Master of Business Administration - General MBA


Fact file

MBA Master of Business Administration - General
12 months full-time
Entry requirements
Other requirements
7.0 (no less than 6.0 in any element)

If these grades are not met, English preparatory courses are available
Start date
September (alternative January start offered for part-time)
Jubilee Campus
Tuition fees
You can find fee information on our fees table.


This AMBA-accredited course will develop the essential management skills required to meet and participate in the increasingly international business environment.
Read full overview

Designed to equip you with enhanced creativity and effective problem solving skills, our MBA programme will inspire and challenge you intellectually and help you to develop the essential management skills to meet and participate in the increasingly international business environment.

Studying alongside a peer group from over 20 countries, our MBA programme will enhance your learning process and cross-cultural awareness common to modern business through an advanced teaching and learning programme in management with a focused and practical application.

Through participation in group work with multicultural course members from varying industrial and commercial backgrounds, the programme is aimed at improving the decision making abilities of participants and producing managers of the highest quality.  

Delivered on a full-time basis over 12 months or part-time for between two to four years, the MBA programme consists of eight core modules together with a choice of four electives to tailor make your own version of the Nottingham MBA. It is completed by undertaking an individual or group management project.

A number of facilities are available to you as our commitment to our students and these include a dedicated careers officer, a personal tutor and a knowledgeable and friendly professional administrative team. 

Course-specific entry requirements

Applicants to the Nottingham MBA are a required to meet the following requirements: 

  • You must normally be a graduate of an approved University holding an honours degree or a relevant professional qualification considered equivalent to a first degree with honours
  • You are expected to have three years or more of full-time work experience with a management dimension (five years for the Executive MBA programme) preferably gained since graduating from your first degree
  • Provide two acceptable references - preferably one academic and one from business
  • Provide evidence of  English Language Proficiency with IELTS: 7.0 (no less than 6.0 in any element)

If you wish to focus on a particular area, we offer specialist programmes where you study the seven core modules, three specialist core modules, two electives and complete a management project relative to the specialism. 

Specialist areas include: 

  • Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Finance 

For further information, please see the MBA programmes website.

Key facts

The Nottingham MBA is globally ranked and the school is among the few in the UK to achieve both EQUIS and AMBA accreditations. We are recognised as one of the world's top schools for integrating sustainability issues into all our MBA programmes.

  • AMBA has accredited our MBA programmes since 1993, which ensures that all Nottingham MBA programmes meet rigorous quality standards AMBA
  • We are 10th in The Economist 'Which MBA Top 100' 2015 (74th worldwide)
  • We ranked 2nd in The Economist Executive MBA 2015 (21st worldwide)
  • The Business School, across all three campuses (UK, China and Malaysia), is EQUIS accredited by the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD) - one of the world's leading accrediting bodies for business schools
  • In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 we rank 6th for 'research power' out of 101 UK business and management institutions
  • We are ranked 12th in the UK in the QS World University Rankings 2016 (top 100 worldwide)

Course details

The MBA programme is an advanced course in management for aspiring participants seeking senior positions in industry, commerce and public services. 

The core subjects of the MBA will develop knowledge and skills in fundamental management disciplines. The elective subjects permit course members to concentrate in-depth on more specific subjects according to individual interests and career requirements.

The programme involves participation in group work with course members from many different industrial and commercial backgrounds and is aimed at improving the decision making abilities of participants and producing managers of the highest quality.

The MBA General programme consists of a set of core modules, a wide choice of elective modules, and a management project or group project; it is taught over one year, full-time or two to four year part-time. 

The core subjects ensure that all participants study essential areas of management. 

The elective modules and the management project allow you to build on these fundamental areas and tailor-make your own version of the Nottingham MBA. 

The semester-based part-time MBA is very flexible and can be spread over two to four years. This flexibility allows you to fit the MBA around your work and other commitments. 

