Module code: COMM032

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 provider

Computer Science

Module Leader

FORTESCUE Paul (Computer Sci)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

JACs code: N213

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

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

  • Introduction to Project Management:

    • History

    • 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

  • Organisations

    • Organisational structure

    • The cultural web

    • Managing change within organisations

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework COURSEWORK 1 25
Coursework COURSEWORK 2 10
Coursework COURSEWORK 3 15
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.

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 project and report that the student groups need to organise and deliver. This addresses LO 1-4 in its production and LO 5 in its contents.

·         The delivery of the group report to peers. This will be assessed by the students and moderated by the convenor. These addresses LO 1-5.

·         An individual report. Analysing the engagement of the individual and peers in the project. This addresses LO 1-5 and will be created individually alongside the report throughout the course.

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


The group project delivery will take place around week 7, and the delivery to peers around week 9. The final individual report will be due about week 10.  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 assessment.

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
1 Discuss the different challenges a project manager faces during the project life cycle KCP
2 Articulate the difference between project objectives and requirements KCP
3 Use concepts like MoSCoW and SMART KPT
4 Understand and apply risk and resource management KCPT
5 Discuss the importance of softer skills like team management and running effective meetings as part of Project Management KCP
6 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
7 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

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 150

Lecture Hours: 33

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.


Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

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.