Applied Strategy

Course Work Assessment

Summative Assessment (Assessments which make up your final module grade)

Course work 30%  Involves one group presentation, in term 2 ( see above schedule for dates). For details of assessment see section below.

Exam: 70% (2 hours) – normally 3 to answer 3 questions from 6 drawing from all the year long course.

Formative Assessment (compulsory, not part of your final module grade)

Involves one group presentation in Term 1 (see above schedule for dates). This is compulsory with detailed feedback given to indicate how you are progressing in the module and will specifically provide a foundation for the assessed course work. It will also be relevant to the exam.

Details of the assessment brief is below

TERM 1: FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT ( To support Summative, No grade, Compulsory)

Required: An External Analysis of your chosen company

Your group is expected to undertake extensive research on the key external forces and trends facing your chosen company, and apply relevant tools/concepts and models.

You are recommended to:

  1. Introduce your company and set the boundaries of your analysis
  2. Define relevant industry for analysis, products and competitors
  3. Critically analyse key Macro-environmental trends and impact on your company and industry (eg PESTEL analysis useful here)
  4. Undertake a industrial structural analysis (eg critical application of Porter’s five forces model is useful here).
  5. State the nature of the competitive structures ( eg Monopoly, Monopolistic competition etc)
  6. Proposing future trends in the macro and industry environment (not predictions), Scenarios maybe used.

Note: At this stage not to include opportunities and threats (or SWOT) for the company

Tips on selecting your company (applies for summative assessment too)

Some important points to consider when selecting the company:

  1. The company should operate in a definable business area with a strong international dimension. If it is a large company you should select a business unit focus. Why not select a sector that you are interested in or have knowledge of?
  2. You must be able to access the financial performance of the company.
  3. Company based interviews may be useful but we do not assume that you must access a company.

Use your own initiative to explore different ways of obtaining data. It is understood that in some areas you may have difficulty in finding the specific data . This is an issue all analysts and managers face in practice and your challenge is to find ways of dealing with this. You should clearly identify the data needed and express the problems as explicit limitations in your findings. The assessment will be based on how you employ the data at your disposal rather than on what data you have.

Required submission:

Single hard copy of powerpoint presentation handed to tutor in seminar just before presentation. NO E–Submission required for this part


  1. Oral feedback by tutor immediately after the presentation
  2. Peer assessment
  3. Summary written feedback

Timing: 10 minutes presentation, followed by 5 minutes questions.

Group formation – normally not to exceed 5 in a group

TERM 2:  SUMMATIVE ASSESSMENT – Assessed coursework

(30% of Module grade)

A strategic review of a company

Learning Outcomes

  • Effectively apply the strategic concepts, models and theories to solving practical business problems (L04, see Module descriptor).
  • Demonstrate research, teamwork and presentational skills applied to strategic problem solving situations. (LO5, see Module descriptor)

The assignment is a ” live case study” involving applied strategic analysis and essentially requires you to select a company and undertake the following:

Required regarding a strategic review of a company

Your group is required to present a critical strategic review of a company of your choice, and should include:

  1. The business (history, products/services) – the boundaries of your analysis
  2. Mission, values & objectives – include relevant stakeholder perspectives
  3. External analysis (various concepts/tools/models to be applied)
  4. Internal analysis (to select appropriate concepts/tools/models). This will effectively be a preliminary analysis from secondary sources as detailed access to the company is not assumed.
  5. Overall appraisal of the current strategic position of the company,(select appropriate concepts/tools /models)
  6. Recommendations for future direction of the company. Generate some options and state your preferred sense of direction and justify selection. Select appropriate concepts/tools/models)

Required submission:

  1. Single hard copy of powerpoint presentation ( stapled as professional document) – handed to tutor in seminar just before presentation.
  2. Single hard copy of an executive summary document accompanying the presentation of no more than 600 words (two pages)- handed to tutor in seminar just before presentation.
  3. E-copies of each of above to be uploaded by each member of the group to studentcentral

Note: Hard copy submissions handed to seminar tutors on actual presentation date. Naturally powerpoint slides cannot be changed after E copy deadline.

Timing & group sizes re assessed presentations

The presentations will be no longer than 20 minutes and will normally be followed by questions and discussion


You will present and defend your work in allotted sessions in Term 2 (see schedule above).

It is key to undertake up to-date research of relevant data and to select and apply relevant strategic tools and concepts.

Assessment criteria for the presentation

  • Effectively apply the strategic concepts, models and theories to solving practical business problems, including critical, creative and holistic thinking. (L04, see Module descriptor).
  • Demonstrate research skills – Ability to find, select, analyse and synthesise relevant data on the chosen theme. (LO5, see Module descriptor)
  • Demonstration teamwork and professional presentational skills (concise, clarity, structural coherence) applied to strategic problem solving situations. (LO5, see Module descriptor)


Equal weighting is given to the 3 assessment criteria. Marks will normally be equally divided amongst group members

However, where there is evidence of non- participation or weak participation, marks maybe amended accordingly.

If there are any group problems arising (eg uneven contributions then it is important to address these before the presentation by informing the tutor to agree a solution).

Grade Thresholds:

80-100%           =          Outstanding

70- 79%            =          Excellent

60-69%             =          Good/very good

50-59%             =          Sound/competent

40-49%              =          Adequate but weak

35-39%             =          Marginal fail

30-34%             =          Weak fail

 0-29%             =          Unsatisfactory

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