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Master of Business Administration

Programme Handbook
2013-2014

University of Derby Online Learning

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University of Derby Online Learning

Contents
1: Welcome ........................................................................................................................... 3
2: Programme Information .................................................................................................... 5
3: Module Information ......................................................................................................... 12
Contemporary Challenges in Leadership & Management ................................................ 13
Markets, Customers and Marketing ................................................................................. 17
Sustainable Business Operations .................................................................................... 20
Leading, Managing and Developing People .................................................................... 27
Strategic Management .................................................................................................... 30
Business Impact Study .................................................................................................... 34
Independent Study .......................................................................................................... 39
4: Personal Development Planning (PDP).......................................................................... 44
4.1:Programme Assessment ........................................................................................... 45
4.2: Assessment Approach ............................................................................................. 45
4.3: Submission of Assessed Work ................................................................................ 46
4.4: Changes in Circumstances ....................................................................................... 46
4.5: Assessment Regulations ......................................................................................... 47
5: Programme Quality Assurance........................................................................................ 48
5.1: Programme Committee............................................................................................. 48
5.2: Student Representation and Feedback ..................................................................... 48

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1: Welcome
Welcome to the Master of Business Administration (MBA).
This handbook sets out important details about the content, format and assessment of the
various stages of your MBA programme as well as providing you with valuable
supplementary information. You should study it carefully and retain it for reference.
The MBA is a premier qualification in management which requires very hard work and
commitment. In order to succeed, you will need to be conscientious and focussed.
In constructing this study programme, the University of Derby has worked with the Chartered
Management Institute (CMI). The content and learning outcomes within the University of
Derby MBA have been benchmarked to meet the CMI Professional Manager standards. This
ensures that you acquire a sound grasp of the major disciplines underpinning general
management and that you show the ability to also transfer your learning into practical
application in the workplace.
In addition to the common core of knowledge and skills that underpin successful executive
management, major themes within the programme are those of Integration, Leadership,
Developments in Information Management and Trading within a Global Environment.
Please ensure that you meet all your academic commitments. Unless there are exceptional
circumstances, all deadlines for assignments and project work must be adhered to.
Occasionally a student gets into difficulty over his or her academic study. It is imperative that
you seek help early and you will find staff more than willing to assist in genuine cases of
difficulty.
I wish you every success in your postgraduate studies.
Yours sincerely
Bradley Saunders
PhD, MA, MSc, PGCE, BA, MCMI, AA CIPD
Senior Online Tutor (Business)
University of Derby Online Learning
Room S201, Kedleston Road, Derby, DE22 1GB

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Your Student Portal


University of Derby Online Learning (UDOL) would like to welcome you to your new student
portal, the gateway to all your online learning requirements. Here you will find useful
information to support you in studies as an online student, including Student Orientation,
Regulations, Study Skills and much more. Here you will be able to access your Programme
and Module(s) materials (previously known as Course Resources in UDo), access the elibrary and your Student Centre for marks and grades.You will also gain access to other
support services within the University; such as Student Wellbeing, Careers Service,
Technical Support and Student Union. Our Help centre within your portal will be your primary
source of reference should you have any queries about your studies:- changes in
circumstances, payment issues, assessments etc.
There are two ways to access the student portal.
ONLINE WEBSITE
From the online website, select Student Login which will appear in the top right hand corner
of each page. Enter your username and password to access the new student portal.
UNIVERSITY WEBSITE
From the university website, select Current Students, click on UDo, enter your username
and password then select Course Resources to access the new student portal.

1.1: Programme Team


Your Online Tutor
Your modules are presented by your online tutor - a qualified academic with subject
knowledge of the respective module. Youll find a welcome and introduction from him or her
within the module site on Course Resources (Blackboard). Your online tutor is your first point
of contact for any queries you might have about the module, the learning materials, your
grades and feedback and any other concerns you may have in relation to the module.
The Senior Online Tutor is able to help with wider issues, such as queries about the
programme, providing you with academic guidance as to your progression through the
programme and future studies.
The dedicated online learner support team (see below) are there to help with general queries
around your enrolment, registration, module choices, fee payments and help you to access
University services/support.

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We want your online learning experience to be a rewarding and enjoyable experience. If,
however, you experience any kind of difficulty at any stage, rest assured that you will find us
more than willing to provide you with first-class help and guidance.
Details of how to contact your Senior Online Tutor are available in My Programmes,
Programme Information. This can be accessed through My Learning (Your programme is
listed on the left hand side). Details of how to contact your Online Tutor are available in
individual modules.
The Online Learner Support Team
We want to offer a better, more personal online distance learning experience. Our dedicated
online learner support team are here to help you with general queries and technical support.
Contact them with your queries.
Our experienced team will be able to help with:

Understanding the number of credits you need to pass a stage of study, or achieve
an award.

What the university regulations mean for you.

Knowing what your statement of achievement means.

The process for looking up results on the University's virtual learning environment
(your Student Portal)

Understanding what it means if you're offered a referral and how to accept it in your
Portal.

Knowing what the difference is between referrals and deferrals.

A wealth of other things to support you through your study with us.

Visit the Contact us section of the Student Portal.

2: Programme Information
The Programme
Master of Business Administration (MBA)
Interim Awards:
Post Graduate Certificate in Management Studies

(60 credits)

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Post Graduate Diploma in Management Studies

(120 credits).

Master of Business Administration (MBA)

(180 credits)

External Accreditation
Chartered Management Institute (CMI)
CMI The Organisation
CMI are the only chartered professional body in the UK dedicated to promoting the highest
standards in management and leadership excellence. Currently CMI has more than 86,000
members. CMI is the only chartered body in the UK that awards management and
leadership qualifications, and the only body that awards Chartered Manager, the hallmark of
any professional manager.
If youre a manager that means when you join the CMI you are making a statement about
your standards and determination to continue to develop your management skills.
The Benefits of CMI Membership
CMI offer a wide ranging set of benefits to assist todays busy manager. These benefits
include:

Information resources an extensive online resource packed with up to the minute


best practice on the key management topics and issues.

Research advice and support trying to find answers on a key issue, CMI provide
trained researchers who will provide a free to members service to find those answers
for you.

Free publication subscription to the Professional Management and Management


Today publications keeping you informed of the latest management theory and
practice.

Networking frequent regional branch and national events, online forum and
discussion groups that allow you to share ideas and create dialogue with fellow
members.

Business HR free downloadable and customisable templates for policies, letters,


forms and contracts that ensures your organisation is adhering to national HR and
employment practices.

Free legal helpline advice from a qualified solicitor on a point of employment law
outlining options, risks and possible outcomes.

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Redundancy support free advice, practical support and an online job finding service
to enable you to get back into a managerial position.

The Benefits of Chartered Manager Status


Chartered Manager status can be your career defining attribute. It is a professional
recognition and independent endorsement of your ability to deliver results. It is a means of
differentiation, setting you apart and boosting your career. As well as being a stimulus for
your career, it highlights your ability and confidence to become a more efficient leader.
For additional information regarding the Chartered Management Institute please go to:
http://www.managers.org.uk
Programme Rationale
The online MBA programme attracts a consistent number of high profile students each year,
and in particular those that have a strong skill set in management. The programme aims to
add value by developing in individuals an integrated and critically aware understanding of
management and organisations, and assist them to take effective roles within them (QAA
Benchmark Statement).
QAA Subject benchmarks indicate that the overall objective of master's level business and
management degrees is to educate individuals as managers and business specialists, and
thus to improve the quality of management as a profession. The purpose of these degrees is
fourfold:
1.

The advanced study of organisations, their management and the changing external
context in which they operate.

2.

Preparation for and / or development of a career in business and management by


developing skills at a professional or equivalent level, or as preparation for research
or further study in the area.

3.

Development of the ability to apply knowledge and understanding of business and


management to complex issues, both systematically and creatively, to improve
business and management practice.

4.

Enhancement of lifelong learning skills and personal development so as to be able to


work with self-direction and originality and to contribute to business and society at
large.

The MBA is defined as a career development generalist programme for those who have
significant post-graduation and relevant work experience on which the learning process
should build. Normally, the experience required will be at least two years with the typical
entrant having substantially more than this. The main emphasis of these programmes is on
leadership through strategic management. While the academic level is positioned no
differently from that of Type 2 programmes, there is a strong practical and professional
orientation to the curriculum and they may be linked to professional institute qualifications.

