Course detail

Commercial Awareness provides delegates with a deeper understanding of organisational structures and how management approaches can affect them.

This course includes the BCS Certificate in Commercial Awareness.

The Commercial Awareness course provides delegates with a high-level perspective (often the point of view seen by CEO/Board of Directors) on how organisations are structures and how different types of management philosophy can impact them. The course also examines crucial areas of knowledge that help manage organisations from a financial perspective, so that areas such as Financial and Management Accounting, Investment Appraisal, Budgeting and Costing are also covered.

This course is ideal for ambitious business analysts seeking to become business change managers. Successful completion of this course will helpyou speak to the Board in their own language.

Our experienced lecturers will support you every step of the way, ensuring that you learn useful skills to help you in your professional life and that you pass the BCS exam to achieve your qualification.


A one-hour closed book examination consisting 40 multiple-choice questions. The pass mark is 26/40.

Part 1 – Business Finance – 50% of course/examination

1. Evaluating a Financial Case 15%

1.1 Purpose of Building a Financial Case

1.2 Techniques used for evaluating a Financial Case

  • Payback
  • Discounted Cash Flow /Net Present Value
  • Internal Rate of Return

2. Budgeting, Costing and Pricing  15%

2.1. Budgets and Departmentalised Businesses

  • The purpose of budgets
  • Reasons for departmentalisation
  • Cost centres and profit centres

2.2. Cash Flow and Cash Management

  • Cash flow forecasting
  • Use of cash flow in decision making
  • Cash flow and profit

2.3. Costing and Pricing

  • Fixed and Variable costs
  • Direct and indirect costs
  • Break even and Contribution Analysis

3. Financial Reporting and Analysis   20%

3.1. Balance Sheet

  • Purpose and Structure
  • The nature, purpose and types of Capital
  • Liabilities, Short and Long Term
  • Fixed and Current Assets

3.2. Income and Expenditure

  • The importance of Operating Profit
  • Turnover (Sales)
  • Cost of Sales
  • Administrative Expenses
  • Profit after Tax

3.3. Cash Flow Statement

3.4. Ratios (formulae and interpretation)

  • Profitability Ratios
  • Liquidity (Cash Management) Ratios
  • Gearing (Leverage) Ratio: Debt/Equity Ratio


Part 2 – Organisational Behaviour (based on Organisational Behaviour and Business Analysis Techniques books) 50% of course / examination

4. Market analysis and competitive advantage     15%

4.1. Analysing the business domain – Porter’s Five Forces Analysis

4.2. Analysing the portfolio – Boston Box

4.3. Delivering value – Porter’s Value Chain

5. Organisational behaviour and culture    10%

5.1. What is organisational behaviour?

5.2. Organisational effectiveness and the Balanced Scorecard

5.3. Understanding and analysing culture

  • Organisational Cultural Types (Deal and Kennedy; Handy)
  • International Cultures (Hofstede)
  • The Cultural Web

6. Group formation     5%

6.1 Groups and group dynamics

6.2 Formal and informal groups

  • Groups and group tasks
  • Characteristics of formal groups
  • Homan’s theory of group formation
  • Tuckman and Jensen’s theory of group development
  • Characteristics of informal groups
  • Social networks

7. Principles of organisational structure    10%

7.1 Organisation structuring

  • Elements of organisation structure
  • The six Structure Levels
  • The Leavitt Diamond

7.2 Types of jobs

  • Work specialisation
  • Flat and tall hierarchies
  • Span of control

7.3 Line, staff and functional relationships

7.4 Formalisation of rules and procedures

7.5 Centralisation v decentralisation

  • Advantages
  • Disadvantages
  • Teaching by a real expert… all of our lecturers have years of practical business analysis and teaching experience
  • Learning in a small class (maximum class size is 12) with time for discussion
  • Course binders contain notes, case studies, and sample BCS exams
  • Plenty of individual and small group case study exercises with worked solutions
  • BCS “Business Analysis” book as pre-reading with your first Metadata course
  • Suggested answers for the two practice exams and tutor support for the exam
  • Refreshments and lunches
  • A convenient central London location near Old Street station with excellent facilities
  • Exam fee
  • Choice of whether to take the exam immediately after the course or at a later date
  • Continuing support as you progress to the BCS International Diploma in Business Analysis
  • 1 year BCS Associate Membership from the Chartered Institute for IT – terms and conditions apply
  • Professionals seeking to improve their business analysis skills and knowledge
  • Project experts including project managers, project support staff and project analysts
  • Business experts including product owners, subject matter experts (SMEs), business change managers, senior users, project stakeholders
  • IT experts including systems architects, software developers, testers, support and trainers
  • Practising business analysts – experienced or junior

There are no formal prerequisites to attend the course but most delegates have a graduate-level education and some business experience.

