups on cross functional management problems. Skills development includes problem solving, team working, applying module concepts to real situations and working on self development and professional development. Both versions of the residential school (face to face and online) have been devised to deliver the essential learning outcomes for F, however it is fair to say that past experience shows that the majority of students prefer to attend a face-to-face school if they can. The cost of the residential school (excluding travel) is included in the module fee. At the face to face residential school you will need to carry out online research and so you should endeavour to bring a portable device such as a laptop, PDA or smart phone to the school in order to participate in these activities.


All entrants to must hold a BA/BSc degree awarded by a recognised university, or equivalent.

Various higher education and professional qualifications are considered equivalent to a degree. If you hold a qualification that you believe is an equivalent level to a UK degree you should contact us. Intratest Business School is responsible for judging whether applicants’ qualifications meet the requirements for admission.

You will also need an appropriate facility in English language, sufficient to be able to work effectively at postgraduate level; generally this means capability equivalent to an International English Language Test System (IELTS) score of 6.5.  To assess your English language skills in relation to your proposed studies you can visit the IELTS website. If you think either of these possibilities may apply to you, please speak to an adviser.

It is strongly recommended that you are comfortable with the use of numerical methods and use of spreadsheets.  If you’re unsure about these skills we suggest you familiarise yourself with illustrative numerical skills and methods prior to study. To help you decide whether you’re ready, you might like to try this diagnostic quiz.

If you have any doubt about the suitability of the module, please speak to an adviser.


What’s included

An extensive variety of specially written resources presented in different media (print and online) and designed exclusively for this module. Audio-visual material, published articles, case studies and access to The Open University library.

Computing requirements

A computing device with a browser and broadband internet access is required for this module. Any modern browser will be suitable for most computer activities. Functionality may be limited on mobile devices.

Any additional software will be provided, or is generally freely available. However, some activities may have more specific requirements. For this reason, you will need to be able to install and run additional software on a device that meets the requirements below.

A desktop or laptop computer with either:

  • Windows 7 or higher
  • Mac OS X 10.7 or higher

The screen of the device must have a resolution of at least 1024 pixels horizontally and 768 pixels vertically.

To join in the spoken conversation in our online rooms we recommend a headset (headphones or earphones with an integrated microphone).

Our Skills for OU study website has further information including computing skills for study, computer security, acquiring a computer and Microsoft software offers for students.