MNGT5589 Strategic Consulting Projects - 2020

Term 4, Weekly - Sydney
Term 1
6 Units of Credit

Offering Selection
This course outline is provided in advance of offering to guide student course selection. Please note that while accurate at time of publication, changes may be required prior to the start of the teaching session. To view other versions, visit the archives .

1. Course Details

Summary of Course

The Strategic Consulting Projects course is offered as an elective of the AGSM MBA Program and it provides students with the opportunity to apply the analytical and theoretical skills developed in the MBA to a company-based project. Students work in teams of four to seven, supervised by an Academic Supervisor. It provides students with an opportunity to demonstrate to the supervisor their ability to apply the management skills learned during their MBA program, in addition to drawing on their considerable experience acquired in their earlier careers.

The nature of the projects varies from year to year. However, each project will centre on an issue of significant importance to the future direction of the client organisation and will offer a problem context that can benefit from rigorous management thinking and diversity from the student consulting team.

Not all projects are carried out for commercial companies. Many projects in the past have been carried out for small or large charitable organisations. Considerable benefit has been derived from projects in recent years by public sector and not-for- profit organisations.

Prospective participants will need to formally apply in order to join one of the projects on offer (see below for details about the application process).

Teaching Times and Locations

Please note that teaching times and locations are subject to change. Students are strongly advised to refer to the Class Timetable website for the most up-to-date teaching times and locations.

View course timetable

Course Policies & Support

Course Aims and Relationship to Other Courses

The specific goals of the Strategic Consulting Projects course are:

  • to give students an opportunity to apply the knowledge/skills they have acquired from their previous MBA courses
  • to give students an opportunity to define issues, gather relevant data from a variety of sources, perform insightful analysis and offer recommendations
  • to provide an exercise in managing task-focused relationships among team members, client managers and staff supervisors; i.e. project-management skills
  • to provide an opportunity to develop a formal oral presentation of the results to a client organisation
  • to provide an opportunity for team members to gain a first-class learning experience to complement and extend classroom learning. The field project becomes a laboratory for applying ideas, tools and concepts to real-world problems, thus facilitating the transfer of learning from the academic to the professional environment.
  • to provide the opportunity to learn about a company, an industry and/or a field of management that is of interest to the members of the project team.

This course directly builds upon the skills and knowledge acquired by the students in the core courses of their MBA.

Additonal Course Details

Application process

Details of this session's projects will be outlined at the AGSM Information Session about the course on Tuesday 16th July 2019.

After that session, students will be contacted by AGSM Experience with details of how to apply.

Applications must contain information about the candidate's suitability to work on the proposed projects. In addition, they should rank the projects in order of preference. Where applicable, specific requirements for individual projects must be addressed.

Project teams are made up of four to six students who are selected through a competitive application process handled by an AGSM panel. Students must complete their core courses before applying and it is recommended applicants have a WAM of at least 65% at the time of their application.

Academic background and work experience are scrutinised to determine a match with the key business competencies required for the project. Strong team balance is essential, so individual personalities are also taken into consideration

3. Staff Contact Details

Position Name Email Location Phone Consultation Times
Course CoordinatorPatrick Medley

4. Learning and Teaching Activities

Approach to Learning and Teaching in the Course

Following an initial meeting with the client and the academic supervisor, at which the project brief will be negotiated and agreed upon, you will need to bring your prior experience and the learning from the MBA to address the client brief.

What you learn in this course is directly a function of what you put in. The academic supervisor is a resource who will serve as a sounding board and ensure that the thinking and approach that is eventually presented to the client is sound. Remember that this course offers you an opportunity to be a consultant in the safe environment of your class. However, you will need to be a self-starter to get the most out of this class.

You can expect the academic supervisor and the key contact person in the client organisation to provide you with a meeting schedule for the session. These meetings will be for updates and aligning with expectations.

You will also receive an initial and compulsory training session in the core consulting skills including:

Defining - ability to: define the problem/issue; understand what it is going to take to resolve it; what the result may look like; understand the fit to strategy; negotiate with clients; manage time; develop a project scope and agree it with the client

Empathising - ability to: get on with people of all types; understand the politics of the organisation; understand and use your networks; be passionate; build teams

Researching - ability to: identify and work through all sources of information and data to understand issues/solutions - web, library, network; find and recognise best practice

Interviewing - ability to: extract insights from any audience; listen actively; question effectively

Analysing - ability to: analyse data and facts; understand financial and operational data; determine root causes; use a range of analytical tools/structured thinking; understand impact on strategy/results

Synthesising - ability to: synthesise data and facts to identify what is important; get to the key issues; facilitate team discussions; use logic; think on your feet; be flexible; manage stakeholders and create recommendations for the client

Innovating - ability to: bring new ideas/concepts to the problem and recommendations; be creative; be pragmatic; be tenacious; use initiative

Presenting - ability to: communicate effectively at any level in an organisation or to any type of audience; communicate both verbally and written - flawlessly, fluently, succinctly, engagingly; communicate difficult messages; influence people, ensure your communication is impactful and memorable

Coaching - ability to: lead a consulting team; influence outcomes; think strategically; coach individuals; be an expert.

