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Master of Business Administration (MBA)

Why we're great

  • You gain a Level 7 CMI Qualification in addition to your MBA
  • We are one of the few face-to-face MBA programmes with a near 50:50 split of female and male students
  • We are close to London, but in the picturesque Essex countryside

Course options2017-18

Duration: 1 year
Start month: October
Location: Colchester Campus
Based in: Essex Business School
Fee (Home/EU): £18,500
Fee (International): £18,500
Fees will increase for each academic year of study.
PGT fees information

Course enquiries

Telephone 01206 872719
Email pgadmit@essex.ac.uk
Live chat

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About the course

The Essex MBA is an international course with regional entrepreneurial spirit. Whether you want to run your own business, or advance to a leadership role, we can accelerate your career by developing your capacity to innovate, think and act strategically.

Our MBA focuses on innovative entrepreneurship and sustainable global business. Located in the South of England, just an hour from London, you learn in a region with a strong track record of sustainable start-ups, amongst students from across the world.

Our diverse cohort brings a wealth of business expertise into the classroom. You experience a collaborative learning environment where you learn as much from your classmates as you do from faculty and visiting speakers.

You study a broad range of business topics and learn the fundamentals of management and leadership. We foster your entrepreneurial spirit, so you can build sustainable, resilient business models that make sense to shareholders and the environment. You explore the impacts of internationalisation on businesses, suppliers and customers and gain the skills to lead in increasingly demanding marketplaces.

Your course begins with a week of activities to develop your networking, team work and adaptive thinking skills. It ends with an MBA project, where you chose to complete a dissertation or comprehensive business plan.

Our Director’s Workshops give you the opportunity to relate current business issues to content taught in your modules. The sessions may include company visits, trips to business incubators and presentations from external speakers, as well as our academics. Recent examples include sessions on personal branding, new business creation, business ethics and company visits to the likes of Adnams PLC, Cambridge Science Park and HSBC.

Our MBA is taught at Essex Business School, which is placed in the top 25 in the UK for research excellence (REF 2014). Our MBA scholarship can offer you up to a £5,000 discount if you're funding your own studies.

We also offer an Executive MBA where you can opt for a two or three year pathway to complete your MBA alongside your existing employment or running your own business.

I'm an economist, but my long-term goal is to become a manager within the banking industry or start my own business venture. Having an MBA will give me the knowledge and confidence to apply for senior management positions both globally and also within domestic markets. I chose The Essex MBA because of the ranking of the University of Essex and Essex Business School, and the scholarship incentives available for international students. I love studying here in this modern, beautiful building. Across campus there are great facilities, it’s an inspiring place to create something new.

Alexander Malygin - full-time MBA, 2016

Professional accreditation

The Essex MBA is accredited by CMI (the Chartered Management Institute). This means that, upon successful completion of the programme, you receive a Level 7 CMI Qualification in Strategic Management and Leadership in addition to your MBA.

Gaining an industry-recognised CMI professional qualification can make you more employable. You become a CMI Affiliate member during your studies (your membership fee is funded by Essex Business School) and gain access to exclusive benefits, such as study resources, CMI networking events and lectures from expert members. Receiving a CMI qualification can fast-track you into the next stage of training to become a Chartered Manager, the most prestigious status that can be achieved in the management profession.

CMI is the only chartered professional body in the UK dedicated to promoting the highest standards in management and leadership excellence. See the full list of benefits on the Essex Business School web pages.

Essex Business School is also in the process of applying for AMBA accreditation for the Essex MBA and whole school accreditation via AACSB.

Our expert staff

Our world-class team are at the cutting-edge of research in: business ethics and corporate social responsibility; organisation studies; leadership and strategy; finance and banking; risk management; and international management.

We connect you with the latest developments in business practice by bringing in practitioners from leading companies to talk about contemporary business issues.

Specialist facilities

The Essex MBA is taught at our Colchester Campus in the state-of-the-art Essex Business School building, the first zero-carbon business school in the UK.

You benefit from exceptional facilities, including:

  • a beautiful winter garden, which gives the building its own micro-climate
  • a virtual trading floor with Bloomberg Financial Market Labs to practice trading stocks and securities
  • light and spacious teaching areas
  • study pods and innovation booths for group working
  • a café with an adjacent sun terrace

Our building is located on the University of Essex Knowledge Gateway, the location of choice for knowledge-based enterprises in science, technology and creative sectors in the eastern region. This can provide significant networking opportunities for students with businesses at the cutting-edge of their fields.

Your future

The Essex MBA is designed to foster the business leaders of the future, using their creativity, innovation and ethical awareness to solve the many challenges that the international business world continues to present. Studying with us is an excellent investment in your future career.

Our MBA students have gained posts in a range of businesses, including large corporations, and have used their qualification as the catalyst to start their own business.

