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MBA Integrated Management Development Programme IMDP

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  • Objectives
    The IMDP aims to provide managers within our region with learning opportunities that are in line with their current and future development needs. It is designed to enable them to develop their knowledge and skills within a supportive, challenging and developmental environment that promotes greater self-awareness, creativity and flexibility. Participants are encouraged to engage with a range of theoretical perspectives that engender exploratory and diagnostic approaches to solving problems and addressing issues rather than a prescriptive one. Considerable demands are therefore placed upon participants to read widely, reflect on experience and to engage thoughtfully in their own learning. The programme has the following overarching aims: * to provide the appropriate knowledge and skills to manage effectively up to senior management level * to promote vocational management development within a context of practical application * to develop the power of critical enquiry, logical thought, creative imagination and independent judgement in a context of application to become reflective practitioners * to develop the capacity of participants to manage their own learning and development to become lifelong learners.
  • Entry requirements
    Postgraduate Certificate in Management Applicants should normally meet at least one of the following criteria: 1. have an honours degree of a United Kingdom University (or its equivalent) 2. have a professional qualification (or combination of qualifications) recognised as being of honours equivalence 3. have at least 2 years appropriate work experience. Applications for advanced entry to either the Postgraduate Diploma in Management or the Master of Business Administration stages will be considered in accordance with the University’s Accreditation of Prior Learning procedure.
  • Academic Title
    MBA Integrated Management Development Programme IMDP
  • Course description
    The Integrated Management Development Programme (IMDP) is a part-time programme specifically designed to meet the needs of practising managers and leading to a nationally recognised set of awards.

    The IMDP allows for flexible entry and exit at the three stages and applications are welcomed at Certificate level from experienced managers who do not have formal qualifications.

    The programme meets the requirements of the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) National Benchmarks for Taught Postgraduate Awards in Business and Management.

    Programme Structure

    The programme is in three stages, each stage involving one year of part-time study. It incorporates the awards of Postgraduate Certificate in Management (stage 1), Diploma in Management Studies (stage 2) and Master of Business Administration (stage 3).

    In keeping with national benchmarks for postgraduate awards, each stage of study amounts to 60 Masters level Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS) points, thereby totalling 60 M level CATS points for the award of Postgraduate Certificate, 120 CATS Points for the award of Postgraduate Diploma and 180 CATS points for the award of MBA.

    Certificate     Managing People     Financial Accounting and Financial Management     Business Context (Marketing & Business Environment)     Integrating Operations

    Diploma     Management Decision-Making     Strategy in Context     Managing Strategically     Managing Change Project

    Masters     Organisational Analysis and Intervention (Assessed by Group Project) & Research Methodologies and Methods (Assessed by Dissertation)

    Each unit of study at Certificate and Diploma levels has a CATS weighting of 15 points. At Masters level, the Organisational Analysis and Intervention unit has a weighting of 15 points. The remaining 45 points are awarded on successful completion of the Dissertation.


    Participants on the Certificate stage are required to attend as follows:

    Three of the four units of study (Financial Accounting and Financial Management; Business Context; Integrating Operations) are delivered on one day/ evening basis over two semesters. Each unit comprises of 1.5 hours of study a week over two 12 week semesters thereby totalling 4.5 hours a week (108 hours of attendance over 24 days between September and May).

    The remaining unit (Managing People) is delivered in the form of a two day residential workshop and three one day workshops at various times of the year. Dates to be confirmed.

    Participants on the Diploma stage are required to attend as follows:

    Three of the four units of study (Strategy in Context; Managing Strategically; Managing Change Project) are delivered on one day/ evening basis over two semesters. Each unit comprises of 1.5 hours of study a week over two 12 week semesters thereby totalling 4.5 hours a week (108 hours of attendance over 24 days form September to December and from January to May).

    One of the units (Management Decision Making) is delivered in the form of a two day residential workshop and three one day workshops at various times of the year. Dates to be confirmed.

