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Module Synopses

1. Developing Strategic Management and Leadership Skills

The main aim of this unit is to investigate how current thinking on leadership influences an organisation’s planning to meet current and future leadership requirements. Learners will gain an insight into the current thinking on leadership from an organisational perspective.

This unit will enable learners to research a range of management and leadership development methods and evaluate their in meeting the skills requirements for effective leadership.

2. Professional Development for Strategic Managers

This unit is designed to enable learners to take responsibility for their learning and development needs to gain the personal and professional skills needed to support the strategic direction of an organisation. Learners can achieve this through analysing their current skills and preparing and implementing a personal development plan.

Learners will conduct a skills audit to evaluate the strategic skills they need to meet current and future leadership requirements and then use it to identify their preferred learning style.

Learners will need to demonstrate that they have a regularly updated and realistic personal development plan that fits with their preferred learning style. This unit will also enable learners to evaluate the effectiveness and impact of their learning against the achievement of strategic goals and their chosen career path.

3. Strategic Change Management

Strategic change management is most effective when an organisation actively seeks the participation of all relevant stakeholders. A change management strategy will be effective only if it has the support of all stakeholders.

Strategic change impacts on the human resources structure of the organisation and this often means a restructuring of the workforce or changes in working practices. Learners will develop an understanding of the models of strategic change and the role that stakeholders play in this process. They will then examine the need for change in a selected organisation and plan the implementation of a model for change.

4. Creative and Innovative Management

This unit will help learners to develop skills to effect innovation. They will understand the benefits of creativity and innovation, and how to evaluate current levels of innovation in an organisation, to lead others to embrace and support innovation.

Learners will recognise the crucial part that mission and vision play in this. They will also find out how to identify creative ideas and assess their viability and, through the understanding of change models, support the implementation of innovative ideas.

Learners will find out how to produce an appropriate rationale and identify key goals and priorities to help persuade and communicate ideas to stakeholders.

In this unit, learners will find out how to assess these barriers and develop and implement a strategy to overcome them.


5. Corporate Communication Strategies

This unit gives learners an opportunity to look into the design of a communication system within an organisation such as their own workplace, one to which they are seconded, or through an appropriate case study.


6. Strategic Human Resource Management

Strategic human resource management is concerned with the management of human resources in ways that support an organisation’s strategy and contribute to the achievement of organisational goals. It takes a long-term perspective on how human resources can be matched to organisational requirements and considers broader matters such as the quality and commitment of the human resource to an organisation.

Human resource planning provides the mechanisms through which organisations can ensure that they have sufficient staff of the right quality now and in the future to enable their successful functioning. Issues such as the recruitment of staff, the retention of staff, developing staff and succession planning, as well as downsizing and relocation, need to be accommodated in human resource plans.


7. Strategic Planning

Learners will understand why it is important to develop a strategic vision and mission, establish objectives and decide on a strategy. Strategy and strategic plans map out where the organisation is

headed, its short- and long-range performance targets, and the competitive moves and internal action required to achieve targeted business results. Learners will understand that a well-constructed strategic plan is essential for organisations to cope with industry and competitive conditions.

In this unit, learners will discover how important it is for an organisation to understand what is happening in their external environment and how the environment is changing. This will then enable learners to review an organisation’s existing business plans, using appropriate tools and techniques. Having explored the competitive environment, learners will understand how to develop strategic options using modelling tools and then develop a strategic plan, giving due consideration to the core values, vision and mission of the organisation. Learners will then look at planning the implementation of a strategic plan and the creation of monitoring and evaluation systems to measure progress.


8. Strategic Supply Chain Management and Logistics

This unit focuses on how the concept of supply chain management and logistics is based on the idea that every product that reaches an end user represents the combined effort of multiple organisations which make up the supply chain and that until recently, most organisations paid attention to only what was happening within their own business.

In this unit, learners will develop the knowledge that, today, many organisations realise that effective management of supply chain activities can lead to increased customer value and achieve sustainable competitive advantage.  

Learners will discover that the organisations that make up the supply chain are ‘linked’ through physical and information flows.  

This unit will give learners an understanding of the key drivers in the creation of an integrated supply chain – the principal aim of many organisations.


9. Research Methods for Strategic Managers

This unit is designed to introduce learners to the techniques and methods required to carry out formal research. The unit addresses a variety of research methodologies.

Learners will be required to propose a unique research question related to an area of professional business practice that interests them and will add to their professional development. They will carry out a literature review on the topic, critically evaluating its relevance to their research question.

Learners will understand the techniques, both quantitative and qualitative, used in research to analyse data. They will select an appropriate research methodology for their question, and record and present their findings. Tutor approval should be sought before learners begin their research and their final report should be presented in a format agreed by the tutor.