Core modules are usually offered twice during an academic year, once during the day and once in the evening. To facilitate part-time working, most elective modules are offered in the evening every two to three years. Some elective modules are offered in a one-week intensive course, plus project work. 

Part-time course members take the same core modules and have the same choice of electives as full-time MBAs.

Each module is usually examined by assessed course work and/or a two-hour exam held after the end of the relevant semester.

Course members can usually choose up to two elective modules from the School's other MBA programmes.

The final stage of the MBA involves an individual management project or a group consultancy project with an individual management report.

This course is offered at The University of Nottingham's Jubilee campus in the UK or at our campus in Malaysia. In addition, the course can be taken on a part-time basis in Singapore as a result of a collaboration between the University and PSB Academy in Singapore.



Semester one

Core modules

Accounting and Finance

This module provides an introduction to the theory and practice of financial accounting and reporting, management accounting and finance. Both commercial and not-for-profit organisations will be considered.

Financial reporting is the process of presenting financial (and other) information to a range of stakeholders in order to ensure appropriate accountability and stewardship. Students will be encouraged to consider the need for integrityin financial accounting and reporting, and the potential limitations of regulation and standards.

Management accounting is concerned with the preparation and presentation of accounting information to aid managers in their jobs of planning, decision making and control. New and traditional management accounting techniques are analysed in the context of a changing management context with its emphasis on strategy, costing and performance metrics. The content of the module is aimed primarily at managers and not accountants.

The finance section emphasises two of the major financial decisions, the investment decision and the financing decision - where the money comes from and how it is best used within the organisation.  

The module aims to develop managers' understanding of (a) the theory and practice of external financial reporting by business organisations including the analysis and limitations of published financial reports, (b) the methods and limitations of costing and budgetary planning, (c) the principal theories of capital value and related investment decision-making.

Business Economics

In the mixed economy, society's productive resources are allocated by a mixture of planning (government and firms) and decentralised decision making (individuals and markets). The module provides an introduction to the economic analysis of resource allocation at the level of individual consumers, firms, markets and the overall economy to show how these alternative economic principles can be used to promote the optimal allocation of resources for society as a whole.

The economic theory of business provides a range of models and concepts, both at the micro and macro level, for the analysis of business activity to generate key insights into the operation of the market economy. Familiarity with the economic way of thinking about business and the economist's toolkit of principles and models is indispensable for today's successful business practitioner. The aim of the module is to introduce economic theory applicable to business and to enable participants independently to apply the theory to practical issues.

Managing People

The core topics covered by this course include leadership, power, group and teams, change, culture, learning, conflict, diversity and motivation.

Managing people is a course that draws principally on the field of Organisational Behaviour (OB). OB is a field of study that investigates the impact that individuals, groups, and structures have on behaviour within organisations for the purpose of applying such knowledge toward improving an organisation's effectiveness.


This module is designed to introduce the fundamental concepts of marketing and to help managers understand the ways in which these may be used in practice. The course examines: understanding the marketing concept; the role of marketing within business and it's contribution to business performance and enhancing value; developing marketing strategy; segmentation, targeting and positioning; managing the marketing mix; and planning and implementation. These subjects are taught and debated in such a way as to provide participants with a more critical perspective on modern marketing by encouraging students to evaluate their broader social impact.

The module aims to provide participants with an overview of marketing as a business function and with an understanding of the key issues in marketing management and marketing strategy.

Operations Management

This module provides a thorough grounding in concepts and principles that are essential for the successful management of operations in contemporary organisations. Module topics include: the role of the operations function and the major variables in managing operations; service operations management, including service systems design and queuing systems; quality concepts and the management of quality; supply chain management concepts including material and information flows, supply chain dynamics, forecasting, sales and operations planning, postponement and mass customisation; lean thinking, lean concepts and process excellence; project management concepts and methods.

The module aims to provide a thorough grounding in key concepts in contemporary operations. It is taught in a manner appropriate to an MBA audience and draws upon the latest management approaches and thinking.

