Module code: MAN3118

Module Overview

This research-led module will introduce students to the classic and contemporary theories of decision-making. The core aims of the module are to enable students to gain a deeper understanding of the processes that influence choice and behaviour, and to better understand how judgements and decisions can shape organisational life and managerial decisions. This module will draw upon material from a wide range of disciplines that include social psychology, cognitive psychology, organisational behaviour and behavioural economics, and will cover topics such as intuitive decision making, expert judgement, and risk-taking behaviour. Students will be encouraged to examine how the characteristics of the decision-maker, the environment and social world can help or hinder judgements and decisions, and to develop an informed understanding of the ability of individuals, including themselves, to make good decisions. A key feature of this module will be the emphasis placed upon helping students to recognise and discuss the relationship between theoretical perspectives and organisational practices. 

Module provider

Surrey Business School

Module Leader


Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 6

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

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 84

Lecture Hours: 22

Seminar Hours: 11

Guided Learning: 11

Captured Content: 22

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

  • Introduction to Decision Making and Cognition

  • Normative and Descriptive Decision Making 

  • Emotional, Intuitive and Analytical Decision Making

  • Heuristic Decision Making

  • Creative Decision Making

  • Moral/Ethical Decision Making

  • Expert Decision Making

  • Committing to Decisions

  • Human Resource and Career Decision Making

  • Top Management Decision Making

  • Group Decision Making 

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Individual Essay 50
Coursework Individual Case Study 50

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The¿assessment strategy¿is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate the ability to apply theoretical perspectives of decision making to real life organisational practices through undertaking two essay assignments. 
Thus, the¿summative assessment¿for this module consists of: 


  • The first assignment (INDIVIDUAL ESSAY ASSIGNMENT) requires critical analysis of a personal experience of decision making and judgement. The assignment contributes 50% towards the module mark and requires students to research and identify the practical implications of key theories and findings; and to demonstrate their critical thinking skills and the articulation of complex ideas in writing. 


  • The second assignment (INDIVIDUAL CASE STUDY ASSIGNMENT) contributes towards 50% of the overall module mark and is based on a provided case study. The essay will test students’ knowledge and understanding of the module concepts by requiring them to relate the theoretical concepts to real-world situations and events. This is intended to ensure that students are able to apply the concepts of judgement and decision making to¿organisational contexts. 

Formative assessment and feedback 
Students will be given formative feedback in seminars through a variety of interactive activities including small group work. These will involve discussions with students and review of lecture content to check their level of understanding and provide feedback. Additionally, two assessment workshops will be delivered: the first one mid-way through the semester and the second one towards the end of the semester. 

Module aims

  • Provide you with an understanding of key decision-making concepts, models and theories of decision-making.
  • Develop your knowledge, understanding, and critical thinking in relation to the theory and practice of decision making, and to enable you to evaluate personal decision-making processes and managerial decisions and actions, and give you the opportunity to develop your skills in decision making.
  • Enable you to understand and appreciate the opportunities and challenges involved in decision making in business organisations.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of contemporary theories of judgement and decision making and major research findings. KC
002 Demonstrate the ability to apply theoretical knowledge to organisational problems and practices, and identify practical solutions and implications. KPT
003 Recognise the role of individual characteristics and the environment in making good decisions. CP
004 Show the ability to think critically and creatively about the ways in which judgement and decision making shape organisations. KCPT
005 Critically evaluate and discuss factors and processes that influence choice and impact on behaviour in organisational life. KPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to: 

The¿learning and teaching¿strategy: 
The learning and teaching strategy is designed to promote learning from lectures and interactive seminars, as well as from individual reading and research. Participation in interactive sessions and group discussions is an important part of the learning strategy. Students are held responsible for their own learning process; the lectures provide perspectives on the course content, thus giving an opportunity for students to engage with the course material in greater depth in and out of class. 
The¿learning and teaching¿methods: 
The teaching and learning methods include the use of two one-hour lectures to illustrate the module topics (including their associated theories, models and empirical findings). These lectures are¿followed by a one-hour interactive seminar¿which will involve the practical application of module topics to career and managerial decisions. PowerPoint presentations and supplemental resources¿will be made available in SurreyLearn. 


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
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: MAN3118

Other information

Employability – The assessments on this module enable students to analyze their own and other’s decision-making process and outcomes, taking into account mental shortcuts, biases, emotions and social influences and their effect on a variety of decisions, judgements and predictions. Accordingly, this module is designed to prepare and train future business leaders to recognize internal and external factors that can lead to irrational, discriminatory and unethical decisions. 


Sustainability – On this module, students consider ethical issues related to decision making and learn to apply philosophical ethical frameworks to modern decision-making problems that occur in organizations. 


Global and Cultural Capabilities – On this module, students learn about the interplay between cognitive mechanisms and culture, such as the universal understanding of emotional expression and how culture shapes ethical principles and intuition. Moreover, students will also critically explore how cognitive biases can result in adverse impact and unfair treatment of minority/outgroups as well as strategies for how to prevent this.  


Resourcefulness and Resilience – informed by neoclassical behavioral economics and contemporary research in psychology, students also learn to appreciate alternative methods and approaches to taking decisions in order to improve judgment and decision-making outcomes and prediction accuracy. 

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Business Management and Spanish BSc (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Business Management and French BSc (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% 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 2024/5 academic year.