Master of Business Administration (MBA Defence)

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  • Course description
    Master of Business Administration (MBA Defence):

    Course Description:

    The Cranfield Executive MBA (Defence) course is designed for military officers, civil service personnel and defence industry executives looking to contribute more effectively towards future military initiatives. 

    Created specifically for the defence community, the MBA (Defence) programme is not just about improving your skills and techniques in general management. We build confidence, emotional intelligence, decision-making and team-working qualities that make for inspirational leaders.

    The course is offered in partnership with Cranfield Defence and Security at the Defence Academy College of Management and Technology (formerly the Defence College of Management and Technology), Shrivenham and the School of Management at Cranfield.

    Start Months:



    SoM and CDS


    Leadership and Management & Defence and Security

    Entry Requirements:

    A minimum of three years' post-qualification work experience.
    A good degree and / or professional qualification.
    Applicants who do not have a degree are welcomed provided they can demonstrate high levels of achievement, exceptional career progression or evidence of leadership potential along with Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) scores over 600 or GRE score in the 80th percentile for both verbal and quantitative reasoning. Our Designated Institution Code is 3641 or the successful completion of our own Cranfield admissions tests

    English Language:

    If you are an international student you will need to provide evidence that you have achieved a satisfactory test result in an English qualification. The minimum standard expected from a number of accepted courses are as follows:

    IELTS - 7
    TOEFL - 100 
    Pearson PTE Academic - 68 
    Cambridge English Scale - 190
    Cambridge English: Advanced - A
    Cambridge English: Proficiency - B

    In addition to these minimum scores you are also expected to achieve a balanced score across all elements of the test. We reserve the right to reject any test score if any one element of the test score is too low. We can only accept tests taken within two years of your registration date (with the exception of Cambridge English tests which have no expiry date). Students requiring a Tier 4 (General) visa must ensure they can meet the English language requirements set out by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) and we recommend booking a IELTS for UKVI test.


    Three years

    Course format:
    • Taught
    • MBA
    Who is it for?:

    The Cranfield Executive MBA (Defence) course is designed for military officers, civil service personnel and defence industry executives looking to contribute more effectively towards future military initiatives.

    It is designed to meet the requirement for post-graduate management education in the defence sector. It aims to provide management skills with a specific bias towards defence. Students are provided with an exceptional opportunity to study in a dynamic and enquiring scholarly arena, but using practical case studies to explore the appropriateness of theory to real-life practical contexts.

    Defence managers will benefit from this advanced programme of study, aimed at providing specialist knowledge to target new horizons. Without peers, the MBA Defence degree meets the modern defence community’s need for specialised policy-oriented defence management education. The learning experience is unique: forged from a mix of theoretical models, the extraordinary challenges posed by timely and efficient defence resource management, and the leadership imperative of lateral thinking.

    Consequently, the MBA Defence produces graduates highly skilled in the resolution of contemporary defence management problems.

    Why this course?:

    Relevant management skills are at a premium today, as business practices evolve rapidly as the pace of business increases. With greater reliance on technology and deeper integration of the commercial sector within the defence economy, managers and planners of defence resources must possess the skills to respond quickly and decisively in making informed and effective decisions. 

    For defence managers in the military, civil service and private sectors, a recognised post-graduate degree in management is essential for progression into senior management. 

    With a multi-national, multi-cultural and multi-professional mix, the MBA provides a hotbed of knowledge sharing and networking that is invaluable and inestimable, both personally and with respect to your business environment, whatever it may be. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.

    Learning Outcomes:
    • On successful completion of the MBA Defence, a graduate will be able to:
    • Demonstrate robust qualities of leadership and a broad range of management techniques, both in the corporate and defence domains
    • Exhibit a conceptual understanding of the principal functional areas of defence management along with a systematic knowledge of the relevant underlying commercial, scholarly and policy-oriented literature
    • Develop and analyse business and defence-related planning, strategy, cross-functional working and core business processes
    • Assess all elements of the global business environment, relating particularly to the political, economic, cultural and ethical challenges facing the defence community
    • Display the capabilities to identify, explain, analyse and implement appropriate conclusions and follow-on policy conclusions for complex problems in the context of uncertainty and change.
    Your teaching team:

    Our faculty are passionately committed to improving the practice of management. As leaders in their field with hands-on business experience, they understand the challenges of putting theory into practice. Their experience is reinforced by close links with organisations through consultancy projects, teaching on executive development programmes and sponsored research. This ensures that what you learn at Cranfield is always current and cutting edge.


