MBA Programme Specification

The programme aims to:

  1. Develop within students an ability to analyse a broad range of approaches to the study of business and management and to critically evaluate the influences of controversial issues in the business environment.
  2. Enable students to critically assess changes in business administration in the context of wider political, social and organisational changes.
  3. Promote students’ ability to discriminate between research methods in order to make appropriate selections in conducting management and organisational research.
  4. Build on students’ ability to autonomously synthesise information/ideas and create responses to problems that expand or redefine existing knowledge and /or develop new approaches in new situations.
  5. Encourage students to objectively appraise the range of economic, human and ethical dilemmas that impinge on the modern manager.
  6. Equip students to independently evaluate and argue alternative research approaches and accurately assess and report on their own and other people’s other work with justification.

Programme outcomes

  1. Knowledge, understanding and skills

    1. Knowledge and Understanding:
      1. Critical awareness of the main issues, theories and methodologies that are central to management
      2. The role of the manager and the challenges that they face
      3. The relationship between management modules and possible contexts including economic, environmental, ethical, legal, political, sociological and technological together with their effects at local, national and international level
      4. Critical awareness of the strategy, behaviour and management of organizations
      5. Critical application of theory to the advancement of management practice
      6. Critical awareness of research in the evolution of management practic

    2. Cognitive Skills
      1. Critically evaluate theories, tools and models in the field of management
      2. Reflect on their learning experience
      3. Analyse and critically evaluate primary and secondary information collected from research
      4. Creatively apply knowledge from different approaches to management issues and problems
      5. Handle complex situations holistically
      6. Analyse, synthesise and solve complex business problems
      7. Implement agreed solutions effectively and efficiently
      8. Act independently in planning and managing of learning with limited guidance

    3. Practical/Professional Skills
      1. Ability to conduct research into business and management issues and present findings both orally and in writing using a range of media
        Demonstrate numeracy and quantitative skills
      2. Demonstrate project management skills
      3. Use interpersonal skills including listening, persuading or influencing others.
      4. Able to show sensitivity to diversity in people and different situations

    4. Transferable Skills
      1. Monitor, assess and critically reflect on the use of IT and information skills and identify ways of further developing these skills
      2. Analyse the effectiveness of alternative approaches to skills development
      3. Be an autonomous learner and user of resources for learning
      4. Is confident and autonomous in problem solving
      5. Can engage confidently in academic and professional communication with others within their field
      6. Can clarify a group task and lead or work within a group towards defined outcomes

  2. Teaching / Learning Methods and Assessment

Delivery of the curricular material is through a blend of lectures, tutorials, seminars, practical workshops and field visits.

Lectures

Lectures are a major part of the teaching strategy for the programme. They are an effective way of delivering core material and establishing a framework for a module against which other material can be set. Students are made aware of the content of each module and issued with a list of the topics to be covered as well as sources of additional material (required and recommended reading). All members of staff aim to present lecture material in as effective and stimulating a manner as possible. Thus, use is made of presentation software, e.g. Microsoft PowerPoint, and all lecture rooms have appropriate projection equipment available. Lecturers make their notes and other resources available on Blackboard and students are able to download material, as necessary.

Visiting lecturers from industry and other educational institutions are invited to participate in the teaching programme where appropriate and when available.

Modular Subject Tutorials

Tutorials are meetings of a student or group of students with a lecturer or lecturers and are used in two ways within the programme:

  • To expand upon material covered in lectures through an enquiry-driven problem solving approach.
  • To undertake remedial work to overcome any deficiencies in a student’s background knowledge.

Seminars

Seminars involve a student or students presenting previously prepared work to peers and a lecturer. This strategy is used to extend specific theoretical or practical concepts as well as incorporating problem-solving approaches into the programme. Seminars are used in many modules and provide students with valuable experience in presentational skills as well as providing staff with a method of assessing student-centred learning.

Practical Workshops

Practical workshops are used extensively in modules such as consultancy and project management and management consultancy tools and techniques. In these sessions students are able to hone their skills in a supportive environment where they can get feedback from a member of academic staff. Practical workshops represent a valuable transition between theory and the workplace.

Field Visits

Visits to a range of business organisations and other sites will be arranged to provide the students with an opportunity to see some of the theory they have studied being implemented in the work-place in a variety of cultural settings.

Case Studies

Case studies are teaching strategies which are employed in a range of modules; they also are a useful assessment tool. Students are presented with or asked to develop real or simulated complex problems which they are required to analyse in detail and suggest/present their own solution in writing or orally.

Dissertation

Dissertations are undertaken on successful completion of Part 1 of the programme and the Research Methods Module and will relate to a topic identified by the student. All proposals are assessed as part of the Research Methods Module and a suitable supervisor is allocated to the student by the Dissertation Co-ordinator.

Learning Strategies

Students are expected to take greater responsibility for their own learning as they progress through their programme. The programme structure and the teaching strategies are designed to encourage this development. The student-centred approach is encouraged through the use of case studies, projects and practical exercises - supplemented by the use of appropriate support materials such as videos, computer software. Many of the learning strategies used employ active engagement with subject material to enhance learning.

Assessment

Assessments relate directly to learning outcomes and one assessment usually covers a range of learning outcomes. Candidates are assessed in taught modules and by means of a dissertation.

In designing and deciding upon an assessment format for a module the following factors have been considered:

  • The module learning outcomes and their level, with particular emphasis on the student’s ability to analyse, synthesise, evaluate and communicate information derived from:
    • Module content.
    • Learned knowledge from other areas/qualifications.
    • Experience.
    • The implementation of systematic information-seeking strategies.
  • Encouraging students to apply their skills to specific industry/business problems.
  • Approaching problems in a systematic way and employing test approaches that could resolve those problems.
  • Assessment performance criteria, as communicated to the student.
  • The validity and reliability of the assessment methods, which are monitored by module leaders and programme teams. Time constraints (for students and staff) and the need to ensure consistency.
  • The use of a range of strategies through which a student can demonstrate what he or she knows, understands or can do.
  • The need for assessment to allow for review and reflection by the student. Assessments take the form of essays, presentations, individual and group reports, time-constrained examinations and a dissertation.