Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2011-2012 (archived)

Module BUSI45J15: Consulting

Department: Business School (Business)

BUSI45J15: Consulting

Type Open Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2011/12 Module Cap None.
Tied to N1K607
Tied to N1K507
Tied to N1K307
Tied to N1KL07


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To develop students’ abilities to apply their knowledge and skills to explore problematic situations, and identify and gain agreement to actions to enable improvement.


  • The role of the consultant;
  • The client relationship;
  • The engagement as a project;
  • Exploring the problematic situation;
  • Influencing change;
  • Evaluating an assignment and the team.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module students should:
  • Have a critical understanding of the different roles of the consultant;
  • Have a critical understanding of a project framework as a way to structure a consulting engagement.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of the module students should:
  • Have the ability to apply a project framework to scope, plan and manage a consulting engagement working as part of a team;
  • Have the ability to apply knowledge to explore a problematic situation and identify opportunities for improvements.
Key Skills:
    Ability to think critically and creatively and to argue coherently;
Key Skills:
    Planning, organisational and time management skills;
Key Skills:
    Problem solving and analytical skills;
Key Skills:
    Ability to perform effectively within a team environment, including skills of leadership and performance management; team building; influencing and motivating; monitoring performance, mentoring and coaching; and project management;
Key Skills:
    Interpersonal skills of effective listening, negotiating, persuasion and presentation;
Key Skills:
    Skills of effective self-management including motivation, self-starting, individual initiative and enterprise.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Lectures introduce key concepts and the consulting process. Seminars provide opportunities to develop skills by working on a number of aspects of the consulting process. Students will draw on their learning from other modules to enable them to tackle problematic issues brought forward by client organisations in the form of consulting projects. Tutorials will allow staff to work with students engaged in the projects and also allow students to support each other in an action learning approach. A final workshop provides the opportunity for students to present their work to staff and clients and obtain feedback. There is also an individual summative assignment in which students reflect critically on the group project and its implementation.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 3 Weekly 2 hours 6
Seminars 3 Weekly 1 hour 3
Tutorials 4 Fortnightly 2 hours 8
Workshop presentation and debrief 1 N/A 6 hours 6
Preparation, project work & reading 127
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Group presentation and report on a consulting project (resit: individual assignment of 2000 words) Component Weighting: 80%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Group presentation 15 minutes 45%
Group written report 2000 words (maximum) 40%
Individual contribution to group activities N/A 15%
Component: Individual written assignment based on consulting project Component Weighting: 20%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Individual written assignment based on consulting project 1500 words (maximum) 100%

Formative Assessment:

Group presentation of project proposal and project plan.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University