Strategic Management

This module examines the process of strategic management, focusing on the nature of strategy formulation and implementation. The analysis of strategy concepts and case study examples will be used to develop awareness of the factors that must be considered in strategic decision-making. Topics include: strategic vision and mission, environmental and industry analysis; generic strategies; core competence; growth and diversification; internationalisation and the execution of strategy.

At the end of the module participants should be able to:

  • subject the concepts of strategic management to critical analysis
  • analyse the business and competitive environment
  • formulate competitive and development strategies drawing on relevant concepts and taking into account broader stakeholder issues
  • demonstrate an awareness of factors that must be considered in implementing strategy

Semester two

Core modules

Entrepreneurship and Creativity

Theorists and policy makers now understand the link between entrepreneurial activity and economic development, and creativity and innovation underpin all successful  entrepreneurship. Successful entrepreneurship is characterised by a set of identifiable skills that are useful in any domain, and these skills are best developed in an integrative and engaged environment, where theory can be practically applied. This module will use the Ingenuity creative problem solving model to integrate the content and simulate the entrepreneurial environment.

The module's focus will be on generating, evaluating and selling innovative ideas in a team context. Whilst led by academics, practitioner engagement will be central to the module's successful delivery. This will be achieved through a combination of guest lectures and mentoring by experienced entrepreneurs.

This module is designed to provide an insight into the nature of entrepreneurship and innovation in theory and practice. Students will be expected to apply the relevant theory presented on the module in a simulated entrepreneurial environment, of which the Ingenuity model will be the basis. The model provides students with the opportunity to investigate and experience the processes involved in creativity, alongside the generation, assessment and pitching of entrepreneurial ideas. Students will additionally benefit from significant engagement with experienced entrepreneurs and other practitioners.

Sustainable Decisions and Organisations

This module takes the form of a series of lectures, workshops, case studies and role play and is taken by all MBA students. The course integrates and reflects upon the interdisciplinary nature of the MBA programme and challenges students' understanding and application of the material presented on the core MBA modules. This is undertaken by focusing on the role of different business stakeholders in achieving economic and environmental sustainability - through an examination of their possibly contradicting and contradictory objectives, values and decision-making processes. We have a wide range of practitioners featuring in the course. The participants have to present and defend their integrated sustainable strategy to a real board, consisting of practitioners with experience of board membership. The students also have to run a real media conference consisting of journalists from the press.

The module aims to enable students to develop their business and management skills and to capture an integrated view of their learning across their programme of study.


Elective modules (choose four from a choice of):

Business Ethics

This module examines ethical issues and dilemmas, covering a range of complex and controversial problems relating to business in a global economy. The main concepts and theories underpinning the business ethics field will be introduced, and students shall have the opportunity to apply these to business situations. More specifically, the course explores pertinent issues of human rights, globalisation and sustainable development, and places these within different philosophical and cultural perspectives. The course also explores the role of professionals from an ethical perspective, and situates these explorations within a political-economic framework.

This module aims to provide students with knowledge of ethical issues involving business. In particular, it aims to provide students with knowledge regarding the existence of corporations in liberal democracies and ethical concerns surrounding multinational corporations and globalisation. Further to this, the module aims to develop the capacity of students to critically engage with issues of human rights, globalisation, and sustainable development, and the role that corporations play in politics. Ultimately, the aim of the module is to enable students to recognise and reflect upon complex ethical problems with a view to enhancing their analytical and decision-making skills.

Business Intelligence in the Digital Economy

This module explores the role of Business Intelligence (BI) in transforming the way companies strategise and organise for change to induce sustainable growth and innovation, new organisational forms, and intellectual property. BI is prevalently relevant to the digital economy. Being digitally fluent is a must to lead and manage, and to respond to changes in competition and markets.

