An MBA isn’t just a qualification, it’s the way you think. So think like an MBA student. Choose the MBA that equips you with a management toolkit, that you adapt and apply to your extended work placement, and gets you ready for successful career.
You know what you want from your degree: to be prepared for the real world, to gain competitive advantage and to stand out from the crowd. At ARU we want this too.
Studying at our International Business School means interacting with other professionals from around the world. You will be exposed to different cultures and business practices whilst developing your communication, leadership, critical thinking and decision-making skills. Paired with active learning, this environment will prepare you for your work placement. The industry placement will complement your knowledge, let you put your newly acquired skills to the test, and boost your confidence. At the end of your MBA journey, you will have the necessary knowledge, tools and experience to jump start your unrivalled career at a managerial level.
Choosing Cambridge as your MBA destination will give you a unique environment to grow. Surrounded by tech and biotech companies, you will be inspired by the entrepreneurial creativity and constant growth. Known globally as the “Silicon Fen”, Cambridge is a city of innovation, progress, and a thriving economy. The Business School takes advantage of this one-of-a-kind environment by building strong links with businesses, which benefit you as an MBA student and give you the insight to choose the right organisation for your work placement.
Our partnership with the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) means that our MBA students boost their advanced management training with a Level 7 CMI accreditation. This qualification enables a quicker career progression and helps our students stand out in the job market.
You’ll be responsible for sourcing your own placement in a company of your interest, but our Student Engagement and Placements team will give you full support and guidance throughout the process.
Please note entry to the MBA with Placement requires a minimum of two years relevant work experience and a successful interview.
Our MBA with placement course will equip you with the management and entrepreneurial abilities to succeed in a wide range of business fields, as well as practical experience, acquired through your work placement, to complement your qualification. 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
Marketing ResearchIn this module the theory of market research is combined with the opportunity to practise the associated skills. Students undertake a project involving the collection and analysis of primary data using a software package such as SPSS. The tutor acts as both ‚client’ and project advisor during workshops, some of which will focus specifically on the use of the computer package. There are no formal lectures. The learning will take place through the experience of conducting a survey and/or collecting qualitative data by interview. Students will use the literature to familiarise themselves with the most appropriate methodologies to use. The projects will be group-based where appropriate. The module aims to enable students to plan and implement a market research strategy. Considerable attention will be given to the analysis of market research data, and the presentation and reporting of research findings.
Managing PeopleThis module introduces future business leaders to the latest research and debates on the relationship between competitive strategy and human resource management. Particular attention will be paid to the rapid transformation of the relationship between firms and people. In this spirit, we will consider challenges and opportunities presented by the spread of alternative forms to traditional work organization such as virtual organisations, outsourcing and subcontracting, and the rise of labour market intermediaries. The module will also provide you with practical, analytic tools that will help you think strategically about how work can be organised and individuals and communities motivated (and de-motivated). Specifically, we will explore ways in which better management of workplace communities can deliver sustainable competitive advantage through recruiting and selection, development, work reorganisation, incentives and rewards, and the like. To do so, we will consider a range of competitive strategies, their links to specific practices in and beyond the workplace, and the critical issues on which the success or failure of these strategies depends. You will be given the opportunity to put themselves in the position of organisational leaders facing major human resource challenges through the extensive discussion of business cases.
Supply Chain Strategy and OperationsSupply chain management is a major strategic concern for organisations, it is often stated that individual organisations no longer compete, but that the impetus of competition has shifted to supply chains/networks. A number of strategic philosophies and techniques are explored on the module that focuses on improving the efficiency and effectiveness of supply chain flow. This module highlights how the ever-demanding customer creates a need for managing the network from raw materials to end-customer across organisational interfaces. Therefore, supply chain networks rely on effective management of relationships and outsourcing arrangements. Supply chains can be fragile due to the participants and external risks, risk management strategies are applied within the module. Any logistics/supply chain strategy has to make trade-offs in terms of cost; quality; flexibility; dependability and time. These strategic priorities are explored in an intensive supply chain simulation game. The game simulations a product supply chain, including necessary functions produces results and statistics about the supply chain that the students must improve over the course of the semester. The overall aim is to provide an insight into the system consequences of decisions, focusing on operational decisions, e.g. procurement, manufacturing, distribution, transport etc. Here students will work in teams, to represent the management of the company, therefore, they must develop a strategy and work together to implement their decisions. The impetus is on real-life practice and the impetus here is on learning by doing. Within this module, students will build team-work; communication; analytical; project management; time management and presentation skills.
