Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2014-2015 (archived)

Module BUSI42W15: Delivering Service Excellence (ONLINE)

Department: Business School (Business)

BUSI42W15: Delivering Service Excellence (ONLINE)

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2014/15 Module Cap
Tied to N1KS17
Tied to N1KR17
Tied to N1N317
Tied to N1N417


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • BUSI43J15: Delivering Service Excellence (Taught)


  • To provide a comprehensive overview of the strategic and operational dimensions of service delivery
  • To develop an understanding of, and ability to critically examine, the quality of service provision in a range of sectors/organisations that depend upon excellence for competitive advantage
  • To equip students with the conceptual and practical skills needed to successfully develop service delivery, management and recovery plans


  • Models of marketing and operations services management
  • Capacity, forecasting and demand management in service operations
  • Managing customer expectations and perceptions
  • The role of customers in services
  • Service quality, productivity and performance measurement
  • Service recovery and service guarantees
  • Service innovation - developing and delivering new services
  • Integrated services marketing communications strategies
  • Customer loyalty development strategies

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module students should:
  • have a critical understanding of the nature, form and structure of service delivery;
  • have a grounded understanding of strategic and operational dimensions of service industries;
  • have a critical appreciation of the importance of service excellence to competitive advantage.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of the module students should:
  • be able to examine and critically evaluate service performance/delivery;
  • be able to develop an appropriate service management strategy;
  • be able to critically evaluate the value of service excellence to an organisation.
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 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: Written Assignment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Individual written report, based on a case analysis of an organisation's service delivery and performance 4,000 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