Learning how to lead and manage digital initiatives and/or to identify digital opportunities; devising digital strategy to respond to changes in markets and competition; standing yourself in better stead by acquiring the core competences in digital thinking and implementation. 

Contemporary Themes in Marketing

The course is designed to introduce contemporary themes and issues in marketing, such as, the challenges of international marketing, the challenges of services marketing, the challenges of consumer behaviour, the challenges of business-to-business marketing, and the impact of relationship marketing. These subjects are taught and debated in such a way as to provide an opportunity for participants to consider the extent to which these contemporary themes affect marketing practices and to evaluate their broader social impact.

The aims of this module are to:

  • analyse how practice of marketing is heavily contingent on the environment and the context in which an organisation operates
  • investigate the challenges of marketing in an international context
  • investigate issues relating to the marketing of services
  • investigate issues relating to relationship marketing
  • investigate issues relating to marketing in a business-to-business context
  • investigate issues relating to consumer behaviour in practice
Corporate Finance

The module examines the ethical and practical justifications for the idea that companies should operate in the interests of shareholders and also the counter arguments in favour of a stakeholder perspective. The module then deals in turn with the major financial decisions made in organisations (capital budgeting, capital structure, dividends, mergers, working capital). Decisions are analysed first in the context of well functioning capital markets. Capital market imperfections and behavioural biases on the part of managers and investors are then considered.

The module aims to emphasise the importance of answering the question "In whose interests should organisations be run?" before beginning the process of financial decision making. The module also aims to develop the key skills of forecasting and valuing risky cash flows, and the ability to apply these skills in financial decision making contexts.

Corporate Governance and Social Accountability

This module examines theories of corporate governance, evaluating the evolution of traditional governance systems to provide incentives to managers. In this course, this theoretical framework is extended to address both the "triple bottom line and entire supply chain", in light of increasing demands for accountability, transparency, and social responsibility of managers and business. Issues such as sustainability management accounting/control, reporting, auditing, and verification are also examined and discussed, and the role of drivers such as reporting/governance codes and the investment community in enhancing organisational change toward a sustainable development are critically evaluated.

The module uses case study illustrations from various corporate contexts in South-East Asia, Germany and the UK. It provides insights into the implementation and use of new accountability and management tools, and imparts awareness of the role of these tools and practices in supporting managerial decision making and increasing transparency on environmental, social and sustainability performance.

The aim of this module is to acquaint students with the theory and practice of corporate governance particularly relating to social accountability and reporting. 

Entrepreneurship in Practice

Entrepreneurship in Practice will introduce students to the more practical elements of innovation and enterprise activity across multiple contexts, including not just new venture creation but corporate and social entrepreneurship as well. Whereas Entrepreneurship and Creativity focuses on idea generation and entrepreneurial theory, Entrepreneurship in Practice will prepare students to recognise opportunities, and to implement innovation and enterprising ideas. The ability to make informed and timely decisions will be an important aspect of this, and the module will use a start-up business simulation to encourage this.

The module will help students build skills across a number of areas central to the entrepreneurial experience, including the following:

  • Opportunity recognition, evaluation and exploitation
  • Innovation assessment and management
  • Environmental analysis
  • Understanding and managing risk
  • The strategy process
  • Market research and the marketing plan
  • Finance and funding
  • Intellectual property rights
Financial and Monetary Economics

This module provides an understanding of the overall workings of the economy and government policies toward employment, output, inflation and the balance of payments, focusing in particular on the monetary and financial aspects and the determination of interest rates and exchange rates.

The module aims to:

  • provide an understanding of the overall workings of the economy and of the impact on it of government macroeconomic and financial policies
  • provide a broad understanding of the role and functions of the financial system in the economy
  • focus on the monetary, financial and fiscal aspects of government policy, paying particular attention to the determination of interest rates, inflation rates and exchange rates
  • provide a brief introduction to contemporary macroeconomic and financial controversies
Games and Strategies for Business

This module provides an introduction to decision theory and the theory of games with particular emphasis on the application to business problems and managerial decision making. Participants are introduced to the main concepts and tools of the theory and the techniques of practical analysis of business ecision problems.

