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ES50156: Practice track

[Page last updated: 02 August 2022]

Academic Year: 2022/23
Owning Department/School: Department of Economics
Credits: 30 [equivalent to 60 CATS credits]
Notional Study Hours: 600
Level: Masters UG & PG (FHEQ level 7)
Dissertation period
Assessment Summary: CW 80%, OR 20%
Assessment Detail:
  • Practice Track Academic Report (CW 50%)
  • Practice Track Business Report (CW 30%)
  • Practice Track Presentation (OR 20%)
Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
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

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.

Skills: 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

Content: 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 academic 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.

Programme availability:

ES50156 is a Designated Essential Unit on the following programmes:

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


  • This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2022/23 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2023/24 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2022/23.
  • Programmes and units are subject to change in accordance with normal University procedures.
  • Availability of units will be subject to constraints such as staff availability, minimum and maximum group sizes, and timetabling factors as well as a student's ability to meet any pre-requisite rules.
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