Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2023-2024 (archived)

Module BUSI3361: How to Read Business

Department: Management and Marketing

BUSI3361: How to Read Business

Type Tied Level 3 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2023/24 Module Cap None. Location Durham
Tied to N201
Tied to N203
Tied to N207
Tied to N509
Tied to N510
Tied to N511
Tied to LMV0
Tied to LMVA
Tied to CFG0
Tied to FGC0
Tied to CFG1
Tied to CFG2
Tied to LA01
Tied to LA02


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • The aim of this module is to engage students in a series of contemporary and popular business “self-help” books designed to increase knowledge about leadership and to identify how corporate leaders propose that we can achieve our potential. In preparation for these ideas, the learning from this module reveals misconceptions about successful business leaders, features of how we encounter “crisis and change” that lead us to act the way we do and identifies the ideas that helped business leaders to change. Students will be prepared to successfully incorporate specific business and leadership self-help strategies into their lives and their learning and careers.
  • The module is designed to allow students to take a critical look at the books and works identified in their context. Students will be asked to examine these non-academic works and to evaluate their selection, author's thinking and recommendations.


  • Experiences of high-performance environments to trace the idea of success through history and language to explore the concept in business, sports, education and politics. To examine the state of high-achievers and identify what these characteristics tell us about professional and business relationships.
  • Radical change. Specifically, to understand what marks and makes success and the context of ‘cognitive diversity’.
  • Failure. To examine and understand the myths around failure and how one is advised to act. To encourage critical discussion about what makes us feel uncomfortable or awkward and how this might be applied to professional contexts.
  • Closer examination of social, cultural and political contexts of diversity and how these impacts on professional experiences in every aspect of business and commercial activities.
  • Professional habits. To look critically at how complex tasks may be broken down. To understand how ‘simple’ ideas can transform any field of business. Further examine professional business habits designed to enable better ways of managing interactions and individual development.
  • Autobiography and self-narrative. To analyse autobiographic critical reflection to better understand personal achievements and failures.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Develop and demonstrate an awareness of the cultural significance of the text form, and the role such literature play in the larger business culture by being conversant in debates concerning business values and creative endeavour
  • Explore business and leadership self-help texts in detail
  • Understand and make appropriate use of business terminology
  • Demonstrate a broad knowledge of major authors, major texts and contexts and defining intellectual issues
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Students will be able to:
  • Analyse elements such as theme and the ethical stance or moral and business values of texts 
  • Hone skills in interpretation and critical thinking 
  • Writing with clarity, creativity and persuasiveness
Key Skills:
  • Students will develop skills in:
  • Based on the idea that writing is a recursive series of choices, students should learn how to make effective choices in their own writing. 
  • Students will learn how to give critical feedback to their peers' writing and to receive critical feedback on their work. 
  • Students will learn how to formulate an original thesis and to develop that thesis into a well-supported argument. 
  • Students will learn a range of critical thinking methods and how to incorporate source material into their writing so that it develops and supports their ideas. 
  • Students will learn effective organisational strategies for their critical thinking. 
  • Students will develop critical thinking and reading skills, so that they can devise original ideas, rather than simply echo the ideas of others. 
  • Students will learn how to evaluate the credibility of sources, to use academic/scholarly resources, and to incorporate sources effectively and ethically.

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

  • Teaching is blended with podcasts, vlogs, a lot of reading and explorative activities, along with two-hour, weekly, reading workshops to review and go over the material as discussion points. Learning takes place through preparation for and participation in the reading workshops, engaging with the self-directed activities and blended material.
  • Formative assessment is the opportunity to submit three “Thoughtful Rework” mini assignments in weeks 1, 3 and 9.
  • Summative assessment is by means of a Creative Project consisting of Part I: written assignment and Part II: vlog/podcast/comicbook/tiktok/instastory.
  • There is an on-demand element to the blended lectures. This format allows students to take the course at your own pace. If students wanted, they could view all the lectures at once, or can pace yourself alongside the activities we’ll be doing in the workshops together.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lecture (blended explorative activities) 10 1 hour 10
Reading Workshops 8 2 hours 16
Preparation and Reading 174
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Creative Project Part I Component Weighting: 70%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Writing assignment: to produce an ebook written in the style of a Medium essay (based on the formative mini writing assignments) 2500 100%
Component: Creative Project Part II Component Weighting: 30%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Vlog/Podcast TikToks/Comic Book/ InstaStory 2-5 min 5-10 frames 100%

Formative Assessment:

Thoughtful Rework: Three mini-assignments in weeks 1 (250- 500 words), 3 (2-5min podcast/Vlog) and 9 (5-10 frame comic book / TikTok /InstaStory)

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