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CONTENTS Introduction General Learning Outcomes Entry Requirements, Duration and Progression Structure Fees Management and the Modern Corporation Business Analysis and Desicion Making Introduction to Risk Management Quantitative Methods Applied Statistics for Business Fundamentals of Banking Accounting Principles and Practice Glossary

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Introduction Finance is a field with great earning potential and rewarding career options in a wide range of industries. This field has seen large growth worldwide, despite the recent economic downturn. The Diploma in Finance is for individuals who wish to build a career in the financial services industry, which is considered to be one of the pillars of the Maltese economy. This diploma offers a sound foundation for anyone who wishes to further his studies and embark on a career in insurance, banking, financial planning, corporate management, investment services, wealth management and other specialised areas. The diploma is focused on attaining quantitative skills for data analysis as well as a solid background in accounting, information systems, banking and finance to cultivate abilities in identifying and responding to cycles in the global economy.

General Learning Outcomes The Diploma in Finance will enable participants to: 1. 2. 3. 4.

Interpret statistical data and elicit trends and information pertinent to the industry s/he is working in. Use quantitative techniques in order to develop models which will help undertake management tasks. Communicate with financial managers and auditors for purposes of recording of financial matters of the department/firm. Revert to major modern management techniques and methods to streamline the functionality of the department/firm.

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Entry Requirements, Duration and Progression Students wishing to register for this programme must possess four (4) ordinary level passes, including Mathematics and English at SEC grades 1 to 5 or grades A to C in the case of GCE/GCSE or equivalent. Successful completion of ECDL will be treated as an ordinary level. International equivalents to the above requirements will be considered and the decision taken at the discretion of the Institute. Students who are 21 years and over and do not hold the minimum number of ordinary level passes as noted above, may apply subject to having at least years relevant uninterrupted full –time work experience the National Commission for Further and Higher Education (NCFHE) has accredited the Diploma in Finance at Level 5 of the Malta Qualification Framework, which is equivalent to a first year of a degree programme. The programme consists of 60 ECTS and students may opt to follow this over one or two academic years starting from the age of sixteen (16 years). Full-time students are eligible to apply for maintenance grants throughout the academic year. Those already in full-time employment may opt to study the Diploma in Finance as an evening student over a period of two academic years, whilst keeping their jobs. The minimum age accepted for evening study at Saint Martin’s is normally 20 years and over. The Diploma in Finance has been granted automatic Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) by the University of London and students who successfully complete this programme are eligible to apply for Level 2 in the BSc (Hons) in Business Administration (MQF Level 6) conferred by the University of London following a further two academic years as a full-time student. Students also have the possibility to choose from the following specialisation for the degree programme: the general stream, marketing, human resources and international business.

Structure Diploma in Finance (60 ECTS)

Management & the Modern Corporation (7.5 ECTS)

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Basics of Strategic Business Analysis and Decision Making (7.5 ECTS)

Introduction to Risk management (7.5 ECTS)

Quantitative Methods (7.5 ECTS)

Applied Statistics for Business (7.5 ECTS)

Fundamentals of Banking (15 ECTS)

Accounting Principles & Practice (15 ECTS)


Fees Full-time (EU)

Full-time (Non-EU)

Part-time (EU)

Application Fee

€125

€125

€125

Registration Fee

€950

€950

€480

€4,842 €3,444/year

€6,180 €3,990/year

€2,990 €1,495/year

(one time non-refundable) (one time non-refundable) Diploma MQF 5 (Tuition & Examination Fees)

Course over one year Course over two years

Students following the Diploma on a full-time basis will benefit from: • A fixed stipend of €769 between 1st October and 30th June (applicable to EU students only). In addition to this students will also receive a yearly sum of €465.87 to partly cover expenses related to educational material & equipment and a one-time grant of €465.87 payable in the first year of their studies. Students are required to refer to the MGUS Regulations for further details regarding eligibility and conditions with respect to the scheme. The scheme is administered by Students’ Maintenance Grants Section, within the Ministry for Education and Employment. • Upon successful completion of the Diploma, the graduate will benefit from a tax credit and thus will be eligible to recover 70% of the costs incurred once in employment. If a parent/guardian is paying the tuition fees, the parent/guardian will be able to benefit from the tax credit. The maximum value of tax credits refundable is €3500. Students following the Diploma on an evening basis are eligible to recover €2450 (70% of the cost of programme) in tax credit following successful completion, resulting in a net cost of €1055.

