Work Based Learning Project 1. Analysing Our Strategic Context

Module description

Senior business leaders are responsible for developing and implementing major strategy or institutional projects that will contribute towards organisational strategic objectives. This capstone module at the end of the first year of the DA MBA offers consolidation of learning across the programme and offers a reflection on how new knowledge can be applied to your role and organisation. It consists of a situational analysis in which the organisation and its context are analysed and an area for business improvement is identified. In consultation with internal stakeholders this analysis is then used to propose an innovation project for your second year.  

Full module specification

Module title:Work Based Learning Project 1. Analysing Our Strategic Context
Module code:BEMM113DA
Module level:M
Academic year:2020/1
Module lecturers:
  • Mr Oli Young - Convenor
Module credit:30
ECTS value:






Duration of module: Duration (weeks) - term 3:


Module aims

Through workshops and online sessions, the work-based module aims to transfer new analytical and critical thinking skills to the design of an innovation proposal. This work-based project also allows you an opportunity to add to your personal development plan by reflecting upon how your knowledge, skills and behaviour have been applied in creating a strategic innovation project.

The situational analysis and resulting innovation proposal will include evidence obtained using a range of research methods to show that the learner has understood the project scoping process. The skills and behaviour evidenced include the use of data and knowledge management and consideration of sustainable business practices.

Work-Based Learning - Project at a glance:

  • focused on your job
  • managed and led by you
  • may be a small project or a discrete part of a much larger project
  • an area of work you already do that you can take responsibility for
  • an area of work you want to do differently to effect positive change
  • will be supported by your line manager and reviewed at a meeting with your academic mentor

Generating ideas for your project:  Once you know the scope of your project, use the following questions to help you think of some initial ideas:

  • look at your job description, is there something you would like to do differently?
  • look at your CPD goals, is there an area you would like to develop in more detail or do you have new skills that you want to put into practice?
  • think about your organisation, what opportunities are there?
  • could your project be part of a larger project being undertaken by your organisation?

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. know how to shape organisational vision, culture and values; Understands organisational structures; business modelling; diversity; global perspectives; governance and accountability;
  • 2. evaluate organisational decision making structures and identify strategies for effective communication across a range of levels;
  • 3. analyse the external environment, social, technological and policy implications; Understands new market strategies, changing customer demands and trend analysis; Use of horizon scanning and conceptualisation to deliver high performance strategies focusing on growth/sustainable outcomes;
  • 4. know and understand financial strategies including scenarios, modelling and identifying trends; Be able to oversee financial strategies / management, results and setting organisational budgets; Be able to challenge financial assumptions underpinning strategies; be able to use financial data to allocate resources.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 5. critique negotiation and influencing strategies across large scale and inter-organisational strategies;
  • 6. able to challenge strategies and operations in terms of ethics, responsibility, sustainability, resource allocation and business continuity/risk management;
  • 7. know and understand drivers of change and new ways of working across infrastructure, processes, people and culture, and sustainability; be able to initiate and lead change in the organisation.

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 8. be able to build confidence and develop trust and enables people to take risks; Know and understand how to build engagement and develop high performance;
  • 9. be able to set a clear agenda and gains support from key stakeholders;
  • 10. know and understand systems thinking; knowledge data/management; programme management;
  • 11. be able to use personal presence and “storytelling” to articulate and translate vision into operational strategies; Be able to demonstrate clarity in thinking and use inspirational communication.

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 Teaching Activity21Faculty-led workshops and seminars
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activity3Conversation with project advisor - Online action learning set facilitated by module lead.
Time in work276Time in work

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Weekly tests and on-line exercisesVarious1-5Interactive and imbedded in a task

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
Assessment 1 - Initial project proposal with supporting statement from workplace mentor201,200 words 1-5Written
Assessment 2- Diagnostic report and Poster with supporting statement from workplace mentor804,000 words1-11Written

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Assessment 1- Initial project proposalAssessment 1- Initial project proposal, 1,500 words (20%) 1-5Referral/Deferral Period
Assessment 2- Diagnostic report and Poster with supporting statement from workplace mentorAssessment 2- Diagnostic report and Poster with supporting statement from workplace mentor, 4,000 words (80%)1-11Referral/Deferral Period

Re-assessment notes

All passed components of the module will be rolled forward and will not be reassessed in the event of module failure.

Defer – as first time

Refer – capped at 50%

Syllabus plan

This module is led by the learner with the support of their academic mentor/ module lead and workplace mentor, there are a range of materials, tools, frameworks and online materials to guide and support the process. It includes situational analysis, project scoping, systems thinking, stakeholder communication, influence and negotiation and research design and finally professional report writing.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading


Edmondson, V. C. (2018) The Thinking Strategist: Unleashing the Power of Strategic Management to Identify, Explore and Solve Problems. Bingley, UK: Emerald Publishing Limited.

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

CMI - Management Direct - an online management resource portal. Management Direct allows managers at any level to learn, research and think. It offers fast, 24-hour access to the latest digital content to help overcome hundreds of managerial challenges from absence to performance to change: 5 minute, 20 minute and extended briefings; Creative tools for problem solving; Hundreds of checklists and interactive scenarios to aid self-directed learning; Self-Assessments and automatic CPD recording/reporting; Document templates and best practice guides.

Origin date


Last revision date