Equips practising and aspiring managers to design and implement business improvement strategies to have a positive impact on their organisation
The part-time MSc Business Improvement course equips managers with the knowledge and skills required to better examine their processes and procedures in order to effect strategic improvements and change.
This results in organisations which are more efficient and effective. The programme has kept pace with new innovations and developments in the area of business improvement and has supported businesses with continuous improvement.
The concept of business improvement originated in the domain of manufacturing and tradable services. However, perhaps as a result of the intellectual force of new public management and the Review of Public Administration (2002) in Northern Ireland, the concept of business improvement now permeates all aspects of economic activity across the private, public and voluntary sectors. Indeed, job titles such as Director of Improvement and Business Improvement Manager are becoming more apparent across a range of public service departments.
The course is recognised and accredited by ICIPS - the Institute of Continuous Improvement in Public Services, although it is not limited to those in the public sector.
The course recognises a need for organisations and their managers to become focused on the integration of quality and continuous improvement and as such, the course has been shaped and designed by leading academics and business leaders using the European Foundation Quality Model (EFQM) Excellence Model as its inspiration.
The European Framework for Quality Management (EFQM, 2013) introduces fundamental concepts of excellence which are practitioner-focused. The framework encourages organisations to strive towards eight concepts of excellence, which can only be achieved by actually doing something about it. As such, it is a practical model which helps organisations to realise their potential. All modifications to these eight fundamental concepts of excellence, in addition to the new associated emphases, have been fully reflected in the module content for this course.
Students will study a diet of modules which will help them to gain a practical understanding of a variety of business improvement subject areas.
Over years 1 and 2, students work towards a Postgraduate Diploma in Business Improvement, taking a total of eight modules. Once these have been successfully completed students can then move on to complete the full Master's qualification by completing a Research Methods module and a Business Transformation Project.
The course provides a structure to business improvement which allows students to follow a logical journey. Year 1 of the course introduces students to the "enabler" aspects of business improvement, year 2 of the course focuses on the "results" of business improvement. In year 3, students are given the opportunity to research a complex business improvement problem in depth via a supervised project.
Teaching and learning
The teaching of this course is in 3 day blocks, which allows for discussion and exploring theory and practice in depth using examples from students' own experiences and organisations. The 3 day block model also allows us to bring in guest speakers from industry to further explore theory and practice.