Triangle

Course overview

Around the world there is growing employer demand for masters-level business professionals. Our full-time MBA programme will help you develop key theoretical concepts as well as how to adapt and utilise skills in a practical global business environment.

You'll study core modules covering essential areas of management including leadership, marketing, finance, and entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship education is among our foremost strengths, and you will take part in the Ingenuity process - a unique method for encouraging creative problem solving, developed by our Haydn Green Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. You can also focus on your interests and career goals by choosing from specialist optional modules, covering topics including venture capital, ethics, business intelligence, and change management.

You will also complete a company-based management project, working with a company to help them to resolve real business issues. This is an opportunity to put knowledge into practice, impress a potential employer, and foster good relationships from which you may benefit at a later date.

Market-leading digital systems by SAP are integrated into this course to help demonstrate industrial practice and develop your digital skills. You also have the option to take industry-recognised digital professional qualifications by Microsoft and SAP alongside your course, which will help you stand out to future employers.

A fundamental part of your learning and development is through group work. We provide a management and interpersonal skills programme that all MBA students take part in, helping you form social networks and ease your return to academic life. Working with talented peers from different professional and cultural backgrounds will help you develop a global perspective.

The course includes many opportunities for practical experience and networking, including our international study tours (dependent upon any travel restrictions) where you’ll gain direct experience of global business through meetings with executives, company visits, and sessions with experts. Our unique connections with China and Malaysia also offer a fantastic opportunity to learn about the essentials of doing business in these countries. You’ll also visit companies in Nottingham and London as part of our Business Practice Week to learn first-hand about different types of businesses, their current challenges, and how these relate to the theory you’re studying.

Your personal and professional development is an ongoing conversation throughout the MBA. We offer a range of career development activities to help plan your next career move based on your individual experiences, skills, interests and aspirations. You’ll graduate with all the knowledge, practical skills and confidence you need to stand out to employers and progress as a business leader.

Why choose this course?

4th in the UK

and top 70 worldwide for best full-time MBA

Top 35 in the world

for best MBA for sustainability

Gain digital skills

We integrate market-leading digital systems by SAP into our courses and offer the opportunity to take industry-recognised Microsoft and SAP certifications at significant discounts from the open market rate

Triple accredited

Part of an elite group of business schools worldwide to gain ‘triple crown’ accreditation

EQUIS, AMBA and AACSB accredited

Course content

Our MBA aims to:

  • improve your leadership skills
  • build your practical management capabilities through engagement with business
  • encourage a creative and entrepreneurial approach to problem solving
  • develop your understanding of responsible and sustainable business practices
  • cultivate a global perspective through a mix of teaching, teamwork and opportunities for overseas business visits

The course consists of core and optional modules, and an individual or group company-based management project.

You will take modules that will put you at the head of a management team, allowing you to develop innovative solutions to problems and crises that may threaten the operation and reputation of a business.

Throughout your MBA, you will encounter senior business figures, practitioners and internationally renowned academics. They will challenge your approach and understanding of important strategic business decisions.

Modules

Core modules

Semester one

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. You will be encouraged to consider the need for integrity in 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.  

Business Economics

The economics way of thinking about business and the economist’s toolkit of principles and models is indispensable for today’s successful business practitioner. This module introduces economic theory applicable to business and enables students to apply this theory to practical everyday issues, and case examples from different industries. This includes, for example, the impact of greater environmental awareness on energy consumption and production in the short-run and long-run, and its effect on interrelated markets. We encourage MBA students to bring and to apply their own industry experience and case examples to the learning on this module.

The module addresses the impact of innovation on markets. We identify different types of products and process innovation in goods and services, and examine the impact on firm competitiveness of research and development and changing patterns of consumption (for example, new lifestyle choices and green consumer trends).

