Edinburgh Napier University MSc Business Management programme modules:

Compulsory modules covered on the programme include:

Optional modules for specialisation:


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Description of core modules

Business Economics and Finance in a Global Environment

This module will teach you the most essential analytical tools required for economic decision making such as: the concepts of economic systems, profit and utility maximisation, demand elasticity, market equilibrium, market structures, macroeconomic objectives, government policies’ (monetary, fiscal and trade policies) tools and their impact on businesses. You will also learn how to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages to the business of a range of sources of finance, how managers report on the financial affairs and financial position of the business, and how to analyse financial reports in order to evaluate business performance.

Learning Outcomes for module:

  • Evaluate the contribution of HRM activities to organisational effectiveness and the impact of the changing context of work on HRM.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the key HR activities and the way in which these integrate to achieve organisational objectives and a critical insight into the current developments impacting on these.
  • Identify HR strategies, policies & practice appropriate to the needs of different organisations.

Leadership, Strategy and Innovation

The module will cover the following content:

  • Organisation strategy and Strategic Leadership
  • Determining the Strategic Direction: Mission Vision and Values
  • Strategic Decision-making in Practice
  • Transformational Leadership Approaches and Emotional Intelligence
  • The Leader-Follower Relationship
  • Team Leadership
  • Strategic Decision-Making in Innovative Contexts
  • Creating Systemic innovation
  • Authentic and Sustainable Leadership
  • Current Trends in Strategic Leadership

Learning Outcomes for module:

  • Examine and critique the underlying principles of key leadership theories
  • Critically review how effective leaders foster an innovation culture in organisations
  • Explore the dynamics underpinning the leader-follower relationship in organisations
  • Review and critically the strategic role of leaders within organisations

Organisational Change and Management

This module focuses on the behaviour of people at work by placing an emphasis on understanding the vital importance of managing change and culture. It covers two broad areas, namely:

  • Organisational Behaviour: attitudes; perception; motivation; groups and teams; leadership; management of transformational change; power, politics and conflict; and
  • Managerial Process and Skills: activities designed to develop skills relating to the management of people, including corporate social responsibility

By the end of the module you will have developed an appreciation of the dynamics of working organisations in a rapidly evolving business environment by planning and carrying forward system-wide change programmes.

Learning Outcomes for module:

  • Apply organisational behaviour theory to the business context.
  • Critically analyse the factors influencing individual behaviour in organisations.
  • Evaluate the nature, role and tasks of people management; identify effective management practice and skills.
  • Identify and analyse trends in transformational change management in organisations.
  • Demonstrate through analysis and synthesis a robust understanding of International Leadership and management theories and concepts

Research Methods

The focus of this module is to develop critical thinking and problem solving skills to prepare you for a range of challenges in your academic and professional career. Specifically, the emphasis is on developing research skills that will equip you with the expertise to undertake relevant and topical research allied to your dissertation. The core material covers:

  • critiquing academic and practitioner research from a range of published sources,
  • developing tools and techniques for writing a critical literature review,
  • methodological considerations,
  • research design,
  • research ethics,
  • qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection,
  • manual and computer-based techniques of data analysis and,
  • evaluating and communicating your research.

Learning Outcomes for module:

  • Select and critically review relevant literature
  • Formulate a research problem
  • Design and plan appropriate research to investigate an area for a dissertation.
  • Assess reliability and validity of the chosen approach
  • Critically communicate the philosophy of research

Optional modules for specialisation

Contemporary Issues in Strategic Management

The Role and Nature of strategic management; Analysing the External Environment: macro-environment, industry and competitor analysis; Analysing internal resources, capabilities and core competencies; Business level and corporate level strategy; international business strategy; strategic development: mergers and acquisitions, alliances and joint ventures; Strategy Implementation: Structure, Culture and Change.

