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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Business School : Common Courses (Management School)

Postgraduate Course: Corporate Strategy (MSc) (CMSE11097)

Course Outline
SchoolBusiness School CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits15 ECTS Credits7.5
SummaryThe questions we ask in strategy [whether in an assessment or in real life] may appear simple, but the answers can be very complex. "What business are we in?" is a classic strategy question that examiners ask of students, consultants ask of companies, and boards of directors should ask themselves all the time.
There may not be a right answer, and if there is we may not necessarily have that answer. By the end of this course students should be developing insights into the strategy of organisations which will impress not only us as teachers but people running organisations.
Course description Corporate Strategy is an integrating module; it is concerned with the totality of what a trading business or other organisation is trying to achieve. In other words it assesses a wide variety of environmental and organisational aspects which, when considered overall, help us to understand why some organisations thrive and similar organisations may struggle. These aspects will be relevant whether the organisations are trying to sell clothes world-wide or provide health care in a geographically defined community. The aim of the Corporate Strategy course is to help students examine the corporate strategic possibilities of an enterprise and also to encourage them to integrate what they have learnt from other courses and elective choices.

The overall objectives of our strategy course are therefore:

- to integrate the functional courses which form the rest of the MSC programme
- to emphasise the generalist nature of management work
- to examine the role of top management in setting the direction of enterprise
- to examine and to be able to apply techniques of strategic analysis
- to be aware of competing arguments behind a number of strategic approaches
- to gain an understanding of processes of strategy formulation and implementation
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements For Business School PG students only, or by special permission of the School. Please contact the course secretary.
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2018/19, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 150 ( Lecture Hours 20, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 8, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 3, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 117 )
Additional Information (Learning and Teaching) Preparatory Reading
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 70 %, Coursework 0 %, Practical Exam 30 %
Feedback Both the verbal case team presentation and the submitted overall report will be assessed. However, no marks are given out or finalised until all presentations have been completed, so that they can all be compared fairly once all presentations have been made (bearing in mind anticipated progression in terms of skills as the course proceeds). Presentation case feedback will therefore be given within three weeks of the final team presentation. Please note that feedback is provided solely for educational learning.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. The need for a holistic approach to the analysis of strategy
  2. Analytical approaches to strategy consistent with this holistic approach to organisations
Reading List
Johnson, G. et al. (2017, 11th Edition) Exploring Strategy: Text and Cases. Pearson.

Should you want to consult an alternative text, Grant, R. (2016, 9th Edition). Contemporary Strategy Analysis, Text and Cases. Oxford: Blackwell
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Knowledge and Understanding:
After completing this course, students should be able to:
-Knowledge of strategic planning techniques, and tools for strategic analysis.
-An understanding of the application of these techniques in business contexts.
-An appreciation of the main drivers of strategic change in an organisation.
-Knowledge of approaches to the implementation of strategic change processes.
-At the corporate level they will have particular knowledge of diversification, acquisitions, and the management of a group handling a variety of business units.
-They will be familiar with many examples of successful and less successful strategies.
-They will have extensive knowledge of industry cases, and major types of strategic decisions.

Cognitive Skills:
After completing this course, students should be able to:
-Take a holistic approach to the application of analytical templates and other techniques.
-Analyse cases which approximates closely to the rapid analysis of business situations.
-Rapidly structure ideas and presentations.
-Sift material quickly and efficiently, and to structure it into a coherent argument
-Research material related to companies and business contexts under pressure of tight deadlines.
Course organiserProf Ian Clarke
Tel: (0131 6)50 9505
Course secretaryMs Rhiannon Pilkington
Tel: (0131 6)50 8072
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