Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2018-2019 (archived)


Department: Computer Science


Type Open Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2018/19 Module Cap
Tied to


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To develop within students a critical understanding of the entrepreneurial approach required to progress a business idea from generation, through market testing, to a robust and commercially viable business concept. The business idea will be based on distributed systems.


  • Generating a business idea - business idea generation theory and techniques
  • Testing ideas against the market - theory and practice
  • Developing a clear and commercially viable business concept
  • Writing a business plan based on a self-generated idea

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Understand how to plan for the launch of a new business venture.
  • Be aware of the challenges encountered in the launch process.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the responses and strategies used to overcome these challenges.
Subject-specific Skills:
    Key Skills:
    • Have developed/improved their enterprising skills, behaviours and attitudes.
    • Further experience of group work.

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

    • The module comprises 7 days of lectures and practical groupwork exercises; several tutorials; directed reading, and two weeks developing a business plan. The overall workload conforms to the standard SLAT requirement of 150 hours equivalent to 15 credits.

    Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

    Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
    Lectures 6 weekly for first six weeks 3 hours 18
    Tutorials 6 weekly 2 hours 12
    Preparation and Reading 120
    Total 150

    Summative Assessment

    Component: Coursework Component Weighting: 100%
    Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
    Group Written Assignment - Business Plan maximum 2000 words 40%
    Group Presentation 10%
    Individual Peer Assessment 10%
    Individual Written Assignment maximum 2000 words 40%

    Formative Assessment:

    Staged written feedback of laboratory and practical work by staff/demonstrators.

    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