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Course : MSc Business and Systems Thinking (incorporating PG Cert/PG Dip) (2010)

MSc Business and Systems Thinking (incorporating PG Cert/PG Dip)

Categories: EducationSystems Thinking

Tags: coursederbyeducationmscpostgraduatesystems thinkingukuniversity

Publisher:University of Derby


Published: 2010 • Delivery Format: Unknown


From the University of Derby:

You will develop a wide and in-depth knowledge across key managerial disciplines on the MSc Business and Systems Thinking programme.

You will practice and expand key subject area skills, unlocking business potential and management capabilities within a diverse cultural context. You will develop appropriate business strategies, policies, procedures and change programmes within a dynamic business context so you will make an immediate impact in the business sector.

You will also understand the impact of professional and ethical standards and principles on business practice, and enhance your own personal business skills. At the same time you will focus on systems thinking - an innovative approach to help organisations work efficiently and effectively- and start to understand the complex world of systems.

The MSc starts with the Postgraduate Certificate stage which is also shared across other programmes so that you build a strong support network of global colleagues to learn with. You will concentrate on the broad contextual aspects of management, developing your knowledge and understanding. The main themes here are developing people, organisational dynamics and behaviours, finance and information, marketing and operations, as well personal development skills.

At the Postgraduate Diploma stage the focus is on subject specific knowledge and practical skills.  It goes beyond the operational and functional, through the tactical, and towards a more strategic level of understanding in a wider variety of business environments and global contexts.  You’ll be internationalising your capabilities and will evaluate a range of intervention theories in terms of systems thinking and change management. You will research to evaluate the application of Systems theory to an organisation.

At the Masters level you will focus on the philosophies and practice of systems thinking.  You will develop a dissertation or management project based on systems thinking and organisational change. This is a significant piece of work culminating in your resolutions of, and perspectives on, strategic managerial problems relating to systems and change management.

Content / Structure

Postgraduate Certificate in Management Studies

Developing Skills for Business Leadership

The overall aim of this module is to enable you to use reflective and personal development planning processes (PDP) to "identify, articulate and evidence learning and development" and to "recognise , record and later draw upon evidence for the skills, qualities and capabilities you have developed" (HEA 2006). It also aims to provide you with planning skills to generate your own development solutions to identified weaknesses, opportunities and threats in order to prepare them to cope with the ongoing career demands for self directed lifelong learning. You will be encouraged to consider the academic, workplace and personal development strands of PDP and to develop an understanding of the connection between these three areas of personal and professional development.

Managing the Dynamic Organisation

Effective managers need to understand the complex, dynamic and systemic nature of the organisations in which they manage and lead staff. Organisational theory can give an invaluable insight into an organisation's agility and responsiveness to the external operating conditions. The module will approach the subject by addressing organisation behaviour on four levels: individual, intra-personal and interpersonal and organisational levels. At each level of analysis the interactions of the organisation with the external environment will be emphasised. Actions in one area will have impacts on other areas of the business and effective managers must therefore understand these interconnections and consider these when making plans and taking decisions to manage and minimise unintended consequences.

Managing Organisational Information

This module is the first step in the journey for in all programmes. If managers are to successfully manage, they need a structured understanding of how their activities need to be supported by information that will be quantitative in nature. It will focus on financial information systems operating within the business entity, and economic information from outside. The aim of the module is to emphasise system frameworks, which are applied in an integrative manner to help the manager to be more effective in the workplace. The three main identified skills relate to the generic managerial activities of controlling, decision making and planning. By setting the student mind on rational evaluation, validation and action, these components provide important steps, whatever the intended masters pathway.

Sustainable Customer Value

Every organisation must have the strategic aim to engage with all of its stakeholders in order to exceed its organisational purpose of creating, developing and delivering superior and sustainable customer value to achieve long term competitive advantage both in its current, and its potential, business environments. But engagement means putting the customer central to, and across all levels of, the organisations' processes. This centrality of customer involvement has to be sustaining for mutual benefit.

Postgraduate Diploma in Business and Systems Thinking

Methodology and Research Skills

This module aims to equip you with an understanding of the processes and ways in which knowledge is developed, understood, and applied. As such the module initially focuses on the social and (social) scientific construction of knowledge from an ontological and epistemological perspective.

The module then focuses on methodological issues of a more applied nature in terms of different types of 'research', selection of research 'problems' and construction of aims, and fundamental methodological strategies such as qualitative versus quantitative data, deduction versus induction etc.

Strategy, Competition & Sustainability

This module encapsulates many of the central themes to the Masters programmes, and aims to provide you with a holistic view and understanding of how different types of organisations manage the dynamics of strategy and policy formulation, implementation, and evaluation in order to respond to changes in both internal and external environmental dynamics and develop sustainable competitive advantage

Systems Thinking and Process/Service Design (double module)

The aim of the module is to provide an opportunity to learn methods for process improvement, which are aligned to systems theory, with a view to applying the learning to an organisation.

Masters in Business and Systems Thinking

Systems Thinking Philosophy and Practice

The aims of the module are to explore briefly the wider terrain of systems ideas and then examine and situate the philosophy, concepts and actions of a number of systems thinking approaches and their application to the service sector. Assessment of the module requires students to demonstrate a broad understanding of systems thinking in relation to organisation and business problems in their sector but also how systems thinking can be used in practice.

Independent Study - either a dissertation or management project (triple module)

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