Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2019-2020 (archived)

Module BUSI5C815: The Entrepreneur’s Environment (Online)

Department: Management and Marketing

BUSI5C815: The Entrepreneur’s Environment (Online)

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2019/20 Module Cap
Tied to N1KY07
Tied to N6K107
Tied to N1N107
Tied to N6K207


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • The Entrepreneur’s Environment (Taught)


  • To provide students with a holistic appreciation of the environment within which entrepreneurial activities take place and the importance of interactions between them.


  • Drivers and barriers in firm start-up and growth
  • Market failures and policy intervention
  • Hard and soft support measures - infrastructure, finance and training
  • Attitudinal and financial barriers – monitoring an intervention to promote graduate enterprise
  • Policy support for growth
  • Policy and under-represented groups – female entrepreneurship
  • Financial systems and capital access
  • Social capital: roles of networks nature and social capital
  • Corporate environment: clusters, and large-small firm relationships
  • Environmental context: regional dimensions of entrepreneurship
  • International environment
  • Personal task environment context
  • Managing the external environment

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module, students should have a critical appreciation of how external structures and processes impact upon entrepreneurial opportunities and activity, and of the tools entrepreneurs can use in response to such environmental factors.
  • A cross-cutting aspect of the module is the policy dimension, and students will achieve an advanced knowledge and understanding of government and other support mechanisms available to entrepreneurs.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of this module, students should be able to:
  • analyse in depth the way in which elements of the wider environment interact with and impact upon entrepreneurial activities;
  • critically discuss strategies entrepreneurs can use in response to these contextual conditions.
Key Skills:
  • Written communication;
  • planning;
  • organising and time management;
  • problem solving and analysis;
  • computer literacy.

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 in two parts, 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: Group Project Component Weighting: 25%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Online group project, involving the development of a resource for either a policy maker or entrepreneur to 'navigate' the entrepreneneur's environment, presented in wiki format Equivalent to the work of a 1000-word individual essay 100% Individual 1000-word assignment to prepare a resource for a policy-maker or entrepreneur, based on a relevant case study
Component: Individual Assignment Component Weighting: 75%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Individual reflective learning journal, presented in weblog format 3000 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