University of Chester

Programme Specification
Management MSc
2014 - 2015

Master of Science



University of Chester

University of Chester

Chester and Warrington

Postgraduate (Taught)

Full-time and Part-time

Classroom / Laboratory,

1 years f/t, 2 years p/t

6 Years

Biannual - January - September




17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Business and Management Marketing, HRM and Events Management

   QAA’s Benchmark statements for Master’s awards in Business and Management                                


Postgraduate Module Assessment Board

Tuesday 1st February 2011

  • Create a learning environment suitable for the advanced study of organisations, their management and the changing external context in which they operate.
  • Develop within students a sound understanding of complex management issues, to be able to synthesise their knowledge and to create improvements to business and management practice as a result.
  • Facilitate an early and significant contribution by the student to his/her future employing organisation. 
  • Instil within students a positive attitude towards the need for lifelong learning and the ability to be a lifelong learner.        

Knowledge and Understanding

Assess and evaluate the theoretical basis of financial strategic decision making.
Research and critically evaluate the methodological and theoretical approaches traditionally taken in generating insight into human behaviour at work.
Assess and explain the relational processes between person and organisation.
Assess and evaluate the theoretical basis of strategic human resource management.
Demonstrate a critical understanding of the various philosophical approaches to conducting research.
Discern how the role of the researcher differs when adhering to particular philosophical approaches and assess the implications for research design.
Identify a key area of managerial research and develop clear research aims and objectives providing cogency as to their rationale.
Critically evaluate the methodological and theoretical approaches previously taken in generating insight into the chosen area of investigation.
Thinking or Cognitive Skills

Critically assess the tools, techniques and frameworks available to ITDirectors and Managers of large organisations.
Analyse and interpret data, and by the integration of theory and practice, investigate and apply relevant tools to the assessment of a variety of business problems.
Evaluate critically key marketing tools and approaches which enable organisations to develop a more accurate understanding the nature of the consumer.
Evaluate and synthesise the problem solving mechanisms from strategic financial decision making and assess the value to enhanced decision making of the application of relevant tools and techniques.
Analyse and evaluate the approaches to the management of the human resource adopted in a range of organisations.
Assess critically the strengths and limitations associated with various approaches for gathering and analysing data and the implications for social research.
Develop an appropriate research design showing critical understanding as to its conceptual underpinning, methods utilised for gathering data and the analytical tools employed for interpreting the data, highlighting the implications as to the validity and generalisability of the findings generated.
Practical Skills

Demonstrate enhanced problem solving abilities by critically understanding methods of analysing and synthesising information appropriate to the context of contemporary marketing.
Analyse and apply the appropriate marketing strategy in the context of the marketing planning process.
Formulate appropriate HRM responses to enable the organisation to better achieve its objectives.
Critically analyse and evaluate the ethical impact of a range of business decisions upon the company and its stakeholders.
Formulate appropriate ethical business policies and strategies within a changing context.
Develop a clear and well-defined research proposal that establishes: clear research aims; academic and practitioner relevance; methods for gathering and analysing data providing an evaluation of the proposed tools of enquiry; and a planned timetable for completion of the various stages of the study.
Key Skills

  • Communication
  • Application of Number
  • Information Literacy and Technology
  • Improving own learning and performance
  • Working with others
  • Problem solving

Masters programmes have twelve key skills identified by the QAA, using the letters a-l. They are:
a Critical thinking and creativity: 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.
b Problem solving and decision making: establishing criteria, using appropriate decision techniques including identifying, formulating and solving business problems; the ability to create, identify and evaluate options; the ability to implement and review decisions.
c Information and knowledge: scanning and organising data, abstracting meaning from information and sharing knowledge.
d Numeracy and quantitative skills including the use of models of business situations; qualitative research skills.
e Effective use of Communication and Information Technology (CIT).
f Two-way communication: listening, negotiating and persuading or influencing others; oral and written communication, using a range of media, including the preparation of business reports.
g Personal effectiveness: self-awareness and self-management; time management; sensitivity to diversity in people and different situations; the ability to continue learning.
h Effective performance within a team environment and the ability to recognise and utilise individuals' contributions in-group processes; team selection, delegation, development and management.
i Leadership and performance management: selecting appropriate leadership style for situations; setting targets, motivating, monitoring performance, coaching and mentoring, continuous improvement.
j Ethics and value management: recognising ethical situations, applying ethical and organisational values to situations and choices.
k Ability to conduct research into business and management issues.
l Learning through reflection on practice and experience.
Transferable Professional Skills

The programme consists of six (20 credit) taught modules and a (60 credit) Management Research Project, all at level 7. 

