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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Business School : Common Courses (Management School)

Postgraduate Course: Professional Development (MBA) (CMSE11392)

Course Outline
SchoolBusiness School CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThis skills development based course is designed to help full-time MBA participants enhance their leadership capability and professional competence as well as their potential to develop strong employability skills and successfully pitch for senior executive roles in a range of organisations. An underpinning tenant of the course will be to develop students, ability to reflect on their learning using appropriate tools and techniques to produce a meaningful and viable learning agenda which will also help develop their critical thinking ability, identify their strengths and weaknesses and explore different approaches and ideas towards their thinking and learning on the MBA programme. The course also aims to introduce (using relevant academic theory and contemporary examples) areas and themes that impact on personal development, for example organisational learning, resilience, gender, communication, technology and wellbeing. This will be in the context of contemporary issues faced by senior managers and leaders in the current global business environment. Guest speakers from a range of diverse industries will provide further context and highlight the issues and challenges that can impact on their professional development.
Course description Learning Aims
This course provides an opportunity for students to reflect upon and develop a deeper sense of self-awareness (both intellectually and emotionally) of both personal strengths and development needs.
The course delivers a series of workshop aimed at increasing knowledge, critical thinking skills, confidence and competence across a range of key personal competencies which have been identified as critical for MBA employability. These include effective teamwork, leadership, and the ability to communicate and present with influence and impact.
The course also aims to introduce (using relevant academic theory and contemporary examples) areas and themes that impact on personal development, for example organisational learning, resilience, gender, communication, technology and wellbeing.
To ensure continuity and coherence with the overall MBA programme the course aims to reinforce and highlight appropriate linkages with theory and examples provided by the other courses in the context of an individual and his/her professional development (e.g. Groupthink, Janus, Senge - System Archetypes)
Practical tools and techniques will also be a key part of the course, from online diagnostics to evaluating the effectiveness of the latest types of presentation software.

Academic theory will include but is not limited to lectures, workshops, text and reading on effective leadership, emotional intelligence, organisational learning, gender and other relevant cognate areas (see sample reading list below)

Professional Development will be presented and analysed in the context of contemporary issues faced by senior managers and leaders in the current global business environment whether that is Brexit and political uncertainty in the west, the rise of the ASEAN economic region in the far east, the impact of the gig economy, issues of gender balance in postgraduate higher education.

The course will be complimented by guest speakers from a range of diverse industries who will provide further context and highlight the current issues and challenges that can impact on an individual's professional development and future career aspirations.

Outline Content
The Professional Development course includes workshops and lectures focused across the following areas:
Teamwork and Belbin theory (Belbin online assessment completed pre-arrival on programme)
Leading High Performance Teams (offsite 2 day residential programme delivered jointly with Strategic Leadership & Organsing for Effectiveness)
Reflective practice for learning
Critical thinking
Advanced communication and presentation skills
Networking skills
Giving/receiving feedback
Influencing skills
Emotional intelligence and maturity (introduction prior to online EQ assessment and 1:1 coaching session)
Gender balance and an introduction to the Paula Principle
An Introduction to coaching (focus on active listening and powerful questioning techniques)
Personal resilience
Models of working: work life balance in the gig economy

The themes outlined above will comprise the core (and assessed) elements of the PD course offering. However in addition, optional career development classes designed specifically for these students who are actively targeting a career move post programme and who will be working on developing job search strategies alongside their MBA studies, will be made available. These will include the following:

Developing an effective job search strategy
CV and cover letter writing
LinkedIn (Developing your online brand)
Preparing for Interviews
Engaging with recruiters
Career development will also be supported via 1:1 career counselling and a number of employer facing opportunities throughout the academic year in various forms including guest speaker slots, career lounges, the annual MBA Employability Conference and other networking events. All students will complete the Career Leader online assessment pre-arrival on programme. This looks at Interests, Motivators and Skills (as well as future career direction) and will be used in initial 1:1 coaching sessions within the first half of semester 1.

