2019/20 Part-time Postgraduate Short course and CPD
Ulster University Business School
Department of Management, Leadership and Marketing
5 March 2020
For full instructions on how to apply for postgraduate short courses, please contact the Centre for Flexible and Continuing Education - FlexEd@ulster.ac.uk
This course focuses on the policy context for clusters as an economic development tool and the experience of clusters, networks and collaboration.
In this section
This course will emphasise the policy context for clusters as an economic development tool, the variety of clusters currently under development (with a particular focus on European countries) and the experience of clusters, network and collaboration in the Northern Ireland regional economy.
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In this section
In this course, the emphasis will be on (1) the policy context for clusters as an economic development tool, (2) the variety of clusters currently under development (with a particular focus on European countries) and (3) the experience of clusters, network and collaboration in the Northern Ireland (NI) regional economy.
The policy element will focus on how clusters have become a mainstream tool for economic development since the idea popularised by Michael Porter in 1990. It will explore the creative tension between definitions of clusters as sectoral concentrations for firms and a broader concept of them as inter-connected groupings of firms and other players. This part will outline the economic rationale for clustering and collaboration more generally (ideas of open innovation and knowledge transfer key here), as well as current thinking about the relationship between clusters and wider questions of competitiveness and innovation in regional economies.
The second element will deal in more detail with the variety of clusters which can be found in national and regional economies across Europe in particular. This will build on the first element by delving further into the design and implementation of cluster policy by looking at best practice elsewhere. The issues to be explored include the resources for this activity, the principles around maturity or life-cycles of clusters, best approaches in cluster development, how sectors are selected, etc.
The NI element will address the question of how clusters can emerge in a regional economy with a limited extent of previous collaboration. There will be a focus on the current state of play of clustering in the regional economy, the mechanisms available to develop collaborative networks and all-island sectoral ecosystems, and the experience (including live cases studies) of a number of sectors where potential clusters may emerge.
Day 1: Defining clusters and networks
Developing the Knowledge Economy and its challenges.
Why are clusters and networks important to this development?
What is the need for Open Innovation and collaboration and where is there a role for clusters and networks?
Current and future trajectories for clusters and networks
Day 2: Relating clusters and networks to the regional economy
What is the evidence for the success of clusters and networks with regard to regional competitiveness?
Key elements of cluster development in the regional economy (including key stakeholder identification, working with clusters and networks at different lifecycle stages etc.)
Day 3: Making clusters and networks work in the regional economy
How does cluster and network activity in NI sit with innovation and economic development strategy?
What are the current supports for this activity (e.g Collaborative Growth Programme and other funding mechanisms?
Case studies of sectors and clusters in NI.
Written assignment [90%]
3500 word individual assignment based on the content delivered. Two options will be open to students:
1. Reflecting on clusters as a concept and how they contribute to economic growth in a regional economy; or
2. Reflecting on best practice in the development of cluster policy and the steps taken (design, implementation, evaluation).
Students are expected to use models and frameworks from the material covered to demonstrate their understanding of the issues involved. The assignment should include students critically reflecting upon their and others approaches to cluster development. Students will be expected to conduct a thorough literature review around their chosen topic.
Written assignment [10%]
Students will submit a 500 word individual reflective statement highlighting their learning experiences (both personal and professional) from both the course and the individual assignment.
The course requires attendance for three individual days from 9.15am to 5.15pm on 5, 6 and 13 March 2020.
Any undergraduate degree.
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Please see details of the English language qualifications and certificates we can accept - https://www.ulster.ac.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/177404/Other-english-language-tests-and-qualifications-2017.pdf
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