Term two started more than a month ago. Time is flying during term time. You are trying to catch everything on the lectures, and then you go home and read, read, read….. and all of a sudden, next week is here, new lectures, new seminars, more reading…
Second term has four modules, the same as the first term. First term modules were somehow focused more widely, every module had a separate focus, there was no overlapping between modules. Second term is different. All of the modules are somehow connected and more focused more narrowly. Big difference from the first term are coursework submission deadlines, they are much longer and later than in the first term. First term was completely finished in 12 weeks. Second term started on 5th January, and for one module, the exam will be in May. Most of other modules are due in April, and that fact gives you the time to breathe. But, don’t fool yourself thinking that you have all the time in the world to finish everything, because this term is also reserved for choosing the dissertation topic and writing a research proposal activities that can bite a huge chunk of your time.
Four modules in term 2 at my course are as follows: ICTs and strategic change, Business integration, Data Management and Business Intelligence and Research methods module. Let me explain in detail each one.
ICTs and Strategic Change
Lectures sessions are every Tuesday from 11am to 1pm and seminar sessions are continuing from 1pm to 2pm. This module is all about using Information and communication technology and aligning it with your business strategy, adapting to inevitable changes and constantly adapting to customer needs. Various strategies, frameworks and theories are discussed as this topic is very interesting nowadays because of the economic crisis. Module leader is bringing interesting guest lectures, usually from the industry, which can give us better insight into the “real world”. Make sure you don’t miss guest lecturers, some of them might help you with the choice of your dissertation topic or point you in the right direction.
Assessment for this module is a 100% coursework. There is also a presentation, which is not marked, but is mandatory. If you don’t do your presentation, your coursework grade is capped at C, which means that you can write the best essay in the class, and you will get a C because you haven’t done your part of the presentation. Presentations are done with a group, usually five or six people. They last approximately 20 minutes, with 10 minutes Q & A sessions after.
Lecture sessions are every Tuesday from 3pm to 5pm and seminar sessions are continuing from 5pm to 6pm. Every week, we are learning about different topic, one week was about Enterprise Resource Planning systems (ERP), other week was about Customer Relationship Management (CRM), third week about Supply Chain Management (SCM). Basically, this module is about integrating big systems in a company in order to raise productivity and have competitive advantage. The module is closely related to ICTs and strategic change module, they are overlapping a lot and they share a lot of information.
Assessment for this module is 100% coursework, a 3000 words essay on one of the topics discussed during lectures. Aside from that, there is a mandatory group presentation with the same rules as for the previously explained module.
Data Management and Business Intelligence
Lectures are starting very early by student time, Wednesdays at 9am! They last for two hours. One group of people has lab work for this module from 11am to 1pm, and the other group has lab work from 4pm to 6pm. There is a strict rule that you must attend lab work in the group that you are assigned to (otherwise, everyone would go from 11 to 1pm, to finish as soon as possible). This module is all about data. The main question and aim of the module is to teach you how to transform big data into something meaningful for the company, how to transform Data->Information->Knowledge, very interesting and highly popular topic nowadays. We learn about various methods of storing data, data warehouses and business intelligence. SAP software is chosen as an example, so we are referencing everything to their ERP system product. Lab work is very interesting, where you can implement theoretical knowledge in practice. Playing with data, creating master data files, creating interesting reports are just small part of the work done in the labs.
Assessement has two parts. First part is multiple choice question test, which is based on lab work and supplementary reading. Second part is more serious one, it is a two hours written exam with three questions about the previously seen case study. It may sound easy, but it’s not, it requires a lot of background reading and understanding of the matter in order to score high grade.
Lectures are every Wednesday from 2pm to 4pm. There are no seminars for this module. The aim for this module is to teach you how to write your dissertation, or maybe it’s better to say to teach you how to make a great plan for writing a dissertation. Even though it’s not a very interesting to listen, it is very helpful with some details that can easily be neglected and later become a very big problem. What is quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, literature review, questionnaire design are just some of the topics addressed in this module.
Assessment for this module is 100% coursework. It is a research proposal essay. You can choose from several offered topics and you need to write a research proposal. Research proposal is basically an explanation how you would do a research on a certain topic. You need to explain which literature would you use, what is previously written on the topic (literature review), what framework or methodology you will use during your research, what kind of questionnaire and questions you will use, where will you conduct an interview, with how many people etc.
There is a lot of work to be done, but it’s not impossible if time organisation is done right. If you are tired from reading a thousand words post, rest your eyes with some pictures from Sunny London, or Natural History Museum, or you can watch some fireworks from Bonfire night last November.
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