University of Chester

Programme Specification
Master of Business Administration MBA
2014 - 2015

Master of Business Administration

Master of Business Administration

Master of Business Administration

University of Chester

University of Chester

Chester, Warrington & Client Locations

Postgraduate (Taught)

Full-time and Part-time

Residential and Open,

2 Years Part Time & 1 Year Full Time

6 Years

Biannual - February - September

N/A

N100

No

17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Business and Management Business and Finance

QAA Masters Degrees in Business and Management

N/A

Postgraduate Awards Assessment Board for Master of Business Administration

Tuesday 1st April 2008

The MBA programme currently operates at the Business School and is designed to provide knowledge and skills for general managers and  graduates. It is envisaged that MBA graduates will use this qualification to enhance their management careers. 

The programme develops the participant's intellectual  skills and abilities in line with QAA subject and discipline benchmarks. Graduates will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an insight into the complexities of business and management and the potential value of theoretical frameworks. (All modules)
  • Understand how to interpret and use sound financial data to aid management decisions
  • Increase self awareness and self confidence by developing requisite personal skills enabling them to work effectively with other people in a variety of contexts
  • Develop their abilities to recognise, understand and cope with conflict, complexity and change
  •  Understand and assess the significance of both global and national markets and be able to apply this knowledge in the workplace
  • Demonstrate an insight into strategy at a global and  national level.
  • Develop abilities to formulate, implement, monitor and evaluate policy and strategy within an ethical framework

    Learning outcomes will focus on both knowledge and skills. Participants will be able to apply aspects of their learning in their place of work. 

26.1 Knowledge and Understanding
Postgraduate Certificate in Management Studies
The graduating student that exits at this level will have the ability to translate and apply appropriate business skills and knowledge gained from the programmeto the context of their work role in a business environment.
Postgraduate Diploma in Management Studies
The graduating student that exits at this level will have the ability to translate and apply appropriate business skills and knowledge gained from the programmeto the context of their work role in a business environment.
Masters in Business Administration
Learning outcomes for the individual modules of the MBA can be found in the individual module descriptors. The generic learning outcomes are specified below:

  • To acquire knowledge and develop skills in the functional areas that concern management.
  • Toappraise critically and evaluate the mechanisms andbenefits of continuous professional development.
  • To interpret and evaluate the impact of information technology on management practice
  • To reflect on and interpret the relevance of the business environment to modern management policy setting and decision making
  • To apply acquired skills and knowledge in an integrative way to a work-based project.
  • To analyse relevant situational factors relating to the management of change and to demonstrate knowledge of best practice in effecting change
  • Toevaluate acquired knowledge and to apply it with due reflection to a work based problem.
  • To develop specialist knowledge and skills in particular functional areas of management.
  • To complete a practical or theoretical project and to defend its purpose, methodology and outcomes.

