Master of Business Administration MBA

Postgraduate (12 months full-time)

Blended learning, Distance learning, Cambridge

September, January

Intermediate awards: PG Cert, PG Dip

Course duration: 12 months (September starts), 16 months (January starts). 

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Apply directly to ARU


An MBA is more than a qualification, it’s a state of mind. So think like an MBA student. Choose our Master of Business Administration MBA course. which approaches successful management as a toolkit of skills you can adapt and apply to your unique career demands. The world of business never stands still, which is why – with input from our students and employers – we're refreshing our MBA degree course. Taking real-world challenges as our starting point, there'll be even more of a focus on practical, hands-on learning – and more opportunities to ignite your career.

Full description


Our Master of Business Administration MBA will equip you with the management and entrepreneurial abilities to succeed in a wide range of business fields. When you graduate, you’ll be confident about entering the international business market and finding a senior role in a corporation or taking the first steps towards self-employment.

Modules & assessment

Core Modules

  • Principles of Marketing Management
    You'll work through the main theories and principles of marketing for the marketing manager or business leader, understanding how those theories and principles can be applied in practice to a range of business contexts; from business-to-consumer, business-to-business, charities, arts, to tourism and service-based industries. You'll focus particularly on global business challenges; competition and defining value; a digitally based economy; and societal marketing (corporate social responsibility, sustainability, morals and ethics) whilst also understanding the legal framework that impacts upon marketers and marketing practice such as consumer and data protection laws. This module will challenge you to examine marketing problems that have faced brands and organisations to critically analyse their approach and suggest new alternatives. You'll gain a firm grasp of the scope of marketing in general business management and leadership roles as well as a clear understanding of the specialist areas of study and work as you plan your lifelong career in this very broad industry.
  • Organisational Psychology in a Social Context
    Human Resource (HR) professionals and managers operate within increasingly complex and changing organisational and contextual circumstances in the public, private or third sectors. This is exacerbated by the variety of organisational types and size that contribute to national wealth creation in terms of the services and goods they provide and produce. This module provides you with understanding of market and business contexts in the operational, tactical, and strategic HR function, along with issues of the modern organisation. You'll examine the cultural, political, and social contexts that organisations operate within, both from an internal and external perspective. Further, you'll discover how economic forces affect and influence organisational practices, and their impact upon the HR function and its practices. You'll explore globalisation and how the changing demographics and social environments impact on organisational strategy and the HR function. Plus why ethical and democratic practices are needed to meet the changes of complex business and economic practices or the management of human resources in more dignified ways. Finally, you'll see how HR can contribute to and influence the strategic direction of organisational practice in the pursuit of welfare profit, as well as monetary profit.
  • Management and Strategy
    Within this module you'll explore the fields of management and strategy, noting how strategic analysis and formulation contribute to an organisations performance. You'll explore practically relevant ideas and frameworks that facilitate strategy design and implementation, dealing with the craft of strategy, identifying and choosing superior competitive position, how to analyse strategic situations and how to create the organisational context to make the chosen strategy work. Practical and problem-oriented, this module places emphasis on the application of concepts and exploration of frameworks to assist you in analysing and gaining insight into competitive situations and strategic dilemmas.
  • Finance for Decision Making
    Management decision making is a complex subject involving many variable factors. The primary objective of this module is to provide a conceptual and analytical framework for looking at organisations operating in capital, financial and operational markets. You'll explore the financial element contained in decisions and the techniques that may be used to assist informed management decisions. You start by considering the availability of financial information that may be relevant to decision making and whether this fits with the information you need to make the decision. This is further developed to the type of decision and differing requirements, leading to a more bespoke deliverable information set that meets the context of the decision. You'll gain an appreciation of core themes prevalent throughout financial management. The module also explores the financial techniques developed by financial and management accountants and how they may be used and applied. Finally, consideration is given to the relevance and weighting of the financial element in the decision making process and how qualitative issues may be incorporated in the overall decision. Strategic financial management issues covered include financial statement analysis, budget and performance management, raising finance (both short and long term), efficient allocation and utilisation of financial resources (including investment decisions), and mergers and acquisitions as well as foreign currency and interest rate risk management. Different organisations and sectors are covered to develop your knowledge and skills in finance and business analysis through practical tasks involving developing financial strategies, conducting a financial analysis, managing foreign currency risks and by using professional database such as FAME and Osiris, etc.
  • Entrepreneurial Action - PG Major Project
    In this module, you'll undertake a project focused on understanding and supporting entrepreneurial action in practice. This could be an applied/engaged research project, an enterprise consultancy project which addresses an opportunity or challenge faced by an entrepreneurial organisation or researching and developing a new business proposition or idea. This project needs to provide the opportunity to understand, and manage how to move from opportunity to idea to action and could relate to your study or employability interests and/or current interests within the entrepreneurial management field. You'll work on key concepts/frameworks and issues within entrepreneurial management to stimulate thinking around trends and drivers creating opportunities for entrepreneurial management, as well as researching entrepreneurial opportunities and entrepreneurial action. In undertaking the project, you'll develop the case for why your chosen opportunity or idea is worthy of consideration as a project, particularly in terms of its value to the appropriate community of practice, develop a project plan, acquire the appropriate resources and internal and external support to develop and deliver the project, manage the project in terms of moving from idea to action and reflect on the development of the project against key themes related to being enterprising, the role of the individual in moving an idea from concept to action; and the influence of the entrepreneurial task environment. To ensure you're prepared for work in industry, you are required to pass all taught modules before undertaking a placement/consultancy.