Career support is given to you throughout your degree, but you can also gain advice from our Student Services Team and the University’s Employability and Careers Centre. You can also access employer talks on campus.

In 2015, 78% of our postgraduate taught students were in work or further study (DLHE).

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Example structure

Most of our courses combine compulsory and optional modules, giving you freedom to pursue your own interests. All of the modules listed below provide an example of what is on offer from the current academic year. Our Programme Specification provides further details of the course structure for the current academic year.

Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field, therefore to ensure your course is as relevant and up-to-date as possible your core module structure may be subject to change.

Year 1

This module allows you to demonstrate your understanding of a management problem, the relevance of empirical research and how these might be applied to the problem, and the implications of the findings of your research. You develop, integrate and apply the concepts, skills and techniques acquired during the MBA programme in addressing a management problem or issue. You are assigned a project supervisor with extensive research experience in your chosen subject area. You are required to complete either a dissertation or comprehensive business plan.

The effective manager and leader makes decisions based on the available evidence. However not all evidence should carry equal weight and some should carry no weight at all. This module will help you understand sources and the quality of data that will form the basis of this evidence. We look at qualitative and quantitative methods of data gathering and analysis to help ensure that evidence-based decisions are effective. This module will prepare you for your MBA Project and encourage you to think about the key issues of method, research design and analysis.

This module will equip you with the skills to manage operations in a sustainable way that helps deliver the triple bottom line of people, planet and profit. We introduce models that help you manage a range of operations, from high volume batch processing to low volume bespoke businesses. We consider both production and service organisations and address the increasing blurring of the distinction between the two.

This module focuses on the formation of new businesses, innovative growth and impact of these on economic and social development in different environments. You acquire a critical understanding of economic, sociological, psychological and managerial theories of enterprise creation and development and learn how they apply in practice. We provide the critical, theoretical underpinning for the study and investigation of enterprise development and the critical components of entrepreneurship.

This module gives you a sound global outlook and an advanced understanding of the external context within which international businesses operate. It helps you take advantage of the opportunities and challenges by entrepreneurial firms, both large and small. We introduce you to key international trade theories and practices, and apply this to the study of entrepreneurship. We examine the external challenges facing international firms; in particular economic, financial, political, legal, technological and cultural challenges.

Business strategy is the means by which an organisation achieves its long-term aims. This module will consider the components of strategy, their external and internal influences, what makes a successful strategy and the pitfalls to avoid. You are encouraged to reflect on the nature of business strategy, the approaches to strategy development, the implications of strategic choices, stakeholder interests and the wider context of strategy. Informed by our internationally recognised research, we also consider how strategy delivers a sustainable and ethical business.

This module covers many of the key human aspects of management that are, so often, taken for granted. It provides you with an understanding of core issues that shape the management of organisational performance. We invite you to analyse workforce issues that will shape your own management practice.

All managers, whatever their discipline, must understand their sources of capital and how their money is used. This module enables students to understand how to finance their organisation, assess shareholder value and control their organisation based on key financial statements. We will consider the key issues of current debate and while not creating fully fledged financiers or accountants the module will enable managers to ask the right questions and understand the answers.

Managerial Economics is the application of economic theory to business management. It lies on the borderline between economics and business management. In this module, you develop a critical understanding of how economic concepts can be used to solve business problems. We examine decision making and forward planning as an efficient means of attaining a desired end, such as profit maximisation. The focus of the module is theoretical and enables you to examine the different economic concepts which can be used to analyse business situations.

A sound understanding of marketing strategy is essential for all modern managers. This module provides the foundations of the marketing concept and market orientation for international operations and examines issues related to internal and external environments for strategy-making, across borders. We focus on strategic and functional aspects of international marketing activities of firms of varying sizes and industries and integrate insights of strategy from international marketing literature. You gain a critical awareness of the facets of international marketing both from the strategic and functional point of view.

This module challenges you to create a business plan and implement it within a simulated environment. You work in a group to prepare a business plan and pitch for funding. The module brings together strategy, marketing, accounting and entrepreneurship by giving you the chance to assume the role of a director within a start-up. Together, you put theory into practice by devising plans and operating models to bring your business idea to life.

In the modern world, it’s supply chains that compete for and deliver business opportunities, not individual organisations. This module considers how supply chains are formed, managed and made sustainable. It looks at the details of logistics, considering the options for lean and reactive supply chains that meet fluctuating customer demand. Through a variety of lectures projects and simulations, you understand why supply chains are so crucial to delivering responsive, flexible business solutions.

We look at the key issues associated with the challenges of service transformation in delivering vibrant, engaging and cost effective public services. This module is set against the background of a range of new challenges facing leaders across public services organisations during a period of reductions in funding and rising expectations of service users. We take you through a journey designed to empower you to take a critical and practical approach to the challenges of transforming large and small organisations across the public sector.

