Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2019-2020 (archived)

Module BUSI46N15: Scenario Thinking (ONLINE)

Department: Management and Marketing

BUSI46N15: Scenario Thinking (ONLINE)

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2019/20 Module Cap
Tied to N1KS17
Tied to N1KR17
Tied to N1N317
Tied to N1N417


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • Scenario Thinking (Taught)


  • To explore methods and approaches for anticipating the future
  • To understand and evaluate how human judgment is modelled in scenario method
  • To examine the strategic and operational implications of planning with scenarios


  • The core “intuitive logics” scenario methodology
  • Modelling judgment: overcoming framing bias and overconfidence
  • Stakeholder analysis
  • Evaluating the performance of options against scenarios
  • Constructing a range of extreme futures
  • Diagnosing whether the organizational context is appropriate for a scenario-based intervention
  • Evaluating developed scenarios
  • Scenario thinking versus decision analysis as ways of making decisions in the face of uncertainty about the future

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module, students should have:
  • A critical understanding of the nature and principal concepts of scenario method
  • A grounded understanding of the “intuitive logics” scenario method and its augmentations.
  • A critical appreciation of decision making using scenarios
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of the module, students should:
  • Be able to use the “intuitive logics” method to create scenarios
  • Be able to develop a range of more extreme scenarios using augmentation of the core “intuitive logics” method
  • Be able to analyse and evaluate decision options against scenarios
Key Skills:
  • Effective written communication skills
  • Planning, organising and time management skills
  • Problem solving and analytical skills
  • The ability to use initiative
  • Advanced skills in the interpretation of data
  • Advanced computer literacy skills

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

  • The module is delivered via online learning, divided up into study weeks with specially produced resources within each week. Resources vary according to the learning outcomes but normally include: video content, directed reading, reflection through activities, opportunities for self-assessment and peer-to-peer learning within a tutor-facilitated discussion board. Tutors provide feedback on formative work and facilitate discussion board communication as well as being available for individual consultation as necessary (usually by email and Skype). 
  • The summative assessment of the module is designed to test the acquisition and articulation of knowledge and critical understanding, and skills of application and interpretation within the business context.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Video content, directed reading, self-assessed assignments and guidance for further reading 150
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Written Assignment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Individual written report on a decision analysis 4000 words 100% same

Formative Assessment:

A written assignment of 1,500 words, or its multimedia equivalent, which may involve some group work.

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