NIFK19001U  Working as a Consultant

Volume 2019/2020
Content

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.

Learning Outcome

After the course you will be able:

Knowledge

  • 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

 

Skills

  • 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

 

Competences

  • 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 
No requirements – the course is open to all types of study programmes at UCPH

Academic qualifications equivalent to a BSc degree is recommended.
The course is thought in close collaboration with experts from a larger professional consultancy firm. The course will be structured around a consultancy task on which students work as a team of consultants. The task involves the development of a project proposal for an external customer on how to address and solve a complex socio-technical problem. As a foundation for personal and team development, students will make a personality type ‘test’ (Jungian Type Index, JTI). During the course students will use a personal logbook to capture and reflect on essential learning experiences. The course will be intensive and work-demanding. The workload is high and a pro-active attitude is expected.
Oral
Individual
Collective
Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Feedback by final exam (In addition to the grade)
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)
Credit
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. 

Aid
Without aids
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Re-exam

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

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 30
  • Practical exercises
  • 30
  • Project work
  • 80
  • Preparation
  • 30
  • Excursions
  • 10
  • Exam Preparation
  • 16
  • Exam
  • 10
  • Total
  • 206