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Business Administration (MBA)

  • Duration: 1 year
  • Mode: Full time

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Open day

Find out more about studying here as a postgraduate at our next Open Day.

Why study this course

Tackle leadership challenges and consider the economic, social and environmental impact of global business.

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Leadership development

Assess your leadership capability, craft a personal development path and build key leadership skills on our bespoke, wrap-around programme.

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Make Cardiff connections

Become part of our capital business community through networking events, access to business leaders and alumni.

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Accelerator project

Consolidate your learning and professional experiences as you respond to a complex, multi-faceted problem posed by a business client.

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A Cardiff welcome

Springboard into the programme and learning community with a custom-made orientation and team building programme.

Are you an ambitious professional looking to progress to senior leadership and drive positive business change? If this sounds like you then the Cardiff MBA is a great next step.

Whatever your managerial background, we offer a challenging experience that will stretch and support you, developing your business knowledge, increasing your self-awareness and sharpening your ability as an effective and inspiring leader along the way.

Take this opportunity to thrive alongside like-minded, experienced professionals as you consider the wider commercial, social and environmental impacts of decision-making on global business.

The business of changing the world is ours. Together we can make a difference.

We believe that effective learning is founded on two things: your involvement in diverse and challenging experiences and the way you make sense of these experiences, individually and with others.

With that in mind, the Cardiff MBA is delivered in immersive blocks designed to stimulate your curiosity, inform your process of enquiry and strengthen the application of your learning. You’ll find that each block of learning involves a rich variety of activities including company visits, industry speakers, time-limited challenges, role-play and simulations.

You’ll benefit from small group work and block teaching allowing you to master specific interdisciplinary approaches before an opportunity to develop a specialisation via our accelerator project. The programme concludes with a capstone module bringing together the segments of expertise acquired over the course of your MBA experience.

The diversity of our student cohort and our academic staff is a real asset. Opportunities to collaborate with peers, academics and practitioners to challenge your existing knowledge structures, assumptions, values and skills will help you to reconsider your current understanding and to explore issues from different perspectives.

Our MBA is designed to tackle real-world challenges, and this is reflected in our assessment of your work. Reflecting the workplace, you’ll work individually and as part of a team to complete assessment tasks spanning strategy, personnel, consultancy, innovation and crisis.

This structure enables you to customise your MBA programme on six challenge-focused modules with in-built flexibility to suit your career aspirations.

 

Accreditations

Where you'll study

Cardiff Business School

We're an AACSB International accredited Business School with a clear purpose: to make a difference in the communities of Wales and the world.

  • icon-chatGet in touch
  • Telephone+44 (0)29 2087 4674
  • MarkerColum Road, Cathays, Cardiff, CF10 3EU

Admissions criteria

Applicants are expected to have a minimum of a 2:1 (GPA 3.0/4.0) at undergraduate level, from a recognised institution, and at least 3 years’ relevant work experience. Non-graduates with approved professional qualifications and/or significant work experience may also be considered.

Interview process: Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed, either in person or by Skype, to establish their level of work experience, their aptitude for the programme, and their motivation.

Applicants whose first language is not English are required to obtain a minimum IELTS score of 7.0 overall with 6.0 in each category (or an equivalent English language qualification).

Find out more about English language requirements.

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

Criminal convictions

You are not required to complete a DBS (Disclosure Barring Service) check or provide a Certificate of Good Conduct to study this course.

If you are currently subject to any licence condition or monitoring restriction that could affect your ability to successfully complete your studies, you will be required to disclose your criminal record. Conditions include, but are not limited to:

  • access to computers or devices that can store images
  • use of internet and communication tools/devices
  • curfews
  • freedom of movement
  • contact with people related to Cardiff University.

Course structure

The Cardiff MBA is structured around a series of six challenge-focussed modules, based on cross-functional and action-based scenarios typically found in the workplace. A number of themes will provide integration across the modules.  These may include Responsible Leadership, Digital Transformation and The Future of Work. Choice and specialisation is embedded in modules.  For example, the ‘Confronting Grand Challenges’ module will provide you with the opportunity to focus on a challenge that has particular relevance for your future career.

The learning required to engage with the challenges is experienced in immersive blocks designed to stimulate your curiosity, inform your process of enquiry and strengthen the application of your learning.