Optional Modules

  • Leadership and Change
    You'll investigate and critically evaluate historical and contemporary approaches to leadership theory, focusing especially on leadership at junior to middle management level. Classical theories of leadership will be examined including traits theory, behavioural theories and contingency theories. Some contemporary theories will include issues such as emotional intelligence, psychodynamics and leader-led relations. There will be a strong emphasis on applying the theory to your own personal leadership with a view to enhancing leadership performance in preparation for middle management roles within the organisation. Management of change will be another key emphasis, including organisational politics & power, change theories and the implementation of the change process. Issues for consideration will include the organisational context of change, resistance to change and practical management of the change process.
  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship
    You'll critically review existing entrepreneurship and innovation models and concepts, including process models, and explore ‘patchwork’ and ‘opportunity’ based approaches to entrepreneurship and innovation. During the module you'll explore how ‘innovation’ comes from a variety of sources, examine the principles of ‘open’ innovation, and recognise the importance of exploiting available networks and of developing an innovative culture. Your ability to analyse and critique ‘entrepreneurial’ business models, both existing and conceptual will be improved through the utilisation of tools such as the Business Model Canvas. You'll think creatively by proposing innovative solutions to creating and capturing value through the medium of consultancy report and applying some of the theoretical underpinnings of the module. Finally, the principles of entrepreneurship and innovation are analysed in the context of entrepreneurs, start-up and family businesses from across the globe, in various commercial, public-sector and not- for-profit sectors, emphasising the importance and challenges of ‘social’ and ‘sustainability -led’ innovation.
  • Principles of Economics
    You'll end this module with a toolkit of knowledge around how economists define, evaluate, measure and compare firms’ profit max strategies given different market settings, building a foundation of knowledge around the factors affecting both firms and countries performance. You'll also be able to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of alternative explanations of economic growth and development. Firstly you'll look at Microeconomics, examining the way in which decision-making units (individuals and firms) make their decisions. These fundamental concepts and approaches underpin much of modern microeconomics, and consider in detail firms’ input and output decisions based on profit maximisation and cost minimization in different market settings (perfect competition, monopoly, oligopoly, monopolistic competition). Basic economic models are used to introduce you to analytical methods of reasoning with applications and mathematical problems used to help you see clearly the interplay between key concepts. Consumer choice based on utility maximization is considered in detail and then applied to areas such as labour supply. It's then the turn of Macroeconomics, where we master the basic concepts, such as the determination of national income, the workings of the monetary system, causes and consequences of inflation and the reasons behind unemployment. We then introduce the tools of economic theory and develop your understanding of the factors affecting both economic growth and development. You'll examine how a country can increase the size of its national income, and also how increased growth can impact on a society by improving the development indicators. Upon completion you should understand how economists define, evaluate, measure and attempt to boost employment, economic growth and development and reduce inflation and public debt. You'll be encouraged throughout to debate current issues and challenges facing economics, enhancing your policy decision-making capacity by examining a wide range of decisions, alternatives and their implications. Given the scientific papers of leading scientists in the field the module aims to value critical openness to different perspectives, theories and methods, and encourage cross-disciplinary collaboration.
  • Law in the Global Context
    This module provides the foundation for the transition from undergraduate to Masters level study by introducing some themes which underpin the higher level study of the relationship between law and business in the international context, as well as the advanced research skills needed for success at this level. Students will be expected to demonstrate a systematic and critical awareness of the interrelation of law and business in a global context and will also be expected to demonstrate a comprehensive understanding and advanced scholarship in the context of international trade and business. It has several main themes: Firstly, it provides an analytical framework for international trade law that transcends particular jurisdictions and focuses on the context in which international business takes place. It will examine the need for the regulation of international trade and the development of legal frameworks for this, including an understanding of the WTO and regional trade organisations, such as the EU. International business operates within a variety of national legal systems as well as internationally. A critical awareness of comparative legal systems is therefore essential, as is an understanding of some elements of public international law (such as treaty law). The module contributes particularly to problem-solving, research, written analytical and critical thinking skills, which are transferable skills highly valued by employers. This module is especially relevant to all students attracted to business, professional or commercial careers and who wish to demonstrate their advanced knowledge and ability for independent learning at a professional level. This module also covers the skills needed for this course: how to use the Library and electronic databases effectively in order to make the transition to the level of self-directed research appropriate at postgraduate level, as well as the more technical aspects of academic writing, such as referencing using the required conventions. In this context students should be able to demonstrate self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems and the ability to develop their research skills to a high level. Throughout this module students will be exposed and expected to contribute to a range of skills building activities that underpin their employability. These range from the development of team working activities, communication skills both written and verbal, logical reasoning and the ability to undertake independent research. Criticality is introduced immediately within the module and will be sustained through both formative and summative assessment.