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Due to the maturity and work experience of the students, MBA programmes are expected to
be different in their objectives, recruitment and pedagogical processes to other master's
degrees in business and management.
Graduates will have been able to ground their new knowledge within the base of their
professional experience. They will be able to reflect on and learn from that prior experience
and thus be able to integrate new knowledge with past experience and apply it to new
situations. They will be able to challenge preconceptions and to remove subject and
functional boundaries so as to handle complex situations holistically. They should also have
particular strengths in analysing, synthesising and solving complex unstructured business
problems.
In addition to being able to communicate their findings, they should have developed the skills
to implement agreed solutions effectively and efficiently. They should therefore have strongly
developed interpersonal skills and to be able to interact effectively with a range of
specialists.
Studying online may be a new experience for you and we want to provide you with the
opportunity to develop as an autonomous learner through appropriate academic support and
resources. This means that a range of materials to support your learning are available
online and you work through these materials at your own pace within the confines of the
module requirements. But this doesnt mean you are on your own. We are committed to
providing you with a named academic tutor for each module who is dedicated to supporting
you to achieve your best and will provide you with high quality feedback in a timely manner.
We also encourage you to exchange views with other students on the programme. You can
do this in a number of ways including E-Discussion Groups, Wikis, Live Classrooms (using
Blackboard Collaborate) and guided individual and group tasks.
Each module will incorporate the core elements of relevant and structured content, a rich
variety of activities and timely and focussed feedback in order to help you to get the most out
of your studies.

2.1: Programme Aims & Outcomes


The MBA operates with the Management Masters Programme (MMP) Framework which
covers all the Universitys Masters Suite of Business programmes. The programme aims to
share the main philosophy and a number of modules outlined for the specialist Management
Masters Programmes. The programme aims to set the MBA within the context of the broader
field of Business and Management enabling learners to demonstrate relevant knowledge
and understanding of organisations, the external context in which they operate and how they
are led.
Specific programme aims are to:

Provide a programme within the Postgraduate Regulatory framework and MMP


Specialist degrees with sufficient elements to meet the requirements of the Chartered
Management Institute Qualification Standards.

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Provide programme content and Learning,Teaching and Assessment strategy with


sufficient flexibility to meet the diverse market demands of local, national and
international student preferences.

Enable you to identify problems, complex issues and opportunities, make sound
judgements in the absence of complete data to achieve business benefit and
competitive advantage to ensure those decisions adds strategic value to the
organisation.

Evaluate the need for change, and the skills required to manage and lead the
change.

Develop professional behaviours and technical elements of professional


competencies through a range of leadership, managerial and strategic related skills
necessary to operate in, understand and lead the business function within complex
and unpredictable employment contexts.

Support you in the process of self-reflection and development to enhance


employability, career development and lifelong learning.

Provide an academically rigorous and challenging programme of study aligned with


the QAA Qualification Framework and CMI Strategic Leadership and Management
standards enhancing critical and reflective practice.

Prepare you to be operationally effective in you chosen business industry / sector by


providing you with the tools to achieve this; a strong theoretical base and a range of
skills relevant to todays business practice.

Programme Learning Outcomes


By the end of the programme you will have achieved a range of learning outcomes at the
level 7 standard of the Framework for Higher Education Qualification (FHEQ). These are
aligned with the overriding philosophy of the Management Masters Programmes, QAA
Subject Benchmark Statement for specialist Masters Degrees in Business and Management
(2007) and the CMI Level 7 Qualification Standards for Strategic Leadership and
Management.
Knowledge and Understanding
You will be able to:

Identify and understand the organisational dynamics contributing to effective


leadership.

Demonstrate an understanding of the impact of the external context upon


organisations including economics, markets and the development of management
practices and innovations at local, national and international level in the development
of their strategies and management.

Demonstrate a broad understanding of organisational functions and their contribution


to organisational capability and effectiveness; be aware of global variations in the

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internal characteristics of organisations, in particular stakeholder diversity and


differences in culture, structure and governance.

Demonstrate current knowledge and understanding of the major functional areas of


business.

Demonstrate specialist functional and professional knowledge in relation to your


programme of study and aligned to the (strategic insights and solutions; leading and
managing the function; organisation design and development; operations and
systems planning; financial and business performance; information and knowledge
utilisation; assessing and delivering business impact).

Demonstrate an understanding of the nature of change and how to implement,


manage and lead change processes within an organisation.

Intellectual Skills
You will be able to:

Research and analyse external factors and trends.

Demonstrate skills of analysis and synthesis through the application of knowledge to


complex business contexts and scenarios.

Plan and undertake a business impact project demonstrating the measurable and
achievable business performance outcomes.

Demonstrate strategic awareness and thinking capability.

Critically evaluate a range of academic literature and competing theoretical


paradigms and apply relevant academic concepts demonstrating intellectual rigour.

Present logical and relevant arguments.

Subject Specific Skills


You will be able to:

Demonstrate knowledge and skills relating to successful leadership and management


within a diverse cultural context.

Contribute towards the development of appropriate business strategies, policies,


procedures and change programmes within a dynamic business context.

Demonstrate a range of professional behaviours in line with the CMI Level 7


qualification standards (e.g. Curious; Decisive thinker; Skilled influencer; Driven to
deliver; Collaborative; Personally credible; Courage to challenge; Role model).

Manage tasks, projects and resources.

Demonstrate numerical and quantitative skills.

Demonstrate an understanding of the impact of professional and ethical standards


and principles on business practice and the organisation.

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Transferable Skills
You will be able to:

Understand & challenge personal ways of thinking and behaving demonstrating a


reflective and self-critical approach.

Demonstrate alternative ways of thinking & behaving in seeking solutions to complex


business problems.

Demonstrate skills and commitment to life-long learning & personal growth /


development.

Present and justify intellectually rigorous argument.

Communication skills: (listening; negotiating; persuading; influencing; oral and written


communication/presentation; team working; partnership skills).

Research and apply relevant knowledge and skills to specific situations.

2.2: Programme Structure and Content


This programme is studied on either a accelerated or standard basis. The certificate stage
provides you with a broad recognition of the environment and context within which a
business operates. Stages 2 and 3 build on this foundation with a more in depth exploration
of a range of tactical and strategic areas in line with the CMI Level 7 qualification standards.
Modules are designed to provide the learner with a broad range of appreciation in key
business areas.
Students who do not complete the full Masters programme of study (180 credits) may be
awarded a Post Graduate Certificate in Management (60 credits) or a Post Graduate
Diploma in Management (120 credits).
Postgraduate Certificate in Management
Core

Core

Prescribed

Contemporary Challenges
in Leadership &
Management

Markets, Customers and


Marketing

Sustainable Business
Operations

(20 credits)

(20 Credits)

(20 Credits)
Postgraduate Diploma in Management
Core
Improving Financial
Performance

Core
Leading, Managing &
Developing People

(20 credits)

(20 Credits)

Core
Strategic Management
(20 credits)

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Master of Business Administration


Prescribed
Business Impact Study or Independent Study
(60 Credits)

2.2.1: Study Patterns


A study pattern is a schedule that shows by semester the modules you can enrol on in order
to undertake your studies. The study pattern shows both core and optional modules (where
available). Follow the link below and then select your programme to see the study pattern.

Note: study patterns change depending on when you started the programme so please
select the study pattern for the semester you commenced your studies.
Link to Study Patterns.

3: Module Information
In this section you will find a description of the modules which comprise the programme. This
includes a description, indication of the content and the learning outcomes of each module.

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Contemporary Challenges in Leadership & Management


Module Level 7
Credit Value - 20

Module Description:
This module seeks to develop knowledge and understanding of the principle areas of
leadership management practices emanating from business research and development.
This will highlight contemporary changes and challenges on the links to positive
organisational outcomes, as well as the major debates around theory and practice in the
specific fields of leadership and change management. The aim of the module is to assist
you to become an effective manager and leader in the workplace. The module will also
require learners to reflect critically on theory and practice from an ethical and professional
skills perspective. You will draw experiences from a range of guest speakers and will
research contemporary topical issues as well as be encouraged to develop the skills and
behaviours to deal with the current challenges in organisations.
Module Content:
You will begin the module by exploring the influential and contemporary theories on
leadership and management, investigating the impacts of leadership and management
styles and how leaders might be developed in organisations. This exploration will have to be
considered in light of the changing nature of the business environment. As the workforce
population changes in terms of diversity of make-up (e.g. women, ethnic mix etc) so will
management and leadership styles need to adapt. Organisational structure and culture can
significantly influence expectations of leaders and managers. Consideration will also be
given to a number of different factors that may influence an individuals understanding in the
workplace (e.g. power and politics, risk in decision making, managing with ambiguity) and
how this is changing the way people approach their own development.
Organisations are pressing for a broader skill set from their managers and leaders. You will
explore the challenges in developing alternative skill sets in enterprising characteristics,
aptitude, attitudes and values, courage, insight, drive, resilience. Evidence shows that you
must take a greater responsibility in their personal and professional development, which will
require them to investigate and reflect on their continuing professional development.
Learners will explore the relevance of reflective practice to business leaders and
professional specialists and investing time in understanding how the frameworks to support
reflective practice will enable them to be more effective managers and leaders.
Module Learning Outcomes:
On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

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1.