This approach provides an enriched opportunity for:

  • the use of multiple and extended activities to enhance understanding
  • student interaction to support shared sense making
  • guided in-depth inquiry
  • collaboration between students and the programme team
  • frequent review of insights and development
  • focussed learning rather than the distracting demands of multiple modules
  • structured independent learning

Challenges include a business strategy simulation, a time-constrained solution to a brief from a senior management team, the development of an innovative business solution and a complex multi-stakeholder challenge.  The Accelerator Project is a real-world project carried out in partnership with a corporate client to develop solutions to a significant strategic issue. The concluding module then uses a crisis management simulation to consider the multiple facets of current leadership challenges.  It also anticipates the future landscape and transformative change this requires.

This immersive challenge-based structure will enhance your capability in four interrelated areas. You will:

  • develop a holistic understanding of core business areas and processes, drawing on contrasting functional, disciplinary and contextual perspectives;
  • integrate theory and practice to promote critical thinking and problem solving;
  • engage with the complex, dynamic and ambiguous nature of strategic decision-making; 
  • gain enhanced insight into your personal potential and develop advanced leadership skills.

Running throughout the programme is a supporting package of activities provided by the MBA’s Leadership Development Programme.  These directly address the personal and professional skills needed for you to perform effectively in each challenge, and in the next stage of your career. There will be a particular focus on being resilient, resourceful, responsible and relational.

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2021/22 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2021.

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.

Learning and assessment

How will I be taught?

An active learning approach is embedded in the Cardiff MBA.  We believe that effective learning is founded on two things – your involvement in diverse and challenging experiences, and the way you make sense of those experiences, both individually and with others. A team that includes academics from multiple disciplines, and practitioners representing a range of functions and sectors will facilitate each module.  This will reflect workplace practice and encourage the cross-fertilisation of different perspectives.

You will find that each block of learning involves a rich variety of activities including company visits, industry speakers, time-limited challenges, role-play,and simulations. These are all designed to reconsider your existing understanding and to explore issues from different perspectives. The diverse backgrounds within the student cohort make a valuable contribution here.

We will help you to enhance your higher order reflective skills, including observation, analysis, and synthesis to develop comprehensive conclusions about these experiences.

We will also encourage you to reflect collaboratively with peers, academics and practitioners to challenge your existing knowledge structures, assumptions, values and skills.  This will also enable you to negotiate and build new insights into the nature of leadership and business practice and develop creative responses to business problems. 

You will have opportunities to integrate and apply new understandings, together with skills from the Leadership Development workshops, in practical tasks embedded in each learning block, and formal coursework challenges around which each module is designed.

How will I be assessed?

The block programme structure provides plenty of opportunities for you to reflect on your learning and development informally.  Short knowledge/skill review activities are built into each module to help you check your progress and improve your approach to learning. This will build your confidence and enhance your approach to formal assessment tasks.

Realistic work problems form the basis of formal module assessments. You will be expected to show extended academic reflection on each task, and also adopt typical business formats to present your findings, including oral presentations, and written reports.

Assessment tasks require you to work individually and as part of a team, just as you would in the workplace.

All formal assessments are completed within each module block.  This enables more in-depth consolidation and application required for successful performance in assessment tasks based on the complex work undertaken by business leaders. It also reflects realistic workplace timescales for the completion of tasks.

How will I be supported?

The University offers a wealth of support for postgraduate students.  These include:

Learning Central

Learning Central is the University’s virtual learning environment.  All programme and module materials are posted here for students to access before, during and after lectures.

Libraries

A variety of hard and electronic copies of books, journals and databases are available for participants on the programme.  The Aberconway library is located in the main Business school site, and additional resources are available at other libraries throughout the campus. Many journals and books are also available electronically.

Personal Tutor System

Each student is allocated a Personal Tutor.  This member of academic staff will maintain an overview of your learning and educational experiences.  If you are experiencing difficulties, your Personal Tutor will be there to listen and where possible provide professional guidance or else direct you to the appropriate source of support.

The Student Advisory Service

A free, impartial, non-judgemental and confidential service is offered to students on a wide range of personal, financial and academic matters.

Disability & Dyslexia Service

Confidential advice and support is provided for students who are disabled or who have a specific learning difficulty (e.g., dyslexia) or long-term medical condition.

Counselling Service

The Cardiff University Counselling Service provides members of the university community with an opportunity to examine issues that prevent them from maximising their full potential and to explore options for change. The Counselling Service is confidential and free of charge. It has had international recognition as a Centre for Excellence for individual and group counselling.

