Skills For Business – The Professional Business Diploma Cross Module Project

Higher Education Business Skills Project (2)

In the first two terms of the Professional Business Diploma our students are introduced to a wealth of skills and knowledge across the whole curriculum, based on spending over twenty hours per week in tutored classrooms.

In the final term, the knowledge and skills they have learned so far are put into real-life workplace practice in a ten-week-long combined module “dragons den” style project.

These modules include advanced IT, digital marketing, event management, business skills, and personal development planning. The teamwork required on the project also means students have to consider and implement what they have learned about themselves so far in the understanding of their personality traits.

The project culminates in a formal team business pitch to the “dragons” (OMBS tutors!), in addition to students being continually assessed throughout the term in individual assignments.


Employment Skills Are Best Learnt Through Practical Application

We know from experience that skills for the workplace are embedded and learned through practical application. This cross-module project enables our students to implement everything they have mastered so far in a small start-up business idea that they come up with themselves.

Being split into small groups decided by tutors at the start of the term means that students have to learn how to work as a team with peers they do not know as well as their friends, much like the reality of the workplace.

They are then required to tap into their learning of Belbin team roles throughout the project to ensure that they work smoothly together, playing to their strengths to achieve the work and numerous group assignments they are set.

Their goal is to develop a startup business idea and pitch for £50k investment from the “dragons” in week ten of the term.


Graduate Business Skills We Know Employers Want


The project requires students to submit a range of documentation across the modules for assessment purposes, with assignments being completed and submitted as a group as opposed to individually.

These include the delivery of –

  • The definition of their company overview and values
  • Competitor analysis
  • Design of an office workspace for their business, including an equipment expenditure report
  • Invoicing documentation
  • Company meeting minutes and agendas
  • Market research, user personas and a digital marketing launch plan
  • Industry-standard customer communication – letterheads, compliment slips and business cards
  • Website creation
  • Company branding style guide
  • A launch event plan
  • Creative business mood boards
  • Creation of a job advertisement and job description for the vacancy page of their business website


The “Dragons Den” Pitch Week – A Chance To Practise Presentation And Speaking Skills


In the final week of the project, students present a business pitch to the “dragons” – a panel of no less than six OMBS tutors who question them about their business and the materials they submit with their business portfolio on the day.

Students get really creative at this stage of the project! They can create branded mood boards for the pitch room and bring their businesses to life with materials and samples for the dragons to see, taste and touch – much like the TV programme!

Business Pitch Mood Board Higher Education

In previous years, dragons have got to taste cocktails for a sustainable pasta straw business, been given cupcakes by a bamboo potty business for toddler toilet training, and could look at various outfits put together by a sustainable rental fashion business.

Students present their pitch on their feet for no less than 15 minutes, putting into practise the presentation and speaking skills learned in the business module. Each team member must take an equal part in the presentation. There is no place to hide in the pitch room!

Students are assessed on the clarity, structure, and flow of the presentation delivery, timings, responses to questions, knowledge of their business, group appearance, quality of materials presented and their overall creativity. They are also assessed on both verbal and nonverbal communication, so everything counts in the room!

This is in addition to the numerous project assignments submitted throughout the term!


Business Pitch Students

OMBS Students Showcase Their Employment Skills In Pitch Week


Over the final ten weeks, tutors see a combination of hard work and excitement building towards the pitch presentations.

Students demonstrate the ability to prioritise tasks and assignments as the workflow builds up toward presentation week. Results are delivered through effort, teamwork, and great communication with their peers, all of which are a joy to see.

Tutors are also highly impressed with the confidence they see developed over the academic year. To hear students presenting clearly and standing in front of the panel confidently as individuals is a testament to their learning and skill development.

As our project lead Amber says, “Presentation week is a celebration of the student’s hard work and efforts in the final term!”

We congratulate all our students for this achievement and we can’t wait to see what business ideas are brought to life!

If you would like to find out more about the Professional Business Diploma click here or contact our Director of Admissions Sarah Badger at

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