MSc Business with Consulting
You will begin Term 1 with three modules, that cover key business areas (Foundations of Financial & Management Accounting, Quantitative Methods for Business, and Strategy Analysis and Practice). Additionally the Introduction to Consulting module is the first of your specialist consulting modules.
In Term 2 you will study Fundamentals of Economic Behaviour, another key business area, looking at microeconomics but with our unique behavioural science perspective. You will also do two more of your specialist modules (Developing Consulting Expertise, and Current Issues in Leadership). Finally you choose one optional module, allowing you to explore another field.
In Term 3 you will study your fourth specialist module, Leading and Managing Change, and an optional module. You also follow the course content relating to either the Dissertation or Business in Practice route.
We offer a range of optional modules which reflect the research strength of WBS across the business and management disciplines. You undertake one optional module in Term 2 and in Term 3 (if you choose the Dissertation route, your Term 2 optional module must be Research Methodology). Please note that module availability may vary and that your first choice may not be guaranteed. Please see the drop down link for module descriptions.
Learn from industry consultant practitioners
The course offers you the opportunity to meet external industry consultant practitioners who will discuss and practice real life scenarios. In previous years these have included IBM, Deloitte, PwC, CSC, Capgemini and PA Consulting. You will develop and practice your consulting delivery skills with client companies and experts from consulting specialists. In previous years these have included Rolls Royce, BT, Whitbread and specialist Chillimint and ICDP.
Assessment is a mix of exams, assignments, assessed group project work, and tests. Your dissertation or Business in Practice module brings all of your learning together.
Choice of Dissertation or Business in Practice route:
If you are considering further academic study (PhD) and you would like the opportunity to research a topic relating to consultancy, the 6,000 word dissertation enables you to test and apply the techniques and theories you have gained. You will be supervised and supported throughout, and the Term 2 compulsory module Research Methodology helps you prepare.
In total you will study eight compulsory modules and one optional module, and complete a dissertation and a Research Methodology module.
Business in Practice route
If you would like to develop further applied skills to suit your career aspirations, you can complete your studies with our applied Business in Practice module. You will develop your business knowledge and personal skills with practical insights from our faculty and our CareersPlus & Corporate Relations team.
In total you will study eight compulsory modules, two optional modules and also complete the compulsory Business in Practice capstone module.
See indicative compulsory and optional modules for this course
Introduction to Consulting
This module will introduce you to the world of consulting, focusing on the consulting process and the requirement for management consultants. The module will be split into three key sections, featuring practical input from industry speakers, and group work activities throughout.
- Why consulting?
- What is consulting? An overview of the history and origins of consulting and the range of consulting roles in existence today
- Understanding the wider role of consultancy including further context - where consulting is of most use - examples of (good and bad) consulting interventions
- Overview of the consulting landscape
- Modern developments in consulting- the role of technology.
The Consulting Process:
- An introduction to the methodology and generic processes that enable successful consulting assignments: entry, client brief, diagnosis, data collection, selecting principles, developing solutions and evaluating alternatives, implementation and project closure. This will include an introduction to diagnostic tools and techniques
- Proposals and assignment management: planning, budgeting, preparation of the assignment, diagnosis, evaluation of the existing situation, choice of methodology, presentation of the process, getting paid
- The typical application process – the unique value that is given to case studies.
The Management Consultant:
- The organisational structure of a typical consultancy – levels, accountabilities and responsibility at these levels
- The make-up of a consultant - personal factors and skills.
Developing Consulting Expertise
Following on from the Introduction to Consulting module, Developing Consulting Expertise will teach you about the crucial soft and technical skills needed for successfully gaining roles with the tier-1 consulting firms.
The module will show you which skills, concepts, tools and techniques might fit within both the constraints of the environment and general consulting models. Further to this, you will discuss your own softer skills and focus on ways to develop your own capability ready for a successful career in consulting.
You will cover the following three module elements:
Key Softer Skills:
- Understanding the different models of consultancy and the influential consulting organisations within each mode
- Professional skills and skill development. The firm versus the individual. Ethics and professional integrity
- Relating to clients - interpersonal factors and skills: listening skills, relationship building, understanding group dynamics, culture, teams and performance, connecting with gatekeepers and champions.
Key Technical Skills:
- Reporting to the client and to the consulting firm, measuring results and formulating proposals, implementation, control, follow up and review
- Consulting Tools: Diagnostic tools, managing data, time and attention management, managing client relationships
- Writing the project report and presentations.
- Developing organisational capabilities within the constraints of different consultancy models
- Managing the intellectual supply chain (i.e. the value chain). Outsourcing and off-shoring consulting services.
