Module code: CMCM065

Module Overview

Working in an international business and marketing environment entails working effectively with others, often across linguistic and cultural boundaries. This entails, for example, building effective working relationships and showing leadership. This module helps students develop the descriptive and analytical tools to analyse instances of spoken business communication. Students will also develop reflective abilities for inquiring into complex professional situations and identify solutions.

Module provider

School of Literature and Languages

Module Leader

DIPPOLD Doris (Lit & Langs)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

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

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 87

Seminar Hours: 27

Guided Learning: 22

Captured Content: 14

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

• Introduction to business communication:

  • Introduction to business communication: spoken modes

  • Interpersonal Communication

  • Building relationships at work: politeness and rapport

  • Communicating across linguistic and cultural boundaries

  • Leadership and identity

  • Developing competence in intercultural business communication

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Oral exam or presentation Individual informal conversation with module tutor 40
Coursework Scenario-based written assignment 60

Alternative Assessment

Individual informal conversation with module tutor: Students who undertake assessment 1 during the resit period will be provided with a set of written questions. Students will provide a recorded spoken response to these questions.

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to read the research literature and arrive at evidence-led conclusions about issues in spoken business communication.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of two items:

  • Individual informal conversation with module tutor (addresses learning outcomes 1, 2, 3) (40%)
    In this assessment, students will engage in an informal conversation with the module tutor about the contents of the first half of the module. During this conversation, students may be asked to discuss their own experiences of business / professional communication, talk about one of the papers discussed in class and / or other papers on business or professional communication of their own choosing, or analyse a short transcript of talk provided by the module tutor. They may also be asked to discuss any skills gaps the feel they have in relation to academic working and how they intend to fill these.This assessment develops digital capabilities through engagement with digital academic resources, employability through research-led reflection on communication issues in a work context, the outcome of which can be applied to students’ own contexts. It also develops resourcefulness and resilience by engaging with an experience (oral examination) that may be unsettling and unfamiliar, and global and cultural capabilities by considering issues of communication within a global and intercultural context.

  • Scenario-based written assignment (addresses learning outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4) (60%)
    In this assignment, students will be presented with approx. four scenarios relating to spoken business communication to which they respond in writing. Scenarios may include researching and critically discussion sources on aspects of business communication (which also includes the need to appropriately apply referencing guidelines), transcribing sections of of their own talk and / or talk from fly on the wall documentaries, analysing examples of spoken business / professional communication through the lense of the analytical frameworks discussed in class, and making recommendations for improved spoken communication practices. This assessment develops employability by developing students’ ability to make recommendations for business communication practice through research-led reflection on communication issues, resourcefulness and resilience as reflection on own communication failures and the strategies that might have made such encounters more successful may be unsettling. Finally, students develop global and cultural capabilities by considering their findings within a global and intercultural context.


Formative assessment / feedback

Students will receive verbal feedback on practical exercises throughout the class. They will be able to discuss any questions about both assessments with the module tutor and with peers. Feedback on assessment one can be used to feed directly into assessment 2. Feedback and feed-forward on both assignments will also scaffold assessment in other modules; students will be made aware of these links whenever possible.

Module aims

  • The module aims to: introduce students to the main issues concerning spoken business communication, e.g. relationship management, leadership, intercultural communication, interpersonal communication
  • familiarise students with the theoretical approaches to describe these and analyse issues in depth
  • equip students with the skills to reflect critically on business communication events
  • provide students with the ability to use theory to make or recommend informed changes to communication practices

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 To demonstrate core research skills (finding sources, referencing, etc.) KT
002 To apply linguistic terminology to the analysis of spoken business communication genres K
003 To conduct a theory-led analysis of spoken business communication data KCP
004 To reflect critically on business communication events in order to make or recommend changes to communication practices CPT

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 apply theoretical concepts in a practical manner and discuss their ideas with others. The module is taught primarily in seminar-style, with lecture-type input by the tutor which is followed by practical examples and exercises. Students will be encouraged to discuss self-generated or collected examples.

The learning and teaching methods include:

Weekly seminar sessions: The seminar sessions include a mixture of lecture-type and interactive elements.                                             
In each session, theoretical concepts and analytical frameworks will be introduced by the tutor. Students are given the opportunity to apply these practical exercises and relate them to their own experiences, thus developing their resourcefulness and resilience. Moreover. Moreover, five one hour skills sessions allow students to develop key study skills that are transferable to other modules within the programme, including their digital capabilities.

Captured content: Captured content provided for each weekly session include the Pdf slides for the sessions as well as the Panopto-recorded lecture-elements for each class. The captured content aims to develop understanding of key concepts and theories. Students are expected to engage with the captured content to deepen their engagement with the materials and complete the guided learning exercises. By engaging with captured content, students develop global and cultural capabilities as they are equipped with the skills for cultural comparison and conceptualisation.

Guided learning: Students’ in-class learning is supported by a structured programme of guided learning activities to do at home. Students do practical analysis exercises, read relevant literature and find examples of their own which can be further discussed in class.  The exercises and application to authentic examples help students in developing their employability skills.

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: CMCM065

Other information

Surrey's Curriculum Framework is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability and Resourcefulness and Resilience. This module is designed to allow students to develop knowledge, skills and capabilities in the following areas:

Global and Cultural Capabilities: Working in an international environment requires from graduates skills in interpersonal communication. These include respecting others’ communication styles, accommodating to other and negotiating meaning effectively, navigating intercultural differences in speech styles, amongst others. In this module, students learn to navigate these complexities through a unique combination of theory, reflection and practice. Students learn relevant theoretical concepts (e.g. linguistic politeness, English as a lingua franca). They then reflect, using published examples of interpersonal interaction in business contexts, on these communication practices and relate them to their own experiences. Students also do some practical communication exercises to apply these strategies. In doing so, students are able to develop their capabilities for communicating in diverse global settings.

Employability: Together with Business Communication II (Semester 2), this module sits at the core of the programme’s strategy to enhance students’ employability. Not only does the module allow students to develop their interpersonal communication skills through development of theoretical knowledge and reflection on theory in light of examples, but students also engage with peers from a very diverse peer group in doing so. Moreover, the assessment is targeted at developing these skills. In assessment 1, students use published research papers to reflect on their previous experiences of communicating in business contexts and further develop their employability skills by preparing a recorded presentation. In assignment 2, students make practical recommendations for interpersonal communication based on an analysis of examples relevant to their interests.

Digital Capabilities: Students on this programme often arrive with very limited digital capabilities, relating to a range of study skills which are relevant for effective engagement in the module and programme. This module thus provides structured opportunities for developing digital capabilities. In five additional one hour long skills sessions taught in addition to the content input sessions, students are taught effective digital research skills (applied immediately in assessment 1). In other sessions, students learn how to use PowerPoint effectively for professional presentations and how to present written material in a professional manner.

Resourcefulness and Resilience. Reflecting on personal communication styes and possible failures and successes in interpersonal communication may present a challenge to students’ resilience. The learning and teaching strategy in the module allows students to develop resilience in the face of these challenges. Moreover, the five fully embedded skills sessions equip students with the practical resources to overcome barriers to the successful engagement in this module and in other modules that are part of this programme, for example how to give a successful presentation, how to conduct an effective literature research, writing skills etc.

Together with Business Communication II, this module forms one of the spine modules of the programme. It provides students with the core knowledge and skills in language and communication which enhance best practice in Marketing.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Intercultural Business Communication and Marketing MA 1 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 2025/6 academic year.