Learning Outcomes for module:

  • Critically appraise the frameworks, tools, and concepts required to analyse, formulate, implement and evaluate an organisation’s strategy
  • Apply theoretical concepts to practical business situations through the analysis and evaluation of published case studies; research on selected companies and where appropriate draw upon experience in current or prior work organisations
  • Develop and recommend creative solutions to strategic situations in different organisational contexts
  • Critically assess business performance from a holistic and integrative general management perspective

Managing Innovation

The module content can be divided into two main components. Firstly, a discussion of key concepts and why innovation management is crucial in most organisations. Secondly, an examination of the leading practical theory related to innovation management, in particular, this will include an in depth discussion of a conceptual model of innovation management. This model will outline the main contextual elements (e.g. innovation strategy, organisation structure, etc.) that affect the process of innovation management and also the process itself. This examination and discussion of innovation management will utilise materials (e.g. examples, cases, etc.) dealing with different kinds of innovation (e.g. product, service, internal systems and procedures, etc.) in a variety of organisations.

Learning Outcomes for module:

  • Explain and critically reflect on innovation and why it is crucial to competitive advantage and organisational success.
  • Conceptualise and critically explore the context and process of innovation management
  • Analyse the innovation management in a variety of organisations using examples from the world’s most innovative firms.
  • Critically evaluate innovation management and provide recommendations for change demonstrating appropriate judgement.

Financial Markets, Institutions and Banking

  • Financial system: functions, structure, intermediaries and globalisation
  • Interest rates: theory, determinants of supply and demand, equilibrium rates, policies
  • Financial markets: money, bond, equity and derivative markets, integration, infrastructures
  • Financial institutions: insurance, savings, investment, asymmetric information, moral hazard interest
  • Modern Banks: organisational structure, activities, risks, regulation, failures, competitive issues

Learning Outcomes for module:

  • Critically analyse the roles and functions of organised financial markets and financial intermediaries
  • Discuss implications regulation and government intervention in financial markets
  • Compare and contrast the major theories of determining the general level of interest rate
  • Discuss the reasons for diversification in the financial institutions industry and evaluate different banking structures
  • Compare the main approaches to the management of risk by banks and other financial institutions and the scope and necessity for regulation of the financial systems, nationally and internationally
  • Critically analyse the processes of innovation and globalisation in the financial system and consider their implications to the banking industry and analyse the determinants for the failure of bank and their influence on the financial crisis

Global Finance

The module will examine the structure and functions of the international monetary and financial system. It will analyse the development and the implications of the global financial marketplace. It will examine the functions, products, participants, operational arrangements of, and the linkages between, the money markets – short-term interest rate products, the foreign exchange market, the government and corporate bond markets, the equity capital markets and the international derivatives markets.

Learning Outcomes for module:

  • Examine and analyse the elements and structure of the global financial market place.
  • Analyse, and evaluate the functions of money, foreign exchange, bond, equity and derivatives markets.
  • Examine and discriminate between the products of money, foreign exchange, bond, equity and derivatives markets.
  • Critically appraise the operational processes of the money, foreign exchange, bond, equity and derivatives markets.
  • Appraise and evaluate the fundamental role of these markets as being the management of financial risk

New Venture Planning

The module covers the following:

  • The importance of new businesses to a thriving economy
  • Entrepreneurial thinking and aspirations
  • Entrepreneurial role models
  • The business planning process
  • Idea generation / development / evaluation
  • Market identification including exposure to market players
  • Researching the resources required including equipment, people, funding
  • Segmentation / positioning & differentiation / targeting
  • Developing the marketing Mix (7 P’s),
  • Financial planning leading to development of financial statements and realistic related assumptions
  • Growth aspirations of entrepreneurs

Learning Outcomes for module:

  • Examine the elements of business &social enterprise start up.
  • Justify a comprehensive understanding of the key elements of the business planning process
  • Exercise appropriate judgement in the effective communication of the business idea and business model

International Business Event Management

The meetings industry is of huge global economic importance (Davidson and Cope, 2003). business events play a significant role in generating tourism revenue for destinations, thus contributing towards economic prosperity. In this module, you will learn about the major stakeholders in the business event industry, and how they interact with one another. You will examine issues of supply and demand at all levels, and analyse the impact made by business events on their chosen destination. You will be taken on visits to event venues, and will hear guest speakers from industry. This will enable you to connect the theory to the practice. The module contains the following topics: An introduction to the business event Industry; Suppliers; Buyers; Intermediaries and other organisations; Planning a business event; Staging a business event; Marketing business events; Bidding for business events; Impacts of business events; Current and future trends.

