MSc Business Analysis and Consultancy

About the course

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Course and module structure

The course has been developed to enable you to develop advanced knowledge and skills in the following areas:

i) Business Analytical Methods and Information Technology
ii) Business Problem Structuring and Solving
iii) Consultancy Skills in the Business Environment

These themes are explored through modules in Business Analytics, Computer Simulation, Creative Problem Solving, Consultancy Skills and Business Statistics. The course also includes a project based module where you will solve a problem for a client using the knowledge and skills acquired during your study. There is then a further applied consultancy project, which allows you to independently research, investigate and analyse a current business problem.

The course focuses on:

  • computational, mathematical, philosophical and management science approaches to business analysis
  • developing problem solving skills
  • enhancing your ability to use business software and other information technology
  • encouraging independent and creative thinking
  • effective communication in all formats appropriate to a business environment.

Semester B entrants

Student wishing to join in January will study can apply for Semester B entry [part time only]. Any questions about Semester B entry should be directed to the Programme Leader or Business School Admissions Team.

Why choose this course?

This Master's in Business Analysis and Consultancy aims to provide you with the analytical knowledge and skills required to be a successful consultant in the modern business environment.

Three key reasons to study Business Analysis and Consultancy at the Hertfordshire Business School:

  1. It is a hands-on, practical programme
  2. It is client-facing so it counts as work experience
  3. It is a unique programme,  informed by the latest research and consultancy in the area

You will gain experience of applying these skills to real consultancy (working with a local organisation) in the complex context in which organisations operate. You will also experience a range of teaching, learning and assessment methods, which will enable you to gain - and be confident in - the skills of modelling, analysis and consulting. All this should directly improve your employment prospects.

The programme is delivered by the Business Analysis and Statistics (BAS) group at Hertfordshire Business School. The BAS group is very strong in the areas of Business Analytics and Consultancy, and its members have diverse experience and expertise in mathematical, computational and philosophical methods of analysis. The group is home to the Statistical Services and Consultancy Unit which does commercial consultancy carried out by members of the group. The course is informed by the cutting edge research undertaken by members of the group.

Entry requirements...

An honours degree (at least 2:2 or above)  in Business, Management, or any other discipline that includes a quantitative or computing element. While not a formal requirement, an aptitude for mathematics or computing is essential for students on this course.

All students from non-majority English speaking countries require proof of English language proficiency. The following qualifications and grades will be considered:
- GCSE English language grade A-C
- IELTS 6.5 (with no less than 5.5 in any band)
Other English language tests are accepted. Please contact the International Office for details.

If you do not have the required level of English for entry, our academic English courses can help you to achieve this level.

If you have any questions regarding this course, please contact the programme tutors Fiona Robins or Amanda Relph.

Key staff

Dr Eren Demir

Find out more about Dr Eren Demir

Dr Mohamed Lebcir

Find out more about Dr Mohamed Lebcir

Dr Neil Spencer

Find out more about Dr Neil Spencer

Dr Soheil Davari

Find out more about Dr Soheil Davari

Careers

Graduates can work in a wide range of industries as business analysts or management consultants. The knowledge and skills obtained will enable you to work as an independent consultant, or within an organisation at middle management or senior level.

Teaching methods

You will learn how to be a successful analytical consultant through a varied programme of teaching that will include guest lectures, masterclasses, facilitated seminars, practical workshops, web-based learning, computer based tutorials, case study analysis and traditional lectures.

Assessment will be practical and coherent across the course, including a mixture of methods such as presentations (written and oral), case study work, action learning sets. The University promotes professional integrity and thus the course provides opportunities to develop the skills of communication, independent and team working, problem solving, creativity, digital literacy, numeracy and self-management.

The course will provide the opportunity to work in teams with a local organisation and an academic supervisor to scope out an area for improvement / where you can deliver a business solution, your team will then create a proposal of the research to be undertaken and this will be presented to the organisation. Individual areas of research will be identified to form the basis for your individual applied consultancy project.

Structure

Year 1

Core Modules

  • Becoming an Effective Consultant

    The module aims to develop the consultancy skills of the student and will be essentially lectorial-based with some assessed role plays. Lectorials are a combination of a lecture and tutorial run as a 2 hour block once a week. During lectorials, theories concerning the practice of professional consultancy will be presented and discussed. Much of the workshops will be practical in nature with students using role-play, case studies, group exercises and presentations to develop their skills in these areas. Assessment will be a mix of individual and group work based on an on-going consultancy case study.

  • Business Modelling Tools

    The module will develop knowledge and understanding of a range of management modelling tools used in business management today. Students will be presented with the importance of business problem formulation and will be guided to shape business problems as analytical models. The module will include a range of tools and techniques to solve the business analytical models with an emphasis on the interpretation of the results generated through the solution process. The difficulties and limitations associated with the formulation and solutions process will be presented including their implications to the business decision making process. Students will be encouraged to use appropriate software to solve the models. The modules include the following topics -Linear Programming -Dynamic Programming -Critical path Methods and PERT -Queuing Theory -Markov Process

  • Creative Problem Solving B

    You will be presented with hard and soft methodologies which can be used to assist decision makers to improve their understanding of the structure of the real world problems they are facing, and therefore make better informed decisions. Many business problems are complex and unstructured - the so-called "messy" problems. "Soft" approaches to problem structuring regard a business /organisation as a system or whole, where changes introduced in one part will affect the whole organisation, often in unexpected ways. The approaches recognise that to be effective in managing the business a holistic view must be taken, specifically including cultural, social and political aspects. This module is essentially about tackling complex problem situations using systems-based analysis, modelling and problem structuring. You will also be presented with decision theory-based methodologies and techniques to identify, formulate and solve business decision problems for use by a generalist manager. You will learn how to evaluate the results of models and appreciate how these models allow a better understanding of the sources of problems and how to justify the recommendation for improving the situation. Practical case studies from business will be examined. Indicative module content: 1. Nature of messy and unstructured problems 2. Soft Systems Methodology 3. SODA /Cognitive mapping 4. Decision Analysis and Decision Theory