At Chester the modules are studied across the academic year.  There is a single entry point for this programme.  The longer time frame will allow students to develop a more mature understanding of the various, inter-related disciplines which together constitute the concept of management.  The timeframe also permits greater opportunity for students to reach an understanding of the holistic nature of the study and practice of management.

It is essential that students reach an understanding and appreciation of this inter-relatedness.   This in turn will facilitate the students’ ability to function at the strategic level.  Both the structure of the programme and the teaching and learning methodology seek to address this need. 

At Warrington the modules are studied in a semesterised programme.  This allows students the opportunity to enter the programme at two points in the academic year. This delivery will follow this format.

The programme has been designed as a generalist programme, following the QAA guidelines for a generalist programme.  In keeping with the aims expressed above, the programme has been designed so as to present a coherent whole.  

At Chester the programme includes module BU7023, Managing in Organisations, whilst at Warrington students study BU7030, Managing Innovation. This delivery will follow the Chester format.

The programme of study is predetermined, having been carefully designed by the programme team, and there are no optional modules available to students on either site. 

 A Postgraduate Certificate in Management will be offered to those students who have amassed sufficient credits (60) and who exit the programme prior to its normal completion.  A Postgraduate Diploma in Management will be offered to those students who have amassed sufficient credits (120) and who exit the programme prior to its normal completion.  

Mod-Code Level Title Credit Single
BU7001 7 Management Research Project 60 Comp
BU7002 7 Management Research Methods 20 Comp
BU7007 7 Strategic People Management 20 Comp
BU7020 7 Strategic Issues for E-Business 20 Comp
BU7023 7 Managing in Organisations 20 Optional
BU7024 7 Contemporary Marketing Communications 20 Comp
BU7030 7 Managing Innovation 20 Optional

All study occurs at level 7.
With the exception of BU7001 Management Research Project, all modules are worth 20 credits. BU7001is worth 60 credits
Successful completion of the taught modules and theManagement Research Projectamasses 180 credits at level 7.

The normal entry requirement for students is the possession of a second-class Honours degree in any discipline, or equivalent as a minimum.  All applicants will complete an application form and be invited to attend an informal interview where feasible to do so.  Candidates should also meet the University's requirements for English.  Applicants with non-standard qualifications will be considered for entry onto the programme.   

The QAA Subject Benchmarks for Business and Management indicate that a graduate should possess knowledge and understanding in the following areas:

a The impact of contextual forces on organisations including legal systems; ethical, economic, environmental, social and technological change issues; international developments; corporate governance.

b Markets and customers; the development and operation of markets for resources, goods and services; expectations of customers and equivalent stakeholders, service and orientation.

c The concepts, processes and institutions in the production and marketing of goods and/or services; the management of resources and operations.

d The financing of the business enterprise or other forms of organisations: sources, uses and management of finance; use of accounting for managerial and financial reporting applications.

e The management and development of people within organisations: organisational theory, behaviour, industrial/employee relations, HRM, change management.

f The uses and limitations of a range of research methods/techniques, both qualitative and quantitative, and an understanding of their strengths and weaknesses for providing information and evaluating options in an uncertain organisational environment.

g The development, management and exploitation of information systems and their impact on organisations.

h The use of relevant communication and information technologies for application in business and management within a global knowledge-based economy.

i The development of appropriate business policies and strategies within a changing context to meet stakeholder interests.

j A range of contemporary and pervasive issues which may change over time. Illustrative examples may include innovation, creativity and enterprise; e-commerce, knowledge management; sustainability, business ethics, values and norms; globalisation.

Within this programme, students should study and acquire both management theory and management skills. 

Some learning and teaching will be class-room based: lectures, seminars, discussions, presentations and tutorials constitute examples of the ways in which the tutor/student contact time may be utilised in this way. Additionally, it is anticipated that learning and teaching will take place through analysis of live case studies, and use of video. Learning opportunities such as this should enable students to apply elements of their academic learning to a real-life context.  They should also serve as valuable integrative experiences, enabling students to enrich and extend their knowledge, skills and understanding.  

Further support to learning is afforded through weekly 'drop-in' sessions for each of the modules where students can follow-up issues they identify with their tutors in a more informal setting. 

