UCL School of Management

Module Fact Sheet

MSIN0049: Business in a Competitive Environment

Taught by
UG, Level 6
3rd undergraduates from all departments; Biochemical Engineering compulsory
Delivery method
2-hour lecture (x 10 weeks) and 1-hour seminar (x 9 weeks)
40% final unseen 3-hour examination, 60% group coursework
Previous Module Code

Course overview

This course focuses on two main aspects: the impacts broad macro changes (political, economic, social, legal) have on firms and how firms can effectively respond to or pre-empt changes in their environment. In this course students learn: about theory-based models and how to apply them for the analysis of changes in the environment; how to choose among established strategies in different scenarios; and how to critically evaluate key trends in the strategic management field. The course actively seeks to integrate current affairs and case studies to illustrate the theories. At the end of the term the students will produce a ten-year scenario planning forecast for a specific domain in groups. The aim of the coursework is to produce alternative future worlds and analyse them. By the end of the module, the students are expected to identify strategies that will be of crucial importance in these different worlds. 

Learning outcomes

Upon completion of the module, students will be able to

  • Perform simple supply and demand analysis of a market, including calculations of elasticities

  • Understand the influence of the macroeconomic picture on company success

  • Use industry level models to understand the range of competitive outcomes in an industry

  • Understand the linkage between the industrial environment and the strategies chosen by companies

  • Develop an understanding of strategic interactions between players in the system.

  • Communicate complicated material to a non-specialist with confidence.

  • Use scenario planning techniques (alongside models from politics, sociology and futurology) to read the long term environment and cope with deep uncertainty.

Topics covered

  • Markets, and their strengths and limitations
  • Macroeconomics and the big picture

  • Industrial structure and competition

  • The nature of technology and innovation

  • Competition in High technology industries

  • Dealing with deep uncertainty and change

Assessment summary

40% awarded on the basis of a 3-hour unseen examination. 60% awarded for group coursework

Current students should refer to Moodle for specific details of the current year’s assessment.

Essential reading


Last updated Friday, 19 July 2019