Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2020-2021 (archived)

Module BUSI4R210: Strategic Management (CPD)

Department: Management and Marketing

BUSI4R210: Strategic Management (CPD)

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 10 Availability Available in 2020/21
Tied to N1T918


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To examine how companies attempt different business and corporate strategies to achieve or maintain a competitive advantage.
  • To give students an in-depth understanding at an advanced level of strategy formulation and implementation under conditions of changing political, economic, sociocultural and technological conditions, industry competition and firm resources.
  • To provide an in-depth understanding and critical evaluation of specialist techniques to aid analysis of the competitive and contextual environment.
  • To explore contemporary debates in strategic management research.


  • Business and corporate strategy formulation and implementation
  • The process of developing strategy
  • Making strategic choices
  • Analysing the competitive and contextual environment
  • Contemporary debates in strategic management research

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of this module, students should:
  • Have a critical appreciation of the main strengths and weaknesses of various strategic actions such as diversification, internationalization and joint-venturing;
  • Have an advanced understanding of strategic decision-making within organisations, including the inter-action between corporate/business strategies and the other functions and disciplines within the organisation;
  • Have a critical appreciation of the key debates within contemporary research into strategic management.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of this module, students should:
  • Be able to think strategically and critically about a firm, as well as functionally;
  • Be able to define a firm's main capabilities, competencies and competitive advantages;
  • Be able to analyse critically the non-market environment of business on firms, such as the strategic constraints and opportunities presented by social, environmental sustainability, and political developments;
  • Be able to conduct an in-depth industry analysis and gain advanced understanding of its strengths and limitations; • Be able to develop and defend a cohesive organizational strategy;
  • Be able to undertake critical appraisal of relevant strategic management literature and tools, and apply critical judgement and discrimination;
  • Be aware of, and familiar with, methods employed in formulating and implementing business and corporate strategies;
  • Be aware of, and familiar with, tools and techniques to analyse the competitive and contextual environment;
  • Be able to understand the implications for the strategic purpose and ethical stance of an organisation arising from the influence of different stakeholder groups within the organisation.
Key Skills:
  • Sourcing appropriate data and evaluating evidence.
  • Interpreting and using numerical and financial information.
  • Reflecting and synthesising from experience.
  • Developing critical thinking.
  • Synthesising diverse perspectives.
  • Developing coherent and persuasive arguments.
  • Selecting appropriate modes of communication.
  • Making effective use of communication and information technology

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 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 summative assessment is a written assignment in the form of a case study analysis which 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
Workshops (combination of lectures, groupwork, case studies and discussion) 6 Over a 3-day teaching block 4.5 hours 27
Webinars / online videos 2
Preparation and Reading 71
Total 100

Summative Assessment

Component: Written Assignment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Written Assignment 3000 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