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Management and the Modern Corporation 7.5 ECTS - 10 weeks - Winter Semester (January to March) This study unit is designed to introduce students to the foundational concepts of modern management theory. Management is an evolving discipline that is influenced by political, economic and social forces and as such, these disciplines provide an important backdrop to the course. The programme is divided into ten topics of study. Students are given the opportunity to see for themselves how modern management theory can add value to organisations, both from a theoretical and a practical perspective. Theoretical aspects covered include Human Resources Management, Knowledge Management, Multi-National Corporations, Organisational Structures, Scientific Management, the Human Relations Approach, and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).

Learning outcomes: • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

describe the role of the manager and distinguish the role of the manager in practice and theory; explain the process of change management, evaluate these processes and advise on overcoming barriers to change; analyse and identify the consequences of a business’s current objectives, market position and direction; evaluate the likely consequences of strategic choices and recommend strategies to meet the objectives of a business; develop a business plan to achieve a business’s strategic objectives, recommend an appropriate organisational structure and explain the process of effective change management; understand the concept of organisational structure and the factors that shape it; explain the implications of organisational culture for organisational change, strategy and performance; explain concepts, models and practices related to motivation and leadership; understand the scope, processes and problems of marketing including the marketing mix, approaches to marketing and the production of strategic marketing plans; understand the scope, processes and problems of human resource management including recruitment and selection and training and development; understand the importance of teams and how their develop; understand the scope, processes and problems of operations management including managing supply chains and quality programmes; understand the scope, processes and problems of managing for sustainability; understand the key types of information systems used in a modern organisation and how such systems can help achieve organisational goals.

This study unit is examined through a mix of assignments, tests and examinations.

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“Students are given the opportunity to see for themselves how modern management theory can add value to organisations, both from a theoretical and a practical perspective.” Steven Calascione


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Business Analysis and Decision Making 7.5 ECTS - 10 weeks - Winter Semester (January to March) Entrepreneurs need to understand the dynamics of the business world and identify the strategic thinking behind the most successful companies. Students are exposed to the diverse strategic schools of thought and gain the knowledge and skills to analyse businesses internally and in their environment. The resource based view and the market positioning approach are compared in detail, and students become familiar with the main researchers in strategy. This study unit exposes students to the importance of the value added by the employees of a firm as recorded by the value added statement and the use of accounting ratios to assess the performance of the firm and management’s ability to make an impact to the stake holders of the firm.

“Students are exposed to the diverse strategic schools of thought and gain the knowledge and skills to analyse businesses internally and in their environment.” Charles Theuma

Shareholder value is an element that is significant in the top industrialised nations and students are able to calculate shareholder value and how companies that focus on increasing value for their shareholders have a marked positive effect on the economic value added of a nation. Mergers and acquisitions are a global trend and even though many end up in a disaster, students learn to appreciate why mergers and acquisitions are so popular. Financialisation and capitalisation is dealt with in this study unit. The Institute organises a share portfolio game and students are encouraged to participate in this hands on simulation based on the New York stock exchange listings. Learning Outcomes: • • • • • •

critically understand the variable relation between product markets, internal organisation, cost structures and capital market expectations, and how they impact on strategy formulation; deconstruct the return on capital employed; critically appreciate that accounting numbers reflect complex market, organisation and institutional relations; explain and understand that the outcomes of strategy are shaped by accounting calculations but are often subject to vagaries that limit management control; understand and explain the relationship between efficiency, distribution and stakeholder interests; apply interpretive and analytical skills to interpret the performance of companies, and be able to employ analyses and numbers to construct well-argued presentations and reports;

This study unit is examined through a mix of assignments, tests and examinations.

