NIFK19001U Working as a Consultant
The newspapers are full of cases were expert consultants have developed ‘good’ solutions – but to the wrong problem. The solution does not make the problem go away, or the ‘solution’ just creates new and even worse problems. The issue is that many of today’s social and technological problems involves complex dilemmas that evade simple solutions. Moreover, we often do not invest the effort needed to understand what causes the problems; and in many cases, no simple cause-effect relationships exist. The Working as a Consultant course can help you prepare for a professional life as consultant by sensitize you to the complexity you will encounter, and show you how complex problems can be sucessfully conceptualized in projects executed by consultancy companies and experts.
The aim of the course is to prepare students to engage as internal or external consultants. We aim to enable you to engage in solving problems while applying your discipline expertise efficiently. This is a crucial competence for contributing to address the serious social, ecological and economic challenges involved in, for example, finding solutions to reach the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
Good solutions are characterized by being both technically feasible and socially acceptable. In this course you will develop the ability to engage with complex challenges, and we focus on hands-on training of approaches to integrate multiple scientific and social perspectives in order to a) understand and describe complex problem situations, b) collaboratively design innovative project proposals, c) communicate and sell proposals to a consultancy customer.
The course aims to simulate the consulting work situation around a realistic consulting task to be planned under time pressure. The consulting tasks will allow you to experience working with concrete consultant tools and frameworks, for example, problem structuring techniques, design thinking and innovation, team work, project management, proposal writing, and proposal pitching. We promise you a frustrating and challenging learning experience, but we also provide you with tools to convert you learning experiences into personal development vis-à-vis the consultant role.
The course is open to SCIENCE students, as well as students from other UCPH faculties.
After the course you will be able:
- Understand and discuss the consultant role, the consultancy process, and the business model and working environment of the consultancy firm
- Better understand yourself and others with respect to preferences for how to learn new things, how to solve problems, how to collaborate, and how to be led and lead others in team work.
- Understand basic psychological and social aspects of working with complexity in a multi-disciplinary collaborative setting
- Identify, describe and reflect on how to engage with complex problem situations
- Understand basic elements of projects management and organization of team work
- Plan and implement a project management task organizing a team around developing basic project proposal
- Apply problem structuring tools to define collectively with other experts a common understanding or diagnosis of multi-dimensional and complex problems (for example, visual mapping techniques, cognitive mapping, systems mapping, situation mapping, etc.)
- Organize and lead cooperative problem definition and vision/goal identification, solution development and project design
- Apply tools that support creativity and innovative thinking to address concrete problems and co-create the future with internal and external stakeholders
- Communicate and discuss a project proposal with problem owners/customers
- Take responsibility for organizing collective problem solving processes that address complex issues characterized by uncertainty and ambiguity
- Lead a multi-disciplinary team through problem definition and solution development to project proposal formulation and presentation
- Critically reflect on own and team work practices in order to facilitate individual and team learning and development
Academic qualifications equivalent to a BSc degree is recommended.
- Practical exercises
- Project work
- Exam Preparation
- 7,5 ECTS
- Type of assessment
- Oral defence, 40 min.Oral examination, 20 min.The oral exam consist of two parts: 1) a team-based (group) presentation and defense of a consultancy project proposal (45%) and 2) an individual oral exam based on course curriculum (55%).
- Exam registration requirements
One week prior to the final exam, the student has to hand in: 1) a team-based consultancy project proposal (the solution to the consultancy task), and 2) an individual reflection essay. Both hand-ins need to be evaluated as passed for the student to participate in the exam.
- Without aids
- Marking scale
- 7-point grading scale
- Censorship form
- No external censorship
Individual oral exam. 30 minutes without preparation and no aids allowed.
If the student has not handed in a team-based consultancy project proposal prior to the ordinary exam, the student needs to hand in an individual project proposal three weeks prior to the reexam.
If the student has not handed in a reflection essay, the student needs to hand in a reflection essay three weeks prior to the reexam.
Criteria for exam assesment
Fulfilment of Learning Outcome is required to obtain the grade 12