1 Honours Degree (top-up) Business Abbreviated Programme Specification Containing Both Core + Supplementary Information 1 Awarding Institution / body: Lancaster University 2a Teaching institution: University Centre at Blackburn College 2b Work based learning: 3a Programme approved by: Lancaster University 4 Final awards: BA (Hons) Business BA (Hons) Business with Retail Management 5 Programme title: BA (Hons) Business Top Up 6 UCAS code: To be determined 7 Subject benchmark statement: The following frameworks have been consulted: General Business & Management (2007) 8 Date of PS preparation/revision: June Educational aims of the programme: The programme design for BA (Hons) Business has developed from the QAA Honours Degree Benchmark statements for General Business and Management. Subject Benchmark Statements represent the general expectations for qualifications at Honours level and provide general guidance as to the learning outcomes associated with that given programme. The programme aims to provide a vocationally relevant and academically demanding degree. The programme builds upon the work based learning ethos that is initially addressed in the FDA Business and relates to the employer skills needed locally, regionally and nationally. It reflects the necessity of experiential and independent learning by explicitly incorporating the requirement of project based and self-directed study at both module and programme level. The key themes that run throughout the top-up programme and associated Foundation Degree are relevant to any sector. Reflection, progression, work based learning and critical thinking are promoted across all modules of the course. Flexibility of course delivery, inclusivity of students and progression of vocational skills through knowledge, practice, critical thinking and adherence to national standards are central. The modules are designed to allow the learner to strengthen their business skills. General Aims The general aim of the programme is to provide a course of study which incorporates specific underpinning knowledge and develops key transferable skills which are directly relevant to working within Business and management and specifically:
2 To produce Honours Graduates with higher level skills and knowledge relevant to their employment and the needs of employers; To engage students in Honours level analysis, synthesis, critical thinking, and evaluation of key theories and practices within a general business and management environment To provide progression for relevant Foundation Degree students; Educational Aims: To enable students to articulate their knowledge, understanding, attributes and skills in an effective way in the context of practice, employment and continuing professional development through supporting independent learning by effective planning and managing of study and career aspirations To operate a work based approach to teaching and learning that encourages critical reflection upon practice, making full use of the opportunities and experiences of the workplace to apply and synthesise their developing theoretical knowledge To develop through their study, interpersonal relationships, decision making and practical skills which contribute to increasing competence in the workplace To facilitate integrated working practices across general business and management roles To locate study and professional practice within an understanding of the significance of professional values and ethics 10 Intended Learning Outcomes: The scheme aims to provide a demand-led, academically challenging and vocationally relevant qualification at level six of the QAA Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The subject area covered falls within the QAA Benchmark Statements for General Business and Management (2007The key focus will be on the integration of theory into practice and learning is focused in both a practical and theoretical context. The learning outcomes will enable students to achieve the academic standards and develop research and critical thinking skills. Specific emphasis will be given to developing problem solving and reflective practice skills. Knowledge and Understanding (level 6). Students must demonstrate critical understanding, at the appropriate level, of:
3 A1. The nature, impact and use of management information and management information and communication systems in decision-making. A2. The nature of organisations, individuals and teams and managing for performance A3. Forecasting, budgetary and cost-control techniques within organisations A4. Presenting and Interpreting financial statements for planning and decision-making and investment appraisal. A5. Quantitative techniques in business, statistical analysis, application of mathematical techniques and business forecasting. A6. The models and theories associated with change management within the organisation and business operations. A7. Configuration and change management and the role of strategy within an organisation. A8. The effects of changes in government macro-economic policies on organisations and their stakeholders and the context of international environments and operations A9. A range of research methodologies, application to a defined business project, recommendations based on synthesis of independent research. A10. Global business contemporary issues and the business strategy A11. Management and Leadership theories and perspectives and managing operations and change. Critical-thinking/intellectual