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Clusters and Networks in the Regional Knowledge Economy

2019/20 Part-time Postgraduate Short course and CPD

Faculty:

Ulster University Business School

School:

Department of Management, Leadership and Marketing

Campus:

Belfast campus

Credit points:

20

Start date:

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

Overview

This course focuses on the policy context for clusters as an economic development tool and the experience of clusters, networks and collaboration.

Summary

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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About this course

About

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

Group work

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.)

Group work

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.

Group work

Linked programmes

PgCertPD Professional Development,

Assessment

100% Coursework

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.

Attendance

The course requires attendance for three individual days from 9.15am to 5.15pm on 5, 6 and 13 March 2020.

Entry requirements

Any undergraduate degree.

English Language Requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English must meet the minimum English entrance requirements of the University and will need to provide recent evidence of this (certified within the last two years).

Most of our courses require a minimum English level of IELTS 6.0 or equivalent, with no band score under 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement.

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

International applicants will also require a short-term study visa. Further information is available at https://www.ulster.ac.uk/international/visa-immigration

Start dates

  • 5 March 2020
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    Content

    The content for each course is summarised on the relevant course page, along with an overview of the modules that make up the course.

    Each course is approved by the University and meets the expectations of:

    • the relevant generic national Qualification Descriptor
    • the applicable Subject Benchmark Statement
    • the requirements of any professional, regulatory, statutory and accrediting bodies.

    Attendance and Independent Study

    As part of your course induction, you will be provided with details of the organisation and management of the course, including attendance and assessment requirements - usually in the form of a timetable. For full-time courses, the precise timetable for each semester is not confirmed until close to the start date and may be subject to some change in the early weeks as all courses settle into their planned patterns. For part-time courses which require attendance on particular days and times, an expectation of the days and periods of attendance will be included in the letter of offer. A course handbook is also made available.

    Courses comprise modules for which the notional effort involved is indicated by its credit rating. Each credit point represents 10 hours of student effort. Undergraduate courses typically contain 10- or 20-credit modules (more usually 20) and postgraduate course typically 15- or 30-credit modules.

    The normal study load expectation for an undergraduate full-time course of study in the standard academic year is 120 credit points. This amounts to around 36-42 hours of expected teaching and learning per week, inclusive of attendance requirements for lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical work, fieldwork or other scheduled classes, private study, and assessment. Part-time study load is the same as full-time pro-rata, with each credit point representing 10 hours of student effort.

    Postgraduate Master’s courses typically comprise 180 credits, taken in three semesters when studied full-time. A Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) comprises 60 credits and can usually be completed on a part-time basis in one year. A 120-credit Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) can usually be completed on a part-time basis in two years.

    Class contact times vary by course and type of module. Typically, for a module predominantly delivered through lectures you can expect at least 3 contact hours per week (lectures/seminars/tutorials). Laboratory classes often require a greater intensity of attendance in blocks. Some modules may combine lecture and laboratory. The precise model will depend on the course you apply for and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. Prospective students will be consulted about any significant changes.

    Assessment

    Assessment methods vary and are defined explicitly in each module. Assessment can be a combination of examination and coursework but may also be only one of these methods. Assessment is designed to assess your achievement of the module’s stated learning outcomes. You can expect to receive timely feedback on all coursework assessment. The precise assessment will depend on the module and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.

    Coursework can take many forms, for example: essay, report, seminar paper, test, presentation, dissertation, design, artefacts, portfolio, journal, group work. The precise form and combination of assessment will depend on the course you apply for and the module. Details will be made available in advance through induction, the course handbook, the module specification and the assessment timetable. The details are subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.

    Normally, a module will have 4 learning outcomes, and no more than 2 items of assessment. An item of assessment can comprise more than one task. The notional workload and the equivalence across types of assessment is standardised.

    Calculation of the Final Award

    The class of Honours awarded in Bachelor’s degrees is usually determined by calculation of an aggregate mark based on performance across the modules at Levels 5 and 6, (which correspond to the second and third year of full-time attendance).

