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Module BIC-1003:
Introduction to Business

Module Facts

Run by Marketing: Bangor International College

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1 & 2

Organiser: Mrs Laura McKenzie

Overall aims and purpose

  1. To provide students with an understanding of a range of activities associated with corporate, operational, functional aims, objectives, strategies and strategic decision making.
  2. To provide the students with an appreciation of some of the ethical and environmental issues affecting a business in relation to staff, customers and society, and the external influences affecting a business including; economic, governmental, legal, and technological.
  3. To provide students with an appreciation of the effectiveness of a business in terms of tactical decision making, operational management, managing people, understanding organisational structures, and the relationship between management and shareholders.
  4. To provide students with an understanding of the key elements of human resource management including; resource planning, the recruitment process, retaining and motivating employees, measuring and monitoring employee performance, appraisals, different working practices and the key features of motivational theory.
  5. To provide the students with an appreciation of the problems associated with the causes of change, managing and implementing change in a business.
  6. To introduce the objectives and theory of marketing as a business function, the central focus being on the process by which organisations identify customer needs and wants, determine which target markets can best be served, and design appropriate products, services and programmes to serve these markets.

Course content

Starting a Business – business planning, market research, raising finance, risk and reward, business ideas and protection, employing people, business types, business structures and locations.

Tactical Decision Making and Managing People – organisational structures, span of control, chain of command, levels of authority, communication, centralised and decentralised decision making, the relationship between management and shareholders.

Human Resource Management – the recruitment process, overview of the key elements of employment law, remuneration, retaining and motivating employees, motivational theory e.g. Herzberg & Maslow’s theories, monitoring and measuring performance and appraisals.

Working Practices – training, team working, flexible working, TQM, and productivity.

Operations and Operational Management – capacity utilisation, quality, technology in operations, customer service, decision making, management styles, group dynamics, consultation, and delegation.

Marketing – the market, market research, marketing mix, purchasing behaviour, niche and mass markets, segmentation, market conditions, determinants of competitiveness, improving competitiveness, e-commerce, international marketing, marketing objectives, marketing strategies, analysing markets and trends, and developing marketing plans

Product Development & Life Cycle – Research & Development, lifecycle of the product.

Managing Change – causes of change, risk and uncertainty, planning for change, leadership change, changes in ownership, changes in competitive structure, implementing and managing change

Corporate Aims & Strategies – aims, mission, culture, corporate and functional objectives & strategies, responsibilities to stakeholders and society

External influences on a business – government policy, economic factors, industrial and international location, globalisation, multinationals, competitive environment and the technological environment

Ethics, The Environment & Social Responsibility – ethical and environmental issues in relation to staff, consumers and society.

Business Analysis – including: data analysis, market analysis, measuring performance in financial and non-financial terms and decision making

Assessment Criteria


Good (C- to B+) (50-69%)

Student has demonstrated a sound, basic knowledge of most of the topics and issues covered in the module and achieved a grade showing clear suitability for study at undergraduate degree level.


Threshold (D- to D+) (40-49%)

Student has shown sufficient grasp of some of the topics studied to have achieved the lowest level of pass which allows progression onto an undergraduate degree programme


Excellent (A- to A*) (70-100%)

Student has demonstrated consistent engagement with all topics and issues studied in the module and attained a grade which shows the ability to study effectively at undergraduate degree level.

Learning outcomes

  1. Evaluate and discuss on recent development in marketing : digital technologies in marketing and advertising, profit and non-profit organisations( i.e. social marketing)principles and ethics, and cultural influences in global/international marketing

  2. Evaluate and comment on the effectiveness of marketing strategies including Marketing Mix (4Ps), marketing segmentation, targeting and positioning (STP), Brand management

  3. Evaluate and comment on the effectiveness of a business in terms of organisational structure, strategic decision making, operational management, and working practices.

  4. Describe and analyse the role of human resource management in staff planning, the recruitment process, staff development and training, retaining and motivating staff, monitoring and measuring staff performance.

  5. Evaluate and comment on the effectiveness of a business in terms of its corporate, operational and functional aims and strategies, managing change, marketing strategies and its approach to decision making.

  6. Conduct independent research on a specified subject area, identify the key points from the information collected, consolidate, summarise, and present the information in an appropriate business format.

  7. Identify, describe and comment on some of the key issues surrounding business ethics and corporate social responsibility

  8. Identify, analyse and evaluate the external influences on a business including; economic, legal, governmental, technological and international factors.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Term 1 Exam - open book (research notes) 25
Term 1 - Group Presentation - business plan / pitch 25
Term 2 - Case Study Analysis 25
Term 2 Exam - closed book 25

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Private study

Private study - 5 hours a week


Lectures - 1 hour a week


Seminars - 4 hours a week


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Management - Able to utilise, coordinate and control resources (human, physical and/or financial)
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others

Subject specific skills

  1. Ability to work collaboratively on group assignments and be involved in team work

  2. Ability to work with people from a range of cultures; being sensitive to diversity

  3. Communication and listening in order to be able to produce business communication and explain ideas and terms effectively

  4. To plan, organise and manage time


Reading list

Buchanan, D. & Huczynski, A. (2017) Organizational Behaviour. (9th Ed.) Pearson: New York Marketing, An Introduction (2015) Gary Armstrong Pearson Education Limited

Courses including this module