skills. Students must demonstrate skills, at the appropriate level, of: B1. Analysing policies and practices in the light of a range of theoretical perspectives; B2. Critically evaluating arguments, assumptions, abstract concepts to make judgments, and to frame appropriate questions to achieve a solution or identify a range of solutions to a problem B3. Further developing skills of critical analysis and research with the ability to recognise how that information can be interpreted and applied to future working situations; Systematically analysing relevant concepts, theories and issues of policy, and their use in informing practice B4. Systematic and up to date knowledge, critical awareness and understanding of relevant legal frameworks and the capacity to apply and integrate these theoretical frameworks and key concepts in practice Subject Specific Skills. Students must demonstrate skills, at the appropriate level, of: C1. Appreciating, developing and managing their professional role
4 C2. Making informed judgments on complex ethical and professional issues and acting appropriately in the light of relevant professional and ethical codes of practice. C3. Operating as a reflective practitioner, demonstrating appropriate professional actions and behaviours. C4. Critically reflecting upon, and committing to, their continuing personal and professional development. C5. Promoting, publicising and sharing good practice. C6. Transferring necessary skills and knowledge for employment in situations requiring the exercise of personal responsibility, including the potential for decision making in complex and unpredictable contexts of a professional or equivalent nature C7. Applying professional skills to the work place Key Transferable Skills. Students must demonstrate skills, at the appropriate level, of: D1. Critical evaluation of research in the field and apply the methods, techniques and (where applicable) modes of acquired practice to review, consolidate, extend and apply their knowledge and understanding to carry out projects. D2. Collecting, analysing and interpreting qualitative and quantitative data. D3. Using information and communication technologies. D4. Organising and articulating opinions and arguments in speech and writing, using relevant specialist vocabulary; initiating research, and sustaining a project, based on individual initiative and/or research, and to present findings in a variety of media. D5. Effectively communicating using written, visual, electronic and oral means with individuals and groups; communicating information, ideas, problems, and solutions, in a variety of formats appropriate to both specialist and non-specialist audiences. D6. Appreciating the need to understand and contextualise different points of view from a wide range of people and provide persuasive and informed feedback D7. Self management, including the organisation of an efficient and effective work pattern, and working to deadlines.
5 D8. Working on their own initiative and in cooperation with others, appreciating the need for flexibility in approaches and giving direction and leadership and working productively within a diverse group Learning and Teaching The Learning and Teaching strategies will reflect the requirements of Honours Degrees and will address the needs of the relevant academic infrastructures. The transfer of learning theories & concepts, and sector specific outcomes and vocational skills to the workplace remains a key characteristic of the pedagogical approaches used. It will involve a systematic consideration of all learning outcomes, the subject content and the requirement to develop demand-led advanced work related skills. Key themes of the strategy are: Continuing explicit emphasis on practice- based or work related learning and application of complex theoretical principles to practice; Contribute to the aims of enhancing professionalism within the sector Planned development of higher academic skills and advanced application of research; Effective embedding of formative and summative assessment and feedback processes; Effective development of independent learners; Use of flexible blended learning strategies to support learning; Effective and ongoing support through the use of structured, targeted and opendoor tutorials and on-line tutorials; Collaborative working with employers. Learning and teaching methods will incorporate lectures, seminars, workshops, presentations, tutorials, work based support and on-line support via Moodle, and video conferencing. Discussions with employers continue to demonstrate the need for an efficient, effective and flexible delivery strategy. At this level the main approach is to adopt a blend which students can attend for face to face sessions on module such as Business Strategy while the Business Project module will be supported on a one-to- one basis. The assessment strategy for the programme is reflected in the Module Descriptors and comprises a mixture of coursework and time constrained tasks. The assessment strategy will enable students to engage in both formative and summative work and the assessment of vocational knowledge and skills applicable to the business professional is central to the strategy. At the same time equal emphasis will given to the assessment of Honours level (level 6) outcomes which call for robust testing of knowledge of conceptual and higher level analysis, synthesis, critical evaluation and advance research skills.
