Programme structure

The online MBA programme has five core modules, three elective modules, a Personal Development Plan, and culminates in a choice of dissertation or consultancy project. The first module takes 12 weeks. Each subsequent module lasts eight weeks.

Core modules

  • Being a Leader

    Aim: To set the personal context for the programme and to introduce critical reflection, academic writing styles and self-awareness as important aspects of your journey to leadership.

    In this module, students will gain a better understanding of themselves as individuals, team members, potential leaders, managers, and learners. You will be asked to challenge and question yourself on your strengths and weaknesses, personal values and drivers, and management and leadership style, as well as to consider how you want to shape your future development. Differentiating between management and leadership, you will apply theories from both disciplines to your learning. In addition, the role of critical reflection in learning will be discussed.

  • The Organisation in a Strategic Context

    Aim: To encourage a long-term, resource-based perspective on organisational growth while remaining mindful of the potential threats of disruptive change from technological, commercial, political or environmental sources.

    The essence of strategy is to successfully achieve the appropriate fit between resources and environment, in an increasingly dynamic, culturally diverse and turbulent world. A key challenge for leaders is to develop organisations and networks that are resilient and sustainable. This module seeks to develop a critical approach, by exploring the development of key management disciplines and encouraging reflection on the purpose of business, and on different stakeholder perspectives, modes of organising and models for creating and exploiting value.

  • Finance and Accounting for Managers

    Aim: To provide a thorough understanding of the financial resources available to an organisation, and the ways in which these can be managed to add value; to teach the art of well-informed decision making.

    This module introduces the basic frameworks accounting and corporate finance, guiding students in reading, preparing and using financial statements, cash flow forecasts and cost-volume-profit (CVP) analyses. The role of the manager in relation to ethics, corporate social responsibility, corporate governance and stakeholder engagement will be critically evaluated. This module offers you the opportunity to gain confidence in strategic decision making and to apply and critically evaluate alternative investment appraisal techniques.

  • Market Perspectives

    Aim: To provide students with the tools and knowledge to gain a solid understanding of micro and macro business environments, and the role of marketing within strategic management.

    This module draws especially on the closely-related disciplines of strategy and marketing and deals with the macro and micro environments, and buying behaviour in consumer and industrial markets. As a student, you will focus on the issues typically associated with understanding the business environment, environmental and organisational analysis, preparation of a marketing plan, the components of strategic management and the role of marketing within the strategy process. The complexities of global marketing, particularly from an intercultural perspective, and the ethical issues involved in developing a marketing strategy are also covered.

  • Innovation and Change

    Aim: To develop an understanding of how context influences performance, and how organisations must change and learn as their context changes; to develop the skills to envision and achieve an organisation's sustainable future.

    With globalisation decreasing barriers to entry, and increasing quick imitation, organisations are looking more and more to innovation as a driver for sustainable success. This module compares and contrasts key theories of creativity and innovation, and focuses on the ways in which organisations can foster a climate of innovation and creativity in order to drive a sustainable competitive strategy. As a student, you will examine strategic challenges that companies face, including disruptive change and globalisation, as well as evaluate the concept of, and need for, a sustainable competitive advantage.

Elective modules

Choose three electives

  • Business Leadership

    Aim: To evaluate the role of a leader, and to look at leadership in a holistic manner.

    This module looks critically at the current interest in leadership and the emphasis on leadership in public and private organisations. Students will learn to evaluate leadership as a social process and analyse the situations in which leadership emerges. The role of a leader in an organisation is also covered, as is the impact of media on leadership.

  • Global Leadership

    Aim: To understand the implications and challenges faced by leaders operating in a global context; to set realistic targets for the development of students’ own leadership roles.

    This module emphasises the impact of different cultures on our understanding of leadership and on leadership practice within organisations. Students will develop an appreciation of the ways in which nations interrelate in the global economy and will explore the changing nature of international business and leadership. Examples of topics covered are: institutional and organisational influences on global leadership; the changing expectations and roles of global leaders in managing change; global economic factors and their impact on leadership.

  • Business in Emerging Markets

    Aim: To analyse and evaluate the concept of emerging markets and the business opportunities they provide while considering related issues around infrastructure, management, and corporate social responsibility.

