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Executive Master of Business Administration - MBA


Course Description

The Executive MBA is a taught programme delivered by experienced internal and visiting faculty, and complemented by guest practitioner speakers from industry and the professions. Over a two year period, the Executive MBA combines short intensive bursts of classroom interaction with online support. This programme will next commence in September 2018.

Successful businesses in the future will be those that can confidently and capably steer a path through a world characterised by intense competition, rapid technological development, economic turbulence and increasing resource insecurity.

Businesses need leaders who can think and act strategically in this volatile environment, managing the risk and challenges involved, but also spotting and seizing opportunities for efficiency, innovation and new business models. Businesses also need leaders who will act responsibly in delivering value to all stakeholders.

The Edinburgh MBA will prepare participants to progress with confidence into leadership roles in this new world. We will deepen participants’ understanding of how businesses and markets work, how value is created through innovation and marketing, how strategies are crafted, how businesses are financed, how performance is measured, how value is delivered efficiently and effectively, and how organisations should be governed, managed and led through change.

The programme aims to develop leaders who:

  • demonstrate a strategic mind-set and skill-set
  • recognise their role as responsible stewards of financial, social and natural capital
  • are capable of leading improvement, change and innovation in organisations
  • are confident and capable critical thinkers and decision-makers
  • have an international perspective
  • value and take advantage of the benefits of collaborative and lifelong learning

We will instil a passion for business improvement, innovation and entrepreneurial action to help participants lead in the growth or creation of new business opportunities. We will develop participants’ ability to think strategically and beyond disciplinary silos. Successful leadership also requires accomplished interpersonal skills to bring about change in organisations. Through coaching and skills training, we will work with participants to understand their leadership strengths and weaknesses and provide support for improvement.

Strategic Leadership Certificate

Starting in April 2017 we are offering a Postgraduate Certficate in Strategic Leadership. This offering will give experienced managers an alternative to the Executive MBA who perhaps are looking to develop themselves further but who cannot commit to a full Executive MBA.

For more information about certificate structure, entry requirements, fees and how to apply, please visit the Business School website.

Programme structure

The programme is delivered in a modular format and is next commencing in September 2018. The main taught part of the programme is delivered over 21 months, followed by completion of a Capstone Project. Participants will complete the full programme within 27 months.

The design of the modules reflects consideration given to the balance between participant and employer investment and maintaining work-life balance. For most participants, attending modules will mean taking one day a month from their normal working week and one day from their weekend with modules commencing Friday lunchtime and ending early Saturday evening.

Most of the core courses will run over three months, with one day per course on each of three weekends (with the exception of Strategic Leadership which will be taught in a series of three blocks across both years). Option courses will be delivered in the middle of Year 2 and will be taught in intensive one-week blocks. Between modules, participants will work on assignments and undertake further reading and study, supported by online resources and discussion forums.

The Executive MBA is primarily delivered in a classroom format, but learning is supported by extensive electronic resources and the opportunity to discuss ideas and concepts with colleagues and tutors through regular discussion forums. This Executive MBA is not a distance-learning programme: on-campus attendance at courses is required at regular intervals as outlined in the programme structure. You should verify your eligibility to study in the UK before applying.

The programme combines rigorous academic study with practical application. This is achieved both in the classroom through case studies but also via assessments that directly relate to the participants’ own organisations. There will also be opportunities to undertake consultancy-style project work with external organisations, to broaden participants’ insights into alternative business models and approaches.

Core courses include:

  • Strategic Leadership
  • Strategic Marketing
  • Organising for Effectiveness
  • Operations Improvement
  • Understanding Economies
  • Finance
  • Accounting
  • Leadership and Responsibility
  • Entrepreneurial Leadership
  • Creative Strategy
  • Leading Strategic Change.

Participants can also select from a range of option courses. Participants also undertake a major capstone project. In parallel with academic study, the programme is complemented by a Leadership and Professional Development programme and personal coaching.

Strategic Leadership Certificate: The programme will commence in April 2017 and finishes in February 2018. It incorporates a number of courses that are taught as week long or weekend intensive sessions. Full details of the schedule will be available shortly.

Career opportunities

The employment market is highly competitive but the Edinburgh MBA is distinctive and will provide participants with a competitive edge. MBA participants will also engage in a Leadership and Professional Development programme that includes personal diagnostics, career planning and skills enhancement designed explicitly to support participants in their pursuit of promotion or new careers.


Visit the Executive Master of Business Administration - MBA page on the University of Edinburgh website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Normally five years' substantive work experience in a managerial or supervisory position. Experience can be from any industry, including the public sector, charitable organisations or the arts.
UK 2:1 honours degree from a good university in any subject, or an equivalent overseas qualification.

If you do not meet the minimum academic requirement, you may still be considered if:

you have professional qualifications with substantial work experience; or
you do not hold a degree or professional qualifications but you have a very strong employment record demonstrating a high degree of responsibility.
All applicants must also meet our English language requirements.

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