Leading and Managing Change
This module aims to develop an understanding of some of the challenges faced by leaders and managers within an increasingly volatile organizational environment particular, it aims to:
1) Introduce students to the major frameworks for understanding how different forms of organizational change might be evaluated, analysed, led and managed.
2) Build students’ skills in analysing how the cultural and micro-political dimensions of organizational life impact on both the need for change and the ways in which it manifests itself.
3) Develop students’ understanding of various strategies and tactics for the mobilisation of support for necessary change initiatives.
5) Enable students to critically engage with debates about the limitations of organizational change and its ideological dimensions.
Current Issues in Leadership
The module aims are:
1. To introduce students to key contemporary themes, debates and theoretical frameworks in the area of leadership;
2. To examine key leadership themes and applicability of theoretical frameworks in relation to real-world cases;
3. To develop student's capacity for critical and reflexive thinking about leadership theory and practice
Quantitative Methods for Business
The module aims to provide an introduction to quantitative methods to students from non-numerical backgrounds. The module will equip students with an understanding of descriptive/inferential statistics and data presentation and enable them to apply the major tools needed for MSc level study and for the use of data analysis in the workplace.
Strategy Analysis and Practice
This course is concerned with understanding in depth and applying in practice some models and concepts for building a firm's "competitive strategy", that is a business-level strategy that enables a firm to gain and sustain a competitive advantage in a given industry. This course is therefore not concerned with issues of corporate strategy, such as choices of internationalization and diversification.
To survive and prosper over the long-term in a given industry, a firm must be able to create and sustain over time a competitive advantage. This course equips you with the frameworks, analytical tools, and concepts that you need to complement your own intuition and skills in making sense of the organisational and environmental complexity and in identifying the sources of superior performances.
The course leads you into two areas of analysis: the external environment of the firm (the industry context), and the internal environment of the firm (its resources and capabilities).
Foundations of Financial & Management Accounting
The module aims to provide a comprehensive introduction to financial reporting and management accounting. The unit adopts a user perspective, rather than a specialist accountant perspective. By the end of the module, students will be able to prepare simple versions of the main financial statements; use financial statement information to analyse the performance of firms over time and across industries; and demonstrate an understanding of the role and the importance of the auditor and corporate governance in ensuring the quality of financial statement information and user confidence in this information.
Fundamentals of Economic Behaviour
Study fundamental economic concepts and assumptions about the behaviour of individuals and firms, their interactions in markets and the role of government with respect to market failures of various kinds.
Governance and Corporate Responsibility
Appreciate the wider institutional location of business activity. Examine how firms are both 'takers' and 'givers' of governance and regulation in a variety of formal and informal ways.
Leading for Innovation
This module aims to develop a greater understanding of how to foster an innovative work environment. It also aims to understand how to develop leaders for innovation.
Digital Working & Organisational Transformation
To be effective in modern organisations requires an understanding of the dynamics of digital work. This module equips students with a broad understanding of the tools and organisational arrangements driving this shift towards digital working, and provides them with techniques and frameworks to operate effectively in this more dynamic and fluid work environment. The module reviews major trends and changes in the workplace arising from the increased adoption of digital tools to support work practices in modern organisations. It reviews major drivers of adoption of these tools and the emergence of new dynamics of interactions and patterns of work.
This module aims to span a range of sectors with a multidisciplinary approach, and to sensitise students to the strategic power of projects for achieving sustainable competitive advantage. The module provides conceptual, analytical and practical insights into the management of projects.
This module introduces students to the ways in which economists and psychologists have used behavioural theories and experimental methods to provide extensions to, or alternatives to, the conventional economic wisdom covered by most standard Microeconomic courses. It will examine recent cutting-edge research and consider the implications of that research for individual decision making, the operation of markets and public sector policy-making.
Design in Business
The objectives of this module are to:
- Provide students with an appreciation of the roles of design within a business context
- Develop in students a good understanding of the contribution design can make to innovation and organisational success
- Critically examine various innovation and design approaches and processes, and the scope and content of design in both product and service contexts
- Provide insights into the functions and contributions of professional designers
- Discuss the emergence of 'design thinking' and its importance to business
- Explore the issues related to the management of cross-functional teams
- Examine the impact that design and designers can make on organisational performance.
Digital Marketing Technology & Management
This module aims to provide an overview about how today's firms use digital marketing technologies to achieve their business objectives. Students will require theoretical and practical subject knowledge and understanding, cognitive and methodological skills (e.g. written assignment, critical reflections, discussions in seminars, hands-on exercises) and social/soft skills (e.g. leadership and team work).