Learning Outcomes for module:

  • Analyse the different types of demand for business event facilities
  • Evaluate supply trends in a local, national and global context
  • Critically review the varying stakeholder roles in the planning and management of business events.
  • Identify and assess the principle economic, social and environmental impacts of business events and venues within a destination
  • Determine the appropriate application of management strategies for the successful planning, implementation and control of business events.

Finance for Management Decision Making

  • Objectives of accounting.
  • The primary financial statements.
  • Profit v Cash and preparation of cash budgets
  • Interpretation of financial statements using ratio analysis
  • management performance evaluation
  • Short-term decision making using cost classifications
  • Capital investment appraisal methods.
  • Working capital management

Learning Outcomes for module:

  • Discuss the fundamental objectives of accounting
  • Analyse and interpret accounting information from a company and a management perspective
  • Analyse short-term alternatives for improved decision making
  • Evaluate capital investment projects using investment appraisal techniques
  • Evaluate systems of working capital

Contemporary HRM

The module starts with a brief introduction to developing theory and current models of HRM, providing a framework for more detailed consideration of key operational areas: resourcing, development, performance management & reward, and the management of the employment relationship to minimise conflict and encourage employee engagement. Current issues such as work life balance, the management of diversity and International HRM are given particular focus

Learning Outcomes for module:

  • Evaluate the contribution of HRM activities to organisational effectiveness and the impact of the changing context of work on HRM.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the key HR activities and the way in which these integrate to achieve organisational objectives and a critical insight into the current developments impacting on these.
  • Identify HR strategies, policies & practice appropriate to the needs of different organisations.

HRM in an International Context

After a brief background introduction to models of national culture, the focus of the module is the HR issues and practices of organisations operational background across national boundaries with a multi-cultural workforce. It covers a range of key HRM areas: global manpower, planning, recruitment & selection, international performance and development, comparative employment regulation, employee voice and the management of conflict, the ethical considerations specific to international operations. These are explored through the use of examples and cases drawn from a range of an international context and MNC practice. Students are encouraged to reflect on the approach to HRM in their own culture/country and contribute to the consideration of similarity and difference.

Learning Outcomes for module:

  • Have a comprehensive understanding and critical awareness of the requirements and implications of HRM activity as it relates to organisations in an international context.
  • Have a critical appreciation of the ways an HRM function can contribute to global organisational effectiveness.
  • Be able to contribute to the determination of an international HRM strategy, policy and practice appropriate to differentiate national contexts and the needs of MNCs.

Security Audit and Compliance

The aim of the module is to let you develop a deep understanding of the framework that information security operates in, and to give you an opportunity to express this in the form of professional written reports. Topics covered include:

  • Overview of relevant laws and regulations: national and international, covering Data Protection, computer misuse and other legal issues.
  • The relation between governance models and frameworks including: ISACA’s COBIT and ISO Standards (ISO27000 in particular)
  • Role of the professions; difference between audit, forensics and security management. Professional ethics and codes of practice
  • Risk management, contingency and continuity planning
  • Understanding and application of the COBIT domains

Learning Outcomes for module:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the roles and responsibilities of the professionals involved, including practical application of codes of practice/ethics.
  • Review and critically appraise relevant laws and relevant standards, their interrelationships and international trends in their development.
  • Critically appraise the principles of information security management systems and the roles of risk management, controls and audit in supporting IS governance
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the role of human and organisational factors in delivering information security
  • Research, examine and evaluate relevant academic literature and real-world situations, identify issues and solutions and make recommendations to Management

