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The University of Southampton

MANG1017 Key Skills for Business

Module Overview

This module provides an experiential training in practical and applied skills relevant to the workplace. Students will be exposed to a wide range of skills and competencies in the areas of communication, teamwork, leadership, ethics and problem-solving. The module encourages students to develop an oversight and appreciation of the ambiguities and contradictions of organisational life, and to find strategies for performing well under pressure. The module is distinctive in being developed in collaboration with a professional advisory network which will meet periodically to discuss how to create a curriculum appropriate to meet the challenges of contemporary business organisations. The group will explore potential graduate skills-gaps, applied and tacit areas of knowledge, novel ways of training, and contextual factors in business education. The module will assist you in preparing for internships, placements and work beyond the University. It will also feature guest speakers from business, where possible to provide professional insight into important key work skills.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

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

  • the practical challenges of the workplace in relation to information and decision-making;
  • how to develop thinking tools and strategies to cope with ambiguous working environments.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • develop and improve skills in report writing, memo writing, email communications;
  • develop confidence and skill in oral presentation and group discussions;
  • appreciate the sensitivities, privacy and IP questions relating to business information, including digital information;
  • develop techniques for prioritising, managing workload and meeting deadlines under time and resource pressure.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • use a wide range of intellectual ideas and analytical thinking to enrich your arguments;
  • appreciate ideas from different perspectives and use multiple framing to deepen your understanding of complex phenomena;
  • reflect on ideas deeply and richly in a way that opens up the space for the exploration of meaning in business contexts.


The topics covered in this module will include: • Rhetoric and public speaking, presentation and design skills; • Time management, prioritising, meeting deadlines; • Meetings and negotiation skills, sales and selling; • PR and external communication; • Digital literacy and data privacy; • Report writing, emailing, memos; • Ethics at work; • Understanding bureaucracy and rules; • Coaching and mentoring.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include: • Lectures will be designed to introduce general topics and provide case study examples. A rich range of video material, case studies and reports will be used to illustrate the main ideas. • Seminars will be used to discuss and practise the skills and activities introduced in the lectures. • Students will work in small groups to coach each other in the practical competences of organisational reality. Example case studies: • Yes Minister TV series • Great orators. • Coping in extreme conditions. Learning activities include: • Individual/group assignments. • In class debate and discussion. • Private study. • Use of online material.

Wider reading or practice40
Completion of assessment task40
Follow-up work15
Preparation for scheduled sessions20
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Van Emden, I., Becker, L. (2010). Presentation Skills for Students. 

Leith, S (2010). You Talkin' to Me? Rhetoric from Aristotle to Obama. 

Allen, D (2002). Getting Things Done: How to Achieve Stress-Free Productivity. 



In-class activities


MethodPercentage contribution
Group report  (1500 words) 20%
Report  (1500 words) 80%


MethodPercentage contribution
Report  (1500 words) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Report  (1500 words) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:


Recommended texts for this module may be available in limited supply in the University Library and students may wish to purchase the mandatory/additional reading text as appropriate.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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