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Module Description



This module is designed for any member of staff involved in the management of a work experience, placements or careers service in further or higher education.

This 20 credit module is one of the modules which forms the Postgraduate Diploma in the Management of Student Work Experience and is also available to students on the Postgraduate Diploma in Careers Education Information and Guidance in Higher Education.

This module focuses on strategies for the effective management of financial and human resources. It aims to introduce you to the basics of finance and accounting. It also aims to develop an understanding of managing human resources including identifying the human resources needed, attracting them, developing them and managing their performance individually or in teams.

It is likely that you will be working in an environment where you have access to – or are constantly irritated by – specialists in HR and Finance. This module will not teach you how to do their jobs. However every manager will, at some time, be expected to produce a budget, or an estimate of likely expenditure, or explain why actual expenditure is out of line with what was planned. Similarly, while HR managers may draw up policies and deal with recruitment, reward and redundancy, it is line managers who manage people on a day to day basis.

Both HR (to some extent) and Finance (to a great extent) are bedevilled with technical language and jargon. You will have greater confidence in dealing with the HR and Finance specialists if you can demonstrate your understanding of their language. As far as possible, the module uses material which is about the management of Human and Financial Resources in an educational or not-for-profit context.

If you already have a qualification or extensive study or experience in HR and/or Finance then this module will be largely revision. You may not need to complete some of the exercises, especially the very simple financial ones.

Finally, it may seem that these two areas are very separate. But consider this quote from Lord Nigel Crisp, former CEO of the NHS, which appeared in the article ‘Things My Boss Taught Me’ in the April 2009 edition of ‘Management Today’.

In 1988, I was running Wexham Park Hospital when Brian Smith became chairman. He was former ICI and a serious industrialist. We had just got a board, as the hospital had become a trust, and we needed to produce a business plan. We showed Brian our plan and he came back the following day and said ‘I’m really disappointed. The numbers are there and it makes sense, but where’s the passion?’

It struck me as extraordinarily odd, because here was this businessman, to whom I had given a business plan that was full of numbers, and he was complaining that there wasn’t enough about the people in it. What Brian was saying was that as a leader of 2,000 people, I had to think more about people, even in these business plans, because it’s people that make the difference. You can have two CEOs, both equally competent with the numbers, but one can get things done because they can work with the people, and the other can’t”

Learning Outcomes

Assessed Learning Outcomes

  1. Knowledge and Understanding
    Through undertaking relevant reading and research, you will be able to: recognise and draw upon a broad range of accounting terminology and conventions; explore systems of performance management, methods of appraisal and potential challenges and mechanisms for employee development.

  2. Analysis
    In the light of professional, theoretical and ethical stance, contrast different management styles.

  3. Evaluation
    Evaluate the relevance of mechanisms for employee development for your service
    Evaluate the effectiveness of different management styles in different situations

  4. Synthesis
    Outline and apply principles of costing and budgeting within the organisational context
    Create and present financial management reports appropriate to your service.

  5. Application
    Be able to apply the knowledge and understanding gained in your own service context and identify professional development needs appropriate to your role.

Additional outcomes

Numeracy skills should be improved by this module. Information-handling and problem-solving skills can be improved through the module. IT skills can be developed by the use of relevant web resources and databases and through word-processing of coursework. Group work and communication skills are important additional outcomes of this module.

Course Outline

The course is divided into the following main sections:

Pre-Course Self-Assessment

Managing finance

Introduction to Financial and Management Accounting

Financial Accounting

Cash Flow, Profit and Loss and Balance Sheet

Assets and Liabilities

Accounting Terms and Conventions

Debits and Credits

Debtors and Creditors

Revenue and Capital


Financial Accounting Quiz

Management Accounting

Introduction to Management Accounting


Fixed and Variable Costs

Cost Basis

Direct and Indirect Costs (Overheads)

Marginal Costs

Cost Benefit Analysis

Cost Units

Cost Centres


Definition and Purpose

Types of Budget

Setting a Budget


Flexing the Budget


Budgetary Control

Beyond Budgeting

Managing people

Employee Development

Performance Management


What is a team?

Team Development and Team Roles


Theories of Motivation

Motivation and Career

What is Management?


Power and Control

Finance and HR – Concluding Reflections


General Guidelines

Residential Case Study – 2500 words

Work Focussed Essay – 2500 words

Feedback at the end of the Module

Teaching Learning and Assessment

Brief Description of Teaching and Learning Methods

The module is delivered via a mixture of self-managed learning using distance learning materials and a three day residential programme.

The residential takes place AT THE END of the module. This is a different model to other MSWE and CEIGHE modules. It is imperative that you have completed the distance learning material BEFORE you attend the residential.

During the residential there will be opportunities for revision of key topics, but the core of the residential takes the form of a business game. One of the assignments draws on your experience of the residential. In addition the residential will provide the opportunity to work in a team with fellow students. Each student will also have a one-to-one tutorial with a course tutor.

The distance learning materials follow a structured sequence of material, including self-managed exercises, which focus on the subject concerned. Individual tutorial support is available by e-mail, telephone or in person, via a designated tutor.

The distance learning environment includes discussion forums where you are encouraged to share your learning with each other and the module convenor.

Throughout the module you will be invited to engage in a variety of activities. Your responses to the activities will not be individually assessed, but they are an excellent opportunity to extend your learning and to prepare you for the formal assignments. If you would like feedback on any of the activities, please contact the module convenor

You might like to think of the exercises as a direct replacement for the type of groupwork and thinking you would undertake in lectures and tutorials. Try to complete the activities as fully as you can as you progress through the module, as they will contribute towards the completion of your assignments.

Most of you will already have completed a module using the VLE If this is your first module then you should consult the additional support material available to you on using this medium for study.

If you have previously studied CEIGHE modules then you may find this one looks a little different. We hope that these differences are small enough not to cause you problems, but if you do feel uncertain about anything then please contact the Module Leader - the chances are that you are not alone and we can probably do something about it!

The MSWE Home Page includes a set of documents covering study skills such as academic reading and writing, accessing the Library's electronic resources and avoiding plagiarism and a practice assignment which you can submit for feedback.

As you have probably completed a number of modules already, it is unlikely that you need to go through it all, but you may want to check something specific. An overview of the material is provided in the document called ‘Before You Start’..


Formative assessment can be provided by the module convenor.

Summative assessment is by two pieces of coursework which are submitted at the end of the module. One of them is based on the residential and the other is work based. Each assignment carries equal weighting. For details follow the ‘Assignments’ link on the menu.


This module was written by Jan Digby. The Finance section uses material originally developed by Philip Wilson.

Jan would also like to acknowledge the support and feedback of:

Alison Clark, NASES

Georgina Kilner, University of Reading

John Leston, Independent Consultant

Phil McCash, University of Reading

Anna McMenamin, University of Reading

Dr Philip Mignot, Nottingham Trent University

John Rees

Kate Strike, University of Reading