Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2014-2015 (archived)

Module BUSI59430: Strategy (DL)

Department: Business School (Business)

BUSI59430: Strategy (DL)

Type Open Level 4 Credits 30 Availability Not available in 2014/15 Module Cap
Tied to N1D507
Tied to N1D707
Tied to N1DM07


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To develop advanced understanding in the content and process of strategy within organisations, with particular reference to strategic analysis and the influences upon strategy formulation.
  • To gain a critical knowledge of a range of strategic analysis techniques/methods and to build competence in their application to strategic issues and contexts.


  • Introduction to strategic management
  • Analysing the external environment
  • Analysing the capabilities of the organisation
  • Approaches to sustainable competitive advantage
  • Methods and directions of corporate strategy development
  • Creating value in multi-business organisations
  • Analysing culture and stakeholders
  • Evaluating strategies
  • A systems view of strategic decision
  • Introduction to statistics
  • Structuring the problem: soft systems methodology
  • Generating alternatives
  • What might happen: forecasting
  • Game theory
  • Deciding: risk/decision trees
  • Deciding trade-offs

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module students should have a critical knowledge and understanding of:
  • the role and purpose of strategic analysis within the broader context of the strategic management process.
  • numerically-based methods available to assist decision-making.
  • markets and customers: the development and operation of markets for resources, goods and services; customer expectations, service and orientation.
  • the concepts, processes and institutions in the production and marketing of goods and/or services; the management of resources and operations.
  • the development of appropriate business policies and strategies within a changing context to meet stakeholder interests.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of the module students should have a critical knowledge and understanding of a range of strategic analysis techniques/methods and be able to apply them to strategic issues and contexts.
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

  • Through a combination of learning material, self assessed exercises and a formative assignment on key topical issues, together with guided reading.
  • On the DL MA Programme each module is delivered in discrete Units which are equivalent to a lecture session. A DL Unit normally consists of specially written material, directed reading, reflection through self-assessed assignments and guidance for further reading.
  • Each student is allocated a Tutor for each Module. The Tutor is tasked with providing feedback on formative work and is available for individual consultation as necessary. Tutoring is normally provided at a distance and may be conducted by email, telephone, post or fax.
  • The DL Programme offers annual residential seminars. In addition to offering core curriculum, the seminars provide the opportunity for DL Students to interface with members of Faculty, meet Tutors and to interact with other members of the student cohort.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Units 16 192
Tutorials 10
Residential seminars
Preparation & Reading 98
Total 300

Summative Assessment

Component: Exam Component Weighting: 75%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Exam 3 hours 100%
Component: Assignment Component Weighting: 25%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Assignment 1500 words 100%

Formative Assessment:

Written assignment 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