Module code: COMM032

Module provider

Computer Science

Module Leader

GILLAM L Dr (Computer Sci)

Number of Credits


ECT Credits



FHEQ Level 7

JACs code


Module cap (Maximum number of students)


Module Availability

Semester 2

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 150

Lecture Hours: 33

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework COURSEWORK 1 10
Coursework COURSEWORK 2 15
Coursework COURSEWORK 3 25
Examination EXAMINATION - 2 HOURS 50

Alternative Assessment

Instead of the group work students will write a short essay (1000) on a topic related to project management.

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module overview

The module consists of two parts:

Project Management: Business Strategy will often lead to projects aimed at implementing the vision/goals set out in the Business Strategy. This aspect of the module will look at the practicalities and challenges of running small (in team size and duration) and big (including global) projects.

Business Strategy: This part will introduce the student to the high-level strategic decision-making processes that organisations use to analyse their competitive environment, select appropriate courses of action, and put this action into practice in the pursuit of growth, prosperity, and competitive advantage. Case studies of national, multinational, and global organisations will be used to illustrate strategic thinking and to apply analytical techniques and models.

Students will gain an appreciation of how business strategy will influence the type of projects run by a business and the importance of proper project management to ensure that the projects actually deliver the benefits described by the business strategy.

Module aims

The module aims to give the students understanding and skills necessary to manage projects and operations in industry. This includes tools and techniques for effective project management and an appreciation and awareness of the strategy forming processes.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
Discuss the different challenges a project manager faces during the project life cycle KCP
Articulate the difference between project objectives and requirements KCP
Use concepts like MoSCoW and SMART KPT
Understand and apply risk and resource management KCPT
Discuss the importance of softer skills like team management and running effective meetings as part of Project Management KCP
Apply theory drawn from finance, marketing, economics, human resources management, and operations management into a single conceptual framework which enables a holistic view of business activity KCP
Apply common strategic management models to derive insight into how organisations can achieve competitive advantage - e.g. Porter's generic strategies, PEST and SWOT analysis, market analysis, value chain analysis, core competencies, Ansoff's box, the Boston Matrix KCP

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Module content

The Project Management aspect of the module covers the following areas:

Introduction to Project Management:

Definition of a project
Current Challenges

The project lifecycle

Different Project management approaches, e.g. Prince2, PMBoK, DSDM
Effect of different software development methodologies

Managing Projects

Taking on a project
Risk management
Delivering quality
Resource management
People management

The Business Strategy aspect of the module is divided into the following topic areas:

Introduction to Strategy

The role of strategy in organisations
Mintzberg’s strategic perspectives
Types and levels of strategy in organisations
Competitive advantage

Internal Strategic Analysis

The resource based view and core competences
Value analysis and the value & supply chain
Products and portfolio management (the Boston Matrix)

External Strategic Analysis

Environmental analysis (PEST)
Industry Analysis (Porter’s five forces)
SWOT analysis

Growth Strategies

Ansoff’s Box


Organisational structure
The cultural web
Managing change within organisations

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

Allow students to run a small self-contained project to experience project management in a practical rather than a purely theoretical way.
Help student explore different Business Strategy concepts in class through class discussions and as part of their assessment.

The learning and teaching methods include:

Lectures (11 weeks at 3h) with guest lectures, in-class discussions and workshops
A student-run project in the first 6 weeks of the module.


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate that they have achieved the module learning outcomes.

The summative assessment for this module consists of:

·         A small project that the student groups need to organise. The output of the project will be assessed by the students and moderated by the convenor. This addresses LO 1-5.

·         An individual report reflecting on the group project. This also addresses LO1-5.

·         An individual report analysing the strategic position of a well-known company and providing a well-reasoned recommendation of their future strategy.

·         A 2h unseen examination on the whole course content. This addresses all LOs.


The group project delivery will take place around week 5, the first individual report is due in week 7 and the final report is due around week 11. The exam takes place at the end of the semester during the exam period.


Formative assessment and feedback

No formative assessment is used but individual feedback is provided during the in-class discussions and workshops. Additional formative feedback is provided as part of the summative assesssment.

Reading list


Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Information Security MSc 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Information Systems MSc 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2018/9 academic year.