Singapore University of Social Sciences

Business Acumen

Business Acumen (CDO351)

Applications Open: 01 May 2023

Applications Close: 15 June 2023

Next Available Intake: July 2023

Course Types: Modular Undergraduate Course

Language: English

Duration: 6 months

Fees: $1592.52 View More Details on Fees

Area of Interest: Others

Schemes: Alumni Continuing Education (ACE)

Funding: To be confirmed

School/Department: Student SUcceSS Centre


The objective of the course is to hone students’ business acumen, i.e., the ability to turn strategies into positive outcomes for the organisations they work in. This requires thinking skills and agility of mind in business situations that allow them to assess risks and opportunities in different business strategies and options. In the course of cultivating these competencies, students will develop established business sense and savvy, and take into consideration stakeholders’ engagement, empowerment, time management, conflict management, innovation and operational mastery. They will also be exposed to the importance of the Triple Bottom Line: (a) People - social bottom line, (b) Planet - environmental bottom line, and (c) Profit - economic bottom line. The above learning outcomes would be achieved through a combination of e-learning, self-directed learning and experiential learning, during which students will analyse real-world business decisions, critical success factors and the reasons businesses succeed or fail. In addition, students will learn about, use and respond to a range of commercial tactics, and eventually be able to draw on their enhanced business acumen to make better business decisions. Students will analyse case studies on business red flags, business management and mis-management in good and adverse times, borderline ethics, motivation behind frauds, market euphoria, business disruptions and other commercial tactics. They will prepare and defend a case study on emotional versus unemotional decision-making. In addition, students will analyse case studies where companies negotiate to win, negotiate to lose and when negotiation powers are different. They will prepare bargaining chips to negotiate an open market deal based on live market prices/values and prevailing market conditions. The recommended reference books for students cover ethics in business practices, business theft and fraud, trust and betrayal, Sun Tze’s strategies in business, game theory and negotiation strategies. Assessment will be in the form of discussion forums (online), class participation (in face-to-face sessions) and a video-based assignment. This course will be presented both locally and overseas. When the course is presented overseas, the course materials will be customised to the specific context, taking into account the social, cultural, legal, economic and political environments.

Level: 3
Credit Units: 2.5
Presentation Pattern: -
E-Learning: - Learning is done MAINLY online using interactive study materials in Canvas. Students receive guidance and support from online instructors via discussion forums and emails. This is supplemented with SOME face-to-face sessions. If the course has an exam component, this will be administered on-campus. To be confirmed


  • Business Acumen
  • Business Decisions
  • Commercial Tactics I
  • Commercial Tactics II
  • Negotiation Stance I
  • Negotiation Stance II

Learning Outcome

  • Analyse risks and opportunities in global and industry trends and disruptions.
  • Examine the impact of real-life business issues and plausible decisions.
  • Appraise the implications of business decisions on an organisation’s Triple Bottom Line.
  • Defend decisions made in real-life business situations.
  • Recommend decisions drawing on an enhanced business acumen.
  • Plan negotiation stance for business decisions, with justifications.
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