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Business Management (MSc)

  • Duration: 1 year
  • Mode: Full time

Course options See other modes of study
Start date

Conversion course

This is a conversion course. No prior knowledge or degree in the subject is required.


Open day

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

Why study this course

Become an effective manager who can offer creative solutions to a variety of business challenges.


Boost your career prospects

You'll get support from professional advisors to fulfil your career ambitions, including workshops on job search skills, CV writing and more.


Work experience

Choose to transfer to our two-year programme with a professional placement year, spending year two in industry.


Get connected

You'll have access to our global alumni network and our programme of high-profile business speakers and company visits.


Make a difference

Opportunities to make a difference to society and the economy through study and extra-curricular activity in line with our Public Value purpose.


Cardiff Bootcamp

An extended introduction specially designed to embed you into the programme and the Cardiff learning community.


Professional accreditation

We're the only business school in Wales accredited by AACSB International, a hallmark of excellence awarded to the world’s elite business schools.

AACSB International

The MSc Business Management programme is designed for students from any discipline who want to develop essential insights into the world of business and the key management skills that will provide the competitive edge needed to launch a successful management career.

The programme recognises that we live in an increasingly interconnected, complex and changing world.  Consequently, beyond managing the core business, we help you evaluate the social, economic and environmental implications of management decision making in a range of sectoral and international business contexts.  Our aim is to help you become an effective manager who can offer creative solutions to a variety of business challenges.

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.

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  • Telephone+44 (0)29 2087 4674
  • MarkerColum Road, Cathays, Cardiff, CF10 3EU

Admissions criteria

This is a conversion course. Conversion courses allow you to study a subject unrelated to your undergraduate degree or current career, and support you with a change of career path. No prior knowledge or degree in the subject is required.

Candidates are expected to have a minimum of a 2:1 (GPA 3.0/4.0) at undergraduate level, from a recognised institution

Non-graduates with approved professional qualifications and/or work experience may also be considered.

Applicants whose first language is not English are required to obtain a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each category (or an equivalent English language qualification).

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

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 MSc Business Management is structured around six module blocks, plus a Consultancy Challenge. The first and last module blocks are scheduled on their own as introductory and capstone learning experiences.  The four other modules are scheduled in pairs.

We recognise that you will be making a transition from one area of study to another, to a more advanced level of learning, and possibly to a different learning culture. Consequently, the block structure provides an enriched opportunity for extended learning activities, class interaction and review of learning to enhance understanding. It also enables us to offer extra support for individual students to build their confidence.

The introductory module sets the scene for the rest of the programme by considering the key features of the business environment and how this shapes organisations and their decisions. You will then examine core management concepts and practices associated within a range of functional areas.

The modules that follow will help you consider the latest research and practice in business management, including core areas such as marketing, strategy, finance, logistics, economics and human resources.

Your enhanced knowledge and skills will be integrated and applied in a capstone ‘Business in Action’ module. Here you will explore a series of large-scale and complex global issues that present significant dilemmas for the effective management of business.

Choice and specialisation is embedded within modules.  For example, the ‘Business in Action’ module will provide you with the opportunity to focus on a contemporary debate or issue that has particular relevance for your future career.

The programme concludes with a Consultancy Project.  Reflecting the team-based structure of contemporary organisations, you will work in a group to analyse, diagnose and recommend practical solutions for a business problem in a realistic and relevant business context that may include charities and not-for-profit enterprises.

You will develop and apply the key technical and soft skills required for effective business management in every module. You will see your confidence as a future manager build cumulatively across the programme as you are given multiple opportunities to respond to practical business management challenges.

All modules are underpinned by a concern to examine the contrasting political, economic, socio-cultural, technological, legal and environmental factors that inform management decision making in different international business contexts. Understanding these dynamics will help you to reflect on the multiple factors that offer opportunities and constraints on management decision-making.

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2020/21 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2020.




Module titleModule codeCredits
Understanding Organisations and the Business EnvironmentBST71020 credits
Global MarketingBST71120 credits
Managing PeopleBST71220 credits
Analysing Financial PerformanceBST71320 credits
Strategic and Operational Decision MakingBST71420 credits
Business in ActionBST71520 credits
Consultancy ChallengeBST72060 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.