Review and critically evaluate contemporary research and debates on the


relationship between the links between management and leadership practices and
positive organisational outcomes.

2.

Demonstrate a critical understanding of the wider implications of management


decisions and behaviour on organisations, teams and individuals in practice.

3.

Employ reflective and professional development processes to identify, evaluate and


record the use of professional skills and plan future development

This module is based on the Portfolio-based, Reflective Online Learning Delivery


Model and the Self-Paced Online Delivery Model:
You are provided with a set number of units of learning content. Content can be textual; can
include video and audio material, screencasts or presentations with voiceovers. This is
supported by additional optional activities such as discussion forums to enable you to ask
questions of your peers and your tutor to clarify your understanding and to engage in further
development of the principles and ideas. Formative learning activities such as practice
examples, worked examples and online quizzes are made available, such activities enable
you to interact, apply & exchange knowledge.
As part of this process, you will be asked to complete set activities which compile into a
portfolio' of work contributing in part to your final assessment for the module. You will
receive support from your tutor by sharing your portfolio as it develops.
You may be provided with the opportunity to participate in a set number of live classroom
sessions during the module; these provide you with real time' access to your tutor and an
opportunity to collaborate with your peers. Recordings of these sessions are made available
to all students on the module; these are particularly useful for those unable to attend and for
you to use in preparation for the module assessment strategy.
Module Assessment Mode:
Coursework 1: 40% weighting
Coursework 1 is a two part assessment
1. Assessment 1: 20%
750 800 words critically evaluating classic and contemporary literature in leadership
and management (week 4)
2. Assessment 2: 20%
750 800 words critically evaluating the value of reflecting on experiences in leadership
and management development (week 8)

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Coursework 2: 60% weighting


Coursework 2 is a two part assessment (End of module report)
1. Using a case study organisation, or an organisation of your choice, review and critically
evaluate contemporary research and debate on the relationship between management
and leadership practices and behaviours in creating positive organisational outcomes
(1900 2000 words maximum). Practical examples based on your experiences will be
encouraged to supplement the construction of this work.
2. An academic and practical reflective enquiry based on activities that lead to the
construction of a continuing professional development plan that will facilitate your
individual managerial and leadership growth (300 400 words maximum). This must
also include a development plan focusing on your own management and leadership
development. It will include the what, why, when and how of your development.
Formative Assessment
You will be given the opportunity to work through end of unit activities for each unit.
These activities could be:

Practical questions on the topic area


Sharing of outcomes and problems encountered during practical examples in
coursework
Further research into the topic area

You will be encouraged to discuss the results of these activities with others via discussion
boards to promote peer to peer learning. Online tutors will also provide formative feedback
to students via discussion boards and journal posts where appropriate.
Reading List
Your reading list for this module will be available as a digital reading list. You can access this
from your Blackboard module via the resources link on the left hand menu.

Learning and Teaching Schedule & Assignment Brief/s


Details of the Learning and Teaching Schedule and Assignment Brief will be available within
the Blackboard space for your module. Under Learning Activities you will find a list of Units
which indicate the delivery schedule of the module. The Assessment Brief will be available
within the Assessment area. If you have any questions about either of these elements you
should contact your Online Tutor for clarification.
Assessment Brief:
The assessment brief is published for a stated trimester and year of delivery (for example;
Autumn (September 2013), Spring (February 2014) or Summer (May 2014) and will be
published by the Friday of the first week of the relevant trimester.

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Assessment briefs contain the description of the assessment requirements for this module,
information for you regarding how to successfully complete the assessment and the deadline
for submission. Additional or further guidance may be provided by your Online Tutor through
module announcements or discussion board posts within Blackboard.
As a student you should ensure that you; read your Unimail email regularly, access
Blackboard regularly and subscribe to appropriate discussion board posts to receive any
updates.
Assessment Due Dates
These are detailed in the relevant assessment brief for the delivery period of your module.
For further details about Programme Assessment requirements go to section 4 of this
document.

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Markets, Customers and Marketing


Module Level 7
Credit Value - 20
Module Description:
The module develops critical learning into the organisational necessity of creating,
developing and delivering superior and sustainable customer value achieving long-term
competitive advantage in current, and potential, business economies and environments. But
commercial reality and engagement means putting the customer central to, and across all
levels of, an organisation processes.
The module is designed to develop management skills to support professionals capable of
operating in increasingly complex, customer driven, fast moving and ever changing regional,
international and global environments. All organisations, whether in the commercial, not for
profit, business to business or public sectors, or whether in manufacturing or service
provision, large or small.
To fully understand business and market behaviour the module is underpinned by economic
principles, and their impacts, on the choices and strategies that marketers can adopt in
competitive marketplaces. Management of all transformational, and operational, activities
matter because they are the delivery system processes that will satisfy those customers, and
their needs, by producing the necessary goods, and/or services, effectively and efficiently.
Creating and delivering customer value will in return create mutually beneficial exchanges
with all stakeholders. Organisations need prudent financial planning from marketers to
achieve their annual targets.
Module Content:

Market equilibrium and consumer theory

Producer theory and pricing strategy, pricing under monopoly, oligopoly and market
dominance

Market situations and government regulation

Macro, micro, internal environments and stakeholders

Capital investment decisions

The marketing orientation and centrality of the customer/consumer

Understanding the needs and values of customers

Marketing objectives, strategy, marketing sustainability, marketing tactics

Finance for marketers, costings, gross/net profit margins

Integration of organisational operations to achieve strategic aims

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Creating and delivering customer value, innovation

Product and Services designs, 7Ps

Marketing planning, actions, implementation, risk and controls

Marketing ethics, CSR, Corporate Governance

Covering all organisational sectors, brands, identities, all domains and geographies,
international and global considerations

Module Learning Outcomes:


1.

Critically examine the impact that market structures, costs, pricing and competition
have on marketing strategies.

2.

Critically evaluate how customer value can be maximised through marketing


activities to produce sustainable, strategic, competitive advantage.

3.

Reflect on current trends and critical issues that are pertinent to the successful
strategic alignment of sustainable value to customers and organisations.

4.

Demonstrate personal skills sets for employability using analysis, planning,


implementation and control techniques.

This module is based on the Portfolio-based, Reflective Online Learning Delivery


Model and the Self-Paced Online Delivery Model:
You are provided with a set number of units of learning content. Content can be textual; can
include video and audio material, screencasts or presentations with voiceovers. This is
supported by additional optional activities such as discussion forums to enable you to ask
questions of your peers and your tutor to clarify your understanding and to engage in further
development of the principles and ideas. Formative learning activities such as practice
examples, worked examples and online quizzes are made available, such activities enable
you to interact, apply & exchange knowledge.
As part of this process, you will be asked to complete set activities which compile into a
portfolio' of work contributing in part to your final assessment for the module. You will
receive support from your tutor by sharing your portfolio as it develops.
You may be provided with the opportunity to participate in a set number of live classroom
sessions during the module; these provide you with real time' access to your tutor and an
opportunity to collaborate with your peers. Recordings of these sessions are made available
to all students on the module; these are particularly useful for those unable to attend and for
you to use in preparation for the module assessment strategy.

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Module Assessment Mode:


Formative assessment:
You will be given the opportunity to work through end of unit activities for each unit.
These activities could be:

Practical questions on the topic area


Sharing of outcomes and problems encountered during practical examples in
coursework
Further research into the topic area

You will be encouraged to discuss the results of these activities with others via discussion
boards to promote peer to peer learning. Online tutors will also provide formative feedback
to students via discussion boards and journal posts where appropriate.
Coursework 1: 20%
Case Study computerised test
Coursework 2: 80%
Individual report and learning diary
Reading List
Your reading list for this module will be available as a digital reading list. You can access this
from your Blackboard module via the resources link on the left hand menu.

Learning and Teaching Schedule & Assignment Brief/s


Details of the Learning and Teaching Schedule and Assignment Brief will be available within
the Blackboard space for your module. Under Learning Activities you will find a list of Units
which indicate the delivery schedule of the module. The Assessment Brief will be available
within the Assessment area. If you have any questions about either of these elements you
should contact your Online Tutor for clarification.
Assessment Brief:
The assessment brief is published for a stated trimester and year of delivery (for example;
Autumn (September 2013), Spring (February 2014) or Summer (May 2014) and will be
published by the Friday of the first week of the relevant trimester.
Assessment briefs contain the description of the assessment requirements for this module,
information for you regarding how to successfully complete the assessment and the deadline
for submission. Additional or further guidance may be provided by your Online Tutor through
module announcements or discussion board posts within Blackboard.

