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Executive MBA

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  • Academic Title
    Executive MBA
  • Course description
    Our Executive MBA programme enables executives and managers from business and professional backgrounds to combine part-time study with full-time careers and can be completed in two and a half years. It is about executive and management development, with the emphasis firmly on business and management knowledge and skills in a co-operative learning environment.

    The programme will expand your knowledge of the fundamental elements of business and management, their integrative nature and relationships. It will refine your investigative, analytical and decision-making skills, and will also develop the interpersonal, communication and influencing skills required to achieve results in today's rapidly changing business environment.

    To this end, the programme focuses on co-operative learning, now viewed as vital to the pursuit of best practice in business. Executive and Managers on our programme come from a variety of business and professional backgrounds, and most have considerable experience of working life and well-established careers. This diversity provides a dynamic learning environment and a unique opportunity for participants to work with each other, sharing experiences and approaches.

    For our Executive MBA, we encourage co-operative learning through the learning set, which forms at the beginning of the programme and is kept to a size that facilitates a close rapport between executives and managers within the group and a participatory learning environment.

    Equally important is your personal development. The programme will help you to understand your own strengths and weaknesses, to refine your own objectives and plans, and to become a self-managed learner. We also know from experience that the MBA is likely to improve your prospects in terms of more responsible and interesting work, career progression and earning potential.

    Modules Summary

    The Executive MBA includes ten core and three optional modules. The core modules provide both a grounding in the functional areas of business and the development of an integrated and rounded appreciation of an organisation's business and management issues. Typically, each module involves self-managed learning, a workshop in Leeds, followed by assessment preparation. Modules are assessed by either a 3,000 word assignment or a two-hour examination. Assignments are designed to link module content to a business or management issue within or relevant to the executive's or manager's organisation while examinations are scheduled to take place at the start of five of the workshops.

    Core Modules

    Organising & Managing for Performance

    This module considers theories of organisational performance and effectiveness, market, institutional and cultural influences on organisations, organisation form and structure, and well-being at work. In so doing, it operates across multiple levels of analysis and covers the behaviour of individuals, including individual differences, motivation, group dynamics and processes of power and influence.

    Strategic Management

    This module examines the way in which the organisation pursues its goals, taking account of the threats and opportunities in the environment, and the resources and capabilities of the organisation. Using lectures, seminars, workshops and case studies, the module develops analytical skills and techniques to assess and understand the organisation's strategic position, and considers strategic decision making, planning and implementation, with a focus on competitive advantage.

    Human Resource Management (HRM)

    Designed to provide an understanding of contemporary debates in HRM at both a conceptual and practical level, this module draws on theory and research in the core areas of recruitment and selection, training and development, performance appraisal, diversity, and international HRM. It introduces models of HRM for analysing and evaluating the effectiveness of people management and the impact of HRM policies on organisational performance. Throughout, the emphasis is on the implications of the research literature of the day-to-day activities of people managers, as well as a more technical consideration of the evidence base for what might be considered 'best practice'.

    Managerial Economics

    This module applies economic analysis to the management of the business enterprise. It considers the role of the firm in the market economy and examines how the performance of firms is affected by the interplay between their external market environment and their internal costs, organisation and objectives. Using a combination of lectures, exercises, workshops and cases, the module demonstrates the relevance to business of fundamental economic concepts including optimisation, opportunity costs, risk and uncertainty, market structure, interdependent decision making and strategic behaviour.

    International Business

    This module examines the core concepts of international business and their application to the dynamics and constraints of international business strategy. Through a combination of lectures, seminars, workshops, syndicates and case studies, it also considers the potential and the uncertainties for the international expansion of the firm, and the formulation of coherent international plans in the contemporary global economy.


    Designed to provide an understanding of both the theory and practice of markeitng management, this module considers the analysis of marketing opportunities, research and selection of target markets, the design of market strategies, the planning of marketing programmes, and the organisation, implementation and control of the marketing effort. The module is taught through a mixture of lectures, seminars, syndicates, projects and case studies.