26.2 Thinking or Cognitive Skills
Postgraduate Certificate in Management Studies
The graduating student who exits at this level will be able to deal with complex problems in a rational manner and will have the ability to apply these skills to real-world business situations.
Postgraduate Diploma in Management Studies
The graduating student who exits at this level will be able to deal with a variety of complex problems in varying contexts, and will have the ability to conceptualise and contextualise issues from the academic world to real world business situations.
Masters in Business Administration
The graduating student will have highly developed cognitive skills, and will have the ability to think and evaluate complex situations in an analytical and critical manner. In addition, they will be able to apply this cognitive ability from academic to the strategic business context.
  • To develop analytical and cognitive skills in the functional areas that concern management.
  • Toappraise and evaluate critically issues pertaining to continuous professional development.
  • To critically assess the impact of information technology on management practice
  • To critically analyse the relevance of the business environment to modern management policy setting and decision making
  • To reflect critically on acquired knowledge and skills concerning strategic management
  • To critically evaluate and reflect upon the importance of human resources management
  • To conceptualise and contextualise relevant situational factors relating to the management of change and to apply critical thinking to appraise methods of effecting change.
The outcome at this levelwill be a postgraduate student who will be able to add value to the market place by being able to systematically and methodically analyse complex business situations through the application of a range of thought processes.
26.3 Practical Skills
Postgraduate Certificate in Management Studies
The graduating student who exits at this level will be able to apply a hands-on approach to managing real-world business situations.
Postgraduate Diploma in Management Studies
The graduating student who exits at this level will be able to apply practical management skills to deal with complex real-world business situations in a variety of differing contexts.
Masters in Business Administration
The graduating student who exits at this level will be able to apply a wide-range of practical management skills to deal with a wide-range of complex real-world business situations in a variety of differing contexts. In addition, they will be able to apply these skills from academic to the strategic business context.
  • To apply hands-on management skills in the functional areas of organisations.
  • To develop and apply mechanisms and ways of ensuring continuous professional development.
  • To use practical management skills to encourage the positive, and minimise the negative, impact of information technology on the workforce within an organisation
  • To judiciously apply acquired practical management skills in an informed way to manage a work-based project.
  • To critically apply acquired skills in a knowledgeable manner to solve a work based problem.
  • To develop specialist practical management skills in particular functional areas of management.
The outcome at this level should be a postgraduate student who will be able to add value to the market place by applying practical management skills to real world business situations, in a variety of organisational settings. The graduating student will possess highly developed practical management skills that may be applied at the strategic level, and be able to apply high level business skills and knowledge from academic sources to the strategic business context.
26.4 Key skills
Transferable/key skills:
  • Communication
  • Application of Number
  • Information Literacy and Technology
  • Improving own learning and performance
  • Working with others
  • Problem solving
Postgraduate Certificate in Management Studies
The graduating student who exits at this level will be able to demonstrate a number of cognitive and intellectual skills together with techniques specific to business and management. They should also demonstrate relevant personal and interpersonal skills.
Postgraduate Diploma in Management Studies
The graduating student who exits at this level will be able to demonstrate a significant number of cognitive and intellectual skills together with techniques specific to business and management. They should also demonstrate a significant number of relevant personal and interpersonal skills.
Masters in Business Administration
The graduating student who exits at this level will be able to demonstrate a wide-range of cognitive and intellectual skills together with techniques specific to business and management - with particular reference to strategic issues. They should also demonstrate a wide-range of relevant personal and interpersonal skills, and be able to apply high level business skills and knowledge from academic to the strategic business context.
They will have developed the ability to think critically and creatively: managing creative processes in self and others; organising thoughts, analysis, synthesis, critical appraisal. This includes the capability to identify assumptions, evaluate statements in terms of evidence, detect false logic or reasoning, identify implicit values, define terms adequately and generalise appropriately.

To achieve an MBA, participants need to gain 180 level 7 credits.

To achieve an MBA award with Distinction participants would normally be expected to gain a minimum of 70% in at least 50% of the modules.  In order to be eligible for the conferment of a Merit, a candidate must attain a mark of 60% or higher in  at least 50% of the modules . This applies to modules for which numerical marks are available.  The modules may include the Management Project / Dissertation. Awards with Distinction or Merit will be considered by the teaching team and recommendations will be submitted at the Programme Awards Board.  The University does not confer Distinction or Merit on Postgraduate Certificate Awards.

The programme structure has been designed to ensure that participants cover the core modules that underpin the MBA and to equip them with the skills and competencies necessary for higher level management. The elective modules allow an element of choice to enable participants to attain knowledge, understanding and skills within areas they might wish to specialise in or have a particular interest in. 

The Dissertation / Management Project  is the culmination of the programme and is an integrated project of a strategic nature combining a wide range of elements from across the taught modules. It enables the participant to carry out independent research into an organisation or sector of choice and apply both knowledge of understanding of contemporary issues. It will also act as a component means of entry onto the DBA programme

The programme is delivered as a part-time award, full-time award and full-time with specialisations  award. It will also be delivered on a block/modular basis subject to demand. Modules may be delivered in parallel or sequentially in line with student needs.

Delivery and assessment of the programme will be by university tutors or associates approved by the Faculty. The MBA generic award modules are as follows:

Leadership, Learning and Continuous Professional Development (BU7701/BU7751), Marketing Across Boundaries (BU7702/BU7752), Finance for Managers (BU7703/BU7753), Leading and Managing People (BU 7704/BU7754), Strategic Management (BU7705/BU7755), either Research Methodology & Dissertation (BU7725) P/T only or Preparing for Research (BU7756), Management Project (BU7757), plus one option module as available.

Within the award of the MBA candidates may, subject to availability, undertake a specialism to complement the general management knowledge and understanding acquired. This specialism or pathway will require candidates to study 40 credits of taught content within the specified area and complete their Preparing for Research and Management Project  within the specialism area.

