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 N1K017 Full Time MBA


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To explore in depth the complex environmental pressures at work on organisations, how they can respond to these influences, and the key issues involved in aligning with these forces.
  • Specifically, the module takes an integrated perspective of the operating environment of the organisation from the standpoints of two core areas of activity: marketing and operations management. Firstly, the module begins by exploring the network of exchanges between buyers and sellers in a market economy and the particular role of marketing in facilitating those exchange relationships. This is then followed by an exploration of the extent to which the organisation-customer interaction is wholly dependent upon effective operational management in terms of the design, planning, control, forecasting and management of resources.
  • A particular feature of the module is the way in which it not only conceptualises the pressures faced by organisations, but also identifies the main issues that need to be addressed by individual managers.


  • The module takes an integrated perspective on two core areas of business activity:
  • Marketing: the contexts of marketing; the consumption experience; building relationships; creating ‘solutions’; brand selection and brand management; the movement of space and time.
  • Managing Operations: operations strategy; product and service design; quality management; process design; planning and control; supply chain management; operations improvement.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Upon successful completion of the module, the students should have:
  • developed an integrated and critical appreciation of the key business areas that need to be managed in a competitive operating environment to achieve a holistic view, the emphasis being on process and integration rather than functional 'silos';
  • developed a critical appreciation of the dynamic pressures of the environment, both internally within the organisation and externally;
  • developed a critical understanding of the existing theoretical knowledge based on key areas of marketing and operations management.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Upon successful completion of the module, the students should:
  • be able to apply their understanding to the analysis of complex issues in marketing and operations management;
  • be able to formulate an information-driven strategic response to marketing or operational circumstances.
Key Skills:
  • Creating a holistic vision.
  • Building and developing teams.
  • Negotiating and persuading.
  • Networking.
  • Sourcing appropriate data and evaluating evidence.
  • Interpreting and using numerical and financial information.
  • Reflecting and synthesising from experience.
  • Developing critical thinking.
  • Exercising discrimination and judgement.
  • Synthesising diverse perspectives.
  • Developing coherent and persuasive arguments.
  • Selecting appropriate modes of communication.

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

  • Learning outcomes will be met through a combination of lectures, groupwork, case studies and discussion, supported by guided reading.
  • The written examination will test students’ knowledge and critical understanding of issues in operations management; the written assignment will test students' knowledge and critical understanding of issues in marketing through the analysis of a particular issue in depth.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Teaching blocks - combination of lectures, groupwork, case studies and discussion 44
Preparation and Reading 106
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Written Examination Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Written Examination 2 hours 100% Same
Component: Written Assignment Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Written Assignment 2500 words maximum 100% Same

Formative Assessment:

Group report of 1500 words.

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