The aims are:
to be the provider of choice for responsible learners of all abilities, backgrounds and ages when they are ready.
to provide students with the knowledge, skills, tools and resources they need to become leaders in their chosen profession, and to develop in them a passion to make a positive impact on business and society.
to communicate to the widest possible community the significance and intellectual excitement of scientific fields in general and the College’s work in particular.
There are three separate bodies, each with clearly defined functions and responsibilities in relation to governance and management, to oversee and manage its activities.
The Quality Board.
The primary responsibilities include approval of the mission and strategic vision of the University, monitoring and evaluating the performance of the University, oversight of systems of control and accountability, including financial and operational controls and risk assessment.
They do this by asking relevant, probing, searching questions and ensuring responses are sound, confident and consistent, rather than doing direct checking themselves. Neither the Chair nor individual members should become involved in the day to day executive management of the University.
The Chair is also known as The Internal Quality Verifier.
The Curriculum Board
It is the principal academic body of the University and is responsible for regulating and directing the academic work of the University in teaching, examining and research and for award of all Degrees, Diplomas, Certificates and other academic distinctions of the University.
The Chair is also known as The Head of School or The Chief Examiner.
The Delivery Unit
It is responsible for the management of the University. The Head of The Delivery Unit is, in effect, the chief executive of the University and has overall responsibility for the executive management of the institution and for its day-to-day direction.
He/she is designated as the principal officer of the institution. As such, he/she is responsible for ensuring that the institution complies with the terms and conditions specified by the Office for Students (OfS).
The Head of The Delivery Unit is also known as The Managing Director or The Principal.
Academic and Financial Planning
Strategic aims and objectives
The Spikey U’s strategic aims in relation to Access and Participation are to admit those students who are best able to benefit from a degree at Spikey U, and to ensure that, once here, students are supported to enable them to achieve their goal, regardless of their socio-economic background.
The degrees which Spikey U offers are highly quantitative and, therefore, we do not propose in general to lower the academic requirements for entry, either for the population as a whole or for particular subsets of students. Instead, our strategy is to offer the foundation degree training modules in order to raise the attainment of responsible applicants to a level which enables them to meet Spikey U's minimum entrance requirements.
In relation to Participation, our strategy is to provide an inclusive education which closes attainment gaps between students from different backgrounds. We do this through individualised support for students through our academic teams, as well as, The Student Ambassador programme.
Mature students - access and attainment
We consider that graduate education for mature students is a core part of our offering. Spikey U is fully committed to supporting its mature students.
Students from low HE participation, household income or socio-economic status - access and attainment.
In order to focus our targets, we will not set targets for these groups at this time. Once we have admitted our first cohort of students, we will review our access performance and where appropriate we will set targets accordingly.
As a new institution with no baseline data, we understand that any targets must necessarily be broadly indicative at this stage. Once we gather our own institution-specific data on access, success, and progression, we will revise our baselines and targets accordingly, subject to agreement by the OfS.
Alignment with other strategies
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy
Our APP has been developed in alignment with our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy, which states that we will:
(a) seek to ensure that all individuals are treated equitably, regardless of gender, race or ethnicity, socio-economic background, disability, religion or belief, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marital status, pregnancy or maternity, or any other inappropriate distinction;
(b) promote diversity of student recruitment and equity of student continuation, attainment and progression;
(c) promote diversity in staff recruitment and equitable staff development and promotion; and
(d) promote an inclusive teaching, learning and working environment, where all individuals are treated fairly and respectfully, and are given equal opportunities to achieve their potential.
Learning and Teaching.
Making our learning and teaching more inclusive means:
• Creating equal opportunities for our students to succeed, regardless of their gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, cultural and socio-economic background or disability;
• Recognising and harnessing our students’ diverse cultural backgrounds, identities and experiences by creating opportunities for them to learn from each other and to make their different backgrounds an asset;
• Facilitating all students’ sense of personal and professional identity and sense of belonging within a field, so that their background can contribute to their success;
• Designing a diverse range of teaching, learning and assessment approaches that recognise and support the needs of students both as individuals and as members of a learning community;
• Removing barriers to learning and creating a more equitable experience to assist all students, regardless of health issues or language support needs;
• Counterbalancing the effects of unconscious bias in individuals and in institutional structures through creating and implementing evidence-based policies;
Students’ involvement in School governance and their feedback on all aspects of student experience will support the School in improving their understanding of student needs, as well as increase students' sense of belonging to the provider, which may contribute to improved retention and attainment. We will actively recruit and train students from different backgrounds (including but not limited to BAME and low household income) and students with specific learning differences to become Student Ambassadors.
