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Master of Business Administration (MBA)

Course Description

Master of Business Administration (MBA)

This internationally recognised MBA course is designed for practising managers aspiring to higher positions. The emphasis for your learning is directly rooted in management practice – the ‘master’ in the degree title signifies your ‘mastery’ of the art and science of management. To achieve this level of capability the programme concentrates on strategic analysis, interdisciplinary skills, intellectual stimulation and independent judgement and builds these upon a solid foundation of core disciplines, including human resource management, organisational behaviour, accounting and finance, marketing and operations.

The MBA course is designed as an integrated programme, and balances your learning time between 75% of compulsory elements (including the final organisation-based project) with 25% from optional modules. This enables you to adjust the curriculum to suit your needs. MBA modules are challenging but will always direct you towards improving your management capabilities. You will need to have some experiential knowledge at a managerial level and/or of decision-making, so that you have a practical business base on which to build your MBA learning.

You will learn to analyse, synthesise and evaluate a wide range of situations within the broad framework of organisations, their external context and internal management. Among these you will look at economic, environmental, social and technological change issues, corporate governance, markets and customers, managing resources and operations, financing organisations, management and development of people, developing information technologies for application in business and management within a global knowledge-based economy, and development of appropriate business policies and strategies within a changing context to meet stakeholder interests.

The Open University Business School is accredited internationally by the EFMD Quality Improvement System (EQUIS); by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB); and the MBA is accredited by the Association of MBAs (AMBA). Only a select group of less than 60 business schools worldwide have this triple-accredited status.

MBA stage 1: management: perspectives and practice

Compulsory module:

This MBA module is framed within the complex and challenging nature of twenty-first century management. Its dual aims are to help you build on your current understanding of management and enable you to develop and improve your practice of managing. This module is a year-long programme of professional development which requires your active engagement with a wide variety of materials, activities and resource to enlarge your knowledge of the functions of management and make a real difference in your own context of managing.

Vocational relevance

The module is designed for professionals from a wide range of contexts and backgrounds who need actively to engage with the challenges of twenty-first century management, to develop their management skills and knowledge of management frameworks, theories and tools and to use these appropriately in order to make a real difference in their own practice.

Stage 2

Compulsory modules:

The dynamics of strategy

If you’re currently engaged in strategic decision-making, or will be in the future, this module will stimulate your imagination and inform your judgement. An understanding of the frameworks of strategy and an ability to use them imaginatively will help your organisation survive in the longer-term and perform its role more effectively. You will not be expected merely to ‘learn’ the frameworks, but to critically analyse and comment on them, sometimes in collaboration with fellow students. The module will also help you contribute to and better understand the dialogue of strategy at a variety of levels in your organisation.

Corporate finance

Middle and senior managers meet a multiplicity of financial problems in their organisations. This module will help you develop your knowledge of this area. It introduces finance problems that organisations face at board level, and equips you with the fundamentals of corporate financial theory enabling you to challenge finance experts. You will learn how to tackle the main financial problems you are likely to encounter, in particular, how best to finance a company, what dividend policy to choose, how to appraise both public and private sector projects, and how to value a company for takeover or flotation.

+ 45 credits from the following optional Stage 2 modules:
Business, human rights law and corporate social responsibility (W822) 30 credits
Entrepreneurship: experience and perspective (BB846) 15 credits
Leadership and management in intercultural contexts (BB848) 15 credits
Management beyond the mainstream (BB847) 15 credits
Managing financial risk (BB841) 15 credits
Marketing in the 21st century (BB844) 15 credits
Strategic human resource management (BB845) 15 credits
Sustainable creative management (BB842) 15 credits

Finally completing the following compulsory module:

Making a difference: the management initiative

This module enables you to utilise and apply the learning gained on your MBA journey, to ‘make a difference’ in your workplace. You will work on a project-like initiative which will require you to engage with the theory you have learned and to collect evidence to support your thinking. Through this you will explore the extent to which theory can be applied in practice by applying academic ideas to your work-based issue. You will also have an opportunity to reflect how your MBA study has changed you as a manager/practitioner.

Career relevance

Employers value the MBA as an indication of high level business and management skills. These skills are in demand, increasingly so in times of economic uncertainty, and employers want practical experience, a thorough grasp of business, and the ability to lead at a strategic level. AMBA’s careers survey shows that MBA students can expect their salary to increase, and the MBA to have a positive impact on their career progression, as well as bring improvements to their organisation or business.

Visit the Master of Business Administration (MBA) page on the Open University website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Mark Sim

2944.jpg I chose the OU to study my MBA for several reasons really. The main driver was the flexibility it gave me. It suited my circumstances as I travelled a lot and my first child was less than a year old at the time. I had also received good feedback from several peers who had studied with the OU and had positive experiences. I was also funding myself at that stage, so price, although not the largest issue was still a factor.
I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. As someone who was never the world’s greatest studier, I surpassed my own expectations in how involved and dedicated I became. The course allowed that to happen, by keeping it interesting, current and challenging.
Getting the results of each exam was always an exciting period, especially the last module. However; I recall having a crisis of confidence as I was struggling with the first module after moving up from the Diploma. Attending the residential school not only got me over that, it made me more aware of other students having the same issues. It also made me feel like I was capable of this standard of education and was a big step for me.
It has had a positive effect on my career. Without a doubt it has opened doors to positions I would otherwise have been excluded from applying for. Not only that, the OU MBA gives you the confidence to speak up on a day to day basis, to influence decisions and to contribute at the highest levels of the organisation. It makes otherwise daunting projects less of an obstacle and more of a challenge.
I would recommend the OU MBA to others without a shadow of a doubt, and in fact I already have done.


Entry Requirements

Bachelors degree awarded with honours from a recognized UK University or the equivalent PLUS a minimum of three years' experience in a managerial, professional or technical role. If you do not hold the required qualifications, please visit our website to see open entry options.

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