SCIENT 701 : Accounting and Finance for Scientists


2022 Semester One (1223) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Builds upon scientific numeracy in exploring the sources, uses and reporting of accounting and financial information in science-based enterprises; application of capital budgeting and valuation theory to science-relevant situations; and key bases for financially-informed project and enterprise decision-making and the management of economic resources.

Course Overview

This course is a core component of the Bioscience Enterprise programme but also has a limited number of places for students enrolled in other postgrad programmes. There are no prerequisites however you are expected to have demonstrated a high level of achievement in your core discipline.

Sound financial management is a key factor in contributing to the survival and success of a corporation.  The aim of this course is to introduce the topic of finance and accounting for scientists and provide you with a broad understanding of important elements of the financial management process. 

After this course you should be able to better interpret corporate financial and accounting information and apply concepts and tools relevant to making financial management decisions in a science based enterprise.

Course Requirements

No pre-requisites or restrictions

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Identify and critically analyse a corporation’s challenges in optimally achieving shareholder objectives and propose strategies to overcome these challenges. (Capability 2)
  2. Interpret company financial statements and use these to evaluate corporate performance. (Capability 1 and 4)
  3. Analyse situations involving cash flows occurring at different points in time by applying the concept of time value of money. (Capability 1)
  4. Evaluate investment projects by applying various capital budgeting techniques and justify the advantages and disadvantages of these techniques. (Capability 1 and 2)
  5. Critically analyse the relationship between risk and return in the context of finance and examine its implications for discount rates and asset values. (Capability 2)
  6. Evaluate and apply theoretical approaches in order to determine the value and cost of equity and debt and examine practical considerations associated with this. (Capability 2 and 3)
  7. Identify different forms of financing and evaluate the costs and benefits of each. (Capability 3)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Assignments 40% Group & Individual Coursework
Online Quizzes 20% Individual Coursework
Final Exam 40% Individual Examination
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Online Quizzes
Final Exam

Special Requirements

The course has 12 weekly lecture sessions. These will mainly involve a mixture of formal lecturing, discussion, case studies and problem solving. The test will be held during one of these lecture sessions.

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, you can expect 3 hours of lectures, 4 hours of reading and thinking about the content and 3 hours of work on assignments and/or test preparation.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Attendance is expected at scheduled activities including tutorials to complete components of the course.

Lectures will be available as recordings. Other learning activities including tutorials will not be available as recordings.

Attendance on campus is required for the exam.

The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable.

Learning Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

The mandatory textbook for this course is:
Brealey, R.A., Myers, S.C., & Marcus, A.J. (2018). Fundamentals of corporate finance (9th ed). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education
All students are expected to have a copy of this textbook which is available in hard-copy and/or e-text. 
The reading list provided on Canvas will specify which chapters of the textbook are required reading and to which week these readings relate. It is highly recommended that students read the relevant chapters prior to attending the associated week’s lecture session.
Links to supplementary materials (such as company financial statements, industry reports, articles and websites) will be provided in the reading list on Canvas. The reading list will specify whether these supplementary materials are mandatory or optional readings.
Students are also expected to bring a hand-held scientific calculator to class and to the test and exam. Students may use a financial calculator if they wish but this is NOT required.

Student Feedback

During the course Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the staff responsible for the course and staff-student consultative committees.

At the end of the course students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback.

Your feedback helps to improve the course and its delivery for all students.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.


The content and delivery of content in this course are protected by copyright. Material belonging to others may have been used in this course and copied by and solely for the educational purposes of the University under license.

You may copy the course content for the purposes of private study or research, but you may not upload onto any third party site, make a further copy or sell, alter or further reproduce or distribute any part of the course content to another person.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption, we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

The delivery mode may change depending on COVID restrictions. Any changes will be communicated through Canvas.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course students may be asked to submit coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.

Published on 10/11/2021 12:59 p.m.