Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2014-2015 (archived)

Module BUSI44I15: Crisis Management (Online)

Department: Business School (Business)

BUSI44I15: Crisis Management (Online)

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Not available in 2014/15 Module Cap
Tied to N1KS17
Tied to N1KR17
Tied to N1N317
Tied to N1N417


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • Crisis Management (Taught)


  • To explore the nature of crises and crisis management strategies
  • To understand the key related areas of risk assessment, human intervention and organisational turnaround
  • To examine the strategic and operational implications of crisis management planning


  • The nature of Crisis Management
  • Modelling the Crisis Process
  • The Crisis-Prone Organisation
  • The Nature of Human Error
  • Organisational Failures
  • The Nature of a Safety Culture
  • Post-Crisis Turnaround Strategies
  • Developing the Crisis-Prepared Organisation
  • Developing and evaluating a Crisis Management Strategy

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module students should:
  • have a critical understanding of the nature and principal concepts in crisis and risk management;
  • have a grounded understanding of various individual and organisational factors contributing to crisis-proneness, preparedness and crisis management success;
  • have a critical appreciation of the components of a successful crisis management plan.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of the module students should:
  • be able to identify the main phases in crisis development, the pre-cursors of each, and the relationships between them;
  • be able to identify a potential crisis portfolio for an organisation;
  • be able to analyse appropriate corporate strategies for crisis and risk management.
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 the analysis of risks to an organisation and preparation of a crisis management plan 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