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MANG6377 Business Project (PT)

Module Overview

The Business Project module forms the third part of the MBA (Mastering Business) and allows students to demonstrate their mastery of business management and leadership in a ‘capstone’ project for an organisation or business sector. It is an individual and independent project in which students can bring together all their learning on the programme to help solve a chosen business problem or challenge. The Business Project is undertaken in an area chosen by the student and is supervised by a member of Faculty. There is a series of workshops to prepare students for the Business Project, which cover research methods and associated skills such as client management and business planning. The Business Project involves an extended, independent investigation of a topic of your own choosing and the preparation of a 12,000 word business project describing your work. Essentially, the Business Project is a test of your ability to create and investigate, on your own initiative, a text which demonstrates a Masters level understanding of a particular subject issue. The Business Project acts as a mechanism for you to synthesize your previous learning and ability to conduct an independent piece of work. The module introduces students to business research methods and requires the initial development of a proposal for the Business Project. Once approved, you can then start the Business Project. Completing a Business Project gives you a unique opportunity to undertake an extended piece of personal research on a topic of your own choosing. You will be allocated a supervisor – if possible we will aim to match your research interests with those of the staff within the Business School. Business Projects can take a number of forms, for example: • Empirical work involving quantitative analysis of collected data. • A case study of a particular firm or industry. • Study of a particular problem in an organisation or industry. • A survey of business practice in a particular context. • A business plan which can be used for a new business venture. The Business Project should not exceed 12,000 words overall and includes the following two pieces of assessed work: - Proposal (2,000 words) - Main Project (10,000 words, incl. 1,000 word reflection) The Proposal must be completed and approved before progressing onto the Main Project. As a full-time student, you are expected to complete the taught element of the programme over the course of 9 months. You will work on the Business Project during the summer and it will be submitted during September.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

to prepare you to undertake and submit a substantial piece of independent work. Preparation of a business project requires you to: • Identify a suitable topic for study; • Design and undertake an appropriate investigation strategy; • Identify and access useful sources of information; • Plan and manage an appropriate schedule of work; • Liaise with your supervisor; • Write a well-presented business project. Generally, you are encouraged to undertake an applied business project based on a particular organisation context or related to a generic management issue. Students are particularly encouraged to write a business project that is of direct interest to a current or future employer. Business projects can take a number of forms, for example: • Empirical work involving quantitative analysis of collected data. • A case study of a particular firm or industry. • Study of a particular problem in an organisation or industry. • A survey of business practice in a particular context. • A business plan which can be used for a new business venture. You need to discuss what is appropriate with your Supervisor.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • How to scope a project in your subject area, stating clear objectives for your business project and ensure that the project addresses these objectives;
  • Your chosen subject and related conceptual and practical literature, making appropriate reference to relevant sources of information;
  • Various concepts/techniques/frameworks from one or more of your taught modules and how to apply them to a business problem.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Evaluate business problems in a critical and analytical manner, justifying arguments by reference to theory and practice;
  • Apply learning from the MBA (i.e. business models) as appropriate, using a variety of research designs, methodologies, measurements and techniques of analysis;
  • Provide appropriate and useful recommendations for businesses, as a result of the findings of your business project;
  • Demonstrate the ability to plan, execute and report a significant piece of business research and/or planning with at least some element of originality.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Write effectively for business purposes;
  • Manage individual tasks, personal resources and time effectively;
  • Learn through reflection on practice and experience, including how the Business Project can help to become a better business professional and/or manager;
  • Demonstrate the ability to work independently, carry out and evaluate a business project relevant to a business context.

Syllabus

Details of supervision processes, deadlines and handing-in processes will be clarified in the PG Business Project Handbook supplied in February. A supervisor will be appointed in April; you are entitled to 6 hours of supervision which you must organise and complete by the 31 July when supervision ends. The business project must be handed in mid-September. In brief the process is described below; during the period April – September you will be required to: • Identify a suitable topic for study; • Design and undertake an appropriate investigation strategy; • Complete the research ethics (ERGO) application and gain approval; • Identify and access useful sources of information; • Plan and manage an appropriate schedule of work; • Liaise with your supervisor; • Write a well-presented business project. Subject to the completion of the University’s Risk and Ethics procedures, students are encouraged to study international topics and may carry out fieldwork in overseas contexts.

Special Features

Some programmes offer students the opportunities to work on a business project with companies as a business project.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

• Business Project Workshops delivered by Programme Leader • Supervision (as detailed in Business Project Handbook) • Your Programme Leader/Supervisor may recommend attendance at other seminars or tutorials to aid the development of your topic

TypeHours
Independent Study570
Teaching30
Total study time600

Resources & Reading list

PG Business Project Handbook. The resources offered to all students for supporting their business project include the supervision given by lecturers/professors, databases such as Datastream, Bloomberg, Fame, Bank Scope; software such as Eviews, Stata, SPSS, SAS, Matlab, Excel, Endnotes and journal articles and books.

Assessment

Formative

Supervision sessions

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Project  (10000 words) 100%
Proposal  (2000 words) %

Referral

MethodPercentage contribution
Project  (1000 words) 100%

Costs

Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Other

There will be additional costs for printing and binding your business project.

Textbooks

Recommended texts for this module may be available in limited supply in the University Library and students may wish to purchase the mandatory/additional reading text as appropriate.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at www.calendar.soton.ac.uk.

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