6 6.2 Assessment Strategy: The assessment strategy for this top-up programme incorporates the key characteristics of the award. Students at individual module level and program level will be expected to evaluate the relevance of outcomes covered within the module and at program level to contemporary practice. This additional requirement will be taken in to consideration when designing specific assessment design including word limits. The assessment strategy for the programme is reflected in the module descriptors and will comprise of coursework and in most cases formal examination elements. The assessment instruments will be contextualised across the three streams to enable students to engage in both formative and summative work in relation to the Business environment governed by their chosen specialism. The assessment process measures the academic skills of research, analysis, synthesis, reflection and evaluation. The students will be tested at Level 6 as outlined in the UK Framework for Higher Education Qualifications. All modules aim to test knowledge and practical, transferable and work based skills. Students will be measured on their ability to use developed analytical techniques and problem solving skills in realistic scenario based assessments. Assessments are designed to highlight a student s ability to evaluate evidence, arguments and assumptions to reach valid conclusions and present them effectively. The module descriptor for each module of the scheme will indicate which strategy is to be used for that module Overview of Assessment: The module descriptor for each module of the scheme will indicate which strategy is to be used for that module. The following is an overview of the assessment strategy for the programme: Code Name Assessment Level Six Statistics 1 x 1,600 word work based evaluative case study (40%) demonstrating impact in the workplace Business Project 1 x 3 hour exam (60%) 1 x practical report of the conclusions, findings, recommendations and their implementation in the workplace; 3000 words (75%) 1 x report on reflection and analysis on use of theories
7 1000 words (25%) Advanced Leadership and Management Business Strategy Business Finance 2 1 x 1,600 word work based assignment (40%) 1 x 3hour exam (60%) 1 x 1,600 word work based piece of course work (40%) 1 x 3 hour examination (60%), designed to allow the student to use the techniques developed on a real business problem and then test this knowledge via a case study examination. 1 x Group research and 30 minute presentation of a discussion topic or case study (20%) 1 x 800 word individual summary of findings (20%) Operations and Change Management 1 x 3 hour exam (60%) 1 x 1,600 word (40%) Case study based presentation (15 mins), requiring the student to frame and analyse a specific operational situation in the contexts of theoretical, standard and current models, critically evaluating applications and success. 1 x 3 hour exam to test ability in contextualising strategic operational situations across a range of organisational scenarios, critically evaluating the issues and challenges presented, and proposing valid solutions. (60%) BA (Hons) Business with Retail Management Award Only The Changing World of Retail 1x 1600 Report based on Learning Outcomes (40%) 1x 3 Hour Examination (60%) Strategic Retail Marketing 1x 20 min presentation (20%) 1x 800 word Individual Summary (20%) 1x 3 Hour Examination (60%) 11 Programme structures and requirements, levels, modules, credits and awards Combinations: Code Title Level 6 Credits
8 BA (Hons) Business (top-up) 120 BA (Hons) Business with Retail Management (top-up) 120 BA (Hons) Business (top-up) The module titles and structure to be offered within this programme are: Full Time Module Code Module Credits Level Status Business Project Statistics Business Finance 2 Business Strategy Operations & Change Management Advanced Management & Leadership Part Time Year 1 Module Code Module Credits Level Status Statistics Operations & Change Management Business Finance 2 Year 2
9 Advanced Management & Leadership Business Strategy Business Project BA (Hons) Business with Retail Management (top-up) The module titles and structure to be offered within this programme are: Full time Module Code Module Credits Level Status Strategic Retail Marketing Operations & Change Management The Changing World of Retail Advanced Management & Leadership Business Strategy Business Project Part Time Year 1 Module Code Module Credits Level Status Strategic Retail Marketing Operations & Change Management The Changing World of Retail Year 2 Advanced Management & Leadership
10 Business Strategy Business Project Module Synopses Advanced Management & Leadership - Level 6 (20 credits) This module will enable learners to enhance and build upon knowledge gained in the year 2 module Management and Leadership and to develop a critical understanding of the complexities of leadership and management. It will enable learners to develop a range of personal and professional skills associated with the development of leadership and management strategies to facilitate organisational development and change Operations & Change Management- Level 6 (20 credits) This module is intended to provide students with an understanding of the concept of strategic change management and, in particular, provides a broad, multi-disciplinary approach to managing an organization s development and implementation of strategies when confronted with change. Business Strategy - Level 6 (20 credits) This module seeks to offer a detailed view of the way in which business and not-for profit organisations in these sectors create a planned future for their operations, and the consequences of a failure to do so. Business Finance 2 - Level 6 (20 credits) Builds on Business Finance from year two of the FdA and looks at further techniques and analytical concepts for business owners and stakeholders alike. Business Project - Level 6 (20 credits) This 20 credit module is focussed on managing a work based problem with identification, research and application assessed through key milestones progressively. It builds on research methods and research project completed within the Foundation Degree. Statistics Level 6 (20 credits) This 20 credit module covers statistical skills and approaches required for effective decision making in a range of business situations.