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As a student you should ensure that you; read your Unimail email regularly, access
Blackboard regularly and subscribe to appropriate discussion board posts to receive any
updates.
Assessment Due Dates
These are detailed in the relevant assessment brief for the delivery period of your module.
For further details about Programme Assessment requirements go to section 4 of this
document.

Sustainable Business Operations


Module Level 7
Credit Value 20
Module Description:
Sustainable Business Operations is concerned with creating quality products and services in
a consistent and reliable way. As this is the reason for the existence of an organisation,
Sustainable Business Operations will be a central concern to the whole organisation.
The aim of this module is to provide a clear, well-structured and interesting treatment of
Sustainable Business Operations as it applies to a variety of businesses and organisations
and in a variety of contexts. It is intended to provide a logical and systematic path through
the activities of Sustainable Business Operations and an understanding of their strategic
context. It is orientated towards a managerial perspective of operations and is set within the
context of its significant contribution to the success of an organisation.
Specifically, the module aims to be:

Strategic

Conceptual

Comprehensive

Practical

International and Global

Balanced and Integrated

Module Indicative Content:


Business Operations as a System:

Operations Strategy

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Performance Objectives of Operations

Inputs, Transformations and Outputs

Design

Planning and Control

Improvement

Sustainability through Systems Design sourcing, distribution and managing the


value-added activities and minimising wasteful activities

Aspects of Quality:

Philosophies

Systems

Evolution and Evaluation

Project Management:

A method for delivering beneficial radical change

Skills for delivering successful projects strategic, technical and interpersonal

The Project Life Cycle and evolving approaches

Rethinking Project Management

Module Learning Outcomes:


On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:
1.

Analyse the importance of effective Sustainable Business Operations and the


conditions necessary for effective and efficient work.

2.

Critically evaluate changes/improvements to services, products and systems and


how these impact on operations, and the overall success of the organisation.

This module is based on the Self-Paced Supported Online Learning Delivery Model:
You are provided with a set number of units of learning content. Content can be textual; can
include video and audio material, screencasts or presentations with voiceovers. This is
supported by additional optional activities such as discussion forums to enable you to ask
questions of your peers and your tutor, to clarify your understanding and to engage in further
development of the principles and ideas.
Formative learning activities such as practice examples, worked examples and online
quizzes are made available to you. Such activities enable you to interact, apply & exchange
knowledge. The purpose of formative activity is to provide you with feedback so that you
know how you are progressing.

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You may be provided with the opportunity to participate in a set number of live classroom
sessions during the module; these provide you with real time' access to your tutor and an
opportunity to collaborate with your peers. Recordings of these sessions are made available
to all students on the module; these are particularly useful for those unable to attend and for
you to use in preparation for the module assessment strategy.
Module Assessment:
Formative Assessment
You will be given the opportunity to work through end of unit activities for each unit.
These activities could be:

Practical questions on the topic area


Sharing of outcomes and problems encountered during practical examples in
coursework
Further research into the topic area

You will be encouraged to discuss the results of these activities with others via discussion
boards to promote peer to peer learning. Online tutors will also provide formative feedback
to students via discussion boards and journal posts where appropriate.
Coursework: 100%
Individual, written assignment. (3000-4000 words)
Reading List
Your reading list for this module will be available as a digital reading list. You can access this
from your Blackboard module via the resources link on the left hand menu.

Learning and Teaching Schedule & Assignment Brief/s


Details of the Learning and Teaching Schedule and Assignment Brief will be available within
the Blackboard space for your module. Under Learning Activities you will find a list of Units
which indicate the delivery schedule of the module. The Assessment Brief will be available
within the Assessment area. If you have any questions about either of these elements you
should contact your Online Tutor for clarification.
Assessment Brief:
The assessment brief is published for a stated trimester and year of delivery (for example;
Autumn (September 2013), Spring (February 2014) or Summer (May 2014)) and will be
published by the Friday of the first week of the relevant trimester.
Assessment briefs contain the description of the assessment requirements for this module,
information for you regarding how to successfully complete the assessment and the deadline
for submission. Additional or further guidance may be provided by your Online Tutor through
module announcements or discussion board posts within Blackboard.

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As a student you should ensure that you; read your Unimail email regularly, access
Blackboard regularly and subscribe to appropriate discussion board posts to receive any
updates.
Assessment Due Dates
These are detailed in the relevant assessment brief for the delivery period of your module.
For further details about Programme Assessment requirements go to section 4 of this
document.

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Improving Financial Performance


Module Level 7
Credit Value 20
Module Description:
As individuals take on more responsibilities within the organisation, they are more likely to be
encouraged to accept accountabilities. This broadly means that their involvement is more
likely to have a noticeable impact on the financial performance of the organisation, and that
they are more likely to have to evaluate past performance, and be able to suggest and
validate proposals for the future. This requires the participant to have the knowledge and
competence to use financially based performance metrics at a more strategic level.
If the participant can make an impact on financial performance, the premise would be that
this would be an improvement. The organisation facing market and economic downturn, can
always potentially be in an improved position.
You are therefore likely to have a range of informational needs, and many of these will be
financially linked and supported by accounting based activities. The needs must be
identified and analysed, as the module presents a range of potentially appropriate tools to
provide the knowledge framework. The module faces the challenge of helping participants
to achieve raise their level of contribution to performance, by using the tools in the
workplace. They may be both bound and liberated by financial information, as the
accountabilities are accepted.
As an increasingly diverse and potentially complex number of financially related issues are
likely to arise for the participant at this level, the module will provide a main focus on the
informational needs and uses generally associated with Management Accounting at the
operational and tactical level, and Financial Management at the tactical and strategic level.
The overall aim is to at least partially overcome the almost inevitable manager confronts
accounting fear factor, to enable a higher level of questioning and participation in matters
that might otherwise be left inappropriately managed, and dependent on the domain of the
accountants.
Module Content:

Responsibility of managers as finance managers;


Concept of value.
Role of financial and management accounting - data to support decisions.
Using management accounting information.
Financial analysis.
Budgets and budgetary control.
Costing methods and pricing strategies

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Capital maintenance and investment appraisal.


Cost of capital.
How to value companies
Financial markets,
Identifying relevant information sources across the value chain
Information systems and business integration
A Systems thinking approach to performance measurement

Module Learning Outcomes:


On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

To critically analyse the financially related performance metrics of the organisation.

To critically evaluate financially related information with the aim of supporting the
financially measured improvements.

This module is based on the Self-Paced Supported Online Learning Delivery Model:
You are provided with a set number of units of learning content. Content can be textual; can
include video and audio material, screencasts or presentations with voiceovers. This is
supported by additional optional activities such as discussion forums to enable you to ask
questions of your peers and your tutor, to clarify your understanding and to engage in further
development of the principles and ideas.
Formative learning activities such as practice examples, worked examples and online
quizzes are made available to you. Such activities enable you to interact, apply & exchange
knowledge. The purpose of formative activity is to provide you with feedback so that you
know how you are progressing.
You may be provided with the opportunity to participate in a set number of live classroom
sessions during the module; these provide you with real time' access to your tutor and an
opportunity to collaborate with your peers. Recordings of these sessions are made available
to all students on the module; these are particularly useful for those unable to attend and for
you to use in preparation for the module assessment strategy.
Module Assessment Mode:
Formative assessment
You will be given the opportunity to work through end of unit activities for each unit.
These activities could be:

Practical questions on the topic area


Sharing of outcomes and problems encountered during practical examples in
coursework
Further research into the topic area

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You will be encouraged to discuss the results of these activities with others via discussion
boards to promote peer to peer learning. Online tutors will also provide formative feedback
to students via discussion boards and journal posts where appropriate.
Summative assessment: Written report to show the results of an applied analysis (Max 3,000
words) of an issue using appropriate techniques and data.
Reading List
Your reading list for this module will be available as a digital reading list. You can access this
from your Blackboard module via the resources link on the left hand menu.
Learning and Teaching Schedule & Assignment Brief/s
Details of the Learning and Teaching Schedule and Assignment Brief will be available within
the Blackboard space for your module. Under Learning Activities you will find a list of Units
which indicate the delivery schedule of the module. The Assessment Brief will be available
within the Assessment area. If you have any questions about either of these elements you
should contact your Online Tutor for clarification.
Assessment Brief:
The assessment brief is published for a stated trimester and year of delivery (for example;
Autumn (September 2013), Spring (February 2014) or Summer (May 2014) and will be
published by the Friday of the first week of the relevant trimester.
Assessment briefs contain the description of the assessment requirements for this module,
information for you regarding how to successfully complete the assessment and the deadline
for submission. Additional or further guidance may be provided by your Online Tutor through
module announcements or discussion board posts within Blackboard.
As a student you should ensure that you; read your Unimail email regularly, access
Blackboard regularly and subscribe to appropriate discussion board posts to receive any
updates.
Assessment Due Dates
These are detailed in the relevant assessment brief for the delivery period of your module.
For further details about Programme Assessment requirements go to section 4 of this
document.

