MBA Project

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.

Full module specification

Module title:MBA Project
Module code:MBAM914
Module level:M
Academic year:2020/1
Module lecturers:
  • Ms Jackie Bagnall - Convenor
Module credit:20
ECTS value:






Duration of module: Duration (weeks) - term 2:

5 days

Duration (weeks) - term 3:

+10 hours 1:1 supervision

Module aims

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.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 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

  • 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

  • 7. adapt and innovate to solve problems, and to manage in unpredictable situations and make sound judgements in the absence of complete data.
  • 8. present and defend strategic analyses in multiple forms (written, verbal, digital) based on case material, desk based and empirical research..
  • 9. use self-direction, initiative and planning in the context of independent learning and the management of a major project.
  • 10. improve personal effectiveness through consciously and diligently developing own communication skills.

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 - 10Oral feedback
Consultancy/Research proposal (individual)Pass/Fail (2000 words)1-3, 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 (individual)9010,000 words1, 5, 7, 8, 9Written feedback on report and grade
Client assessment or external appraisal (individual)10N/A4, 6, 8, 9Written feedback and grade
OR (Complete a consultancy project (above) or research dissertation (below))
Research Dissertation (individual) (R) (100%10,000 words1, 5, 7, 8, 9,10Written 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 (10000 words)1,5,7-9, 106 weeks from briefing
Client assessment or external appraisal (individual) (10%)Individual Assignment (2500 words)2,5,7,86 weeks from briefing
Complete the consultancy project re-assessment (above) or research dissertation re-assessment (below)
Research dissertation (100%)Consultancy report or research dissertation 10000 words1, 5, 7-9, 106 weeks from briefing

Syllabus plan

The module will include workshops aimed at promoting key mindset and transferrable skills and will cover:

  • Introduction to consulting
  • Consulting as a profession and skill, and the role of a consultant
  • Key competencies for effective consulting.
  • The process and cycle of consulting
  • Understanding client needs; appreciative inquiry; understanding the client organisation - stakeholders and the systems perspective.
  • Project scoping, research design
  • Research methods: data collection and analysis
  • Project management issues: causes of success and failure.
  • Preparing to meet the client.
  • Preparing the proposal.
  • Consulting processes, negotiation and problem-solving.
  • Systems thinking and soft-systems methodology for consulting.
  • Developing insightfulness in consulting.
  • Experiences on the receiving end – the client’s view

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.

Module has an active ELE page?


Origin date


Last revision date