Department of Management Leadership and Marketing



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Module Overview and Communicatio

Aim & Learning Outcomes

Module Rationale

The purpose of the Business Simulation Project is to enable students to apply knowledge and skills acquired through out the programme to an interactive business simulation. Working as the senior management group of an international business, students engage in a competition against each other, competing for market share and to create shareholder return while balancing other concerns such as the Sustainable Development Goals including environment/social issues and Governance.

The business simulation involves the selection of appropriate decisions to solve a range of management problems and then responding to the outcomes of this decisions. The simulation provides an innovative learning aid from which students produce an applied analysis and personal reflection. The module is an opportunity for students to develop their ability to integrate the learning from various modules on the MSc Management programme into their approach to the simulation.

Working with an online business simulation package students will form a business, decide on strategic goals, and engage in ‘live’ decision making in all aspects of a business (such as sales & marketing, finance and operations) within the business simulation. This module will increase student awareness of the complexity of operating an international company from a strategic and general management perspective. It will also enhance student fact-based analytical decision making and crystallize the financial implications of business decisions by linking the decisions to cash flows and bottom-line performance.

The Cesim Global Challenge Business strategy is the alternative method of coursework and will take the form of a semester long Business Strategy Game. Students will complete this simulation on an individual basis and will compete against each other in a web-based simulation exercise that acts out a number of years of trading in a virtual multi-national, mobile phone environment in a global context.

Overall Aim of the Module 

The aim of the module is to develop students' ability to lead a business by analysing the factors that will determine whether an organisation excels, survives or fails. The module helps students understand the learning from the MSc Management in one integrated experience. It also builds their confidence through gaining experience in strategic and operational situations facing an international organisation in a fast moving, highly competitive, global environment. This module will provide students with a framework of knowledge from which they can identify suitable strategies to enable organisational growth.

Successful participants will be able to:

  1. To develop capabilities in identifying & analyzing key environmental and organizational variables that may influence an organization’s performance within and across national markets, and how these variables may influence the organization.
  2. Critically evaluate, synthesise and apply multidisciplinary concepts, tools and techniques in resolving real-time management issues.
  3. Demonstrate independent thought in relation to the conduct of research, analysis and development of business opportunities.
  4. Interact with(in) a workplace environment as well as be self-directed and able to act autonomously in diagnosing management problems and planning and implementing potential solutions.
  • Learning and Teaching Methods

The Cesim Global Challenge is an online business simulation game that develops participant understanding of the complexity of global business operations in a dynamic competitive environment.

It integrates a range of concepts from various management related disciplines, including economical, political, and financial decision making, as well as accounting, procurement, HR, production, sustainable development goals, logistics, research & innovation, and marketing. 

Students will individually engage in a web-based business simulation.  The task for each student is to manage a global technology company through technological evolution in a fast paced 21st century operating environment. Students must develop and execute strategies for their simulated company operating in the USA, Asia, and Europe. 

The main objective for each student is to deliver sustainable, profitable growth. Typically, this is measured by a ratio called “cumulative total return to the shareholders”, which combines share price development and dividends paid to show the total return to the shareholders.

An introductory workshop will be facilitated: register students onto the platform: familiarise students with the online system: introduce the case and review the initial information.  Students will develop their understanding of the decision-making rounds used in the simulation via three practice rounds. Practice rounds are mandatory and will run during the live class sessions.

Once students understand the parameters and goal of the simulation, each student will then develop their strategic plan for the game including their initial decisions. Across the simulation, students undertake nine decision-making rounds. Each decision-making round represents one fiscal year and involves:

  • Analysis and planning based on information to date;
  • Making business decisions using this information;
  • Review of results for that round produced by the simulation; and
  • Review of additional market information for the new round.

Some rounds will be undertaken within the scheduled workshops whilst others will be completed virtually outside of the classroom. Workshops will involve facilitated reflection after decision making rounds to: consider the organisation's performance; review which decisions may have contributed to specific outcomes; draw linkages back to relevant models and theory from the MSc Management programme; and determine learning for next round. Workshops will also be supported in addition through material available through Blackboard Learn.

The simulation provides an innovative learning aid from which students produce an applied analysis and personal reflection.