Strategic Information Systems Management

Evolving role of strategic IS/IT systems; management of strategic IS/IT systems; Processes for developing effective IS/IT strategies; Alignment of IS/IT strategies with business strategies; Innovating with IS/IT systems; strategic IS/IT systems for competitive advantage; Tools & techniques for building IS/IT strategic capabilities; Evaluating & justifying IS/IT systems; Managing a portfolio of IS/IT applications. Positioning & managing strategic IS/IT systems.

Learning Outcomes for module:

  • Analyse the strategic context of IS/IT systems and their increasing business integration and impact on the competitive advantage of businesses.
  • Appraise the challenges in the management and strategy formulation of IS/IT systems in modern complex business environments.
  • Critically evaluate the tools & techniques available to build and develop innovative strategic IS/IT capabilities.
  • Evaluate how strategic IS/IT systems are justified and assessed as investments and for their business contribution.
  • Critically assess the structural, organisational & governance aspects of strategic IS/IT systems.

Global Logistics and Supply Chains

This module applies key concepts of logistics and supply chain management to provide you with an understanding of the strategic and operational roles of logistics in the global business environment. Emphasis is placed on global and pan-European systems for materials sourcing and product distribution, to enable you to learn how businesses configure their supply chains to compete in today’s major trading blocs. Early topics identify key issues in global logistics and contrast international and domestic logistics systems. Subsequent topics explore the main components of global supply chains and the logistics activities involved in their management.

The module begins with an introduction to the characteristics of global logistics and a discussion of the role of logistics in international business. The module then covers the development of international trade, regional trading blocs and the logistics implications. The rise of global marketing and global logistics is then addressed in the context of the international business environment, requiring the management and operation of inbound supplies and sourcing, manufacturing, global distribution channels, international transport and international order management. Contemporary issues arising out of the former that will be explored in the latter part of the module include the rise of e-logistics and new developments and organisational issues in developing European and global logistics systems.

Learning Outcomes for module:

  • Understand contemporary concepts and principles of global logistics and supply chain management in theory and practice.
  • Critically reflect on the role of logistics in achieving the organisation's international marketing and business development goals.
  • Critically engage with a range of technical considerations involved in planning and operating global supply chains.
  • Evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of global logistics systems.
  • Critically assess the issues and problems related to the development of global and pan-European logistics systems.

Project Management

The ability to manage projects is a key factor that influences successful managerial performance and all organisations need managers equipped with such skills. Project management is the application of skills and knowledge to deliver the project objectives. The aim of this module is to provide students with an overview of the theoretical and practical tools needed to successfully manage projects.

This module offers the framework and tools necessary to prepare participants for better decision-making in their future managerial roles. By using an analytic approach and relating ideas to the basic principles of project management, it will provide an introduction to the basic principles for thinking clearly about managerial problems and dilemmas when successfully managing projects through their complete life cycle.

The module will introduce project selection and portfolio management techniques. The project life cycle: time, costs and quality, will be reviewed along with scope management. Issues around team building, conflict and negotiation will be explored and the evaluation of finished projects will be consider by reviewing success criteria, success factors and performance indicators.

Learning Outcomes for module:

  • Analyse the principles, theories and practice of project evaluation and management.
  • Critically evaluate the project objectives of cost, quality and time and the trade-offs and interaction between these objectives.
  • Demonstrate understanding of critical human dimensions of project management.
  • Apply a range of theories & concepts to analyse the operational challenges of managing projects.
  • Evaluate the costs & benefits of completed projects drawing lessons for future practice

Global Marketing

  • Introduction to global marketing
  • The Strategic marketing Process and global marketing Challenges
  • The global Trading Environment
  • The Social and Cultural Diversity and Complexity of globalisation
  • Global Market Research and Opportunity Analysis
  • Global Market Entry Strategies
  • Global Product and Service marketing
  • Global Channels of Communication
  • Pricing for global Markets
  • The Management of global Distribution and Logistics

