module specification

BA4006 - Understanding Business Information (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Understanding Business Information
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 30
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 300
219 hours Guided independent study
81 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 50%   Individual Coursework (Business Analysis)
In-Course Test 20%   In-class Test (Accounting)
Coursework 30%   Individual Coursework (Accounting)
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year City Thursday Morning
Year City Wednesday Morning
Year City Thursday Afternoon
Year City Wednesday Afternoon
Year City Monday Afternoon
Year (Spring and Summer) City Thursday Morning
Year City Monday Morning

Module summary

This module introduces data collection and presentation skills in the context of Business Management. It provides underpinning skills required to deal with numerical information and to make effective use of mathematical and statistical methods of data analysis and interpretation.  In other words it provides students with an understanding of the fundamentals of statistical methods necessary for business. The module also introduces the principles of accounting and finance, preparation and interpretation of cash flow and other financial statements and methods of investment appraisal. Overall, this module provides analytical and communications skills relevant to understanding business Information with an emphasis on problem-solving techniques in the context of Business Management.
The module provides the skills and knowledge required for later modules that develop the quantitative and qualitative aspects of Business Management.

Module aims

  • provide a foundation in skills required to deal with business information;  
  • provide skills to make effective use of mathematical and statistical methods of data analysis;
  • introduce the student to the use of information technology to inform and support business decision making;
  • enable the student to collect and analyse primary data, and report on the findings;
  • develop the students’ business and management skills in areas such as; researching, analysing data, presenting data and findings, critical thinking, problem solving and decision making, IT skills, and communication;
  • enable the student to understand the principles of the financial and management accounting processes;
  • introduce the student to basic ratio analysis and interpretation of financial statements;
  • introduce the terminology and concepts behind financial management ;
  • enable the student to understand and practice full costing, budgeting and capital investment decisions;

The module will also develop the following skills:
academic writing skills;  numeracy: including competence using Excel;   analysing and presenting data;  knowledge of quantitative methods and their application ;  written communication, including the identification and referencing of appropriate source material;  team work, problem solving and effective time management;  awareness of qualitative issues such as corporate social responsibility.


• basic business mathematics & statistics
• expressions, equations and inequalities
• statistical fundamentals
• sampling, questionnaire design and Survey techniques
• correlation, regression and time series analysis
• forecasting through decomposition and additive/multiplicative process
• introduction to project management 

• introduction to the world of finance and accounting
• cash flow budgets and management decisions
• financial statements: sole traders account, income statements and balance sheet
• ratio analysis and interpreting financial statements
• introduction to management accounting
• full costing, budgeting and investment appraisal methods

Learning and teaching

The module is delivered in weekly workshops of 3-hour duration, part of which will encompass computer sessions.

Students will receive in house material which includes weekly lecture/seminar notes, PPT presentations and computer activities. They are expected to complete these tasks in seminars (in part), computer session and some of the tasks may be left for the students to solve them outside the formal contact hours.

The computer practice sessions are blended into the weekly tasks so students will be using Excel and word processing to enter data, analyse and interpret the output in a report format.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

  • understand the means by which data can be collected, summarised and presented in reports to inform management decision making
  • use mathematical and statistical methods to analyse data to understand business information
  • access major data sources, analyse and explore relationships between business variables
  • apply selected techniques to support successful management of projects
  • understand principle of financial management and accounting process
  • use and apply ratio to analyse and interpret financial statements
  • understand and prepare cash flow statement for management decision
  • make effective use of  investment appraisal techniques
  • develop skills in using excel in preparing and analysing financial statements

Assessment strategy

The assessment is developed to address the module learning outcomes and provide feedback to students. The assessment will be through in-class tests and individually-completed coursework.

The first in-class test and the first coursework are related. For example, students will use the data analysed and computed in the in-class test as the basis of their individual coursework. 

The in-class tests will assess the student’s progress, help to identify gaps in learning progress and encourage students to read and study the learning materials. It will also provide formative feedback and allow staff and student to monitor progress in order to take appropriate action. Students will pace their work evenly throughout the year based on the feedback.

The individual piece of coursework requires the application of statistical techniques using business related data (managing information) and a business proposal focusing on financial management (Accounting). The assessment will require the use of Excel and the students will need to interpret the analysis output and write a report.


Business Analysis
Dewhurst, F. (2006), ‘Quantitative Methods for Business and Management’, 2nd ed., McGraw  Hill
Oakshott L.(2012), ‘Essential Quantitative Methods for Business’, Management and Finance, 4th ed., Palgrave Macmillan
Rowntree D (2004), ‘Statistics with Tears: An introduction for non-mathematicians’, Penguin
Smailes,J. and McGrane A. (2000), ‘Essential Business Statistics’, Financial Times /Prentice Hall
Swift, L. and Piff, S. (2010), ‘Quantitative Methods for Business, Management and Finance’, 3rd ed., UK: Palgrave Macmillan
Taylor, S. (2007), ‘Business Statistics for non-mathematicians’, 2nd ed., Palgrave

Accounting and Finance
Black, G. (2005) Introduction to Accounting and Finance, (7th edn). UK: Prentice Hall.
Dyson, g. (2007) Accounting for Non-Accounting Students (e-book)
Bized Market Monitor
Companies House
Carey M., Knowles C.  & Towers-Clark J. (2011)  Accounting: a smart approach. Oxford: OUP 
Weetman P.  ( 2011 )  Financial and Management Accounting   5th edition  FT Prentice Hall
The Telegraph