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Management Consultancy Project

  • Module code: BB7028
  • Year: 2018/9
  • Level: 7
  • Credits: 15
  • Pre-requisites: None
  • Co-requisites: None


This is a core module in the MBA programme. The module consists of taught sessions on theory and practice of management consulting, as well as business research methods and a set of activities to support MBA candidates in the development of their consultancy project. As such it looks at the relevant business research and analysis instruments and processes of sourcing and delivering consulting work. Perspectives of both consultant and client in a typical engagement are considered. The material provides solid theoretical and practical background to those wishing to pursue management advisory work on a professional basis.


  • Develop a working knowledge of the consulting process, including the practical tools and techniques used by consultants in managing engagements, clients and handling problems
  • Allow students to demonstrate proficiency in the design of a consultancy project, as well as the application of appropriate research methods for data collection and analysis
  • Gain the skills and knowledge necessary for the successful completion of a consultancy project and presentation of its results in a group and individual report, as well as a live presentation.

Learning outcomes

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

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the role of consultant and components of an effective client-consultant relationship
  • Apply consulting instruments and techniques competently
  • Design and implement a plan for framing the client's problem, map out, collect and analyse relevant data, and synthesise the findings in a comprehensive manner
  • Deliver practical and actionable insight to the client and present it accordingly
  • Understand how consulting assignments can be effectively sold and managed.

Curriculum content

  • Strategic challenges facing the consulting industry and the implications of these for consulting firms and clients
  • Distinguishing between the different categories of consulting and understanding its aspects, such as project structure and delivery, mobilisation and risk management
  • Techniques for delivering effective consulting, including framing the client's problem, identification of core issues for investigation, finding the appropriate information sources, collecting and analysing data
  • Ethical and legal issues, including General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and issues of informed consent, intellectual property rights
  • Techniques for building an effective client relationship through investigation and analysis
  • Techniques for evaluating when an organisation should use consultants and understanding organisational buying behaviour, factors to consider when choosing between competing firms
  • Key variables to consider in selling consultancy, including problem solving and proposal writing.

Teaching and learning strategy

The focus of this subject is practical; it is about the application of the tools and techniques learnt during the course of the MBA in reality. It is much more concerned with how consultants develop a process for solving a particular client problem than the actual solutions they find. Almost all the material used is based on the real-life experiences of the lecturers as practising consultants, rather than formal case studies. The assignment is based around a real client with a real business need. The style of the delivery is highly interactive, with as much group work as possible in the time available.

Breakdown of Teaching and Learning Hours

Definitive UNISTATS Category Indicative Description Hours
Scheduled learning and teaching Executive & Russia 32 Full time 40
Guided independent study Executive & Russia 268 Full time 260
Total (Number of credits x 10) Executive & Russia 300 Full time 300
Total (number of credits x 10) 150

Assessment strategy

The assessment will be a mix of group and individual work focused on either service design or service quality issues and linked to the student's workplace if possible.

The assessment will be in three parts, focused around the business problem of a client organisation. The first part will be based on group work, to develop a consultancy report for a client; each group will be given a mentor, who could be either from the faculty staff or an external subject matter expert. The second part will be an individual report where students reflect both on their personal and group work experience of delivering a consultancy engagement. The third part will be an individual presentation (viva) of the consultancy findings to the panel of experts; the panel will consist of representation from the module delivery team, the client, and the mentor.

Mapping of Learning Outcomes to Assessment Strategy (Indicative)

Learning Outcome Assessment Strategy
1) Understand the role of consultant and components of an effective client-consultant relationship Coursework 2
2) Use key consulting instruments and techniques Coursework 1
3) Design and implement a plan for framing the client's problem, map out, collect and analyse relevant data, and synthesise the findings in a comprehensive manner Coursework 1
4) Deliver practical and actionable insight to the client and present it accordingly Coursework 1 Coursework 3
5) Understand how consulting assignments can be effectively sold and managed Coursework 2

Elements of Assessment

Description of Assessment Definitive UNISTATS Categories Percentage
Group consultancy report Coursework 1 30%
Individual learning reflection report Coursework 2 20%
Individual presentation Practical Exam 50%
Total 100%
Total (to equal 100%) 100%

Achieving a pass

It IS NOT a requirement that any element of assessment is passed separately in order to achieve an overall pass for the module.

Bibliography core texts

O'Mahoney, J. and Markham, C. (2013) Management Consultancy, 2ed, Oxford University Press

Saunders, M. N. K., Lewis, P. and Thornhill, A. (2012) Research Methods for Business Students, 6ed, Harlow, FT Prentice Hall

Bibliography recommended reading

Czerniawska, F. (2003) Management Consulting I, Kingston Business School Open Learning Text

Toppin, G. and Czerniawska, F. (2005) Business Consulting: A Guide to How it Works and How to make it Work, London: Economist 

Fombrun, C. and Nevins, M. (2003) The Advice Business: Essential Tools and Models for Management Consulting, Pearson Prentice Hall

Osterwalder, A. and Pigneur, Y. (2010) Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers, John Wiley & Sons

Friga, P. (2009) The McKinsey Engagement: A Powerful Toolkit For More Efficient and Effective Team Problem Solving, McGraw-Hill Professional

Cosentino, M. (2011) Case in Point: Complete Case Interview Preparation, 7ed, Burgee Press

O'Shea, James and Charles Madigan (1997) Dangerous Company: The Consulting Powerhouses and the Businesses They Save and Ruin, Nicholas Brealey, London

Collis J. and Hussey R. (2008) Business research: a practical guide for undergraduate and postgraduate students. 3rd ed. Basingstoke, Palgrave Mcmillan

Ghauri P. and Grønhaug K. (2010) Research Methods in Business Studies: A Practical Guide (4th edition) Harlow, Prentice Hall.

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