Full Module Title Business Communications
Short Module Title Business Communications
Module Code 2HRM401
Module Level 4
Academic Credit Weighting 15
School Harrow Business School
Department Information Resource Strategy
Length Three weeks Summer School
Module Leader Nuala Extension: 2915 Email:
Site Central London
Host Course BA Business Programme
Relevant course titles/pathways HBS Undergraduate Programme
Subject Board HBS Undergraduate
Assessment 50% presentation 50% test
Special Features None
Access Restrictions None
Summary of Module Content
Communication is an important concept in business and the ability to communicate is an important
skill. This module examines the various ways individuals and companies communicate through a
variety of media. It imparts to students the skills necessary for effective communication. Emphasis is
placed on the communication skills via: the written word, presentations, non-verbal communication,
representation and visual communication. Developing relevant skills in the use of ICT is an integral
part of the module.
The module aims to:
• develop the ability to communicate effectively in business
• develop the ability of students to reflect on their learning
• develop the ability to select and use the various technologies used in business communication
particularly of the written word
On completion of this module, the successful student should be able to:
1. identify and use technology appropriate to business communication.
2. structure and present pieces of written work in a variety of different formats.
3. structure, present and critically evaluate an oral presentation having selected and justified the
4. describe the factors which contribute to effective communications in business
5. identify gaps in their skills and knowledge, reflect on their learning and on the process of
carrying out the tasks.
Indicative Syllabus Content
Sources of information: - e.g. Internet, libraries, C.D. ROMs, interviews, questionnaires, abstracts,
reports, lectures and seminars.
Methods of Communication: -e.g. letters, memos, reports, fax, email, presentations, telephone,
Achieving the Task: - time management, prioritisation, listening skills, asking questions etc. note-
taking, referencing, evaluating.
Reflection on Learning: - personal development, strengths and weaknesses, group dynamics.
Teaching and Learning Methods
The syllabus comprises a number of different elements which contribute to the overall learning on
the module which are supported by web pages for each element. Sessions will use a blended learning
approach to include lectures, seminars: both lab and classroom based, presentations, debate,
formative task exercises, research, individual and group work to facilitate problem based learning
and active learning reinforced by reflective analysis.
The approach used in the in-module assessment is to get students to work with the widest range of
methods of communications as is practicable. For pragmatic reasons this concentrates on written
communication. The approach used is to set a number of formative tasks followed by summative
tasks which test the same skills area after the student has received feedback and had the opportunity
to reflect on their original effort. The in module assessment is presented in the form of a test which
assesses learning outcomes 1,2 and 5. The end of module assessment take the form of an in class
presentation since it is believed this gives the opportunity for students to demonstrate in succinct
form that they have established the links between the theory of the lectures and the practice of the
seminars / workshops. The presentations are designed to assess learning outcomes 1, 3 and 4.
The in module assessment is an in-class test which will be completed by the end of the summer
school’s three weeks
Learning outcome 1 is assessed in both the in–module and end of module assessments. Students will
be assessed on their selection and justification of the appropriateness, technology and tone of the
communications they have produced.
Outcome 2 will be main outcome assessed by the test where marks are awarded for the content,
English, tone, presentation and effectiveness of a number of different ways of communicating.
Outcome 3 will be assessed formatively during the module where the effectiveness, structure, use of
the technology and awareness of good practice involved in delivering a presentation will be judged.
Students will be required to justify the rationale they have adopted in structuring a presentation as
part of the summative assessment of the end of module assessment.
Outcome 4 will be assessed as part of the end of module examination and will test acquisition of the
concepts and knowledge principally derived from the lecture content of the module.
Outcome 5 will be assessed through the reflective element of the portfolio and to a small degree in
examination questions which require students to comment on the relevance of skills acquired in the
Assessment Methods and Weightings
In-module assessment: 50%
(in form of test consisting of a number of questions which will vary from year to year)
End-of-module assessment: 50%
(in form of a presentation)
The pass mark for this module is 40%. A minimum mark of 35% in each component of the
assessment (in-module and end-of-module) is required.
Stanton, N. (2004) Mastering Communication (4th edition) Palgrave, England
Blundel, R (1998) Effective Business Communication Prentice Hall
Cottrell, S. (2003) Skills for Success: The Personal Development Handbook. Palgrave England
Guirdham, M. (2005) Communicating across cultures at work (2nd edn) Palgrave England
Northedge, A (1994) The good study guide Open University.
Warner, T. (1996) Communication Skills for Information Systems. Pitman Publishing.
Williams, R. (1990) The Mac is not a typewriter Peachpit Press
Date of initial Validation: May 2003