module specification

FE4053 - The Business Environment (2019/20)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2019/20
Module title The Business Environment
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 15
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 150
5 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
105 hours Guided independent study
40 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 30%   Group presentation (10 Minutes)
Unseen Examination 70%   In-class test (1 hour)
Running in 2019/20
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Thursday Afternoon
Autumn semester North Wednesday Afternoon
Spring semester North Thursday Afternoon

Module summary

This module is designed to provide first year undergraduates with an introduction to the economic principles, and economic concepts relevant to the business operating environment.  The module is mainly concerned with economic thinking at a micro level, but also introduces students to essential macro-economic concepts reflecting state intervention in a mixed economy.


The basic principles of Economics, and contextualisation of the fundamental concepts that underlie economic ideas in a range of modern economies

• Researching mainstream well-known business organisations and the business environment in which they operate

• Varying degrees of competition in markets and the consequent impact on consumer welfare; state intervention at micro level: CMA, licensing, regulation, trading standards. LO1

• Market Analysis: the key factors influencing the demand for goods and services, including both price and other determinants and hence both movements along and shifts of market curves; Elasticity i.e., the responsiveness of change following market shocks.
• Production: the factors of production, understanding output in the short and long-run. Diminishing returns and scale economies.

• Macroeconomics: the circular flow of income and National Income concepts.
• Economic targets: Growth, Inflation, Unemployment, and the relevance of Balance of Payments.  Exchange rate volatility and the impact on business and the economy

• The role of the State. Fiscal and monetary policy instruments, used in the pursuit of economic objectives. LO2

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Delivery of the module will consist of 1.5 hour lectures followed by 1.5 hour workshops. The module will be student centred. Students will be encouraged to research economic issues from a variety of sources in addition to module materials including newspapers, textbooks and on-line sources to identify aspects relevant to their areas of study.

Lectures will provide the opportunity for the whole class to come together and to interact with the lecturer who will provide the basic economic theoretical frameworks and present a set of examples and real-world cases. These should help students understand the key concepts and ideas that are typical of economic analysis. The lectures notes and other resources will be made available to students before the lecture on the virtual learning platform. The teaching and learning activities in the workshop session will be structured along the principles of problem-based learning. The sessions will have a student-centred focus with the students asked to drive their own learning with the support, assistance and encouragement of the teaching team.

The module's teaching, learning and assessment activities have been designed with the aim of developing the following set of skills: academic reading (textbooks, newspapers, websites, economic/business reports), researching (identifying relevant material, evaluating sources, awareness of appropriate methodologies), analysing and interpreting data, presenting data, academic writing (report, short tasks, referencing), note-making, communicating/presenting – orally and writing, critical thinking, problem solving, self-assessment and reflection, interpersonal (working with others), IT skills development, numeric and quantitative skills, and creativity.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:

LO1. Understand the context in which business takes place, work in a group and research mainstream well-known business organisations and the business environment in which they operate

LO2. Understand the motivation and behaviour of various economic actors -  including consumers, firms and the state - within a modern mixed economy

Assessment strategy

The first assessment component will feature a 10-minute group presentation based on a group research task involving business organisations and the business environment in which they operate (30% weighting).

The second and final assessment will consist of a 1 hour in-class test which will comprise both multiple-choice questions and short-essay questions. The students should expect to develop a clear understanding of key microeconomic and macroeconomic concepts (70% weighting).



Core Texts
Sloman, J., Guest, J. and Garratt, D. (2018) Economics, 10th edition, Pearson

Other Texts
Taylor, M., Ashwin, A. and Mankiw, W. (2013) Business Economics, Cengage Learning
Dobson, S. (2004) Introduction to Economics, Oxford University Press
Dornbusch, R., Fischer, S., Begg, D. and Vernasca, G. (2014) Economics, McGraw-Hill