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Study information

The Economy of Space

Module titleThe Economy of Space
Module codeBEP3171
Academic year2024/5
Module staff

Dr S.W. Chiu (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

The impact of space activity plays out in numerous ways in our everyday life, but the role of the space economy today is negligible compared to what could be achieved through future innovation and collaboration. The sector is currently being transformed by commercial interest and investment. If the growth of commercial space business (New Space) continues to evolve in line with projections* the sector will provide many exciting future career opportunities for graduates. This module will inspire students to imagine a career in the New Space economy and think critically about the commercialisation of space.

* Researchers at Morgan Stanley estimate that the global space industry could rise to circa $1 trillion by 2040.

Students taking this module will need to have some knowledge of business strategy and practical experience of applying analytical concepts to strategic challenges.

Module aims - intentions of the module

This module aims to introduce students to the concept of New Space in a global market.

Participants will appreciate the impact of space activities on the economy and society, and learn about new business development opportunities in the global space industry.

Adopting a supply chain perspective students will develop an understanding of the evolution of the three major sectors of the space industry. By researching the challenges in one of these sectors: Satellite and spacecraft manufacture, infrastructure support and, spaceport logistics, students will (a) formulate a strategy for a Small and Medium Sized (SME) space business and (b) propose a new product or service to grow and exploit the potential of New Space.

In the process of learning about business opportunities in the space industry participants will develop an understanding of the potential of the sector as a graduate recruiter.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. develop a critical awareness critically discuss of the history of space technology and space endeavours;
  • 2. evaluate specific ways in which the new space economy differs from other commercial business activity and develop a broad knowledge on managing and operating space infrastructure;
  • 3. distinguish between an economy in space and economy for space;
  • 4. critically evaluate the procurement needs of spaceports, spacecraft and space data software application manufacturers;

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 5. analyse the techniques and methodologies employed to understand the implications of high-risk investment;
  • 6. analyse industrial structure, strategy and competitive forces;
  • 7. critique business models;

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 8. demonstrate advanced research skills drawing upon a range of data sources from both academic and applied contexts;
  • 9. visually represent information, data, and knowledge by creatively using technology and digital literacy skills in a format which would be appropriate to a commercial context;
  • 10. synthesise knowledge and utilise skills in rigorous academic analysis and argument.

Syllabus plan


  • key themes in the New Space economy
  • economic measurement of space activities
  • the commercialisation of space (e.g., private investment in space ventures and space as a graduate recruiter)
  • space clusters and their implications for economic development
  • space as an enabler in driving environmental sustainability
  • developing a market-oriented space sector
  • regulatory framework for the development of commercial activities in space

Indicative content:

  • satellite broadband internet, satellite technology and space exploration
  • growing societal reliance on space-based infrastructure and systems
  • the space data/products marketplace (and space consumers)
  • capability of national space agencies engaged in activities related to outer space and space exploration
  • regionalisation and global integration of the space sector
  • commercial spaceflight achievements and the age of space tourism
  • satellite and spacecraft manufacture
  • spaceports, space logistics and space-related operations
  • the potential of space mining
  • internationalisation of the space sector
  • space governance, policies, ethics and protecting the democracy of space
  • the issue of space debris and space debris removal technology

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Seminars/workshops11Review of core content and case study analysis
Tutorials11Practice use of concepts and templates
Guided Independent Study30Preparatory reading and research
Guided Independent Study40Asynchronous activity
Guided Independent Study58Individual reading and study time for development of strategy document

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Prototype design for value propositionA3 sketch1-3,5,8,9Verbal
Outline for strategy department1000 words2-8,10Verbal

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Value proposition canvas 50Infographic (A3 size)1-3,5,7-9Written
Strategy document503000 word report1-4,6,8,10Written

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Value proposition canvas Value proposition canvas (50%) (A3 size)1-3,5-7-9Summer re-assessment period
Strategy document Strategy document (50%) (3000 words)1-4,6,8,10Summer re-assessment period

Re-assessment notes

A student will be referred in all components of the assessment that they have failed, if the student fails the module with an overall mark below 40%.

A student if deferred via a single component will be re-assessed in that component only. 

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Belleflamme, P. and Peitz, M. (2015) Industrial organization: markets and strategies, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge UK.
  • Burget, M., Bardone, E., & Pedaste, M. (2017). Definitions and conceptual dimensions of responsible research and innovation: a literature review. Science and engineering ethics, 23(1), 1-19
  • Daft, R., (2016) New Era of Management, (International Edition) Cengage
  • Ã?�afak, Y. (2022). Space, the new address of global competition.
  • Ritzer, G., & Dean, P. (2021). Globalization: A basic text. John Wiley & Sons.
  • Ruocco, P., & Proctor, T. (1994). Strategic planning in practice: a creative approach. Marketing Intelligence & Planning.

Indicative learning resources - Other resources

Key words search

Space, New Business Development, strategy management.

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date