Whilst these specialism pathways are subject to on going review and development currently they are listed as (with pathways modules indicated):

  • MBA Human Resources Management; Leadership Learning and Continuous Professional Development (BU7751), Marketing Across Boundaries (BU7752), Finance for Managers (BU7753), Leading and Managing People (BU 7754), Strategic Management (BU7755), Preparing for Research (BU7756), Management Project (BU7757), One from Employment Dynamics (BU7025), People and Performance (BU7011) or Strategic People Management (BU7007).
  • MBA International Marketing; Leadership Learning and Continuous Professional Development (BU7751), Marketing Across Boundaries (BU7752), Finance for Managers (BU7753), Leading and Managing People (BU 7754), Strategic Management (BU7755), Preparing for Research (BU7756), Management Project (BU7757), International Marketing (BU7018).
  • MBA International Business; Leadership Learning and Continuous Professional Development (BU7751), Marketing Across Boundaries (BU7752), Finance for Managers (BU7753), Leading and Managing People (BU 7754), International Business Strategy (BU7017), Preparing for Research (BU7756), Management Project (BU7757), International Business Environment (BU7016).
  • MBA Finance; Leadership Learning and Continuous Professional Development (BU7751), Marketing Across Boundaries (BU7752), Finance for Managers (BU7753), Leading and Managing People (BU 7754), Strategic Management (BU7755), Preparing for Research (BU7756), Management Project (BU7757) and Strategic Business Finance (BU7008) or Financial Risk Management (BU7009).
  • MBA Project Management; Leadership Learning and Continuous Professional Development (BU7751), Marketing Across Boundaries (BU7752), Finance for Managers (BU7753), Leading and Managing People (BU7754), Strategic Project Management (BU7764), Managing Excellence in Processes and Projects (BU7731), Preparing for Research (BU7756), Management Project (BU7757).
  • MBA Supply Chain Management; Leadership Learning and Continuous Professional Development (BU7751), Marketing Across Boundaries (BU7752), Finance for Managers (BU7753), Leading and Managing People (BU7754), Strategic Supply Chain Management (BU7763), Managing Excellence in Processes and Projects (BU7731), Preparing for Research (BU7756), Management Project (BU7757).
  • MBA Services Management ; Leadership Learning and Continuous Professional Development (BU7751), Marketing Across Boundaries (BU7752), Finance for Managers (BU7753), Leading and Managing People (BU7754), Strategic  Management (BU7755), Management in the  Service Economy  (BU7734), Preparing for Research (BU7756), Management Project (BU7757)

When undertaking a nominated pathway route candidates are required to undertake contextualised work within their Preparing for Research (BU7756) and Management Project (BU7757) modules.

Mod-Code Level Title Credit Single
BU7007 7 Strategic People Management 20 Optional
BU7008 7 Strategic Business Finance 20 Optional
BU7009 7 Financial Risk Management 20 Optional
BU7011 7 People and Performance 20 Optional
BU7016 7 International Business Environment 20 Optional
BU7017 7 International Business Strategy 20 Optional
BU7018 7 International Marketing 20 Optional
BU7020 7 Strategic Issues for E-Business 20 Optional
BU7025 7 Employment Dynamics 20 Optional
BU7701 7 Leadership Learning and Continuous Professional Development 20 Optional
BU7702 7 Marketing Across Boundaries 20 Optional
BU7703 7 Finance for Managers 20 Optional
BU7704 7 Leading and Managing People 20 Optional
BU7705 7 Strategic Management 20 Optional
BU7725 7 Research Methodology & Dissertation 60 Optional
BU7730 7 Creative Thinking & Problem Solving for Managers 20 Optional
BU7731 7 Managing Excellence in Processes and Projects 20 Optional
BU7732 7 Virtual & E-Organisation Strategies 20 Optional
BU7733 7 Managing & Exploiting Intellectual Capital & Knowledge 20 Optional
BU7734 7 Management in the Service Economy 20 Optional
BU7751 7 Leadership Learning and Continuous Professional Development 20 Optional
BU7752 7 Marketing Across Boundaries 20 Optional
BU7753 7 Finance for Managers 20 Optional
BU7754 7 Leading and Managing People 20 Optional
BU7755 7 Strategic Management 20 Optional
BU7756 7 Preparing for Research 20 Optional
BU7757 7 Management Project 40 Optional
BU7763 7 Strategic Supply Chain Management 20 Optional
BU7764 7 Strategic Project Management 20 Optional

60 credits for a Post Graduate Certificate in Management Studies
120 credits for a Post Graduate Diploma in Management Studies
180 credits for a Masters in Business Administration(MBA)