    Participants on the Masters stage are required to attend as follows:

    Both units of study (Organisational Analysis & Intervention; Research Methodologies and Methods) are delivered on one afternoon a week over two semesters. Each unit comprises of two hours of study thereby totalling 96 hours of attendance over the academic year.

    The pattern of attendance for all stages may be subject to change. Applicants should clarify the form of attendance with the Course Leader at application stage.

    Additional Study Time

    As well as attendance at the University, participants are expected to spend an equal amount of time of additional study for preparation, research and assignment writing. The normal expectation is that for each hour of attendance there is an additional hour of self- directed study and preparation, although the amount of time may vary throughout the year. Applicants should not underestimate the amount of commitment required to complete a part-time course of study.

    Residential Workshops

    Participants are required to attend one residential at each stage of the programme (details will be confirmed at application stage):

    The Certificate residential forms part of the Managing People unit and explores issues around the notion of self, identity, group working and organisational ambiguities. It normally takes place at the beginning of October and involves two one day sessions.

    The Diploma residential builds on the issues raised in the Stage 1 residential but focuses more closely on Management decision Making. In particular it addresses issues around rationality, irrationality, group decision making and uncertainty. It normally takes place at the beginning of November and involves two one day sessions.

    The Masters residential focuses strongly on the group project that forms part of the assessment for the Organisational analysis and Intervention unit. It will address issues of intervention and change. Part of the focus of this residential will be to review the progress of the projects. It normally takes place at the beginning of February and involves two one day sessions.

    Programme Content: Postgraduate Certificate in Management

    Managing People

    This unit is designed to complement and balance the other Stage I units by providing the participants with an opportunity to explore the behavioural aspects of organisational life. A focus for the unit will be the participant’s own experience and they will have the opportunity to examine the extent to which this, together with organisational behaviour concepts, provide a vehicle for enhancing their understanding of organisational life. The unit will provide a framework for the development of self-awareness, awareness of self in relation to others and interpersonal and social processes as they impact on personal and organisational effectiveness. It is intended that the unit will enable participants to develop a conceptual understanding but one that is grounded on personal experience and has practical relevance.

    It is also intended that the unit provides a vehicle for the participants to develop their abilities in relation to learning and group skills that have relevance for the programme as a whole. This unit will address critical approaches to key concepts/issues of Human Resource Management.

    Outline Content

    Managing Self

    Managing Self: diagnosis of personal strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats; assertiveness, time management; communication and interpersonal processes; power and influence; Managing Learning: identification of learning needs; understanding and identifying individual and organisational learning preferences and styles; identifying and developing strategies for overcoming barriers to learning; personality and its significance in relation to personal and organisational development.

    Managing Other People

    Managing Conflict: interpersonal, intrapersonal and organisational conflict; conflict of interests, objectives, perceptions; strategies and styles of managing conflict; Managing Performance: Functional aspects related to the management of individual, group and organisational performance will be examined using critical perspectives. Issues such as appraisals, performance related pay, reward and motivation strategies and related issues will be explored.

    Managing at Organisational Level

    Managing Culture: organisational structures and their relationship to culture; the impacts of culture on self and others; cultural ‘shift’, cultural analysis; strategies of managing culture; Managing Change: in relation to self and others; identifying personal and organisational barriers to change; organisational culture; review of personal development and change in relation to material development in managing learning and managing self.

    Business Context (Marketing and Business Environment)

    The purpose of this unit is firstly to identify, examine and analyse the major contexts both internal and external within which organisations operate. The unit also considers the resources required and the major functions of the market place. The unit then sets out to respond to contextual diversity and continuous change in the increasingly global environment. Within this context, marketing is regarded as one of the foundations upon which the understanding of the operation of any organisation is based. This unit provides the introduction to Marketing and Marketing Management by offering an insight into the key areas of activity which constitute the marketing process and the management of that process. The unit adopts a critical perspective with regard to the differing marketing approaches adopted in response to a rapidly changing business arena. There is considerable emphasis within this unit on knowledge and understanding rather than on skills and competencies.