  • Individual Consultancy Project

  • Project Management

    Businesses regularly use project management to accomplish unique outcomes with limited resources under critical time constraints. Project management is used as a means of implementing and managing change through different projects with the aim of providing business benefits. Project management provides an organisation with powerful tools that improve its ability to plan, implement and control activities as the way in which it utilises its people and resources. This module provide students with the understanding of the project lifecycle as well as understanding of how projects interact and impact their environment. The module content will include: - the fundamentals of project and project management; - using systems theory to explain the relationship between project components internally and externally; - project organisational structure; - the role of project manager and its importance to the success of project delivery; - the processes of project planning, pricing and cost control; - project management best practices and methodologies; - project evaluation

  • Research Methods for Business Analysts

    Research Methods for Business Analysts is designed to support the students’ business research and analytical capabilities and to underpin their Individual Consultancy Project (ICP). The module begins with how business phenomena can be explained, different methodologies and bibliographic search strategies. It then develops a variety of qualitative and quantitative techniques for collecting, analysing and presenting data. Topics include: Knowledge, knowing and Operational knowledge; The Philosophy of Research; Research Paradigms and Methodologies; Qualitative Research; Methodology, method and data analysis; Quantitative Research; Mixed Methods Research Methodology, method and data analysis; Ethics.

  • Running a Consultancy Project

    This module aims to enable students to integrate their analytical knowledge and consultancy skills to successfully plan and execute a live consultancy project. This is a team working based module, where the team works with a client organisation to identify a substantial business problem or issue to be investigated. The team will then produce a project plan stating aims and objectives and identifying the appropriate methodologies and project timescales, This plan will be agreed with the team academic supervisor and client organisation. Students will then shape and structure the problem , identify and apply the appropriate tools and techniques to analyse and solve the business problem. They will present their finding, recommendations and an implementation plan to the client organisation to receive feedback. This module has been developed especially for the MSc Business Analysis and Consultancy students. Other students may be permitted to study with direct approval with the module leader.

  • Statistical Techniques for Business

    The topics covered in this module make up the basic set of statistical tools that would be commonly used by a business analysis consultant. The delivery of the topics will focus on the practical use and interpretation of the statistical methods and results, using software useful in a consultancy environment. The following topics will be covered in the module • Descriptive statistics • Probability (incl. Binomial, Poisson) • Normal distribution and confidence intervals • Hypothesis testing o One-sample tests and non-parametric o Two-sample hypothesis tests and non-parametric o ANOVA (incl. non-parametric) o Chi-square test of independence • Correlation (incl. non-parametric and serial) • Regression (incl. model selection and checking) • Introductions to more advanced techniques such as General Linear Models, multilevel models, multivariate analyses • A statistical software package such as R will be used

Optional

  • Computer Simulation for Business

    Computer simulation of business systems is an increasingly important management tool for effective decision making. This module covers the general principles of computer simulation, both Discrete-Event and System Dynamics simulation. In Discrete-Event simulation, we will cover construction of the model, verification, validation and experimentation techniques. In Systems Dynamics, we will cover the construction of causal loop diagrams, building of stock flow structures, modelling of non linear relationships and time delays and use of models for policy analysis. Throughout the module, we will be using commercial software such as Simul8 and Ithink and referring to case studies reported in OR/MS literature.

  • International Supply Chain Management

    The focus is on the major challenges of contemporary supply chain networks, however, an introduction to the traditional concepts in supply chain networks is also given. Topics to be covered include: logistics, supply chain strategy, demand unpredictability, globalization in supply chain networks, risk in supply chains, business analytics in supply chains, sustainability, business continuity and natural disasters.

Fees & funding

Fees 2017

UK/EU Students

Full time: £6,450 for the 2017 academic year

Part time: If you decide to study this course on a part time basis you will be charged £540 per 15 credits for the 2017 academic year

International Students

Full time: £12,100 for the 2017 academic year

Part time: If you decide to study this course on a part time basis you will be charged £1010 per 15 credits for the 2017 academic year

*Tuition fees are charged annually. The fees quoted above are for the specified year(s) only. Fees may be higher in future years, for both new and continuing students. Please see the University’s Fees and Finance Policy (and in particular the section headed “When tuition fees change”), for further information about when and by how much the University may increase its fees for future years.

View detailed information about tuition fees

Additional course-related costs

There may be some additional costs or charges associated with studying on this course. These costs or charges may be compulsory (ie you have to pay them if you are studying this course) or they may be optional (ie you don’t have to pay them, but they may help you get the most out of your course).

Any such costs or charges will be outlined in the About your course factsheet that can be found on the course Overview page.

Other financial support

Find out more about other financial support available to UK and EU students

Living costs / accommodation

The University of Hertfordshire offers a great choice of student accommodation, on campus or nearby in the local area, to suit every student budget.

View detailed information about our accommodation

How to apply

2017

Start DateEnd DateLink
21/09/201725/09/2018Apply online (Full Time)
28/09/201720/05/2018Apply online (Part Time)
16/01/201831/01/2019Apply online (Part Time)
25/09/201719/09/2018Apply online (Part Time)

2018

Start DateEnd DateLink
21/09/201825/09/2019Apply online (Full Time)
28/09/201820/05/2019Apply online (Part Time)
16/01/201931/01/2020Apply online (Part Time)
24/09/201819/09/2019Apply online (Part Time)