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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 Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
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 students 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.

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 is 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.
Professional Development offers a varied learning experience via an integrated mix of interactive workshops, group work and class discussion, visiting speakers and practical exercises (both on an individual and group basis) supported via a range of online diagnostic tools and independent directed reading. The aim is for students to gain self-awareness through a better understanding of themselves as individuals, team members, potential leaders, managers and learners. Teaching contributors include members of the Executive Development team and external training providers and consultants.
In this course, there will be opportunities for discussion and debate, and students are encouraged to apply the studied models and ideas covered to their own experience. There is a strong emphasis on peer-to-peer learning which can be hugely beneficial given the cultural and professional (i.e. wide spectrum of industry representation within the class) diversity within the MBA cohort.

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 followed by an online workshop to develop understanding of individual and team reports)
Building High Performance Teams (- Virtual team based activities)
Reflective practice for learning (including PD assignment briefing)
Networking skills
Skills & Awareness in Productive Conversations & Giving Feedback
Building Cultural Awareness
Influencing skills
Emotional intelligence (introduction prior to online EQ assessment and 1:1 coaching session)
Personal resilience
Advanced communication and presentation skills

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 online career counselling and a number of online employer opportunities throughout the academic year in various forms including guest speaker slots, career lounges 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 online 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 For Business School PG students only, or by special permission of the School. Please contact the course secretary.
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2020/21, 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 online 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 Building High Performance Teams 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 will be provided during semester 1. 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 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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