Research Methods for Business and ManagementThis module prepares students to undertake a piece of business or management research for their Masters project by developing appropriate knowledge, understanding and transferable intellectual and practical skills. Emphasis is placed on developing skills most likely to lead to a successful closure of a research journey set within any organisational setting identified by students in the role of either academic or practitioner researchers. Skills such as the ability to frame research aims, generate research questions/hypothesis, and research objectives, the ability to generate a conceptual framework, the ability to select and justify a particular research design and methodology and the ability to act as an ethical researcher so as not to spoil the field are all central features of this module. In addition the generation of core practical skills such as the ability to generate and analyse quantitative and qualitative data are central to this module. By developing this knowledge, understanding and transferable intellectual and practical skills the true aims of conducting research will be realised. Students will gain confidence in a range of cognitive and practical skills suitable to conducting research projects in a range of international business contexts so as to add to knowledge and understanding. One of the main focuses for the design of this module has been the further development of relevant employability and professional skills. Such skills are implicit in the learning outcomes. Multiculturalism has been considered during the design of this module and will be considered when the assessment brief is written.
Finance for Decision MakingManagement decision making is a complex subject involving many variable factors. This module explores the financial element contained in decisions and the techniques that may be used to assist informed management decisions. It is assumed that the student has already acquired a knowledge of financial vocabulary, the concepts behind basic financial terminology and the financial statements. The module begins by considering the availability of financial information that may be relevant to decision making and how this fits with that needed for the informed 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. In order to fulfil the requirements identified as necessary for the informed decision the module 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. The link to corporate governance best practice is also explored. The module is designed to be contextualised for students from different organisations and sectors, and for it to be delivered to students without practical management experience. One of the main focuses for the design of this module has been the further development of relevant employability and professional skills. Such skills are implicit in the learning outcomes. The module will be assessed by two written assignments. The first assignment will encourage students to reflect upon the theory and techniques that underpin financial management practice while the following assignment will encourage students to consider how accounting can inform decision making within an organisation.
Strategic ManagementThe module explores the core field of strategic management, and how strategy contributes to organisational performance. It focuses on your organisation’s internal and external environment, and addresses key issues such as competitive advantage.
Project ManagementThe ability to manage projects effectively is widely regarded as a key aspect of management in both private and public sector organisations. This module considers the nature of the project environment, the role adopted by the project manager and the relationships between projects and the objectives of the sponsoring organisation. Throughout the module reference is made to the practical tools and techniques which underpin the activities of the project manager and support the core objectives of the project. Tutorial exercises and case studies support this approach. Students are given hands-on experience of PC software tools – deployed to facilitate planning,costing, critical path analysis (CPA) and resource management. Subsequent PC-based activities include optimisation, progress monitoring, trouble-shooting and rescheduling. One of the main focuses for the design of this module has been the further development of relevant employability and professional skills. Such skills are implicit in the learning outcomes. Multiculturalism has been considered during the design of this module and will be considered when the assessment brief is written.
Leadership and ChangeThis module will 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 & leader-led relations.
Postgraduate Work Placement – MBAThis module will allow you to undertake a work placement. It gives you the opportunity to put into practice what you have learnt in your course by offering real-life practical experience in the field as well as an opportunity to undertake some research for the company in which you are placed. During this module you will be supported to source and then undertake a year-long (minimum 34 weeks, and at least 8 hours per week) work-based learning experience with a company or organisation where you will be supported developing effective professional practices through guidance in generic and specific employability skills as well as in undertaking real-life research in a work environment. You will develop independent reflective learning practices to enhance your continuing professional development in the context of your own working environment and career aspirations. The module aims to provide you with the opportunity to undertake a placement and then gain experience of work in a business environment including familiarisation with a professional work environment. This module will be underpinned by employability skills training, reflective assessments and support from academic tutors and employers. You will expected to be able to reflect on your own experience in writing and place this in the context of the industry and academic work on the sector in a 10,000 word research-informed portfolio (including a 2,000 word diary) which is the equivalent of your major project. In this portfolio you must demonstrate how you have applied theory, practical knowledge and learnings within a work-based environment. You are also expected to reflect on some research that you have undertaken for the employer and reflect on how this research might benefit the organisation. The assessment aims to support and develop your ability to demonstrate professionalism, leadership and managerial skills to a prospective employer whilst also learning key communication, research and personal skills.
