Institution / University College Dublin
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Business Finance

The economic uncertainties of today’s world make it imperative for non-financial managers to have a firm grasp of the financial consequences of business decisions. With volatility in financial markets and margins narrowing from highly competitive trading conditions, mid to senior level executives need to be aware of how investment and funding decisions can affect the value of an organisation.

Designed to equip participants with the necessary tools and knowledge to understand the financial consequences of business decisions, this diploma will enable non-financial managers to communicate effectively with those in senior accounting and finance positions ensuring that all of the organisation’s functions are better integrated, significantly boosting the firm’s overall value.

This diploma will provide participants with a new ability to integrate a financial approach into their business decision making. In doing so, they will contribute to ensuring a sound financial basis for implementing all of their organisation’s strategic plans and decisions.

Upon completion of this programme, participants will have a deeper understanding of how to interpret and use financial reports to make better business decisions and obtain a broader understanding of business finance to better assess the value of strategic decisions, including investment projects and acquisitions.

Participants will:

•Understand how economic outcomes of business decisions are reflected in an organisation’s financial reports

•Communicate more effectively with their CFO and financial executives in their organisation

•Understand business valuation techniques

•Sharpen skills in assessing the strengths and weaknesses of competitors by analysing their financial statements

•Improve ability to use financial information in managerial decision making

•Assess the desirability and value of investment projects, corporate assets, and whole companies (acquisitions)

•Understand the impact of operating decisions on financial performance

Who is this diploma for?
•Mid-to-senior level executives outside the finance function looking to enhance their contribution to senior management decisions

•Mid-to-senior level executives who need to know how to interpret financial information to get to the reality behind the numbers

•Owner-managers who want to enhance their financial acumen

•High-potential executives who want to accelerate their understanding of the critical role that financial information and issues play in the development of the firm

The programme is suitable for mid to senior level executives of all sizes and types of companies including:

•Small to medium size firms
•Start-up operations
•Large public and private companies
•State and Semi-State Bodies
•Family Businesses
•Professional organisations/partnerships
•Charitable or not-for-profit organisations

Entry requirements

Participants should hold a primary degree or equivalent professional qualification. Consideration will be given to applicants who do not hold a primary degree but whose depth of industry and organisational experience, qualifies them as suitable participants. For application forms and further information, please contact Deirdre Luby at Tel: +353 1 716 8080 or email


6 two-day modules (Fri & Sat) over 12 months

Further enquiries

For more information, please contact:
Deirdre Luby
Business Development Manager
T: 716 8080 or

Subjects taught

Understanding Financial Statements
•Understand the essential components and relationships among the key financial statements;

•Examine the income statement, balance sheet and statement of cash flows;

•Analyse accounting policies; distinguishing operating and non-operating items;

•Evaluate basic financial statements; basic profitability analysis and ROIC trees.

The Financing Landscape
•Develop a more sophisticated understanding of financial markets; the time value of money;

•Understand sources of finance including equity, debt, leasing, private equity; CAPM and the cost of capital.

Revenue and Cost Analysis
•Investigate cost drivers; cost allocation methods; make-or-buy decisions;

•Understand flexible budgeting and profitability analysis.

Key Financial Decisions
•Understand how firms create value through better working capital management;

•Evaluate investment projects, marketing, and R&D expenditures;

•Estimate project cash flows;

•Determine the value created by investment decisions.

International Financing 
•Understand the meaning of international financial markets for corporate decision-making in a globalised world;

•Understand the economic intuition behind changes in exchange rates through the interplay of interest rates, inflation levels and exchange rates;

•Ability to discuss the conceptual and managerial analysis of economic exchange exposure.

Corporate Financing Issues
•Develop insight into key corporate finance issues such as financial policy; mergers, acquisitions and divestments;

•Develop an understanding of value based management systems; value drivers; valuation and firm performance analysis;

•Understand and evaluate complexities of executive compensation and dividend policy.


Accredited: NFQ Level 9 & Credit: 30 ECTS

Application date

Application Procedure
A completed application form, digital photograph and copy of transcripts for all university-level degrees (if applicable and excluding those taken at UCD) will be required.

Please note: A telephone or personal interview with the Programme Director may form part of the admission process. The interview helps determine whether the programme is the most appropriate educational solution for the applicant

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