Spreadsheet, graphs and charts

MScBusiness Analysis & Consulting

Why this course?

The MSc in Business Analysis & Consulting has been developed to equip you with the practical, evaluative and analytical skills to allow you, as a future manager or consultant, to influence and develop strategy and performance within organisations.

 

You'll learn the key quantitative business analysis methods necessary to evaluate performance. In addition, you'll learn how to use business models to support the development of strategy for organisations and to help them to monitor and measure strategic processes. Simultaneously, you'll develop the key skills of business consulting, which are applicable to any organisation.

You’ll study

Compulsory modules include Foundations of Operational Research & Business Analysis, Quantitative Business Analysis and Managing Business Operations.

You'll also choose three optional modules from a range including Business Simulation Methods, Risk Analysis & Management and Business Information Systems.

Dissertation

MSc students undertake a three-month project, typically for an external organisation. This gives you the opportunity to apply the concepts and theories you've studied on the course.

Work placement

The apprenticeship scheme forms a vital component of this course. Many of our students spend an invaluable three weeks in January embedded in the analytical function of their host organisation.

Last year, more than 35 selected students worked with over 25 different organisations based all over the UK, including Capita, Department of Health and Tesco Bank.

The scheme has a highly competitive selection process, where the students with the strongest generic skills and academic capabilities are chosen for external placements.

In addition, many MSc projects are carried out for an external organisation. Students spend the three months from July to September working on a project of importance to their clients. The aim is to gain direct experience in applying the concepts and theories studied on the course.

Project clients include many major concerns, in fields ranging from aerospace to whisky distilling.

Project: Becoming an Effective Business Analyst

This takes place over both semesters and also involves the ‘apprenticeship scheme’. Every year, case studies and challenging projects are presented to the students by various organisations such as Accenture, British Airways, RBS and Simul8, to name a few from last year.

Distance learning

The course can be done through distance learning. All classes are taught using material presented via the internet so you can study when it suits you. Classes are supported by faculty members who also teach on the full-time course. They will guide and support discussion via discussion forums. This is a flexible degree and duration can vary.

Minimum durations are:

  • PgCert: 13 months
  • PgDip: 20 months
  • MSc: 26 months

Student competition

Every year, the best full-time MSc mark in the ‘Becoming an Effective Business Analyst’ module is recognised by the DSTL Prize. The prize involves a formal recognition by the department and an award of £100, which is kindly provided by the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory.

Course content

Compulsory classes

Foundations of Research & Business Analysis
This class will explore the generic problem solving process which underpins the provision of decision support. In particular, it'll consider the role of modelling in that process. The activities of problem structuring, data collection and analysis, identification and evaluation of options, communication and implementation of learning, findings and recommendations will each be discussed along with the issues pertaining to each of them.
Quantitative Business Analysis

Quantitative Business Analysis runs over one semester but in two parts. The first part provides an introduction to the basic theory and application of statistical modelling. Topics covered included data analysis, probability theory, distributions and moments, estimation and hypothesis testing.

The second part focuses mainly on two areas - regression modelling and multivariate analysis. While key background theory will be presented, the emphasis is on the generation and interpretation of output from commercially available software.

Background reading for Quantitative Business Analysis

Managing Business Operations
This class teaches essential principles, tools and techniques of Operations Management – both in general and as applied to specific manufacturing or service businesses. A section of the class focuses on service operations, where specific subjects and operational issues surrounding services will be discussed.
Spreadsheet Modelling & Demand Forecasting

This module will demonstrate how spreadsheets can be used to support the analytical techniques whose theory is taught on other modules. For example, forecasting, simulation, optimisation, data analysis, as well as being used to support technical report writing.

Most prominence is given to demand forecasting and you'll be introduced to different types of forecasting technique for short term smoothing through to decompositional analysis. These methods will be implemented using spreadsheet models.

Strategy Modelling & Management
This module builds on a number of earlier taught skills, in particular the problem structuring element covered in Foundations of Operational Research and Business Analysis as this provides a basis to qualitative modelling for managing uncertainty and multiple perspectives along with becoming an effective business analyst. This class aims to specific subjects and operational issues surrounding services will be discussed.
Becoming an Effective Business Analyst

The class will consist of three key elements:

1. A series of semi- or unstructured business problems, typically introduced by a manager from an outside organisation. The business problems will typically relate to a topic/technique recently covered in one of the other modules.