Leadership, People and Organisational Capability

This module explores key contemporary issues in organisational behaviour and the management of people in diverse and dynamic contexts. The topics covered will include employee motivation, leadership and working in teams, power and politics, conflict, change, culture, inclusion and contemporary challenges for an emerging industrial age.

Marketing

The module offers an overview of the nature and practice of marketing at both the strategic and tactical levels. You will be introduced to a variety of conceptual frameworks and will be expected to apply them in relation to case study companies and your own business experience.

Key themes to be addressed include:

  • the nature and role of marketing and marketing management
  • connecting with customers and building strong brands
  • shaping and managing the marketing offering
  • communicating and delivering value
Operations Management

The design and management of operations are crucial for the success of organisations, whether in industry, the service sector, the public sector, or the ‘not-for-profit’ sector. Well designed and well managed operational systems that align with an organisation’s strategy are central to achieving and sustaining high levels of performance. The Operations Management module provides an introduction to fundamental topics, concepts, frameworks, and methods relevant to contemporary practice. Areas covered include managing projects, managing quality, supply chain concepts, operations planning, and managing service systems.

Teaching combines, lectures, cases and group exercises and is supported by sessions in the business practice week. The critical importance of strong sustainable operational processes is highlighted throughout, stressing lean thinking and process excellence. Both strategic and operational perspectives are emphasised. The module is assessed by an examination and a group exercise, which offers each group the opportunity to pursue a topic directly relevant to them.

Strategic Management

Strategic management is central to any organisation. This module covers the fundamental theory and frameworks of strategic management. We use case studies, insights from our own research, from guest speakers and from your own management experience to develop and interrogate your understanding. You will gain insight into how your organisation can formulate and implement strategies to achieve competitive advantage.

We challenge preconceptions and introduce you to key debates, whilst equipping you with an understanding of context and critical awareness in the application of key concepts – for example strategic purpose, external and internal environmental analyses, business and corporate strategies, and innovation and international strategies.

Semester two

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.

Sustainable Decisions and Organisations

This module integrates and reflects upon the interdisciplinary nature of the programme and challenges your understanding and application of the material presented on the core 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 module. You will have to present and defend your integrated sustainable strategy to a real board, consisting of practitioners with experience of board membership. You will also run a real media conference consisting of journalists from the press.

Summer

Management Project

All MBA students complete a management project, giving them the opportunity to put theory into practice. You spend up to six months on a management project exploring current business issues and applying the theories and techniques learned during your MBA to resolve them.

You have three options. Either:

  • apply for a project with a real business (company-based management project)
  • do a desk-based project
  • write a business plan

The specific topic is subject to an approval process. Course members enrolled on a specific MBA variant must undertake a Management Project related to their named variant.

Optional modules

Four from:

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 you shall have the opportunity to apply these to business situations.

More specifically, the module explores pertinent issues of human rights, globalisation and sustainable development, and places these within different philosophical and cultural perspectives. The module also explores the role of professionals from an ethical perspective, and situates these explorations within a political-economic framework.

Business Intelligence in the Digital Economy

This module focuses on the key digital technologies that are producing revolutionary change in business right now. Wherever you work – finance, retail, government, manufacturing, consultancy or any service role – your industry and your job is being changed by disruptive technologies as organisations become data-driven.

New uses of data are radically changing how firms produce products and services, how they interact with customers and how they partner together. But the change has just started – this module can help you take advantage of the changes to come.

We will look at the underlying business ideas which drive and make use of technologies like big data analytics, The Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, social media, Web 2.0, and cloud computing. We will discuss how they are being used by different firms to transform their capabilities, their business models and their performance. We will look at how to use these technologies in business examples, the firms that you are interested in and in your own jobs.

Contemporary Issues in Management

This module aims to promote self-directed learning on emerging issues for the future of management. You will be consulted on potential topics during semester one and the process explained. You will be expected select a topic for your studies from a selection that should demonstrate the relevance and importance of the topic for your future business ambitions or personal career development.

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.

