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 Available in 2007/08 Module Cap
Tied to N1D317
Tied to N1D217
Tied to N1D314


  • 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

    • The module is delivered in discrete Units. These are designed to enable the learning outcomes to be achieved through a combination of specially written material, directed reading, reflection through self-assessed assignments and guidance for further reading. Module tutors provide feedback on formative work and are available for individual consultation as necessary (by email, telephone, post or fax).
    • 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
    D L Study Units (a combination of specially written material, directed reading, self-assessed assignments and guidance for further reading) 150
    Total 150

    Summative Assessment

    Component: Written Assignment Component Weighting: 100%
    Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
    Written Assignment 4000 words maximum 100%

    Formative Assessment:


    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