In addition, the module covers the main theoretical insights these approaches have produced into competition and conflict as well as co-operation and pro-social behaviour between economic and business decision makers.

The module aims to:

  • develop an understanding of the key concepts, models and tools of the theory of games
  • analyse the application of decision and game theory to business decision making
Innovation Management

This module covers the following:

  • What is Innovation Management? - definitions and models of the process
  • Innovation Strategy - the national and competitive environment; innovation processes within mulitinational firms; innovation processes within large public sector organisations; the systems of innovation specific to small high technology firms
  • Management techniques for innovation - shared vision, effective team working and a creative climate
  • Learning from Markets - marketing technological and complex products and learning through alliances
  • Integration of Approaches - Key themes, learning to manage and measure innovation and through the group presentations - Appraisal of innovation management within different organisations

The module aims to develop an understanding of the management of innovation from a number of perspectives. It is designed to: Examine innovation from an industrial perspective, showing how innovations of product, process and organisationsl structure can create and destroy markets. Together with focusing on innovatoin from an organisational perspective, showing how innovation can create and sustain a powerful compettive advantage; highlighting the managerial perspective, illustrting the skills and systems required to maintain innovation within different organisations and markets.

International Finance

This module examines contemporary developments in the practice of international financial management. It includes analysis of foreign exchange markets and international financial markets, including the international stock market, international banking and the Euromarkets. Emphasis is placed on discussion of risk management techniques to protect against both currency and political risks. Both long term international investment and financing decisions and short-term exporting decisions form part of the course.

Leadership and Management of Change

This module is about leadership based on the observation that the leadership needs of organisations vary by the stage of the organisations existence. Leading an entrepreneurial start-up requires different skills from leading a mature organisation. Consequently organisations need to be aware of their progress through the organisation's lifecycle and evolving needs. This course examines the stages of an organisations existence and the associated evolving leadership needs, plus additional situations such as leading in a crisis.

The module focuses on identifying leadership needs and the necessary decisions together with the appropriate leadership style. As a secondary theme there will also be a number of sessions focussing on leadership qualities and styles which will encourage participants to reflect on their own development as leaders. A number of models of leadership are considered and different leadership perspectives. Understanding of the concepts is achieved predominantly but not exclusively through the use of case study material.

Management Consulting

This module enables students to understand how consultancy operates in organisations, what it means to be an effective internal or external consultant, and how to manage consultants. Social impacts are addressed by examining the relationships between consultants and clients, and the ethics of consultancy.

By the end of the module, participants will have studied and practised:

  • how consultancy operates in organisations
  • how to be an effective internal consultant
  • how to be an effective external consultant
  • how to manage consultants
  • the particular issues involved in the major functional sectors of consulting, both from the point of view of experts in each function and that of others hiring and managing advisers in each function
Managing the Global Firm

This module examines both the strategic and operational decisions that managers must make in order to engage in global activities. While the relevant theories are discussed from the outset, the emphasis is on a practical approach to the complexities of the international environment, with particular reference to international strategy, marketing goods and services internationally and international finance. 

The module aims to facilitate understanding of the complexity of international business operations and the development of appropriate business policies and strategies to meet stakeholder needs within a changing international environment.

Managing the Human Resource

Content to be confirmed.

Portfolio Management and Investment Analysis

The module examines the risk and return characteristics of classes of financial securities (equities, bonds, derivatives) and the processes and consequences of combining these securities in portfolios. The traditional mean-variance approach is extended in two ways, first by recognising that return distributions may not be well described by mean and variance, and secondly by examining the possibility that investors take into account non financial, ethical concerns in their porfolio building decisions. Any finance module, and a portfolio management module in particular, needs, post 2008, to reflect (and to reflect on) the gap between textbook treatments and "the real world". Standard textbook treatments offer "the efficient markets hypothesis", "the capital asset pricing model" and "the Black Scholes model" in a relatively uncritical way, but post 2008 these models have been ridiculed in the financial press as "unrealistic". This major difference of opinion is examined in the module.

