AC213-Business Strategy for Accountants

Module Provider: International Business and Strategy
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Pre-requisites: AC101 Introduction to Accounting or AC110 Introduction to Accounting and AC107 Management Information
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded: MM276 Business Strategy or MM272 International Business Management and Strategy
Current from: 2019/0

Module Convenor: Dr Joseph Lane


Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module is designed to develop the knowledge, understanding and skills acquired in the prerequisite modules through their application to real-world business problems and case study scenarios. This module aims to provide students with an understanding of how businesses develop and implement strategy, and to apply and evaluate that knowledge. At the end of the module, students should have a good understanding of the external and internal environment of the firm and the how they influence strategic decision making.


The aim is to provide students with an understanding of the nature of business strategy with particular emphasis on the way in which the activities of a business are interrelated both with each other and with the strategic, competitive and environmental contexts within which firms operate. The module aims to build on students' knowledge of a range of business theories and techniques, and assist students in utilising and combining knowledge from prior learning in order to analyse a business and its environment at different levels of abstraction. The students will be able to analyse and identify the consequences of a business’s current objectives, market position and direction. They will analyse for a given situation the external factors which may impact upon a business’s performance and competitive market position, evaluate its current position and performance from both a financial and a non-financial perspective, using management information and data analysis. This will lead to the ability to evaluate the likely consequences of strategic choices and recommend strategies to meet the objectives and recommend appropriate methods of implementing strategies measure and monitor strategic performance.


The module will help students’ development by involving them in a discussion of ideas, views and conclusions about business with their peers. The students will be required to work in groups to analyse business situations and cases at differing levels of abstraction and present and defend their group conclusions. By encouraging different teams to identify differing aspects of the situation the multidimensional nature of management will be reinforced. 


By the end of the module it is expected that students will be able to:

1. Students will be able to analyse the strategic choices of a firm in order to appraise its performance and future direction.

2. Students will be able to consider contemporary issues in strategic management, drawing from a sound theoretical underpinning of how strategic choices are made in relation to the context of the firm.

3. Students will be able to evaluate the various strategies firms employ to gain and sustain a competitive advantage.

4. Students will be able to reason the future trajectory of the firm and make critical adjustments to strategy based on current knowledge of the firms’ environment.

5. Students will be able to identify the pragmatic issues with altering the strategy and direction of the firm based on a more developed sense of commercial awareness.

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module it is expected that students will be able to:

1. Apply knowledge and skills from strategy, finance and accounting studies to underpin the analysis of a business in terms of its current market position, objectives, and strategic direction.

2. Discuss contemporary issues affecting business decision making around strategy, financial management and management accounting including consideration of the ethical consequences of decisions.

3. Undertake a strategic analysis of a business taking into consideration internal and external factors, draw strategic conclusions and highlight issues consistent with financial and market data and the organisational and operational capabilities of the firm.

4. Make recommendations for strategic options based on reasoned analysis and argument and evaluate the consequences of strategic choice, including a consideration of ethics and corporate responsibility.

5. Critically evaluate and discuss the key implementation steps and issues that will be required to achieve the businesses overall strategy.

Additional outcomes:

The module aims to provide opportunities to develop interpersonal and team working skills using in-class discussions and team based exercises. Structured activities are designed to develop independent learning, including reflective, adaptive and collaborative learning. Students will be provided with opportunities to use information and communications technology for business applications through use of relevant web resources and electronic communication techniques, including Blackboard. An emphasis is placed on collaborative learning.

Outline content:

The nature and purpose of business; the macro business environment; industry and market environment; strategic capability; strategic options; strategies for products and markets; strategy and organisational structure; options for organic and inorganic business growth; business planning and functional strategies.ollaborative learning.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

The exposition of the main concepts, principles and techniques will be developed by combining individual preparatory work with in-class teamwork. Students will be set pre-class tasks, based on guided pre-readings and case analysis, and will be tested in class for their knowledge and understanding of these materials, with immediate feedback. A significant proportion of class time is spent with students working in teams applying module concepts and solving problems in business strategy case-based, application-oriented activities. Most of the learning will be student directed and structured activities are designed to develop independent learning, including reflective, adaptive and collaborative learning.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 22 2
Guided independent study:      
    Wider reading (independent) 42
    Wider reading (directed) 42
    Exam revision/preparation 40
    Preparation for presentations 30
    Reflection 22
Total hours by term 198 0 2
Total hours for module 200

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 70
Oral assessment and presentation 30

Summative assessment- Examinations:

1 x 2 Hour Final Examination

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

1 x 15 minute Group Presentation (10%) – Week 5 of the Autumn Term

1 x 15 minute Group Presentation (20%) – Week 11 of the Autumn Term

Formative assessment methods:

Formative assessments will be made in each lecture in the form of case studies to enable students to gain the necessary practice. This work is primarily designed as a learning vehicle, and students will develop their own solutions to the case studies.

Penalties for late submission:

Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. 

The following penalties will be applied to group work which is submitted after the deadline for submission:

Non-attendance at the lecture at which the group assessment is undertaken will result in zero marks for that member of the group unless an appropriate ECF has been submitted.

(Please refer to the Undergraduate Guide to Assessment for further information:

Assessment requirements for a pass:
A minimum weighted average mark of 40%

Requirements for ICAEW Credit for Prior Learning (CPL)
This module contributes to the Business Strategy module of the ACA Professional Stage Knowledge and Application levels. In order to apply for ICAEW CPL a minimum mark of 50% must be obtained on this module.

Reassessment arrangements:

By examination only.

Re-examination for Part 2 modules takes place in August of the same year 


Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Required textbook for purchase:

Grant, R.M. (2016). Contemporary Strategy Analysis: Text and Cases. 9th Edition. Chichester (UK): Wiley. ISBN: 978-1-119-12084-1. 

RRP: £40

Last updated: 18 July 2019


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