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SR in the Curriculum

(31 March 2017)

In support of the priority to encourage socially responsible graduates, Humanities provides funding to course leaders through the annual Social Responsibility in the Curriculum competition. The aim is for Humanities students to be encouraged to think how their enthusiasm for their subject can communicate, connect or be relevant beyond the immediate demands of their course. 

This week, we introduce you to a project by Kate Barker and Julian Bond, lecturers at Alliance Manchester Business School (AMBS), who lead a project for selected final year students to develop their consultancy skills by delivering a six-month project for a local not-for-profit organisation. Students apply the business and management knowledge they have learned while gaining essential experience and skills of being in a consulting role. 

Kate said: “Doing a live consultancy project in the final year of their degree allows a select group of AMBS students to provide sustainable solutions for local community-based organisations. The students spend semester one learning some ‘nuts and bolts’ about consulting and they meet their clients in time to devise a project plan before the vacation.   

“In semester two it is all systems go to deliver the projects, under mentoring from myself and Julian Bond. There is a strong emphasis on leaving a legacy, and the length of the projects allows in-depth work and plenty of time to reflect on the recommendations and ensure project handover.”   

Kate and Julian work closely with Kirsty Hutchison, Volunteering and Community Engagement Consultant, to identify suitable projects. This academic year students are helping Manchester Student Homes to understand patterns of student socialising, they are working with Stretford Public Hall to research and test a business model for a community café, with Southway Housing Association to test the use of technology with older adults to reduce isolation, and with Living Streets to promote healthy walking. 

Kate added: “The Social Responsibility in the Curriculum Fund has allowed us to produce posters from each project, and invite more guest speakers from the not-for-profit sector to contribute to the course. Several of the students each year go into management consulting, and AMBS is proud that they have honed their skills through engaging in the very challenging world of not-for-profit organisations.” 

This course unit is a key element of the final year of the new BSc Management specialism Sustainable and Ethical Business. Through their participation students will enhance their public engagement skills, and widen their experiences so that they are aware of the importance of social responsibility in their future business careers.