Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2010-2011 (archived)

Module BUSI54615: Small Business Management (DL)

Department: Economics, Finance and Business (Business)

BUSI54615: Small Business Management (DL)

Type Open Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2010/11 Module Cap
Tied to N1D507
Tied to N1DM07
Tied to N1D707


  • None.


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To enable students to:
  • Acquire and demonstrate a specialist knowledge and understanding of the literature on the management and economics of small business;
  • Relate this specialist knowledge and understanding to the experience of developing and running a small business;
  • Develop a critical understanding of issues surrounding the development and implementation of policy support for new and small businesses.


  • Defining the small firm
  • Start-up, growth and closure
  • Small Firms and the economy
  • Small firms and innovation
  • The development of small firms
  • Supporting small firms
  • The relationship between small and large firms
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Intrapreneurship

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module students should have a critical knowledge and understanding of:
  • the contribution of small businesses to the economy and different sectors;
  • the role of the entrepreneur and entrepreneurship in small business;
  • the growth, success and survival of small business;
  • the financing of small businesses;
  • the policy environment and factors influencing the success of policy measures.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of the module students should:
  • Be able to engage in the critical evaluation of policies towards small firms;
  • Be better equipped to found and run a small business.
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

  • Through a combination of learning materal, self assessed exercises and a formative assignment on key topical issues, together with guided reading.
  • On the DL MA Programme each module is delivered in discrete Units which are equivalent to a lecture session. A DL Unit normally consists of specially written material, directed reading, reflection through self-assessed assignments and guidance for further reading.
  • Each student is allocated a Tutor for each Module. the Tutor is tasked with providing feedback on formative work and is available for individual consultation as necessary. Tutoring is normally provided at a distance and may be conducted by email, telephone, post or fax.
  • The DL Programme offers annual residential seminars. In addition to offering core curriculum, the seminars provide the opportunity for DL Students to interface with members of Faculty, meet Tutors and to interact with other members of the student cohort.
  • Tutorials are conducted by email, post or fax. Students are unlikely to require more than 5 hours of telephone support form a tutor combined with a further 5 hours of tutor time in answering questions recevied by post, fax or email.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Units 9 108
Tutorials 5
Preparation and reading 37
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Assignment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Written Assignment 3,000 words (max.). 100%

Formative Assessment:

Written assignment of 3,000 words (maximum)

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