Assessment and Feedback 

This module will be assessed via four items of assessment

Assessment of this module will be based on a Multiple-Choice Questionnaire, your overall performance within the business simulation, a report portfolio based on your planning and reflection at each round and a final shareholder report.

Multiple Choice Questionnaire 

The MCQ will take the form of an on-line multiple-choice test of the underpinning theories and practice within the business simulation.  Students will be required to complete the MCQ on the fourth and final day of class (Friday 7th July 2023).  Each student will have one hour to answer 20 questions based solely on the simulation’s decision-making guide.

Individual performance on simulation activity 

An overall percentage score will be created based each student’s game performance across the nine game rounds.  The percentage score will be based on a game output metric such as the cumulative total return to the shareholders.

Simulation Activity Portfolio

The Simulation Activity Portfolio will consist of:

  • Strategic Plan (20%) - Each student should submit a plan outlining the strategy that the student will undertake to in order to compete effectively in the competition alongside justification of their initial decisions. This pre-game strategy should be developed after the practice rounds students. 
  • Student Learning Log (80%) – Each student should complete a ‘Reflection on Results and Planning for the next round’ report after each round (including the three practice rounds) with an analysis of the outcomes and justification for decisions for the future round.

Shareholder report 

Each student should produce a 2,500-word Shareholder Report, outlining the operations and results over the nine years and proposals for competing in future. It is expected that the Simulation Activity Portfolio will be used as an evidence base and that substantial use of appropriate theory and academic literature will be evidenced. Key sections of the report should be as follows:

Introduction and Contextualisation

  • Provide some context around your organisation.
  • Explain and justify your approach and strategy to completing the simulation. What are your objectives and  long-term strategy?

Reflection and Discussion

  • You should explain how your business performed across each of the key areas (e.g. sales, profit, market share etc.) globally and regionally.
  • Explain how your business performed across each of the key areas (e.g. sales, profit, market share etc.) globally and regionally.
  • Discuss how the competition behaved/performed.
  • Explain your rationale for the business decisions you made during the game in areas such as; Demand, Production, HR, Research and Development, Marketing, Logistics, Finance.
  • Identify if these decisions/strategies were effective. You should be prepared to discuss the things you did well and the decisions that didn’t turn out well for you and to try and explain why.
  • Identify key lessons learned during the simulation. Identify key points in the simulation that had a positive or negative impact on your gameplan. Discuss how you reacted to these key points and the lessons you learned from them. 
  • You should use plenty of diagrams and reports as evidence to support your narrative.


  • What proposals would you make for competing in the forthcoming years? 

Conclusion and lessons learned from the simulation.

  • Provide an overview and wrap up of how you fared, what went well and how you might do things differently if you were doing it again. What were the key business lessons you learned?

You must submit your work via the assignment link on the Blackboard Learn module area called

Standard Assessment Guidance 

The following guidance is applicable to all coursework items. 

  1. Marks are awarded for content, quality of discussion and effective use of referencing.  To achieve high marks, students will be expected to demonstrate a familiarity with the wider literature in the subject area.  Higher marks will also be awarded to students who provide strong evidence of analysis and critical evaluation of the various concepts and techniques identified and their application to real world situations. 
  2. Work should include references to journal articles and other relevant publications, and should be properly laid out using the Harvard system of referencing as indicated below: 

Buzzell R., (1968) ‘Can you standardise multinational marketing’, Harvard Business Review, (Nov-Dec) 46, pp102-113.

Jeannet J.P. and Hennessey H.D., (2004) Global Marketing Strategies. 6th ed. Houghton Mifflin.

More detailed guidance is available in the. We encourage you to avail of the Academic Support via the Library’s Support Service, further details in the Library Support Services Section. 


All submitted work should follow the UBS Guide to Citation in the Harvard Style, which is accessible through the Library’s A copy is also available from the Blackboard Learn area for this module.

The minimum pass mark for the module is 50%.

Reflection on Results and Planning for next round


  • Reflection on results from previous round. 
  • What you tried to do and why you think it didn’t turn out as expected.
  • Your opinion on what went right and wrong, the impact of the competitors’ decisions and what you might have done differently.
  • Comment on how your long-term strategy is progressing.