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Work Based Learning: Final Innovation Project

Module description

Managers and professionals are often responsible for developing and implementing major policy or institutional projects, or for undertaking research into a professional issue. To address those, this module is a reflection on how the key themes experienced through the year’s modules apply to the learner’s role and organisation.

  • It analysis the internal and external factors affecting strategic choices within the learner’s organisation.
  • Synthesis of key learning across the four years of the learner’s study
  • Design and delivery of an innovation project centred on the learner’s organisation, focusing on either:
    • An incremental “Do better” opportunity
    • A radical “Do different” opportunity

The applied part of Work-based Learning module also aims to allow the student an opportunity to reflect upon such a piece of work with the benefit of academic direction; conduct a review of other relevant case studies and written materials; evaluate the development and implementation of the project; and reflect upon the personal learning that has been undertaken.


This module also develops the required research skills necessary for conducting your own independent research.

For this the module emphasise :

-        The principles of research design and execution

-        The key skills required to conduct research using both primary and secondary data

-        The key skills required to collect and analyse both qualitative and quantitative data

-        How to present your research findings in a business report format

This knowledge enables you to design a research proposal, select an appropriate set of research methodologies, decide which is the most relevant tool for analysis and how to present your findings in a coherent format.

Full module specification

Module title:Work Based Learning: Final Innovation Project
Module code:BEM3014DA3
Module level:3
Academic year:2021/2
Module lecturers:
  • Dr Suzana Pavic - Convenor
Module credit:60
ECTS value:
Duration of module:

Module aims

Work based portfolio will include evidence obtained using a range of assessment methods to show that the learner has understood key learning across the four years of study. Agreement will be made between the learner, employer and the university of what systems, tools and platforms will be required (if any) to complete the task and how those will be made available

The project will be based on an agreed business problem in the organisation that forms a part of the learner’s role.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. relevant learning outcomes for an applied and work based part of the module will be set by a learner who will be working in collaboration with their organisation and their academic tutor and agreed by the Programme Director (through the Module Co-ordinator). These will reflect the content and aims of the work-based project and will be stated explicitly in the learner’s proposal;
  • 2. understand the difference between different theoretical approaches to conducting research;
  • 3. appreciate and articulate the ethical concerns associated with conducting research on private individuals and commercial organisations.;
  • 4. analyse/discuss issues associated with the validity of research claims;
  • 5. assess and select the most suitable research methods and analysis tools for to investigate your chosen research questions;
  • 6. discuss the practice of research in a consultancy project.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 7. dtermine the suitability of proven management models within own managerial environment;
  • 8. recognise where learning originates and translate new knowledge into suggestions for practice;
  • 9. illustrate arguments using reflections upon own practice and drawing from own reading of assigned academic texts;
  • 10. propose solutions to organisational problems and reflect upon the impact of those solutions through a process of critical thinking and reflection.

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 11. understand different forms of communication (written, verbal non-verbal, digital) and how to apply them. Know how to maintain personal presence and present to large groups;
  • 12. understand approaches to stakeholder, customer and supplier management, developing engagement, facilitating cross functional working and negotiation;
  • 13. awareness of interpersonal skills of effective listening, influencing techniques, negotiating and persuasion;
  • 14. know how to use emotional and social intelligence, and active listening and open questioning to work effectively with others;
  • 15. able to reflect on own performance, identifying and acting on learning and development needs. Ability to understand impact on others. Can manage stress and personal well-being, and confident in knowing core values and drivers.

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
Residential Seminars (Master classes)6Face-to-face seminars and case study learning sets
On-line tutorials6Working with peers, key ideas and concepts are explored in tutorials
Work Based Project (Applied Learning Context)30Reading material, Case studies material, Professional practice forums, MCQ’s, Quizzes, Videos
Work Based Project (Applied Learning Context)186Organisation design and organisation development in consultation with a senior leader from the work place
Assignment guidance 3A module tutor with discuss with the learner how to best complete the task (Skype call or equivalent)

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Completing weekly homework assignments which includes a peer review of individual business casesDuring the learners 30 hours of guided independent study1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10Interactive 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
Portfolio556000 words 1-13Written
WBL Project253000 words14, 15Written
Presentation/Interview201000 words1-15Verbal

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Portfolio 55% 6000 wordsPortfolio 55% 6000 words1-13August
WBL Project 25% 3000 wordsWBL Project 25% 3000 words14, 15August
Presentation/Interview 20% equivalent to 1000 wordsPresentation/Interview 20% equivalent to 1000 words1-15August

Re-assessment notes

Defer – as first time

Refer – capped at 50%

Syllabus plan

-       Introduction to research– how to go about completing your dissertation and independent research, why we conduct empirical research, the different sources of data – i.e. primary and secondary, the different types of data qualitative and quantitative. Different approaches to research.

-       Research Design – The process and steps to conducting research. Designing a research proposal.

-       Setting the scene– Narrowing your focus and designing your research objectives

-       Secondary data sources– and how to conduct a literature review

-       Methodology part 1– Quantitative data collection methods the different types, how to design a questionnaire, online survey tools e.g. Survey Monkey

-       Methodology part 2– Quantitative data analysis methods, basic stats for data analysis and introduction to SPSS

-       Methodology part 3 – Qualitative data collection methods, inc: focus groups, in depth interviews, practice participant observation approaches

-       Methodology part 4– Qualitative data analysis methods, content analysis and NVivo

-        Presentation of Results, Conclusions and Recommendations

-        How to present your dissertation/report structure

-        Revision session

After completing a research skills component of this WBL module it is expected that learner will undertake the practical (in-work) component of the work-based learning in the 3rd Term (Summer Term).

