module specification

FE4055 - Understanding the Business and Economic Environment (2023/24)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2023/24
Module title Understanding the Business and Economic Environment
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 15
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 150
9 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
36 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
105 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 100%   Individual coursework - 1500 words
Running in 2023/24

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Monday Morning
Spring semester North Monday Afternoon
Spring semester North Wednesday Morning
Spring semester North Wednesday Afternoon
Spring semester North Thursday Morning
Spring semester North Thursday Afternoon

Module summary

The focus of this module is to equip students to understand organisations in contexts past, present and future, and enable them to analyse the macro, micro, internal and external business and economic environments in which they operate. An understanding of the environments will facilitate the interpretation of situations and enable decisions that add value for businesses. The focus of the module is on the external and internal influences on organizations and the effect these have on business practices.
The module is designed to be used by Level 4 undergraduate students on a range of programmes. Examples, illustrations and case studies will be drawn from chosen industry sectors such as advertising, aviation, events, finance, marketing, music, transport, tourism, and applied to reinforce basic concepts. This will enhance the ability of students to understand particular business problems and aspects of the business and economic environment. Topics and case studies will cover business issues that are contemporary and relevant to the real world.


Understanding the Business Environment

• The business organisation, its stakeholders and the micro, macro, internal and external environment; the purpose and types of business organisation; stakeholders in business organisations

• The PESTLE framework including political and legal factors; social and demographic factors; technological factors; environmental factors

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

Understanding the Economic Environment

• Microeconomic factors that affect the business environment: Demand and supply analysis, markets and concepts of elasticity; Production and costs; Revenues and profitability; Competitive environment and market structures

• Macroeconomic factors that affect the business environment: Aggregate demand and aggregate supply; Economic growth and business cycles, inflation, exchange rates, international trade

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

Learning Outcomes LO 1 - 2

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Delivery of the module will consist of 2-hour lectures and 1-hour seminars. 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 business and economics-related theoretical frameworks and present a set of examples and real-world cases. These should help students understand the key concepts and ideas used for business and economic analysis. Lecture notes and other resources will be made available to students on the virtual learning platform. The teaching and learning activities in the seminar 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, critical thinking, problem solving, self-assessment and reflection, interpersonal (working with others), IT skills development, and creativity.

This module is designed to have distinct industry-specific seminars.  The applied approach into the Business and Economic Environment includes topical case studies, examples from industry etc. which are designed to inspire through practice.  Seminars will be run along contextualised lines, e.g., advertising, aviation, events, finance, marketing, music, transport, tourism and other businesses.

Learning outcomes

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

1. Understand the business context of firms, research well-known organisations and the business environment in which they operate, and apply business principles and analysis within chosen sector/s;

2. Understand the economic context of firms, research well-known organisations and the economic environment in which they operate, and apply economic principles and analysis within chosen sector/s

Assessment strategy

Students will be assessed by means of formative and summative assessments.

Formative assessment will take place in seminars through learning activities. Students are required to discuss case studies and examples from industry, and formative feedback will be provided to students on an ongoing basis.

Summative assessment will take the form of an end-of-semester coursework of 1500 words (100% weighting).


Reading List Talis Link:


Core Texts:
Sloman, J., Garratt, D., Guest, J., & Jones, E. (2019) Economics for Business. 8th edition. Harlow, United Kingdom: Pearson Education Limited.
Worthington, I. and Briton, C. (2018) The Business Environment: A Global Perspective 8th edn, London: FT/Prentice Hall.

Other Texts:
Sloman, J., Guest, J. and Garratt, D. (2018) Economics. 10th edition, Pearson Education Limited.
Wetherly, P. and Otter, D. (2018) The Business Environment: Themes and Issues in a Globalizing World, 7th edn, UK: Oxford.

European Research on Management and Business Economics.
Harvard Business Review.
International Journal of Management and Economics. 


Electronic Databases:
Academic Search Complete
Business Source Ultimate
FAME (UK Companies)