Undergraduate Teaching 2022-23

Engineering Tripos Part IB, 2P8: The Engineer in Business (Compulsory), 2018-19

Engineering Tripos Part IB, 2P8: The Engineer in Business (Compulsory), 2018-19

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Dr S Lu


Dr Lionel Paolella


Professor Michael Pollitt

Timing and Structure

Weeks 1-8, Lent Term. 8 x 1-hour sessions including: 3 x 1-hour sessions on economics, 3 x 1-hour sessions on marketing, 2 x 1-hour sessions on strategy


The aims of the course are to:

  • provide students with a basic understanding of how businesses work, and to give them the language to work effectively with those who work in non-technical roles within a business.


As specific objectives, by the end of the course students should be able to:

  • gain a preliminary, concise and multi-faceted understanding of issues in running businesses.


The module is structured around three major fields of studies that complement each other, namely economics, marketing, and strategy.

  • The sessions on economics aim to introduce the economic nature of the firm, why and how firms grow or contract, and the nature of economic regulation facing firms.
  • The sessions on marketing aim to help students understand core questions in marketing and how marketing contributes to business strategy and firm performance; and to help students to develop strategic and analytical skills in planning and evaluating marketing decisions in the business world.
  • The sessions on strategy aim to examine how firms develop and maintain competitive advantage; and to help students to develop skills that will allow them to make robust strategic business decisions in the face of uncertainty and complexity.


The Engineer in Business

Sessions on economics (3 x 1-hour sessions):

The economic nature of the firm (1 session)

The theory of the firm (1 session)

The regulation of the firm (1 session)


Sessions on marketing (3 x 1-hour sessions):

Demystifying marketing (1 session)

Strategic brand management (1 session)

Marketing communication in the digital age (1 session)


Sessions on strategy (2 x 1-hour sessions):

What is strategy and how to analyse industries? (1 session)

Types of competitive advantage: Cost leadership and differentiation strategies (1 session)

Further notes


A set of multiple-choice questions to be completed over 30 minutes of examination time.  A sample paper has been uploaded on the Moodle site. 

Examples papers





Please see the Booklist for Part IB Courses for complete references for this module.

Some helpful references on Economics Sessions: 

Sloman, J., Garrett, D., Guest, J. and Jones, E. (2016)

Economics for Business, 7th Edition, Pearson.

Chapters 3 (Business Organisations), 14 (Alternative Theories of the Firm), 15 (Growth Strategy), 20 (Reasons for Government Intervention in the Market) and 21 (Government and the Firm).

E-book via




Some helpful references on Marketing Sessions: 

Kotler, P. et al. (2016)

Marketing Management. 3rd European ed. Harlow: Prentice Hall/Pearson Education

‘Introduction to Marketing.’

‘The Changing Marketing.’

‘Managing digital technology in marketing.’

‘Digital and global brand management strategies.’

E-book via


Printed books at: HF5415.13.K67 M3 2016

Day, G. S. (1994)

"The Capabilities of Market-Driven Organizations." Journal of Marketing, 58(4): pp. 37-52

 E-article via

Business Source Complete

Rust, R., Zeithaml, V.A. and Lemon, K. N. (2004)

“Customer-Centered Brand Management.” Harvard Business Review, 82(9), 110-118

E-article via 

Business Source Complete

Some helpful references on Strategy Sessions: 

Magretta, J. (2002)

“Why Business Models Matter.” Harvard Business Review, 80(5): pp. 86-92

E-article via

Business Source Complete

Porter, M. (1996)

“What is Strategy?” Harvard Business Review, 74(6): pp. 61-78

E-article via

Business Source Complete

Porter, M. (2008)

“The Five Competitive Forces that Shape Strategy.” Harvard Business Review, 86(1): pp. 78-93

E-article via

Business Source Complete

MacMillan, I. C. McGrath, G. (1997)

“Discovering New Points of Differentiation.” Harvard Business Review, 75(4): pp. 133-145

E-article via

Business Source Complete


Examination Guidelines

Please refer to Form & conduct of the examinations.


The UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence (UK-SPEC) describes the requirements that have to be met in order to become a Chartered Engineer, and gives examples of ways of doing this.

UK-SPEC is published by the Engineering Council on behalf of the UK engineering profession. The standard has been developed, and is regularly updated, by panels representing professional engineering institutions, employers and engineering educators. Of particular relevance here is the 'Accreditation of Higher Education Programmes' (AHEP) document which sets out the standard for degree accreditation.

The Output Standards Matrices indicate where each of the Output Criteria as specified in the AHEP 3rd edition document is addressed within the Engineering and Manufacturing Engineering Triposes.

Last modified: 04/04/2019 09:22