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Postgraduate Consultancy Projects

At Nottingham Business School our students are equipped with the knowledge and support needed to tackle a wide range of real-life business projects as part of their studies. If you have a business challenge, or piece of research you need to do, and require some fresh thinking, our highly motivated students may be able to help resolve it, at no cost.


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.

*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.


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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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), Caroline Berrill or Lewis Wiley (Experiential Learning Projects Officers) by email on You can also complete our enquiry form.

Case studies

Travis Perkins

Headquartered in Northamptonshire, Travis Perkins’ core business is the supply of building materials and other relevant services for the construction industry.

Discovery Trust MAT

Discovery Trust is a well-established and respected partnership of 13 primary schools and 2 Special Education schools in Leicestershire, Rutland and Leicester City.

Jimmy Chipolata

The Jimmy Chipolata brand retails specialist clothing and attire for the otherwise difficult-to-fit Daschund or sausage dog. The doggy-wear is designed and made in the UK using 100% British wool tweed.

Emmanuel House Support Centre

Emmanuel House Support Centre is an independent charity that supports homeless, vulnerable, and isolated adults in Nottingham. Its main aim is to prevent people becoming homeless and to support those who are already homeless into accommodation.

St Mary's Relief in Need

St Mary’s Relief in Need is a Nottingham based charity which can trace its origins back to the C16th. It makes available grants to people in the city who are facing economic hardship.

Hallam Agency

Hallam Agency is an award-winning, agile and fast-moving digital marketing agency based in the centre of Nottingham. It has grown steadily since it was first established in 2000, and now employs over 50 digital experts.

Nottinghamshire Clubs for Young People (Notts CYP)

The Notts CYP is a not-for-profit organisation passionate about helping young people in Nottinghamshire be healthy, safe, confident, and successful. It owns the Monty Hind Centre and the Maurice Youdell Lodge and hire out both spaces to many other youth groups and clubs across Nottinghamshire, alongside providing education and training through accredited courses. Many of the young people that attend these clubs have a disability or learning difficulty, and so the club provides a safe and supportive environment for them to learn new skills and experiences.

NTU supports local business Cowens Group in rebrand project

Tony Duckworth and Paul Chaplin from Cowens Group

We've supported local business Cowens Group in an exciting rebrand project. The Mansfield-based financial services company, recently approached NTU after investing a significant amount of money into a rebrand project, to gain a fresh perspective and approach with our postgraduate student consultancy project.

The project brief was assigned to a team of four MSc Marketing students, who met with the CEO and relevant staff of Cowens to develop and deliver a comprehensive research proposal, presentation and written report containing a series of recommendations and observations for their client.

As a result of the team’s recommendations, Cowens commissioned a further sum towards developing their website to facilitate the impact of the recent rebrand. Read the full article here.

Get in touch

To find out how we can help your business thrive, contact Angela Scott or Katie Bonner via email at or complete our enquiry form.

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