2. Experience is augmented, and integrated with, the rest of the course by a series of workshops on directly related topics that will provide guidance on key skills development.

3. A period of 3 weeks spent as an apprentice business analyst in an organisation.

Project/Dissertation
The MSc project is the most substantial and independent piece of work you'll carry out during the course. You will contact your client and your supervisors and manage the whole relationship with them. The projects vary but they typically involve understanding the real-life problem through problem structuring, identifying the data requirements, review of the relevant domain literature, making methodological choices based on arguments from the methodology literature, data collection, appropriate data analysis and modelling, developing and presentation of findings and recommendations.

Elective classes

Business Simulation Methods

The module will focus on the main two forms of business simulation; discrete-event simulation (DES) and system dynamics (a continuous simulation technique). For DES, the class will start with an introduction, aiming to familiarise students with the concept and its use.

It continues with discussing a rational approach to simulation using a number of examples from manufacturing and service operations. For system dynamics the class will provide a background to system dynamics including its links to other modelling techniques being taught on the course, in particular, its links to problem structuring methods.

Risk Analysis & Management

This module will explore the entire process of structuring a risk problem, modelling it, supporting and communicating recommendations, both theoretically and in practice.

Risk management is linked with decision analysis in so far as we explore decision making under uncertainty and it has links with quantitative business analysis as we explore the use of statistics in understanding risk. However, the topic has some unique attributes such as risk communication and the role that experts play in risk assessment.

Business Information Systems

The class adopts a process-based approach; i.e. all discussion follows the logic of the business processes. After having the business and IS context of the knowledge work introduced, the various types of IS, namely the databases, ERP systems, knowledge-based systems, corporate portals, collaboration support systems.

The course will provide you with conceptual knowledge introduced in the lectures, as well as hands-on experience gained in tutorials using appropriate packages of the various IS categories.

Performance Measurement & Management

The class focuses at the strategic, organisational level of PMM while providing the essential knowledge and skills at the technical level.

The module starts with presenting the background to performance measurement to provide you with an understanding of the roots of some of the common problems in measuring and managing performance in organisations. This will follow with discussing PMM from five different but highly inter-related perspectives, namely stakeholder, customer, comparative, operations and integrative perspectives.

Business Analytics

Every two days, we generate as much data as the data generated in all human history up to 2003. From online data on every click of the mouse on the internet through the huge upsurge in manufacturing companies’ use of sensors to sports organisations collecting in game data. With these increased quantities of data comes an increased need for tools to make sense of the main messages coming from these data.

The class will build on the fundamental multivariate statistics by developing both visualisation and advanced analysis techniques relevant in the area of big data. The focus will be on application and interpretation of techniques and there will be an investigation of what makes good data. The class will develop both new theoretical knowledge in the form of analytics techniques as well as new software skills in relevant analytics software.

Learning & teaching

The course can be done through distance learning.

All classes are taught using material presented via the internet. Classes are supported by faculty members who also teach on the full-time course. They'll guide and support discussion via forums.

Assessment

Every module has its own methods of assessment appropriate to the nature of the material; these include written assignments, exams, practical team projects, presentations and individual projects.

Many modules involve more than one method of assessment.

Entry requirements

MSc

  • second-class Honours degree, or equivalent, in business, economics, engineering or the social sciences
  • applications from those with other degrees are also encouraged

PgDip

  • minimum of a pass degree, or equivalent, in an appropriate subject
  • subject to performance, students may transfer from the diploma course to the MSc

Do I need to know lots of mathematics or statistics to join the course?

The Business Analysis & Consulting course is designed to take students with a wide variety of first degrees. Although some quantitative analytical tools are taught and used during the course, only basic mathematical knowledge is necessary before starting the course. Many students in this course have first degrees in business, economics, engineering and the social sciences. However, we have students from other backgrounds as well.

English language requirements

If you’re a national of an English speaking country recognized by UK Border Agency (please check most up-to-date list) or you’ve successfully completed an academic qualification (at least equivalent to a UK bachelor's degree) in any of these countries, then you do not need to present any additional evidence. For others, the department requires a minimum overall IELTS score of 6.5 (with no individual component below 5.5 (or equivalent)). Pre-sessional courses in English are available.

