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Business Administration (MBA)

This course is designed to provide you with a comprehensive background in business and management, providing you with the knowledge and expertise for a management career in industry, commerce or the public sector.

The Cardiff MBA is designed to help you to develop the knowledge, skills and experience you need to become a successful manager. Its practical outputs will equip you with the insight into business practice you need for your future in a changing global environment.

Studying as part of an international cohort you will build a deeper understanding of the core disciplines in business and management and how they are linked to make businesses work.

The combination of theory and practical application provides you with problem-solving management skills of immediate and enduring value.

The MBA will develop your interpersonal skills, your business intuition, your sense of entrepreneurship and your ability to tackle everyday challenges, within a supportive environment of friendly competition and collaboration.

It will provide you with evidence of personal dedication and commitment, an international orientation, presentation and communication skills and greater confidence in your overall managerial abilities.

Distinctive features

  • You will be part of a community which is committed to delivering social improvement alongside economic development in the world’s first Public Value Business School.
  • You will study at a Business School ranked 1st in the UK for research environment and 6th for research excellence (REF 2014).
  • You will be a student of the only business school in Wales accredited by AACSB international (and one of only 5% worldwide).
  • The Cardiff MBA takes a strong international perspective in all areas.

Key facts

Next intakeSeptember 2019
Duration1 year
AccreditationsAssociation to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
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Admissions criteria

Suitable for graduates in a wide range of disciplines, including arts and science subjects as well as the usual business-oriented degrees.

Applications will be considered from recent graduates with a 1st or 2:1 Honours degree from an approved university or those with a similar level of qualification gained by other methods. Non-graduates with approved professional qualifications or work experience may also be considered under certain circumstances.

If English is not your first language you will be required to pass an IELTS exam, obtaining a minimum score of 6.5 with a sub score of 5.5 in each paper.

Find out more about English language requirements.

Applicants who require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK must present an acceptable English language qualification in order to meet UKVI (UK Visas and Immigration) requirements

There are four stages:

  • Foundation,
  • Application,
  • Specialisation
  • Business Project. 

You will take six modules in each of the Foundation and Application stages; each module is compulsory and carries 10 credits. In the Specialisation stage you will take a further three 10-credit elective modules. 

Subject to satisfactory completion of these stages you will progress to a 30-credit major project. 

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2019/20 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2019.

Phase 1 - Foundation Stage (core) – September to December

Designed to give you a strong grounding in the basics of business management, the Foundation stage introduces you to the core components that make organisations function.

You will understand the resources that an organisation requires, the processes that control organisational operations, and the approaches through which organisations relate to their international and external environments. It also develops the skills you will need to complete your MBA study successfully.

Phase 2 - Application Stage (core) – January to March

The Application stage provides you with the opportunity to advance your thinking and knowledge by developing and applying the core themes studied in the Foundation stage.

This stage focuses on the strategic business context, the development of organisational human capital, the management of the marketing function and the analysis and control of financial and business operations.

Group Business Plan

You will undertake a business plan that is group-based, giving you the opportunity to develop team working skills. You will work in an international, multicultural team where you will solve complex business problems, integrating the skills and knowledge gained in other modules.

Each member of the group takes on a formal leadership role for a period. The task requires groups to identify and plan the first five years of a start-up business. The group business plan will involve input from external business mentors, giving you the opportunity to test your ideas and to develop further understanding of the dynamics of businesses.

Judges in previous years have included senior managers from industry, leading professional firms and government agencies.

Phase 3 - Specialisation Stage – April to June

Increasingly, MBA students want to focus their studies on specific areas of business and management.

In response, we offer different optional pathways: Accounting and Finance, General, Human Resource Management, and International Management, Marketing and Strategy, Operations Management and Logistics.

Phase 4 - The Business Project – June to September

Replacing the traditional dissertation, the Business Project provides the opportunity to test the theories you have learnt in a practical environment. Knowledge from across the subjects studied in the Foundation and Application stages will be integrated within this project.

You will be supported by a member of faculty who will act as your internal project mentor throughout the duration of the project.


