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NBS8491 : Personal and Professional Transformation (FT MBA)

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Wee Chan Au
  • Owning School: Newcastle University Business School
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 5
Semester 2 Credit Value: 5
ECTS Credits: 5.0
European Credit Transfer System


The module has been designed to prepare students for their academic studies and personal and professional career in management and leadership in organisations in society. The module has three main strands and interrelated aims: 1) to prepare students for postgraduate study through the development of foundational transferable skills such as critical analysis and academic writing; 2) to develop self-awareness relating to management and leadership and the future of work through critical reflection on and evaluation of their own personal and professional knowledge and skills and; 3) to provide a framework for personal and professional career management through access to a range of specialist university and wider career resources.

The module begins with a series of interactive sessions to enable students to develop critical reading, analysis and academic writing skills as a foundation for their postgraduate study.

The developing self-awareness strand involves a series of interactive sessions to enable students to better understand their own personal values and beliefs and how these influence their interpersonal and leadership interactions. Building on this students then learn how to be more effective both when working in teams and in leadership roles. A key feature of this strand of the module is the intensive Personal Development event. During this event, students undertake a variety of structured individual and group activities. Facilitated by experienced development consultants and through detailed one-to-one individual feedback, the event provides students with a unique and highly valuable opportunity to understand and develop their personal, team-working, management and leadership competences.

The module also includes extensive group and individual career-development support to help students identify their preferred career opportunities and to support and guide them in developing the networking and career-management skills needed to pursue these opportunities.

Outline Of Syllabus

Workshops during Semester 1 and Semester 2 to include the following topics:

Critical analysis and academic writing skills

Understanding self as an individual, including through awareness of learning styles and engagement with critical reflection

Understanding self in a team, including in cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary contexts

Understanding self as a leader

Careers support, including Networking skills and 1:1 career interviews

The module includes an intensive Personal Development event. During this experience, external consultants provide, facilitate and observe a range of practical opportunities and challenges that enable students to better understand and reflect on their knowledge, skills, and behaviours when working in pressured, time-constrained situations. Individual and specific feedback enables students to improve and develop their own self-awareness. Furthermore, this event gives students valuable experience of the nature of activities used by many major employers when evaluating potential recruits.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture102:0020:00PiP
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion115:0015:00Preparation of inputs to assessment.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops95:0045:00PiP
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study120:0020:00Structured research and reading.
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The module aims to ensure that all Newcastle MBA graduates have developed their interpersonal and professional skills in addition to their academic and practical business knowledge. The emphasis is on student development through self-reflective learning, practice and planning.

A variety of teaching and learning strategies are implemented to ensure the achievement of intended learning outcomes.

The initial lectures and teaching are designed to provide students with the critical analysis skills which will support their studies across the entire MBA programme. The subsequent lectures, class discussions and activities build from an initial focus on personal learning and self-awareness, to an understanding of how individuals contribute to teams in varied contexts, and culminate in exploring the skills and behaviours required of leaders.

The careers lectures are designed to help students understand and interact with the range of support available to them in considering an managing their future careers. In addition, the MBA Careers Adviser supports the students and works with them individually to help enable them to become self-reflecting learning practitioners, able to meet their personal goals.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M301000 word critical review
Essay2M701400 word, based on 3 x 300 word reflective logs and a 500 word Personal Development Plan
Zero Weighted Pass/Fail Assessments
Description When Set Comment
Prof skill assessmntMPersonal Development Experience - Full attendance is required to pass this element
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Written exercise1MFeedback discussion on critical review of journal articles
Prof skill assessmnt2MFeedback during module on development of reflective logs Personal Development plan and on professional skills experience.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The initial lectures and teaching on critical analysis skills, which are key skills to develop for use across the entire MBA programme, are tested through a critical essay. This essay is completed early in the programme so that feedback is available in time for learning to be applied to future work on other modules.

The reflective learning logs, personal development plan and reflective portfolio will assess how well students have developed both their understanding of the topics covered and their skills in applying their knowledge and abilities in self-directed learning and reflection on personal experiences. A key element will be the student’s evidence of reflection and learning from the activities and individual feedback during the Personal Development event. To ensure that students are aware of the importance of full participation in the Personal Development event, attendance at the full timetable of activities during the week is expected.

In addition to feedback on the above summative assessments, formative feedback is provided throughout the module by encouraging students to engage in debate and discussion in class, and responding to their questions. Formative feedback is provided after the submission of the semester 1 assignment in a class dedicated to discussing cohort performance in the assessment and providing guidance for subsequent assessments. Formative feedback is provided on the reflective learning logs and personal development plan and students receive personal formative feedback following their participation in the Personal Development event.

Reading Lists