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Durham University

Postgraduate Module Handbook 2021/2022

Archive Module Description

This page is for the academic year 2021-22. The current handbook year is 2022-23

Department: Management and Marketing

BUSI4K720: Operations and Technology (Online)

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2021/22
Tied to N1T717 Business Administration (Online) (for students entering from April 2017)


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • Operations and Technology (Taught) BUSI4K820


  • To develop students’ understanding of operations and technology management within organisations.
  • To introduce key concepts, theories and methods in operations and technology management.
  • To explore the issues and variables that govern operations management decisions, and present a number of tools and methods for understanding and managing costs, speed, flexibility, dependability and sustainability.
  • To provide a thorough examination of several key technologies that affect operations and business models, thereby helping students to become proficient in understanding the role of technology and business processes in an organizational setting.
  • To develop the skills and concepts needed to ensure the ongoing contribution of a firm's operations to its competitive position.
  • To develop links with the Business School’s research strategy by incorporating current research into the management of business and service operations, in particular the management of complex supply chains.


  • Operations strategy and the link with other strategic levels
  • Development processes for new products and services
  • Process design and management
  • Product Development and Innovation Cycles
  • Process data description, quantitative and graphical
  • Sustainability and the environmental impact of managing process
  • Sustainability in Planning and Control
  • Quality management and six-sigma
  • Process hierarchies
  • Technology Adoption Models

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Upon successful completion of the module, the students will be able to:
  • Critically assess different Technology and innovation management tools and techniques;
  • Critically evaluate the requirements of global ecological and social sustainability on business and other organisations;
  • Evaluate technologies and innovations and select appropriate strategies to manage them;
  • Identify and critically analyse technology and innovation management issues;
  • Identify the benefits and limitations of the application of process management tools and techniques in both services and manufacturing contexts;
  • Understand different technology adoption models and implementation processes;
  • Understand how to map and manage processes within an organization by using some of the taught techniques;
  • Understand the benefits and limitations of the different production systems and the applicability in services;
  • Understand the context of technology and operations management;
  • Understand the impact of demand variability on performance and apply techniques to mitigate it.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Upon successful completion of the module, the students will be able to:
  • Analyse process related variables;
  • Plan operations-related activities;
  • Reflect on current experiences and knowledge on operations management;
  • Analyse operations within the context of the supply network;
  • Critically analyse the relationship and challenges of adopting new technologies within an organization;
  • Evaluate technologies and associated impact on operational processes and select appropriate strategies to manage and mitigate risk;
  • Demonstrate numerical and quantitative and qualitative skills including the use of models relevant to TM and business situations more generally.
Key Skills:
  • Written communication; oral communication; planning, organising and time management; problem solving and analysis; using initiative; computer literacy.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • The module is delivered via online learning, divided up into study weeks with specially produced resources within each week. Resources vary according to the learning outcomes but normally include: video content, directed reading, reflective activities, opportunities for self-assessment and peer-to-peer learning within tutor-facilitated discussions.
  • The formative assessment serves to prepare students for the summative presentation. Tutors provide feedback on the outline submitted and are also available for individual consultation as necessary (usually by email and Skype).
  • The summative assessment comprises an individual video-recorded presentation and accompanying mini-project, which is designed to test students' understanding of relevant concepts and their ability to apply what they have learned through critical analysis of a particular organisation, focusing on the role of the managerial decision-making tools and the impact of new and emerging technologies.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Video content, tutor-facilitated discussion, directed reading, reflective activities and guidance for further independent study 200
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Individual presentation/project Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Individual video presentation 10 mins 40% same
Individual written project 2500 words max 60% same

Formative Assessment:

One page outline of proposed presentation

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University