Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2014-2015 (archived)


Department: Business School (Business)


Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2014/15 Module Cap
Tied to N2K307
Tied to N5K107
Tied to N6K107
Tied to N1KY07
Tied to N2K507
Tied to N5K407
Tied to N1N107
Tied to N6K207
Tied to N5K507


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • BUSI46X15: Business Eonomics and Accounting (Taught)


  • 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 and business decisions; and the macro-economic environment, at the national and global level.
  • 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 module is delivered via online learning, divided up into study weeks with specially produced resources within each week. Resources vary according to the learning outcomes but normally include: video content, 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 and Skype).
  • 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
Video content, directed reading, self-assessed assignments and guidance for further reading 150
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Takeaway assessment Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Takeaway assessment 2,000 words (maximum) in total 100% Same
Component: Assignment Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
One written assignment 2,000 words maximum 100% Same

Formative Assessment:

A written assignment of 1,500 words, or its multimedia equivalent, which may involve some group work.

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