Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2011-2012 (archived)

Module BUSI43Z15: Services Management (Block Taught)

Department: Business School (Business)

BUSI43Z15: Services Management (Block Taught)

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2011/12 Module Cap None.
Tied to
Tied to


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • Services Management (Blended Learning)


  • To enable students to develop a critical understanding of the sectors of business for whom service is the core product, such as banking, hospitality, education, telecommunications, and professional services
  • To explore the challenges involved in delivering and managing services in a profitable and sustainable model
  • To equip students with the management skills needed to implement quality service strategies capable of delivering competitive advantage


  • Understanding the service sector
  • Marketing and operations in a service context
  • Capacity and demand management
  • Customer-centric services – characteristics and delivery
  • Crafting the service environment
  • Service quality and productivity
  • Services marketing
  • Service breakdown management and recovery strategies
  • Managing and delivering service excellence

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • On completion of the module students should have an advanced knowledge and critical understanding of:
  • The nature and structure of the service sector;
  • Key theories of marketing and operations management, and how they apply in a service environment;
  • Key determinants of service quality, together with international benchmark criteria;
  • Current strategic issues, challenges and debates.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • On completion of the module students should:
  • Have acquired skills in the mapping and analysis of services;
  • Be able to apply a range of service quality evaluation models/tools;
  • Be able to apply a range of forecasting models and techniques in a service context;
  • Be able to apply selected performance measurement tools in a service context.
Key Skills:
  • Effective written communication skills
  • Planning, organising and time management skills
  • Problem solving and analytical skills
  • The ability to use initiative
  • Advanced skills in the interpretation of data
  • 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 taught input, groupwork, case studies and discussion, supported by guided reading and specially-written self-study material.
  • The summative assessment of the module, a written report based on the strategic evaluation of a service organisation, is designed to test the acquisition and articulation of knowledge and critical understanding, and skills of application and interpretation within the business context.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Workshops (a combination of taught input, groupwork, case studies and discussion), timetabled in blocks 24
Preparation and reading 126
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Written Assignment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Individual written report, based on the strategic evaluation of an organisation in the services sector 2,500 words maximum 100% same

Formative Assessment:

Group presentation

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