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Finance for Managers introduces you to financial concepts and contemporary issues related to business management. You will explore the time-value of money in a business context and external influences like interest rates. You'll gain an understanding of budgeting as part of management, and the aspects of financing operations through capital structure and distribution policy. Using real-life case studies, put theory into practice to lead a business with a financial mind-set, supported by an in-depth understanding of business finance and budgeting. It will become part of your nature to effectively incorporate financial acumen to your leadership style and decision-making process. In this unit, you will study:

  • Topic 1: Introduction to finance and the time value of money (TVM)
  • Topic 2: Applying TVM: valuation and interest rates
  • Topic 3: Risk and return
  • Topic 4: Capital investment analysis: decision criteria and cash flow estimation
  • Topic 5: Capital investment analysis: risk and the cost of capital
  • Topic 6: Capital structure and payout policies

Learning outcomes

  • Identify business financial decisions, their impacts on value, and the nature of the broader financial and regulatory environment in which these decisions are made
  • Apply financial mathematics to the analysis of practical finance problems and opportunities
  • Measure risk and return, and explain the risk-return trade-off and diversification
  • Evaluate capital investments using appropriate capital budgeting techniques
  • Compare and appraise alternative capital structures and distribution policies


You are assessed according to the following components, each with its own weighted value against your overall result:

  • Quiz: 10%
  • Quiz: 10%
  • Case study: 30%
  • Case study: 50%

Dr Jennifer Harrison: “The aim of the finance for managers unit is to introduce students to key concepts and tools of finance and financial management. These basics prepare students for participation in making both personal and professional investment and financing decisions. In the finance unit, students will study the time value of money, bond markets and interest rates and delve into risk return and diversification. Diversification is finances application of the saying, ‘don't put all your eggs in one basket.’ Students will also cover project valuation and capital budgeting along with learning about alternative company capital structures and payout policies. The key learnings from the finance unit are widely applicable to business practice, importantly this unit focuses on managers in general, not just financial managers. To reach top management levels in large companies some background in finance is vital. CEOs need to understand the language of Finance so they can communicate effectively with the board of directors, shareholders, analysts and maybe even a media. Managers at all levels need to know the drivers of firm value so that they can create value for business owners rather than pursue growth at any cost, and obviously knowing how to better make investment and financing decisions can only help those owning and managing their own small businesses. The finance unit is for everyone in both a personal and professional sense we all need to manage money and value which is ultimately what this unit is about. Something that makes the finance for managers unit interesting is that we don't focus on complicated formulas and instead take a more intuitive and pragmatic approach to understand and apply finance concepts. Sure there's some maths involved, but we have taken the view that in practice spreadsheets and other tools are used to crunch numbers we have therefore developed spreadsheet templates that follow along with the materials and help students crunch those numbers. Instead students can focus on developing their understanding of the basic forms problems can take what information is needed what technique is best used to analyze the problem and most importantly what the output of any maths means for the business.”


You can study this unit as part of the Master of Business Administration, Master of Engineering Management or Master of Project Management.

Enrolment Information

This unit is taught on the assumption that students have basic knowledge of accounting statements as included in ACC00724 - Accounting for Managers or equivalent. Please note, unit structure and content are subject to change. Contact your SCU Online student advisor on 1300 863 819 for more information based on your particular circumstances.