Games and Strategies for Business

Game theory is used to analyse and predict the outcomes of complex situations involving strategic interactions, ie interactions in which the right choice for us depends upon the choices made by others, and our choices affect how others behave. Managers face strategic interactions within the firm (with other divisions and subordinates) and outside the firm, with suppliers, competitors, customers, regulators, and even capital markets. Examples include pricing decisions in oligopolistic markets, entry or exit decisions, incentive schemes, and optimal timing to release information.

In this module, you will learn the essential tools of game theory, discover their use by applying them to a variety of business situations and cases, and find out which are its limitations. It aims at developing your ability to think ahead and to take into account other people’s possible responses to your actions. More importantly, we’ll discuss how to choose or design the best “game”. After all, “successful business strategy is about actively shaping the game you play, not just playing the game you find” (Brandegurger and Nalebuff, 1995).

Innovation Management

The aim of this module to understand the different factors that support innovative performance within firms. First, we look at innovation from an industrial perspective, showing how innovations of product, process and organisational structure can create and destroy markets. Then we consider innovation within an organisation, showing how innovation can be used to address social, environmental and governance challenges. Finally, we look at innovation from a managerial perspective, highlighting the entrepreneurial practices necessary to sustain innovation. We draw upon live cases of innovation within small, fast-growing firms and learn from approaches used to re-vitalise larger firms.

Participants choose which firm they wish to work upon and research the historical innovation performance of that firm and recommend a change programme for senior managers to act upon. This equips participants with the knowledge to manage innovation within their sector of interest and helps build their capability to respond to uncertainty and change.

International Study Tour

The International Study Tour (IST) offers an exciting opportunity to appreciate the dynamics of contemporary business practice in an international context. It comprises a mixture of preparatory classroom learning and research, and field visits to organisations in the destination country, and meetings with senior managers.

The IST provides a great opportunity to reflect on the application of theory to practical business management issues in different environments, namely national, corporate and consumer cultural contexts and business environments. A range of sectors, industries, and company sizes are included to maximise alignment to students’ interests.

The IST has visited USA and China. The destination each year is based on the benefit that the destination country adds to the experience but may be affected by regulatory and logistical constraints. Assessment mirrors the innovative nature of the module and includes reflection on personal learning.

Leadership and Change Management

The module will include the following topics:

  • The meaning, nature and evolution of the field of leadership in an organisational, social, environmental and multi-cultural context
  • Critical issues in leadership, including how leaders are selected, development tools that are available, and issues of evaluation - leadership development, styles, motivations and competencies
  • Leadership skills for building teams and securing involvement and participation - working collaboratively, ethically and effectively to support a partnership approach to leadership and management development
  • Leadership and strategic change - the key roles that leaders play in creating visions and strategies and the implementation of leadership and management strategies to meet current and future organisational demands
  • Leadership and sustainable strategic management
  • Leading change - how leaders influence and persuade others and the key challenges that organisations and individual managers face
Project Management

Varying in size and type, projects are literally everywhere. They are vital to all sectors and all business functions and are key platforms for improved performance and enhanced competitiveness. However, many projects are not easy to plan, manage or control, and may fail; they may overshoot the deadline, go over budget, or not meet the specifications. Risks and uncertainty and the choice of the right methodology, further complicate planning and control and affect the chances of successful project completion.

The module develops knowledge of the most important project planning and control methods and techniques, both traditional and contemporary. It enhances understanding on how the variety of project management methods work through in-class applications, readings, and the use of relevant software. It addresses broader issues and challenges of managing projects successfully, including stakeholder engagement and management, risk and uncertainty, the contribution of projects to innovation, and the development of a portfolio strategy.

Strategic Market Relations: Building, Managing and Leveraging Market Relationships

Why focus on business-to-business marketing? It is believed that between 50% and as much as 80% of all marketing related jobs and associated economic activity are in business markets. New perspectives in business marketing have emerged that focus on intangible resources, the co-creation of value, and relationships in networks of organisations rather than the traditional buyer-seller dyadic view of markets and marketing.

