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NBS8621 : Sustainable Innovation Consultancy Project

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Professor James Cunningham
  • 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 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0
European Credit Transfer System


To synthesise the theoretical and empirical knowledge gained in the programme’s first semester by applying this knowledge to an external organisation’s sustainable innovation agenda.

To develop students’ practical skills in consulting practice for a genuine client, including team work, problem validation, beneficiary discovery, solution development and reporting.

Outline Of Syllabus

1. The purpose of innovation consultancy
2. Understanding and validating the problem
3. Beneficiaries and value proposition
4. Teamwork and managing the process
5. Solution development
6. Reporting and presentation

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion30:301:30This may include the facilitation of introductions to problem sponsor and beneficiaries.
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading90:304:30Pre-recorded and other rich media materials
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops92:0018:00PiP - Flipped Classroom 2 Foundational workshops (shared with Entre Consultancy and Digital Trans for SG)
Guided Independent StudyProject work134:0034:00Includes beneficiary discovery activities
Guided Independent StudyStudent-led group activity124:0024:002hr/wk timetabled for students to meet & develop outputs for formative and summative assessment
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study181:0018:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

This module is about applying lean start-up principles to create hypotheses that are tested each week by interviewing those who experience the sustainable innovation problem, own the problem, or who have the same problem in a different area. To do this, you need to talk to people, ask questions, collect data so your team can test your hypothesis weekly as you build a potential solution.

The nature of the course means that teamwork and coordination is essential to the success of the student team. This is a “flipped classroom” so that in-class time is used for student presentations and clarification of consultancy concepts if needed.

Outside of the class you are responsible for weekly reading assignments.

The weekly presentations require each team member to present for several minutes as part of the team presentation, giving each person the opportunity to discuss the work done and to receive feedback. It is important that every team member contribute equally for the success as a team as a whole.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Report2M75Group report to client 3,000 words
Prof skill assessmnt2M25Observation of professional practice - Group presentation to client with questions and discussion
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
Design/Creative proj2MFeedback on sustainable consultancy project providing during guidance surgeries with the module leader and team
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

This is a sustainable innovation consultancy problem-centred module. The assessment focuses on two deliverables of group consultancy report, and the presentation and discussion with the problem sponsor. Both deliverables will demonstrate the understanding and validating of the problem learning outcomes, and the skills outcomes in terms of data collection and analysis. Reports will indicate the contributions of individual team members for the assessment of team working, while the presentation will also provide the opportunity for team work to be shown.

Reading Lists