Skip to main content

Practice Track: solve a real-world business challenge as part of your degree

The Practice Track is an alternative to a traditional dissertation. You will work in a group or alone to complete a project with an external organisation.

A practical alternative to a dissertation

Use your skills and knowledge to take on a project with an external organisation as part of your master’s degree. The Practice Track is currently only available on certain courses.


Some of our courses offer you the chance to complete the Practice Track instead of a dissertation.

Unlike a dissertation, the Practice Track is a practical project with a real-world organisation. It gives you the chance to demonstrate your skills and expertise in a different way.

You’ll work on a consultancy or research-based project with one of our partner companies, gaining practical experience as part of your degree. The project could be a challenge faced by the company or an extension of current research for an organisation. You may even further your own research to complement the company’s aims.

You can work as part of a small group or on your own to complete the Practice Track.

Practice Track courses

The Practice Track is available on some Faculty of Engineering & Design, Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences, and School of Management courses. It typically lasts around three months and takes place during the summer after your first two semesters.


*The Practice Track for MSc Innovation and Technology Management, and MSc Engineering Business Management students follows a different structure.

Why choose the Practice Track?


Completing the Practice Track can help you to stand out in a competitive job market. You’ll get the opportunity to:

  • gain real business experience
  • build your professional network
  • improve your CV
  • take on a challenge valued by employers
  • explore your career options
  • build a route into full-time employment
  • benefit from training in project and client management
  • enhance your presentation skills
A group of students writing on a whiteboard as part of a task

Support and guidance for a practical project

We aim to provide you with the right platform to take on the challenge.


You will have support from the company you work with and your academic supervisor throughout your Practice Track project. This will help you to apply the skills, knowledge and techniques gained during your studies.

Throughout the year leading up to your project, you’ll benefit from our Professional Development Programme (PDP). PDP sessions are designed to enhance your employability skills and help you make a positive start to your project.

A young man (Michael Lawrence) stood next to a river in a city surrounded by modern buildings.
‘For me, the Practice Track was the best part of the course. The experience I gained in a relatively short amount of time has been invaluable.’
Michael Lawrence MSc Economics for Business Intelligence and Systems (2021)

Practice Track: MSc students’ view

School of Management MSc students share their experience of the Practice Track.


Contact us

If you have any questions about the Practice Track, please contact us.


The Practice Track isn't available on all master's courses. If you choose another course, you may have the opportunity to gain applied experience through placements or practicums.