These 3 clear exit points enable participants to gain awards and leave or defer their studies. Normally it is envisaged that the majority will gain the MBA award. However, in line with current best practice it is recognised that with the increasing mobility in the working population studies may be disrupted or delayed by work re-locations or personal circumstances. The award of Post Graduate Certificate and Postgraduate Diploma in Management Studies gives participants the opportunity to gain an award and also to continue their studies at an appropriate time.
24d. Subject Assessment, Examination and Awards Boards
Assessment, Examination and Awards Boards will be held throughout the year to ensure that students progress in a timely manner. The frequency of these Boards is largely a result of the need for rapid progression on the one year full time programme. However, it is envisaged that this frequency will also enhance the student experience of both full time and part time students in terms of assessment, notification of results and the opportunity for re-assessment and progression.

This will be consistent with the University's Widening Access and Participation Strategy 

All applicants must normally:             

  • Possess an honours degree or equivalent i.e. professional qualification, from a recognised British or overseas institution, validated by the University International Office.            
  • They must also satisfy a mandatory requirement of a minimum of two years appropriate management or business experience.    
  • Under exceptional circumstances, applicants  without two years of business management work experience will be considered for admission and will be suitably prepared .      
  • Essential criteria for the admission to the Chester MBA are the applicant’s ability to complete the programme satisfactorily and benefit from it. Individuals will also be selected on the basis of the contribution they may be expected to make as well as the benefit they receive. 

Under QAA typology the MBA is defined as a type 3 career development M level programme requiring significant relevant work experience. Mature candidates with significant management experience may be admitted to the programme without degree or degree equivalent qualifications if they can demonstrate their potential to meet the learning requirements of the programme. Eligibility will be determined by means of an interview with the admissions tutor and subject to confirmation with the MBA programme leader. All such students must provide written references for their work experience.

Applicants for whom English is not a native language must also demonstrate proficiency in English language. Such applicants will be required, normally to achieve scores of 6.5 on IELTS.

Entry with Credit 

Entrants with CIPD accreditation will be given 60 credit exemptions from the following modules:  Manager Learning and Continuous Professional Development, Leading and Managing People and Strategic Management.

Entrants with ACCA accreditation will be given 60 credit exemptions from the following modules: Finance for Managers , Strategic Management and Leading  & Managing People. 

Under QAA typology the MBA is defined as a type 3 career development level 7 programme requiring significant relevant work experience. With regard to the general business and management content the broad nature of the award with its strategic underpinning reflects the expected content of these.

All Masters graduates will therefore be able to demonstrate relevant knowledge and understanding of organisations, the external context in which they operate and how they are managed  . There is likely to be an emphasis on understanding and responding to change and consideration of the future of organisations, and the external context in which they operate" (QAA 2007, 3.2)   

 The MBA culminates in the Dissertation or project , this major piece of work gives the student an opportunity to demonstrate and comply with This QAA benchmark and also enhance their own career development within a working environment.

This is line with University guidelines.  There is a strong emphasis on action based learning in the workplace and teaching informed by research active academics and practitioners.

A combination of the following learning and teaching methods are used:

  • Action Centred Learning
  • Work based activities 
  • Formal lectures and briefings
  • Workshops
  • Individual and group tutorials
  • Presentations
  • Seminars and group discussions
  • Case study analysis
  • Learning diaries
  • Directed and independent study, e.g. using on-line materials

As the programme progresses the emphasis shifts from conventional knowledge acquisition to the development of concepts, the exercise of judgement and the application of skills. Delivery styles will reflect this: didactic methods will be used less and participant-centred learning processes will predominate.  

Although formal teaching styles will be used where appropriate, the responsibility for learning lies with participants. The role of academic staff will be mainly that of facilitators in the learning process.  Participant-centred methods will be used whenever possible. The formal teaching processes will make use of directed study, seminars, group exercises and work-based activities and case studies to inform the learning process.

During the induction sessions students will be assisted by the Programme Leader/Tutors to form Learning Support Groups comprising 5/6 students. The purpose of such groups will be to enable the students to gain support from one another in matters relating to the programme and exchange information relevant to the learning process. Group members will be encouraged to share work based experiences, explore issues arising from the academic content of the programme.

The formation of Learning Support Groups (LSGs) will help to stimulate participation and involvement among students on the programme as peer group learning takes place.  Although group work is important, the needs of the individual will not be overlooked and both learning and teaching will be individualised through the mechanism of continuous personal and professional development and interaction with tutors on an individual basis.