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Introduction to Risk Management 7.5 ECTS - 10 weeks - Winter Semester (January to March) This unit provides an introduction to the scientific approach to finance. Taking Applied Statistics for Business as the starting point, the students will learn how to apply the statistical tools they learned to answer fundamental financial questions. The course will be divided in three main sections. The first section analysis the individual investor’s problem: What is the best way to diversify my investment in order to get the optimal return subject to a tolerable risk? Students will learn how the classical “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket” takes an elegant mathematical form known as Modern Portfolio Theory. In the next section the students will learn how risk is analysed in the context of a corporation. The biggest dilemma that a corporation has is that of selecting the optimal project out of many using a limited pool of resources. Students will learn how to tackle classical NPV and IRR problems to answer such a question and then extend these methods in order to find the fair value of a company under certain assumptions. The classical technique is known a the Gordon Growth Method. In the final section of this introductory course the student will encounter the risks that banks face, which are different due to the particular nature of a bank’s business. In particular, students will learn how the three major risks: Credit RIsk, Liquidity Risk and Interest Rate Risk affect the day to day running of a bank. The students will learn how to deal with mathematical models such as the Duration model and the Altman Z Score model in order to approach quantitatively the above banking risks. Learning outcomes: • • • • • • • • • •

discuss the nature of risk and uncertainty; appreciate the nature of risk and have a comprehensive perspective on risk management concepts, tools and techniques. evaluate the problems of risk and uncertainly in investment appraisal accommodate risk in investment appraisal discuss the implication of risk preference behaviours when making investment decisions describe the procedures for assessing and measuring the risk of a single investment project describe the ways in which risk can be incorporated into the investment appraisal process describe the procedures for assessing and measuring the combined risk of a portfolio of investment explain the use of the capital asset pricing model in calculating risk adjusted discount rates for use in investment appraisal. develop analytical and integrative thinking in understanding and implementing the risk management practices

This study unit is examined through a mix of assignments, tests and examinations.

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“Financial management is all about the management of risk, taking the right decisions at the right time.” Julian Cardona


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Quantitative Methods 7.5 ECTS - 10 weeks - Autumn Semester (October to December) Mathematics is a fundamental element of many subjects not only because of the actual mathematical principles involved but also due to the logical stimulation it instigates the user to observe. Exploring different methods to tackle a particular problem helps to develop our thinking and creative minds. Even though it may be frustrating at times, actually managing to solve a hard mathematical problem can be indeed satisfying! The mathematical principles outlined in this unit are not stand alone units but will be useful in applications relating to economics, management and other disciplines. Thus the unit will provide the student with the mathematical tools to enable the study of economics, management, accounting, banking and related disciplines. Learning outcomes: • • •

“Investment analysis is based purely on quantitative techniques to identify patterns and correlations in financial cycles.”

demonstrate developed or improved (revisited) skills in basic arithmetic; carry out algebraic manipulations and demonstrate the ability to solve simple optimization problems; students will develop the skills to differentiate functions in several variables, the ability to solve economic optimization problems and basic the skills of matrix manipulation.

This study unit is examined through a mix of assignments, tests and examinations.

Dunstan Briffa

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Applied Statistics for Business 7.5 ECTS - 10 weeks - Autumn Semester (October to December) Starting a business means facing uncertainty from the very word go. “What share of the market should I expect?” or “What is the optimal price I should set?” are some of the frequently asked questions during business planning stage and beyond. The Applied Statistics for Business study unit will provide the student with a tool kit of skills necessary to conduct proper market research and give a quantitative answer to the questions outlined above. Students will learn how to set up a questionnaire, calculate the ideal sample size and conduct a scientifically sound survey. Students will learn how to represent data patterns graphically, using software, such as Excel. The power of statistics may also be very useful in forecasting and the study unit will enable entrepreneurs to forecast important business indicators, to a reasonable degree of accuracy. Students will learn very simple quantitative tests that may be applied to derive a possible range of values for unknown quantities such as future demand, potential price range, age groups of potential customers and many other valuable indicators. Statistics is a core unit for those students participating in the Junior Achievement Young Enterprise (JA-YE) Start-Up Competition with the knowledge gained being applied in the investment proposals presented to the JA-YE panel of judges. Learning outcomes: • • •

demonstrate developed or improved (revisited) skills in basic arithmetic; carry out algebraic manipulations and demonstrate the ability to solve simple optimisation problems; students will develop the skills to differentiate functions in several variables, the ability to solve economic optimisation problems and basic the skills of matrix manipulation.