    Business Accounting

    This module focuses on financial accounting and management accounting techniques. It examines both the preparation and interpretation of the fundamental financial statements of a range of organisations, and addresses issues relating to costing techniques, cost-volume-profit analysis, capital invesmtent appraisal techniques, and quantitative as well as behavioural aspects of budgeting. The management accounting aspects of the module focus on the use of accounting information for management decision making and control.

    Corporate Finance

    Based on the valuation of the future cash flows that are expected to be generated by real and financial assets, the module applies asset valuation techniques, such as discounted cash flow (DCF) analysis and real option analysis, to individual investment decisions as well as the valuation of entire businesses. The importance of risk management and the impact of alternative financing arrangements on corporate value are examined, while the assessment of business outcomes using performance ratio analysis, economic value added and other value metrics are considered. Practical applications of the analytical techniques are povided through an extended industry/company case study.

    Operations & Information Management

    This module considers how organisations innovate, design, implement, manage and improve their operations and information systems. A systems perspective underpins the focus on key resources such as data, information, knowledge, materials, staff, technology and facilities. The modules shows how business processes and capabilities can be aligned to meet the needs of key stakeholders, and how, through strategic analysis, design, implementation and management, this can be achieved in practice. Complementary themes are explored, such as managing versus changing existing operations, and the role of information and communications technology in enabling innovation and improvement.

    Change Management

    Drawing on the theory and practice of organisational change, this module develops understanding and skills in diagnosing change, managing change and responding to others' ambitions for change. The module allows participants to integrate ideas and perspectives from other modules within a conceptual framework that considers the context, content and process of change. It addresses change at individual, group and organisational levels, drawing upon established theories of change and new insights about how the process of knowledge and learning contribute to organisational adaptation and effectiveness.

    Executive Skills: Thinking and Acting for Effective Practice

    Executive skills are developed throughout the MBA programme in workshops and are formally assessed in three ways: a business modelling assignment, a proposal for the MBA project and, for the integration and application of learning, the preparation of a position paper that explores the relationships that have to be managed in the individual's work context. This module focuses on:

        * conceputal competence - understanding the nature and importance of theory and alternative approaches to theorising

        * interpersonal skills - working in learning sets to encourage cooperative and self-managed learning, and to enhance the management of creative processes and critical skills, such as group decision making

        * business modelling - introducing basic business mathematics to model real business problems arising and using descriptive statistics and probability

        * research methods - identifying an appropriate research design, and applying appropriate information gathering and data analysis skills, to investigate an isue or problem for the MBA project

        * the integration and application of learning - understanding the individual's work context, sharing this with their learning set and relating work experience to learning across the MBA programme

    Optional Modules(Examples)

    Management Decision Making

    This module examines the quality of individual decision making and considers ways in which decision-making skills and decsiion-aiding techniques can be used to enhance decsiion making. Taught through lectures, seminars, syndicates, projects and case studies, the module covers decisions theory and the decision making process, intuitive decision making and its limitations, structured decision-aiding and decision-thinking skills.

    Knowledge Management

    Based on the core concepts and theories of knowledge management, this module defines the stages in the knowledge management process and identifies the implications of knowledge management systems and the underlying technologies, barriers to the growth of knowledge management, and the means to exploit knowledge management in an organisation or business sector.


    This module introduces the core concepts of electronic business (e-business) and considers the impact of e-business on individuals, organisations, business sectors and society. It considers the implicatiosn of e-business for different business sectors, identifies barriers to the growth of e-business, and illustrates how to exploit e-business in an organisation or business sector.

    Business Excellence

    Drawing on the Business Excellence model and case studies, this module shows how an organisation can achieve excellence through its people, processes and activities, and how self-assessment - the regular and systematic review of an organisation - often represents the start of the journey to business success.

    Entrepreneurship and Innovation (NEW for 2007): This module aims to give students grounding in both theoretical and practical elements of entrepreneurship. It introduces students to a variety of views on entrepreneurship, offering them a critical introduction to commonly held views. The module then moves students to a more process view of entrepreneurship, which sees it as an activity-in-context, opening up the possibility of developing entrepreneurial behaviours or processes among students. The module also takes innovative entrepreneurship or new business models as the focus of attention, through incorporating a technology entrepreneurship element. Real life case students are incorporated throughout the theoretical sessions and successful entrepreneurs within technology fields will be brought in to speak.

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