AF6004 - Contemporary Corporate Reporting

What will I learn on this module?

You will learn how to read and critically interpret both the financial information and narrative content of company reports. To do this, you will study the theory and context of corporate reporting, including ethical issues, and the international framework for reporting, as well as very practical techniques such as ratio analysis. Building on the calculation of ratios studied in previous modules, you will use ratios to help you analyse a company’s performance by selecting appropriate comparators and considering the figures in the context of a company’s industry and its business strategy. You will also consider the role of integrated reporting and sustainability reporting.

You will study impression management theories and apply these to evaluate how companies present themselves in their corporate reports.

The syllabus includes:
• regulatory and ethical framework, including the Conceptual Framework for Financial Reporting
• Generally Accepted Accounting Practice (GAAP) and convergence towards International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS)
• the constituent elements of financial statements: balance sheets, income statements, cash flow statements, statements of changes in equity, notes to the accounts and accounting policies, and how to interpret these
• other elements of the annual report, such as the corporate governance report and auditor’s report, and how to interpret these
• progress in integrated reporting and sustainability reporting
• efficient market hypothesis, and how the market views the information in corporate reports
• impression management in corporate reporting
• current issues arising

How will I learn on this module?

The lectures will introduce you to the main topics and theories. You will practise applying what you have learnt in student-centred seminars, where you will work in groups with other students to compare and analyse real company accounts.

You will be expected to research and analyse a company in detail for your assignment. The seminars will equip you with the skills to be able to do this. You will be shown how to use appropriate technology, and may use this for your assignment (or indeed dissertation) if you wish.

In addition, the eLearning Portal will direct you to independent study for additional practice and reading.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

The module team will help you with the seminar exercises, and be available during seminars to help with other questions about the module. There is a reading list and directed study to help you consolidate what you learn in the lectures and seminars.

The eLearning Portal is a good source of guidance for the module. As well providing the information you need for lectures and seminars, it holds Panopto recordings of lectures so that you can revisit these after they have taken place. It also hosts a practice multiple choice exam, to help you test your learning. You can use this to get tailored formative feedback on your performance part way through the module.

You will have access to online support for technology as well as the university’s library facilities for researching your company for your assignment.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
You will:
• Be knowledgeable about, and able to interpret, the content and presentation of annual reports in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (MLO1).
• Discuss and critique the context and methodologies underpinning the construction of reports in the UK and internationally (MLO2)

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
You will:
• Critically evaluate how companies communicate with their stakeholders by assessing the information provided in published corporate reports (MLO3).

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

• Conduct research into a FTSE 350 company and critically evaluate its performance (MLO4).

How will I be assessed?

The final assessment will be split between a 2,000 word assignment (80%) and eLearning-Portal based activities (20%).

The e-Learning Portal activities will take place during the semester and provide an opportunity to test your learning so far. “Mock versions of the activities will be provided, so that you know what to expect (MLO1).

For your assignment, you will conduct detailed research into a FTSE listed company, and apply the techniques you have learnt during the semester to analyse and assess its corporate reports. You will submit the assignment at the end of the semester (MLO1, MLO2, MLO3 & MLO4).





Module abstract

The aim of this module is to equip you with the ability to comprehensively understand corporate reports, including financial statements. You will learn to analyse the performance of a company and critically evaluate the quality of the information given in its corporate reports, from an end user’s perspective. This is essential for many business roles, and not limited to roles in finance.

In studying this module you will learn about current reporting issues both from an academic, research-based perspective, and from a practical, business perspective. The assignment and the exercises you will be using for practice are based on actual company reports, so that you are working with and experiencing real world documents.

Lectures will be recorded using Panopto software and you will learn how to use appropriate technology to conduct research for your assignment.

Course info

UCAS Code N422

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 2 years Full Time or 3 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Newcastle Business School

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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