BA History and Sociology

Year of entry: 2023

Course unit details:
Exploring Enterprise

Course unit fact file
Unit code MCEL10001
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Alliance Manchester Business School
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


This unit teaches a broad range of business concepts such as the external environment, finance and creating ideas with the aim of the students applying these to study a company of their choice from their own subject area. The assessment involves analysing the current state of that company and making appropriate recommendations using a formal business report and a formative presentation.


This programme unit aims to:

To develop core enterprise and transferable skills in research, team-working, giving presentations and report writing.
To introduce the external and competitive environments in which entrepreneurial organisations operate including how opportunities are spotted and the types of organisation that can be set up.
To introduce some key techniques and models for commercial analysis such as PESTLE, SWOT, Porters Five Forces and financial statements and ratios.


 Introduction to the unit.  Safety and business opportunities;
Entrepreneurial companies – forms of organisations;
The macro market – types of industry & PESTLE analyses;
The micro market – marketing & SWOT analyses;
The macro industry – competitive environments & 5 Forces model;
Formative Presentations;
The micro industry – strategic development & sustainable advantages;
Financial reporting – profit & loss, cash flow and balance sheets;
Financial analysis – ratio analysis & their uses;
Management of growth & change;
Surgery session for feedback/questions on coursework;
Review of the unit.

Teaching and learning methods

 Lectures, workshops and surgeries.

Lectures will be used to introduce broad-level theoretical concepts relating to entrepreneurial organisations. The group workshops will, in part, be used to provide input in relation to developing information searching skills, presentation skills, report writing skills and will be supervised by a tutor with responsibility for a specific group of students.

The surgeries provide time for students to work on their projects or use the tutor for advice and guidance. Blackboard resources exist including case studies, articles, links, YouTube videos and all the lecture slides and access to podcasts.

Knowledge and understanding

On completion of this unit students should be able to:

Demonstrate a basic understanding of the techniques for commercial analysis
Formulate strategies for information searching.
Demonstrate an appreciation of the types of business, what makes them enterprising and how they spot opportunities.

Intellectual skills

 On completion of this unit students should be able to:

 Analyse an industry, its market and a company within that industry in order to form suitable conclusions and recommendations.

Practical skills

On completion of this unit students should be able to:

Apply problem solving skills within the context of a group activity/ project.
Demonstrate the ability to acquire and manipulate data and information and present as a formal business report.
Create and deliver a group presentation.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

On completion of this unit students should be able to:

Demonstrate an ability to contribute effectively to group activities and organise their own time in working towards identified targets.
Reflect on personal performance in a range of activities and use feedback as a mean of improving performance.

Employability skills

The unit attempts to link the students subject area with businesses in that field. Employers frequently report that while students are knowledgeable about their subject area they find it difficult to apply in commercial situations. The course attempts to get students thinking about the commercial side of their subject area. Previous students have reported this type of unit being useful when they have started employment.

Assessment methods

Formative assessment
Group Presentation - 20 mins

Summative assessments
Individual Project - 2000 words  100%



Feedback methods


Formative feedback is the feedback given to help you to develop and improve with the unit of study.

In this unit, a formative work assessment is marked and comments are returned to you via Blackboard.

 Additional formative feedback is available to you through the following means:

  • Attending lectures, joining discussions about case studies and doing short work tasks set within the lecture session.
  • Your lecturer will reply to brief individual questions at the end of each lecture session, if there are a few minutes to spare.
  • Your lecturer will provide brief replies to your e-mailed enquiry.

Your lecturer may feedback messages to the whole class via Blackboard if the point that you have raised could be of benefit to the whole class.

Recommended reading

Useful websites

The course handbook also provides an extensive list of weblinks


Mullins, J.W. (2006), The New Business Road Test, 2nd ed. FT/ Prentice Hall, Harlow
Worthington, I. and Britton, C. (2006) The Business Environment, 5th ed. FT/Prentice Hall, Harlow
Atrill, P. and McLaney, E. (2009), Financial Accounting for Non Specialists, 6th ed,
FT/Prentice Hall, Harlow


Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 12
Tutorials 12
Independent study hours
Independent study 76

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Robert Phillips Unit coordinator

Additional notes

For Academic Year 2022/23

Updated: March 2022

Approved by: March UG Committee

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