MEng Materials Science and Engineering with Textiles Technology / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Group Management Project

Course unit fact file
Unit code MATS42302
Credit rating 15
Unit level Level 7
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Department of Materials
Available as a free choice unit? No


Students will carry out research in groups (of approximately 5) to develop a sound business plan that will exploit one or more aspects of materials science and/or engineering to create an innovation to improve the material sustainability of our world. This new disruptive technology could focus on renewable energy generation, sustainable construction, plastics recycling or any other aspect of sustainable materials. The business plan must be built from a strong foundation of social responsibility, circular economics and sound financial planning. 


  1. The unit aims to:

    1. Develop the student’s ability and awareness for the most important elements of business plan development and the essential elements of business plan presentation.
    2. Encourage an awareness of social responsibility in materials and business research
    3. Make students aware of the legal and IPR framework for business innovation and finance.
    4. Encourage the students to engage in group research, delegating tasks, self-organisation and group evaluation.
    5. Develop the students writing and presentation skills and prepare them for polemic discussions and encourage them to learn to defend their conclusions.
    6. Encourage the development of advanced analytical and reflective skills.
    7. Give confidence in the use of skills, team working and communication of ideas.

Learning outcomes

A greater depth of the learning outcomes will be covered in the following sections:

  • Knowledge and understanding
  • Intellectual skills
  • Practical skills
  • Transferable skills and personal qualities

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures and seminar/workshops and interactive feedback session to be delivered. Minor changes to the delivery pattern may arise and students will be advised of such changes at the earliest opportunity. Locations of the sessions will be communicated at the start of term.

A large portion of this unit relies on coaching and mentoring provided by the academic staff. From time-to-time the indicative content that follows may need to be amended slightly given the flexible nature of this unit to meet students needs.  As a result, any changes will be communicated to students in advance .



Knowledge and understanding

  • Understand the thought processes and complexities involved in formulating a business plan. The money, people, risks, market, sustainability and social responsibility combined with a relevant executive summary.
  • Understand the legal and IPR framework for financing innovation and sources of research funding for projects.
  • Appreciate the dynamics and correlation between external political and economic factors as well as the material technicalities of product development.
  • Formulate and understand financial statements and present them in a convincing way.

Intellectual skills

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the effect of changing variables on other elements of the business plan. Appreciate the interconnectivity of the business plan elements and interconnected directors’ roles. 
  • Be able to argue and defend the group research in a virtual or offline polemic environment.

Practical skills

  • Presentation and discussion skills in a virtual and/or in-person.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Communication and defence of ideas through oral discussion.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Report 70%
Oral assessment/presentation 30%

Feedback methods

Feedback given (Written and verbal)

Recommended reading

Students are not required to purchase any textbooks for this module. The following are recommended:


Beaver, G. (2002) Small Business, Entrepreneurship & Enterprise Development, FT Prentice Hall

Robbins, S. & Hunsaker, P.L. (2003) Training in Interpersonal Skills International Edition, 3rd edition, Pearson Education, New Jersey


Adair, J. (1986) Effective Team Building: How to Make a Winning Team Gower

Caproni, P. (2000) The Practical Coach Pearson Education, New Jersey

Carter, S. & Jones-Evans, D. (2000) Enterprise & Small Business: Principles & Practice FT Prentice Hall

Fry, R. (1997) Manage Your Time Kogan Page (out of print although Hollings Library has a copy)

Gill, R. (2006) Theory & Practice of Leadership Sage, London

Johnson, D.W. & Johnson, F.P. (2006) Joining Together: group theory and group skills 9th edition, Pearson Education Inc, Boston, USA

Lambing, P. & Kuehl, C.R. (2000) Entrepreneurship FT Prentice Hall

Patten, D. (2001) Successful Marketing for the Small Business Kogan Page

Solomon, P. (2004) Financial Accounting: A New Perspective McGraw-Hill/Irwin, New York

Management Today

Marketing Business

Small Business Economics

Management Decision

Management Case Quarterly

The Guardian

The Independent

The Telegraph


Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 30
Independent study hours
Independent study 120

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Gian-Paolo Vignali Unit coordinator

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