    Outline Content

    In order to successfully analyse the business context, a strategic framework of business including the role of strategy, marketing and planning & its conversion into practice will be established.

    Consideration will be given to of the following systems that impact on organisations – economic, political, social, legal & technological. The impact of international institutions is also recognised.

    In terms of the marketing-specific content, there will be an introduction to marketing and the marketing concept, the role of marketing management within the organisation, the marketing environment and the auditing process, consumer and organisational buyer behaviour, effective marketing: segmentation, targeting and positioning, the vital role of marketing research and marketing information systems, the marketing mix, marketing strategy and the marketing plan, marketing for the service and non-profit sector.

    Financial Management and Financial Accounting

    This unit provides participants with a firm foundation in both financial and management accounting. In the case of financial accounting (that is, the provision of annual accounts to parties outside the organisation) participants acquire sufficient accounting knowledge to be able to analyse a set of published accounts in both public and private sectors. In dealing with management accounting, participants learn standard accounting techniques (for example, relevant costing). They also learn approaches to budgeting used in both for profit and not for profit organisations. Throughout this unit, participants’ learning of the accounting techniques is informed by relevant academic theory and participants are shown how they might explore, in more depth than is possible within the confines of an introductory 15 CATS point unit, the subject matter of this block of learning.

    Outline Content

    Objectives and origins of financial reporting; Understanding and interpreting main financial statements which form the published accounts (for example, balance sheet, income statement and cash flow statement); Decision making and finance; Costing for decision making - absorption costing, relevant costs, opportunity costs, cost-volume- profit analysis, investment appraisal; Budgetary control - budgetary cycles, responsibility accounting; Performance measurement and benchmarking.

    Integrating Operations

    This unit explores the nature of information and information systems and the ethical and managerial impact of their deployment in organisations; the role of the operations manager in aligning the processes and operational functions of an organisation to deliver value and to maintain and improve organisational viability; the statistical and related techniques that may be deployed to exploit available data and information in support of the operational task.

    Outline Content

    Systems concepts and the role of information systems in organisations; Managing data resources, managing information and knowledge; Data modelling and entity relationship analysis; Ethical and social issues; Hardware and software; Decision support systems; The concept of ‘effective performance’ and designing the product and process to deliver it; The project approach to operations; Supply chain management and logistics; Aligning capacity to demand; Lean synchronisation/ agility; The human interface with operations; Measures of location & dispersion; Probability based arguments; Improvement and failure recovery; Tools of Quality and Risk Assessment; Approaches to Quality definition and management including ISO and 6 Sigma; Sampling and Statistical Process Control; Functional Graphs, Correlation and Regression; Forecasting – techniques to facilitate supply network design and related decisions.

    Programme Content: Postgraduate Diploma in Management

    Management Decision Making

    This unit explores decision making and the nature of management. Decision-making is generally regarded as being one of the key management activities in organisations. This unit seeks to explore the dynamics of the decision making process. To facilitate this exploration, participants are encouraged to work with their own experiences of decision-making. The unit explores qualitative aspects of decision making by addressing its philosophical and psychological bases. The early part of the unit encourages an examination of ontological and epistemological underpinnings of management decision-making. The purpose is to critically evaluate basic assumptions regarding reality, knowledge and human nature and how these affect decision-making methodology and lead to implicit assumptions about the nature of management. The unit then addresses more specific decision making theory.

    Outline Content

    Ontological and epistemological bases of decision making and their relationship to management and decision- making (positivistic and phenomenological assumptions regarding the validity of management and decision making); The notion of the self and the decision maker (ideographic and nomothetic approaches, interpretation, heuristics, bias and bounded rationality); Group dynamics and decision making (Johari Window, Risky Shift, groupthink, inter-group and intra-group conflict); Structuralism, poststructuralism and implications for decision- making; Ethics and decision making (Deontoloogical, Teological and Utilitarian models of ethics).