Additionally, learning will be acquired through extensive tutor-directed and student-directed independent reading and research, much of which will inform the class-tutor contact time. 

The value of developing within students the ability to work and learn autonomously is recognised, to the extent that it is acknowledged as a programme aim.  To facilitate the development of this, emphasis will be placed on a shared responsibility for learning, on the importance of independent work to support the tutor-led sessions and on student self-directed learning.  Student autonomy and autonomous learning will be particularly developed within the dissertation, and it is appropriate that this element occurs in the latter half of the programme, after students have had the opportunity to develop appropriate skills, knowledge and understanding in the earlier stages of the programme.

A pastoral support hour will be offered throughout the taught part of the programme. This will support the students learning on this programme.  Examples of typical subject matter to be covered here are; referencing correctly and avoiding plagiarism, designing and giving presentations, structuring and writing level M assignments.  The Business librarian will also be using these sessions for research workshops on occasions throughout the year.

In addition, international students will attend two hours of English language support per week, as required.

For all 20 credit modules, students will undertake two pieces of assessment.  One will be administered approximately one third to half way through the taught component of the programme, and the other at the end of the taught component.  The first, shorter, piece of work will fulfil several functions.  Recognising that some students may have no previous knowledge of business, this first piece of work  can act as a valuable diagnostic tool, enabling both the student and the tutor to recognise areas of strength or weakness in performance at an early stage in their studies. 

It is envisaged that the shorter piece of work will take the form, for example, of an in-class test, a critique, summary, proposal or evaluation, and will be approximately 1250 words equivalence in length.  An indicative example of an assignment of this nature could be: a presentation on a student’s critical evaluation of a range of literature on a certain topic, or a written response identifying and evaluating a range of business problems in relation to a case study.

Towards the end of the taught part of the programme, students will undertake a longer piece of work, in the region of 3,000 words.  This piece of work will give students an opportunity to synthesise and integrate  the knowledge, skills and understanding acquired, demonstrate their ability to think strategically, and allow them to develop their abilities through a more in-depth study of a particular problem etc.  A longer piece of assessment will also provide opportunity for students to demonstrate exit velocity from the programme.  This assessment may take the form of an exam, a critical evaluation, a written proposal or a presentation for the development of a new product or service, or problem solving analysis etc.   In this way, students have an opportunity to achieve integration of their learning.The Management Research Project of 10,000 words will normally be submitted for assessment by September of the year following that in which the student first enrolled.  In this way the student has a extended time frame in which to complete this work.   A further reflective piece will be required upon completion of the project. This is intended to act as a valuable tool to enable staff to verify the authenticity of the work and the student to consider how they have benefitted from the learning experience, and how they will take their learning forward.   

The assessment strategy will be communicated in writing to each student, at the commencement of the module.

The qualification MSc in Management opens to students a wide range of potential employment opportunities.  Graduating students may find attractive career opportunities within a wide range of businesses, at a management level.   Typical first appointments could be in trainee management, first line management and team leader roles. The qualification is one within general management, however, the inclusion of modules within the three functional areas of business (Finance, HRM and Marketing), may mean that students could also be successful in pursuing specialised management roles.     For example, recent graduates from this programme have secured careers within the telecommunications, finance and banking sectors, international trade, and in HRM.

This programme of study in the Department of Business fully embraces the University’s commitment 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.  The ultimate objective of the programmes delivered are to ensure all aspects of delivery are open to all sections of society and in whose activities all students can participate to the best of their ability. This programme is designed to ensure inclusivity and to ensure that the diverse needs of our students are provided for. 

In addition, within this programme:

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 has been 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 where appropriate.
  • 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.
  • Supportive formative exercises are presented in modules  to give all students an equal chance of succeeding.
  • Assessments are designed to afford equal opportunity to all students to display their knowledge and skills. The introduction of anonymous marking  also enhances equal opportunity to all students.
  • In order to ensure that the needs of all students are met any barriers to access (physical, environmental and curriculum) are identified and promptly notified to the University for removal or for reasonable adjustment to be made based on requirements.
  • All students are made aware of the Department structures to discuss issues should a concern arise.
  • The programme Leader acts as PAT for all students.  An appointment system also exists whereby any student can make an appointment to see any member of staff, including the head of department and Dean.
  • Small class size and friendly, accessible tutors provide opportunity for students to develop and practice complex skills and abilities within a supportive learning environment.

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