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Module Title: The Economic Environment of Business

Ref:117ECN group project 2015-16
Faculty of Business, Environment and Society
Assignment Brief
Module Title: The
of Business
Group Project
Module Code: 117ECN Assignment Title UK Coffee
(retail, at
home) market
Friday 8th
2016, 23.55
hours on
Module Leader M Walsh
Time and
through Turnitin
Module Team Adam
Jake Stanton,
Colin Evans,
Qiaoyan Lin
Module learning outcomes being assessed
1. Appreciate the global nature of business
2. Show understanding of the economic basis for business
3. Demonstrate an understanding of the markets within which a business operates
4. Identify the impact of Government policy on business
5. Show awareness of current issues and their impact on the strategy, behaviour and
management of business through working as a group
Assignment Information
This assignment requires you to write a 3000 word original group project. You will be working in
groups of three to five. Larger group numbers will be penalised. The project aims to apply
economic theory to the world of business. Answer the following questions:
Your group is required to analyse the UK Coffee (retail, at home) market (not coffee
shops) and should answer the questions below. Each question states the mark
allocation, indicating the importance of each question. NOTE: 5% of marks are for
completion of the reflective statement.
You should do a 100 word introduction to your project. (2% of marks)
Outline the trend in sales by the major coffee retail (at home) companies in the UK
over the last 10 years, and analyse the structure of the market. To do this, you should;
Identify the main companies involved and their market shares.
Explain what type of market structure exists, with supporting evidence.
Comment on any trends within the market.
Comment on the importance of brand loyalty.
Explain, using economic diagrams, how price and output is determined by a
typical firm (ie: one coffee retail (at home) company) which is operating in
the market. (Note that your market will be imperfect competition, not perfect
competition. Thus, you cannot use supply and demand diagrams in this
(25% of marks)
With reference to economic theory explain why there is a need for Competition Policy.
Outline an investigation into the coffee retail (at home) industry by the European
Union (EU) and comment on the outcome of the investigation.
(25% of marks)
(a) With the aid of supply and demand analysis, including the relevance of elasticity,
EXPLAIN what has happened to the price of coffee beans over the last 12 months.
(b) What is the likely impact of the price changes you have identified on coffee
sold to households through supermarkets and other retailers? (15% of marks)
Given the change in the price of coffee beans over the last 12 months (in question 4
above), use relevant macroeconomic theory to explain the impact of this price change on
the economy of a country that relies on exports of coffee beans.
(25% of marks)
As part of your conclusion, assess the future of the industry. Do you foresee future
growth, stagnation or decline? (3% of marks)
Marks for questions 1 to 6 = 95
Group reflective mark = 5
Total project marks = 100
Sloman J & Jones E, ‘Essential Economics for Business’, (formally Economics
and the Business Environment)
Begg D & Ward D, ‘Economics for Business’
Ferguson K, ‘Essentials of Economics’
Useful electronic references
Mintel (useful for information of markets, information is available from the library via locate)
Keynote (useful for information of markets, information is available from the library via locate)
HYPERLINK “http://www.tutor2u.net” www.tutor2u.net
Europa.org (EU website, look for Competition policy)
Financial Times (find via JOURNALS on the library web)
Economist (find via JOURNALS on the library web)
Wall Street Journal (WSJ)
HYPERLINK “http://www.nasdaq.com/article/coffee-prices-drop-sharply-as-market-supportfails-
20150723-00926%20” http://www.nasdaq.com/article/coffee-prices-drop-sharply-as-marketsupport-
fails-20150723-00926 (this and other finance sites have information on the coffee
HYPERLINK “http://www.agrimoney.com/news/coffee-prices-plunge-on-talk-of-brazilianrains–
8905.html” http://www.agrimoney.com/news/coffee-prices-plunge-on-talk-of-brazilianrains–
How to submit your assessment
The group project must be submitted via Turnitin by 23.55 hours (11.55pm) on Friday 8th
January 2016, UK time. No paper copies are required. You can access the Turnitin link through
the module web.
Only one copy needs to be submitted on Turnitin. One member of the group should take
responsibility for this. If more than one group member submits the work Turnitin will signal 100%
plagerised. The submission date is at the end of the first week of the University exam period.
You should aim to complete most of the group project BEFORE the Christmas holiday as you will
have limited time after Christmas to finalise the work.
Your coursework will not receive a mark if you do not submit a copy through Turnitin.
Should you submit work on time but fail the assignment, you will be offered a resit
opportunity but the resit mark will be capped at 40%.
All work submitted after the submission deadline without a valid and approved reason
(see below) will be given a mark of zero.
Short deferrals (extensions) of up to three calendar weeks can only be given for genuine
“force majeure” and medical reasons, not for bad planning of your time. Please note that
theft, loss, or failure to keep a back-up file, are not valid reasons. The short deferral must
be applied for on or before the submission date. You can apply for a short deferral by
submitting an Examination/ Coursework Deferral Application Form. Application Forms
along with the supporting evidence should go to the relevant Student Support Office (WM
reception). For a longer delay in submission a student may apply for a long deferral.
Students MUST keep a copy and/or an electronic file of their assignment.
Checks will be made on your work using anti-plagiarism software and approved
plagiarism checking websites.
time, plus your workshop tutor’s name, on the front of your project. A form is attached for you to
include this information. If we do not have your name you may not receive a mark for work that
you have done. Also, complete a group REFLECTIVE STATEMENT. 5% of marks are for
completion of the reflective statement.
This assessment will assess the module learning outcomes 1,2,3,4and 5 and
makes up 40% of the overall module mark.
Working in a group
You should organise your own groups. You can work with people from other workshops/seminars.
You must tell your workshop tutor in writing (a form is attached) who are the members
After Test 1 in your workshop. If this is not done workshop leaders will decide on group
membership to ensure people can begin work on projects.
Once you have formed a group you will need to meet (swap contact details) and generally
discuss what you plan to do as a group and then allocate different elements of the project within
the group. Individual work can then be combined to form the final group project. A guide to
working as a group is on the module web.
Word Count Limit
Your word count includes in text citations but not the final references or appendices. If you are
more than 10% over or under the word count limit you may lose marks as a 10% penalty applies.
As part of your study you will be involved in carrying out research and using this when writing up
your coursework. It is important that you correctly acknowledge someone else’s writing or
thoughts and that you do not attempt to pass this off as your own work. Doing so is known as
plagiarism. It is not acceptable to copy from another source without acknowledging that it is
someone else’s writing or thinking. This includes using paraphrasing as well as direct quotations.
You are expected to correctly cite and reference the works of others. The Centre for Academic
Writing provides documents to help you get this right. If you are unsure, please
visit HYPERLINK “http://www.coventry.ac.uk/caw”www.coventry.ac.uk/caw.
Turnitin includes a plagiarism detection system and assessors are experienced enough to
recognise plagiarism when it occurs. Copying another student’s work, using previous work of your
own or copying large sections from a book or the internet are examples of plagiarism and carry
serious consequences. Please familiarise yourself with the CU Harvard Reference Style (on
Moodle) and use it correctly to avoid a case of plagiarism or cheating being brought. Again, if you
are unsure, please contact the Centre for Academic Writing or a member of the course team.
Return of Marked Work
You can expect to have marked work returned to you 2 weeks after the submission date. Marks
and feedback will be provided online. As always, marks will have been internally moderated only,
and will therefore be provisional; your mark will be formally agreed later in the year once the
external examiner has completed his / her review.

