Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2012-2013 (archived)


Department: Business School (Business)


Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2012/13 Module Cap None.
Tied to N1KS17
Tied to N1KR17
Tied to N1KM17


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • Social Media Strategies (Online), Social Media Strategies (Taught)


  • To explore the strategies and goals underpinning use of social media in organisations, together with the drivers for enterprise and value creation
  • To understand the need for integration of social media platforms across business functions (i.e. marketing, human resources, supply chain management, etc.)
  • To develop the knowledge and skills needed to design, implement and evaluate a strategy for the coordination of employee tasks and customer experiences across a variety of social media channels


  • Social media in organisations – uses, power and business risks
  • Social media strategies – business case, plans and priorities
  • Core competencies for the agile digital enterprise
  • Technologies for social media success – infrastructure, governance and support
  • Return on investment, key performance indicators and social media metrics
  • CRM integration and customer analytics
  • B2C and C2B – marketing, PR and the “voice” of the customer
  • The social media “back office” – workforce engagement, areas of application, stakeholder collaboration, power and control issues, etc.
  • Employee empowerment – roles, responsibilities, incentives, traits, culture, etc.
  • The “dark side” of social media – managing legal issues, ethics, misbehaviour, etc.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • On completion of the module students should have:
  • a critical understanding of the development of social media use in organisations, its associated business models and technologies, and the trends shaping its future
  • advanced knowledge of challenges and critical success factors involved in managing social media initiatives and the organisational “back” and “front” offices
  • a critical appreciation of social media strategy development, approaches, and performance optimisation and evaluation methodologies
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of the module, students should:
  • be able to evaluate an organisation's current social media capabilities including demand for, and barriers to, the use of digital channels
  • be able to collect quality data from internal and external sources, assess and extract relevant information, and devise targeted digital and mobile marketing communication strategies
  • be able to scope, plan, implement, manage and evaluate an effective and ethical social media strategy implementation
Key Skills:
  • In addition, students will have had the opportunity to further develop the following 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

  • The module is delivered via blended-learning, integrating online delivery with traditional classroom-based instruction. Specifically, the module is divided into two distinct study blocks.
  • Block One is delivered online across a three-month period, divided up into study weeks with specially produced resources within each week. Resources vary according to the learning outcomes of a study week, but normally include: an introductory video, specially-prepared lectures, web-mediated small-group seminars (“webinars”), directed reading, reflection through e-learning activities, and opportunities for self-assessment and peer-to-peer learning within a tutor-facilitated discussion board. Tutors provide feedback on formative work and facilitate discussion board communication as well as being available for individual consultation as necessary (usually by email or video-conferencing). This is identical to the School’s wholly-online distance learning modules, normally delivered over six months, and constitutes 50% of the module. Block One ends with a formative assignment, feedback being provided at the start of Block Two as a platform for classroom-based learning activities.
  • Normally scheduled for delivery early in the following term to allow successful completion of, and feedback on, all formative elements, Block Two of the module is delivered in the classroom on a block-taught basis. The mode and format of teaching and learning is identical to the School’s part-time MBA taught modules, the study time again being equivalent to 50% of a wholly-taught module. During this taught input, learning outcomes are met through a combination of traditional lectures, groupwork, experiential learning activities, case studies and discussion, supported by guided reading and specially-produced audio-visual materials.
  • The summative assessment of the module 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
Specially produced lectures, directed reading, self-assessed assignments and guidance for further reading 136
Workshops (a combination of taught input, groupwork, case studies and discussion), timetabled in blocks 14
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Group Project Component Weighting: 25%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Online group project, involving the analysis of the social media strategy of a selected organisation, presented in wiki format Equivalent to the work of a 1000 individual essay 100% Individual essay, based on a case study analysis
Component: Individual Assignment Component Weighting: 75%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Individual reflective learning journal, based around the strategic analysis exercise, presented in weblog format 3000 words 100% Same

Formative Assessment:

Self-assessed exercises and multiple-choice quizzes

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