Case study that is ripe for analysis
Department of Architecture and Built Environment
Faculty of Engineering and Environment
3 Assessment Details
3.1 Module Learning Outcomes (MLOs).
- Establish conceptual understanding of the complex scenarios that multiple and major projects environments and settings have, including the relationships between projects, programmes or portfolios within host organisations.
- Critically appraise existing project management knowledge and identify areas that can improve aspects of project delivery for stakeholders through the application of project management, theory or practice.
- Critically reflect upon approaches to project problem-solving on real life projects, in order to evaluate, learn from, and adopt similar appropriate solutions in future professional practice.
- Embrace critical thinking, to systematically identify, analyse, plan, produce, and then present, original work for academic review.
- Embrace academic, ethical, and professional standards, through practice and conduct, whilst developing understanding of competence in project management.
3.2 Coursework Overview
Context statement: Projects are variously executed within or across volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) environments, that present various political, economic, social, technological, legal, or environmental (PESTLE) challenges. Project management provides a means of addressing these.
To help better understand project management practice and the context in which it is undertaken, the following coursework task is set. You are to self-select a suitable project, or programme, for a case study, and perform the analysis and reflection listed below. The ‘unit of analysis’ that you should ultimately focus on within the case study report should be that of ‘project management practice’ within this project or programme setting. Ultimately, the case study should act as a ‘contextual vehicle’ which you use to absorb and discuss current Project Management knowledge.
Analysis: This written submission should fully introduce the ‘case’, provide the necessary description, and position it within its project or programme context, before identifying and analysing any key project/programme specific challenges faced on it. It should then evaluate the project management solutions produced, and then articulate those generalized ‘lessons learned’ that can inform future project management practice.
Reflection: Through theoretical, and evidence-based perspectives, reflect also upon the key elements of project management practice that you perceive have been applied on the selected project or programme case. Discuss this by making use of/citing relevant, current, academic (and appropriate professional) literature from the subject knowledge-base.
Component 1 is worth 100% of the module. It will be submitted and assessed electronically, and it addresses all Module Learning Outcomes.
3.3 Coursework Tasks to be Completed by Students
Select a suitable project or programme case study that is ripe for analysis. This could be a prominent, widely available case, where useful materials are readily and publicly available, or one that the student is currently, or has previously worked on. Such a case should only be one that you have normal access to information. If such a case is a ‘building’ or ‘live site’, then this should only be one that you have the ‘normal’, and ‘necessary’ permissions to access externally and/or internally (i.e., you are not to engage in any trespass of any building/site that you do not have normal permission to enter). Also note, you should not ‘cold-contact’ professionals to attempt to arrange access to any case that you do not have normal access to.
If you need a discussion to advise if the proposed project or programme case is suitable for the purposes of analysis and reflection, then arrange to have this discussion with one of the module tutors by teaching week 8.
In addition to the case study analysis you should, throughout the module, be equipping yourself on aspects of contemporary Project Management practice. To do this and develop your topic specific knowledge and understanding, and help you develop your intellectual skills and abilities in this subject, you are to fully and continuously engage with Project Management related academic and professional literature.
In addition to first describing the case study project or programme itself, your coursework submission is expected primarily to draw upon, and refer to, the body of academic work in this area, it is also reasonable to expect that some elements in your review will be informed by material issued by credible, relevant, professional institutes within Project Management (e.g. https://www.apm.org.uk/, http://www.ipma.world/, https://www.pmi.org/) as these organisations will be useful in highlighting current issues and offering supporting information.
The work is to be appropriately structured and supported through ‘academic’ research using appropriate and quality in-text references which are cited correctly throughout. A separate references list must also be provided at the end of the document.
3.4 Expected Size of Submission
- This written work should be formatted using ‘Arial’ font, of font size ‘11’, with 1.5 line spacing.
- The upper maximum limit for this work is 4,000 This word count includes:
- Any abstract (if provided, but note that these are neither required nor welcomed).
- The main body of text.
- In text citations [e.g. (Smith, 2022)] for quoted or paraphrased text.
- Any “direct quotations” cited from any primary or secondary source material(s).
- Title and concise contents page, or any glossary.
