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ES50156: Practice track

[Page last updated: 15 October 2020]

Follow this link for further information on academic years Academic Year: 2020/1
Further information on owning departmentsOwning Department/School: Department of Economics
Further information on credits Credits: 30      [equivalent to 60 CATS credits]
Further information on notional study hours Notional Study Hours: 600
Further information on unit levels Level: Masters UG & PG (FHEQ level 7)
Further information on teaching periods Period:
Dissertation period
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Summary: CW60OR40
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Detail:
  • Assessment detail for this unit will be available shortly.
Further information on supplementary assessment Supplementary Assessment:
Coursework reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Further information on requisites Requisites:
Description: Aims:
The unit is intended to allow students to conduct research-based projects applying the skills, concepts, and techniques acquired in the taught programme to practice-based economic, business, and technical challenges, including: a case study involving a real-world challenge and a self-managed project.
As such, the unit allows students to relate economic, business, and technical challenges to the available academic literature, to define an associated and well-defined research question, research and review the relevant literature on the topic with the purpose of understanding and critiquing the current state of the research, and to develop a structured commentary leading to well-supported opinions and prescriptions.
First, the students will be presented with a current economic, business, or technical challenge for which they will conduct appropriate research, collect, clean, and analyse data and present a viable solution. The students will be required to run their project within a pre-determined timeframe. Thus, the unit not only encourages students to conduct research and address actual business/technical problems through an interdisciplinary quantitative lens - it also encourages reflection on issues such as project management and group dynamics.
The unit's objectives are designed for students to develop further their abilities to:
* Collect, clean, and analyse data
* Review literature
* Make informed methodological choices
* Present findings of their investigation and analyses
* Present opinions and prescriptions.

Learning Outcomes:
By the end of the unit students should be able to:
* Design and conduct a research project on practice based business issues
* Evaluate and critically assess the particular challenges confronting actual businesses
* Evaluate different sources of relevant data
* Support their arguments with relevant empirical evidence
* Interpret the significance of findings from relevant sources of quantitative and/ or qualitative evidence to inform decision making
* Create viable alternatives and how they would contribute to business solutions and systems
* Take initiative to act on perceived opportunities while considering various risk factors
* Create a plan for an activity
* Carry out a plan, acting on any deviations from the intended outcomes
* Reflect critically on the outcomes of an activity and the processes that led to those outcomes
* Present reflections in written and oral form
* Identify literature relevant to a chosen business/technology/consultancy issue, thereby appreciating the relationship between business/organisational practice and theory
* Systematically research and review relevant literature
* Develop an argument with references to appropriate theory and/or linking together arguments from disparate literatures or interdisciplinary perspectives

Intellectual skills
* Ability to formulate a research question
* Ability to select, analyse and present numerical or non-numerical data
* Capability to handle complex data sets
* Critical analysis and application of existing theories and concepts
* Ability to synthesise interdisciplinary perspectives on the same problem
* Ability to use academic literature alongside real life cases
Practical skills
* Ability to engage with organisations
* Ability to select and present material according to objectives and audience
* Ability to produce work to agreed specifications and deadlines
Transferable skills
* Time management
* Communication skills
* Presentation skills
* Writing skills
* Ability to work independently, without close supervision or guidance

This is designed to be very applied, introducing students to a range of research strategies and techniques in the context of tackling real-world economic, business, and technical challenges. It will integrate academic content with practical skills such as interviewing, presenting and teamwork. Key aspects to be covered include: engaging with relevant aacademic literature and state-of-the-art techniques; understanding different methodologies and when they are appropriate; as well as more practical sessions on identifying and collecting relevant data and problem solving.

All components are required.
Component 1: Pall Mall Residential Week
A residential week at Pall Mall (available to all students, in groups) with employer involvement, on the theme of research methods and design, and their applications to practical business/economic/technical problems. The residential includes briefings on practice track projects by businesses and other organisations, where the organisation presents an actual case study/technical challenge. Academic and business expectations of students are outlined; Groups are formalized and conduct of the project is established. An academic supervisor is assigned to each project group. As part of the residential week, students present (in project groups) their case/technical challenge as well as their approach to solving the problem. The residential week will also provide students with presentation and project management skills workshops.

Component 2: Practicum Report (individual)
Students make individual submissions of their practice track experience and their contribution to the group's solution of the business/technical challenge. While students will already have received extensive writing experience throughout the taught portion of the programme, they will receive workshops on writing and the content of practicum report.

Component 3: Group video presentation of the solution developed collectively as a team to the business/technical challenge posed by a business or other organisation at the start of the practice track period.
Further information on programme availabilityProgramme availability:

ES50156 is a Designated Essential Unit on the following programmes:

Department of Economics
  • THES-AFM30 : MSc Economics for Business Intelligence and Systems