11 The Changing world of Retail Level 6 (20 Credits) This module explores the historical development of retail and assess these elements in a modern context. It enables learners to investigate the ways in which retail is changing through the study of contemporary issues. Strategic Retail Marketing Level 6 (20 Credits) Building on knowledge gained at level 4 and 5, this module provides the learner with an understanding of the integral nature of marketing strategy within the retail sector by focusing on current and future industry practices. 12 Support for students and their learning: 6.4. Support Sessions In addition to the taught modules, students on this programme will have the benefit of additional support sessions as follows: Tutorials Tutorials are regarded as an essential part of the Learning and Teaching strategy. Five types of tutorial are embedded in programmes within the School: Post Induction tutorial Group Tutorials (pastoral) Requested by Students Tutorials (pastoral and academic) Fixed Point Tutorials (academic) Academic Tutorials Study Skills Skills workshops will build on the work done in PDP in the first year in developing transferable skills, including presentations and team working. These will demonstrably facilitate the acquisition of the academic and vocational skills required by students. MOODLE MOODLE is an open source programme management system (CMS) that facilitates the creation of a virtual learning environment (VLE) for learners. CMS s like MOODLE are web applications that can be accessed using a browser. MOODLE is hosted on a server within the College but it can be accessed from anywhere in the world, connection permitting. Access to Moodle will enable students to benefit from peer group support via the password protected forum facility. Moodle will also provide tutors with a facility for communicating group messages and providing programme related updates. This is particularly so in the
12 context of students whose working commitments may involve some disruption to College attendance. MOODLE includes some of the following features: Create and manage information; Social networking capabilities such as forums, messaging and chat; Quizzes and tests; Assignment management with Turn It In access; Timetables and schedules; News and information. In addition, the College s Moodle system has been redesigned, taking into account the needs and views of our students and a range of training for both full and part time members of staff is currently underway. Cross College Support The college provides a wide range of support from pastoral care, academic study skills, finance, learning support, careers, travel and counselling. This is outlined by personal tutors, within the student organiser and on media such as posters and the student intranet. Services can be accessed within the university centre and in the departments across the further education section of the college. Blended Learning The course team continues to extend the material available to students via the Moodle VLE. Theory notes, on-line exercises and assessments which are available for most modules are supported by tutors via , telephone, chat forum and video conferencing. Whilst classroom sessions must be attended for practical modules to ensure that learners gain the industry standards skills required this approach is appropriate for this qualification to support learners working in industry and to ensure widening participation and inclusivity of those with disabilities who may not be able to attend some sessions. 13 Criteria for admission: General Criteria This one year top up honours programme has been designed specifically as a progression route for those students who have successfully completed the UCBC/Lancaster University Foundation Degree in Business and will be a separate cohort from the Full Time BA (Hons) Year three cohort. Applicants will be considered individually and will be interviewed to determine interest and commitment. Applicants should have sufficient competence in the English language to enable them
13 to achieve at Honours Degree level. We expect all applicants to demonstrate a high level of commitment and motivation for the programme. Students who wish to undertake the Retail Management pathway will be required to have successfully completed the UCBC/Lancaster University Foundation Degree in Retail Management. Any of the following criteria should be fulfilled: BA (Hons) Business (top-up) Achieve a Commendation or above in the FdA Business BA (Hons) Business with Retail Management (top-up) Achieve a Commendation or above in the FdA Retail Students who meet the criteria will be offered progression support through: Dedicated taught sessions during the summer months on higher level study skills and preparing for their dissertation Candidates with an overall grade of Pass may be admitted at the discretion of the Programme Leader, normally following interview and satisfactory references from the leader of the relevant foundation degree programme. Any such admissions may be subject to satisfactory completion of additional bridging studies designed to address gaps in the candidate s knowledge and/or to provide evidence of his/her capacity to achieve at honours level. Disability Disclosure and Inclusiveness In line with the widening participation agenda we actively support people with disabilities to be included in the programmes. For example, buildings are accessible and tutors