AP2EX1-Food Business Group Project I (Including Career Planning)

Module Provider: Agr and Food Econ
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring / Summer term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites: AP2EQ1 Research Methods and Data Analysis
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2020/1

Module Convenor: Mr Nick Beard

Email: n.f.beard@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

Working in teams, participate in a Consultancy project for a client organisation, where you'll apply and further develop skills in consumer and market research. Hone your skills in team working, networking, project management, and effective communication, including project proposal writing. The project is conducted in two parts, the first one involving the client briefing, planning and organising the market research, and the second part involving implementation and presentation of the research findings (AP3EX1).   In the Career Planning section of this module, you'll learn how to plan systematically for your future career, evaluate career opportunities and develop the develop skills required for effective job applications.

The aim of this module is to provide an opportunity for students - working in groups - to participate in a consultancy project for a commercial client in the food industry in order to develop research and analytical skills, usually in relation to market research. In carrying out the project students will also acquire skills in team working, project management, and effective communication (report writing and oral presentation). The project is split into two parts with the second part being in the Autumn Term of Part 3 (AP3EX1).

The module also includes 5 credits of Career Planning (AP1SCP & AP2SCP) designed to encourage students to think about, and plan more systematically for, their future careers. This takes place late during Enhancement Week in Parts 1 and 2. This module component aims to provide students with the opportunity to develop self-awareness in the context of career decision making, knowledge of the career opportunities that are available to them, and the skills to make effective applications.

Assessable learning outcomes:

1. Food Business Group Project (5 credits) By the end of the first part of the project students will have demonstrated their ability to review the literature relevant to their project, develop a research plan setting out clear aims and outcomes and the steps in the research process, and planned any necessary fieldwork.

2. Career Planning (5 credits) Students will be able to:

  • Identify, assess and articulate their skills, interests, values an d personality traits in the context of career decision making.

  • Develop careers information retrieval, research and decision making skills, using a variety of sources including the Internet and interviews.

  • Recognise and be able to write an effective application; identify the purpose and processes of recruitment interviews and how to perform effectively.

Additional outcomes:

1. Food Business Group Project Students will develop familiarity with the use of statistics and data processing software within an applied perspective. Students will develop effective written communication skills for a marketing and professional environment.

2. Career Planning Students will develop business awareness through understanding broad trends in the graduate labour market and the personal attributes and achievements that employers require. They will develop oral communication and team working skills through practical group exercises. IT skills and information handling skills will be developed through use of the Internet. They will develop Personal Development Planning abilities through the reflective exercises and forward-looking nature of Career Planning, which will significantly contribute to PARs and other PDP activities.

Outline content:

1. Food Business Group Project

  • Networking to establish links with client companies and to agree on project brief

  • Research company profile and the market in which it operates

  • First meeting with client to discuss background to project and project brief

  • Review of literature and any information made available by the company

  • Development of research plan for approval by the company and presentation in c lass

  • Detailed consideration of research design including ethical clearance: (a) data gathering: eg. focus group design, questionnaire design, sampling technique, (b) database management, (c) data analysis techniques

  • Plan and begin conducting market research (eg survey) – continued in the Autumn Term of Part 3 within module AP3EX1 and where appropriate over the summer vacation.

2. Career Planning The module component consists of three elements that relate to the stages in effective career planning, self-awareness (Finding Your Profile), opportunity awareness and decision making (Finding the Fit), and transition skills (Effective Applications). The first part in the summer term of Part 1 centres on gaining work experience; the second part in the spring term of Part 2 focuses on effective applications for graduate level jobs.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

1. Food Business Group Project The projects will be conducted by students working in groups of approximately 5. Groups are expected to meet at least weekly to progress the project and to keep minutes of these meetings on file. A supervisor is allocated to each project to provide academic guidance and groups should liaise with their supervisor at regular intervals (fortnightly is a suggested norm). Workshops and lectures will address generic skills needed for this work e.g. team working, resea rch planning in addition to group supervision meetings.

2. Career Planning Each of the three elements in effective career planning are introduced in lecture sessions supplemented by practical exercises and self directed learning using on-line materials available on the Internet at: http://www.rdg.ac.uk/Careers/cms The contact hours outlined below are indicative of teaching and learning content only and may be subject to change.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 4 14
Project Supervision 6 4
Guided independent study: 14 46 12
Total hours by term 18 66 16
Total hours for module 100

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Report 50
Portfolio 50

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:


1. Food Business Group Project

  • Research Plan (written report) (50%)

2. Career Planning Portfolio (50%) Each Career Planning assignment is given a percentage mark and equal weighting. Marking criteria are available for students to see on the Career Planning website.

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:

The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.
The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

Assessment requirements for a pass:
A mark of 40% overall.

Reassessment arrangements:
By coursework.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

  1. Required text books:

  2. Specialist equipment or materials:

  3. Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:

  4. Printing and binding:

  5. Computers and devices with a particular specification:

  6. Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 15 July 2020


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