Forecasting for Decision Makers
The module aims to providing training on methods that aid decision making when managers face an uncertain future. The module covers methods for short-term and long-term forecasting of product demand and macroeconomic variables. The module discusses how forecasting aids decision-making.
Corporate Finance is the study of financial decision-making processes at the corporate level. This introductory level Corporate Finance module deals with questions such as the following:
• What are the decisions that financial managers are required to make?
• What are the objectives that (should) govern these decisions?
• What are the constraints imposed by the economic and regulatory framework?
• How can the different available choices be evaluated and ranked?
• Can conflicts of interest distort the manager's incentives to pursue their goals?
Economics in the Global Environment
This module provides real world examples and case studies which illustrate how economic thinking helps businesses make the most of new opportunities while managing the risks associated with expansion into new markets and regions. The topics covered draw on ideas and research from macroeconomics, microeconomics, international finance, energy, resources, development and labour economics. The module teaches introductory economics, from a global perspective.
Digital Business Services
This module focuses on how digital technologies enable organisations to offer digital services that aim at improving customer experience as well as firm performance. The module assumes no prior knowledge of technology and prepares students to engage with technology-related conversations (e.g., designing a new digital service) at the modern workplace.
The module has three themes. The first theme is gaining competitive advantage using a digital business strategy and covers concepts such as motivations for digital transformation. The second theme provides an overview of what today’s managers need to know about the advantages and disadvantages of cutting-edge technologies including artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality, internet of things (IoT), cloud computing, social media, and data analytics. The last theme focuses on the lifecycle of digital service provision, covering key concepts such as technology selection and sourcing, agile implementation, and risk management.
Entrepreneurship and Business Venturing
In this module you will study the contexts, components, and processes of entrepreneurial behaviour in different types of organisations and focus on key issues in developing business proposals and plans.
The module aims to develop a critical awareness of the issues, problems, concepts, and skills associated with the development of international business strategy and operations. Topics will include: the drivers and processes of internationalisation, cross-cultural management challenges, the assessment of overseas investment opportunities and the specific challenges of emerging markets.
Case Studies in Data Science & Economics
The module aims to provide training in applying data science methods to contemporary economic problems by looking at case studies. Specifically, the module aims to give you the opportunity to conduct a data science project using economic data. You will discover how to replicate and extend a data science case. The module aims to give the appropriate grounding in economic analysis, while developing your research and communication skills.
A formative group exercise will be set whereby groups will be given data and asked to conduct a statistical analysis of the economic problem. This will serve as a "dummy run" for the individual assignment, and there will be in-class feedback.
Equality & Diversity
The aim of the module is to introduce you to current thinking and debate in the area
of researching equality and diversity in organisations and the labour market. In particular
the module aims to build on knowledge developed during core modules by offering
detailed thematic study of the area making explicit links with current empirical research
conducted by staff in OHRM.
Strategic human resource management is concerned with the creation of value through the management of human and social capital in organisations. The value of HRM is realised when the capacities and motives of individuals, groups are directed towards the strategic objectives of the organisation. The aim of the module is to provide you with a deep understanding of this strategic role of human capital management and the tools with which to analyse and manage it.
We will consider what it means to align the HR function with strategic objectives. We will ask whether all human capital is equally valuable. We will debate the extent to which human capital and its associated outcomes are quantifiable in a meaningful way. We will examine whether HRM can support both efficiency and flexibility at the same time. Ultimately, the class will provide a range of models and tools for managing human capital in a strategic way.
If you select the dissertation route, Research Methodology becomes a compulsory module for you and it gives you the academic skills to confidently approach your dissertation topic. The focus is on epistemological foundations, the design of a research project, the preparation for and execution of valid and reliable business research (whether qualitative or quantitative), and on the writing up and presentation of research results.
Big Data Analytics
This is a spring term module option. The module will show you how to mine gargantuan amounts of data and analyse it to produce something of practical benefit from which businesses and Governments can benefit. See the press release here.
Assessment - Coursework Exercises 20% / Individual Assignment 80%
Dissertation or Business in Practice
Business in Practice
The Business in Practice module is the core capstone module for students who choose this route instead of the dissertation route. It will illustrate business theory in practice by combing academic lecture input with expert practitioner insights, and will also provide intensive personal work-skills development via WBS CareersPlus team. The module is taught over two intensive weeks incorporating an innovative and exciting business simulation. The module is assessed through a Firm Analysis assignment and an Individual Reflective Journal assignment.
If you select the dissertation route you will work with an allocated academic supervisor and research a topic relating to Consulting. The module is assessed by a 6,000 word formal dissertation.