What skills will I practise and develop?

The Learning Outcomes for this Programme describe what you will be able to do as a result of your study at Cardiff University. They will help you to understand what is expected of you. 

The Learning Outcomes for this Programme can be found below:

Knowledge & Understanding:

On successful completion of the programme you will be able to:

  • Draw on discipline-based knowledge and management experience to design integrated solutions to complex organisational problems.
  • Critically evaluate current management frameworks, models, debates and evidence and integrate with practice.
  • Critically evaluate contrasting research and consultancy skills for engaging with multi-faceted business problems.
  • Analyse the complex environmental context that informs strategic decision making in organisations and practice.
  • Demonstrate a holistic awareness of challenges faced by businesses in making both an economic and social contribution.

Intellectual Skills:

On successful completion of the programme you will be able to:

  • Find and discriminate between competing sources of research and consulting evidence.
  • Analyse methods for generating primary data and management information.
  • Critically analyse and synthesise contrasting perspectives and their supporting evidence.
  • Integrate theory and diverse workplace experiences.
  • Develop compelling arguments to support viable and creative plans of action to convince and brief a range of audiences.

Professional Practical Skills:

On successful completion of the programme you will be able to:

  • Evaluate the practical applications of theory and practice to generate practice-based solutions to unstructured problems.
  • Demonstrate proactivity and the ability to take the initiative
  • Demonstrate responsible and ethical leadership.
  • Identify and address personal and professional development needs.
  • Develop credible methods for gathering primary data.
  • An ability to make decisions in challenging situations.
  • Work effectively in a leadership team.

Transferable/Key Skills:

On successful completion of the programme you will be able to:

  • Solve problems creatively.
  • Communicate to diverse audiences through a range of media.
  • Demonstrate self-reflection and self-awareness.
  • Work independently and collaboratively.
  • Use digital technology.
  • Manage self and others.

Tuition fees

Students from the UK

Tuition fee (2021/22)Deposit
£17,950None

Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland

EU, EEA and Swiss nationals starting in 2020/21 will pay the same tuition fee as UK students for the duration of their course.

If you are an EU/EEA/Swiss national, unless you qualify for UK fee status, tuition fees for 2021/22 will be in line with the fees charged for international students. UKCISA have provided information about Brexit and tuition fees.

Students from the rest of the world (international)

Tuition fee (2021/22)Deposit
£28,450£1,000

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

Financial support

Financial support may be available to individuals who meet certain criteria. For more information visit our funding section. Please note that these sources of financial support are limited and therefore not everyone who meets the criteria are guaranteed to receive the support.

Additional costs

Living costs

We’re based in one of the UK’s most affordable cities. Find out more about living costs in Cardiff.

Career prospects

At Cardiff Business School, you’ll receive a career-changing MBA education from world-leading academics that have different points of view. They’ll challenge your thinking as you consider the world of business from a range of alternative perspectives.

The Cardiff MBA is designed with your future in mind. You’ll benefit from our Career Advantage Service (CAS), which gives you access to the knowledge and expertise of a career consultant and coach for personalised professional development.

Alongside the CAS, a bespoke, wrap-around Leadership Development Programme will help you assess your leadership capability, develop a personal development path and build key leadership skills.

We’ve developed relationships that range from the largest multinationals to the smallest micro-businesses, and include a wide variety of social enterprises and cooperatives. We use these networks to deliver value for our students through:

  • real-world case studies and insights
  • collaboration with our Public Value Entrepreneurs in Residence
  • guest lectures
  • field trips and workshops.

Completing this wide ranging and varied learning experience will enable you to apply for more senior positions or seek transformative career change.

This programme is designed for those with existing work experience. Successful completion of the programme will enable you to apply for more senior positions or seek transformative career change.

Funding

Master's Excellence Scholarships

An award open to students with a home fee status intending to study one of our taught master’s degrees.

UK Government master’s funding

If you are starting your master’s degree in September 2021 or later, you may be able to apply for UK Government postgraduate funding to support your study at Cardiff University.

Alumni Discount Scheme

The alumni discount is available for all master’s programmes in Cardiff Business School, as well as conversion courses in subjects including journalism, geography and planning, and creative writing, and master's programmes in clinical optometry, neuroimaging, education, global cultures, history, philosophy and translation.

Next steps

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