    Level 6 modules contribute 70% of the aggregate mark and Level 5 contributes 30% to the calculation of the class of the award. Classification of integrated Master’s degrees with Honours include a Level 7 component. The calculation in this case is: 50% Level 7, 30% Level 6, 20% Level 5. At least half the Level 5 modules must be studied at the University for Level 5 to be included in the calculation of the class.

    All other qualifications have an overall grade determined by results in modules from the final level of study. In Master’s degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.

Academic profile

The University employs over 1,000 suitably qualified and experienced academic staff - 59% have PhDs in their subject field and many have professional body recognition.

Courses are taught by staff who are Professors (25%), Readers, Senior Lecturers (18%) or Lecturers (57%).

We require most academic staff to be qualified to teach in higher education: 82% hold either Postgraduate Certificates in Higher Education Practice or higher. Most academic staff (81%) are accredited fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) - the university sector professional body for teaching and learning. Many academic and technical staff hold other professional body designations related to their subject or scholarly practice.

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    The profiles of many academic staff can be found on the University’s departmental websites and give a detailed insight into the range of staffing and expertise. The precise staffing for a course will depend on the department(s) involved and the availability and management of staff. This is subject to change annually and is confirmed in the timetable issued at the start of the course.

    Occasionally, teaching may be supplemented by suitably qualified part-time staff (usually qualified researchers) and specialist guest lecturers. In these cases, all staff are inducted, mostly through our staff development programme ‘First Steps to Teaching’. In some cases, usually for provision in one of our out-centres, Recognised University Teachers are involved, supported by the University in suitable professional development for teaching.

    Figures correct for academic year 2019-2020.

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High quality apartment living in Belfast city centre adjacent to the university campus.

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Address

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York Street
Belfast
County Antrim
BT15 1ED

T: 028 7012 3456

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Start dates

  • 5 March 2020

Fees and funding

Prices

Northern Ireland & EU: £1,000.00

England, Scotland, Wales and the Islands: £1,000.00

International: £1,562.20

Fees information

Information about how to pay for a course including different payment options is available at

https://www.ulster.ac.uk/finance/student/tuition-fees-payments

Additional mandatory costs

Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges), and normal living are a part of university life.

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.

We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi is also available on each of the campuses.

There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course.

Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees.

Please contact the course team for more information.

Contact

Email: FlexEd@ulster.ac.uk

Telephone: (+44) 028 9036 6680

For more information visit

Ulster University Business School

Department of Management, Leadership and Marketing

Disclaimer

  1. The University endeavours to deliver courses and programmes of study in accordance with the description set out in this prospectus. The University’s prospectus is produced at the earliest possible date in order to provide maximum assistance to individuals considering applying for a course of study offered by the University. The University makes every effort to ensure that the information contained in the prospectus is accurate but it is possible that some changes will occur between the date of printing and the start of the academic year to which it relates. Please note that the University’s website is the most up-to-date source of information regarding courses and facilities and we strongly recommend that you always visit the website before making any commitments.
  2. Although reasonable steps are taken to provide the programmes and services described, the University cannot guarantee the provision of any course or facility and the University may make variations to the contents or methods of delivery of courses, discontinue, merge or combine courses and introduce new courses if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Such circumstances include (but are not limited to) industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key staff, changes in legislation or government policy including changes, if any, resulting from the UK departing the European Union, withdrawal or reduction of funding or other circumstances beyond the University’s reasonable control.
  3. If the University discontinues any courses, it will use its best endeavours to provide a suitable alternative course. In addition, courses may change during the course of study and in such circumstances the University will normally undertake a consultation process prior to any such changes being introduced and seek to ensure that no student is unreasonably prejudiced as a consequence of any such change.
  4. The University does not accept responsibility (other than through the negligence of the University, its staff or agents), for the consequences of any modification or cancellation of any course, or part of a course, offered by the University but will take into consideration the effects on individual students and seek to minimise the impact of such effects where reasonably practicable.
  5. The University cannot accept any liability for disruption to its provision of educational or other services caused by circumstances beyond its control, but the University will take all reasonable steps to minimise the resultant disruption to such services.