Learning Activities and Teaching Strategies

Workload and time considerations

It is expected that you will spend 10-12 hours per week working on your project, as per any standard AGSM course worth six units of credit. The project must be completed and submitted within one term

Course Structure

6. Course Resources

In addition to course-based resources, please also refer to the AGSM Online Learning Toolkit (available in Moodle) for tutorials and guides that will help you learn more about effective study practices and techniques.

7. Course Evaluation & Development

Continual Course Improvement

AGSM courses are revised each time they run, with updated course outlines and assessment tasks developed. Changes relating to any industry developments will also be included. 

Additionally, the AGSM surveys students each time a course is offered. The data collected provides anonymous feedback from students on the quality of course content and materials, class facilitation, student support services and the program in general. This student feedback is considered during all course revisions.

Student Response

Strategic Consulting Project is a continually evolving course reflecting the clients; needs at the time and the students; capabilities. As your feedback on the course content and structure is appreciated and acted upon, please ensure you complete the mid-term and final course evaluations to ensure so that we can help both yourselves, and the students in the following cohort..

Response to Student Feedback


8. Course Schedule

Week Activity Topic Detail/Engagement Assessment Task
Week 1 Consulting skills workshop

Consulting skills workshop at the AGSM - time to be advised in Moodle. Students will also meet their academic supervisor at this workshop.

Week 2 -

Client Briefing

Week 3 Scope presentation

Weekly team meeting

Assessment 4 : First learning journal post of 250-300 words

Assessment 1: Project Scope proposal

Opportunity to provide peer-to-peer feedback

Assessment 4 : Reflection
Assessment 1 : Project Scope Proposal
Week 4 Team Meeting

Weekly team meeting

Week 5 Team Meeting-

Weekly team meeting

Week 6 Team Meeting

Weekly team meeting

Week 7 Team Meeting

Weekly team meeting

Week 8 Team Meeting

Weekly team meeting

Opportunity to provide peer-to-peer feedback.

Assessment 4 : Second learning journal post of 250-300 words.

Assessment 4 : Reflection
Week 9 Team Meeting

Weekly team meeting

Week 10 Team meeting

Weekly team meeting

Week 11 Final Presentation - Made to Faculty
Assessment 2 : Final presentation
Week 12 Final Report and Final Blog Post-

Presentation to Client (Not formally assessed, see details in Assessment 2)

Assessment 4 - Third and final blog post of 250-300 words.

Assessment 3 - Final Report

Confidential peer-to-peer feedback required

Assessment 4 : Reflection
Assessment 3 : Final report

9. Policies and Support

Information about UNSW Business School protocols, University policies, student responsibilities and education quality and support.

Program Learning Outcomes

The Business School places knowledge and capabilities at the core of its curriculum via seven Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs). These PLOs are systematically embedded and developed across the duration of all coursework programs in the Business School.

PLOs embody the knowledge, skills and capabilities that are taught, practised and assessed within each Business School program. They articulate what you should know and be able to do upon successful completion of your degree.

Upon graduation, you should have a high level of specialised business knowledge and capacity for responsible business thinking, underpinned by ethical professional practice. You should be able to harness, manage and communicate business information effectively and work collaboratively with others. You should be an experienced problem-solver and critical thinker, with a global perspective, cultural competence and the potential for innovative leadership.

All UNSW programs and courses are designed to assess the attainment of program and/or course level learning outcomes, as required by the UNSW Assessment Design Procedure. It is important that you become familiar with the Business School PLOs, as they constitute the framework which informs and shapes the components and assessments of the courses within your program of study.

PLO 1: Business knowledge

Students will make informed and effective selection and application of knowledge in a discipline or profession, in the contexts of local and global business.

PLO 2: Problem solving

Students will define and address business problems, and propose effective evidence-based solutions, through the application of rigorous analysis and critical thinking.

PLO 3: Business communication

Students will harness, manage and communicate business information effectively using multiple forms of communication across different channels.

PLO 4: Teamwork

Students will interact and collaborate effectively with others to achieve a common business purpose or fulfil a common business project, and reflect critically on the process and the outcomes.

PLO 5: Responsible business practice

Students will develop and be committed to responsible business thinking and approaches, which are underpinned by ethical professional practice and sustainability considerations.

