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University of Exeter Business School

Circular Economy Management Consultancy Services

Module titleCircular Economy Management Consultancy Services
Module codeBEPM010
Academic year2023/4
Module staff

Dr Jose Melenez Roman (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

This module explores what consultants need to know about the important topic of environmental sustainability and social responsibility. The intention is to equip you with skills and tools to engage in sustainability-oriented consultancy engagement to enable you to critically reflect on the client-consultant relationship. You will be exposed with real-life challenges to learn, experiment, and apply different consultancy frameworks and techniques. You will have opportunities to work on client facing case studies and research-enriched assignments, as well as to practice analysis and problem solving. This will provide opportunities to reflect on the challenges and impact of engaging in sustainable consultancy services. All in all, you will develop an understanding of how management consultants can develop sustainability initiatives which have the potential to shift an organisation from linear to circular thinking. 

Module aims - intentions of the module

The aim of this module is to develop knowledge and practical skills to perform as a consultant that can apply sustainability and circular economy principles to a wide range of organizations looking to embed sustainability in the value propositions. This will be achieved by creating your own individual work-based evidence portfolio as a sustainability consultant and working with your peers as an interdisciplinary consultancy team you will formulate a consultancy firm plan focussed on a particular service offering. The offering proposed may involve a specialized subject or a combination of key sustainability areas such as the evaluation of policy impacts, a Life Cycle Assessment, circular economy design, sustainable business models, sustainable procurement, amongst others. As part of the module participants will reflect on the role of the management consultant, learn about business analysis, experiment with analytical techniques, and consider impact in relation to delivering sustainability initiatives.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

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

  • 1. Experiment with analytical techniques and tools to assess and enhance organization’s sustainability performance
  • 2. Critically discuss the role and challenges faced of consultants to help organizations transition from a linear to a circular economy model
  • 3. Challenge the business model of management consultancy.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

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

  • 4. Develop a viable client consultancy proposal
  • 5. Evaluate sustainability and circular economy models, methods and tools to empower organizations to achieve sustainability objectives

ILO: Personal and key skills

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

  • 6. Coordinate and lead complex sustainability projects.
  • 7. Develop critical leadership skills and management competencies relevant to circular economy consultancy services.

Syllabus plan

The module will cover, but not be limited to, the following themes:

  • The business of consultancy services: challenges and opportunities to embedded circularity and sustainability
  • The role of potential consultancy engagements by sector and type of organization: NGO, business public sector, multistakeholder amongst other consultancy services.
  • Models of managing client relations
  • Tools and analytical techniques to asses and develop sustainable business models
  • Roles of the consultant and ethical challenges (expert analyst, problems solver, critical friend, builder, partners, leader, etc.)
  • Stakeholder engagement tools and techniques
  • Systemic design and complexity evaluation tools
  • Risk assessment tools and frameworks
  • Mentoring and coaching skills
  • Project management skills (project design, proposal writing, budgeting, evaluation, etc.).
  • Careers in consultancy (working skills, communication, networking, marketing yourself)
  • How to create and assess impact derived from consultancy engagements

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
Scheduled Learning and Teaching121-hour learning sets including lectures on key issues and case studies and challenges to apply knowledge
Scheduled Learning and Teaching 10Workshops to practice consultancy skills and work on consultancy firm business plan
Scheduled Learning and Teaching 3Drop-in session for face to face meetings to discuss progress on portfolio of work-based evidence
Guided Independent Study125Independent reading, review online resources, prepare for workshops and portfolio completion

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Consultancy firm proposal10 minutes1,3,4,5Written and verbal
Elevator pitch based on work-based evidence60 seconds2,7Verbal

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
Portfolio of work-based evidence + reflective essay30Portfolio (no size limit) Reflective essay (1000 words)1,2,6,7Verbal and Written via eBART
Consultancy firm business plan7010-minute presentation Business plan (no size limit)1,3,4,5,6Written via eBART

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Portfolio of work-based evidence + reflective essayPortfolio of work-based evidence + reflective essay (35%)1,2,6,7Referral/deferral period
Consultancy firm business planConsultancy services project (75%)1,3,4,5,6Referral/deferral period

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you have been deferred for any assessment you will be expected to submit the relevant assessment. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 50%) you will be required to sit a further examination. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of referral will count for 100% of the final mark and will be capped at 50%.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Biggs, D.  (2010). Management Consulting:  a Guide for Students.  Australia: CENGAGE.
  • Wickham, L. and Wilcock, J.  (2020). Management Consulting:  Delivering an Effective Project. Harlow: Pearson, 6th edition. 
  • Davidson, J.  (2019). Everyday Project Management.  Oakland, CA: Berrett-Koehler.
  • Witzel, M. (2016) Management Consultancy, Routledge.
  • Galea, C., (2017) Consulting for Business Sustainability, Greenleaf Publishing.
  • Markham, C. (2019). Mastering management consultancy. London: Legend Business Books.

Key words search

Business, management consultancy, governance, environment, sustainability, climate change, biomimicry, circular economy

Credit value15
Module ECTS


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Available as distance learning?


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Last revision date