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2018/19, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Full Year
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 6, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 24, Other Study Hours 50, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 18 )
Additional Information (Learning and Teaching) Other hours: Completion of online diagnostics, research, development and presentation
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Individual Reflective Learning Journal and Personal Development Plan (70%)
Personal Learning Video Log (30%)
Feedback Formative feedback will consist of the following:

Individual 1:1 feedback on the Career Leader diagnostic report which students will complete pre-arrival will be provided during the first half of semester 1. Part of this report includes a self-evaluation of skills. This discussion will help the students to identify the skills that they wish to focus on for their Learning Log (which forms the central piece of assessment for this course).

Feedback on team and leadership skills will be provided by observers during the offsite ┐Leading High Performing Teams┐ programme during which the students will participate in a number of team based activities.

Feedback on individual presentation skills will be provided via both the Presentations skills and Advanced Communications workshops. Peer review will also be used to evaluate performance in these workshops. This feedback will help the students reflect on their performance and develop skills to leverage in the production of their individual Vlogs.

Individual feedback on the Emotional Intelligence assessment undertaken by all students during the Christmas break will be provided during early semester 2a. The students can use this feedback to inform their reflection around the development of personal and professional skills.

Feedback on assignments will be provided within 15 working days of submission. Summative marks will be returned on a published timetable, which will have been made clear to students at the start of the academic year.

Students will be provided with electronic written/audio feedback for all coursework.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate a high level of self-awareness and the ability to assess personal development needs and take accountability for developing action plans to address these.
  2. Understand and critically evaluate key business models relating to the competencies of effective teamwork, leadership and communication.
  3. Demonstrate enhanced skills and increased confidence in networking, relationship building and giving/receiving feedback.
  4. Work effectively (as both team player and leader) within non-hierarchical and diverse functional and cultural teams.
  5. Communicate and present with influence and impact in a public forum.
Reading List
Core Textbook:
Stein S and Book H (2011) The EQ Edge (3rd Edition) Emotional Intelligence and Your Success.

Recommended Reading
Covey, Stephen R., 2013, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change, Rosetta Books.
Dweck, C., 2017. Mindset - Updated Edition: Changing The Way You think To Fulfil Your Potential, Robinson
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills This course addresses the following key graduate attributes:

Communication: Interpersonal; verbal and cross-cultural and influencing.

Each of these skill areas are covered within course content (Presentation skills/ Advanced Communications Influencing Skills). Whilst cross-cultural communication is not covered as a standalone topic, this is an integral part of the teamwork, which will take place across many aspects of the course provision.

Personal and Intellectual autonomy: self-awareness and reflection; independent learning and development and decision-making.

The development of self-awareness and reflection form central themes within the Professional Development course and are also directly linked to the proposed assessment. Recognising the challenges often faced by students in reflective practice, this topic will be covered as a standalone session within the core content (as previously highlighted). This will equip the students with models of reflective practice, which will be of value across many aspects of the wider MBA programme.

Personal effectiveness: leadership; planning and organising, effective team working; assertiveness and flexibility

The Professional Development course is focused around the development of competencies strongly identified with leadership behaviours. Personal effectiveness in planning and organising will be addressed through continuous learning and reflection on practice. Effective teamwork and an early focus on exploring the characteristics of high performing teams is the first topic covered in detail within PD (this starts pre-arrival with the completion of the Belbin team roles online assessment). This focus is viewed as critical in order to equip the students with a strong understanding of teamwork dynamics, invaluable in many other aspects of the MBA programme where group based assessment is widely used.

Assertiveness and flexibility are developed throughout the course and form 2 key elements of the Emotional Intelligence assessment (EQ diagnostic) which each student will complete as part of this course with follow up 1:1 coaching and feedback being provided.

Research and Enquiry: critical thinking; independent research
Students are directed towards a wide range of reading resources. Individual assessment includes critical thinking and independent research.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserMrs Amanda Singleton
Tel: (0131 6)50 2444
Course secretaryMrs Angela Muir
Tel: (0131 6)51 3854
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