PLO 6: Global and cultural competence

Students will be aware of business systems in the wider world and actively committed to recognise and respect the cultural norms, beliefs and values of others, and will apply this knowledge to interact, communicate and work effectively in diverse environments.

PLO 7: Leadership development

Students will develop the capacity to take initiative, encourage forward thinking and bring about innovation, while effectively influencing others to achieve desired results.

These PLOs relate to undergraduate and postgraduate coursework programs.  Separate PLOs for honours and postgraduate research programs are included under 'Related Documents'.

Business School course outlines provide detailed information for students on how the course learning outcomes, learning activities, and assessment/s contribute to the development of Program Learning Outcomes.



UNSW Graduate Capabilities

The Business School PLOs also incorporate UNSW graduate capabilities, a set of generic abilities and skills that all students are expected to achieve by graduation. These capabilities articulate the University’s institutional values, as well as future employer expectations.

UNSW Graduate CapabilitiesBusiness School PLOs
Scholars capable of independent and collaborative enquiry, rigorous in their analysis, critique and reflection, and able to innovate by applying their knowledge and skills to the solution of novel as well as routine problems.
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 4: Teamwork
  • PLO 7: Leadership development

Entrepreneurial leaders capable of initiating and embracing innovation and change, as well as engaging and enabling others to contribute to change
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 4: Teamwork
  • PLO 6: Global and cultural competence
  • PLO 7: Leadership development

Professionals capable of ethical, self-directed practice and independent lifelong learning
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 5: Responsible business practice

Global citizens who are culturally adept and capable of respecting diversity and acting in a socially just and responsible way.
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 4: Teamwork
  • PLO 5: Responsible business practice
  • PLO 6: Global and cultural competence

While our programs are designed to provide coverage of all PLOs and graduate capabilities, they also provide you with a great deal of choice and flexibility.  The Business School strongly advises you to choose a range of courses that assist your development against the seven PLOs and four graduate capabilities, and to keep a record of your achievements as part of your portfolio. You can use a portfolio as evidence in employment applications as well as a reference for work or further study. For support with selecting your courses contact the UNSW Business School Student Centre.

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism

Academic Integrity is honest and responsible scholarship. This form of ethical scholarship is highly valued at UNSW. Terms like Academic Integrity, misconduct, referencing, conventions, plagiarism, academic practices, citations and evidence based learning are all considered basic concepts that successful university students understand. Learning how to communicate original ideas, refer sources, work independently, and report results accurately and honestly are skills that you will be able to carry beyond your studies.

The definition of academic misconduct is broad. It covers practices such as cheating, copying and using another person’s work without appropriate acknowledgement. Incidents of academic misconduct may have serious consequences for students.


UNSW regards plagiarism as a form of academic misconduct. UNSW has very strict rules regarding plagiarism. Plagiarism at UNSW is using the words or ideas of others and passing them off as your own. All Schools in the Business School have a Student Ethics Officer who will investigate incidents of plagiarism and may result in a student’s name being placed on the Plagiarism and Student Misconduct Registers.

Below are examples of plagiarism including self-plagiarism:

Copying: Using the same or very similar words to the original text or idea without acknowledging the source or using quotation marks. This includes copying materials, ideas or concepts from a book, article, report or other written document, presentation, composition, artwork, design, drawing, circuitry, computer program or software, website, internet, other electronic resource, or another person's assignment, without appropriate acknowledgement of authorship.

Inappropriate Paraphrasing: Changing a few words and phrases while mostly retaining the original structure and/or progression of ideas of the original, and information without acknowledgement. This also applies in presentations where someone paraphrases another’s ideas or words without credit and to piecing together quotes and paraphrases into a new whole, without appropriate referencing.

Collusion: Presenting work as independent work when it has been produced in whole or part in collusion with other people. Collusion includes:

  • Students providing their work to another student before the due date, or for the purpose of them plagiarising at any time
  • Paying another person to perform an academic task and passing it off as your own
  • Stealing or acquiring another person’s academic work and copying it
  • Offering to complete another person’s work or seeking payment for completing academic work

Collusion should not be confused with academic collaboration (i.e., shared contribution towards a group task).

Inappropriate Citation: Citing sources which have not been read, without acknowledging the 'secondary' source from which knowledge of them has been obtained.

Self-Plagiarism: ‘Self-plagiarism’ occurs where an author republishes their own previously written work and presents it as new findings without referencing the earlier work, either in its entirety or partially. Self-plagiarism is also referred to as 'recycling', 'duplication', or 'multiple submissions of research findings' without disclosure. In the student context, self-plagiarism includes re-using parts of, or all of, a body of work that has already been submitted for assessment without proper citation.

To see if you understand plagiarism, do this short quiz:


The University also regards cheating as a form of academic misconduct. Cheating is knowingly submitting the work of others as their own and includes contract cheating (work produced by an external agent or third party that is submitted under the pretences of being a student’s original piece of work). Cheating is not acceptable at UNSW.

