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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 Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
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 2020/21, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  36
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 0 %, Coursework 70 %, Practical Exam 30 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 50% individual essay based on a case study
20% individual pre-class tests
30% presentation (adjusted by peer review 25%)
Feedback All students will be given at least one formative feedback or feed forward event for every course they undertake, provided during the semester in which the course is taken and in time to be useful in the completion of summative work on the course. Such feedback may be at course or programme level, but must include input of relevance to each course in the latter case.

Feedback on assessed work will be provided within 15 working days of submission, or in time to be of use in subsequent assessments within the course, whichever is sooner.
No Exam Information
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
Grant, R. (2016, 9th Edition). Contemporary Strategy Analysis, Text and Cases. Oxford: Blackwell

Should you want to consult an alternative text, Johnson, G. et al. (2017, 11th Edition) Exploring Strategy: Text and Cases. Pearson.
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.
Additional Class Delivery Information It is likely that teaching will be back to normal by the time the course starts in Semester 2.

However, both the blended approach to learning and the nature of assessments as they already are, means that the course can be readily run online using Blackboard Collaborate, be that for Workshops and tutorial interactions, or the group-based projects which require working in teams. This would slightly change the nature of delivery, without affecting the pedagogy or learning outcomes.

With regard to assessment, individual pre-class tests and individual essay are already submitted remotely and online, and group presentations to an assessing panel can be readily be moved online, should that be required.
Course organiserProf Ian Clarke
Tel: (0131 6)50 9505
Course secretaryMiss Fionna Ogilvie
Tel: (0131 6)51 3028
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