10. Project Development and Implementation for Strategic Managers

This unit recognises the importance to managers of having project management skills and the relevant expertise to enable this to happen.

The purpose of this unit is to give learners an opportunity to integrate all the knowledge from their programme of learning by developing a project in which they plan and implement a new product, service or process. This unit could follow on from Unit 16: Research Methods for Strategic Managers, where a research question is formulated and researched. The fact that there are two units on research and project development and implementation in this specification recognises the scale of work required to develop and implement a sound project. Learners can take either unit without the other, but may find it necessary to start with Unit 16 if they have no experience of research methodology.

Learners need to take a full and active role in all aspects of the project, and the selection of an appropriate management issue is crucial to success. Learners will cover a full range of management activities and roles, including resource and people management and implementation of change. The result needs to be a substantial report in a style appropriate for consideration by senior management.

11.Strategic Marketing Management

 Marketing is at the core of business. Outperforming the competition requires solid marketing knowledge and precise marketing decision making. 

An organisation’s positioning, and the positioning of its products and services, depend on the formulation and implementation of intelligent and well-informed strategic marketing plans. All organisations operate in a dynamic marketplace. Competition, consumers, technology and market forces constantly redefine the way organisations operate. 

Staying competitive means that organisations need to continuously adjust and adapt their customer approach to meet changing needs and expectations. This is increasingly important with the globalization of markets and the rapid increase in competition from emerging nations such as China, India and Brazil. In today’s markets, it is imperative that organizations focus on establishing, developing and adjusting their strategic marketing plans if they are to remain competitive. 

Strategic marketing is a way of focusing an organisation's energies and resources on a course of action that can lead to increased sales and dominance of a targeted market. A strategic marketing strategy combines product development, promotion, distribution, pricing, relationship management and other elements of marketing. It identifies an organisation’s strategic marketing goals, and explains how they will be achieved, ideally within a designated timeframe.

Without a strategic marketing plan, organisations can waste resources, miss opportunities or, in a worse case scenario, threaten their own survival. Strategic marketing executives have up-to-date knowledge of competitive dynamics and know how to integrate marketing strategy into an overall business strategy. Strategic marketing management provides a comprehensive examination of all the major components of marketing strategies and their integration into organisations. It is the basis for continued success in highly competitive markets.  

12.Leading E-strategy

Organisations can internally manage and manipulate information in ways that provide a fuller insight into how they work. This information is communicated instantly to interested parties to enable them to carry out their work more efficiently and effectively.  

Relationships with external customers have been transformed as they too have information they can use when engaging in transactions, whether it is to check a product specification, view an item, make a purchase or transfer funds. Technology benefits all interested parties in business transactions and, as a result, organisations develop e-strategies to exploit these benefits. 

 E-strategies complement and align to the overarching organisational strategy. The broader organisational strategy may need to be reviewed to accommodate an e-strategy. In some cases, an e-strategy is the major factor in shaping an organisation that thrives whilst competitors struggle to adapt and keep up. An                  e-strategy enables an organisation to add value to its activities by using the worldwide web and wide area and local area networks to exploit the available business information and accessibility to that information. By considering the role of an e-strategy, learners will understand how it allows an organisation to develop efficient processes that improve its competitive advantage in a global market. 

13.Developing Corporate Culture  

The development of an appropriate culture is vital to the success of an organisation. It could be said that all the best policies, procedures, and technologies are supported by a culture that reinforces consistently what the organisation is about. This unit focuses on the importance of understanding culture and climate in a globalised, diverse and repeatedly restructured working environment, and how to develop a climate appropriate to the desired culture.  

The unit explores cultural issues at national and organisational levels and the differences between culture, climate and values. Learners will find out that establishing an organisation's vision and values is an important step in developing the desired culture.  

They will have the opportunity to investigate the development of these values, the climate in the workplace and the extent to which they, as managers, can influence it.  

This unit gives learners the opportunity to explore the dynamic link between an organisation’s objectives and its desired culture, and how a manager can interact effectively in different cultural settings and influence the development of a desired organisational culture. 

Learners will explore work that has already been carried out to develop an understanding of both national and organizational cultural dimensions. 

This understanding will allow them to consider how this affects their interaction with stakeholders from different cultural groups. Although the unit is underpinned by an exploration of relevant theory, the intention is that learners apply their learning to specific organisations and situations.  

They will develop realistic strategies for interacting effectively with people from different cultures and for contributing to the development of organisational culture.  

This will include the development of communications strategies for stakeholders that take into account of differences in beliefs, values, customs and language. 

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