So you can emerge as an effective leader, we offer the practical skills that you can use in your workplace. This module provides a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the behavioural, values, culture and psychological frameworks. It’s taught and facilitated by experienced practitioners who have been deeply active in both the research and practical application of the methodology. You learn how to identify the factors which differentiate outstanding from average organisational performance and develop an appreciation of the critical levers which drive and facilitate change and value in a business.

The module develops your critical understanding of social entrepreneurship, social innovation and social impact. You learn how these areas connect with entrepreneurial and management skills to address exclusion, collaboration, poverty, inequality and environmental concerns and examine their impact on business and the economy. You also explore how they promote better management capabilities in social enterprises, enhance corporate social responsibility in the private sector and enable sustainable policy making by the public sector.

This module will equip you with a critical understanding of the nature and design of consultancy engagements and develop an understanding of a range of depth psychology models of organisational change processes. You study approaches to observing organisational process, including the role and stance of the consultant, models of organisational change and interpersonal dynamics in teams. You also learn approaches to relational data collection, including a variety of consultancy models informed by gestalt and study complexity and psychodynamic perspectives. You learn the process of negotiating, contracting and concluding consultancy assignments.

Teaching

We use a mixture of lectures, case studies, syndicate exercises, group work and guest lectures.

Assessment

Assessment for each taught module usually consists of a combination of two-or three-hour examinations and coursework. Coursework takes the form of individual written essays, group projects and presentations. The Business Research Methods and Skills module is provided to support you with your final MBA Project.

Dissertation

You are required to complete one of the following in the summer term:

  • dissertation - using robust research methods and tools to explore specific business issues of your choice
  • comprehensive business plan - a structured business planning document for a new or growing business

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Qualifications

UK entry requirements

A 1st, 2:1 or 2:2 degree. You are also expected to have at least three years of relevant, professional work experience, post-graduation, at the time of application.

If you are a non-standard applicant (which is typically an applicant who possesses an undergraduate degree below a 2:2 standard, or an applicant who does not possess an undergraduate degree at all) we require at least five years of relevant managerial experience. You will also be required to write an essay (2000 words) outlining a range of business situations which you have experienced and identifying what you have learnt from them.

International and EU entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Email pgadmit@essex.ac.uk for further details about the qualifications we accept. Include information in your email about the undergraduate qualification you have already completed or are currently taking.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall with a minimum component score of 6.0

If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.

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Applying

You can apply for our postgraduate courses online. You’ll need to provide us with your academic qualifications, as well as supporting documents such as transcripts, English language qualifications and certificates. You can find a list of necessary documents online, but please note we won’t be able to process your application until we have everything we need.

There is no application deadline but we recommend that you apply before 1 July for our taught courses starting in October. We aim to respond to applications within two weeks. If we are able to offer you a place, you will be contacted via email.

Additional Documents

Official transcript(s), in English or a certified translation of your academic results to date, showing marks or grades, must be provided at the time you make your application. (Transcripts are not required from current or previous University of Essex students, or from students who have previously completed a degree at Colchester Institute awarded by the University of Essex).

A personal statement with a 500 word limit to support your application saying why you wish to undertake the course and what you hope to achieve from it. If you require a Tier 4 visa to study with us, your personal statement should refer specifically to your reasons for wishing to study in the UK, and why you have chosen your area of study.

We will also require two references during the application process, one of which must come from a current employer, or appropriate other person, confirming your employment status. Don’t worry if you cannot provide references when you make your application, as if we make you an offer you will be able to provide these at a later stage.

Applicants with an undergraduate degree 2.2 or above

Students applying to the MBA with a 2.2 degree or above, must evidence at least three years of managerial experience, post –graduation, documented by your CV.

Applicants without a first degree, or a first degree below 2.2

Evidence at least evidence at least five years of relevant managerial experience, a significant portion of which should be middle-management level, documented by your CV.

Applicants applying to the MBA without a first degree, or a first degree below 2.2, need to provide an essay of 2,000 words outlining a range of business situations which the applicant has experienced and identifying what s/he has learned from them. When writing the essay, please consider that the admission team will typically be looking at the ways in which the applicant constructs an argument, is able to reflect on his/her experiences, and is able to indicate how these reflections have influenced, his/her subsequent practice.

Visit us

Open days

We hold postgraduate events in February/March and November, and open days for all our applicants throughout the year. Our Colchester Campus events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex, and give you the chance to:

  • tour our campus and accommodation
  • find out answers to your questions about our courses, student finance, graduate employability, student support and more
  • meet our students and staff

If the dates of our organised events aren’t suitable for you, feel free to get in touch by emailing tours@essex.ac.uk and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.

Virtual tours

If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tour allows you to explore the Colchester Campus from the comfort of your home. Check out our accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.

Exhibitions

Our staff travel the world to speak to people about the courses on offer at Essex. Take a look at our list of exhibition dates to see if we’ll be near you in the future.

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