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University of Exeter Business School

MBA Project

Module titleMBA Project
Module codeMBAM914
Academic year2023/4
Module staff

Ms Jackie Bagnall (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks

5 days

+10 hours 1:1 supervision

Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

This module introduces you to the field of applied management consulting and develops an understanding of the principles, tools and processes involved through a ‘hands-on’ live project with a client organisation. It is a practical experience designed to develop consultancy and other transferable skills.        

Internationalisation:  client organisations are both based in the UK and internationally.

External Engagement:  guest speakers from the world of consulting will contribute to the module, and you will be engaging with external client organisations throughout the duration of your project.

Employability:  You will gain valuable, transferrable skills through the undertaking of a consultancy project as part of the module.

Sustainability: a number of consulting projects will focus on the area of sustainability

Ethics and Corporate Responsibility: the module will specifically address ethical aspects of data collection, research and consulting

Research in Teaching: You will be introduced to the process and practicalities of undertaking Applied Research.

Module aims - intentions of the module

This module introduces you to the field of applied management consulting and develops an understanding of the principles, tools and processes involved through a ‘hands-on’ live project with an external organisation aimed at addressing a real issue set by the organisation. It is a practical experience designed to develop consultancy and other transferable skills. The module is organised around an individual consultancy assignment with a real client which the Business School might have sourced for you, or a consultancy project you might have sourced yourself.  In some circumstances the MBA project can be linked to an internship and/or a new venture creation. The module requires you to deconstruct and negotiate a project task, apply a range of frameworks to structure analytical thinking, apply techniques to complete the required research, and demonstrate effective communication skills in delivering the final results to their client.  The principles of effective consultancy and project management will be introduced alongside barriers to successful intervention and how consultants manage risk.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

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

  • 1. scope the project and design a proposal, this involves being able to plan, manage and complete a consulting project to a client brief, budget and timescale.
  • 2. determine appropriate methodologies to help structured thinking, and the techniques for effective project management - specifically addressing the ethical aspects of data collection, research, and consulting.
  • 3. synthesise from across MBA to locate the theories, models and concepts relevant to the client brief - mindful of the demands of global business and society more generally.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

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

  • 4. conduct research into applied issues (including deciding on appropriate data collection methods, analysis and interpretation) and generate insights to inform recommendations
  • 5. critically analyse, conceptualise and evaluate the challenges facing client business.
  • 6. manage stakeholders at all levels of project management, delivering rigour and relevance in all communications.

ILO: Personal and key skills

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

  • 7. take a global outlook: apply creative intelligence and ethical imagination to complex problems to ensure that environmental and social governance is taken in to account;
  • 8. apply critical thinking: present and defend strategic analyses in multiple forms (written, verbal, digital) based on case material, desk based and empirical research;
  • 9. work with a collaborative mind-set: give and receive feedback at all levels in a confident and respectful manner. Work inclusively across multi-cultural groups to research, explore and prepare a persuasive argument against an assignment or client brief;
  • 10. develop an ethical perspective: improve personal effectiveness through consciously and diligently making decisions on behalf of all stakeholders, environmental, social and financial;
  • 11. demonstrate Technological and Digital Literacy: identify and apply relevant technologies to source, process and communicate accurate information.

Syllabus plan

The module will include workshops aimed at promoting key mindset and transferrable skills and will include but is not limited to:




Consulting Project Lifecycle

Introduction to training; overview of consulting projects.

The client issue journey

& business development.

Crafting outstanding proposals

Project clarification (incl. scoping studies & discovery projects)

Project initiation & planning

Statements of work; Project planning; Communication plan; Project management

Client relationship management

Building & keeping strong relationships; Keep in touch list; Issue management; Ethics.

Writing brilliant reports

Report structure; Client communication; Data visualisation; Writing

Crafting stunning presentations

Consulting careers; Competences to emphasise; Client referrals & testimonials.

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 Teaching35Research Methods and Consultancy Workshops
Scheduled Learning and Teaching101:1 supervision
Guided Independent Study155Reading, Research, Writing

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Discussion: group and 1:1Throughout the workshops and 1:1 meetings with supervisor1 - 11Oral feedback
Consultancy/Research proposal (individual)Pass/Fail1-7, 9Written feedback

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
Consultancy report, plus supporting materials (individual)906,500 words1-11Written feedback on report and grade
Client assessment or external appraisal (individual)10N/A6,7,9,11Written feedback and grade
OR (Complete a consultancy project (above) or research dissertation (below))0
Research Dissertation (individual) (R) (100%010,000 words1, 5, 7-11Written feedback on report and grade

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Consultancy Report (90%)Consultancy Report (6,500 words) (90%)1-116 weeks from briefing
Client assessment or external appraisal (individual) (10%)Individual Assignment (2,500 words) (10%)6,7,9,10, 116 weeks from briefing
Complete the consultancy project re-assessment (above) or research dissertation re-assessment (below)
Research dissertation (100%)Consultancy report or research dissertation 10,000 words (10)%)1, 5, 7-106 weeks from briefing

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Galea, C (2009) Consulting for Business Sustainability, Greenleaf Publishing.

Biggs, D (2010) Management Consulting: A Guide for Students, South-Western.

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Key words search

Project, Consultancy, Research

Credit value20
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date