complete their anticipatory duty by ensuring all materials and activities are open to all learners. At the same time, opportunities are also available for those students not yet in employment to develop their career prospects alongside their studies. When considering whether to offer a place where a learner discloses a disability the disclosure will not be taken into consideration. Applicants will be offered a place according to their academic ability, aptitude, prior experience or portfolio. An Information Sharing Interview will be arranged by Disability Services to discuss with the learner and the Programme Leader the implications of undertaking the programme in relation to their disability. Where it is deemed that reasonable adjustment is not feasible and or the prospective learner will be unable to meet the requirements of the Core Academic Criteria the learner may
14 choose to withdraw their application or it may be necessary for UCBC to withdraw the offer of a place or to offer alternative provision. 14 Methods for evaluating and improving the quality and standards of teaching and learning: Established and effective quality systems within the University Centre at Blackburn College will ensure that the programme is fit for purpose. They recognise the centrality for feedback opportunities and internal and external reviews. Student feedback is gained through a structured system incorporating individual and group academic and pastoral face to face and on-line tutorials and formative assessments, together with student committee meetings at programme, School, Institute and College level. The systems include processes for gathering anonymous and open feedback from students. Staff and employer feedback is gained through structured team meetings, employer mentor and forum discussions and programme review meetings. The programme will also be audited by the External Examiner and will be appraised and evaluated annually in a report which is subject to structured levels of scrutiny by the different committees at School, Institute, College and University levels. Mechanism for review and evaluation of learning, teaching and assessment, curriculum and standards unit reviews annual course review external examination external consultant employer forum review staff appraisal and action plans peer review by staff review by learning, teaching and research committee higher education Quality Team Review Committees with responsibility for monitoring and evaluating quality and standards HE Centre Student Committee Staff/ Student Committee (Programme Specific) Scheme Committee Employer Forum HE Centre Quality Group HE Academic Council Learning Teaching and Research Committee
15 Marketing Team Mechanisms for gaining student feedback on quality issues HE Centre Student Committee Programme Specific Staff/Student Committees Evaluation of units and course administration by the use of questionnaires on individual and group basics Academic and Pastoral Tutorials Assessment feedback from students Staff Development Staff involved in research In house staff development Web based learning training Pedagogic Training Appraisals and peer assessment 15 Regulation of Assessment: Standard Lancaster University Foundation Degree regulations apply and QAA Codes of Practice on Assessment Conditions. Assessment of the modules available within this programme will be by a combination of coursework exercises, time constrained tasks and summative assignments as indicated in the module descriptors. There are also formal examinations on this programme in all but one of the modules. Some modules may be credited via work based exercises or portfolio work which clearly demonstrate equivalency to internal assessments and can be mapped to the learning outcomes of the modules in question. All assignment briefs will include details of: The learning outcomes covered by the assignment; The extent of the coverage of these outcomes; The tasks to be completed; Indicative grading criteria; The author and verifier of the assignment. Coursework may include group or individual exercises and will normally take on the following forms:
16 Assessed formative written or practical exercises designed to develop the students knowledge and understanding through the work undertaken. These will normally be graded against criteria which assess the level of knowledge and understanding achieved; Time constrained in-class assignments which will be graded on the quality of the outcomes achieved. Examinations are produced by the module tutor, who sets the questions and produces a sample answer set. All examinations are sent securely to both the Course Consultant and the External Examiner to be checked before time to ensure an appropriate level of rigour, originality and fairness. The assessment methods to be used are detailed in each module descriptor. 16 Role of Course Consultant: Course Consultants will advise the programme team on the design, delivery and assessment of the programme. 17 Role of External Examiners: External Examiners will advise the programme assessment board on matters of standards and fairness of the assessment process and if necessary offer advice on individual student results. External Examiners will report on: Whether the standards are set are appropriate with reference to external reference points, including benchmarks, framework for Higher Education Qualifications and other reference points. 18 Re-validation: due in 2016