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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) AvailabilityAvailable to all 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 sessions 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 receive lectures and topic seminars. The lecture component will comprise of a skills lecture and a further lecture will be dedicated to exploring the business topics listed above. This 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. Students will be expected to prepare for the topic seminars and also carry out additional reading and activities around each topic.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2022/23, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  600
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 20, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 8, Online Activities 48, Other Study Hours 120, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 0 )
Additional Information (Learning and Teaching) Self-directed study
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Group Presentation (40%)
Individual Essay (40%)
Individual MCQ (10%)
Individual Digital Literacy for Business - Information Assignments (10%)
Feedback Formative: Students will receive constant feedback on their skills development within the seminars.
Summative: Students will receive detailed feedback on their coursework in verbal and written form.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Critically evaluate the interactions between business and society, and how they impact each other in the light of current global challenges;
  2. Demonstrate critical thinking in the evaluation of information about positive and negative global challenges and disruptions, and apply appropriate skills and critical approaches necessary to evaluate business within this context;
  3. Demonstrate critical writing skills, and tools and techniques for managing and presenting group work successfully, through the completion of an essay and group presentation;
  4. Reflect on their learning experience within a group context, and ways in which they have developed over the course and the wider transition into university.
Reading List
Ivory. S. (2021) Becoming a Critical Thinker. Oxford University Press.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills C1 Meaningful Interpersonal Interaction: understand how to manage and sustain successful individual and group relationships in order to achieve positive and responsible outcomes, in a range of virtual and face-to-face environments.

C3 Authentic Leadership: act with integrity, honesty and trust in all business stakeholder relationships, and apply ethical reasoning to effective decision making, problem solving and change management.

C4 Ethical, Responsible and Sustainable Business Behaviour: work with a variety of organisations, their stakeholders, and the communities they serve - learning from them, and aiding them to achieve responsible, sustainable and enterprising solutions to complex problems.

C5 Appropriate Communication: convey meaning and message through a wide range of communication tools, including digital technology and social media; to understand how to use these tools to communicate in ways that sustain positive and responsible relationships.

C8 Personal and Professional Competence: be self-motivated; curious; show initiative; set, achieve and surpass goals; as well as demonstrating adaptability, capable of handling complexity and ambiguity, with a willingness to learn; as well as being able to demonstrate the use digital and other tools to carry out tasks effectively, productively, and with attention to quality.

C9 Academic Excellence: demonstrate a thorough knowledge and understanding of contemporary organisational disciplines; comprehend the role of business within the contemporary world; and critically evaluate and synthesise primary and secondary research and sources of evidence in order to make, and present, well-informed and transparent organisation-related decisions which have a positive global impact.

C10 Intellectual Curiosity: identify, define and analyse theoretical and applied business and management problems, and develop approaches, informed by an understanding of appropriate quantitative and/or qualitative techniques, to explore and solve them responsibly.
Additional Class Delivery Information Standard semester delivery.
KeywordsGlobal; disruption; environment; technology; work; challenges; critical thinking; sustainability.
Course organiserMrs Tara Morrison
Tel: (0131 6)50 8074
Course secretaryMiss Aoife McDonald
Tel: (0131 6)50 8074
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