Financial worries are a significant source of student anxiety and have a direct effect on drop-out rates: 64% of UK students worry about their finances all the time or very often, and 36% of students worry about their finances so much that it is affecting their mental health. In a recent large scale survey, over a quarter of students said they were likely to drop out of university due to a lack of funds. Certain disadvantaged students face greater financial difficulty than advantaged students (i.e., those from a lower household income/ lower socioeconomic background).
We have reserved 30% of the head counts for our students, we can wave the application fee, allow to re-take the course for free or even wave/reschedule the payment due when there is a good reason to do so. The Student Ambassador can make this determination.
Prior attainment has long been cited as a key driver of access to HE. The links between attainment and HE access are complex; however, one clear and powerful link is that an applicant's grades are currently used as the primary basis for admissions decisions by UK universities. This absolutist focus on grades tends to inhibit access for disadvantaged groups because they tend to perform more poorly in public exams relative to their more advantaged peers; further, high-attaining disadvantaged pupils are more likely to have their grades under-predicted versus their more advantaged peers. The Student Ambassador can consider the situation and decide if the exam results can be omitted.
When the Student Ambassador is in doubt he/she should seek input from The Head Delivery Unit, The Chief Examiner or the Internal Quality Verifier.
The Admission Process is devised to introduce the applicant to our learning environment and tools. It is also developed to help us to make na informed decision if we can support this learner on his/her journey or not.
The Student Ambassadors are there to help and we encourage them to go extra mile to ensure that we know what is required for his/her success.
Curriculum and Pedagogic Support
A technology enhanced supportive learning environment is proven to have a positive impact on continuation and attainment and will support the delivery of our success objectives and targets from the outset of our operation.
● Each student will have a personal academic tutor, whom they will meet at on average twice a month. The academic tutor will:
o Be responsible for overseeing the academic progress of their students, providing academic support as required;
o Provide a first port of call for their students if they have a question or issue relating to either their academic or non-academic experience;
o Actively monitor their students’ academic progress including detecting red flags and positively intervening as early as possible,
Inclusive, flexible learning
An inclusive learning environment enables the needs of students with disabilities or learning difficulties to be accommodated, as well as accommodating those who live at home, have jobs or care-giving responsibilities. The benefits of universal design in teaching and learning are demonstrated by a large body of research, which we have drawn upon in developing our teaching and learning approach. Inclusive and flexible learning will be a core component of our delivery from the outset of our operation, and will support the delivery of our success objectives and targets.
● Our teaching and learning will incorporate the flipped classroom, online assessment and feedback, technology-enhanced learning, and collaborative online learning; as well as digital library resources and the sharing of lecture and seminar resources online, to facilitate remote and student-led, flexible learning. This flexible learning approach is recommended by JISC and enables the ongoing participation of students who have disabilities, who commute, who are in paid part-time work, or who have caring responsibilities. This is balanced with face-to-face teaching and learning to ensure that students do not become detached from the programme, their teachers and their peers, as this can contribute to non-continuation.74
● We will have regulated timetables designed to support students who are commuting or working part-time (e.g., on-site learning “chunked” into a portion of the week to minimise unnecessary travel and support free time for paid employment). Research has found that regulating timetables has a positive impact on student retention.
● There will be targeted support and provision for disabled students.
● Student feedback will be used in evolving programme design and delivery and learning support via termly module feedback, and student involvement in the academic governance of the school.
Data and nudging
Early intervention and behavioural nudging have been successful in increasing engagement of disadvantaged or struggling students with learning and non-academic support services. Our SRS will enable us to track students’ academic progress (attendance, engagement and attainment) and wellbeing (through a clear record of all interactions with the student and by providing a 360-degree view of their life at LIS). These information flows will enable our staff to deliver academic and pastoral student support. Furthermore, our VLE has been procured specifically with student engagement and communication in mind, to ensure that we are best placed to support and understand students’ participation in academic life, as well as to engage constructively with students through online channels.
