Understanding Financial Concepts

Prepare for a wide range of roles in the finance industry with an introduction to fundamental financial concepts.

  • Duration 2 weeks
  • Weekly study 3 hours
  • Learn Free
  • Extra benefits From $64 Find out more

Support your professional development in the finance industry

On this two-week course, you’ll gain an insightful introduction to a variety of finance topics that are studied at postgraduate level. This will give you a taste of what to expect when studying the Postgraduate Certificate in Finance from The Open University.

You will understand what’s meant by risk and return, and how and why companies use stock markets. You will also evaluate the strategic investment appraisal process and learn about the mergers and acquisition market. You will benefit from a variety of perspectives and material, preparing you for future study or work in the finance industry.

What topics will you cover?

  • Return on Investment
  • Raising Equity Finance
  • The Strategic Investment process
  • Mergers and Acquisitions

When would you like to start?

Most FutureLearn courses run multiple times. Every run of a course has a set start date but you can join it and work through it after it starts. Find out more

  • Available now

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you'll be able to...

  • Evaluate investment risk by calculating the standard deviation of investment returns and use this information to evaluate corporate financing choices
  • Describe equity markets and the processes involved in issuing equities
  • Explain the strategic investment appraisal process and understand the impact of economic fluctuations and policy on investment decisions
  • Discuss the different types of M&A transactions and analyse long term trends and patterns - the ‘merger wave’ phenomenon in particular.

Who is the course for?

This course is for anyone looking to build a career in finance and understand what’s included in the Postgraduate Certificate of Finance from The Open University.

Who will you learn with?

Henry Lahr

Henry Lahr

I am a Senior Lecturer in Finance at the Open University and lead its MSc in Finance. My research is on the financing of innovative businesses, venture capital and frictions in financial markets.

Kevin Amor

Kevin Amor

I am a Chartered Accountant who, before moving into teaching, worked in the real estate investment and development sector. I have also been a director on a number of investment funds.

Who developed the course?

The Open University

The Open University (OU) is the largest academic institution in the UK and a world leader in flexible distance learning, with a mission to be open to people, places, methods and ideas.

  • Established1969
  • LocationMilton Keynes, UK
  • World rankingTop 510Source: Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020

Join this course

Start this course for free, upgrade for extra benefits, or buy Unlimited to access this course and hundreds of other short courses for a year.


Join free and you will get:

  • Access to this course for 4 weeks


Upgrade this course and you will get:

  • Access to this course for as long as it’s on FutureLearn
  • A print and digital Certificate of Achievement once you’re eligible

Unlimited (New!)
$249.99 for one year

Buy Unlimited and you will get:

  • Access to this course, and hundreds of other FutureLearn short courses and tests for a year
  • A printable digital Certificate of Achievement on all short courses once you’re eligible
  • The freedom to keep access to any course you've achieved a digital Certificate of Achievement on, for as long as the course exists on FutureLearn
  • The flexibility to complete your choice of short courses in your own time within the year
Find out more about upgrades or Unlimited.