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 N1KJ17
Tied to N1KA17


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • Provides an introduction to a benefit driven framework for Information Systems strategy.
  • To equip business managers to play an effective role in enabling their organisations to realise the competitive potential of Information Systems.
  • Designed to cover key aspects of managing information systems (IS) and information and communication technologies (ICT) focusing on recent research and practice from the emerging academic discipline of IS. Current research suggests that IS and IT is becoming increasingly critical to strategic competitive success and the effective operation and management of organisations. There are a growing number of IS failures sometimes of considerable scale, complexity and scope. To offset these problems there is a need for general managers to have a more informed and astute approach to IS management. Knowledge and skills within the field of IS management are now viewed increasingly as critical to organisational success or failure. The ISM module explores the underlying reasons as to why IS a complex multi-disciplinary discipline, identifies the key management issues due to the emergence and adoption of new ITC and identifies frameworks and tools for more effective strategic management of the IS resource.


  • Sources of value from Information Systems.
  • A framework for Information Systems strategy.
  • Techniques for identifying opportunities for Information Systems.
  • A strategic approach to business process management.
  • The Information Systems strategy process.
  • Success factors for Information Systems strategy.
  • Information Systems trends and related business opportunities.
  • Evaluation of Information Systems investment opportunities.
  • A strategic approach to managing the Information Systems investment portfolio.
  • Establishing the organisational capability to succeed with Information Sy

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module, students will:
  • have a critical appreciation of the sources of value provided by IS and illustrate the business opportunities provided by major trends in IS/IT.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of the module, students will:
  • be able to articulate a framework for IS strategy;
  • be able to apply a range of specialised technique for identifying opportunities for IS that would contribute value to an organisation;
  • be able to critically evaluate and set priorities for IS investments;
  • be able to design a process for developing and implementing an IS strategy;
  • be able to debate a strategic perspective on management of the IS investment portfolio;
  • be able to debate factors in building the IS capability of the organisation.
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 guided reading. 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) 24
Preparation and Reading 126
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