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BU3520 Management Accounting for Business Decisions

(10 ECTS credits)


Dr. Ranadeva Jayasekera and Supun Chandrasena

Module Content/Outline:

This module will offer students an introduction to the role of management accounting within the modern organisation. Cost terms and concepts will be introduced, as well as the various techniques that aid decision making, such as cost-volume-profit (CVP) analysis, cost behaviour, pricing decisions and capital investment appraisal.

Budgets and standard costing will be introduced, as well as related techniques that can improve planning, control and performance measurement in a variety of business contexts.

The discipline is an evolving one and topical issues will also be considered including strategic cost management accounting and benchmarking. An emphasis will be placed on the practical application of the key principles, in the form of worked examples and case studies. This module is primarily focussed on the practical application of techniques rather than an in-depth understanding of conventional cost accounting, given that students taking the module will not be specialising in accounting.

Learning Outcomes:

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

  • Understand the theories, concepts and methods pertaining to management accounting, and distinguish between management accounting and other business functions, particularly financial accounting
  • Identify the core cost terms and concepts, and describe the purposes for which cost information may be required
  • Construct break-even, contribution and profit-volume graphs, and apply these in a multi-product setting
  • Describe and apply the various approaches to pricing, including target-costing and cost-plus pricing
  • Contrast activity-based and traditional costing systems, and explain why traditional systems can produce incomplete or incorrect information
  • Possess an up-to-date understanding of the various budgeting techniques available to an organisation
  • Calculate, analyse and apply variances as an aid to decision-making, and explain the importance of qualitative factors in this area
  • Distinguish between a traditional management accounting system and strategic cost management

Recommended Texts/Key Reading:

Drury (2013), Management Accounting for Business (5th edition), South Western Cengage Learning.

Module Prerequisite:

BU2530 Introduction to Accounting.


  • Michaelmas Term exam - 25%
  • Final end of year exam - 75%