NBS8329 : Strategic Business Analysis and Decision-Making

Semester 3 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


Strategic Business Analysis is designed to enhance the IBM programme by offering students a competitive and practical platform through which to integrate their learning and to develop their business analysis and strategic decision-making skills. This is done through an intensive programme of activities including workshops and an interactive, virtual international computer-based business simulation where students compete in teams. The focus is on experiential learning and applying theory to practice.

Outline Of Syllabus

The syllabus incorporates topics such as:
Analyzing opportunities and making decisions
Developing and applying data analytic approaches for performance management in decision making
Understanding financial statements, sources of finance and business planning
Using financial data to make informed decisions
Understanding key decisions related to operations including quality, process mapping and control, capacity planning, and inventory management
Evaluating and communicating data

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion130:0030:00Timetabling to schedule rooms for team presentations
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture62:0012:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops92:0018:00Team-based computer simulation requires e.g. Herschel Learning Lab; staff as facilitators
Guided Independent StudyStudent-led group activity142:0028:00Student teams work on simulation related activities; timetabling to schedule time and rooms
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study112:0012:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The activities are designed to provide an opportunity to consolidate the knowledge gained throughout the MSc IBM programme, to apply knowledge to problems and to refine students’ analytical and oral communication skills.

The module will be taught in an interactive manner, combining lectures, practical team workshops in a computer-based simulation, student-led team work, and team presentations. The delivery of the module is organised into an intense bloc during the Assessment Period in May.

Students will develop and implement a business plan for the company that they will be running in the Simulation. Building on prior introduction to team working and reflective practice in the programme, students will be required to undertake student-led team debriefing sessions on the learning process. The team based learning will provide the evidence base for students to complete their individual reflective assignment that provides a capstone to their International Management Practitioner module. The team-based presentation provides students with the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to integrate learning from across the programme.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Prof skill assessmnt3M7020 minute team presentation of the simulation performance and result, with 10 minutes for questions
Report3M30Individual written reflection 1000 words
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Prob solv exercises3MPeer learning through discussion of team process and understanding of computer simulation
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The assessment tasks are designed to ensure students have a strong grasp of the principles covered in the taught MSc IBM programme, contextualising this knowledge within managerial practice. One of the important aspects of the simulation is working effectively both as a team and as an individual to undertake a series of activities, handling multiple tasks, and analysing and making decisions under time-pressure.

As part of the simulation, students are required to prepare a team strategic plan to be implemented during the Simulation. The final team presentation captures the outcomes of this process.

Individuals will critically reflect on the working of the team and their own contribution, including how roles were managed and how they developed as an effective team. This module operates in line with the Business School policy on group work. As such, peer evaluations and instructor assessment of individual performance in the final presentation will be taken into account in the award of individual marks on group work.

Formative Assessment
Formative assessment is embedded within the team-based activities. During the simulation teams are required to complete a Decision Log that captures their reflection on their learning - both cognitive (strategic decision making and analysis) and affective (team dynamics and interpersonal relations). This process provides an evidence base from which individuals will draw to write their summative reflections.

Reading Lists