Master of Science
Ulster University Business School
Department of Management, Leadership and Marketing
This course is aimed at providing you with an in-depth knowledge and understanding of a range of business-related disciplines, with a particular focus on business development and innovation. The course covers several relevant topics and has links with the world-renowned Harvard Business Schoolthrough the Competitiveness module.
If you are coming to the course with considerable existing industrial experience, it will support career progression - for example, moving from a technical discipline to a wider management role.
If you're a more recent graduate, the course will significantly enhance business knowledge and skills to provide you with an increased knowledge of up-to-date and innovative organisational practice, based on a solid grounding in a range of relevant business disciplines.
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Business development and innovation in challenging times is key to business growth and economic recovery. The overall aim of the MSc Business Development and Innovation course, therefore, is to provide an academically challenging, intellectually stimulating programme of study that educates, develops and enhances your professional competence. In short, a course with a strong theoretical underpinning and relevant practical application.
Within this broad aim, the specific objectives of the course are to:
Our experiences with participants studying on this course is that the real value of the course is in its ability to empower students to take a high level view of how innovation (in whatever form) can facilitate and support business development and create value in their own particular context.
Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.
Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.
NB: For students with a January start you will complete two of the below modules in Semester 2 of Year 1, and then all the remaining modules in the next academic year, so over 4 semesters in total.
For those starting in Sept all of the below modules will be completed in one academic year or over 2 years if Part-Time.
The purpose of this module is to introduce creative management concepts and tools that can be used to address development challenges at individual, group or organisational levels. Such challenges are typically in the context of social, economic or sustainable development. Module content draws on approaches to challenge-based research undertaken by multidisciplinary teams at Ulster University and includes case material from international, practice-based networks.
This module seeks to provide students with an appreciation of the processes of firm internationalisation and the key issues that affect business and marketing decisions in an international and global context. Firm level processes and activities are considered within the context of the global business environment. Students will be given the opportunity to assess opportunities for internationalisation and the barriers that must be addressed.
This module focuses on the wider topic of competitiveness and explores the determinants of national and regional competitiveness from both a "bottom-up", microeconomic perspective, and "top-down" macroeconomic approach. In particular, it probes the ultimate determinants of a nation's or region's productivity, rooted in economic policies, the endowments of a country, the strategies and operating practices of locally based firms, the vitality of clusters, and the quality of the business environment in which competition takes place.
Management Research Dissertation
The module seeks to expose students of Business Development and Innovation to the range of research methods and project management techniques available. Students will acquire appropriate knowledge and understanding of the various research methodologies for the purposes of developing an applied management research proposal and project plan in preparation for undertaking systematic empirical studies at a postgraduate level, on a topic of strategic value to an organisation.
Strategy for Business Development
Strategy consists of the analysis and decisions an organisation undertakes in order to create and sustain competitive advantage. Understanding these interrelated processes is crucial for creating and developing organisations. This module explores these decisions areas from a range of contemporary perspectives and contexts.
Strategic and Applied Digital Marketing
This module examines applying strategy in the digital marketing context. When the tools of marketing change, marketing strategies and marketers themselves must evolve too. The focus of this module is therefore on supporting adaptive practice of current or potential future marketers through leveraging an applied project based learning approach toward developing strategic expertise in the digital transformation of the marketing function.
This module engages module participants in a programme in Entrepreneurial Learning and Practice that reflects the environment with which they live and work. It aims to build their awareness of "entrepreneurship" as a theoretical concept and a practical reality for those engaged in the launch and/or development of any enterprise. It provides a framework for engaging with and assessing the viability of an innovative project or new venture or the development of an existing one. It also provides programme participants with an opportunity, to audit their personal entrepreneurial potential.
Innovation in Practice
The module covers Innovation in Practice from both theoretical and practical perspectives. It introduces students to the underlying processes of innovation within organisations or different types. Moreover, the nature of innovation-based business processes is examined and critiqued.
One of the features of the MSc in Business Development and Innovation is that each of the eight taught modules is delivered using Block Learning. This means each module is delivered over three full days, with a follow-up day, usually a week later. Classes do not follow the traditional weekly lecture/seminar format.
During the three days (plus the follow-up) you will experience a variety of teaching and learning methods including lectures, seminars, case studies and guest speakers. You would also be expected to complete your own, individual learning, outside the classes.
Each of the taught modules is delivered using the block intensive learning approach. Thus, each module is delivered over three full days with an additional follow-up day. Various learning approaches are adopted including lectures, seminars, workshops, tutorials, while guest speakers and visiting professors are used to add their expertise and practical experience to the subject being studied.
Assessment plays a significant role in the totality of a student’s educational experience. For this reason, considerable effort has been devoted to ensuring that the assessment requirements built into each module are appropriate to the learning outcomes, qualities and abilities being assessed. The necessary skills and abilities are established and developed through the completion of a wide range of practical and applied exercises, work-based assignments, consultancy-type exercises and case studies that may require peer presentations.
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:
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 near the start date and may be subject to 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 of attendance will often 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 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 Masters 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 methods vary and are defined explicitly in each module. Assessment can be via one method or a combination e.g. examination and coursework . 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 four learning outcomes, and no more than two 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.
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 Masters 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 Masters degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.
Figures correct for academic year 2019-2020.
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 (20%) or Lecturers (55%).
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) by Advanced HE - 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.
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 2021-2022.
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We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.
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Applicants must hold a degree with at least 2:2 Honours standard or equivalent.
Exceptionally, applicants who do not possess academic qualifications at the appropriate level but have substantial relevant work experience may be considered for admittance in accordance with the Faculty’s Accreditation of Prior Learning policy.
English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.
Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.
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The course provides the foundation for opportunities in a wide range of careers, across a number of business areas. These include, for example, business development, strategy, innovation, business analysis, research, and consultancy.
The course also helps develop competencies for career change/progression, while also providing the necessary tools to enable participants to set up their own business.
The highest performing student is elligible to receive The Moy Park Award for Business Excellence.
It is important to remember that costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges) and normal living will need to be covered in addition to tuition fees.
Where a course has additional mandatory expenses (in addition to tuition fees) we make every effort to highlight them above. 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 Wi-Fi are also available on each of the campuses.
There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.
Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as a part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs, as well as tuition fees.
See the tuition fees on our student guide for most up to date costs.
We know that choosing to study at university is a big decision, and you may not always be able to find the information you need online.
Please contact Ulster University with any queries or questions you might have about:
For any queries regarding getting help with your application, please select Admissions in the drop down below.
For queries related to course content, including modules and placements, please select Course specific information.
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