Short courses


Finance and Business Environment (Telecommunications and ICT)

  • 40 hours
  • 5 days teaching, 3 hour tutorial, (optional) exam


This five-day course will give you a highly intensive introduction to finance and financial techniques - the aim being to help you effectively manage projects and businesses within the capital-intensive ICT industry (information and communications technology). 

It will cover:

  • financial accounting
  • management accounting
  • corporate finance
  • investment appraisal techniques used to construct business cases
  • financial analytical techniques
  • financial decision making

The course will provide a thorough examination of the generic principles of finance, but using telecommunications and ICT service providers as example companies.

The objective is to give you sufficient understanding of finance and financial analysis so that you can understand and contribute to good financial decision-making in your business.

It also includes key business environmental issues relevant to the ICT industry e.g. regulation, legal considerations and the economics of telecommunications infrastructure.

The course is run by UCL's Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering (EEE).

Who this course is for

The course is aimed at professional people working within the ICT industry who want to understand more about finance and financial decision-making in managing projects and businesses.

You don't need any specific qualifications to take this course.

Course content

1) Financial management

The role of financial management in any business will be set out, with detailed application to the telecommunications network operators' functions. You'll gain a thorough grounding in, and a good understanding of, the application of, the following:

  • The primary financial statements consisting of the balance sheet, profit and loss account, and cash flow statement, and how to read them
  • Depreciation, ebitda, profit, cash flow, working capital, gearing, cost of capital, share price dynamics and dividend policy. Valuation of companies
  • Management accounting - the application of management accounting to the business so that you can apply the principles to your own company circumstances
  • Corporate finance - understanding the different sources of finance to businesses and the importance of gearing and financial risk in structuring the company balance sheet

2) The regulatory and legal scene

The UK, European and worldwide legal and regulatory frameworks will be presented, showing the constraints and opportunities offered to incumbent and other operators and service providers. Besides interconnect issues, the UK Telecommunications Strategic Review will be described and its impact analysed, together with the role of OFCOM in regulating what's becoming a converged market. This covers the vast range of broadcast, entertainment, and telecommunications applications. You'll understand the drivers and constraints involved in regulating businesses, together with the opportunities that arise. You'll also gain an appreciation of the legal principles involved. 

3) Business cases 

The key aspects of a business case will be introduced, covering its role in corporate governance, the essential content, the financial case and supporting evidence. You'll be able to create your own credible and plausible business cases for capital and current account projects, including the use of discounted cash flow (DCF) techniques, evaluating the cost of capital and deciding on financing options. You'll be able to analyse the regulatory and legal risks and plan to mitigate them. 

4) Infrastructure economics

This will look at the cost dynamics of a telecommunications infrastructure, covering access and core - fundamental to all networks (including railways, airlines, electricity supply, etc.), fixed and variable cost, effect of volume on unit cost, cost and revenue apportionment, and long-run costs. In particular, the lectures will examine how the network size, structure and choice of technology, together with the systems support infrastructure, impact on the financial performance of a network operator. You'll understand the particular relevance of this to the development of next generation networks (NGN) and the provision of new-wave services. 

Dates, assessment and certificates

The course runs over five days, Monday to Friday, with 6 to 8 teaching hours per day. This is followed by a three-hour tutorial.

Teaching will take place in person with some materials available online. Please note, dates and teaching arrangements may need to change in response to government guidance around Covid-19.

The courses is assessed by exam.

If you complete the course but do not take the exam, you'll receive a certificate of attendance. 

If you take and pass the exam you'll get a certificate stating this, which includes your pass level.

Benefits of taking this course

You can take this course as a standalone (one-off) course, or accumulate it as a module towards an MSc qualification (up to two standalone modules can be transferred towards the flexible MSc degree).

Benefits to employees
The programme offers the opportunity for professional people working in the telecommunications industry to develop their career, be able to respond to changes in their environment, and learn while they earn. It's also designed to give you the opportunity of working towards an MSc qualification from an academic institution whose quality is recognised world-wide.

Benefits to employers
Our flexible CPD courses are delivered by staff with experience both of general business principles and of telecommunications markets and technologies. They enable your company's staff to understand and gain advantage over the competition by tapping into world-leading research and UCL's world-class telecommunications and business expertise.

View the full range of related courses available.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this course, you should be able to understand:

  • financial statements and how to read them, as well as the principles of depreciation, ebitda, profit, cash flow, working capital, gearing, cost of capital, share price dynamics and dividend policy
  • the concept of convergence in the ICT marketplace and be able to identify the opportunities and threats created for new and existing players
  • the drivers and constraints involved in regulating businesses and have gained an appreciation of the legal principles involved
  • how to construct business cases and their importance in supporting decision making in a corporate environment
  • the cost dynamics of a telecommunications network and support-systems infrastructure, in terms of the effects of volume, quality of service, range of services supported, resilience, etc.
  • the key business drivers for next-generation networks (NGN) and the components of the supporting business case

Course team

Keith Carrington

Keith Carrington

Keith is a senior manager with 30 years experience working in the telecoms sector and the financial services sector. He spent 26 years with BT plc in a wide variety of roles including finance and audit, product management, sales, customer service and programme management. He's a qualified management accountant and programme manager. Keith runs his own property development company as well as helping to run the MSc Telecoms with Business program at UCL.

Course information last modified: 30 Nov 2022, 16:01