Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2007-2008 (archived)


Department: Economics, Finance and Business (Business)


Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability
Tied to N1KK17


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To provide an advanced understanding of the ways in which decision making frameworks may help in making sense of the complex world in which managers manage.


  • Optimisation: using linear programming to find best solutions.
  • Multi-attribute problems: how to trade off different sorts of outcomes.
  • Risky decisions: how to cope with uncertainty.
  • Subjectivity and bias: why we need help in making rational decisions.
  • Competition and cooperation: the application of game theory.
  • Problem structuring: describing complexity using soft systems and pattern languages.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of this module students will:
  • have an in-depth understanding of the contribution that analytical decision methods (mainly, but not only, quantitative) can make to the solution of decision problems in business;
  • have a critical appreciation of how to structure complex problems.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of this module students will:
  • be able to formulate and solve models to assist management decision making.
Key Skills:

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Learning outcomes will be met through a combination of lectures, groupwork, case studies and discussion, supported by Distance Learning material. The written assignment will test students' understanding of relevant concepts and their ability to apply and interpret what they have learned to the analysis of a particular issue in depth.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Workshops (a combination of lectures, groupwork, case studies and discussion) 16
Preparation and Reading 134
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Written Assignment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Written Assignment 4,000 words maximum 100%

Formative Assessment:

Students receive feedback on their contributions to the workshops.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University