Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2010-2011 (archived)


Department: Economics, Finance and Business (Business)


Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2010/11 Module Cap None.
Tied to N1KK17


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To provide students with an advanced understanding of and ability to use some of the methods commonly used in solving complex business problems of the type which may be formulated (at least in part) as quantitative models


  • Overview of systems concepts and model building.
  • Further optimisation (building on core teaching).
  • Simulation.
  • Game theory
  • Forecasting using time series and behavioural models.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of this module, students should:
  • Have an advanced knowledge of the structures and requirements of some models commonly used for optimisation, forecasting and other tasks within the business context.
  • Be familiar with selected specialist software applications.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of this module, students should:
  • be able to formulate and solve complex business problems and then interpret the solutions to improve business performance;
  • be able to use selected specialist software applications.
Key Skills:
  • Effective written communication.
  • Planning, organising and time management.
  • Problem solving and analysis.
  • Using initiative.
  • Advanced computer literacy 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 summative assignment will test students' knowledge and understanding of business models and their ability to apply relevant techniques to the analysis of a business problem.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Workshops (a combination of lectures, groupwork, case studies, practical (computing) classes 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:

Feedback on contributions to workshops and class discussions.

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