Learning and assessment

How will I be taught?

An active learning approach is embedded in the MSc Business Management.  We believe that effective learning is founded on your involvement in diverse 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 the modules.  This will reflect workplace practice and encourage the cross-fertilisation of different perspectives.

Each block of learning includes a variety of activities such as case studies, videos, mini team challenges, role-play, company visits, and industry speakers, all designed to introduce new ideas and develop your understanding.

We will help you to enhance the reflective skills you were introduced to during your first degree, including observation, analysis, and synthesis to ensure that you are able to develop comprehensive insight and clear conclusions about these experiences.

Sharing your understanding with others is also important for building new insights into the nature of business management in a variety of contexts.  You will be encouraged to work collaboratively in diverse teams to consider a range of alternative understandings and practices.

Trying out new learning is important too.  You will integrate and apply new understandings, together with new business management skills, in practical tasks embedded in each learning block, and in formal coursework activities.

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.

A variety of formal assessment tasks provide the opportunity to explore concepts and models in creative and practical ways.  These include poster presentations, case studies, group presentations, reports and videos.  You will work individually and as part of a team, just as you would in the workplace.

All formal assessments are completed within each module.  This enables more in-depth consolidation and application required for successful performance in assessment tasks based on the complex functional level work undertaken by professional managers. It also reflects realistic workplace timescales for the completion of tasks. The capstone module focuses explicitly on the challenge of multi-functional working and multi-faceted problems.

How will I be supported?

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

Careers & Placement Support

Our dedicated Placements Manager offers advice on available work placements, internships, work experience and opportunities to enhance your CV and broaden your horizons. Support for job applications and interview techniques is also available from the Business School’s in-house Careers Consultant.

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.


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?

Knowledge & Understanding:

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

  • Draw on knowledge from relevant functional areas to design solutions to complex business management problems.
  • Critically evaluate management frameworks, models, debates and evidence in a changing context.
  • Critically evaluate the effectiveness of different research approaches for understanding management problems.
  • Debate relevant business management issues in the context of contrasting the political, economic, socio-cultural and legal factors.
  • Demonstrate a critical awareness of the significance of an organisation’s economic and social contribution to society.

Intellectual Skills:

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

  • Analyse methods for generating data relevant to specific contexts.
  • Critically analyse and synthesise information.
  • Evaluate the practical application of theory to practice.
  • Develop and communicate evidence-based recommendations.

Professional Practical Skills:

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

  • Undertake research to address business problems.
  • Utilise accounting techniques.
  • Develop effective work relationships and team working skills.

Transferable/Key Skills:

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

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

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2020/21)

Tuition feeDeposit

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

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.

EU students entering in 2020/21 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. The Welsh Government has not yet confirmed fees and funding for EU students starting in 2021/22. We will provide further details as soon as we can.

Students from outside the EU (2020/21)

Tuition feeDeposit

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

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

Will I need any specific equipment to study this course/programme?

No specific equipment is needed to study on this programme.

Careers and placements

This programme will give you new opportunities for employment in business, supplementing the skills and knowledge you acquired in your first degree  to build on what you learnt and the skills you acquired in your first degree with management insight, tools and techniques to give you an added advantage as you enter the workplace.


There are no placement opportunities within this one-year programme. However, if you decide that you would like to undertake a year-long placement, you can either apply for the ‘with Professional Placement Year’ programme or transfer into it at any time prior to May.


Master's Excellence Scholarship

This award worth £3000 is open to UK and EU students intending to study one of our taught master’s degrees.

Postgraduate Master’s Finance

If you’re starting your master’s degree in September 2020 or later, you may be able to apply for postgraduate student finance to support your study at Cardiff University.

Alumni Discount Pilot Scheme

An alumni discount scheme for all master’s programmes offered by Cardiff Business School and conversion courses in subjects including journalism, geography and planning, and creative writing.

Next steps


Open Day visits

Register for information about our 2020 dates.

Make an enquiry

Contact us for more information about this course.


Learn more about our truly global university.

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