Overview of the evaluation strategy
Our evaluation strategy sets out the approach we will take evaluating our access and participation strategic measures. We are committed to ensuring that our higher fee cap income is spent on activities that provide the greatest possible economic and social return, and recognise that high quality evaluation is vital to this, to ensure that decisions are made based on reliable and robust evidence. We have used the HM Treasury Magenta Book and guidance from the OfS in determining our evaluation strategy.
Our evaluation strategy is focused on:
● Understanding the outcomes of our access and participation strategic measures;
● Ensuring that robust quantitative and qualitative evidence is used to both measure these
outcomes and understand how these can be attributed to the strategic measures, and that our
evidence base is continually strengthened;
● Securing continuous improvement—evaluation findings will help determine what works, value
for money, adverse consequences, and opportunities for improvement, and will be used to improve future decision-making and prioritise activities, to ensure there is a sound evidence- base for our access and participation activities. Evaluation from our outreach programmes will lead to changes in the design of future programmes.
Evaluation is built into new programmes and measures from their inception, to ensure that activities are designed purposefully and to ensure that they can be properly evaluated against their expected impact.
The objective of our evaluation strategy is to determine whether our access and participation strategic measures are effective and efficient in achieving our access and participation objectives. It seeks to answer the following questions for each strategic measure:
Strategic context: what was the strategic relevance of the measure—specifically, what are the access and participation objectives to which the measure is contributing, and how is it expected to do this (cross-referencing the theory of change)?
Process: how was the strategic measure delivered—is it being implemented as intended, and what, in practice, is working more or less well?
Impact: what changes have occurred that can be objectively attributed to the strategic measure? Does the strategic measure support the delivery of our objective? In evaluating impact we will refer to our targets and milestones and whether or not these have been delivered as anticipated. Through a combination of process and impact evaluation, we will effectively be testing our theories of change—whether our chosen activities are creating the impact they were intended to create.
Economic: what are the benefits of the strategic measure compared with its associated costs?
Provision of information to students
Prospective students will receive clear guidance on the following via our online and physical prospectus, as well as at the point of offer:
● Our financial support scheme (including eligibility criteria, level of financial support, ways to apply, and decision-making process).
● Fees (including any information regarding possible changes to the level of tuition fees, how these are calculated, and how it could affect them).
● Our approved APP.
Current students will be able to access this information via the School internet.
The demand for professionals who can manage, analyze, and apply data to improve business operations is higher than ever. Our MSBA provides students with fundamental skills, appropriate business knowledge, communication skills and industry EXPERIENCE to advance your career. Upon completing the program, students will be able to demonstrate a depth of knowledge of quantitative and analytical tools for decision making; apply data analytics in a business environment with confidence and competence; communicate effectively and persuasively.
For those students which wish to focus their study on a specific sector, the course has been tailored so that you can specialise in either Finance or Operations Management through the choice of Special Topics which you would undertake. The option to undertake the programme with an industrial placement offers you the opportunity to gain work experience in the UK or overseas. The option of completing an alternative Individual Research Report is for students interested in pursuing a PhD programme in the future.
MSBA is available in two study modes: this programme is available as four year Integrated Programme and two year Specialised Master Programme studied from anywhere in the world alongside your career. The online learning platform used by students in the MSBA program is the Spikey X learning management system. It serves as a hub for faculty and students and is the portal through which students access both asynchronous and synchronous coursework.
Asynchronous learning activities include viewing videos and slide presentations, reading textbooks and articles, taking quizzes. Students complete coursework on their own schedule, but must adhere to assignment deadlines. Synchronous learning activities include weekly live sessions, collaborative exercises and group discussions. Students are expected to review course material prior to the session and come prepared to engage fully in all activities. Additionally, faculty members and teaching assistants hold virtual office hours every week.
The programs culminate with a Capstone project course that is carried out in an actual business analytics context, e.g., analytical marketing, operations, finance or human resources analytics. Students are asked to manage a large data set, develop appropriate quantitative models and analytical insights, interact with the company, and deliver midterm and final presentations to company executives and faculty.
Upon completing the program, students will be able to:
!. Demonstrate a depth of knowledge of quantitative and analytical tools for decision making.
2. Make appropriate judgements regarding managing, manipulating and analyzing large data sets.
3. Develop and/or efficiently apply computer software to implement analytical techniques.
4. Identify the potential and challenges of applying data analytics in a business environment.
5.Communicate effectively and persuasively.
