About the course
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 analytics
- 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.
Why choose this course?
This Master's in Business Analytics 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 Analytics and Consultancy at the Hertfordshire Business School:
- It is a hands-on, practical programme
- It is client-facing so it counts as work experience
- 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.
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
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.
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.
Computer Simulation for Business - 15 Credits
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 nonlinear relationships and time delays and use of models for policy analysis. Computer simulation is used in many areas, including healthcare, education, manufacturing, finance, and supply chain. Throughout the module, we will be using commercial software such as Simul8 and iThink and refer to case studies reported in OR/MS literature.
Individual Consultancy Project - 60 Credits
The aim of this module is to develop the student's critical awareness of research and inquiry issues and practical competence in applying them. The individual consultancy project is driven by the research and development of a real project that the student will be undertaking in a host organisation or by the contribution to the development of new theories or novel ways to apply analytical techniques in business contexts.
Business Analytics Tools - 15 Credits
The module will develop knowledge and understanding of a range of business analytics tools used in business management today. Students will be presented with the importance of business problem structuring and 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 stages 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; Game Theory; Critical path Method and PERT; Queuing Theory; Markov Processes.
Consultancy Skills for Business Analysts - 30 Credits
The module aims to develop the consultancy skills of the student by combining teaching and workshop sessions with a simulated consultancy case, before beginning work on a live consultancy project. The module enables students to integrate their analytical knowledge with consultancy skills to successfully plan and execute a consultancy project with a real client. During these sessions, theories concerning the practice of professional consultancy will be presented and discussed. The workshops will be largely 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 project.
Data Analytics - 30 Credits
The topics covered in this module make up a 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/interpretation of the statistical methods and results, using software useful in a consultancy environment.
The following topics will be covered in the module: Data gathering (including extracting from databases/websites); Sampling; Data visualisation; Patterns/outliers in data; Numerical measures of location/spread; Probability, Bayes' theorem and binomial/Poisson/multinomial distributions; Implications of Central Limit Theorem leading to Normal distribution and confidence intervals; Classical hypothesis testing; Decision making methods such as linear regression (including multiple linear regression and model selection) and decision trees; Supervised learning methods such as logistic regression, discriminant analysis and k-nearest neighbours; Unsupervised learning methods such as cluster analysis (hierarchical and k-means); Ethical and legal issues concerning the collection and processing of data; Applications to big data.
A statistical software package such as R will be used.
Databases and Business Intelligence - 15 Credits
This module covers a wide range of database and business intelligence concepts such as database architectures, normalisation, structured query language, big data technologies, OLTP, OLAP and database security. Students will have some hands-on experience with a database management system to design small-scale databases.
International Supply Chain Management - 15 Credits
The focus of this module is on the theory and practice of international supply chain management in the context of organisations. Topics to be covered include: supply chain strategy, performance and structure of supply chains; supplier relationships; managing quality; matching supply and demand; inventory control, sourcing and managing suppliers; risk management, sustainability; corporate social responsibility; humanitarian supply chain integration and future contemporary challenges of supply chain management. The module will introduce the students to the main methods and techniques commonly used in the management of international supply chains; these include techniques such as simulation, forecasting, optimisation, distribution, network analysis, and so on.
Creative Problem Solving - 15 Credits
The learning outcomes of this module will be achieved through lectures, seminars, and practical sessions.
Students will bring their existing knowledge together with specific research and the skills and understanding gained of the module’s methods and techniques to bear on current real world business or other complex issues. They will work both in teams and individually to tackle and effectively resolve these issues.
All this will be facilitated by frequent interaction between students, and between students and tutor, with a lot of support provided throughout the module.
Methodologies such as SODA and Soft Systems Methodology employ very different, imaginative processes and techniques, including soft models, to organise and structure our thinking and ensure rigorous and rational intervention, and the right resolutions and outcomes.
Additionally, we look at some more quantitative based approaches including Decision Theory and Decision Analysis to complement the soft, more qualitative methods above.
Decision Analytics - 15 Credits
The module will present various quantitative approaches associated with planning and decision making. For planning purposes a variety of business forecasting techniques will be presented as well as models for the optimisation of decision problems under constraints.
We shall also cover approaches for assessing performance and decision making in the context of multiple and conflicting objectives.
The following topics will be covered: forecasting, optimisation, data envelopment analysis, multi-criteria decision analysis.
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.
How to apply
Full Time, 1 Years
Part Time, 2 Years
University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield