Postgraduate Consultancy Projects
The projects offer our postgraduate students a valuable chance to put theory in to practice while working on a real business challenge. Your idea or project challenge is turned in to a brief by dedicated NBS staff. It is assigned to a team of (usually five) students to tackle as an assessed part of their Masters level degree.
A project with our MSc students usually lasts about six to eight weeks, enough time to get some in-depth analysis for your company. You would be helping them practice valuable business skills that they can use in their future careers.
There are three types of postgraduate consultancy project:
- Consultancy Experience Project (CEP): A team of students from one of our postgraduate business courses will work together to provide solutions to your challenge. The project lasts for around 6-8 weeks, and students will present their findings back to you via a presentation* and written report.
- In-company Experience Project (IEP): An individual from our postgraduate courses will work in your organisation for around 6-8 weeks to put their course theory into practice by working on your challenge. NB this will require a significant amount of face-to-face working, as we can’t let students work from home full time on this project.
- Change Management is a project specifically for our MBA students. Teams will work on identifying, analysing, and evaluating options and make appropriate recommendations for change, including a suitable change management strategy. This project takes 4 working days with a presentation* of findings back to you on the 5th working day and a written report sent afterwards.
*presentations can either be face-to-face or virtual depending on Covid restrictions or your availability and location.
At the end of the project, the students deliver a verbal presentation to you, followed by a written report outlining their research findings and recommendations.
For NBS the nature of the project challenge is more important than the size of company or industry that pitches it. Experiential learning projects are a popular option for students and are offered on most of NBS’s master level degrees. With its broad range of postgraduate programmes available, the types of business challenge our students can tackle is equally diverse. No two briefs are the same and each is developed according to the organisations’ needs.
These projects form an assessed part of the students’ study and therefore there is no fee to be involved.
Challenges often touch on one or more of the following areas:
- Marketing, branding, and reputation questions, including consumer thinking and customer engagement
- Communication issues, including examining digital marketing and social media strategies
- Competitor and industry analysis
- Market analysis, including international markets
- Researching economic data, cost benefit analysis, and socio-economic profiling
- Examining management operations, tools, and planning, including use of technology and other resources as part of business strategy
- Recommending enhancements in staff training, recruitment, and staff development and engagement initiatives
- Financial reports and analysis to aid decision making, including for new products and services
- Complex issues around organisational change
Any business issue that involves research, and some analysis and thought.
What are these projects?
As a major part of their Masters degree, a student team or individual student is assigned a real-life challenge, each offered by a local business. The students, guided by an academic supervisor, carry out research with the aim of delivering a report to their client outlining their findings and recommendations.
Why does NBS offer them?
Experiential learning allows students to gain confidence as well as showcase their project management skills and subject knowledge within a supported environment. It’s an important part of their degree.
What sort of business challenges are you looking for?
We’re actively seeking challenges for a wide range of MSc students who are all learning different business subjects – from finance to marketing, and human resources to international business – we’re ready to tackle a diverse range of challenges.
Popular project topics in the past have included:
- Business competitor analysis
- Review of business marketing strategy
- Research to inform updates in staff recruitment, or training, or equality and diversity policies
- Research of market potential overseas
- Cost benefit analysis
- Financial viability of new venture / product
How involved in the project do I need to become?
We ask that you have at least two meetings with the students during the project period, to answer questions and ensure they are on track. We also ask you attend their final presentation and offer your comments and feedback to them. If you’re available to meet the students more often we’d welcome this, but it is not a requirement.
What can I expect at the end?
At the conclusion of the project you will receive a verbal and a written report to use as you wish. Our student projects have real impact: 88% of our past clients have told us that they will take forward business development ideas the students have suggested.
Do you only work with big companies?
Not at all! We’ve worked very happily and successfully with a wide range of organisations both large and small. We often find that smaller companies and not-for-profits offer us very interesting challenges.
What about social distancing?
We have successfully run a large number of projects using online meeting tools. Our standard online meeting tool is Microsoft Teams. Our students have welcomed the chance we’ve given them to gain practice in this important development to modern business communication. Where it is safe to do so, we will arrange for students to meet clients face-to-face.
When do the next projects happen?
We’re actively seeking challenges for our MSc Consultancy projects that begin in May or October. These projects last approximately six to seven weeks until early July or December.
I’m interested, what do I need to do now?
Get in touch for a conversation. We’ll help by listening and can even suggest project ideas for you if you’re not quite sure what to offer. Please contact Angela Scott (Experiential Learning Projects Co-ordinator) or Katie Bonner (Experiential Learning Projects Officer) by email on NBSStudentProjects@ntu.ac.uk. You can also complete our enquiry form.
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