module specification

EC4F05 - Introduction to the Business Environment (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Introduction to the Business Environment
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 30
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 300
186 hours Guided independent study
114 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 50%   Individual report (2,000 words)
Group Presentation 50%   Group oral presentation (15 minutes) and individual reflective log (800 words)
Running in 2017/18 No instances running in the year

Module summary

Introduction to the Business Environment (Module code EC4F05GN) provides students with a broad understanding of the organisational purposes and nature of the environment in which businesses function. It will further explore how organisations react to the changes in their national and global environments. This module equips students with analytical and team working skills related to business.

Module aims

This module aims to:
• Encourage students to foster broad understanding of the theories, concepts and techniques related to the business environment.
• Enable students to identify the purposes of different types of organisation and the extent to which they meet the objectives of different stakeholders.
• Encourage students to consider the impact of fiscal and monetary policy on business organisations and their activities.
• Analyse the way in which market forces and global factors shape an organisation.


• Categories and purposes of organisations
• Stakeholders
• PESTEL, Porter’s Five Forces, SWOT
• The UK economy (GDP, GNP, Public Finance, Labour Force)
• Global factors
• Fiscal Policy and Monetary Policy
• Market types (Perfect Competition, Monopoly, Monopolistic Competition and Oligopoly)
• Market forces and organisational responses (Supply and Demand, Elasticity of Demand and Supply, Pricing Decisions)

Learning and teaching

This module will be delivered by lectures which will be supplemented by individual and group tutorials. In addition, there will be workshops presented by external speakers/industry experts. Text books, journals and case studies of different SMEs will be utilised in delivering this module.

The lectures will aim to focus on theoretical knowledge and understanding whereas group tutorials will focus on the application and analysis of these using a variety of means including case studies, problem solving discussions and topical debates. In addition to directed reading from text books, the lectures will make use of articles from various magazines, journals and special newspapers reports.

Industry experts from recognised accredited professional bodies and successful  business entrepreneurs
with relevant student workshop experience will be invited as guest speakers during the one workshop session with a focus on career skills, employability issues and emerging trends.

Learning outcomes

On completing the module students will be expected to be able to:
1. Explain the differences between various types of businesses and their purposes.
2. Describe the extent to which an organisation meets the objectives of different stakeholders.
3. Apply methods to examine the impact of the business environment on the activities of an organisation.
4. Assess the impact of fiscal and monetary policy on the activities of business organisations.
5. Analyse how global and regional factors shape business activities.

Assessment strategy

The module will be assessed through an individual Report (50% weighting) (2000 words) and a group oral presentation (15 minutes) and an individual reflective log (800 words) based upon a group case study (50% weighting).

An individual report will be produced to show the learner understands the types of businesses and their purposes, the objectives of the stakeholders and how global and regional factors shape business activities.

The group oral presentation (15 minutes) and individual reflective log will enable students to show they can review a prospectus issued by a UK company seeking to raise finance through recognised Stock Exchanges or peer to peer lending platform (eg Crowdcube).  Marks for the oral presentation and individual reflective log will be equally split.


Core Textbooks:
• Worthington, I., and Britton, C., (2014), The Business Environment, 7th ed. Pearson, Harlow, UK

Recommended Textbooks:
• Begg, D., (2013), Foundations of Economics, 5th ed., McGraw-Hill Higher Education
• Daniels, J.D., Radebaugh, L.H. and Sullivan, J.H., (2012), International Business Environments and Operations, 14th International ed., Prentice Hall, London
• Palmer, A., and Hartley, B., (2011), The Business Environment, 7th ed., London /Boston: McGraw-Hill Higher Education

Other Learning Resources:
• European Business Review (European Business Review)
• Financial Times (The Financial Times Ltd)
• Journal of Economic Studies (Journal of Economic Studies).
• International Journal of Social Economics (International Journal of Social Economics)
• The Economist (The Economist Newspaper Ltd)
• The broadsheet newspapers have daily business sections.  Many business stories will appear in the news sections.
•  - Alternative Investment Market, The London Stock Exchange
•  - The London Stock Exchange
• – Crowd Cube
• – Times 100 Business Case Studies
•   Competition and Market Authority web site - regulates competition between companies in the UK by conducting in-depth enquiries
•  - a directory of materials that can be used for teaching and covers a broad spectrum of business and economics
•  - Bized provides a selection of teaching and learning resources