Ducere Blog
15
Apr
2016

Our 12 Month MBA Has No Exams. Here’s Why.

REAL PROJECTS, REAL OUTCOMES, NO EXAMS 

The Dūcere Business School and University of Canberra MBA has been described by the Australian Financial Review as “Australia’s Most Innovative MBA” and “a game changer for management education in Australia”. Our industry based project work provides a level of practical learning and industry engagement previously unheard of in the online education arena.

It is supported by NAB, KPMG, PwC, Telstra, Save the Children, the Federal Treasury and more, and although students may choose to complete the MBA between 12 months and 3 years, it has already graduated over 80% of its inaugural cohort within 12 months of launch.

There are no exams in the Dūcere MBA Course.

We do not believe that the best approach to the development of business and professional skills is through the traditional examination system that over-emphasises the significance of the traditional academic skillset. Exams are a useful way to conduct standardised assessment en-mass, at low cost, but they are not the best way to ensure graduates are equipped with the skills that industry demands.

Dūcere is a new-world business school that utilises modern learning methods and personalized service to deliver the best professional outcomes to students. In our approach students must work in teams on real projects with world leading organisations and receive direct feedback from leading industry experts focused on the skillsets that industry requires. It retains the flexibility of online delivery, whilst enabling students to develop their ability to work with industry, lead teams and collaborate more effectively to solve real practical problems.

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We do not believe there is a better way to develop strategic thinking skills than to present key strategic recommendations to senior stakeholders at PwC or Save the Children. These stakeholders will provide the feedback students need to drive their professional development because the outcome of students’ work can impact the organisation’s bottom line. Our model is successfully demonstrating that this type of professional development opportunity is immensely more powerful than traditional learning approaches and exams. It is benchmarking student outcomes against the highest industry standards versus awarding them a percentage based on a purely academic exercise.

Students undertake reflective analysis throughout the three industry projects of their course. At each delivery milestone students present deliverables to their industry sponsor and then reflect on both the process undertaken and the feedback received. Students consider what they have done well and what to do better next time. At the same time students complete academic assignments to connect the learning of the academic webinars they attend to the application of those academic principles to their industry projects.

“The days of us pushing an ad in front of a consumer and assuming that that’s what advertising looks like, I think that those are limited. We now have the technology to put the right ad in front of the right consumer at the right time, the right number of times and we’re getting much, much better at that.”

 

Amie’s MBA Story
Head of People, NAB Business
MBA Graduate

 

Through this process the student builds a portfolio of work focused on how they have applied MBA concepts to the solution of real industry problems. Candidates therefore still get the opportunity to follow an assessment process including academic feedback, scores and gradings, all represented on their academic transcript awarded by the University of Canberra. Students can graduate from the course with not only a Master Degree, an impressive achievement itself, but also they can add the completed projects to their CVs and include the industry feedback provided by project sponsors exhibiting that they have delivered three different projects for three major organisations. This combination provides both academic robustness and direct industry relevance.

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“Working out how to solve these complex problems involving numerous stakeholders… was a huge advantage of this particular course” Peter Goodwin, Ducere MBA Graduate.

This is all in line with our focus on how we can enhance people’s ability in the workplace and what they can take back to their employers, businesses and future careers through the achievement of their MBA. We do not simply want to award people an academic piece of paper. Our graduates are able to show what they have delivered in projects for these organisations and communicate the feedback they received. There is the potential to achieve personal references from project sponsors as students work directly and closely with senior stakeholders at these major organisations. We believe that receiving quality feedback direct from real industry experts adds significantly more value than academic feedback based on exams alone.

From flexible and self-directed online study, to real-world business projects and dynamic industry events, our Bachelor and MBAhave been designed to meet the needs of the modern learner.

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