The Essex MBA is a generalist, full-time, career-development programme for applicants with at least three years of managerial experience, post-graduation, whose overall educational aims satisfy the following QAA Benchmark Statements for Masters awards in Business and Management:
1. the advanced study of organisations, their management and the changing external context in which they operate;
2. preparation for and/or development of a career in business and management by developing skills at a professional or equivalent level, or as preparation for research or further study in the area;
3. development of the ability to apply knowledge and understanding of business and management to complex issues, both systematically and creatively to improve business and management practice;
4. enhancement of lifelong learning skills and personal development so as to be able to work with self-direction and originality and to contribute to business and society at large.
The programme covers a broad curriculum which aims to give individuals an integrated and critically aware understanding of management and organisations, and to prepare them to take on roles as managers and business specialists within these organisations.
Specifically the course aims of the Essex MBA are:
1. To offer students a broad range of modules that cover the principal disciplines and functions of management.
2. To provide students with the theories, concepts, tools and techniques to address the burning issues facing organisations in both the private and public sectors.
3. To address issues that are fundamental to the relationship between business and community, including ethics, corporate social responsibility and human rights, and the impact of business decisions on the environment and the welfare of society.
4. To enable students to understand business decisions and policies in the context of the global economy and the cultural, social and spiritual diversity to be found in communities across the world.
5. To offer students an integrated approach to the study of management in organisations that emphasises the interdependence between some of the core disciplines and practices of management and the importance of taking an holistic approach to problem-solving.
6. To offer students the opportunity of specialising in one or more core disciplines of management so that their can further develop their career after graduation.
7. To engage students, both individually and in groups, in a variety of learning and teaching experiences that will prepare them for the range of managerial asks and activities they will be expected to undertake upon graduation.
8. To develop students' transferable skills including: numeracy, literacy, report writing, project work, personal and interpersonal skills, presentation skills, team-working, leadership and an appreciation of working in a multicultural environment.
9. To develop students' research skills, including the ability to collect, analyse and evaluate quantitative and qualitative data from primary and secondary sources.
10. To develop students analytical, critical and creative skills in addressing business and organisational problems.
11. To enhance the employability of our graduates by offering them a relevant and innovative course that directly addresses the major issues confronting businesses in society today.
On completion of the programme successful candidates should be able to demonstrate:
1. Knowledge and understanding of the core business and management disciplines at the postgraduate level 7.
2. Knowledge, understanding and critical evaluation of the key theories and concepts that underpin management disciplines and practices.
3. The ability to research information from both primary and secondary sources to address key problems and issues facing business and other organisations in today's society.
4. The ability to analyse and synthesise both quantitative and qualitative data to test current business management theories.
5. The ability to present and summarise arguments both verbally through presentations, debates and role-playing and in writing through reports, essays and projects and to reach a conclusion.
6. An awareness and understanding of the economic, cultural and ethical context in which businesses and other organisations operate and their relationships with the various stakeholders in society.
7. An awareness and understanding of the global environment and the impact that decisions of organisations in one country can have on other countries.
8. Undertake independent research into a business management problem or issue.
Learning outcomes and learning, teaching and assessment methods
On successful completion of the programme a graduate should demonstrate knowledge and skills as follows:
A: Knowledge and understanding
A1: Knowledge and understanding of the core business areas (Accounting, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Finance and Management) in theory and practice.
A2: Knowledge and understanding of the issues and problems between business and society.
A3: Knowledge and understanding of the UK and international business environment from a financial, economical, social, political and cultural viewpoint.
A4: Knowledge and understanding of how to critically evaluate ideas, concepts and practices related to business and management.
A5: Understand and evaluate key research in the management disciplines studied.
A6: Acquiring specialist knowledge and understanding in specific areas of the student's choosing (via elective modules).
A7: Knowledge and understanding of the range of strategies available to business organisations to ensure their viability and sustainability.
A8: Knowledge and understanding of how business organisations grow, innovate and acquire entrepreneurial skills.
The course utilises a variety of learning methods to fulfil the learning outcomes, including lectures and classes (A1 to A8), group work (A1 to A8), project work (A2, A3, A4, A7 and A8), case studies (A2, A3, A4, A7, A8), practitioner-led seminars (A2, A3, A6, A7), reflective study (A2, A5, A6), online and web-based learning (A1 to A4, A6 to A8).
