SHE Level 5
SCQF Credit Points 15.00
ECTS Credit Points 7.50
Module Code MMN224306
Module Leader Keith Halcro
School Glasgow School for Business and Society
Subject Management
  • B (January start)

Summary of Content

This module requires students to work as a team to collectively develop and implement a project that has an outcome that reflects and implements the university's mission of The Common Good. Students will negotiate between themselves, the tutor and a third party a set of objectives that meet the needs of these various stakeholders. This will require the students to fuse knowledge gained from their programme and the workplace with employability skills such as team working, communication, etc to fulfil these objectives. Students undertaking a programme of research training may have particular learning requirements and interests that cannot reasonably be accommodated within a structured programme designed to meet the core needs of a typical student. These learning needs may be specialist research training or, in the context of particular substantive degree pathways, may be specialist programmes of advanced study (theoretical, conceptual or substantive). Therefore, Group Negotiated Study is offered as a means of enabling students to achieve their particular needs/learning objectives, whilst exploring areas of interest by identification and progression through an appropriate real world problem. Negotiated study topics will normally address a problem widely described as being for the Common Good. Therefore, the areas of study would normally be expected to be issues identified from local community issues, charities and third sector organisations and/or a student's work place. The focus of the content of the unit will be negotiated between a group of students (normally 3-4 individuals) and Unit Leader in the form of a negotiated learning contract - the Unit Learning Plan. The students will prepare a Unit Learning Plan which specifically identifies group and personal learning outcomes. This will normally then allow identification of an action plan comprising: title; aims; learning outcomes; nature and scope of work to be undertaken; learning resources required (including the gathering and critiquing of quantitative and qualitative data); support required; detailed operational timetable, and agreed assessment format.


Not applicable - programme of learning to be determined by the student, and agreed with the Unit Leader.

Learning Outcomes

The specific group and individual learning outcomes will be identified within the Unit Learning Plan, as detailed above. To these can be added the generic learning outcomes of completing a unit by independent and negotiated study at postgraduate level. Specifically, on successful completion of the unit students should have the ability to:o Develop a meaningful learning programme;o Identify and agree within a group a real world issue to be investigated; o Identify appropriate methods of investigation;o Identify and utilise a range of learning resources;o Take explicit responsibility for one's own learning; o Work collaboratively within a team towards an agreed outcome, ando Evidence that the investigation leads to an appropriate outcome for an agreed problem.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

Although the unit is student-led, all students presenting for Group Negotiated Study, will participate in the 'support' programme: In Block 4 [January Year 2] of their programme students will be introduced to the unit and the Unit Learning Plan. There will also be discussions on a possible Unit Learning Plan with the Programme Leader (as part of academic advisor/advisee meeting as appropriate). There will be an iterative process of communication between the whole group, the individual students and unit leader to develop and finalise the Unit Learning Plans which identify Group and Individual Learning Outcomes. Students will normally work with a Project Advisor who will be appointed to guide the group and individual students as they undertake their Unit Learning Plan. The Project Advisor can offer specific advice on the subject of the Unit Learning Plan. The Unit Leader (and Programme Leader) will assist in finding a Project Advisor. There will be progress meetings/communication between the student and the Unit Leader and a formative assessment report mid-way to ensure progress is being made with specific regard to meet the unit learning outcomes.

Indicative Reading

Subject Specific Sources to be determined by the student, identified and approved by the Unit Leader, in the Unit Learning Plan. Understanding Independent Study and Learning Contracts -360 Anderson, G, D. Boud and J. Sampson (1996) Learning Contracts: A Practical Guide. Kogan Page: London. -360 Bone, Z. (2014) The Learning Contract: A Research Project with Training Wheels. ECRM2014 Proceedings of the 13th European Conference on Research Methodology, Edited by Dr Martin Rich, Dr Anne Brown. Cass Business School, City University London. 16-17 th June 2014. -360 Cottrell, S. (2011) Critical Thinking Skills. Palgrave: UK -360 Davies, M.W. (2009) Groupwork as a form of assessment: common problems and recommended solutions. Higher Education <> , Oct. 2009, Vol.58, Iss. 4, <> pp.563-584 -360 Knight, P. (2002). Learning Contracts. In Assessment for Learning in Higher Education . Birmingham: SEDA series. Knowles, M.S. (1986) Using Learning Contracts. Jossey-Bass: San Francisco. Knowles, M S (1993) Self-Directed Learning: A Guide for Learners and Teachers. The Granary Press Ltd. -357 Schwarzer, D.; Kahn, R.E. & Smart, K. (2000) Learning Contracts and Team Teaching in a University ESL Writing Class. The Internet TESL Journal, Vol. VI, No. 10, October 2000. Available from: <> . -360 O'Neill, G. & McMahon, T. (2005) Student-centred learning: What does it mean for students and lecturers? In: Emerging Issues in the Practice of University Learning and Teaching available from: <> .

Transferrable Skills

Specifically, Group Negotiated Study provides an opportunity for students to exercise initiative, assume personal responsibility and exercise independent decision-making. Students will have gained competence in the following skills: Intellectual abilities and skills acquired through use of learning resources and immersion in research/study contexts: Assessment of the merits of contrasting explanations, critical interpretation of resources and also involve the development of reasoned argument. Key skills acquired through HE level study: Learning skills including numeracy; written and oral communication skills; information management; planning, monitoring, reviewing and evaluating own learning and development; information retrieval skills; critical thinking; creative thinking; decision making. Social skills including personal attributes that are fostered via advanced study in HE. Working independently; working as a member of a group; time management; self-motivation; change management including personal and in others; intellectual integrity, and adaptability.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Assessment (PT) 30.00
Seminars (PT) 15.00
Independent Learning (PT) 100.00
Tutorials (PT) 5.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 1 n/a 100.00 50% The module leader randomly selects students to work in teams to problem solve an organisational matter associated with the Common Good. At the outset of the team project, each student submits an individual learning plan to the module leader. The plan must satisfy the module's Learning Outcomes and informs the student's assessment. The student submits an individual 3,000 word written assessment.