- Words for titles of any tables, figures, and illustrations (see related note below).
- Appendices (if provided, but note that these are neither required nor welcomed).
- Any footnotes or endnotes (see related note below).
- Figures (diagrams, illustrations, photographs etc.) and tables are welcome to support the text, but must be fully incorporated into the submission, integrated and following the text that fully explains why they are exhibited. Note that 250 words will be counted for each separate figure/table used.
- The work must form a structured and coherent whole. No contents page or superfluous front matter is required. Only a basic front sheet for the submission is to be provided, that identifies the student number (not name), the total number of words used (excluding references section), and the number of figures/tables used.
- ‘Footnotes’/’Endnotes’ will be permitted, as they can offer sufficient value, providing, their use is minimal, sufficiently concise, and appropriate – they offer only ‘clarifying’ information, or add ‘adjacent’ value to the sentences already written. In other words, they are not to be used to ‘hide’ words that would otherwise normally be expected to be contained within the main body of the text, and their use will be considered in accordance with the University word limits policy.
The full word limit policy is accessible here: https://www.northumbria.ac.uk/about-us/university-services/academic-registry/quality-and-teaching-excellence/assessment/guidance-for-students/
3.5 Referencing Style
- For this task, full academic referencing from any sources used is to be provided in the separate references section submitted using the Harvard referencing style, where correct and working hyperlinks to the original source should also be created to allow the tutor to check these sources.
- Any ‘in-text’ referencing should also be undertaken using the Harvard referencing style.
- To help with this, you are to write your coursework using the Cite Them Right version of the Harvard referencing system. An online guide to Cite Them Right is freely available to Northumbria University students at: https://www.citethemrightonline.com/ This resource will provide consistent help and information about correct referencing technique and standards.
- Remember everything cited should be traceable to the sources used.
- Further assistance with academic reading, writing and referencing is available via Northumbria Universities Skills Plus web page: https://library.northumbria.ac.uk/skillsplus/
3.6 Assessment Criteria
- Introduction – How well the work establishes and describes the selected case, and positions it within a wider project or programme context: 10%
- Problems – How well the work provides analysis of the ‘key issue’ problems within the case that the delivery team faced. This criterion balances ‘range’, against ‘appropriateness’ in the identification of these key issues: 10%
- Solutions – How well the work evaluates the specific project management related solutions/tactics that were used to address these key issue problems, and discusses these in terms of project management practice: 10%
- Lessons – How well the work articulates a critical appraisal of the ‘lessons learned’ from the case, then considers if and how these can be deployed more generally in future project management practice: 10%
- Relationship with existing literature – Here, the work should demonstrate adequate understanding of the relevant literature in the field, cite an appropriate range of literature sources and not ignore any significant work: 20%
- Quality of Conclusion – How well the conclusion of the work sufficiently relates to the preceding content, and provides an effective summary for the reader: 10%
- Quality of Communication – Here, the overall narrative should be coherent, and remain relevant to the practice of project management. Attention should have been paid to the clarity of expression and readability, such as sentence structure, jargon use, acronyms, etc: 20%
- General structure and formatting of the work, and the References section (see above notes) in particular: 10%
The Referral Attempt opportunity will take place after the end-of-level Progression and Awards Board (PAB). If you become eligible to complete a Referral Attempt but are subsequently unable to undertake the opportunity when required, you will be permitted to re-sit the module at the next scheduled sitting of the module assessment. This will typically entail the suspension of your progression on your programme of study until such time that you have completed the level and become eligible to proceed.
5 Guidance for Students on Policies for Assessment
The University has several policies for assessment. The following information, which is available to you from the link below, provides guidance on these policies, including relevant procedures and forms.
- Assessment Regulations and Policies
- Assessment Regulations for Taught Awards
- Group Work Assessments Policy
- Moderation Policy
- Retention of Assessed Work Policy
- Word Limits Policy
- Assessment Feedback
- Anonymous Marking Policy
- Late Submission of Work and Extension Requests
- Personal Extenuating Circumstances
- Technical Extenuating Circumstances
- Student Complaints and Appeals
- Academic Misconduct
- Student Disability and Unforeseen Medical Circumstances