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 N1D317
Tied to N1D217
Tied to N1D314


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To explore the environmental pressures at work on organisations, how they can respond to these influences, and the management issues involved in aligning with these forces.
  • Specifically, the module takes an integrated perspective of the operating environment of the organisation. Firstly, it explores the processes of developing strategy and making strategic choices in order to develop a critical appreciation of the organisation and the environment. Secondly, it examines how organisations seek to implement strategy via integrated marketing management. Finally, the Module considers how managers deliver strategic plans by effective operational management in terms of the design, planning, control, forecasting and management of resources.
  • A particular feature is the way in which the Module not only conceptualises the strategic pressures faced by organisations, but also identifies the main issues that need to be addressed by individual managers.


  • An Introduction to Managing in the Competitive Environment.
  • Strategy Process and the Political and Cultural Context of Strategy.
  • Assessing the Competitive Environment.
  • Understanding Strategic Capabilities.
  • Creating and Sustaining Competitive Advantage.
  • Marketing and Strategy.
  • Customer Solutions and Costs.
  • Customer Communications and Channels of Convenience.
  • Understanding Consumers.
  • Marketing Research.
  • Introduction to Operations Management.
  • Product/Service Design.
  • Planning and Control.
  • Operations Improvement.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module students will have:
  • developed an integrated and critical appreciation of the key business areas that need to be managed in a competitive operating environment to achieve a holistic view; emphasis on process and integration rather than functional 'silos';
  • developed a critical appreciation of the dynamic pressures of the environment, both internally within the organisation and externally;
  • developed a critical understanding of the existing theoretical knowledge base on key areas (Strategy and Decision Making, Operations and Geo-Marketing);
Subject-specific Skills:
    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 examination will test students’ acquisition and articulation of knowledge. 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: 50%
      Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
      Written Assignment 2,500 words maximum 100%
      Component: Written Examination Component Weighting: 50%
      Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
      Written Examination 2 hours 100%

      Formative Assessment:

      1 Compulsory Tutor Assessed Assignment, (1,500 words).

      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