The Business Foundations Certificate helps you to make the transition from a specialist to a business generalist. It provides you with the perspectives and tools to understand and manage all aspects of value creation in business. During lectures, group work and case studies, the programme covers the following business content:
Accounting is the language of business. And financial accounting is about communicating in that language to people outside your organisation. Understanding how accountants decide what information to report, how they aggregate it and the uses to which it can (or cannot) be applied is one of the fundamental building blocks of any business education.
Financial Markets and Valuation
This course covers fundamental concepts in corporate finance and capital markets. It includes basic valuation concepts and techniques such as “time value of money” and discounted cash flows (DCF). You will gain an understanding of how to make value-creating investment decisions and how to use the DCF approach to value a company.
An internal accounting system serves two fundamental purposes. First, it supports decisions about products, processes, assets and customers. Second, it plays a key role in providing incentives to managers at all levels – and evaluating their performance. This course focuses on both and studies the use of accounting information for internal planning, decision-making and performance evaluation.
Managing Customer Value
Starting your own business? First, you must understand the market you are going to operate in. How big is it? What is the competition like? Then you will need to understand how customers make their choices and how to “segment” them. Third, you must develop your long-term marketing strategy– by choosing a target segment and defining the benefits of your product or service for these customers. Fourth, you must make your tactical decisions – how to communicate, deliver and capture the customer value. Finally, you have to monitor performance continually.
New Business Ventures and Corporate Entrepreneurship
This course synthesises many of the fundamentals studied in the other classes as you examine the process of converting an opportunity into a profitable and sustainable new business. You will focus on the principles of building an enterprise on its own, in addition to the unique challenges of carrying out entrepreneurial activities within an existing organisation (in other words how to start a business inside a corporation without “getting yourself killed in the process”).
The purpose of this course is to increase your effectiveness and skill in observing, understanding and leading behaviour in organisations. It is a class in applied behavioural science, which takes ideas and frameworks from psychology, social psychology and sociology – and explores their implications for leadership and managerial practice.
Prices and Markets
Ultimately, it is the prices paid and charged by an organisation that determines how economic value is divided between the business, its consumers and its suppliers. This course teaches you how to use structured thinking based on microeconomic theory to understand how economic fundamentals – such as demand, cost, market structure and government policy – shape the prices that prevail in a market.
Why are some organisations consistently successful, while others are left behind? What can executives do to drive performance and growth in the face of intense competition, uncertainty or even radical industry disruption? This course explores some of the critical challenges you’ll face as a manager setting the path for your organisation.
Uncertainty, Data and Judgement
The goal of this course is to provide a solid foundation in probability and statistics for your management career. After all, most decisions are made under conditions of uncertainty. So you will need a framework for thinking about problems involving uncertainty and acquire tools for interpreting data.