After the introductory tutorial, you should begin working on your study plan. First of all you need to think about the type of work i.e. project you may be able to conduct for your employer. In your given project you need to:

  • Define and state objectives, which are capable of being achieved within the timeframe allocated to it.
  • Have a strong element of analysis.


Outline information about your organisation:

  • The kind of organisation: its size, location and structure.
  • Its business plan and strategy for future growth.
  • Your role in the organisation.
  • The extent of support in the organisation for your idea.
  • The resources you can call upon, both in the proposed workplace and at the University.


Setting your own Intended Learning Outcome:

As you will have seen from the intended learning outcomes (ILO 1) above, in conjunction with the Module Co-ordinator you have to set relevant learning outcomes to reflect the content and aims of the work-based project and will be stated explicitly in the student’s proposal.

If your independent study is to be a worthwhile and valuable, there are three key interests that should be satisfied. Although it may seem unlikely, all three have equal weight and the needs of one should not be sublimated to the needs of any of the others.

  • Your personal objectives:  it is important at the pre-planning stage that you get your own objectives in order. You may well be working on a project to benefit your employer, but it is important to remember that you are the person carrying out the work. You are aiming to enhance both your professional and academic ability by working towards a University qualification. If it does not satisfy your own objectives, you will not give of your best.


  • Your employer's objectives:  you should take an early opportunity to discuss these with your employer. Your organisation will want a useful project which will contribute to improved practice and which will not cost it greatly in terms of financial or time (supervision) costs. Without doubt, your employer hopes that they will be getting more skilled employee, but in what areas do they expect you to demonstrate new competencies? How do they want you to help? What kind of contribution do they see you making? Your tutor will help you with the initial meetings but you should be asking these questions well in advance.


  • The School of Business’ objective: ultimately, through the BSc Applied Business Management  Development and Policy, we want to develop professionals who are able to analyse, communicate and apply the recommendations developed independently from the high levels skills, expertise and training they are given in the programme. Therefore, while one element of your submitted portfolio will be the work-focussed practical project, the evaluative essay must be written in accordance with normal academic conventions. 

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Basic reading:


The work developed for this module will attract its own specialist reading, most obviously texts, articles and websites that relate to the particular dimensions of the study. Learners are advised to refer back to recommended learning for the following modules: studied during four years:

It is also recommended that you refer to some of the texts on this type of study:

Basic reading for research skills:

Bazeley, P. and Jackson, K., (2013) Qualitative Data Analysis with Nvivo,Sage, Bell, J. (2005) Doing Your Research Project, Open University  Press

Black, K. (2007): Business Statistics for Contemporary Decision-Making, Fifth Edition, Wiley Bryman, A. & Bell, E. (2011), Business Research Methods. Third Edition, Oxford University Press. Burke, R. (2003) Project Management: Planning and Control Techniques, Fourth Edition, Wiley.

Coles, T.E., Duval, D.T. and Shaw, G. (2013) A Student’s Guide to Writing Dissertations and Theses in Tourism Studies and Related Disciplines. Abingdon: Routledge

Cresswell, J.W. (2008) Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches, Sage. De Walt, K.M. (2010) Participant Observation: A Guide For Field Workers, AltaMira Press

Easterby-Smith, M., Thorpe, R. & Jackson, P. (2012) Management Research, Fourth Edition, Sage Gill, J. & Johnson, P. (2012) Research Methods for Managers, Fourth Edition, London:  Sage

Gray, D. (2009) Doing Research in the Real World, Second Edition, Sage Hart, C. (1998) Doing a Literature Review, Sage

Horn, R. (2009) Researching and Writing Dissertations: A Complete Guide for Business and Management Students, Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development

Jankowicz, A. (2005) Business Research Projects, Fourth Edition, Thomson Learning  McMillan, K. & Wevers, J. (2009) How to Write Dissertations and Project Reports, Prentice Hall Myers, M.D. (2008) Qualitative Research in Business and Management,  Sage

Yin, D. (2009) Case Study Research: Design and Methods, Fourth Edition, Sage


Basic reading for WBL project:

Boud, D and Garrick, J (eds) (1999) Understanding Learning at Work, London: Routledge.

Brown, M (1992) Successful Project Management in a Week, London: Hodder.

Eraut, M (1994) Developing Professional Knowledge and Competence, Washington DC:  Falmer Press.

Greenfield, T (ed) (1996) Research Methods: Guidance for Postgraduates, London: Arnold.

Hawkes, DL (1990) Research: Communicating your Research, a Guide for Postgraduates, Pontypridd: Polytechnic of Wales.

Hussey, J (1997) Business Research: a Practical Guide for Undergraduates and Postgraduates, Basingstoke: Macmillan.

Moon, J (2004) A Handbook of Reflective and Experiential Learning: Theory and Practice. London: Routledge/Falmer.

Potter, S (2002) Doing Postgraduate Research, London: Sage/OU.

Stephenson, J and Laycock, M (1993) Using Learning Contracts in Higher Education, London: Kogan Page.

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

ELE – College to provide hyperlink to appropriate pages


Web based and electronic resources:


CIPD (Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development) provides information on managing change, organisational change, change strategies, communicating change and resistance to change. The resources includes factsheets, research reports and practical tools: 


ACAS (The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) is a government funded, but independent body which provides excellent advice across the whole field of people management with a particular emphasis on effective employment relations and managing within the expectations of employment law: http//


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.