The aim of this module is to provide an introduction to the main theoretical and managerial concepts and issues in the area of business-to-business marketing and strategic market relations. We explore the complex dynamics of networked relationships between buying and selling organisations. Such networks offer organisations the opportunity to learn and create value in novel and innovative ways. However, they also constrain the actions of individual organisations in the network. Thus, strategic market relations require firms to understand how to build, manage, and leverage their market relationships.

Venture Capital and Private Equity

Venture Capital and Private Equity (VC&PE) provide risk capital to firms at various stages of their life cycle, from selecting early-stage young firms to identifying late-stage investment opportunities such buyouts.

This module examines how VC&PE firms operate from both the investor and investee perspective. It looks at due diligence, firm section, structuring deals, valuation, managing portfolio firms, and exit. Cases discussed range from seed funding to management buyouts (MBOs) and bolt-ons to turnarounds and are often accompanied by industry experts in class.

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on Friday 16 September 2022.

Learning and assessment

How you will learn

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Workshops

You will receive expert tuition in small diverse classes, combining teaching based on innovative current research with a practical understanding of how to lead teams and businesses.

You will develop teamwork skills in group work, engage with businesses and organisations and take part in a personal and professional development programme.

Highlights of your learning experience include:

  • international study tours - experience different cultures and realise the direct impact of differing environments on business, taking you from the classroom to the real world
  • Business Practice Week - attend company visits in Nottingham and London, learning more about current business challenges and how these relate to theoretical concepts
  • the Ingenuity process – take part in a unique method for encouraging creative problem solving, developed by our Haydn Green Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  • the company-based management project - work with a company or organisation helping them to resolve real business issues

Embedding digital professional skills

We are working with some of the world’s leading business software providers - SAP and Microsoft – to integrate their systems into our courses. With 75% of employers reporting a shortage of digital skills in their workforce (QS World University Rankings 2020), we will help you gain a working knowledge of how to use data, AI and Cloud so you can develop the skills that employers are looking for in graduates.

We also offer the opportunity for you to take industry-recognised Microsoft and SAP certifications alongside your degree programme at significant discounts from the open market rate. This will enhance your digital capability, differentiate your CV and help you stand out to future employers. Find out more on our digital professional skills website or watch our video.

How you will be assessed

  • Examinations
  • Essay
  • Project work

Modules are assessed by a combination of exams and coursework at the end of the relevant semester.

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2023 entry.

Undergraduate degree2:1 (or international equivalent) in any discipline. We will also consider applications from graduates with good approved university honours degrees as well as those with significant professional experience or qualifications that have the potential to enhance the diversity of the MBA class.
Work experience

Admission to our full-time MBA requires at least three to five years of post-graduation full-time work experience that includes some management experience. The application process will include an interview.

Applying

Spaces on this course are limited and, as such, applications will open in the following windows:

  • 22 July 2022 to 26 September 2022
  • 24 October 2022 to 30 November 2022
  • 16 January 2023 to 6 March 2023

Please note that this is a highly competitive course and there are a limited number of places available. The school reserve the right to close this course to applications when capacity is reached, and early applications are encouraged.

Our step-by-step guide covers everything you need to know about applying.

How to apply

Fees

UK fees are set in line with the national UKRI maximum fee limit. We expect fees for 2023 entry to be confirmed in August 2022.

Additional information for international students

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you may be asked to complete a fee status questionnaire and your answers will be assessed using guidance issued by the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) .

These fees are for full-time study. If you are studying part-time, you will be charged a proportion of this fee each year (subject to inflation).

Additional costs

All students will need at least one device to approve security access requests via Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). We also recommend students have a suitable laptop to work both on and off-campus. For more information, please check the equipment advice.