This study unit is examined through a mix of assignments, tests and examinations.

“The power of statistics may also be very useful in forecasting and the study unit will enable entrepreneurs to forecast important business indicators.” Julian Cardona

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Fundamentals of Banking 7.5 ECTS - 10 weeks - Autumn Semester (October to December) Whether you aspire to forward your career and develop your expertise in the Banking World, Insurance Business or any other Finance related area, the Fundamentals of Banking programme caters for students from various academic and professional backgrounds. This study unit is aimed at students who want to further enhance their knowledge and competencies in the Banking and Finance sphere. As well as developing sound financial skills, this study unit will also help successful candidates cultivate certain managerial capabilities. Fundamentals of Banking also gives those wishing to work within the local or international arena a leading edge since the structure was designed keeping in mind those candidates who either do not possess a strong background in Finance or are still in the early stages of their Finance related profession. The content focuses mainly on Banks and Financial Intermediation, Banking Typology, Models of Banking Behaviour, Credit Rationing, Securitization, Banking Regulation, Banks and Money Laundering and Risk Management within Banks.

“Banking is all about the generation of wealth and making economies grow.”

Silvio Chetcuti

Learning Outcomes: • • • • • • • • • •

able to explain and analyse the role and functioning of a bank in modern economy explain why banks exist describe the different forms of market structure in banking industry and explain their implications explain what are the advantages of debt over equity finance analyse and use the different tools and instruments used by banks analyse the role of asymmetric information and strategic interactions identify the role of banks in a financial crisis, both as a cause and how it may help to avert one recommend policy for regulation of banks explain simple models of bank runs explain how did regulation in the banking sphere change in response to managerial incentive problems

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Accounting Principles and Practice 15 ECTS - 20 weeks - Autumn Semester (October to December) & Winter Semester (January to March) Starting and operating a business requires entrepreneurs to master multiple business functions. One of the most essential is accounting. The accounting function not only provides entrepreneurs with a method of maintaining financial information but also helps them when it comes to forecasting revenues and expenses, determining profitability as well as measuring and assessing progress. Generally, accounting provides entrepreneurs with the clearest picture of their business’ success. The main aim of this study unit is to help aspiring entrepreneurs learn and grasp the basic accounting required and finance tools to start up a business. This study unit will enable students to prepare and understand basic financial statements, costing reports, budgets and financial forecasts and will provide students with the necessary skills and hands on experience required to enable them to prepare the essential financial forecasts required for any business plan or investment proposal. Students participating in the Junior Achievement Young Enterprise (JA-YE) Start-Up Competition, will use the knowledge gained from this unit when preparing the financial forecasts for the business proposals presented to the JA-YE panel of judges.

“My experience at SMI made me feel part of a family, and helped me become the adult I am today.” Apart from the academic knowledge which I acquired throughout my three years at Saint Martin’s, I also gained invaluable presentation, negotiating and team building skills as a member of the Saint Martin’s Institute Student Council for two consecutive years holding the office of President of the council in the final year. This experience together with my studies formed my character and prepared me better to corporate life which I am now experiencing after joining Grant Thornton upon completion of my studies.

