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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).

Student Learning Experience

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 2024/25, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  455
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) 40% Presentation (Group) - Includes 20% peer review moderation - 10 minutes - Assesses course Learning Outcomes 1,3,4

40% Essay (Individual) - 2,000 words - Assesses course Learning Outcomes 1,2,3

10% MCQ (Individual) - Assesses course Learning Outcomes 1,2

10% Digital Literacy for Business - Information Assignments (Individual)
Feedback Formative: Feedback will be provided throughout the course.

Summative: Feedback will be provided on the assessments within agreed deadlines.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Critically analyse the interactions between business and the environments in which they exist, and how they impact each other in the light of current global challenges.
  2. Understand and evaluate global business behaviour from a decolonised perspective, and how business can effect positive change.
  3. Demonstrate academic writing skills, and identify appropriate tools and techniques for managing, presenting, and reflecting upon group work effectively.
  4. Understand how to secure information and data, formulate presentations and utilise basic word processing packages.
Reading List
Ivory. S. (2021) Becoming a Critical Thinker. Oxford University Press.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Cognitive Skills

After completing this course, students should be able to:

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.

Practice: Applied Knowledge, Skills and Understanding

After completing this course, students should be able to:

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.

Communication, ICT, and Numeracy Skills

After completing this course, students should be able to:

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.

Knowledge and Understanding

After completing this course, students should be able to:

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.

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.
KeywordsGlobal; disruption; environment; technology; work; challenges; critical thinking; sustainability.
Course organiserMrs Tara Morrison
Tel: (0131 6)50 8074
Course secretaryMiss Emma Allison
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