SHE Level 3
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M3N222281
Module Leader Keith Halcro
School INTO
Subject INTO
  • A (September start)
  • B (January start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

240 Undergraduate credit points at Levels 1 and 2 or equivalent.

Summary of Content

The module aims to develop students' ability to understand and analyse the inter-relationship between strategic analysis, strategic choice and business performance. In doing so, it builds on the underpinning that students have received at Levels 1 and 2 in relation to the external business environment and functional levels of management, and provides a framework in which to integrate these. Students on the module develop the research and analytical skills to explore how external and internal factors influence strategic decisions, and evaluate how strategic choices contribute to an organisation's performance in an increasingly dynamic and hypercompetitive environment. While gaining an understanding of the complexity and integrative nature of business policy, students also further develop their employability skills by participation in the planning, delivery and evaluation of an in-depth company presentation.


Business Purpose and Philosophy: The business model, vision, mission and values. Beyond the profit motive: Business ethics and corporate social responsibility. Analysing Financial Strength: vertical and horizontal financial ratios and performance trends. Frameworks, tools and models for undertaking a strategic analysis of environmental stability and industry attractiveness. Frameworks, tools and models for analysing competitive advantage. Frameworks, tools and models for determining strategic choice in relation to directions and methods of development.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, the student should be able to(a) Analyse the relationship between strategic thinking, strategic management and business performance;(b) Formulate and execute a research plan to investigate contemporary issues of strategic significance to organisations;(c) Critically appraise the rationale for the strategic choices made within organisations using a range of analytical tools; (d) Critically evaluate the extent to which organisations adopt an ethical approach in their strategic choices; (e) Prepare and present a strategic analysis of an organisation in its wider context;(f) Reflect on the challenges of giving and receiving peer support and feedback.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

As a level 3 module, the teaching and learning strategy centres on an approach which requires students to become self-regulated learners and to work in self-managed teams. The learning and teaching strategy uses a blended approach of lectures, seminars and directed learning, supported by interactive use of Blackboard. Lectures are used to communicate to students the key concepts, theories, tools and techniques which they will need to understand to be successful on the module. Directed reading and research, short case study analysis in seminars and structured team working activities are designed to both deepen understanding of lecture materials and provide students with support to apply a range of analytical tools to a company they are studying. The assessment is a portfolio consisting of two main elements: (1) an individual management report based on secondary research and critical analysis (70%); (2) evidence of participation in and critical reflection/ evaluation of the performance of a range of small stake formative tasks carried out during the semester (30%). The small stake formative assessment relates mainly to the planning and execution of a team presentation. Student evaluation of their own team's performance and that of other teams is also required. Tutor feedback on the formative work is designed to help students improve their performance in the individual coursework assessment. A range of tools are made available to enable students to self-assess and improve their portfolio prior to submission. These include self-assessment criteria, plagiarism detection software (e.g. Turnitin), and online referencing software (e.g. Refworks). In order to satisfy the needs of CBS programmes for contextualisation, students are given the opportunity to select organisations and sectors directly relevant to their programme of studies from an approved list.

Indicative Reading

It is likely that the core text for this module will be one customised by a publisher on instruction from the teaching team. A customised text provides the teaching team with an opportunity to draw on a number of different reading sources, rather than to stick to a single text. Other indicative texts include: Capon, C (2008), Understanding Strategic Management, Prentice Hall. Henry, A (2008), Understanding Strategic Management, Oxford University Press. Thompson, J. with Martin, F. (2010), Strategic Management: Awareness and Change, Thomson Learning. Thompson, A A Jnr, Strickland, A J, and Gamble, J E (2007), Crafting and Executing Strategy: Concepts and Cases, McGraw-Hill International. Students will also be guided to a range of readings on professional development skills from texts such as: Caproni, P J, (2005), Management Skills for Everyday Life, Pearson. Lee-Davis, L (2007), Developing Work and Study Skills, Thomson Learning. Students are also directed to use a range of web-based databases for their company and industry research (e.g., FAME, KEYNOTE, MINTEL, VERDICT)

Transferrable Skills

Self-management: self-motivation, time management and critical self-reflection and evaluation of personal performance. Interpersonal Skills: an ability to work collaboratively and constructively with others on a complex group assignment. Communication skills, negotiation skills and presentation skills when participating in the group work and group presentation Peer assessment: skills in giving and receiving constructive feedback. Research skills: data gathering using secondary methods, and data analysis. C & IT skills: engaging in a virtual learning environment; using MS Powerpoint and MS Word packages for presentations and report writing; accessing and using industry databases such as FAME, MINTEL, KEYNOTE. Using Refworks software to develop referencing skills, and Turnitin software to improve writing style.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Assessment (FT) 30.00
Lectures (FT) 16.00
Seminars (FT) 10.00
Independent Learning (FT) 74.00
E-Learning 22.00
Lectures (PT) 16.00
Assessment (PT) 30.00
Independent Learning (PT) 74.00
Seminars (PT) 10.00
Group Work 48.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 0.00 100.00 40% Individual Portfolio (4000 words): composed of management report of 3000 words (70%); evidence of participation and critical reflection/evaluation of the performance of a set of formative tasks (30%).