The course utilises a variety of assessment methods to enable students to demonstrate learning outcome achievements, including closed book examinations, (A1, A2, A3, A4, A7, A8), open book examinations (A2, A3, A4, A7, A8), coursework (A1 to A8), in-class tests (A1 to A3, A6 to A8), reports (A2, A3, A6, A7, A8), research projects (A4, A5, A6), oral presentations (A2, A3, A4, A7, A8), case studies (A2, A3, A4, A7, A8), group projects (A2, A3, A4, A7, A8).
B: Intellectual and cognitive skills
B1: Apply problem-solving skills, informed by the application of relevant knowledge and understanding of complex management issues.
B2: Acquire and analyse data.
B3: Critically evaluate information from a wide range of sources.
B4: Demonstrate creativity in the application of knowledge and practical understanding of management issues.
B5: Critically analyse current management issues.
B6: Plan and conduct independent research into management issues.
B7: Demonstrate a reflective approach to management.
The course offers a range of learning methods to enable students to acquire, develop and practice intellectual and cognitive skills.
Lectures can play a role in providing the basic building blocks but additional methods are needed to fully develop these skills, including group work (B1 and B4), case studies (B3 and B5), reflective learning (journals) (B4 and B6), research projects (B1, B2, B3, B7), online and web-based learning (B1 to B3).
The range of assessment methods matches the variety of learning methods to ensure that students can demonstrate the appropriate achievement level in all the intellectual and cognitive skills.
The types of assessment include: closed book examinations (B1 to B3), case study and open book examinations (B1 to B5), coursework (B1 to B6), in-class tests (B1, B2, B3), group projects (B1 to B6), oral presentations (B1, B3, B4, B5), reflective diaries and journals (B4, B6, B7), independent research projects (B2, B4, B5, B7).
C: Practical skills
C1: The ability to prepare arguments for discussion.
C2: A range of presentation skills (including the use of technology - e.g. Powerpoint presentations etc.).
C3: Demonstrate report-writing skills.
C4: The ability to analyse and evaluate quantitative data.
C5: The ability to analyse and evaluate narrative data.
C6: Collect quantitative and qualitative data for decision-making.
For learning and practicing practical skills the following methods are used: classes and seminars (C1, C2, C3), lectures (C3, C4, C5), case studies (C4, C5), group work C1, C3, C6), online and web-based self-study (C3, C4, C5).
The course offers a wide range of assessment methods to permit students to demonstrate that they have achieved the necessary practical skills, including: coursework essays (C1, C4, C5, C6), in-class tests (C4 to C6), reports (C1, C3 to C6), oral presentations with audio visual aids (C1, C2), research projects (C4 to C6), group projects (C1 to C5).
D: Key skills
D1: Communicate ideas and arguments in a coherent and effective manner.
D2: Use information technology, such as word processing, spreadsheets, databases, and the web in order to source, download and analyse data.
D3: Manipulate numerical data and apply appropriate arithmetical, mathematical or statistical techniques.
D4: Problem-solving and analytical skills in the context of business and management.
D5: Ability to work in a team and participating in group work in undertaking research and preparing informal presentations.
D6: Reflectively analyse own performance and feedback.
Verbal communication skills (D1) are developed primarily through group discussion in the lectures and classes.
Written communication skills (D1) in individual tasks.
IT skills (D2) are developed as individual tasks require extensive research involving webbased material, internet and various electronic media.
Numeracy and problem solving skills (D3-D4) are developed principally through specific problem based exercises and tasks given to the students.
Working with others and team working (D5) are developed through group work involving the preparation of analytical reports and oral presentations to class colleagues.
Improvements to one's own learning and performance (D7) is developed through reflective learning, for example in the form of work diaries and onetoone tutorials.
The assessment of the majority of key transferable skills forms an integral part of the overall assessment of the finance degree schemes. However the approach to assessment varies.
Written communication skills, problem solving, numeracy and IT skills are assessed directly through in-class tests, coursework essays, and closed-book examinations throughout the course.
Verbal communication skills are assessed through sole and group presentations in-class.
Team working is assessed through group projects and case studies.
Improving one's own learning and performance is not formally assessed but students are encouraged to keep a reflective journal and participate in the online personal development planning programme available to all students.