Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2010-2011 (archived)

Module BUSI52415: Business Economics and Accounting

Department: Economics, Finance and Business (Business)

BUSI52415: Business Economics and Accounting

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2010/11 Module Cap
Tied to N1K607
Tied to N1K807
Tied to N1K507
Tied to N1K307
Tied to N1KL07


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To develop skills in the application of economic analysis in business decision-making and planning
  • To provide students with a critical understanding of key economic aspects of the business environment and the impact of changes in that environment at national and international level
  • To provide students with a critical knowledge and understanding of the use of financial reporting external to the organisation, and of financial statements - their underlying principles and fundamental techniques of analysis and interpretation.


  • Markets, information and transaction costs
  • Organisations, costs and the profit motive
  • Competition and welfare
  • Strategic behaviour by firms
  • Global business and the macroeconomic environment
  • Performance and business decisions
  • Critical understanding of information conveyed through corporate reporting
  • Analysis of company performance based on financial data

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Have a specialist knowledge and understanding of: the importance of, and interaction between demand, costs and prices at the level of the firm and the market; the interrelationship between the competitive environment, government policy and business decisions.
  • Have a critical understanding and appreciation of the complex nature of the economic business environment.
  • Have a specialist knowledge and understanding of the use of financial data within organisations.
  • Have a specialist knowledge and understanding of the analysis of financial data for evaluating the financial prospects of organisations.
  • Have a critical understanding of the uses and limitations of corporate financial reports in internal and external business analysis.
Subject-specific Skills:
    Be able to apply economic understanding in the analysis of business decisions.
Key Skills:
    Written communication; planning, organising and time management; problem solving and analysis; using initiative; computer literacy.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • The learning outcomes will be met through a combination of lectures, guided reading, individual exercises and group discussion of case studies.
  • The summative assessment will be in two parts. The ‘takeaway assessment’ will test students’ knowledge and understanding of the subject-matter, and will be issued only a short time (i.e. several days) before the submission date. The written assignment will further 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
Lectures/workshops 10 1 per week 2 hours 20
Seminars 4 1 every other week 1 4
Preparation & Reading 126
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Assignment Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
One written assignment 1,500 words maximum 100%
Component: Takeaway Assessment Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Takeaway Assessment 1,500 words (maximum) in total 100%

Formative Assessment:

Group case study. Participation in DUO-based self-assessment exercises.

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