Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2018-2019 (archived)

Module ECON1161: Business Environment and Functions

Department: Business School (Economics and Finance)

ECON1161: Business Environment and Functions

Type Tied Level 1 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2018/19 Module Cap None. Location Durham
Tied to NN42
Tied to N204
Tied to N206
Tied to NN43
Tied to N302
Tied to N304


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • People, Management and Organisations


  • To provide a fundamental foundation to the modern organisation and the global context in which it operates.
  • To provide an overview of the work of various functions of a business and their interaction.


  • The purpose of business organisations
  • Organisation structure and governance
  • Leadership and Management
  • Environmental factors, risk and strategic choice
  • Managing change
  • Groups and teams
  • An overview of the work of the various business functions to include Human Resources, Marketing, and Operations Management
  • The role of the functions in achieving business objectives and their relationship with the finance function
  • The role of technology and information systems
  • Corporate social responsibility, sustainability and ethics

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • At the end of the module students should be able to:
  • Appreciate the impact of the external environment on organisations
  • Understand the roles of the various functions in the success of the organisation
  • Review the potential areas for conflict between the functions
  • Appreciate (and apply) theories, models, frameworks and basic research methods to examine issues related specifically to the business environment and the functions of an organisation
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Apply theories, models, frameworks and basic research methods to examine issues related to the business environment and the functions of an organisation
  • Identify ways for a business to improve cooperation between functions
Key Skills:
  • Problem solving
  • Team working
  • Presentation skills
  • Written communication
  • Computer literacy
  • Self-management
  • Team working

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

  • Learning will take place through preparation for, and attendance at, lectures and seminars as well as through independent study. Seminars will require students to prepare by reading around a particular topic and preparing answers to set questions and case studies with discussion of these in class.
  • Formative assessment is by a group presentation of 10 mins and group report of 1500 words on a key topic of business environment and functions allowing students to develop their teamwork skills, presentation skills and knowledge of the subject.
  • Summative assessment is by means of a 2 hour written examination including a pre-seen case study.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 40 2 per week 1 hour 40
Seminars 8 1 per fortnight 1 hour 8
Independent study 152
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Written examination Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Written examination 2 hours 100% Same

Formative Assessment:

Group presentation and group report on a key topic.

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