Module titleModule codeCredits
Study Skills (MBA) (incorporating Business Statistics)BST51010 credits
Financial Analysis and ControlBST51110 credits
Organisational BehaviourBST51210 credits
MarketingBST51310 credits
Operations AnalysisBST51410 credits
The Business EnvironmentBST51610 credits
Financial ManagementBST52010 credits
Human Resource ManagementBST52110 credits
Strategic ManagementBST52210 credits
Marketing ManagementBST52310 credits
International BusinessBST52410 credits
Business PlanBST52510 credits
Business ProjectBST56030 credits
Module titleModule codeCredits
Marketing ResearchBST53210 credits
Corporate GovernanceBST53310 credits
Strategic Operations ManagementBST53410 credits
International ManagementBST53510 credits
Consumer BehaviourBST53610 credits
Electronic BusinessBST53710 credits
Global MarketingBST53810 credits
International Sustainable BusinessBST53910 credits
Management ConsultingBST54010 credits
Management of ChangeBST54210 credits
Managerial FinanceBST54310 credits
Multinational Financial ManagementBST54410 credits
Advances in Strategic ManagementBST54510 credits
Lean OperationsBST54610 credits
Business AnalysisBST54810 credits
Leading People PerformanceBST54910 credits
Purchasing and Supply Chain ManagementBST56110 credits
The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

How will I be taught?

Our teaching is heavily informed by research and combines academic rigour with practical relevance. Our internationally leading faculty consists of academics who are at the forefront of knowledge within their field. They bring the lessons learnt from their most recent research into the classroom, giving students access to up to date real-life examples and scenarios and critical business thinking.

Your teaching and learning resources will be provided and we will be responsive to your needs and views. For your part, you will need to put in the necessary amount of work both during and outside formal teaching sessions, and to make good use of the facilities provided.

Methods of teaching

Most modules involve a mixture of lectures and small group teaching (called syndicates, seminars, workshops or tutorials). 

In a lecture, the lecturer will mainly give an overview of a particular aspect of the module content (as well as opportunities for you to ask questions and be reflective), while in classes and workshops you will have an opportunity to practice techniques, discuss ideas, apply concepts and consolidate your understanding in the topic

How will I be supported?

You will be allocated a personal tutor at the beginning of your studies. Normally, your personal tutor will teach on your own degree course and you will keep the same personal tutor throughout your course.

Your personal tutor will be able to give you advice on academic issues, including module choice and assessment. If you encounter any problems which affect your studies, your personal tutor should always be your first point of contact; she/he will be able to put you in touch with the wide range of expert student support services provided by the University and the Students' Union as appropriate. You are required to meet with your personal tutor at three points during each academic year but you are also encouraged to get in touch with them at any other point if you need help or advice.

For day-to-day information, the staff of our Postgraduate Student Hub are available, in person, by telephone or by email, from 8am to 6pm each weekday during term time to answer your questions.


We’ll provide you with regular feedback on your work. This comes in a variety of formats including oral feedback, personalised feedback on written work, and generic written feedback.

You will be given general feedback in relation to examinations following all examination periods and you will be able to discuss your overall performance with your personal tutor.

When undertaking the dissertation/project you are expected to meet regularly with your supervisor to review progress and discuss any questions. Your supervisor will be able to provide feedback on your research plan and drafts of your work as you progress.

How will I be assessed?

Assessment methods vary from module to module but, across your degree scheme as a whole, you can expect a mixture of exams, coursework, essays, practical work, presentations, and individual and group projects.

What skills will I practise and develop?

As a result of engaging fully with this course, you will acquire and develop a range of valuable skills, both discipline-specific and more generic ‘employability skills’. These will allow you to:

  • grasp complex issues with confidence;
  • ask the right questions of complex texts;
  • have an imaginative appreciation of different views and options and analyse these critically;
  • identify and apply relevant data;
  • develop practical research skills;
  • propose imaginative solutions of your own that are rooted in evidence;
  • communicate clearly, concisely and persuasively in writing and speech;
  • sourcing, interpreting and presenting relevant numerical information – to support the composition of projects reports and business cases;
  • work to deadlines and priorities, managing a range of tasks at the same time;
  • work as part of a team, developing a collaborative approach to problem-solving;
  • use IT programmes and standard software packages, where appropriate;
  • take responsibility for your own learning programme and professional development.

We are aware that the majority of our students undertake postgraduate qualifications to improve their prospects in the job market. The MBA is widely regarded as the necessary business qualification to develop the skills that modern business managers need. After leaving us, the vast majority of our students go on to employment or further study. Many of our graduates now hold key positions in major corporations across the globe.

Major firms regularly visit the School to recruit our students. Whilst studying with us you will be able to attend recruitment fairs and presentations, see our team of specialist careers advisors and gain help with CV writing, interview skills and aptitude tests.

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2019/20)

Tuition feeDepositNotes

More information about tuition fees and deposits, including for part-time and continuing students.

EU students entering in 2019/20 will pay the same tuition fee as UK students for the duration of their course. Please be aware that fees may increase annually in line with inflation. No decisions regarding fees and loans for EU students starting in 2020/21 have been made yet. These will be determined as part of the UK's discussions on its membership of the EU and we will provide further details as soon as we can.

Students from outside the EU (2019/20)

Tuition feeDepositNotes

More information about tuition fees and deposits, including for part-time and continuing students.