Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2019-2020 (archived)

Module BUSI4O610: Operations and Technology (EBS)

Department: Management and Marketing

BUSI4O610: Operations and Technology (EBS)

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 10 Availability Available in 2019/20 Module Cap None.
Tied to N1T817


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To develop students' understanding of operations and technology management within organisations.
  • To introduce key concepts, theories and methods of operations and technology management.
  • To explore the issues and variables that govern operations management decisions, and present a number of tools and methods for understanding and managing costs, speed, flexibility, dependability, and sustainability.
  • To provide a thorough examination of several key technologies that affect operations and business models, thereby helping students to become proficient in understanding the role of technology and business processes in an organisational setting.


  • Operations strategy and the link with other strategic levels
  • Development processes for new products and services
  • Process design and management
  • Process data description, quantitative and graphical
  • Sustainability and the environmental impact of managing process
  • Planning and Control
  • Quality management and six-sigma
  • Process hierarchies
  • Technology Adoption Models

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Upon successful completion of the module, the students will be able to:
  • Understand the context of technology and operations management
  • Identify the benefits and limitations of the application of process management tools and techniques in both services and manufacturing contexts
  • Understand the benefits and limitations of the different production systems and the applicability in services
  • Identify performance metrics and use them to improve process and organisational performance
  • Understand the impact of demand variability on performance and apply techniques to mitigate it
  • Understand different technology adoption models and implementation processes
  • Critically assess different technology and innovation management tools and techniques
  • Understand how to map and manage processes within an organisation by using some of the taught techniques
  • Critically evaluate the requirements of global ecological and social sustainability on business and other organisations
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Upon successful completion of the module, students will be able to:
  • Analyse process related variables
  • Plan operations-related activities
  • Reflect on current experiences and knowledge on operations management
  • Analyse operations within the context of the supply network
  • Critically analyse the relationship and challenges of adopting new technologies within an organsiation
  • Evaluate technologies and associated impact on operational processes and select appropriate strategies to manage and mitigate risk
Key Skills:
  • Written communication
  • Planning, organising and time management
  • Problem solving and analysis
  • Using initiative
  • Teamworking
  • Computer literacy

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

  • Learning outcomes are met through classroom-based workshops, supported by online resources. The workshops consist of a combination of taught input, groupwork, case studies and discussion. Online resources provide preparatory material for the workshops – typically consisting of directed reading and video content. The emphasis throughout will be on integrating theory with practice.
  • The formative assessment consists of classroom-based exercises involving individual and group analyses and presentations on specific business situations/problems relevant to the learning outcomes of the module.
  • The individual written summative assignment (in the form of a project) will test students' understanding of relevant concepts and their ability to apply what they have learned through criticial analysis of a particular organisation, focusing on the role of the managerial decision making tools and the impact of new and emerging technologies. The summative group presentation (for which all group members will be awarded the same mark) will, additionally test students' teamworking skills.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Teaching blocks - combination of lectures, groupwork, case studies and discussion 6 Over a 3-day teaching block 4.5 hrs 27
Webinars / online videos 2
Preparation and Reading 71
Total 100

Summative Assessment

Component: Group Presentation Component Weighting: 20%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Group presentation 15 minutes 100% Resubmit presentation with annotations and an accompanying 500 word commentary
Component: Written Assignment Component Weighting: 80%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Individual project 2,500 words (max) 100% Same

Formative Assessment:

Classroom-based exercises involving individual and group analyses and presentations on specific business situations/problems relevant to the learning outcomes of the module. Oral and written feedback will be given on a group and/or individual basis as appropriate.

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