Learning Outcomes for module:

  • Develop a thorough knowledge and understanding of International marketing and how it operates within a diverse and constantly changing global Environment.
  • Critically analyse and evaluate the macro and trading environments of organisations operating within the global Economy using accepted international marketing theory, concepts and models to be able to formulate marketing policy and strategy.
  • Use cognitive skills of critical thinking, analysis and synthesis with respect to international marketing concepts and practice.
  • Apply the skills of effective problem solving and decision making using appropriate analytical concepts, models and frameworks to be able to identify, evaluate and solve international marketing problems within the context of a global Competitive Environment.

International Sales Management

The topics you will cover in this module include: sales management matters relating to leadership, training, recruitment, compensation, control systems and performance evaluation as well as customer relationship management/ technologies, the integration and coordination of strategies, processes and resources between Marketing and sales and the important matter of ethical selling – all in an international context.

Learning Outcomes for module:

  • Critically reflect on the role of sales managers in the 21st century, the challenges they face managing the sales force, the utilisation of new technologies
  • Critically reflect on the importance of customer relationship management and ethical issues in selling and the sales environment
  • Critically assess selling strategies models, sales planning and forecasting in the context of international markets
  • Critically evaluate the relevance of sales force recruitment and selection policies
  • Critically evaluate sales force training, coaching, motivation and rewards approaches
  • Critically appraise methods of sales organisation performance and evaluation

Contemporary Issues in Hospitality Management

  • Demographic changes and trends in consumer demand and expectations.
  • The increasing role and influence of the media.
  • The emerging impact of globalisation.
  • New growth sectors such as timeshare and cruising.
  • Changes in operating patterns and supply chains.
  • The growth in, and hospitality’s inter-relationship with, events and festivals.
  • The nature of strategic alliances. The industry’s relationship with the environment and issues of sustainable development.
  • Emerging marketing strategies and distribution challenges.
  • Harnessing the full potential of the information and communication technologies.
  • The changing nature of the hospitality workforce. Addressing terrorism and related safety and security issues.
  • The emergence of an increasingly litigious culture.

Learning Outcomes for module:

  • Interpret the breadth and diversity of the range of contemporary issues facing hospitality organisations across the world.
  • Critically analyse the nature, effects and implications of each key contemporary issue.
  • Synthesise knowledge of the key contemporary issues, and their inter-relationship in the context of hospitality management.
  • Critically evaluate the overall impacts of emerging contemporary issues upon the international hospitality business.


This module provides you with guidance and support towards your completion of an individual research project – a dissertation - whose theme complements your learning on the MSc Blended and Online Education programme. Traditionally your dissertation should be a written piece of work, but here, at least one element should be presented as a digital artefact. You may submit a patchwork collection of digital artefacts, in negotiation with your supervisor and examiner, as substantive elements of your work. In either case, work must be the result of independent, critical investigation which evidences the use of relevant research methods and detailed knowledge of established literature and other sources in the chosen area of study. You will be assigned a personal supervisor who is tasked with monitoring your progress as well as offering feedback, advice and guidance. You will also have an identified internal examiner who examines the final dissertation. There are three deliverables prior to final submission:

  • Project Proposal (observing a formal approval process undertaken by the supervisor and student)
  • Initial Report
  • Outline Dissertation.

Learning Outcomes for module:

  • Develop extensive knowledge of a specialist area of investigation, and develop and justify research questions appropriate to the area, issues or problems identified
  • Critically explore and review literature relevant to the topic chosen
  • Underpinned by an identified philosophical position, plan and justify an appropriate academic research methodology appropriate to an in-depth research project
  • Manage research and writing schedules, and gather, analyse, synthesise and interpret data with which to explore research questions
  • Devise an appropriate form with which to present arguments, findings and conclusions.