This module aims to introduce students to different classes of financial instruments, to identify relevant data sources for financial returns, to explain how pattern in returns can be investigated, to show how financial instruments can be combined in portfolios, and to show how the performance of portfolios and portfolio managers can be measured.

Social Entrepreneurship

Content to be confirmed.

Strategic Change in Dynamic Markets

Traditional approaches to competitive advantage are being reconsidered in the context of rapidly changing business and competitive environments. In many cases previous bases of competitive advantage have been found wanting as the speed of technology, political, economic and social change increases. How do businesses combat and seek advantage in rapidly changing markets? How should competitors develop forms of competitive advantage which can adapt and survive in a rapidly changing environment?

This module considers and extends theory previously visited in the first 'Strategic Management' module and introduces a number of different strategic approaches in the context of agility in turbulent and transient markets. The module will be taught through discussion, theory and case studies. It will also retain a practical engagement throughout.

Venture Capital and Private Equity

Business start-ups, second stage financing and management buy-outs are all encompassed by Venture Capital and Private Equity. The module looks at the variety of uses of this type of finance and the growing number of sources available. Structures of deals, analysis and preparation of business plans, exit rates and assessing the entrepreneur are all covered in this module.

The module aims to:

  • provide an understanding of the operation of venture capital from the perspectives of both the lender and the borrower
  • consider the issues relating to venture capital for both new start-ups and established businesses
  • give first hand experience in development of a business plan, formulating a proposal and analyse the proposition through case studies and worked examples

Plus - Management Project.

Please see the Business School website for further details.

The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result may change for reasons of, for example, research developments or legislation changes. This list is an example of typical modules we offer, not a definitive list.



Funding may be available through the Business School.

UK/EU students

Funding information can also be found on the Graduate School website.

International and EU students

The University of Nottingham offers a range of masters scholarships for international and EU students from a wide variety of countries and areas of study.

Applicants must receive an offer of study before applying for our scholarships. Applications for 2017 entry scholarships will open in late 2016. Please note the closing dates of any scholarships you are interested in and make sure you submit your masters course application in good time so that you have the opportunity to apply for them.

The International Office also provides information and advice for international and EU students on financing your degree, living costs, external sources of funding and working during your studies.

Find out more on our scholarships, fees and finance webpages for international applicants.



Career destinations for graduates include advertising and marketing executives, management consultants, personnel managers, solicitors and university lecturers.

Companies and organisations our graduates have gone on to work for include Accenture, Apple, Bosch, Credit Suisse, Deloitte, Ernst & Young, Santander and Wipro Technologies. For further information on salaries and employment for MBA and MSc programmes please visit our website.

Average starting salary and career progression

In 2013, 94% of full-time MBA graduates in Nottingham University Business School who were seeking employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average post MBA salary was £44,207 with the highest being £63,000.*

This reflects the higher salaries earned by our MBAs who have at least three years professional experience prior to undertaking their studies. 83% of the 2013 MBA class that were seeking work had accepted job offers within three months of graduating.*

*Data collected by the Nottingham University Business School during December-March 2014 on all 2013 MBA graduates.

Career prospects and employability

The acquisition of a masters degree demonstrates a high level of knowledge in a specific field. Whether you are using it to enhance your employability, as preparation for further academic research or as a means of vocational training, you may benefit from careers advice as to how you can use your new found skills to their full potential.

Our Careers and Employability Service will help you do this, working with you to explore your options and inviting you to attend recruitment events where you can meet potential employers, as well as suggesting further development opportunities, such as relevant work experience placements and skills workshops.

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