Management Development Programme
The Management Development Programme (MDP) is a core element of the undergraduate degree programme in the Strathclyde Business School. The programme is three years in length and provides students with a learning environment through which they develop business and commercial awareness alongside graduate employability skills. The programme adopts a blended learning approach and is based on social constructivist and experiential learning principles. Students are exposed to the reality of business through industry engagement as well as development of knowledge and understanding through dialogue.
The Management Development Programme runs in each of the first three years of the BA degree. The entire class is driven by real business problems and is delivered by a team of lecturers from different departments who are supported by invited practitioners. The approach to learning is active problem-based, with students working in project teams.
The class aims to encourage integration of the knowledge and experience gained in Principal Subjects. Each year of the MDP focuses on different aspects of business and the content of MDP is constantly evolving and being updated and enhanced.
Why is the Management Development Programme important?
In consultation with employers, the programme focuses on those skills which are recognised as important for your personal and professional development in preparation for your future career working in the public, private or voluntary sector. Thus the MDP is essential to becoming a graduate with impact.
Increasingly, organisations are seeking flexible employees who can adapt to change, are effective in operating in multidisciplinary teams, have confidence in presenting and have well-developed interpersonal skills. The MDP develops these skills across three years, enhances your employability and integrates with your knowledge of business acquired through your selected academic subjects.
The MDP is an integral part of the undergraduate programmes in the Strathclyde Business School (SBS). It's a compulsory class which runs in Years 1 to 3 and you must successfully complete all three years in order to graduate or to progress to Honours-level study. The approach to learning is active problem-based, with students working in project teams.
The first year of the programme is centred on the construction of knowledge in classroom setting with theoretical constructs developed. For each topic we have a video recorded by a Strathclyde academic who is a leading expert in the field. Students are required to watch these lectures in advance of each session and complete a pre-sessional activity. The pre-sessional work then forms the basis of team based activities work in the classroom (groups of 50 and teams of six to seven) where students develop an agreed understanding of the topic and present this to the group through a variety of medium. The feedback gained from this activity then feeds directly into the assessment for the block. Students complete 16 assignments in the two semesters of the class.
The second year of the programme concentrates on developing understanding through industry-specific contextualisation. Sessions are weekly and three hours in length. The sessions are thematically linked to the pathways for individualised experience in third year whilst also drawing on the theoretical knowledge developed in MDP 1. In order to develop understanding, organisations will deliver a half-day session. This consists of a one hour plenary introduction to all students where the company and case study are introduced and this is followed by the group sessions where students undertake activities in relation to the case study set by the company.
Third year of the programme centres on individualised experience in organisational context for all students through one of the following pathways:
- Internship/Charities - gain practical experience in a private or third sector organisation. You need to negotiate and locate your own organisation and experience – this is one of the key learning points of the pathway.
- Research and consultancy - a facility for local small businesses to gain from the experience and expertise of those within SBS. You work on two live business consultancy projects (one in each semester) and, as a team of six, develop solutions and strategic initiatives for the local SME economy.
- International experience – only available for students who are undertaking an international exchange for either one semester or full year.
- Vertically Integrated Projects - working on a cross-faculty basis to research longitudinal projects (including the Bill Gates Toilet Challenge, Solar Panels for Gambia and Enterprise in Schools) you work with a team of students from all levels of study (first year undergraduate to final year PhD) to further the work of the project.
In addition to this, all students are required to undertake a social responsibility element to their programme (this accounts for one quarter of the overall workload). These have been designed to provide support to the Curriculum for Excellence and the Widening Access to Higher Education programme. There are no formal classes for MDP3 although there is pathway support with the pathway leads and tutor support.
Employers and MDP
We work with major employers in all sectors, and prizes for the best team projects have in the past been sponsored by companies such as Deloitte, Procter & Gamble, Screenmedia and Ernst & Young. The selected best teams present to the organisations and their senior staff. At a practical level, staff, often Strathclyde graduates, participate in the group sessions, observe business presentations and give feedback to students. They all value the skills which our students are acquiring as being essential for prospective employees.