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Leading, Managing and Developing People


Module Level 7
Credit Value 20
Module Description:
All managers and leaders are required to develop core knowledge and skills in the field of
people management to enable them to contribute and add value to their organisations
operating in a dynamic organisational and international context. This module seeks to
develop knowledge and understanding of the principle areas of people management
practices emanating from HRM/D research; highlighting contemporary changes and
developments on the links to positive organisational outcomes, as well as the major debates
about theory and practice in the specific fields of leadership, flexibility and change
management within a global context. The aim of the module is to assist you in becoming an
effective manager, provide a basis for understanding people management and development
from a strategic perspective and enhance professional practices within the employment
relationship context. The module also requires you to reflect critically on theory and practice
from an ethical and professional standpoint.
Module Content:

The context of people management: - global, internationalisation, economic and


institutional frameworks; changing organisational forms;

The application of business strategy models and theories to people management


decisions

Impacts of leadership and management styles, the development of leaders in


organisations

The evolving role of the HR function and HR practitioner within different types or
organisations merging of two sentences

Influential and contemporary theories on commitment, psychological contract and


engagement

Understanding teams and groups in organisations

HR policy and practice throughout the employment process; resourcing, development,


reward, performance management

The management of employee relations in the workplace; employee involvement

Links between people practices (including HRM/D) and business outcomes

Ethical people management practices

Professionalism and ethical practice in the management of individuals in organisations

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Module Learning Outcomes:


On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:
1.

Critically evaluate contemporary research and debates on the relationship between


people management/development and leadership practices in a dynamic and
international organisational context.

2.

Demonstrate a critical understanding of the role of management and practices and


the implications for organisational performance.

3.

Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the necessary capabilities,


professional skills and knowledge required to manage people.

This module is based on the Self-Paced Supported Online Learning Delivery Model:
You are provided with a set number of units of learning content. Content can be textual; can
include video and audio material, screencasts or presentations with voiceovers. This is
supported by additional optional activities such as discussion forums to enable you to ask
questions of your peers and your tutor, to clarify your understanding and to engage in further
development of the principles and ideas.
Formative learning activities such as practice examples, worked examples and online
quizzes are made available to you. Such activities enable you to interact, apply & exchange
knowledge. The purpose of formative activity is to provide you with feedback so that you
know how you are progressing.
You may be provided with the opportunity to participate in a set number of live classroom
sessions during the module; these provide you with real time' access to your tutor and an
opportunity to collaborate with your peers. Recordings of these sessions are made available
to all students on the module; these are particularly useful for those unable to attend and for
you to use in preparation for the module assessment strategy.
Module Assessment Mode:
Formative assessment:
You will be given the opportunity to work through end of unit activities for each unit.
These activities could be:
Practical questions on the topic area
Sharing of outcomes and problems encountered during practical examples in
coursework
Further research into the topic area

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You will be encouraged to discuss the results of these activities with others via discussion
boards to promote peer to peer learning. Online tutors will also provide formative feedback
to students via discussion boards and journal posts where appropriate.
Summative assessment
Time Constrained Activity:

50%

A time constrained activity allowing the learners to demonstrate knowledge and


understanding of the concepts and application within the module.
Coursework 2: 50%
A 2,000word (max) written assignment that provides evidence of application and skills
development of the module content.
Reading List
Your reading list for this module will be available as a digital reading list. You can access this
from your Blackboard module via the resources link on the left hand menu.

Learning and Teaching Schedule & Assignment Brief/s


Details of the Learning and Teaching Schedule and Assignment Brief will be available within
the Blackboard space for your module. Under Learning Activities you will find a list of Units
which indicate the delivery schedule of the module. The Assessment Brief will be available
within the Assessment area. If you have any questions about either of these elements you
should contact your Online Tutor for clarification.
Assessment Brief:
The assessment brief is published for a stated trimester and year of delivery (for example;
Autumn (September 2013), Spring (February 2014) or Summer (May 2014) and will be
published by the Friday of the first week of the relevant trimester.
Assessment briefs contain the description of the assessment requirements for this module,
information for you regarding how to successfully complete the assessment and the deadline
for submission. Additional or further guidance may be provided by your Online Tutor through
module announcements or discussion board posts within Blackboard.
As a student you should ensure that you; read your Unimail email regularly, access
Blackboard regularly and subscribe to appropriate discussion board posts to receive any
updates.
Assessment Due Dates
These are detailed in the relevant assessment brief for the delivery period of your module.
For further details about Programme Assessment requirements go to section 4 of this
document.

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Strategic Management
Module Level 7
Credit Value 20
Module Description:
This integrative module draws upon many of the themes covered elsewhere in the
programme, and it aims to provide you with an holistic view and understanding of how
different types of organisations manage the dynamics of strategy and policy formulation,
implementation, and evaluation in order to respond to changes in both internal and external
environmental dynamics and develop sustainable [competitive] advantage. It also aims to
cover the landmark changes in business strategy and competitive markets being driven by
globalisation and the dynamics of internet technology and how these impact on
organisations. Further, in addition to providing a broad representation of the diverse
concepts and theories that reflects current debate among academics and practitioners alike,
it explores how firms utilise and manage competitive intelligence and knowledge in differing
cultural, industrial and organisational contexts in order to develop innovative strategies to
attain and maintain sustainable competitive advantage(s).
Finally, the module encourages you to develop a wider global/international perspective;
increase their awareness of organisational, industry and cultural diversity and develop your
critical/analytical, problem-solving and strategic decision-making skills.
Module Content:

Strategic Management in context: Its History, Evolution, and role in corporate


development and the role of managers as innovative [strategic] thinkers.

Strategic Management in a Changing Environment; Change and Competitive


Advantage; Managing Strategic Change and developing dynamic response in
dynamic and volatile environments

Corporate Governance, Social Responsibility and Ethical issues.

The Social Enterprise and Shared Values agendas: How organisations contribute
to various stakeholder interests and build value networks for mutual benefit.

Mapping Business Landscapes; Identifying internal and external competitive


boundaries and mapping key relationships; Adapting to/shaping the business
Landscape

Globalisation and Strategy: Defined and Demystified; Implications and strategic


gains; the challenges of Global Efficiency, Local Responsiveness, and Global
Learning.

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The External Context: Industry Characteristics and Organisational Performance;


Value Creation and Value Capture; Entry and Incumbency Advantage; Vertical
Power: Buyers, Suppliers and Inter-organisational Relationships.

The Internal Context: Synergy or Responsiveness? Co-ordination or Incentive?


Structure, Culture and sense-making, principles of transformation; the reengineering, re-invention and re-emergence roller coaster;

Creating Competitive Advantage through Innovation; The routes to Value and


Competitive Advantage; Innovative thinking, Knowledge, capability and position as
Sustainable Competitive Advantage; Markets v. Resources approaches;
Product/Service Quality and Cost frameworks.

Corporate Level Strategy: Generation of Strategic Alternatives through Scenario


Building and Planning; Evaluation and Choice; Implementation issues: Plans,
Policies and Resource Allocation. The impact of e-business on strategy formulation,
or as a strategic option.

Knowledge Management: leveraging knowledge assets for competitive advantage


and the role of informal social networks in innovation.

Module Learning Outcomes:


On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:
1.

Critically analyse both quantitatively and qualitatively, the key issues facing the
successful formulation and implementation of strategy.

2.

Apply relevant and critical, methodological and theoretical literature on Strategic


Management in different organisational and industry contexts.

3.

Demonstrate an ability to use appropriate methods and approaches to evaluate,


analyse, synthesise and quantify information about complex organisations in
dynamically competitive situations; critically evaluate and select from a number of
strategic options, and provide recommendations for implementation or (an)other
course(s) of action.

This module is based on the Self-Paced Supported Online Learning Delivery Model:
You are provided with a set number of units of learning content. Content can be textual; can
include video and audio material, screencasts or presentations with voiceovers. This is
supported by additional optional activities such as discussion forums to enable you to ask
questions of your peers and your tutor, to clarify your understanding and to engage in further
development of the principles and ideas.
Formative learning activities such as practice examples, worked examples and online
quizzes are made available to you. Such activities enable you to interact, apply & exchange

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knowledge. The purpose of formative activity is to provide you with feedback so that you
know how you are progressing.
You may be provided with the opportunity to participate in a set number of live classroom
sessions during the module; these provide you with real time' access to your tutor and an
opportunity to collaborate with your peers. Recordings of these sessions are made available
to all students on the module; these are particularly useful for those unable to attend and for
you to use in preparation for the module assessment strategy.
Module Assessment Mode:
100% Written Coursework 3,500 words or equivalent
Formative assessment:
You will be given the opportunity to work through end of unit activities for each unit.
These activities could be:
Practical questions on the topic area
Sharing of outcomes and problems encountered during practical examples in
coursework
Further research into the topic area
You will be encouraged to discuss the results of these activities with others via discussion
boards to promote peer to peer learning. Online tutors will also provide formative feedback
to students via discussion boards and journal posts where appropriate.
Summative assessment will be via an in-depth application of key strategy themes and
constructs to evaluate an organisation or complex (organisation or industry) case scenario.
Reading List
Your reading list for this module will be available as a digital reading list. You can access this
from your Blackboard module via the resources link on the left hand menu.

Learning and Teaching Schedule & Assignment Brief/s


Details of the Learning and Teaching Schedule and Assignment Brief will be available within
the Blackboard space for your module. Under Learning Activities you will find a list of Units
which indicate the delivery schedule of the module. The Assessment Brief will be available
within the Assessment area. If you have any questions about either of these elements you
should contact your Online Tutor for clarification.

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Assessment Brief:
The assessment brief is published for a stated trimester and year of delivery (for example;
Autumn (September 2013), Spring (February 2014) or Summer (May 2014) and will be
published by the Friday of the first week of the relevant trimester.
Assessment briefs contain the description of the assessment requirements for this module,
information for you regarding how to successfully complete the assessment and the deadline
for submission. Additional or further guidance may be provided by your Online Tutor through
module announcements or discussion board posts within Blackboard.
As a student you should ensure that you; read your Unimail email regularly, access
Blackboard regularly and subscribe to appropriate discussion board posts to receive any
updates.
Assessment Due Dates
These are detailed in the relevant assessment brief for the delivery period of your module.
For further details about Programme Assessment requirements go to section 4 of this
document.

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Business Impact Study


Module Level 7
Credit Value 60
Module Description:
The Business Impact Study represents a major learning experience for you providing an
opportunity to pursue in considerable depth and with suitable academic rigour a specific area
of organisational intervention that is of interest to you, building on a preliminary investigation
which has involved the use of relevant concepts, models and paradigms to understand a
business issue.
You can examine an area of your field of study which may not be available in formal
modules, which needs extensive research or is best pursued on an individual basis. It also
offers the chance for personal development, enhancing your existing skills of self-reliance,
planning and organization, time management, communication, written expression and critical
analysis as well as developing new practical research skills.
Each Business Impact Study will be supervised by an appropriate Supervisor, appointed by
Derby Business School. Prior to starting the full study, a Business Impact Proposal will be
individually negotiated on entry at the final stage of the MBA programme.
The final work will be independently assessed by two tutors, one of whom will be the
Supervisor. It will be formed from two reports one which seeks to explain the business
issue from an academic perspective and provides recommendations and one which reports
on the implementation and impact of those recommendations.
Module Content:
The study is a three-part initiative:
1. A Research Proposal outlining your business issue and how you intend to examine it.
2. A Research Project designed to understand a business issue and develop a set of
recommendations to resolve the investigated issue
3. An impact study whereby your recommendations are implemented and the impact of
these evaluated
Part 1:
Initially you will produce a research proposal that outlines your plans to research an
identified business issue. The issue can be organisational, business unit or department wide
and can be operational, people focussed or strategic in nature.
The proposal will outline the issue and propose a clear aim and set of objectives which
should seek to explore, understand and explain the issue. The proposal will also detail and
justify a research approach and methods designed to meet the aim and the objectives. The
purpose of the proposal is to outline a feasible project that is achievable given the methods

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you specify. The proposal is completed on a standardised template and will include a
rationale, a short literature review and proposed methodology.
Part 2: Investigating a Business Issue Report.
This part of the process can be conceptualised as a mini dissertation. It is a short report
which outlines a small scale research project with one clear aim and two or three highly
specific objectives which attempt to explore and explain a business issue. There will be a
clear theoretical framework in place to underpin the project. The investigation must have
ethical approval from the Business Subject Research Ethics Committee and must culminate
in the development of a set of recommendations which will be implemented in part three of
the module assessment for example they may include:
Creating something that did not exist previously
Improving a current departmental or business activity
Implementing change to improve performance via new methods
In your recommendations you will provide an efficient, in-depth set of recommendations with
consideration given to financial and other resources needed to implement the theoretical
proposal.
The Investigating a Business Issue Report will be approximately 5000-6000 words long and
comprise the following sections:
Introduction
Literature review
Methodology
Results
Discussion
Conclusion
Recommendations
Part 3:
This part of the process requires you to devise a plan to implement your
recommendations, follow this through and then evaluate the impact your changes have
made. You will be required to produce a Business Impact Report to demonstrate the
difference that your research and intervention have made to the chosen organisation. The
report is to address a significant issue, relating this to current academic practice and
culminating in displaying a measurable performance impact. Your Impact Report is required
to demonstrate that the operation or performance of the organisation has changed. For
example:

Creating something that did not exist previously


Improving a current departmental or business activity
Achieving significantly more than expected due to your research and impact report
Implementing change to improve performance via new methods

You will also include a review of your processes and performance in completing the
Business Impact Study. This will be based on a template structure around specific
leadership and management tasks and skills. You will be required to evidence how your
learning has been influenced by the study you have undertaken and through your learning

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and development plan evidence how you will utilise (and share) this learning for the benefit
of others in the organisation.
The Business Impact Report will be approximately 8000 9000 words and is structured
thus:

Introduction and Report Rationale

Key Underpinning Business Models

Implementation Strategy

Data Analysis and Discussion

Conclusions

Recommendations

Reflective Review of Process and Performance

Module Learning Outcomes:


On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:
1. Act autonomously in designing and implementing a research project that critically
evaluates and explains a business issue to a professional standard. The topic should be
relevant to the title of the programme and must meet the Universitys ethical guidelines
2. Develop and work within an appropriate methodology to implement findings and
recommendations and assess the impact of these.
3. Reflect on the process of undertaking a significant independent project using the ideas
and concepts from the course and plan their future development.
This module is based on the Self-Paced Supported Online Learning Delivery Model:
You are provided with a set number of units of learning content. Content can be textual; can
include video and audio material, screencasts or presentations with voiceovers. This is
supported by additional optional activities such as discussion forums to enable you to ask
questions of your peers and your tutor, to clarify your understanding and to engage in further
development of the principles and ideas.
Formative learning activities such as practice examples, worked examples and online
quizzes are made available to you. Such activities enable you to interact, apply & exchange
knowledge. The purpose of formative activity is to provide you with feedback so that you
know how you are progressing.
You may be provided with the opportunity to participate in a set number of live classroom
sessions during the module; these provide you with real time' access to your tutor and an
opportunity to collaborate with your peers. Recordings of these sessions are made available
to all students on the module; these are particularly useful for those unable to attend and for
you to use in preparation for the module assessment strategy.

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Module Assessment:
Formative assessment:
You will be given the opportunity to work through end of unit activities for each unit.
These activities could be:
Practical questions on the topic area
Sharing of outcomes and problems encountered during practical examples in
coursework
Further research into the topic area
You will be encouraged to discuss the results of these activities with others via discussion
boards to promote peer to peer learning. Online tutors will also provide formative feedback
to students via discussion boards and journal posts where appropriate.
Summative Assessment
Coursework1
50% weighting
Individual Assignments:
Proposal
Dissertation

1500 words
000 - 8,000 words

You will propose a research project that investigates a business issue in order to understand
it better and develop recommendations for resolution or improvement. The proposal will be
supported by theoretical models, to include Innovation, entrepreneurship, strategy,
marketing, HR etc as appropriate and will outline a clear and feasible methodology to allow
objectives to be realized. Formative feedback on the proposal will be given to help you to
refine the research design before conducting the project.You will then conduct and write up a
small research project as has been outlined in your proposal. Your research will be
underpinned by a clear theoretical framework and will include appropriate methods, a
sufficiently deep analysis of data, a thorough discussion of the results and clear conclusions
and recommendations. Recommendations must be detailed and achievable as these will be
implemented in phase three.

