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 Module Cap
Tied to N1KK17


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To establish the importance of AMP - the strategic management of tangible, revenue-generating assets - within today's business environment. The module focuses heavily upon today's changing business landscape with rationed capital and investment prioritisation sitting (often heavily) alongside risk management and increased stakeholder expectations. The module also looks at some of the human resource management issues related to AMP, including the emergence of a spectrum of outsourcing models and their impact on an organisation's ability to undertake AMP in a strategic sense. The module is practical in its focus and draws upon contemporary material from a variety of asset-intensive sectors.


  • AMP and today's business environment - the rise of Asset Manager and the asset-centric organisation.
  • The principal market drivers of AMP.
  • The asset management value chain and systems theory.
  • Core components of AMP - strategic, financial and operational.
  • Asset inventories and asset classes; the role of information systems.
  • AMP and HRM - externalisation of investment decision making; the influence of ROCE/ROACE - downsizing and outsourcing implications for AMP.
  • Age, condition, performance and critically based investment decision-making; investment waves and their management.
  • Lifecycle costing and investment decision-making, including "optioneering".
  • AMP and technology choice; rehabilitation versus renewal.
  • AMP and risk management - credit ratings, cost of capital, external stakeholder analysis.
  • Asset valuations - MEAV, DORC, ODV, securitised NPV, etc.
  • Asset depreciation policies; economic versus functional life; treatment of life extensions.
  • AMP case studies from asset-intensive sectors such as petrochemical, utilities, food and beverage, pulp and paper, highways, transport, as well as the rise of AMP in the public sector.
  • Case studies on AMP as a catalyst of structural change in the energy and utilities sectors.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module students will:
  • have an advanced understanding of the strategic importance of developing an AMP culture within asset-intensive sectors;
  • have a holistic view of the role of effective AMP in today's business environment;
  • have a critical appreciation of the asset management value chain;
  • be conversant with the AMP process and the inter-disciplinary nature of the subject at an advanced level;
  • have an advanced understanding of investment prioritisation based upon age, condition, performance and criticality;
  • have a critical awareness of the key components of an Asset Management Plan and how such a plan should be designed and implemented;
  • have a critical appreciation of how many of the MBA modules come together to add value in a typical asset-centric organisation.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of the module students will:
  • be able to talk and think the language of AMP at an advanced level.
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