Module information

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:2016/7
Module lecturers:
  • Professor Nicolas Forsans - Convenor
Module credit:20
ECTS value:

10

Pre-requisites:

None

Co-requisites:

None

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

2 days

Duration (weeks) - term 2:

2 days

Duration (weeks) - term 3:

2 days (+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. plan, manage and complete a consulting 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.

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.

Last revision date

11/11/2016