    Strategy in Context

    Conventional approaches to the theory and practice of strategy tend to be overtly prescriptive in seeking to identify recipes/ imperatives for creating sustainable ‘competitive advantage’ and focus on strategy content rather than issues of process and context. In so doing, they risk presenting perspectives on strategy as being unitarist and substantively non-contentious. In contrast, competing and often contradictory prescriptions for strategic success pervade management literature and the media.

    This unit aims to extend the strategy debate beyond the comfort of rational, linear thinking into the real world where history, politics, power and culture are the key driving forces of change. Emphasis is placed on developing understanding of the inherently contentious nature of strategy and assessing its potential for assisting the managing of organisations through environments that are increasingly turbulent, complex and ambiguous.

    The learning programme comprises an on-going debate in which contrasting theoretical perspectives, as reflected in the core ideas of prominent strategy thinkers (schools of thought), are compared and contrasted to capture the major differences in their approaches to the central tenet of creating and sustaining ‘competitive advantage’. Basic assumptions underlying contrasting theoretical perspectives on strategy are surfaced to explore under what circumstances they are appropriate.

    A range of illustrative strategic issues, generally recognised as fundamental to organisational success, is used to identify and explore their inherent tensions and paradoxes. The developing debate demonstrates that diametrically opposed perspectives yield valid, but inevitably partial, contributions to understanding key strategic issues. Emphasis is placed on confirming that, to best assist the effective management of contemporary organisations, resolution of the gap between conflicting strategic perspectives should be sought by seeking a synthesis that is most appropriate to the organisational context being considered.

    In so doing, the unit locates preceding and concurrent functionally-related units in their wider strategic context, as well as providing a substantive base for further development at the Masters stage of the programme.

    Outline Content

    Organisational Purpose- issues, tensions and paradoxes: Profitability and responsibility – shareholder versus stakeholder perspectives; Strategy Process: issues - tensions and paradoxes :Strategic thinking - logic versus creativity; strategy formation - deliberateness versus emergence; strategic change - revolution versus evolution; Strategy Content- issues, tensions and paradoxes: Business Level Strategy - markets versus resources; corporate level strategy - responsiveness versus synergy; network level strategy - competition versus co-operation; Strategy Context- issues, tensions and paradoxes: Industry Context - compliance versus choice; organisational context - control versus chaos; international context - globalisation versus localisation.

    Managing Strategically (Finance and IT/ IS)

    After having been grounded in the technical knowledge of financial strategy students will be encouraged to examine management and organisational control by problematising the concept in the locus of their own experiences. This approach recognises that management and organisational control is essentially a human activity achieved and managed through social and political agendas as well as the application of technical skills.

    Outline Content

    Finance: Financial mathematics; Valuing securities; The efficient market hypothesis; Portfolio theory and the development of the capital asset pricing model; Financing decisions - debt vs. equity / leasing / short term finance; The dividend decision; Project appraisal; Capital markets and instruments; Merger theory.

    Management and Organisational Control: The nature of management; Organisational and societal images of management; The management of meaning; Ownership control and ideology; The ideology of management; Current systems of performance management; Making sense of performance management; The manager as an agent of management and organisational control.

    Managing Change Project

    This unit prepares participants to complete a significant change project normally within their own organisation. The unit draws upon quantitative and qualitative organisational analysis tools and techniques to prepare participants for the successful completion of an individual project based upon a change initiative within their own organisation. The unit is based on the premise that successful project management requires the change agent to be a competent and reflective researcher and consultant at different stages of the project management process. To this end the unit will be theoretically underpinned with concepts and techniques from the areas of quantitative and qualitative research methods and consultancy as well as project management.

    All projects involve similar stages and processes. A key stage is the project definition. Participants will be asked to establish the focus and aims of a viable change project. They will be required to identify an organisational client and to clarify and agree terms of reference and ways of operating. Participants will be required to identify, research and undertake a change project in their own organisation or an organisation with which they are familiar. They will be assessed by a presentation of their findings and a written report.

