Information in the Degree Programme Tables may still be subject to change in response to Covid-19

University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : Business School : Business Studies

Undergraduate Course: Global Challenges for Business (BUST08035)

Course Outline
SchoolBusiness School CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 1 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe aim of Global Challenges for Business is twofold: to act as a "transition course" to support students at the start of their undergraduate degree, and give students an understanding of the nature of "business" and the global, societal context in which business functions. While both aims are pursued simultaneously through the semester, the "transition" element is specifically addressed with skills lectures and components to acclimatise students to university learning, and how to achieve positive university outcomes. The business component is addressed through consideration of topics such as digital, environmental and social disruption facing business, and trends including consumption and the future of work. By applying the skills to the topics, students learn the importance and value of critical thinking, discussion, and argument.
Course description To achieve the twofold aim of this course, it is designed to engage with the following academic topics:

Transition to university learning, covering topics including:
o Working in teams: the benefits, the difficulties, and how to overcome these;
o Quality of Argument: what is an argument, what is a strong line of reasoning, how is it relevant in a business context?
o Strength of Evidence: what are credible and reliable sources of evidence, how do we know, how do we find and use them?
o Clarity of Communication: how can we present arguments and evidence clearly and persuasively, what are different presenting formats (eg written and oral) and how do they differ?

Business in a global context with topics taught including (although these may vary based on dominant and pressing issues which emerge):
o Understanding Business (its roles and responsibilities in society; traditional forms of organising and the implications of these; alternative organisational forms and their traction in society);
o Digital Disruption (digital advances and impacts on firm structures and practices; emergence of new business models such as the shift of a collaborative economy; enablement and empowerment versus loss of jobs and alienation);
o Globalisation (the process of international integration arising from the interchange of world views, products, ideas and mutual sharing; advances in transportation, telecoms, internet, mobile; implications of these for trade, transactions, economic and cultural development; the movement of people and dissemination of knowledge including winners and losers from this process);
o Environmental disruption (including climate change, water, energy, food and clear air; how this creates uncertainty and opportunity; impacts on resource insecurity; market shifts and their implications);
o Changes in Consumption (growth of emerging economies; markets at the bottom of the pyramid; consequences of demographic changes; rethinking consumption and the movement to an 'experience' economy);
o New Forms of Work (changing expectations of 'work' especially relating to generational shifts, implications of digital disruption on engaging workers, implications of issues including digital disruption and global inequality on workers' rights and conditions; role of leadership in this changing context).

Students will be taught in traditional lecture contexts and topic seminars. Drop-in voluntary skills session will also be offered throughout semester. The lecture component will comprise a weekly skills lecture and the two further weekly lectures will be dedicated to exploring the business topics listed above. These will form the basis for the weekly topic seminar, in which students will be guided by their
tutor in a discussion based session, and will also practice skills.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Students MUST NOT also be taking Introduction to Business (BUST08026)
Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2021/22, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  720
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 30, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 18, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 3, Online Activities 1, Summative Assessment Hours 3, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 141 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Weekly online quiz (10%)
Group Video Presentation (30%, with 20% moderated through peer-assessment)
Personal Reflection (10%)
Final Essay (40%)
Four Digital Literacy for Business - Information Assignments (10% in total)
Feedback Students will receive formal formative feedback on their assignments as well as feedback from their study skills and computing skills classes.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Critically evaluate the role of business in a complex and changing society, in relation to the global challenges it impacts and is impacted by;
  2. Identify and analyse positive and negative global challenges and trends, and apply appropriate skills and approaches necessary to manage and lead business within this context;
  3. Recognise and evaluate social, digital, and environmental disruptions which impact business, and analyse and apply effective solutions;
  4. Learn and apply reflection skills to uncover personal challenges and goals in order to achieve LOs 1-3 and wider successful transition into university studies and global employability.
Reading List
There is no core text for this course. A reading list will be made available on LEARN at the start of semester
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Research and Enquiry: Students will develop conceptual and critical thinking, analysis and evaluation through engagement with the course content and in collaboration with their group; develop the ability to critically analyse a range of business data, sources of digital and other information and the application of appropriate methodologies and to use that research for evidence-based decision making.

Personal and Intellectual Autonomy: Group work will develop students' ability to work effectively and collaboratively in teams and to reflect critically on the process and outcomes.

Personal Effectiveness: Develops a readiness to accept responsibility and flexibility, resilience and to plan, organize and manage time; develops self-analysis and be able to work collaboratively both with other students and with external organisations.

Communication skills: Develops effective written and oral communication, including the ability to produce clear, structured business communication in multiple media.
Additional Class Delivery Information Each week will feature:
3 x 1 hour Lectures
1 x 2 hour Topic Seminar

In addition:
3 x 2 hour Digital Literacy for Business - Information sessions per semester
KeywordsEdinburgh; business environment; history; business clusters; industry; government
Course organiserMrs Tara Morrison
Tel: (0131 6)50 8074
Course secretaryMs Nikki Kohly
Tel: (0131 6)50 3825
Help & Information
Search DPTs and Courses
Degree Programmes
Browse DPTs
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Important Information