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, or a research-based dissertation.
Internationalisation: client organisations are based in the UK and research topics international in scope
External Engagement: guest speakers from the world of research and consulting will contribute to the module, and you will be engaging with external client organisations and supervisors throughout the duration of your project.
Employability: You will gain valuable, transferrable skills through the undertaking of a consultancy project or primary research 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
Full module specification
|Module title:||MBA Project|
|Duration of module:||
Duration (weeks) - term 1: |
2 daysDuration (weeks) - term 2:
2 daysDuration (weeks) - term 3:
2 days (+ 10 hours 1:1 supervision)
This module introduces you to the field of applied management consulting and develops an understanding of the principles, tools and processes involved, either through a ‘hands-on’ live project with an external organisation aimed at addressing a real issue set by the organisation or a research-based dissertation on a topic of relevance to the MBA programme. It is a practical experience designed to develop consultancy, research 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 and/or scope and design a research project, 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. The principles of effective consultancy, research and project management will be introduced alongside barriers to successful intervention and how consultants manage risk.
ILO: Module-specific skills
- 1. plan, manage and complete a consulting or research project to a brief, budget and timescale.
- 2. understand methodologies to help structured thinking, and the techniques for effective project management.
- 3. scope the project and design a proposal.
- 4. manage relationships with a client including managing risk, productive relationships, expectations, handling problems, barriers to implementation, evaluation. Understand the protocols, expectations and outcomes of engaging with organisations as clients.
ILO: Discipline-specific skills
- 5. conduct research into applied issues (including deciding on appropriate data collection methods, analysis and interpretation) and generate insights to inform recommendations.
- 6. demonstrate effective relationship skills and professionalism.
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. effectively present information orally and in writing, and formulate and deliver logical and precise arguments.
- 9. use self-direction, initiative and planning in the context of independent learning and the management of a major project.
Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)
|Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities||Guided independent study||Placement / study abroad|
Details of learning activities and teaching methods
|Category||Hours of study time||Description|
|Scheduled Learning & Teaching Activities||28||Lectures and Research Methods Workshop|
|Scheduled Learning & Teaching Activities||10||1:1 Supervision|
|Scheduled Learning & Teaching Activities||14||Transitioning into Management Consultancy Workshops|
|Guided Independent Study||188||Reading, Writing, Research|
|Form of assessment||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
|Discussion: group and 1:1||Throughout the workshops and 1:1 meetings with supervisor||1 - 9||Oral feedback|
Summative assessment (% of credit)
|Coursework||Written exams||Practical exams|
Details of summative assessment
|Form of assessment||% of credit||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
|Consultancy proposal (individual) (C)||20||3000 words||1-3, 7, 9,||Written feedback and grade|
|Consultancy report (individual) (C)||60||8000 words||1, 5, 7, 8, 9,||Written feedback and grade|
|Client assessment or External Appraisal (individual) (C)||20||n/a||4, 6, 8, 9,||Written feedback and grade|
Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)
|Original form of assessment||Form of re-assessment||ILOs re-assessed||Timescale for re-assessment|
|Consultancy Proposal||Consultancy proposal (C) 30000 words||1, 5, 7, 8, 9,||6 weeks from briefing|
|Consultancy report||Consultancy report 8000 words||1, 5, 7, 8, 9,||6 weeks from briefing|
The module will include workshops aimed at promoting key mindset and transferrable skills and will cover:
- Introduction to consulting and research
- 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 consultancy and research proposals
- 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.
Saunders, M.N.K., Thornhill, A. and Lewis, P. (2012) Research Methods for Business Students, FT Prentice Hall.
Bryman, A and Bell, E. (2015) Business Research Methods, OUP, Oxford.
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