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MBA Family and Smaller Enterprise*

Course Description

Family business is the most frequent of business in existence, accounting for between 65-90% of all businesses and existing across different countries, continents and geopolitical boundaries. The MBA in Family and Smaller Enterprises starts from the premise that anyone working in a family business requires at least two forms of expertise: business expertise and the ability to consider the family dimension. By studying some general business modules and some that focus directly on the family dimension, the MBA in family and smaller enterprises prepares students for careers working in the a family business or within the business advisory community.

We have found the best way to learn about our business courses and the underpinning ethos and differences that drive us is to speak to members of the team that will work with you. We are delighted to arrange a visit or invite you to attend a class, giving you the opportunity to speak to Masters students about their experiences. If you are based outside the UK then you may wish to SKYPE one of the programme team and we can discuss your questions face to face.

Teaching, learning and assessment

You will attend lectures and seminars, work in groups and carry out independent learning. You will be expected to participate in discussions, develop ideas and engage with experiential learning. Assessment methods will include management reports, essays, exams, reflection on practice, and group work with presentations. A unique aspect of the course is the challenge to design, lead and reflect upon a project that focuses on an external business partner. A central part of the course experience is the regular involvement of industry through specific visits, guest lectures, scenario planning and project opportunities. Class sizes are normally 10-30 students.

Teaching hours and attendance

Modules studied on-campus require you to attend classes and carry out independent work. Attendance requirements at QMU will depend on which module you are studying and whether you are full or part time. In most instances the taught elements of the full-time course occur on Tuesday, Wednesday (AM) and Thursday. Part-time students have the option to select different routes each year. Links with industry/professional bodies QMU is an Approved Centre of the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), the only professional body in the UK dedicated to promoting the highest standards in management and leadership excellence. As an approved centre, we are working towards facilitating CMI professional qualifications within our postgraduate awards. The MBA involves a number of guest lecturers and visits to industry, for example Diageo, New Lanark Heritage Centre, Nairn’s, Glenkinchie Distillery, and Luca’s.


You will normally complete five core modules and three route specific modules.

Examples of core modules include:
Strategy/ Business Economics/ International Marketing/ Financial Management/ Human Resources

Examples of route specific modules include:
Family Business Insight/Family Business Governance

You will also focus the Business Impact and Practice Project on your specialist area of study over the full academic year.

This course is subject to validation and the modules listed here are indicative of those which you may study. Please continue to check the website or contact one of the team for updates.


Successful completion of the MBA Family and Smaller Enterprises will prepare you for a range of management and leadership roles associated with family businesses, including working within an individual family business, developing a new business in the context of your family and work in the business advisory sector.

*Subject to validation

Visit the MBA Family and Smaller Enterprise* page on the Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Honours degree or equivalent and industry experience/ recent graduates who can demonstrate additional capabilities/ graduates with an ordinary degree who a period of post-graduation work experience/ those with substantial industry experience and a commitment to CPD. Exemption may be granted from studying a module/s up to a max of 60 credit points, provided you can demonstrate successful achievement of all the learning outcomes. For international applicants, where your honours degree has not been studied in English, you should provide evidence of English language competence at no less than IELTS 6.0 with no individual component score less than 5.5.

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