    This module enables students to analyse the concept of emerging markets and to critically evaluate the business opportunities they provide. The roles of political, physical and cultural infrastructures are studied, along with managerial responsibilities and corporate social responsibility. As a student, you will also consider the different ways in which developed and developing markets view emerging markets, as well as the contrast between for-profit partnerships and not-for-profit partnerships.

  • Entrepreneurship

    Aim: To provide a solid foundation in both the theoretical underpinnings and the practical aspects of the entrepreneurial process.

    During this module, students will learn the nuts and bolts of the entrepreneurial process and explore the importance of entrepreneurship with regard to economic prosperity and global well-being. As a student, you will evaluate the concept of the entrepreneur as an ‘individual’ and assess how to identify and scrutinise business ideas. The importance of entrepreneurship in emerging economies is also analysed, as is the role of entrepreneurship in building the economic health and social fabric of nations. Additionally, the various legal forms of organising a new venture, completing the marketing plan, including the relevant research and strategies, are covered.

  • Financing the Entrepreneurial Organisation

    Aim: To provide students with an understanding of important financial tools and relevant methods of managing finance in the context of opportunity, risk, innovation, and the change-rich environment of the entrepreneur.

    Students will learn how to best compare and critically analyse alternative methods for financing so as to identify how to source finance for specific entrepreneurial ventures. In this context, the goals and objectives of different providers of financing/ funding will be discussed. As a student, you will learn to prepare a financing plan, determine the costs of capital and apply alternate methods of business valuation. You will also consider the connection between ethical behaviour, social responsibility and entrepreneurial strategy, as well as the link between entrepreneurship, innovation and wealth creation.

  • International Business

    Aim: To enable students to adapt their managerial and decision making skills in order to successfully lead multicultural and geographically dispersed global companies.

    This module explores various theories and models underlying the growth of international trade and globalisation. It analyses how businesses can organise, staff, capitalise, and successfully grow their international operations in a successful and ethical manner. As a student, you will learn to apply knowledge of international business-relevant concepts and content to practical problems within a global business environment. You will consider how various levels of the political and economic environment impact on global business strategy and decision making. In this module, you will also analyse the impacts of financial, logistic and supply chain decisions on globalisation strategy in the context of a real-world case study.

  • Investment Strategies

    Aim: To provide an overview of investment strategies in a global environment, as well as the tools and instruments used in analysis of international and domestic markets.

    By studying this module, you will become familiar with investment analysis terms and theories, and with processes involved in successful investment selection and portfolio management. The global financial crisis has encouraged some reassessment of theories about how financial markets work; as a student, you will critically evaluate this reassessment. This module also examines the ways in which news and information about companies, industries and the economy can affect the securities markets. Valuing different types of securities and forecasting movements in securities portfolios will also be covered.

  • Business Finance

    Aim: To familiarise students with theories, principles, tools, techniques and key areas of contemporary financing issues faced by corporations.

    This module invites students to critically reflect on the traditional corporate objective and its modern challenges. It covers various techniques of cash flow variations, the relationship between risks and return, practical problems of capital budgeting decisions, dividend policies, and capital structure. As a student, you will consider the capital market efficiency hypothesis and the various forms of market efficiency. You will also look more closely at mergers and acquisitions, as well as concepts such as corporate restructuring and reorganisation.

  • Consumer Behaviour

    Aim: To introduce students to the science of current behavioural theories and other approaches to mapping customer needs and wants. To evaluate the success of marketing strategies based on customer data.

    Expert analysis of consumer behaviour and specialised techniques for influencing consumers’ purchasing decisions are increasingly important elements in the development of marketing strategy. Consumers’ changing attitudes and needs play an ever-increasing role in companies’ product strategies. This module provides a scientific background and approach to this process, involving psychology, customer data, tactics and strategies for analysis. As a student, you will analyse the role and significance of external influences on consumer behaviour (reference groups, culture, technology, social media and family) and look at consumer behaviour from a multicultural perspective.

  • Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Emerging Markets

    Aim: To identify and assess major factors affecting entrepreneurship in emerging markets, and to understand the importance of entrepreneurship and innovation as an agent of economic and social change.

    This module covers the history and evolution of emerging markets, alongside theories of entrepreneurship in these markets and common barriers faced by entrepreneurs. Country-level and individual characteristics that support entrepreneurial ventures are analysed and students undertake feasibility studies in this context. The module also covers the different opportunities for entrepreneurial ventures in various emerging markets (i.e. China, India, Latin America, and Eastern Europe).

