MSc in Business and Executive Coaching

MSc in Strategic Sales Management Summary
Duration: 12 months Research Dissertation
Schedule: Please contact us to discuss start dates
Fees: €6,950
Programme Director: Dr. Maeve Houlihan

Candidates will be expected to be able to

  1. Identify a specific research question or focus of relevance to their discipline.
  2. Critically appraise and demonstrate understanding of the academic literature, theory and practice, and underlying assumptions which may inform your research
  3. Select and apply appropriate research strategies and convey an understanding of the assumptions and beliefs underpinning methodological choices.
  4. Carry out primary research in an informed, ethical and professional manner.
  5. Demonstrate through evidence and argumentation, your understanding of your findings and how this contributes to what is already known.
  6. Present in written form a substantial document which details the research objectives, rationale, literature review, methodological journey, data and findings, analysis, contribution, limitations and recommendations for future research, in a fully referenced, professionally presented, academic format.

The Programme Structure:

The MSc programme provides three major learning outcomes. First, candidates are supported to custom design their learning and develop a specialist area of expertise by identifying and developing a specific research question of personal concern. Secondly, candidates deepen their conceptual awareness and critical thinking skills in the business and executive coaching area through a thorough survey of the literature. Thirdly, candidates further develop and fine tune their process and professional skills by conducting original and independent research, involving the skills of designing, negotiating and gathering,analysing and communicating their findings.

A key ingredient of the MSc is a shift from practitioner literatures to empirical and theory led literatures and critical engagement with the research paradigms and underpinning assumptions surrounding coaching knowledge.

While dissertation research is largely a self managed process, candidates will benefit from support and dialogue with an academic supervisor, and fellow student researchers. This is achieved through regular reading groups and participation in research training as appropriate.

Phase 1: reading workshop, research and library skills training, research proposal

Phase 2: undertaking data collection and analysis

Phase 3: writing up research

Workload: 30 ECTS (750 effort hours) culminating in written dissertation (typical word range 25-30,000 words)

Entry Criteria

Candidates wishing to apply to the MSc programme must have successfully completed Stage 1 (Diploma in Business and Executive Coaching) and Stage 2 (Diploma in Advanced Business and Executive Coaching) diploma programmes, and demonstrated strong writing ability as well as timely assignment submission as part of their progression. Applicants are invited to submit a preliminary research proposal (max 2 pages articulating a possible and viable project detailed in terms of what, why and how).

The purpose of this proposal to demonstrate preliminary research and methodological thinking - the final proposal may change considerably during the course of the programme.

Sample projects themes might include, for example:

  • Investigations into the contemporary executive career cycle
  • Contemporary factors shaping work life balance/motivation
  • An assessment of career narratives within the coaching field
  • The lived experience of supporting a team through a major change project
  • The professionalisation of the coaching role
  • The relationship between coaching and management development
  • Coaching and the reduction of stress
  • Practices and Interventions in the process of workplace bullying
  • Positive psychology and coaching practice : competing perspectives
  • The ethics of the coachee/organisational relationship
  • Research into coaching outcomes

Useful resource material:

  • Coghlan, D, and Brannick, T. (2010) Doing Action Research in Your Own Organisation, Gill, J. And Johnson, P. (2011, 4th Edition) Research Methods for Managers, London: Sage.
  • Feldman, D.C. and Lankau, M.J. (2005) ‘Executive Coaching: A Review and Agenda for Future Research’, Journal of Management, December, 31: 829-84
  • Punch, K. (2006) Designing Effective Research Proposals, London: Sage
  • Silverman, D. (2007) A Very Short, Fairly Interesting, and Reasonably Cheap Book about Qualitative Research, London: Sage.

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