Artificial Intelligence (3 Years) [BSc]

Managing Finance in Enterprises for Computer Scientists

Unit code: MCEL30032
Credit Rating: 10
Unit level: Level 3
Teaching period(s): Semester 2
Offered by Alliance Manchester Business School
Available as a free choice unit?: N



Additional Requirements

Available to Computer Science students ONLY. 

This unit should not be studied with MCEL30001/MCEL30002 or MCEL30011/MCEL30012.


The course unit aims to:

  • Explore the main functions of finance in the successful enterprise and what types of financing are available.
  • Critically evaluate the health of a business using cash flow, balance sheet and profit and loss information.

Understand the role of managing risk, contracts and procurement processes within a business environment and introduce the use of project management and business planning methods.


This unit attempts to link the students subject area to the commercial world concentrating on the financial elements of a company and new innovations. The material focuses on practicality – how problems can be diagnosed and how to address these problems. This includes adding value, introduction to financial statements, ratios, risk, sources of funding and growing a company. The assignment puts these elements into practice where the practical financial implications of a new business are applied to an invention of the students choice from their own subject area.

Teaching and learning methods


Knowledge and understanding

Students should be able to:

Explain the concepts of cost, value and price in relation to commercial products and services.
Explain several ways of funding an organisation during its life.
Explain how to assess and manage business risks.
Understanding of financial statements.
Describe the function of a business using a business plan.

Intellectual skills

Students should be able to:

Information gathering – identify, critically evaluate and select a diverse range of relevant and reliable sources of information and use them as the basis for a report.

Practical skills

Students should be able to:

Use cash flow, balance sheets and profit and loss statements to perform a simple analysis on the relative health of an organisation.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

Students should be able to:

Report presentation – create a structured report with well justified and referenced points presented in a professional style.
Ability to apply financial tools to different business situations.

Employability skills

  • OtherThe unit attempts to link the students subject area with businesses in that field. Employers frequently report that while students are knowledgeable about their subject area they find it difficult to apply in commercial situations . The course attempts to get students thinking about the financial side of their subject area in particular linking adding value and innovation with financial realities. Previous students have reported this type of unit being useful when they have started employment.

Assessment Further Information

Formative assessment:Written costings summary 300 words - mark not used. Summative assessments:Individual assignment exploring the costs needed to start a business and preparation of financial statements 4000 words - 100%


The unit covers the essential financial processes in a company, the use of cash flow, balance sheet and profit and loss statements, the analysis of risk, how goods and services are procured and contracts managed.  The unit encourages use of simple project management methods and business plans.

The course covers the following:

  • The business and its functions, business planning, types of business organisation
  • Products and services, value adding, value chain
  • Break even, costs, pricing
  • Cash Flow
  • Profit and Loss
  • Balance Sheet and Ratio Analysis
  • Project work
  • Controlling costs, efficiency and practicalities
  • Risk identification and management
  • Sources of funding for a business
  • Exit Options for a business

Recommended reading

Main Texts

Financial Management for the Small Business, Colin Barrow, (2001) Published by Kogan Page 5th ed

Financial Accounting for Non-Specialists, Atrill, P. & McLaney, E., (2006) Financial Times-Prentice Hall, 5th Edition, ISBN 0273655876

Feedback methods

  • Attending lectures, joining discussions about case studies and doing short work tasks set within the lecture session.
  • Your lecturer will reply to brief individual questions at the end of each lecture session, if there are a few minutes to spare.
  • Your lecturer will provide brief replies to your e-mailed enquiry.
  • Your lecturer may feedback messages to the whole class via Blackboard if the point that you have raised could be of benefit to the whole class.

Study hours

  • Lectures - 24 hours
  • Independent study hours - 76 hours

Teaching staff

Robert Phillips - Unit coordinator

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