Marketing PlanningThe module has two themes; firstly the critical understanding of the practical tools, techniques, operations and activities of the marketing process, and secondly the marketing decisions on which effective marketing management and planning are based. These two themes separate out the operational marketing activities from the management decisions, and students should be able to develop diagnostic skills in both themes of the module so that they become familiar with processes related to marketing effort. Finally, students need to be able to link external or environmental market dynamics with organisational response. Students will be able to reflect through their practitioner experience and application of the service/product-market relationships and customer/client behaviours in meeting the module outcomes. One of the main focuses for the design of this module has been the further development of relevant employability and professional skills. Such skills are implicit in the learning outcomes. Multiculturalism has been considered during the design of this module and will be considered when the assessment brief is written.
Entrepreneurship and InnovationThis module reviews the classical models of entrepreneurship and examines the main characteristics of entrepreneurs within organisations. Recent approaches to entrepreneurship are examined. Ways of fostering entrepreneurial culture, at every level within the organisation, are surveyed. The role of entrepreneurship and innovation in economic growth are analysed by applying, for example, Porter’s Diamond model to a selected region. The role and nature of small business start-ups is critically reviewed. Creative and integrative thinking are stimulated by application of various methods, e.g. Buzan’s Mind-Mapping. The context of innovation within the modern business environment is reviewed. The significance and outcomes of the innovation process are examined. Mechanisms for protecting innovations and intellectual property are reviewed.
Human Resource Management in the Global ContextThis module sets out to investigate how, and if, human resource management (HRM)) operates in the international arena. This is done in two ways: by considering differences in national HRM policies and practices and by examining how businesses overcome the people problems associated with operating in more than one country. This will lead to a questioning of the extent to which HRM can be seen as a global phenomenon. In order to undertake this module effectively it is assumed that students will have some familiarity with HRM practices in at least one country and a desire to uncover similarities and differences in others. One of the main focuses for the design of this module has been the further development of relevant employability and professional skills. Such skills are implicit in the learning outcomes. Assessment will be by a 3,000-word assignment.
Digital Marketing CommunicationsIn any management role undertaken within an organisation students will require an appreciation of the power and influence of digital marketing. This module aims to increase employability of students by providing individuals with many of the necessary skills, as well as a critical understanding, of digital marketing. This will be essential as they enter employment in today’s dynamic digitally influenced business environment. The lectures in this module will encourage students to critically examining emerging theories and models within this academic field of study. Students will be asked to undertake a critical examination of digital marketing strategies for both profit and not for profit organisations which deliver integrated online communications for both large organisations and SME’s (small and medium sized enterprises). Students will examine evidence of the change in consumer behaviour and increase in online activities such as social activism. They will also be required to investigate the influence of tribes, communities and virtual crowds in online behaviour and the effective use of WOM (word of mouth) and viral marketing as part of campaign tactics. Important consideration of legal and regulatory issues affecting digital marketing, together with emerging codes of practice and ethical issues will be addressed in lectures. An understanding and development of basic skills in appropriate use of digital tools such as social media, online advertising and mobile will be addressed in seminars. This will lead to a case study assessment where students are encouraged to consider the appropriate application of these tools.
Sustainable Supply ChainsSustainability poses a considerable challenge to global supply chains, which are inherently complex and involve many partners. This module explores the concept of being sustainable in a supply chain context: both in internal processes and decisions, but also in the wider supply network considering the role of responsible procurement strategy. The concept of triple bottom line, which considers the financial; social and environmental effect of business, is explored. The focus then turns to how to manage the immediate and eventual environmental effects of products and processes associated with converting raw materials into final products. Therefore, lifecycle management is studied and sustainable strategies and practices across core supply chain activities, including procurement; production; logistics; packaging; warehousing and distribution. Transportation/logistics is often seen one of the most significant factors in environmental sustainability. Hence, transport mode, planning and routing processes are evaluated in the supply chain context. There is practical consideration of the effect of transport mode decisions on: cost; speed; convenience and environment. Organisations and supply chains must respond to the pressures for environmental sustainability as corporate social responsibility and legislation begin to take hold. Therefore, there is focus on how environmental impact will need to be monitored, as well as, more proactive practices such as the recycling, reclamation, remanufacturing and reverse logistics are being adopted. Closed loop supply chains and the associated activities of integrated waste management and reverse logistics are explored. The module also draws on the contextual issues, including: regulatory and legal frameworks, European and Global UN agreements, which continue to exert increasing pressure on supply chains to manage and improve environment impact. Consideration and application of carbon management ideas is also discussed. Overall, the module seeks to provide a contemporary view of sustainability and the future implications for managing supply chains.
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 20 month programme if you start in September, 24 months if you start in January.
Please note that modules are subject to change and availability.