Equip yourself with the ideas, networks, and experiences to lead and manage in the field of commercial and contract management by undertaking a Masters program delivered by a top-ranked international business school, in partnership with IACCM.
The MSc / LLM in Commercial and Contract Management provides:
Sustained exposure to expert professional practice through dynamic and multifaceted modes of practice-oriented education
Learning which is research evidence-based providing academic rigor to equip graduates for life-long learning
Exposure to dealing with and managing challenges and opportunities in the face of advanced technologies that will impact all areas of commercial management in a global environment (from legal and regulatory, ethical, financial, economic, technological, and socio-cultural perspectives)
Provide a high-quality scholarly academic and practitioner experience
Accreditation and qualifications from the University of Leeds and IACCM, recognizing and certifying the advanced competencies, capabilities, skills and knowledge attained
For the employer, the program offers:
Not only a highly qualified and valuable addition to their organization, but also the opportunity to focus final research and dissertation on a current business-specific commercial issue
Employers who sponsor students to the programme will also be invited to join relevant activities at the University, such as periodic Academic Symposiums in contract and commercial management; as adjudicators on student review boards; and at events and executive roundtables related to the release of major research findings in this field
The program is offered by the University of Leeds Business School & Law School. It is a 2-year part-time program starting September 2019 or 1-year full time starting September 2020
The growing dynamism and diversity of trading relationships in today's volatile markets has elevated the importance of commercial and contract management. They represent essential competencies for purposes both of control and creativity, designing and delivering business-critical outcomes.
New technologies have steadily disrupted traditional business relationships and the way they are managed. This is resulting in continuous change in what relationships are formed, where they are formed and how they are formed. As a result, there is a pressing need for a fundamental shift in the role, purpose and value of contracts, which in turn depends upon continuous challenge and innovation in commercial policies and practices.
Both business and government must develop commercial and contracting competence – the ability to integrate across multiple stakeholder views and interests to develop and deliver required outcomes. This competence will in part depend on having individuals with the skills and knowledge required to lead commercial and contract management transformation and to embed organizational capability at both strategic and operational level.
The business need
The importance of commercial and contract management in terms of responding to dynamic markets and supporting the overall strategic goals of the organization cannot be overstated. A failure to do so impacts on financial performance and, perhaps most critically, the organization’s reputation. At an operational level, weaknesses in the contracting process damage external relationships, create delays, undermine innovation and increase costs. Conversely, where commercial and contract management are aligned to the organization’s strategy, where project objectives and outcomes are clearly articulated and well managed, the cost savings and revenue improvements are significant, reputation and capabilities are enhanced, and problems and risks minimized.
The scale of commercial and contract management in both the public and private sector, their economic importance, social role and impact on the bottom line is immense. In the private sector, contracts worth billions are not unusual and the importance of getting the contracting process right and aligned to company strategy is obvious. Yet research by the International Association for Contract and Commercial Management has demonstrated that an amount equivalent to between 8%-15% of an organization’s revenue is regularly lost due to poor commercial and contract management. Less obvious, but increasingly highlighted, is public sector contracting. The public sector in the UK spends nearly £250bn a year with private and voluntary sector suppliers. This is significantly more than it spends on providing services itself. In the NHS, some £54bn is spent through such contracts. The price of getting things wrong is very considerable. By way of example, the National Audit Office had this to say of the Department of Transport’s train procurement process: “We found that a lack of clarity over the wider strategy undermined the department’s commercial strategy and led to a perceived gap between the Department’s stated commercial strategy and how it acted. Greater clarity would help the industry make plans and reduce costs.” As many other examples have indicated, poor contract management can lead to delays, targets are missed and ultimately contracts may need to be renegotiated or reassigned. In the worst case, projects and even large companies fail.
Successful and effective commercial and contract management require professionals with a sophisticated understanding of these disciplines, having the ability and skills to negotiate and manage high value contracts both domestically and internationally, an understanding of how to develop and align contracting processes to the strategic goals of the organization and the ability to identify and manage the risks involved in long term, high value contracts. They must also be able to understand transactions in a wider commercial context, where necessary mounting challenge or driving change in policies, practices or processes that impede market relationships or performance. The skills and knowledge required cross the traditional boundaries of law and business. Technical proficiency in the law of contracts and related subjects is necessary but not sufficient. An understanding of business strategy, how to lead, manage, negotiate and analyze business and other risks are also essential. Progressive and applied contracting and negotiation skills are critical for current and future leaders, who must understand contemporary organizational strategy, especially as it occurs within the context of the break-neck speed of change evolving out of the 4th Industrial Revolution (the revolution of economies and societies occurring through advances in artificial intelligence, intelligence augmentation, robotics and automation). These technological advances are forever changing the way organizations relate with consumers, customers, suppliers, buyers and other direct and indirect stakeholders.
Ultimately, commercial and contract management are critical to the achievement of the strategic goals of an organization and there is a desperate need to develop professionals in the field with the skills and knowledge to meet the complex challenges in this exciting and fast-evolving area.
