Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2012-2013 (archived)

Module BUSI5C815: The Entrepreneur’s Environment (Distance Learning)

Department: Business School (Business)

BUSI5C815: The Entrepreneur’s Environment (Distance Learning)

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2012/13 Module Cap
Tied to N1KY07
Tied to N6K107


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • The Entrepreneur’s Environment (Block Taught)


  • To provide students with a holistic appreciation of the environment within which entrepreneurial activities take place and the importance of interactions between them.


  • Drivers and barriers in firm start-up and growth
  • Market failures and policy intervention
  • Hard and soft support measures - infrastructure, finance and training
  • Attitudinal and financial barriers – monitoring an intervention to promote graduate enterprise
  • Policy support for growth
  • Policy and under-represented groups – female entrepreneurship
  • Financial systems and capital access
  • Social capital: roles of networks nature and social capital
  • Corporate environment: clusters, and large-small firm relationships
  • Environmental context: regional dimensions of entrepreneurship
  • International environment
  • Personal task environment context
  • Managing the external environment

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module, students should have a critical appreciation of how external structures and processes impact upon entrepreneurial opportunities and activity, and of the tools entrepreneurs can use in response to such environmental factors.
  • A cross-cutting aspect of the module is the policy dimension, and students will achieve an advanced knowledge and understanding of government and other support mechanisms available to entrepreneurs.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of this module, students should be able to:
  • analyse in depth the way in which elements of the wider environment interact with and impact upon entrepreneurial activities;
  • critically discuss strategies entrepreneurs can use in response to these contextual conditions.
Key Skills:
  • Written communication;
  • planning;
  • organising and time management;
  • problem solving and analysis;
  • computer literacy.

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

  • The module is delivered via distance learning across a six month period, divided up into study weeks with specially produced resources within each week. Resources vary according to the learning outcomes but normally include: an introductory video, specially prepared lectures, directed reading, reflection through activities, 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).
  • The summative assessment of the module, by written assignment, is designed to test the acquisition and articulation of knowledge and critical understanding, and skills of application and interpretation within the management context.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Specially produced distance learning resources for each study week, normally including recorded lectures, directed activities, tutor-facilitated discussion boards, self-assessment opportunities, online access to University library resources and guidance for further independent research. 150 hours total

Summative Assessment

Component: Written Assignment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Assignment on management of the entrepreneurial environment 3000 words 100% Same

Formative Assessment:

1,500 words précis and critique of an appropriate article on understanding the entrepreneurial environment.

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