    Outline Content

    Contracting and establishing terms of reference; Stakeholder analysis; Problem diagnosis and option evaluation; Risk; Options appraisal; Project planning; Approaches to management research; Models of management consultancy; Project lifecycle overview; Project structure, leadership and teams; Project strategy, process and planning (including use of Microsoft Project); Project monitoring and control; Total Quality Management in projects including SERVQUAL and Quality Standards; New product development; Project completion, audit and review.

    Programme Content: Master of Business Administration

    Organisational Analysis and Intervention

    This unit aims to enhance managerial competence and capability by further developing the participants as active, participative, reflective practitioners. This will be achieved by developing their capability in organisational analysis and intervention skills through direct engagement in management consultancy practice. Through this process participants will be encouraged to deconstruct their own taken for granted assumptions concerning the nature of organisational analysis in relation to their roles as practising management consultants. Management consultancy is distinctive in that data generation, collection and interpretation occur in an essentially political context. To this end participants will be expected to bridge theory and practice by applying what they have learnt to a "live" group project in order to engage with the practical, interpersonal and political issues arising from the organisational analysis and intervention strategies that underpin the process of management consultancy. The emphasis throughout will be concerned with developing critical awareness and ability to reflect upon and use various theories, models and frameworks to address complex organisational issues. Participants will be encouraged to be reflexive and thus recognise how their own ontological and epistemological beliefs effect how they make sense of any analytical interpretation. Participants will be challenged to address the limitations of their own analytical capability and examine alternative stakeholder perspectives and interpretations in order to generate implementable consultancy interventions.

    Outline Content

    The structure of the unit will derive mainly from the emerging process of participant practice and needs as a result of the projects being undertaken and would include the following: Consultants, clients and the consulting process; The nature of a project, and the procedural contexts of project work; Intervention styles; The politics of consultation; Transformation process; Power, politics and culture; Stakeholder analysis; Soft systems methodology; Strategic perspectives; Making sense of data- problem diagnosis and decision-making; Intervention strategies; Managing change; Disengagement and follow-up.

    Research Methodologies and Methods

    The purpose of this unit is to develop the practical and conceptual skills that comprise an intellectual formation necessary to help produce a dissertation of adequate quality for a Masters award. This will be achieved by developing learner skills, capabilities and understandings in relation to the philosophy of research methods. Participants will be encouraged to be reflexive and thus recognise how their own ontological and epistemological beliefs influence how they make sense of any analytical interpretation implied in their research. Thus they will be exposed to the limitations of their own analytical capability and steered towards examining alternative stakeholder perspectives and interpretations such that, in this case, a dissertation discussion will be produced that is fit for purpose. So, participants will be encouraged to deconstruct their own taken for granted assumptions concerning the nature of research in relation to their own roles as practising managers. The second objective in this unit recognises that management operates in an essentially political context. Participants will be expected to integrate theory and practice by applying what they have learned about, for example, inter-group and intra-group politics in a number of key points in their dissertation. The emphasis throughout will be concerned with developing the skill set necessary for these two related objectives. Such a skills set will include critical awareness and ability to reflect upon and to use various theories, models and frameworks to address complex organisational issues.

    Outline Content

    The course team recognise the potential for synergistic relations between this unit and the Organisation Analysis unit at this level. Consequently, we expect to explore thoroughly the set of complex philosophical and method issues that underpin research practice and praxis. Indicative content: philosophy and methodology; power and complexity; data gathering; data report; data analysis; tensions around the research and consultancy notions.

    The Dissertation

    In order to be awarded the MBA participants have to successfully produce a dissertation. The dissertation is a substantial piece of research undertaken by the individual and provides the opportunity to evidence and apply relevant theoretical concepts in a practical context. It is the culmination of the programme and provides the basis for exploration, integration and synthesis of previously acquired knowledge and skills. The work normally requires the individual to engage in some form of in-depth primary research in their own organisation or an organisation with which they are familiar, as well as secondary research. The word range expected is between 18,000- 20,000 words. The dissertation is supported by the Research Methodologies and Methods unit in particular. Participants will produce a dissertation proposal as a requirement of the Research methodologies and Methods unit and will subsequently be allocated a subject- specific dissertation supervisor.

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