The MSc / LLM Program at the University of Leeds
The program equips students with the capabilities that will enable them to lead in this critical area of business. The program is an innovative three-way collaboration between the Leeds University Business School, the School of Law at the University of Leeds and the International Association for Contract and Commercial Management. The course will be offered through a combination of state of the art face to face and online interactive experiences delivered by some of the leading scholars and practitioners from university and industry.
Through the integration of cutting-edge thought and practice, the program will equip students with life- and career-changing ideas, networks, and experiences to be at the forefront of leading and managing all aspects of commercial and contract management, strategic and operational, across business, government and non-government organizations, in an increasingly complex and constantly changing international environment.
The program draws on leading-edge research and brings together faculty from world-class universities, experts in the day to day practice of commercial management and leadership from industry, to help aspiring experts and agents of change develop the vision and energy to deal with the global problems and challenges facing their organizations and communities.
The aim of this program is to expose students to cutting edge ideas in commercial and contract management and to broaden and build the skills, competencies and capabilities to advance their commercial acumen: from design, implementation and management of commercial policies and practices, to the design and management of contracts, to negotiation, conflicts management and resolution, risk management and minimization, to managing and understanding the impact and role of technology, and most importantly, the psychology and sociology of managing people and relationships in a contracting context.
This will be a demanding and challenging program designed and delivered by people with high expectation from students, and for students with high expectations from university education and their cohort.
The program is innovative in its design to enable it to fit within common work patterns. It will be delivered by academics from Leeds University Business School and the School of Law at Leeds University, but co-developed and co-delivered with experts from IACCM and its global membership. It is to be taught via sequential and separated blocks of teaching (each surrounded by a couple of weeks of self-prep/examination, etc.) in combination with modules being taught online via blended learning. The program consists of 135 credits of taught modules and a 45 credit dissertation / project. The program has been designed so that it can be completed either in one year (full-time) or over two years (part-time). Where it is taken over one year, 3 to 4 modules will be required to be taken in each semester with a couple of modules being taught across both semesters via blended learning.
Subject to demonstrating their executive-level communication and influencing skills in a practical situation, students will also qualify for an Expert-level certification from IACCM.
The purpose of this module is to provide an introduction to commercial and contract management, their business purpose and key influences, the role they play in the delivery of a successful business strategy and the impact of new technologies. It will allow students to evaluate different perceptions of role and process and to reach a common understanding of the scope and purpose of high-performing commercial and contract management, in particular in the context of business strategy.
What are commercial and contract management: understanding the lifecycle.
The role and contribution of commercial and contract management.
Commercial and contract management in context: public versus private, business-to-business, business-to-consumer, industry variations.
Understanding and assessing organisational maturity and capabilities through key indicators; summary impact of new technologies.
An examination of ethics within commercial and contract management on a global basis.
Contracts and brand image – the intersection with branding strategies, reputation risk and corporate governance.
Managing and making markets: commercial innovation and contract economics.
The future of commercial contract management- the dynamic and digital environment.
This module expands on the introductory module to examine the contracting lifecycle in depth and provide an interdisciplinary overview of key issues of the contracting process in the global business environment. It will enable students to understand key contract law principles in the domestic and international context and to strategically consider the influence of law and economics in the context of forming and delivering successful contracts.
Making and managing markets: the role of commercial and contract management in segmentation and mapping for customers and supply chains.
The complexities of contracting in a domestic and international environment and how these impact contract priorities and purpose.
Models of contracting and their use - from transactional to joint venture.
Managing the contracting process, including contract economics.
This module will provide insight into how people’s perceptions, motivations, and individual differences together with group and organisational processes affect commercial and contract management. It will provide students with the insights required to undertake effective stakeholder analysis and management.
Individual differences and motivations affecting contract and commercial management.
Collaborative working and relationship development across organisations.
Impacts of culture on behaviour and values.
Opportunism and optimism.
Principles of relational (or ‘managerial’) contracting as a tool for behavioural change.
Leadership theories and how to manage contracts.
Corporate social responsibility and social value in commercial and contract management.
This module explores the importance of a fundamental link between commercial and contract management and business strategy, such that it ensures an appropriate balance in the management of risk and the capturing of business opportunities. Students will be introduced to the principles and models of strategic management as a foundation for examining the impact of change knowledge management within a global setting. The theories of strategy will provide students with a foundation for sustainable business management in a world of changing technologies.
Introduction to Strategic Management- the principles and models.
Analysing the external environment- macro variables affecting profit and non-profit organisations in terms of sustainability.
Measuring and monitoring risk; balancing risk and opportunity.
Competitive Advantage using commercial and contract management.
Creating strategy - evaluating resources and capabilities ethically and sustainably.
Strategy Implementation and alignment of contracts.
Expectation management – does the contract continue to meet the expectations and needs of the parties. Will senior stakeholders be satisfied with the outcome?
Considerations on the extent to which contract and commercial management should contribute to board-level risk assessments and corporate reporting.
This module focuses on the importance of data and data analytics in commercial and contract management, both to drive individual contract performance and to inform business policies and strategies at a macro level. On completion students will have an understanding of the importance for decision making of gathering and analysing data within a technological and dynamic environment. Critiquing the issues of data error and investigating levels of bias will be undertaken.