  • Financial Reporting

    Aim: to provide students with an overview of key areas of contemporary financial reporting, income measurement and corporate governance issues within a global framework.

    In line with the emphasis on application of knowledge throughout the online MBA programme, much of what is studied in this module is focused around your own practical experiences, or ‘real world’ case studies of organisations. Main areas of focus are: the different economic and accounting measures of income, advanced/published financial statements, current developments in the international financial reporting and auditing arenas, and their potential impacts on corporate governance.

  • Managerial Accounting

    Aim: To provide students with further understanding of the management accounting techniques that enable organisations to make strategic business decisions within a global setting.

    Building on the knowledge gained in Finance and Accounting for Managers, this module focuses on managerial accounting in strategic and operational decision making. Students will learn to critically evaluate how a balanced scorecard and strategy map can translate into financial, customer, process and learning deliverables. The module also covers cost flows within manufacturing, service and retail, non-profit and public sector organisations, as well as current management accounting issues, such as decentralisation and transfer pricing, as faced by large multinational corporations.

  • Operations Management

    Aim: To provide students with an understanding of the main operations management techniques and procedures, and contemporary operational issues in the manufacturing and service sectors.

    Students will learn to assess the characteristics of operations processes, models of operations management and the role that the discipline plays in corporate strategy. The direct link between operations decisions and the supply chain is covered, as are the various quality tools and techniques involved in Total Quality Management, ISO and Six Sigma approaches. Among other topics covered are strategy and competitiveness, process and product design, job design, planning of capacity, project management, total quality management, demand forecasting and aggregate planning, linear programming, inventory management, and the allocation of resources.

  • Project Management

    Aim: To identify the different roles of a project manager and project management in the various phases of a project life cycle, within the industrial, commercial and public sectors.

    This module provides an analysis of the generic discipline of project management, examining the tools and techniques used by project managers and exploring the differences and similarities between project management and general or line management. It offers theoretical and practical perspectives and discusses current and potential future developments in the area. Using simulated project scenarios, students will be able to test the application of knowledge and techniques in a practical context.

  • Services Marketing

    Aim: To introduce students to the unique factors that facilitate the marketing of non-tangible products and/or service offerings within the context of a private sector, public or not-for-profit/charitable organisation.

    Students will develop a clear understanding of the distinctive aspects of effective marketing of both services and hybrid service/product offerings. As a student, you will analyse the trends in today’s customer service relationship (CSR)-oriented organisations and assess the importance of customer loyalty and relationships in a services or hybrid setting. Creating an original services marketing plan on an approved topic is also part of this module. Organised around a four-part framework for developing effective service marketing strategies, this module is an extension of the core Market Perspectives module.

  • Strategic Human Resources

    Aim: To show different approaches to human resource policies, practices and objectives, and understand how organisational success can be achieved by aligning individual objectives with core business objectives.

    In this module, major themes and contemporary HR initiatives will be examined to offer you real insight and skills for your career as you understand the ways in which human resources management, the organisation, its people and its success are all interrelated. As a student, you will learn to recognise the importance of various elements – the labour market, performance management, strategic reward management and environmental analysis – for HR planning purposes, including retention. A range of approaches and models for the delivery of human resources management will be covered, including the nature of work, the employment relationship and the psychological contract.

Please note that current scheduling may be subject to change and that we cannot guarantee that all modules will be offered in every calendar year.

Personal Development Plan

Students will reflect on their progress as learners and on their individual professional journey in a Personal Development Plan which runs as a thread through the whole programme.

Dissertation or Consultancy Project

Students complete their MBA with either a dissertation or a consultancy project. An academic supervisor provides support throughout the research and writing process.

Dissertation

Students selecting the “dissertation” path will identify an appropriate research topic, critically select and apply appropriate research methodology and data collection methods to their chosen research topic, and demonstrate a rigorous understanding of the theory and literature relevant to the issues under investigation.

Consultancy project

Students will work on a specific project for an organisation. The organisation selected will function as the “client” and is normally an employer or another organisation with which the student is familiar. The aim of this path is to enable students to undertake a self-managed process of systematic practitioner inquiry within the management domain.

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