Skip to main content


NBS8972 : Exploring Theory in Practice

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Amy Stabler
  • Lecturer: Professor Natasha Mauthner
  • 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: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


The aim of this practice-based module is to enable learners to integrate theory and practice through evidence and analysis. The module will provide learners with the opportunity for a deep dive into their own practice and enhance their skills of identifying and evidencing issues in their own practice in order to propose a practice development. By the end of the module, learners will have:

•       Evaluated organisational and scholarly sources of data and evidence for proposing practice development
•       Enhanced their ability to critically review data and evidence for decision making to inform practice changes
•       Explored praxis, by integrating theory and practice through evidence and analysis

Outline Of Syllabus

The syllabus will include topics such as:

Practice-based development design, for example evidence-based, appreciative inquiry, action learning, user-centred
Searching, reviewing and analysing data and evidence, including organisational, professional, other grey, and scholarly sources, and comparing and contrasting international and cross-cultural research findings
Business data analytics
Qualitative and quantitative research methods and analysis
Positioning and understanding practice in relation to existing data and evidence in order to make a case for, and evaluate the potential impact of, practice development.
Consideration of practice developments from a wide variety of perspectives including social, economic, political, religious, ethical and cultural
Programme management for example agile methodology
Processes of exploring praxis, in order to integrate theory and practice through evidence

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture43:0012:00PiP: Based on 4 x 1 day study blocks across the programme which can be easily pivoted online
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials41:004:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion601:0060:00N/A
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities121:0012:00N/A
Guided Independent StudySkills practice121:0012:00Application of learning into the workplace
Guided Independent StudyReflective learning activity201:0020:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study241:0024:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesScheduled on-line contact time61:006:00To enable inclusive approach for social learning aligned to the programme pedagogy
Guided Independent StudyOnline Discussion41:004:00Online discussion activities designed to prepare for scheduled face-to-face learning
Guided Independent StudyDistance Learning Advance Preparation461:0046:00Online learning activities designed to support scheduled face-to-face learning
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Central to the teaching and learning of this module is the need to create safe and inclusive spaces (both face-to- face and online) to enable voices to be heard so that, through dialogue and reflective practice, meaningful places for learners can be explored and fully appreciated. Through this process of social learning and support, learners re-construct their places and identities within professional and organisational contexts, enabling them to act with purpose. Therefore, our teaching and learning approach recognises the importance of learners learning about context, content and processes for their own individual and organisational development of advanced professional practice.

The teaching and learning strategies and methods support achievement of the module’s learning outcomes. The processes of teaching and learning, within this blended learning module, include but are not limited to the following: Face-to-face and online opportunities to acquire knowledge and understanding of theory in practice are provided through attending lectures, listening to and watching podcasts and/or videos, reading and research, and work-based and reflective learning. Learning through dialogue, discussion and collaboration, in face-to-face teaching and online, enables learners to articulate, respond to and provide feedback on theory, knowledge and practice application, and to question and challenge their work-based practices. Internationalisation is integrated by encouraging students from different backgrounds to contribute relevant examples from their home country or community. Collaborative social learning, online and in the classroom, is a hallmark of the module and will involve peer learning, co-production of knowledge and ideas about practice, and feedback.

As a post-experience programme, contextualising theory in practice requires not only academic input but also practitioners’ knowledge and expertise and, therefore, some lectures or workshops will be taught by adjunct staff who also work in industry or who contribute specialist skills-based experience. Lecturers and learners draw on international databases and sources of information, such as journal and websites. To aid application of theory in practice, and reflection on practice, learners will be supported by work-based mentors and external coaches. A range of experiential activities, both simulated and ‘real’/workplace and a variety of practice-focused interactions both in NUBS and in the student’s workplace (such as knowledge and skills practice and reflective learning, regional, national and international case studies, and individual and/or group projects) enable learners to evaluate their understanding of the relevant subject knowledge, and to question and challenge their work-based practices, through applying and integrating theory in practice.

Throughout the module, external practice-based speakers contribute to knowledge and understanding applied to professional practice and, in addition to supporting face-to-face and work-based experiential learning activities, enable learners to recognise and reflect on the changing nature of work and the changing responsibilities of global business in, and for, society.

Learners are expected to enhance their face-to-face and online learning by independent reading and enquiry, for which they are given guidance on relevant materials. Directed and independent reading, research, critical analysis and reflective learning enable learners to consolidate conceptual and practical understanding and development, and prepare for assessments.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Report1M1003,000 word report outlining a practice development
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 exercise1MN/A
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Formative Feedback

Formative feedback is provided throughout the module by encouraging learners to respond to questions and engage in reflection, dialogue, debate and discussion in online and face-to-face contexts. Collaborative learning, online and in the classroom, is a hallmark of the module and involves co-production of knowledge and ideas about practice, and feedback.

Summative Feedback

The module assessment enables learners to achieve the learning outcomes and to consolidate their learning by articulating their conceptual understanding of a practice development, select sources of evidence and analyse data to propose and inform decision making for a practice development. The assessment has 1 component: A report of 3,000 words, understanding of their own practice in relation to a specific issue through data and evidence, and evaluates the potential impact of a practice development.

The focus of the practice development will be strategic leadership and evidences their understanding of programme management.

Summative feedback on the assessment will include ‘feed forward’, enabling learners to improve future academic and/or practice action.

Reading Lists