We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Durham University

Postgraduate Module Handbook 2021/2022

Archive Module Description

This page is for the academic year 2021-22. The current handbook year is 2022-23
No such Code for pgprog: N1KS17
No such Code for pgprog: N1KR17
No such Code for pgprog: N1N317
No such Code for pgprog: N1N417

Department: Management and Marketing


Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Not available in 2021/22
Tied to N1KS17
Tied to N1KR17
Tied to N1N317
Tied to N1N417


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • This elective builds on the material covered in the core module Managing Finance and primarily aims to examine how the appropriate use of financial strategy can add value to the corporation. By integrating corporate financial decisions with wider issues of corporate strategy, the module addresses the problem of conflicting objectives within the corporation and informational asymmetries between internal and external agents. The module also examines how corporate managers can take advantage of the growing sophistication of financial markets in organic internal development as well as dynamic external growth of corporations.


  • Introduction to Corporate Finance and Key Principles
  • Portfolio Theory and CAPM
  • The Cost of Capital and Risk
  • The Capital Structure Decision
  • Payout Policy
  • Corporate Restructuring, Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Company Valuation
  • Private Equity and Venture Capital

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module students will have:
  • critical understanding of how lessons learned from the financial markets can be applied to the world of corporate financial management and strategy;
  • advanced knowledge and critical understanding of how managers make financial decisions in a world of uncertainty and imperfect information;
  • critical understanding of how the structure of organisations can influence corporate decision-making and performance;
  • critical knowledge of the main methods of company valuation, their merits and disadvantages;
  • critical understanding of the determinants of capital structure and payout policy, including non-financial stakeholders’ interest, the costs of financial distress, and the informational content of gearing and dividends;
  • critical understanding of the role of takeovers as a tool for corporate control;
  • critical understanding of the financing issues associated with smaller firms.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of the module students will have:
  • demonstrated ability to learn and work independently in finance, exercising critical judgement and discrimination in the resolution of complex problematic situations;
  • had the opportunity to apply their problem solving and analytical skills to issues in finance in a complex specialised context.
Key Skills:
  • Written communication; planning, organising and time management; problem solving and analysis; using initiative; computer literacy.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • The module is delivered via online learning, divided up into study weeks with specially produced resources within each week. Resources vary according to the learning outcomes but normally include: video content, directed reading, reflection through activities, opportunities for self-assessment and peer-to-peer learning within a tutor-facilitated discussion board. Tutors provide feedback on formative work and facilitate discussion board communication as well as being available for individual consultation as necessary (usually by email and Skype). 
  • The summative assessment of the module is designed to test the acquisition and articulation of knowledge and critical understanding, and skills of application and interpretation within the business context.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Video content, directed reading, self-assessed assignments and guidance for further reading 150
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Written Assignment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Written Assignment 4,000 words maximum 100% Same

Formative Assessment:

A written assignment of 1,500 words, or its multimedia equivalent, which may involve some group work.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University