Coursework 2
50% weighting
Individual Assignment 7000 8000 words.
You will implement the recommendations from coursework 1, developing a strategy for
exploiting it and recognition of the intervention impact. It will be supported by theoretical
models, to include innovation, entrepreneurship, strategy, marketing, HR and operations as
appropriate. Youwill also construct and submit a reflective critique of personal learning and
development. This will be formulated through the use of a skills template (based on
Chartered Management Institute skills format in leading and managing people)
Reading List
Your reading list for this module will be available as a digital reading list. You can access this
from your Blackboard module via the resources link on the left hand menu.

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Learning and Teaching Schedule & Assignment Brief/s


Details of the Learning and Teaching Schedule and Assignment Brief will be available within
the Blackboard space for your module. Under Learning Activities you will find a list of Units
which indicate the delivery schedule of the module. The Assessment Brief will be available
within the Assessment area. If you have any questions about either of these elements you
should contact your Online Tutor for clarification.
Assessment Brief:
The assessment brief is published for a stated trimester and year of delivery (for example;
Autumn (September 2013), Spring (February 2014) or Summer (May 2014) and will be
published by the Friday of the first week of the relevant trimester.
Assessment briefs contain the description of the assessment requirements for this module,
information for you regarding how to successfully complete the assessment and the deadline
for submission. Additional or further guidance may be provided by your Online Tutor through
module announcements or discussion board posts within Blackboard.
As a student you should ensure that you; read your Unimail email regularly, access
Blackboard regularly and subscribe to appropriate discussion board posts to receive any
updates.
Assessment Due Dates
These are detailed in the relevant assessment brief for the delivery period of your module.
For further details about Programme Assessment requirements go to section 4 of this
document.

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Independent Study
Module Level 7
Credit Value 60
Module Description:
Independent Study normally forms a significant part of a masters programme. This is a
major piece of independently researched work, providing an opportunity to carry out an indepth investigation of a management problem or issue that should normally have a strategic
dimension which addresses organisational issues and provides a process for solving
management problems.
Independent study will provide you with the opportunity to use and enhance the knowledge
and intellectual skills gained during the course, by means of an extensive investigation of a
significant management area. The module provides an opportunity for those studying any of
the specialist programmes to explore an in depth topic relevant to that programme. It also
provides the opportunity for you to reflect on the research experience and use what you
have learned to guide your future development via a reflective statement and development
plan.
As a result of developing and applying an analytical framework based on a specialist issue,
you will be able to enhance your own competencies for undertaking future business,
management and finance research or analysis. You will be better able to evaluate the
research analysis carried out by others and better able to plan their own development.
Module Content:

The independent study represents a major learning experience for participants, providing
an opportunity to pursue in considerable depth and with suitable academic rigour a
specific area of management and/or strategy, building on the study of relevant concepts,
models and paradigms.

Each study will be supervised by an Independent Studies Supervisor. At the beginning,


and as part of this module, a dissertation/project proposal will be individually negotiated
and assessed. The proposal will have to demonstrate that the proposed research can be
achieved. You will also have to complete an ethical approval form that meets the
Universitys ethics guidelines.

The final work will comprise a dissertation plus a reflective statement and development
plan and will be independently assessed by two tutors, one of whom will be the
Independent Study Supervisor.

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Module Learning Outcomes:


On completion of the module you will be able to:
1.

Act autonomously in designing a research project that critically evaluates a problem


or issue to a professional standard. The topic should be relevant to the title of the
programme and should meet the Universitys ethical guidelines.

2.

Act autonomously in critically investigating a discipline relevant issue, employing


appropriate research methods to collect data, analyse, compare and draw
conclusions, providing recommendations where appropriate. The topic will be
relevant to the title of the students programme and demonstrate the ability to connect
the theory and practice.

3.

Reflect on the process of undertaking a significant piece of independent research


using the ideas and concepts from the course and plan their future development.

This module is based on the Self-Paced Supported Online Learning Delivery Model:
You are provided with a set number of units of learning content. Content can be textual; can
include video and audio material, screencasts or presentations with voiceovers. This is
supported by additional optional activities such as discussion forums to enable you to ask
questions of your peers and your tutor, to clarify your understanding and to engage in further
development of the principles and ideas.
Formative learning activities such as practice examples, worked examples and online
quizzes are made available to you. Such activities enable you to interact, apply & exchange
knowledge. The purpose of formative activity is to provide you with feedback so that you
know how you are progressing.
You may be provided with the opportunity to participate in a set number of live classroom
sessions during the module; these provide you with real time' access to your tutor and an
opportunity to collaborate with your peers. Recordings of these sessions are made available
to all students on the module; these are particularly useful for those unable to attend and for
you to use in preparation for the module assessment strategy.
Module Assessment:
Formative assessment:
You will be given the opportunity to work through end of unit activities for each unit.
These activities could be:
Practical questions on the topic area
Sharing of outcomes and problems encountered during practical examples in
coursework
Further research into the topic area

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You will be encouraged to discuss the results of these activities with others via discussion
boards to promote peer to peer learning. Online tutors will also provide formative feedback
to students via discussion boards and journal posts where appropriate.
University of Derby Policy and Code of Practice on Research Ethics
All research undertaken by staff and students under the aegis of the University of Derby
should only be undertaken after effective consideration of its ethical implications. Full regard
of the University's Code of Practice on Research Ethics should be given and is attached
below.
Learn more:
University of Derby Research Ethics Policy and Code of Practice June 2011
Alongside your proposal, you will need to complete your ethics approval form and submit this
to the Ethics Committee, complete with any other documentation as advised by your online
tutor.using the following email address: udolethics@derby.ac.uk
Please note that you must have your study approved by the Ethics Committee before
proceeding with any further work on this. Here is the link to the documentation you will be
required to submit
http://www.derbyonlinelearning.co.uk/assets/sharon/student%20ethics%20approval%20form
.doc
It is very important that you complete all sections of the form and that you submit all the
relevant documentation in readiness for the panel. The panel dates can be found using the
following link:
http://www.derbyonlinelearning.co.uk/content1.asp?MenuID=7281&courseId=Get340
The reason that your study needs approval is highlighted below.
Research Ethics
As a reflection of its core organisational values the University of Derby is concerned to
protect the rights, dignity, safety and privacy of research participants, the welfare of animals
and the integrity of the environment. The University of Derby is also concerned to protect the
health, safety and academic freedom of researchers and the reputation of the University as a
centre for appropriately conduced, high quality research. Underpinning the standards are the
ethical imperatives of Do No Harm (non-malfeasance) and Do Good (beneficence).
Research governance is the means by which organisations and individuals ensure the
delivery of high quality research. It applies to all research and in particular research that
involves human subjects.
Research Governance

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Sets out principles, requirements and standards of good research practice


Defines mechanisms to deliver them
Improves research quality by enhancing ethical and scientific quality
Promotes good practice
Reduces adverse incidents and ensures lessons are learned
Prevents poor performance and misconduct

Summative Assessment:
This module is assessed by 100% coursework
Coursework 1: 100%
Dissertation / Project report, reflective statement,
Dissertation: 15,000 18,000 words
Reflective statement and development plan

1,000 1,500 words

Reading List
Your reading list for this module will be available as a digital reading list. You can access this
from your Blackboard module via the resources link on the left hand menu.

Learning and Teaching Schedule & Assignment Brief/s


Details of the Learning and Teaching Schedule and Assignment Brief will be available within
the Blackboard space for your module. Under Learning Activities you will find a list of Units
which indicate the delivery schedule of the module. The Assessment Brief will be available
within the Assessment area. If you have any questions about either of these elements you
should contact your Online Tutor for clarification.
Assessment Brief:
The assessment brief is published for a stated trimester and year of delivery (for example;
Autumn (September 2013), Spring (February 2014) or Summer (May 2014) and will be
published by the Friday of the first week of the relevant trimester.
Assessment briefs contain the description of the assessment requirements for this module,
information for you regarding how to successfully complete the assessment and the deadline
for submission. Additional or further guidance may be provided by your Online Tutor through
module announcements or discussion board posts within Blackboard.
As a student you should ensure that you; read your Unimail email regularly, access
Blackboard regularly and subscribe to appropriate discussion board posts to receive any
updates.

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Assessment Due Dates


These are detailed in the relevant assessment brief for the delivery period of your module.
For further details about Programme Assessment requirements go to section 4 of this
document.

