Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2017-2018 (archived)


Department: Business School (Business)


Type Tied Level 1 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2017/18 Module Cap Location Durham
Tied to N201
Tied to N203
Tied to N207
Tied to N509
Tied to N510
Tied to N511


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To provide an introduction to the context of business, including broad approaches to understanding the variety of such contexts. Students are encouraged to apply these concepts to a range of cases and issues including their own experience through learning from lectures, seminars and investigative projects.
  • To address analytical and collaborative mindsets.
  • To encourage students to develop a global perspective.


  • Nature and types of business and other organisations
  • The global competitive environment
  • The international economic environment
  • The technological environment
  • The cultural, demographic and social environment
  • The ecological environment
  • The international political environment
  • The legal environment
  • The challenge of globalisation
  • Firm resources
  • The public and not-for–profit sector
  • Stakeholder analysis
  • Entrepreneurialism
  • Internationalisation

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Be able to evaluate and analyse the range of environments within which international business currently operates.
  • Be aware of the dynamic nature of business contexts, evaluating potential changes within defined time frames.
  • Be aware of the impact on businesses, organisations and institutions of their near and far environments and ways of managing this interaction.
  • To demonstrate knowledge of business environments beyond the boundaries of their home environment.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Be able to propose ways in which business and other organisations may seek to take account of their operational environment.
  • Develop techniques to analyse the business environment
Key Skills:
  • Written and oral communication
  • Cross-cultural communication skills
  • Skills of enquiry and explanation
  • Collaborative team working skills
  • Computer Literacy

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

  • Learning takes place through attendance at lectures, preparation for and participation in seminar classes, collaborative group work, assessment preparation and through private study. Seminar preparation and activity will require students to refer to relevant academic and other sources, to obtain publicly available data and information and apply these to business issues often in the form of case studies.
  • Formative assessment is by means of a formative essay in term 1 and through a series of short group case study reports in term 2.
  • Summative assessment is by means of an essay and a seen case study examination, demonstrating knowledge and understanding and the ability to apply concepts to specific business contexts.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 20 1 per week 1 hour 20
Seminars 8 Fortnightly 1 hour 8
Preparation and Reading 172
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Examination Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
One seen case study examination 1.5 hours 100% Case study - open assignment format
Component: Assignment Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Open essay 1000 words max 100% Same

Formative Assessment:

The formative assessment will comprise a 1000 word essay on the subject of a current business issue.

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