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“Generally, accounting provides entrepreneurs with the clearest picture of their business’ success.” Suzanne Wallbank


Learning outcomes:

• describe the nature, uses and purposes of financial accounting, and outline both the conceptual and regulatory frameworks that govern the preparation and reporting of financial information; • explain the accounting equation and its link with financial statements, and illustrate the impact of economic transactions on the accounting equation; • describe the key concepts and conventions that underlie financial accounting; • describe and apply the transactions recording process from source documents to financial statements via the books of prime entry, ledgers and trial balance; • explain the nature and purposes of control accounts and apply appropriate correcting techniques for errors and omissions; • explain the role of information technology in accounting and the issues surrounding its use; • explain and apply the recognition and measurement principles relating to: non-current liabilities and equity, non-current assets (including depreciation), inventories (and cost of sales) and other current assets and liabilities (including receivables and bad debts, prepayments and accruals, etc.); • explain and apply the accounting concepts which underpin the IASB accounting framework; • construct simple statements of financial performance and position and understand the key accounting adjustments made to these statements; • understand fundamentals of ratio analysis; • describe the elements of cost accounting; • identify different costing systems; • apply management accounting information for short-run decision making; • apply management accounting information for long-run decision making employing basic investment appraisal techniques; • describe the role of budgeting in financial planning and control; • describe the purpose and role of cost and management accounting; • identify different cost characteristics; • understand and apply the different techniques used in accounting for materials, labour and production overheads; • describe marginal costing and its use in cost-volume-profit analysis; • explain the role of budgeting in financial planning and control, and explain different budget types; • prepare budgets for sales, production, materials (usage and purchases), labour and overheads; • explain and prepare fixed, flexible and flexed budgets; • explain the purpose and principles of standard costing; • calculate and interpret variances for: sales, materials, labour, variable overheads and fixed overheads; • apply management accounting information for long-run decision making, employing basic investment appraisal techniques. This study unit is examined through a mix of assignments, tests and examinations. stmartins.edu/commerce | 17


Glossary National Commission for Further & Higher Education (NCFHE)

The NCFHE was officially launched on the 14th September 2012 and is legislated by the revised Education Act’ which came into force on the 1st August 2012. Their mission statement is:

Higher Education

All non-compulsory non-formal and informal learning or research which serves to obtain a national qualification classified at Level 5 of the Malta Qualifications Framework (MQF) or higher, or a foreign qualification at a comparable level.

Malta Qualifications Framework (MQF)

The MQF assists in making the Maltese qualifications system easier to understand and review, and more transparent at a national and international level. The framework is also a referencing tool that helps to describe and compare both national and foreign qualifications to promote quality, transparency and mobility of qualifications in all types of education.

European Credit Transfer System (ECTS)

The ECTS is a system adopted by the European Union authorities to determine the value of a learning experience of a student at every level. 60 ECTS is equivalent to 5 contact hours to every credit which may include formal lectures, tutorials, supervised group work and other learning activities which are under the guidance of a lecturer and 15 hours of student self-study.

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“To foster the development and achievement of excellence in further and higher education in Malta through research, effective licensing, accreditation, quality assurance and recognition of qualifications established under the Malta Qualifications Framework.”


Learning Outcomes

Learning outcomes are statements of what a learner knows, understands and is able to do on completion of a learning process. Learning outcomes are used to express the requirements or standards set by the qualifications. They serve a variety of purposes: to recognise prior learning; to award credit; to ensure quality; to improve credibility; to increase transparency.

Academic Year

The academic year is spread over 36 weeks, 12 weeks for the Autumn semester (Oct to Dec), 12 weeks for the Winter semester (Jan to Mar) and 12 weeks for the Spring semester (Apr – Jun). Full-Time – lectures are normally scheduled from Monday to Thursday between 08.30Hrs and 20.00Hrs, with the possibility that lectures may also be scheduled on Fridays and/or Saturdays. Evening – lectures are normally scheduled between 18.00Hrs and 20.00Hrs from Monday to Friday, with the possibility that lectures may also be scheduled on Saturday mornings from 08.30Hrs to 10.30Hrs or between 10.45Hrs to 12.45Hrs. You will need to attend a two-hour lecture every week for each course chosen and alternate weeks in the case of half courses. Lectures falling on a public holiday will be reschedule on a Friday between 18.00Hrs to 20.00Hrs.

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Phone +356 21235451 infodesk@stmartins.edu ©2017 Saint Martin’s Institute of higher Education Higher Education Institute License no. 196 by NCFHE

Saint Martin's Institute Diploma in Finance  

Diploma in Finance Course Overview