If you need to revise or clarify any terms associated with academic integrity you should explore the 'Working with Academic Integrity' self-paced lessons available at:

For UNSW policies, penalties, and information to help you avoid plagiarism see: as well as the guidelines in the online ELISE tutorials for all new UNSW students: For information on student conduct see:

For information on how to acknowledge your sources and reference correctly, see: If you are unsure what referencing style to use in this course, you should ask the lecturer in charge.

Student Responsibilities and Conduct

​Students are expected to be familiar with and adhere to university policies in relation to class attendance and general conduct and behaviour, including maintaining a safe, respectful environment; and to understand their obligations in relation to workload, assessment and keeping informed.

Information and policies on these topics can be found on the 'Managing your Program' website.


It is expected that you will spend at least ten to twelve hours per week studying for a course except for Summer Term courses which have a minimum weekly workload of twenty to twenty four hours. This time should be made up of reading, research, working on exercises and problems, online activities and attending classes. In periods where you need to complete assignments or prepare for examinations, the workload may be greater. Over-commitment has been a cause of failure for many students. You should take the required workload into account when planning how to balance study with employment and other activities.

We strongly encourage you to connect with your Moodle course websites in the first week of semester. Local and international research indicates that students who engage early and often with their course website are more likely to pass their course.

View more information on expected workload


Your regular and punctual attendance at lectures and seminars or in online learning activities is expected in this course. The Business School reserves the right to refuse final assessment to those students who attend less than 80% of scheduled classes where attendance and participation is required as part of the learning process (e.g., tutorials, flipped classroom sessions, seminars, labs, etc.).

View more information on attendance

General Conduct and Behaviour

You are expected to conduct yourself with consideration and respect for the needs of your fellow students and teaching staff. Conduct which unduly disrupts or interferes with a class, such as ringing or talking on mobile phones, is not acceptable and students may be asked to leave the class.

View more information on student conduct

Health and Safety

UNSW Policy requires each person to work safely and responsibly, in order to avoid personal injury and to protect the safety of others.

View more information on Health and Safety

Keeping Informed

You should take note of all announcements made in lectures, tutorials or on the course web site. From time to time, the University will send important announcements to your university e-mail address without providing you with a paper copy. You will be deemed to have received this information. It is also your responsibility to keep the University informed of all changes to your contact details.

Student Support and Resources

​The University and the Business School provide a wide range of support services and resources for students, including:

Business School EQS Consultation Program
The Consultation Program offers academic writing, literacy and numeracy consultations, study skills, exam preparation for Business students. Services include workshops, online resources, individual and group consultations. 
Level 1, Room 1035, Quadrangle Building.
02 9385 4508

Communication Resources
The Business School Communication and Academic Support programs provide online modules, communication workshops and additional online resources to assist you in developing your academic writing.

Business School Student Centre
The Business School Student Centre provides advice and direction on all aspects of admission, enrolment and graduation.
Level 1, Room 1028 in the Quadrangle Building
02 9385 3189

UNSW Learning & Careers Hub
The UNSW Learning & Careers Hub provides academic skills and careers support services—including workshops, individual consultations and a range of online resources—for all UNSW students. See their website for details.
Lower Ground Floor, North Wing Chancellery Building.
02 9385 2060

Student Support Advisors
Student Support Advisors work with all students to promote the development of skills needed to succeed at university, whilst also providing personal support throughout the process.
John Goodsell Building, Ground Floor.
02 9385 4734

International Student Support
The International Student Experience Unit (ISEU) is the first point of contact for international students. ISEU staff are always here to help with personalised advice and information about all aspects of university life and life in Australia.
Advisors can support you with your student visa, health and wellbeing, making friends, accommodation and academic performance.
02 9385 4734

Equitable Learning Services
Equitable Learning Services (formerly Disability Support Services) is a free and confidential service that provides practical support to ensure that your health condition doesn't adversely affect your studies. Register with the service to receive educational adjustments.
Ground Floor, John Goodsell Building.
02 9385 4734

UNSW Counselling and Psychological Services
Provides support and services if you need help with your personal life, getting your academic life back on track or just want to know how to stay safe, including free, confidential counselling.
Level 2, East Wing, Quadrangle Building.
02 9385 5418

Library services and facilities for students
The UNSW Library offers a range of collections, services and facilities both on-campus and online.
Main Library, F21.
02 9385 2650

Moodle eLearning Support
Moodle is the University’s learning management system. You should ensure that you log into Moodle regularly.
02 9385 3331

UNSW IT provides support and services for students such as password access, email services, wireless services and technical support.
UNSW Library Annexe (Ground floor).
02 9385 1333

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