    Cranfield School of Management is one of an elite group of business schools worldwide to hold triple accreditations from:
    • European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS)
    • Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
    • Association of Master of Business Administration (AMBA).   
    Course details:

    You will study thirteen core modules in part one and four core defence modules, two commercial modules, one module from the suite of electives and an Independent Research Project

    Individual project:

    The Independent Research Project provides an opportunity for you to carry out an in-depth specialised study of a defence management topic of personal and/or professional interest. With support from your project supervisor at Shrivenham, you will integrate your understanding of theoretical principles with the practical aspects of a defence management issue.

    Written examinations 50%; case study reports, class tests, group presentations and project work 50%.

    Core modules:
    • Accounting
    • Challenges for Leaders
    • Defence Economics and Finance
    • Defence Programme and Project Management
    • Developing Leadership
    • Economics of Organisations and Strategy
    • Entrepreneurship and New Venture Creation
    • Financial Management
    • Global Macroeconomics and Business Environment
    • International Business Assignment
    • Leading Change Management in Defence
    • Leadership in Action
    • Project Management Introduction
    • Strategic Management
    • Strategic Marketing
    • Strategic Operations Management
    • Risk and Defence Management
    • Venture Capital Investment Competition
    • Leading Change Management in Defence
    • Defence Programme and Portfolio Management
    • Risk and Defence Management
    • Business Law
    • Corporate Finance Transactions
    • Corporate Financial Strategy
    • Driving Value Through the Supply Chain
    • Entrepreneurial Finance
    • Identifying Hidden Needs
    • International Strategy
    • Investment and Risk Management
    • Managing International Mergers and Acquisitions
    • Managing Project Uncertainty
    • Managing Strategic Innovation
    • Negotiating in Business and Organisations
    • Strategic Human Resource Management in the 21st Century
    Fees and funding:

    Tuition fees for the course starting in January 2017 are £36,000 (this does not apply to MoD-sponsored candidates).

    Alumni Discount Scheme

    We are pleased to offer an exclusive discount scheme to self-sponsored alumni who have successfully completed a Cranfield postgraduate course and would like to return to study on one of our world-leading MBA Programmes. The scheme is open to all Cranfield graduates who have completed an MSc, PhD, MRes or MDes degree in the past 10 years. All those who qualify will receive a 25% discount on their tuition fees.

    Alumni who have completed one of our short courses will instead receive a 20% loyalty discount on tuition fees.

    Payment schedule for self-sponsored students:
    • £500 non-refundable deposit on acceptance of your place
    • £2,500 non-refundable deposit by 30 November 2016
    • Followed by £6,000 at start of year one, £9,000 at end of June (year one), followed by £9,000 at start of year two and finally £9,000 at end of June (year two)
    Home EU Student Fees:

    MBA Executive £36,000 *

    Oversees Fees:

    MBA Executive £36,000 *

    * The annual registration fee is quoted above. An additional fee of £1,300 per module is also payable.
    ** Students will be offered the option of paying the full fee up front, or to pay in four equal instalments at six month intervals (i.e. the full fee to be paid over the first two years of their registration).

    Fee notes:
    • The fees outlined apply to all students whose initial date of registration falls on or between 1 August 2017 and 31 July 2018.
    • All students pay the tuition fee set by the University for the full duration of their registration period agreed at their initial registration.
    • Additional fees for extensions to the agreed registration period may be charged and can be found below.
    • Fee eligibility at the Home/EU rate is determined with reference to UK Government regulations. As a guiding principle, EU nationals (including UK) who are ordinarily resident in the EU pay Home/EU tuition fees, all other students (including those from the Channel Islands and Isle of Man) pay Overseas fees.
    Funding opportunities for MoD-sponsored candidates:

    This course is centrally funded less T&S and is primarily aimed at mid career officers (Major (OF3) rank) and above, equivalent grade MOD Civil Servants, in an associated career field or employment.


    MOD sponsored individuals can obtain further information on the application process or can apply directly via the MBA Defence course pages on the Defence Academy Website.

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