All applicants are considered on an individual basis and those without an honours degree may also be considered on the basis of work experience, professional qualifications and the relevance of the programme to their current professional role.
1. Completed application form.
2. Current resume.
3. Two professional letters of recommendation.
4. Required essay.
We prefer that both letters come from individuals who know the applicant in a professional capacity, but we will accept one academic recommendation combined with one professional recommendation.
After candidates submit their completed application, we invite all qualified applicants to interview. Interviews take place via Web conferencing software and last about 30 minute. The qualified applicants receive a link, enabling them to schedule this interview.
Students entering the program will have varying degrees of exposure to probability and statistics and programming concepts. Therefore, the first two courses in the program are considered “level-setting” courses to ensure everyone has a common foundation of knowledge to build upon in the rest of the curriculum. To graduate, students must complete 108 units of MSBA courses.
Introduction to Probability and Statistics (15 credits)
Modern Data Management (15 credits)
Visualisation (15 credits)
Business Communication (15 credits)
Business Value Through Analytics (15 credits)
Special Topic A (15 units)
Special Topic B (15 units)
The Capstone (15 credits)
Analytical Decision Making (30 credits)
Operations Management (30 credits)
Quantitative portfolios and asset management (30 credits)
Each course contains 36 contact hours and about 114 hours private study and, therefore, each student can not take more than 3 courses at the same time: 1 course requires about 10 hours of study per week.
The main methods of assessments are in-course exam A (20%). in-course exam B(20%), the final exam (40%) and the coursework (20%). We require all students to answer correctly at least 60% of questions.
Introduction to Probability and Statistics
1. Learn the language and core concepts of probability theory.
2. Understand basic principles of statistical inference (both Bayesian and frequentist).
3. Build a starter statistical toolbox with appreciation for both the utility and limitations of these techniques.
4. Use software and simulation to do statistics (R).
5. Become an informed consumer of statistical information.
6. Prepare for further coursework or on-the-job study.
Students completing the course will be able to:
1. Use basic counting techniques (multiplication rule, combinations, permutations) to compute probability and odds.
2. Use R to run basic simulations of probabilistic scenarios.
3. Compute conditional probabilities directly and using Bayes' theorem, and check for independence of events.
4. Set up and work with discrete random variables. In particular, understand the Bernoulli, binomial, geometric and Poisson distributions.
5. Work with continuous randam variables. In particular, know the properties of uniform, normal and exponential distributions.
6. Know what expectation and variance mean and be able to compute them.
7. Understand the law of large numbers and the central limit theorem.
8. Compute the covariance and correlation between jointly distributed variables.
9. Use available resources (the internet or books) to learn about and use other distributions as they arise.
Students completing the course will be able to:
1. Create and interpret scatter plots and histograms.
2. Understand the difference between probability and likelihood functions, and find the maximum likelihood estimate for a model parameter.
3. Do Bayesian updating with discrete priors to compute posterior distributions and posterior odds.
4. Do Bayesian updating with continuous priors.
5. Construct estimates and predictions using the posterior distribution.
6. Find credible intervals for parameter estimates.
7. Use null hypothesis significance testing (NHST) to test the significance of results, and understand and compute the p-value for these tests.
8. Use specicific significance tests including, z-test t-test (one and two sample), chi-squared test.
9. Find confidence intervals for parameter estimates.
10. Use bootstrapping to estimate confidence intervals.
11. Compute and interpret simple linear regression between two variables.
12. Set up a least squares fit of data to a model.
Modern Data Management
1. Work on complex issues associated with big data analytics and business value creation.
2. Scrutinize different types of data for solving complex business problems and produce reports to support business planning.
3. Systematically, critically, and creatively present findings to both technical and non-technical managers and executives.
4. Use computer tools to solve complex practical problems of direct relevance to contemporary business operations and management.
1. Display conceptual understanding of big data analytics.
- Critically evaluate and apply big data techniques using software.
- Develop a systematic understanding in order to build and apply skills in big data network analytics, text mining, and social media data mining.
- Demonstrate critical awareness of how managers and executives utilise big data analytics for business value creation by improving their operational, social, and financial performance and create opportunities for new business development.
- Demonstrate a systematic understanding of database management concepts and their connections with big data analytics.