Introduction to business analytics on spreadsheets- collecting, analysing, interpreting and presenting data.
The role of emerging technologies in streamlining data flows and analysis, including automated contract execution. Risks and constraints associated with existing technologies.
Visualizing and exploring data with its analyses.
Investigating probability, sampling, averages, standard deviations and other tools of analysis.
Interpreting regression and correlation analysis.
Defining and explaining issues of accuracy- validity & reliability.
Using research and data within the business – challenge and change.
This module will enable students to apply prior learning as they explore with fresh eyes the dynamics, complexities, and relationships in the pre-award phase of contracting, in the context of the global environment. The module will also introduce key knowledge in psychology, sociology and negotiation skills, providing students with the tools for concluding a successful deal.
Understanding the key stages of concluding a successful deal – psychology, sociology, relationships.
Setting up the goals and anticipating challenges in the negotiation.
Preparing the negotiation and tenders.
Negotiation strategies and technologies; escaping the typical challenges of negotiations based on power or risk allocation.
Impacts of technology: physical, virtual and machine-based negotiations – how and when to use them (this will include an exploration of the use of AI to support machine-based negotiations).
The role of mediation, facilitation and third party intervention in the pre-award phase, including risks, benefits and management.
This module will provide students with the theories and principles of supply chain networks and the impact of the regulatory environment so that these can be critically investigated and analysed in the context of negotiating and implementing contracts, both locally and globally.
Introduction and systems thinking- the theories and principles.
Critical issues in effective implementation and management of contracts, including contract assurance.
Operations-oriented Strategy and innovation.
Operations Design and improvement: the learning organisation.
Operations management in practice: performance, change and renegotiation.
Fundamentals of information management / strategy from an ethical perspective.
Information management in practice within the digital and dynamic environment.
Contract design and operationalisation: enabling users to succeed.
This module will enable students to reflect on the reasons for contract under-performance and failures in the global fast-changing world, and to equip them with key knowledge and skill in anticipating, managing and solving situations where under-performance is occurring, or changes are threatening the relationship.
Understand and learning from contract failure: reasons, relationship and collaboration.
Anticipating and preventing contract failures: the warning signs.
Managing and rescuing failing contracts: loss reduction and opportunity seeking.
Negotiating and managing stakeholders in a failing environment.
Considerations in handling supplier or market failure: dealing with business continuity.
Strategies and mechanisms of contractual disputes, including options for dispute resolution.
This synoptic module draws together key themes and knowledge from the programme as a whole and aims to equip students with essential skills to understand and manage the main types of complex contract or organisational challenges in various industries through case studies, assignments, group projects and online exercises. It provides an opportunity for students to apply the knowledge and skills learned in previous modules to solve real-life problems in both a commercial and contracting context.
Designing policies, practices, processes and contracts to manage commercial complexity.
The role of commercial leadership in business strategies and decision-making for changing markets (case study one).
Managing pre-award of complex contracts (case study two).
Managing operation of complex contracts (case study three).
Managing and rescuing complex contracts (case study four).
Assessing and assuring commercial and contract capability in an organisational context (case study five).
The dissertation project provides the student with an opportunity to apply the skills and knowledge that they have acquired in the program to the resolution of a business problem, or to investigate an area of law / business or commercial practice that interests them (and their employer) further. The project can be organization-based, desk research based or entrepreneurial in nature.
When will the program begin?
Based on current plans, the 2 year part-time program will start in September 2019. The one year full-time course will not launch until September 2020.
How much will it cost?
The fees for the part-time course for EU candidates will be £14,000 (this is for the entire course, not per year). Subject to a qualification process, there is possibility of some financial assistance for self-funding students, covering up to 40% of the fees through scholarships.
How much of my time will it require?
For the typical student, we estimate an average commitment of 8-10 hours per week. Most of this will be remote learning, with a possibility of occasional live, on-line teaching or video-based teamwork. There will be physical classes held at Leeds University (School of Law or Business) three or four times a year. These will be weekend sessions.
Will my qualification have value?
Graduates will obtain an MSC (with possible option of LLM) as well as the chance to achieve IACCM Expert status. The interest from major employers indicates that this program will have tremendous career value. Several top international corporations have already indicated their intent to place select high performing employees on the program.
If I’m still interested, what should I do next?
Please contact us at email@example.com to register your interest. Over the next 2 months, we will be following up with those who register to discuss qualification criteria and to determine participation in the first learning cohort. Formal registration will begin in April.
Anything else to consider at this time?
Yes! If you want to explore the facilities at Leeds and meet some of the teaching staff, you can register to attend an Academic Symposium that will be hosted by the Law School on April 25th. This event will include presentations from senior industry representatives as well as featuring a number of top international researchers in the field of Commercial and Contract Management. Register interest for this at the same email address as above.
The fees for the part-time course will be £14,000 (this is for the entire course, not per year). Subject to a qualification process, there is possibility of some financial assistance for self-funding students, covering up to 40% of the fees through scholarships.
Based on current plans, the 2 year part-time program will start in September 2019, and the one year full-time course will launch in September 2020.