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, transferable 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:MBAM914A
Module level:M
Academic year:2018/9
Module lecturers:
  • Dr Stuart Robinson -
Module credit:24
ECTS value:






Duration of module: Duration (weeks) - term 1:

1 day

Duration (weeks) - term 2:

4 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, 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 ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning & Teaching Activities35Lectures and Research Methods Workshop
Scheduled Learning & Teaching Activities101:1 Supervision
Guided Independent Study195Reading, writing, research

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 - 9Oral feedback
Consultancy/research proposal (individual)Pass/Fail (3000 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)7510,000 words1,5,7,8,9Written feedback on report and grade
Client assessment or external appraisal (individual)25N/A4,6,8,9Written feedback 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 Consultancy Report (10,000 words)1,5,7-96 weeks from briefing
Client assessment or external appraisal (individual)Individual assignment (2500 words)2,5,7,86 weeks from briefing

Syllabus plan

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.


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