If you are from a country not recognised as an English speaking country by the United Kingdom Border Agency (UKBA), please check English requirements before making your application.

Pre-Masters preparation course

The Pre-Masters Programme is a preparation course for international students (non EU/UK) who do not meet the entry requirements for a Masters degree at University of Strathclyde. The Pre-Masters programme provides progression to a number of degree options.

To find out more about the courses and opportunities on offer visit International Study Centre and discuss your education future. You can also complete the online application form. To ask a question please fill in the enquiry form and talk to one of our multi-lingual Student Enrolment Advisers today.

Fees & funding

How much will my course cost?

All fees quoted are for full-time courses and per academic year unless stated otherwise.

Scotland/EU

2017/18
  • MSc/PgDip full-time - £9,500
  • MSc/PgDip/PgCert part-time - £4,750

Rest of UK

2017/18
  • MSc/PgDip full-time - £9,500
  • MSc/PgDip/PgCert part-time - £4,750

International

2017/18
  • MSc/PgDip full-time - £18,000
  • MSc/PgDip/PgCert part-time - £9,000

How can I fund my course?

There are scholarship opportunities available for students applying for this course. Opportunities include:

Check our Scholarship Search for more help with fees and funding.

Scottish and non-UK EU postgraduate students

Scottish and non-UK EU postgraduate students starting in 2017 may be able to apply for support from the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS). The support is in the form of a tuition fee loan and for eligible students a living cost loan. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

Students coming from England

Students ordinarily resident in England can apply for Postgraduate support from Student Finance England. The support is a loan of up to £10,280 which can be used for both tuition fees and living costs. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

Students coming from Wales

Postgraduate students starting in 2017 who are ordinarily resident in Wales can apply for support from Student Finance Wales. The support is a loan of up to £10,280 which can be used for both tuition fees and living costs. We are waiting on further information being released about this support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

Students coming from Northern Ireland

Postgraduate students starting in 2017 who are ordinarily resident in Northern Ireland can apply for support from Student Finance NI. The support is a tuition fee loan of up to £5,500. We are waiting on further information being released about this support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

International students

We have a large range of scholarships available to help you fund your studies. Check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

Please note

The fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.

Careers

The skills you’ll learn on the MSc make you very marketable to potential employers.

We’ve very good links with business and have hosted recruitment events for many companies, including Barclays Wealth, British Airways, Deloitte, Morgan Stanley, Rolls Royce, Sopra and SIMUL8, to name a few.

Contact us

Apply

What documents do you need to complete your online application?

As a minimum, you're required to upload good quality scans of the following original documents:

  • all your transcripts (completed or ongoing) and completed degree certificates
  • English test results (if relevant)
  • photo/bio page of your passport (or your national ID card if you are from EU)
  • reference letters

In addition to these, you're also advised to upload your statement of purpose. You might also upload other supporting documents (such as your CV, any prizes/scholarships you won), if they are relevant to your application. Please note that uploading too many supporting documents can slow down the process of your application.

Business Analysis and Consulting

Qualification: PG Diploma, Start date: Sep 2017, Mode of delivery: attendance, part-time

Business Analysis and Consulting

Qualification: MSc, Start date: Sep 2017, Mode of delivery: attendance, part-time

Business Analysis and Consulting

Qualification: PG Diploma, Start date: Sep 2017, Mode of delivery: attendance, full-time

Business Analysis and Consulting

Qualification: MSc, Start date: Sep 2017, Mode of delivery: attendance, full-time

Business Analysis and Consulting - Distance Learning - April

Qualification: PG Certificate, Start date: Apr 2019, Mode of delivery: distance learning, part-time

Business Analysis and Consulting - Distance Learning

Qualification: PG Certificate, Start date: Sep 2018, Mode of delivery: distance learning, part-time

Business Analysis and Consulting

Qualification: PG Diploma, Start date: Sep 2018, Mode of delivery: attendance, part-time

Business Analysis and Consulting

Qualification: MSc, Start date: Sep 2018, Mode of delivery: attendance, part-time

Business Analysis and Consulting

Qualification: PG Diploma, Start date: Sep 2018, Mode of delivery: attendance, full-time

Business Analysis and Consulting

Qualification: MSc, Start date: Sep 2018, Mode of delivery: attendance, full-time

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