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4: Personal Development Planning (PDP)


The programme team regard the integration of PDP into the programme as an essential
requirement towards supporting student centred learning. This is essential also to one of the
main outcomes of student participation upon the degree that of employability. This is
promoted through development planning within the modules.
Drawing on the model and range of graduate skills identified by Jackson, Sibson and Riebe
(2013), these are grouped and mapped against each learning design type to ensure that you
have the opportunity to develop all of them within your programme.
To support the understanding and development of these skills you will be offered a skills
diagnosis opportunity at the beginning of your programme. From this you will be directed to a
range of resources to help you to develop your own competencies.
During your programme you will be directed to activities that assist you in developing your
career plan, your use of tools and technologies and your academic scholarship. The types of
activities you encounter will be appropriate for the module (and learning design type) you are
studying. This approach will give you the opportunity to develop and demonstrate new skills
within your module and as you progress through your programme.
You are able to network with peers at the programme level as well as the module level,
many of whom work in the professional, globally located hence interaction and collaborative
work offers you excellent networking opportunities.
This approach will give you the opportunity to develop and demonstrate new skills within
your module and as you progress through your programme.
Jackson, D., Sibson, R. & Riebe, L. (2013). Delivering work-ready business graduates-keeping our promises and
evaluating our performance. Journal of Teaching and Learning

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4.1:Programme Assessment
There are a number of regulations and policies which relate to assessment which are
relevant across your programme, the following information provides you with links to further
information.

Information regarding plagiarism, academic offences and ethics approval


requirements can be found in the Help Centre of the Student Portal, this information
relates to all modules within your programme.
Student Entitlement and Responsibilities; this statement helps you clearly understand
the entitlements and responsibilities of being a student at the University of Derby.
This programme uses the percentage grading system recently adopted by the
University of Derby for all courses.

The Teaching, Learning and Assessment (TLA) Strategy of the programme is guided by the
Universitys TLA strategy and has been developed to be mindful of the diverse nature of
student backgrounds and prior experiences of teaching and learning. The overall aim of the
TLA Strategy is to take you through a relevant journey in terms of knowledge and the
development of intellectual, transferable, analytical and critical awareness skills.

Publication of Results.
Three times a year, an assessment board meets which decides on the progress of each
student and awards students their degrees as appropriate. The results of the board
deliberations will be sent to all students stating the grade(s) you have achieved in each
module.
Where you have been referred in a module, the covering letter will state the hand in date for
the referred piece of work.
It is important to check this is a correct record of your details and progress to date, and to
inform the admin team of any errors so they can be investigated and, where appropriate,
corrected.
Please make sure the Online Learner Support team knows your current address, telephone
number and email address so we can maintain contact with you.

4.2: Assessment Approach


University of Derby Online Learning programmes operate within the University's
Undergraduate and Postgraduate Regulatory Framework and conform to the University's
regulations on assessment. To meet the needs of students studying in the online
environment, a range of assessment types with associated exemplars, have been developed
and will be used within and across each programme. This is to ensure that there is sufficient
variety in the challenges put to our online students to reflect the nature of skills required of

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the graduate workforce and to give students with different academic strengths opportunities
to demonstrate their skills. Certain assessment types, such as assessment of on-going
reflection, of portfolio-based work or of collaboration require a consistent and methodical
approach to assessment.
For details of the assessment approaches used in this programme please refer to Section 3:
Module Information.

4.3: Submission of Assessed Work


As part of your studies you will be required to submit the majority of your course work in
word-processed format using our online assignment submission service (known as e-sub).
The UDOL Student Portal Help Centre contains a section on assessments to help you use
the online submission system and find your results.
All assessments should be submitted on, or before the stipulated assessment due date as
detailed in the assessment brief. All assessments are submitted electronically through a
designated submission point within the Blackboard course. It is not acceptable to email
your assessments to your tutor. Information regarding the electronic submission is
available via the Student Portal.
If you submit work up to 7 days after the due date, without a valid reason for being late as
per the Exceptional Extenuating Circumstances (EEC) guidelines, this will be accepted,
noted as LATE, and capped to a maximum achievable grade of 40%. Further information
about the EEC process is available through the Student Portal (Help Centre, My
circumstances have changed).
If you submit work late, and it is accompanied by an approved Exceptional Extenuating
Circumstances (EEC) which is still in date, then your work will be marked as if it was
submitted on the due date. If a deadline has been passed, your assignment will only be
accepted if it is accompanied by an approved Extenuating Circumstances Form.
Your assessment is then available to the tutor who delivered the module for marking. Once
all the assessments have been marked, a sample is moderated by another Derby academic
to ensure that we have consistent marking standards within the University. The sample is
then sent to the External Examiner, to ensure that there is consistency in marking standards
between University of Derby and other UK institutions.

4.4: Changes in Circumstances


It is recognised that from time to time circumstances beyond your control may affect your
ability to complete an assessed piece of work in time. If a serious incident or sudden illness
means that you will not meet a deadline or sit an exam, you must inform your Student
Advisor as soon as possible and submit an EEC claim form in advance of the deadline.
Information on the Exceptional Extenuating Circumstances process and what you need to do
can be found in the UDOL Student Portal Help Centre.

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It is very important that, should your preparation for an assessment be affected by


circumstances beyond your control, such as illness, accident, bereavement of close relative,
or other good cause, you should complete an Exceptional Extenuating Circumstances (EEC)
and ask for a revised deadline. An Exceptional Extenuating Circumstance is a major
circumstance which is either Unforeseeable or Unpreventable and which prevents you from
completing an assessment.
If an unexpected problem has occurred that has affected your studies, and you are looking
to extend your hand in date, the correct way of dealing with this is via the Exceptional
Extenuating Circumstances (EEC) process.
With the EEC process, we are able to change your hand in date based on you fulfilling the
EEC criteria and providing evidence to support your claim. Claims for coursework must be
made in advance of the deadline date except in extreme circumstances, and in any case no
later than 7 days after the original submission date.
Claims for examinations must be made no later than 7 days after the exam date.
The panel dates which consider applications for EEC meets can be found here.
EEC Panel Dates

4.5: Assessment Regulations


All students need to be aware of the University of Derby assessment regulations; you can
find information on these regulations and the grading percentages by following the link
below:
University of Derby Assessment Regulations
Postgraduate regulations
Percentage grades

Academic Offences
All assessments are analysed using anti-plagiarism software. Cheating and plagiarism are
taken very seriously, so you should ensure you conduct yourself properly in exams and
check your coursework for correct referencing etc. Please refer to the Rights,
Responsibilities and Regulations
If there is a suspicion that an academic offence has been committed, in the first instance,
you will be contacted by the Senior Online Tutor who will email you to check your
understanding of plagiarism.
All instances of suspected academic offences are reviewed by the University of Derby
Online Learning Advisory Panel for Academic Offences. Please follow this link to see when
the panel will meet:
Academic Offences Panel Dates

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Should your work be submitted to the panel, you will be informed of the results within 3
working days. If the offence is deemed to be one of misunderstanding on your part and a
genuine mistake, or that you have referenced but have done so incorrectly, you will be
informed via your university email address and invited to correct your mistake and resubmit
your work. If the offence is thought to be of a more serious nature, you will be invited to
address the panel to discuss the matter further details of the procedure will be forwarded
to you.

5: Programme Quality Assurance


This programme is designed to comply with both the QAA Framework for Higher Education
qualifications and the QAA Code of Practice for the Assurance of Academic Quality &
Standards in Higher Education.
Link to QAA Framework and Code of Practice
The programme also complies with the Universitys policies and procedures.

5.1: Programme Committee


The Programme Committee provides a forum in which staff and students can discuss and
make recommendations on matters related to the overall quality of your learning experience,
and as such it is a fundamental element of our quality control mechanisms.
The Programme Committee meets 3 times per year and normally comprises:

Academic Manager
Senior Online Tutors
Module Online Tutors
Student Representative/s
Curriculum Development Manager

5.2: Student Representation and Feedback


Formal and Informal Student Feedback
We welcome opportunities to improve your learning experience at any stage of your
programme and informal feedback can be provided to module tutors or programme leaders.
At the end of each academic year, you will be asked to complete a formal feedback form,
which is used by the University in its continuous improvement process.
Please take the time to complete the feedback questionnaires accurately. Your comments
are important to us and feed into a continuous improvement cycle.

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Programme leaders present reports to the programme committee, and your feedback forms
an important part of these reports.
Feedback on Student Attainment
Feedback to students on attainment is provided on an individual basis to all students when
the assignments are marked, through pertinent comments within the assignment, this will be
available to you online alongside your original submission.
The UDOL Student Portal Help Centre also contains information on how to obtain your
results and further information on referrals, exams and resits.

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