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The University of Southampton

COMP3219 Engineering Management and Law

Module Overview

This module will provide students with an introduction to management and law – knowledge and skills which can be applied to the operations of an engineering-based organisation. The learning outcomes address: managerial decisions, commercial aspects of engineering decision-making, law in engineering, marketing, entrepreneurship, project management and project risk management. A range of case studies will be used to illustrate principles and provide examples.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • The nature, scope and impact of managerial roles, skills, ethics and decision-making, supporting effective project work, change management, appraisal methods, and evaluation
  • Manufacturing, projects and systems management, operations management and quality management
  • Activity based costing, budgeting, financial control, investment appraisal, and calculations of commercial risks
  • The commercial context for engineering processes and business models that are socially responsible and environmentally sustainable
  • Legal systems relevant for engineering: contract law, intellectual property and tort, both nationally and internationally
  • Professional bodies, codes of conduct, conflicts of interest and other ethical dilemmas
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Plan and manage project and manufacturing/service processes, taking into account personnel, budgetary requirements, and potential risks
  • Recognise and explore key legal requirements for engineering including IPR, health & safety, privacy, and professional indemnity insurance
  • Assess market needs and contribute to marketing and pricing strategies addressing business opportunities and the achievement of customer satisfaction through innovation and entrepreneurship
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Critically analyse new products and technologies in light of management theory, professional, regulatory, social, ethical and legal obligations


Managerial Decisions Appreciating the nature, scope and impact of managerial roles, skills and decision-making, supporting effective project work and evaluation for continuous improvement. Introduction to business ethics and CSR. Marketing Introducing marketing – assessing market needs and contributing to marketing strategies, addressing market opportunities, price setting and management of product lines. Entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurial characteristics and behaviours stimulating creative approaches and innovation in large organisations as well as in start-ups; managing growth and change. Project Management & Project Risk Management Introducing factors affecting project implementation. Introducing project management techniques for coordinating resources, planning implementation, budgeting, assessing risks and achieving engineering goals within the context of developing internal capabilities and evolving ambitions reflecting the commercial, social, environmental and regulatory environment, and how these techniques are applied through engineering projects. Engineering Decision Making Defining cost categories and overhead cost allocation; Activity Based Costing; Budgeting and financial control; Relevant costs and Investment Appraisall Net Present Value. Commercial management of projects and manufacturing/service processes; Ethical management of measurement processes; limitations of financial analysis. Law in Engineering Introducing contract law with awareness of key legal requirements for engineering, including; legal responsibilities, intellectual property, formation of contracts, remedies for breach of contract and some main insurance law principles such as the duty of good faith and the cover provided by some specific types of insurance e.g. professional indemnity and contractors all-risks insurance.

Learning and Teaching

Independent Study114
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

JK Pinto. Project Management: achieving competitive advantage. 

McGrath & Bates. The Little Book of BIG Management Theories. 

JM Keen. Making Technology Investments Profitable. 

GS Topchik. The Accidental Manager. 


Assessment Strategy

A group report based on a proposal for a new product, service or software. You are asked to write a report analysing how your proposed innovation will be implemented and launched to market. You are expected to apply a professional engineering project management to the development of this report. Following your initial report will submit a review and reflection on the effectiveness of your approach.


MethodPercentage contribution
Continuous Assessment 40%
Final Assessment  60%


MethodPercentage contribution
Set Task 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Set Task 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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