We place a strong emphasis on practical and professional skills. You’ll be assessed on work-based assignments, research projects, syndicate work and group presentations.

This is a 12 month programme if you start in September, 15  months if you start in January.

Please note that modules are subject to change and availability.

Where you'll study

Your faculty

You have a highly active mind and see opportunity everywhere. Now you need theory and life-changing skills to sharpen your approach to management. At the Faculty of Business & Law, you will immerse yourself in a multicultural environment where technology blends with teaching to create a dynamic and innovative learning environment. An environment to help you gain those skills.

Where can I study?

Blended learning
Person using laptop

Study at a time that suits you, using our learning management system.

More about blended learning

Distance learning
Person using laptop

Study at a time that suits you, using our online learning management system.

More about distance learning

Lord Ashcroft Building on our Cambridge campus

Our campus is close to the centre of Cambridge, often described as the perfect student city.

Explore our Cambridge campus

Fees & funding

Course fees

UK students starting 2021/22 (per year)


International students starting 2021/22 (per year)


How do I pay my fees?

UK students

You can pay your fees upfront, in full or in instalments – though you won't need to pay until you've accepted an offer to study with us.

How to pay your fees directly

International students

You can pay your fees upfront, in full or in two instalments. We will also ask you for a deposit of £4,000 or a sponsorship letter. Details will be in your offer letter.

Paying your fees

Funding for postgraduate students

It’s important to decide how to fund your course before applying. Use our finance guide for postgraduate students to learn more about postgraduate loans and other funding options.

We offer a fantastic range of ARU scholarships and bursaries, which provide extra financial support while you're at university.

Entry requirements

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Important additional notes

Whether you're studying entirely online or through a blend of on-campus and online learning from September 2020, you'll need a computer and reliable internet access to successfully engage with your course. A small number of our courses require additional technical specifications or specialist materials. Before starting the course, we recommend that you check our technical requirements for online learning. Our website also has general information for new students about starting university in 2020-21.

Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please email for further information.

Teaching options

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of our students can choose to study face to face on campus or online only. They're also able to change their mode of delivery on given dates in each trimester.

For on-campus teaching, we offer at least four hours face-to-face teaching related contact time per week for our undergraduate full-time courses, supported by online learning using our established online learning systems. The number of contact hours varies course by course, and you can contact us for further information. The provision offered is subject to change due to the possibility of further Government restrictions, however we remain committed to delivering face-to-face teaching and ensuring a COVID-19 secure environment.

In the event that there are further changes to the current restrictions that are in place due to the pandemic, we may need to move some courses online only at short notice to remain in line with Government guidelines and ensure the continued safety of our students and staff.

View the impact of the current restrictions.

International students

We welcome applications from international and EU students, and accept a range of international qualifications.

Whether you're studying entirely online or through a blend of face-to-face and online learning from September 2020, you'll need a computer and reliable internet access to successfully engage with your course. Before starting the course, we recommend that you check our technical requirements for online learning.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you'll need to make sure you meet our English language requirements for postgraduate courses.

Check the standard entry requirements for IELTS requirements for this course.

Improving your English language skills

If you don't meet our English language requirements, we offer a range of courses which could help you achieve the level required for entry.

We also provide our own English Language Proficiency Test (ELPT) in the UK and overseas. To find out if we are planning to hold an ELPT in your country, contact our country managers.

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Get more information

UK & EU applicants

01245 68 68 68

Enquire online

International applicants

+44 1245 68 68 68

Enquire online