1. What makes Metadata different?

Metadata is specialised in business analysis courses and aims to offer a more personalised and flexible training experience. We are committed to creating long-lasting relationships with the delegates and companies we work with, and with supporting their training every step of the way. As a direct seller, we have the flexibility to tailor our courses to suit the needs of our clients.

2. Are your courses accredited?

Yes, we are accredited by the BCS and IIBA.

3. Is the exam fee included in the price?

Yes, the course price includes the exam fee – the majority of our clients want to take the exam which is why we offer the course and exam together as a package. If you do not require an exam, please let us know when you book and we will deduct the fee from the price – we can also provide you with a certificate of attendance.

Please note: the courses count as professional development credits towards the IIBA CBAP qualifications.

4. In which order should I take the modules?

Most of our delegates start with Business Analysis Practice or Requirements Engineering as they are the core modules of the diploma – if you have no previous experience in the field we would recommend that you do the same. However, if you are already working as a business analyst or have relevant experience, you can take the modules in whichever order suits you best. Please give us a call if you would like to discuss which order would be most appropriate for you.

5. Do I need IT skills to attend the courses?

No, none of our courses require you to have IT skills.

6. What is the difference between the 2-day weekend and 3-day midweek courses for the same module?

The same material is covered on both courses but because we fit the weekend course into two days instead of three it is more intense. The weekend courses begin at 9am and finish at 6:30pm, with a few short breaks; the midweek courses start at 9:30am and finish at 5pm, with an hour break for lunch.

7. Can I cancel a booking?

Yes, you can cancel a booking but in order to do so without penalty we require 10 days notice. For more information on our cancellation policy, see our terms and conditions.

8. When do I pay for the course?

Please refer to our terms and conditions.

9. When will I receive the training material?

When you book onto a course we will send you a copy of our core textbook Business Analysis. One week before the start of the course we will email you the chapters to read and any extra reading material you need. You will receive additional material (including slides and exam preparation) during the course.

10. Do I need to prepare for the course?

We recommend you do some pre-reading as this will help you to get the most out of the course. We will send you the required material (including a case study) one week before the course start.

11. When do I take the exam?

Most of our delegates take the exam immediately upon finishing the course (on the last day), but if you prefer you can take it at a later date. We run exams every Thursday evenings at 18:00 and some weekends (please contact us to check availability).

12. What is the pass rate for the exams?

We have a high pass rate – currently it’s at 95%.

13. What happens if I fail an exam?

If you fail an exam you will receive personal feedback from your tutor which will include a report detailing the reason for failure and areas to work on. If you wish to re-sit, you will need to pay a further exam fee of £145+VAT.

Our courses are designed with the exam in mind and we do our best to prepare you as much as we can – to this end, we provide around 3 case studies to practice on, as well as a sample exam.

14. Do I get a certificate at the end of each course?

Yes, BCS will email you a registration login to download a copy of your e-certificate.

15. What is the advantage of booking the Diploma package?

The main advantage of the package is cost as it’s considerably cheaper to do the Diploma than to pay for each course separately.

Another advantage to the Diploma package is the motivation you’ll get from committing to do the whole diploma. Delegates who book onto the full diploma usually become qualified business analysts much quicker than those who do it on a course by course basis.

16. How does the Diploma in Business Analysis package work?

The Diploma in Business Analysis package is designed for delegates who want to achieve the International Diploma in Business Analysis qualification. To get this qualification you need to pass an oral exam with BCS examiners. To qualify for this oral exam first you need to pass the exam for 4 individual modules.

Our Business Analysis Diploma package contains the following 4 modules: Business Analysis Practice, Requirements Engineering, Commercial Awareness or Foundation in Business Analysis and, either Systems Development Essentials or Modelling Business Processes. Each course is a separate, self contained unit leading to an individual exam and a BCS Business Analysis Practitioner certificate qualification. You can attend the courses midweek or at weekends, and choose the dates depending on your availability and time constraints.

17. Can the business analysis training help me to get a job?

BCS qualifications are gaining recognition among UK employers and many employers now include them in their job descriptions. Our delegates frequently tell us how much of a difference their BCS certificate made in securing a job.

18. Can Metadata help me to get a job?

No, we don’t connect our delegates with potential recruiters.

19. Can I pay in instalments?

It is possible to pay for the Diploma in Business Analysis in instalments. To arrange this, please contact us for details.

20. If I sign up for the Diploma package, how long do I have in which to complete it?

You have one year to complete the diploma in business analysis after you sign in.

Dates and bookings

Date Duration Location Delivery Price (ex VAT) Availability
Thur 4 – Fri 5 Oct 2 days London weekday £795
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Sat 15 – Sun 16 Dec 2 days London weekend £895
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Thru 23 – Fri 24 May 2 days Bristol weekday £895
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Note: all prices exclude VAT

Our delegates say

Why choose us

  • Weekend/midweek courses
  • Experienced lecturers
  • Flexible course and exam dates
  • 95% pass rate on exam
  • Small class size
  • Central London location

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020 7272 3726
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