Case study

Accounting and marketing students work with Chatsworth

Every year, our undergraduate accounting and marketing students get the opportunity to apply their learning through a project for Chatsworth House, the popular Derbyshire visitor attraction.

The accounting project

Since 2018, students on all of our undergraduate accounting degrees have been taking part in a project for Chatsworth House, which contributes to their assessment for the module ‘Management Accounting Performance Evaluation’. The topic changes each year depending on what Chatsworth wants, but students have so far been asked to consider the following from a management accounting perspective:

Our students visit Chatsworth for a day to conduct research, listen to presentations by senior leaders and ask questions. They then produce their assignment, which can take the form of a presentation or report. The six students who produce the best pieces of work are invited back to Chatsworth to present to senior leaders and have a discussion with them.

The impact

Our contacts at Chatsworth tell us that they value this project because it links with their educational goals as a charity, and because they benefit from hearing the students’ fresh ideas, which are not restricted in any way by the organisation. This gives their own team new ideas.

The project also positively impacts students, helping to build their employability and enterprise skills. They enjoy the project and frequently tell us that they use it in interviews and on their CVs. For instance, one graduate - now working as a Finance Assistant - said:

"I used [the Chatsworth project] as an example in quite a lot of my job hunting and [it] was a feature of my CV…I used it to show my ability to work and communicate and produce something like a report…and therefore highlight my skills in relation to following directions and meeting the needs of a ‘client’.”

Another graduate - now working as a commercial analyst for the British Council - even explained how the project has helped them in their career:

“I have used some of the techniques of team working and team dynamics when working and managing cross-functional teams. Particularly in getting input from team members who may be shy to speak up in meetings or are overshadowed by extroverts…The trip to Chatsworth House was the first time I experienced truly working in a diverse team.”

Hear more student feedback in this video

Accounting fieldtrip video

View Accounting fieldtrip video video transcript

The marketing project

Students on our undergraduate marketing degrees take part in a similar project for Chatsworth as part of their module ‘Services and Experiential Marketing.’ Their brief is to evaluate the overall visitor experience at Chatsworth, and to produce a one-minute promotional video, which tries to convey what it’s like to visit.

The group accompanies accounting students on the day trip to Chatsworth, listening to the same presentations by senior leaders, and asking marketing-related questions. However, their real focus that day is to film footage for the video. Following the visit, they are also required to write a report, which applies theories from the module to Chatsworth House.

The impact

This project is very popular with students. It enables them to apply their learning around service organisations and experiential marketing to a real visitor attraction. It helps them recognise the challenges of marketing service organisations, and they learn how to recognise, capture and theoretically enhance the customer experience. The students also improve their video production skills, such as planning shots, telling a story and editing.  

Here are some student comments about this module, taken from anonymous surveys:

“There is no better way to find out how Experiential Marketing works than by going to a place (in our case Chatsworth) and then having to analyse the experience.”

“The trip gave the assessments more weight as we could see the effects that we could have on a real organisation.”

Two professionals discuss ideas around a laptop

More examples of student projects for business

See five more examples of how Business School students have worked on real projects for companies and charities as part of their learning. These have had a positive impact on both the students and the organisations involved.

Take a look at our case studiesTake a look at our case studies

Get involved

To find out how your business could benefit from being involved in a project like this, contact our Employer and Community Engagement team:

T: +44 (0)800 001 5500