PE7003 - The Business Environment

What will I learn on this module?

In this module you will learn about the strategic management and organisational development contexts that shape the built environment, its markets and professions You will critically review and evaluate the operating environment of built environment organisations through the application of strategic management and organisational development theory.

Within each of these areas you will study a range of topics to support this:
• Strategic Management
o The strategic management process
o The external and internal business environment
o Determining the organisations strategic position
o Moving the organisation on through strategic options and implementation
• Organisational Development
o The meaning and nature of organisations
o Organisation structure and culture
o Management and leadership within organisations
o Organisational development and change

On completion of this module the knowledge and understanding acquired forms part of the broader contextual framework for the study of your discipline specific professional pathway.

You will develop, throughout this module, academic and professional skills relating to the use and evaluation of data; effective communication; self-direction and personal responsibility; and the role of ethics and corporate social responsibility within businesses

How will I learn on this module?

The module is delivered entirely online via our electronic learning platform (elp). You will interact with a range of materials on the module site. The module home page provides you with quick access to detailed information about the module in an interactive, easily accessible format. The teaching materials support your learning. Each session delivers flexible, interactive learning materials, accessible in a variety of formats such as audio and video presentations, podcasts, MP3 files and hard copies. Tasks to extend and test your learning are interspersed within the learning materials. A range of different tasks, with formative feedback, are aimed at supporting your learning style. In addition to this you will be encouraged to utilise peer to peer support opportunities through the use of elp supported platforms for interaction or, if you choose to, external student supported platforms. Each session is supported by directed reading from the core texts accessed through the electronic reading list.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You will be an autonomous, self-motivated learner within a supportive distance learning environment. You will be introduced to the module by the module tutor in an introductory video. The online module sessions and interactive tasks form the cornerstone for supporting you during your study. Academic support is available from the teaching team and each session includes a link to enable you to email a question directly to the tutor from within the session. Responses will be fed back either directly or via the module discussion board. In advance of each assessment a video presentation is uploaded to support you in your preparation for this session. This is followed by an online live question and answer session prior to submission of your assessed work. Focused academic support coupled with timely formative and summative feedback should enable you to meet your full academic potential within this module.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
• MLO2: Critically apply strategic management and organisational development theories, concepts and techniques to built environment in order to determine the future strategic direction of organisations
• MLO3: Critically evaluate and appraise the interaction of strategic and organisational development theories in relation to the creation of successful organisations in complex environments

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• MLO4: Critically analyse information, identify solutions, demonstrate judgement and communicate findings.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
• MLO5: Demonstrate the capacity for independent, evidence based thinking and decision making

How will I be assessed?

Formative assessment: there are a range of tasks embedded within the module sessions. Formative feedback, where appropriate, is provided in a variety of formats after completion. This timely feedback will assist in consolidating your learning as you move through the module.

Summative assessment: this module is assessed by one piece of coursework.


The coursework, a report, applies strategic management and organisational development theories and techniques to an organisation with which you are familiar. This coursework tests

Coursework will be submitted, assessed and feedback provided to you online

Coursework two, a report, applies strategic management and organisational development theories and techniques to an organisation with which you are familiar. This coursework has a value of 65% and tests MLO2, MLO3, MLO4 and MLO5.

Coursework will be submitted, assessed and feedback provided to you online.





Module abstract

This module aims to develop your understanding of the business environment within which built environment professional disciplines operate. Topics explored include: the evaluation of operational environments; determining strategic choice and planning for implementation; the role of structure, culture, management and leadership within organisational development; and why and how organisations change. Learning materials are delivered online, are interactive and are supported by tasks to extend, consolidate and test your knowledge and understanding. Assessment is through one piece of coursework that is supported by a module specific approach to research rich learning. This approach provides you with a contextual framework that you then actively apply to markets and organisations operating within the built environment. As an autonomous, self-directed learner your engagement with the module and its assessment will assist in the development of the knowledge, skills and attributes that are valued by employers.

Course info

Credits 20

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 2 years Distance Learning

Department Architecture and Built Environment

Location Ellison Building, Newcastle City Campus

City Newcastle

Start Upcoming Intakes: July 2024, October 2024

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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