E-mail and other electronic communication systems facilitate the exchange of information among students and staff. This is accessible externally as well as internally to the University. Special workshops /and or weekend sessions are arranged as the occasion and demand from students arises.



The programme will make use of diagnostic, formative, and summative forms of assessment and will be derived from self, peer, mentor, and/or tutor input.  Assignments will usually be focussed on the workplace and where appropriate, case studies and simulated activities will be used to reinforce the academic and theoretical underpinnings delivered on the course.  Assignments across all modules are designed so that they meet both the QAA subject benchmarks (see section 25) and the programme's learning outcomes (see section 26).

A wide range of assessment methods will be employed in the assessment of the participants .

Normally a 20 credit module will have an assessment equivalent to:      
  • Either one 4,000 word individual assignment·      
  • Or up to four hours of examination, or time constrained assignment, in addition preparation time, including group learning sets, tutorials & student led case study workshops. 

(The above is provided as guidance only)  

All modules must be successfully completed in order to gain the MBA qualification.

Attendance

The philosophy of the Chester MBA has a strong emphasis on professionalism.  It is the expectation that students will attend all lectures at Chester unless they have made suitable arrangements with the programme leader. 

Students will also be expected to honour obligations to other students and staff when engaged in group work or work placements.  Non-compliance may result in students being withdrawn from the programme.  The Full time MBA programme operates over a 12-15  month period. Therefore, students engaged on Masters dissertations or project will be required to make themselves available to attend tutorials on campus.

The developed body of knowledge gained from this programme will facilitate a systematic, scientific and reflective approach to management enabling graduating students to be adaptive, strategic thinkers able to evaluate critically and respond to complex business issues, and apply high-level business skills and knowledge from academic to the business internal and external context. The overall outcome from a student engaging with the programme of study will be a manager who is able to add value to the market place by meeting the expectations of employers, via the application of acquired transferable, integrated skills. 

Graduates will be qualified to enter on the proposed DBA programme.

The University is commitmed to the active promotion of equality of opportunity.  The  University seeks to ensure that no student is disadvantaged or discriminated against on the grounds of: gender; age; marital or parental status; sexual orientation; racial group (race, colour, nationality, ethnicity or national origins); creed (religious, political or personal beliefs or principles); membership or non-membership of a trade union; and socio-economic background. It also aims to ensure that disabled people and those with special needs do not suffer unfair discrimination, and that they are enabled to achieve their full potential as students.  This programme is  designed fully embracing the University's commitment to diversity and equality. The programme is developed and delivered with the following aspects in mind:

  • Admission requirements are clearly set out in promotional materials and due consideration is given to a policy of widening access, participation, diversity and equality. 
  • Each module and programme is developed in line with University policy to both promote equality and diversity and encourage all students in the development of their learning.
  • There is flexibility in materials and delivery of teaching to support students with disability or from culturally diverse backgrounds and the Department works closely with Learning Support in delivering this support through Learning Support Plans.
  • The induction activities are designed to integrate all students both academically and socially and to make academic staff aware of any issues.  Students are made aware of avenues of support if they a have any issues regarding diversity and equality. .
  • Assessments are designed to afford equal opportunity to all students to display their knowledge and skills.
  • In order to ensure that the needs of all students are met any barriers to access (physical, environmental and curriculum) are identified and removed or reasonable adjustments will be made based on requirements.
  • All learning materials and teaching and learning sessions are designed to be free from racist, sexist and other discriminatory assumptions and practices.

All tutors and support staff are aware of diversity issues and discharge their roles with knowledge and sympathy.  Additionally staff development programmes addressing the specific issues of a diverse international student body are being planned. The programme is delivered in English and provided the student has attained the defined standard there are no significant cultural issues.

Participants are provided with student membership of the Chartered Management Institute and upon graduation are encouraged to attain full chartered status. Close links with the Institute are maintained and several key events each year are promoted by the Faculty.

The underlying philosophy of the Chester MBA is one of self-reliance and professionalism.  Students are expected to take responsibility for their continuous professional development.

The underpinning cultural context is that of the Chartered Management Standards with a focus on ethical business practice, honouring obligations to others and competence in business and management skills.  There is also a strong emphasis on action centred learning in the work place, supported by experienced tutors who are academics and practitioners. The majority of staff teaching on the MBA are also engaged in research and this is a valuable addition to the student experience.

It is envisaged that students will be able to apply best practice gained on the programme to their place of work. They will also have developed a personal philosophy of management as a creative and innovating function.

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