Mon, 01 June, 2020
Here are three case studies from students within our first cohort of the Engineering Leadership and Management MSc.
Together they provide important, first hand insight, into how the course is strengthening their careers and complementing academic ambition.
This course can be closely tailored to match your own interests and aid innovation to enable the work you’re passionate about.
Amir found the Commercial Engagement module useful to innovate and strengthen how he dealt with Core Research Project proposals at work. His company had recently implemented key account management, and teaching on the programme encouraged Amir to broaden their engagement with key Industrial Members of his company. Amir was equipped with the knowledge to suggest that rather than keeping a single contact, key account managers should form multiple contacts, making his company’s key account holders feel even more valued and secure in their partnership.
High education that complements ongoing careers
The Strategic Management and Finance modules allowed him to fulfil his aim of promoting innovative science through streamlining research funding proposals. By ensuring he could financially and persuasively justify commercial projects, he could make the negotiation process more efficient. For example, being able to accurately calculate when investors’ money would be returned makes clients feel confident in you, and in presentations allows you to focus on the cutting edge projects you want to promote.
Amir’s work at London South Bank University included collaborative proposals to InnovateUK and Horizon2020: skills learned on the MSc apply to any client-based negotiation: being able to offer financial plans as well as content-based presentations means you will be able to bring innovation to your field of interest.
Students find this masters course them with the practical leadership skills and confidence they need to advance into more senior managerial roles.
Ameni was able to choose modules which reflected her desire to further her career in project management, after starting out in civil engineering. She found the core module Strategic Management to be particularly insightful: it provided a look at how large companies function and grow. The lecturers’ own business experience ensured this strand of learning was not just theoretical but experiential: some own companies themselves, or work as consultants, meaning they have thorough knowledge of tackling strategic challenges.
Finance was another core topic Ameni was new to: it provided her with the skillset to analyse profit and loss, and in turn how to gain investment. On this module students learn how to interpret financial data: an important skill which backs up all negotiations with clients, and will stand students of all professional backgrounds in good stead.
This MSc draws students from all over the engineering sector and the world: the Commercial Engagement module improved Ameni’s engagement with clients, which can be a key confidence booster for students new to the UK. Equally, interaction with fellow students diversifies your experience, further reinforcing your confidence in professional environments.
Institute of Leadership and Management Award
Students on this MSc are likely to be awarded an Institute of Leadership and Management Level 7 Award. Ameni gained this qualification, and as a result of the skills taught on the course, will be able to progress further. Modules you find particularly productive can also be extended: for example, Ameni opted to continue a core module a term longer. This increased its complexity, and gave her further insight into how large companies function.
The MSc programme draws together a group of people diverse in both personal and business background. Ameni found that this creates an environment which stimulates discussion, and encouraged her to consider other people’s approach to business.
The efficiency of the course also appealed to Ameni: some students who have already got a Masters degree or PhD find their time is better spent out of class and on assignments. This allows students to place more value in their own studies, whilst splitting their time between work and study in an efficient way. Because assessment is assignment, rather than exam based, work can be completed more flexibly, which makes it easier to fit around your full time work.
Tailored discussion to your specific management experience
Lecturers tailor teaching and discussion with your specialisms in mind. They understand the importance of flexibility and are available to talk with over the phone, or to give feedback via email.
Ameni found that upon completing this MSc, she felt better prepared to approach more senior roles in the field she already worked in, as well as managing a more diverse range of projects.
A degree in Engineering Leadership and Management can offer you a qualification which backs up prior experience in the industry.
Emma was drawn to the Engineering Leadership and Management MSc as it reinforced and qualified her years of experience in project management and managerial roles. At around the time she began this programme, she was also made section manager at TWI: the course helped her to innovate in this new role, whilst being flexible enough to run alongside her full time work.
Like some of our students, Emma already had many of the practical skills other students from engineering backgrounds were being taught for the first time. It was the theoretical skills of writing, researching and reporting that she wanted to develop. This is a great illustration of the range of people to whom this MSc appeals: from engineers coming from the industry itself, to those like Emma who are already familiar and experienced with the demands of managerial positions, who want to gain a qualification to reflect that.
The Research Methods module proved the most informative for Emma: in past roles, she had already conducted market research in the public and financial sectors, however the programme helped her to apply these skills directly to her current work at TWI. This MSc aims to help students like Emma look at their current business in a new way, and refresh and reapply skills they may already have developed in prior roles.
Course assignments built around your businesses
The first assignment Emma completed on the course gave her an opportunity to examine an aspect of her own business. She investigated the benefits of adjusting her approach to customer engagement, by treating some of her clients as key accounts. Although her work in company certification does not usually call for this approach, she found it useful to treat the large global enterprises she works with as key accounts, bringing her own company strategy in line with theirs.
Whilst aiming to open students’ eyes to alternative approaches to management, Emma found that lecturers remained aware of their individual business backgrounds, and were able to adjust teaching accordingly.
Working at the same time as studying for this MSc means you can implement your learning in real time. Emma was already dealing with a new level of responsibility, and the course led the way in pointing out the possibilities for innovation that opened up to her.
Communicating with the people you already work alongside about what you learn on the programme promotes experiential learning: it helped Emma to maximise her potential in her new role as section manager. Even individuals with years of experience in the industry find that the course may push them to think more ambitiously about business development and strategy.
As well as providing a respected postgraduate qualification, this programme equips students from industrial backgrounds with academic skills. Students such as Emma with extensive business experience find that the theoretical aspects of this MSc reinforce their confidence when completing tasks such as report writing. This in turn benefits their practical skills, as they feel the two become more evenly weighted. In the long run, Emma also felt that this prepared her for unexpected challenges in her job: the MSc equipped her with a versatile range of skills.
Even within TWI, the cohort for this programme is diverse: students come from the Training School, TWI Ltd., the Test House, and Plant Integrity. These are drawn together by lecturers’ selection of approaches to engagement. For instance, Emma cited the Project Management module as an example of the range of teaching methods this course offers: lecturers implement regular presentations and group discussions. This created a collaborative environment, where opportunities were always open for Emma to interact socially and academically with students from other sections of business.
Other pages of interest: