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2020/21 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

LUBS3850 Contemporary Management Consulting

20 creditsClass Size: 150

Module manager: Adrian Murton

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2020/21

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

The rise of management consultancy during the last two decades of the 20th century is one of the key success stories of the contemporary business world. Given the pervasiveness of consultants and their services in the contemporary economy as well as the problematic nature of their involvement (not to mention the significant rewards that this occupation offers to its members), it is therefore increasingly important that students come to terms with both the principles of management consulting as a specific activity and also the structure of management consultancy as a specific market and occupation. This module will introduce these management consulting principles and structures to you, both as potential future consultants and/or as purchasers of consulting services.


This module provides the necessary theoretical and empirical framework for the study of management consulting both as a specific activity and as a type of business. Specifically, the module aims to develop students’ understanding of the key characteristics of the consultancy industry, its market, and the distinguishing features of successful consultancy projects. It will also look at the important and at times problematic role of management consulting and consultants in contemporary business and society, the challenges in organizing and managing management consultancy firms, and the different roles performed by management consultants for their clients.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students will be able to:

- Critically assess the principal academic theories, dominant market practices and popular conceptions of management consulting and management consultants;
- Discuss how management consulting may affect business performance and survival;
- Critically assess a range of key consulting methodologies, skills, and services, to develop a structured approach to managing consultancy interventions;
- Outline the distinctive challenges of organizing and managing management consultancy firms, including an understanding of ethics in relation to consultancy;
- Be able to prepare for professional personal development as a consultant and be able to assess current competencies and knowledge against those of a management consultant;
- Evaluate the practical application of management consulting in various business settings.

Skills outcomes
Transferable skills:

- Team-working
- Negotiation
- Communication skills
- Commercial awareness

Subject specific skills:

Upon completion of this module, students will be able to:

- Analyse various business problems and scenarios;
- Evaluate the effectiveness of different consulting interventions; and
- Present consultancy solutions in a sales pitch scenario and a written executive report.
- Students will also develop their reflective thinking and professional development skills


Indicative content:

- History and overview/profile of the sector
- Consultant-client relationships
- Consulting firms, their organization and management
- The ‘managing’ of management consultants (client side perspectives, including procurement)
- Communication for consultants: its importance and impact
- The need for project and change management skills
- The consulting life-cycle, different types of consultancy intervention and the role of planning
- Types of consulting roles and projects; e.g. IT, organization development and strategy
- The dark side of management consulting, including ethical issues and consultancy
- The roles and responsibilities of the consultant, consultant behaviours and the importance of professional development

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Independent online learning hours75.00
Private study hours103.00
Total Contact hours22.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

This could include a variety of activities, such as reading, watching videos, question practice and exam preparation.

Lectures will either be pre-recorded or live. Live Seminars will be delivered either in person or online.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Your teaching methods could include a variety of delivery models, such as face-to-face teaching, live webinars, discussion boards and other interactive activities. There will be opportunities for formative feedback throughout the module.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay3,100 words70.00
Essay1,500 words30.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

The resit for this module will be 100% by 3000 word essay.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 01/10/2020 08:37:40


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