Assessment Criteria
70%+ (1st) The project will be as a 2i but be more coherent, and may include
interesting and/or original reflections, supported by economic theory
and analysis.
60-69% (2i) There will be clear evidence of the application of economic theory to the
industry, and evidence of work as a group. Economic diagrams, that
clearly help the argument and are linked to the topic, are expected.
The work clearly addresses learning outcomes 1 to 5.
50-59% (2ii) Some analysis and application of theory but more errors and more
descriptive. Basic linkage between theory and analysis. For example,
diagrams may be inappropriate, or have errors, or may not be linked to
the topic. There may be evidence that group work has not been effective.
The work addresses learning outcomes 1 to 5, but not in a clear manner.
40-49% (3rd) Mainly descriptive, weak analysis. Theory mentioned but not really
applied to the business world. There may be evidence that group work is
not effective or non-existent. The work does not address all the learning
Fail 35-39% Little analysis and very descriptive. Likely to be copied from several
sources with no theory and illustrates a limited understanding.
Fail 20-34%% Work within this range means the assignment submitted:
is poor and suggests that the student has spent very little time on it e.g. if the answer is
considerably under the word requirement and/or presented in note form rather than as
a fully written up
bears little relation to the assignment topic
contains some or many fundamental errors
uses literature or other material which is largely irrelevant or has no academic value
is poorly structured and poorly presented. For example, sentences may be hard to
understand and contain many spelling or grammatical mistakes, and evidence of
extremely poor group working skills
Fail 0-19% Work within this mark range shows a complete failure to meet the
requirements of the assignment. A mark in this range will be given for an assignment
is below 500 words in length
bears no link to the question chosen
shows little understanding of the requirements of the assignment and only a vague
knowledge of the subject area
is poorly structured and poorly presented. Spelling and grammar are poor. Many
sentences are incomprehensible
examiners do not feel could be described as a serious attempt by any reasonable
Economic Environment of Business 117ECN
Module Title: The
of Business
Group Project
Module Code: 117ECN Assignment Title UK Coffee
(retail, at
home) market
Type your names & student ID numbers to ensure we can record mark for all
group members
FULL Name Student ID number
Reflective statement
(Attach this to your project)
You should briefly answer the following and hand in with your project. NOTE: 5% of marks are for
completion of the reflective statement.
As a group, outline
How you ensured you worked effectively as a group.
Anything that did not work out as you expected.
What you would do differently.
As a group, identify what you have learnt from this work and how it may help you in future work.
Next to your name outline what you contributed to this group work. By doing this you agree that
each group member receives equal marks for the assignment, and also confirm that you have
adhered to the University plagiarism rules. Group members not included in this list will be
assumed to have not made a contribution and will receive a mark of zero.
Name Contribution

117 ECN project
Group members
To be handed to your workshop leader after test1. Otherwise tutors will assign
you to groups.
Workshop tutor__________________________________________
Workshop day & time_____________________________________
Group members
Assignment Brief Template

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