As a student on this course, you should factor some additional costs into your budget, alongside your tuition fees and living expenses.

You should be able to access most of the books you'll need through our libraries, though you may wish to purchase your own copies or more specific titles.

Funding

Business School MBA scholarships

There are many ways to fund your postgraduate course, from scholarships to government loans.

We also offer a range of international masters scholarships for high-achieving international scholars who can put their Nottingham degree to great use in their careers.

Check our guide to find out more about funding your postgraduate degree.

Postgraduate funding

Careers

We offer individual careers support for all postgraduate students.

Expert staff can help you research career options and job vacancies, build your CV or résumé, develop your interview skills and meet employers.

Each year 1,100 employers advertise graduate jobs and internships through our online vacancy service. We host regular careers fairs, including specialist fairs for different sectors.

International students who complete an eligible degree programme in the UK on a student visa can apply to stay and work in the UK after their course under the Graduate immigration route. Eligible courses at the University of Nottingham include bachelors, masters and research degrees, and PGCE courses.

Graduate destinations

Our in-house Postgraduate Careers Team provides expert advice and guidance so that you can make an informed decision about the right career path for you.

Prior to commencing your MBA, you can take part in pre-course careers discussions and take advantage of remote and online support through an online assessment tool which helps you to evaluate your business interests and motivations.

Once on the programme, the MBA Personal and Professional Development Programme combines career exploration and skills development. This is complemented by one to one career coaching.

Increasingly, graduates are required to be cloud and data-ready for the workplace with 66% of employers wanting to see graduates achieve professional qualifications as well as their main degree (CMI 21st Century leaders report). The school works with some of the world’s leading business software providers including SAP and Microsoft, integrating their systems into our courses, as well as offering the option to take their globally recognised professional digital qualifications alongside your course. Our Digital Centre of Excellence will support you so that you can develop the digital skills necessary to pursue your chosen career and stand out to future employers.

Our support continues throughout your time at Nottingham and after you graduate. Business School postgraduates also have access to events and resources provided by the Careers and Employability Service.

Our MBA provides an excellent platform for career enhancement, career change or entrepreneurial activities.

Graduate destinations include:

  • management consulting
  • finance and accounting
  • human resources
  • marketing/sales
  • information technology
  • operations and logistics

Companies and organisations our graduates have gone on to work for include Accenture, Apple, Bosch, Credit Suisse, Deloitte, EY, Fidelity Bank, HSBC, JP Morgan, Red Cross and Santander Group.

Some MBA graduates return to their previous employer in a more senior role. Our Ingenuity Lab has also supported a number of our MBA graduates in starting their own company.

Career progression

86.2% of postgraduates from Nottingham University Business School secured graduate level employment or further study within 15 months of graduation.* Average salary uplifts for our full-time MBA graduates have ranged from 40% to 64% (2015- 2018 period).

Our MBA programme has enabled many of our graduates to experience career enhancements and career changes, and some have gone on to start up their own business or onto PhD studies.

We are 1st in the UK for salary increase and top 10 in the UK for salary and potential to network, as well as 12th in the world for personal development and educational experience in The Economist MBA 2021.

* HESA Graduate Outcomes 2019/20 data published in 2022. The Graduate Outcomes % is derived using The Guardian University Guide methodology.

EQUIS accredited

The Business School is EQUIS accredited.

AMBA accredited

The Business School is AMBA accredited.

AACSB accredited

The Business School is AACSB accredited. 

Two masters graduates proudly holding their certificates
" The Business Practice Week was very well timed and each of the visits made a lot more sense with what we’d learned the month before. The businesses we visited were very varied and helped us with a wider perspective on different kinds of businesses. It was one of the highlights of the MBA programme. "
Priyadarshini Pai, MBA

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This content was last updated on Friday 16 September 2022. Every effort has been made to ensure that this information is accurate, but changes are likely to occur given the interval between the date of publishing and course start date. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply.