Executive Master of Business Administration (MBA)
- Duration: 28 months
- Mode: Part time
Why study this course
Build the knowledge, leadership skills and networks to realise your career potential and make an impact in your organisation.
Demanding careers and family commitments are common obstacles to middle management professional development. In a business world of high input and high output, professionals are rarely afforded the headspace to plan and prepare a way forward.
The business of changing management is ours.
Our Executive MBA is your catalyst for change. Delivered in three-day blocks, over 28 months, the programme gives you the freedom and flexibility to pursue your career ambitions and study alongside work and home commitments.
Our team of academic and practitioner experts will help you become a reflective leader by encouraging you to integrate newly acquired theories and knowledge with the skills, values and experiences derived from your work and life to date. Whatever your background, they’ll bring you up to speed with the latest research and real-world insights from business, industry and beyond.
This research-informed, practice-focused, teaching will enhance your existing knowledge in core business management areas like finance, marketing, strategy, human resources, entrepreneurship and innovation.
Over ten core modules, two elective modules and a dissertation, you’ll evaluate the social, economic and environmental implications of management decision making in a range of sectoral and international contexts to forge a way forward for you and your organisation.
- A programme designed to fit around work commitments, only requiring three days away from the office at any one time.
- 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).
Candidates for this part time programme will normally be graduates of a recognised institution with a minimum of a 2:1 undergraduate degree (or international equivalent) and at least 3 years’ relevant work experience.
Non-graduates with professional qualifications or significant work experience may also be considered.
Applicants whose first language is not English are required to obtain a minimum overall IELTS score of 7.0, and at least 6.5 in all other categories. (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.
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
- freedom of movement
- contact with people related to Cardiff University.
Our two-year Executive MBA programme has been designed to fit around work commitments, with modules delivered in weekday blocks of three days, approximately 8 weeks apart.
The structure of the degree consists of 12 x 10 credit modules in part one. This will consist of 10 core modules and a choice of two electives from three in any one academic session.
Part two will consist of a 60 credit dissertation which describes an individual piece of research work conducted within your own organisation or industry.
You will be expected to submit your dissertation no later than the January following the end of year two. This is to allow you to schedule your research work around the normal commitments of your employment and family life.
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.
In year one you will undertake core modules and one optional module.
Intellectual skills are promoted within teaching blocks through presentations, the examination of case studies, group discussion, debate and assignment. The case study sessions will enable you to apply the theoretical concepts taught in the lectures to real-world contexts.
In year two you will take the following core modules and can choose one of the two optional modules not taken in the first year.
Upon successful completion of the taught modules you will undertake a dissertation based on a piece of research within your own organisation. The dissertation is submitted in January following the end of the second year.
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?
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 you 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.
The Executive MBA is taught in thirteen blocks of three days which typically run from 9am to 5pm. Once a module is completed you will have approximately four weeks to complete an assignment. A great deal of learning happens within the cohort itself as you learn about other sectors, and how to bring about organisational change, together.
How will I be assessed?
All modules are assessed by a written assignment of 3,000 words given to you at the end of each module. You will have around four weeks to complete each assignment.
You are also required to submit a 20,000 word dissertation.
How will I be supported?
You will be allocated a personal tutor at the beginning of your studies. Your personal tutor will be able to give you advice on academic issues, including elective 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.
The Executive MBA Programme Director is also on hand to provide advice and guidance and to help with any issues you may encounter whilst undertaking the course.
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.
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.
What skills will I practise and develop?
If you are a manager who wants to adopt strategies and gain expertise to build and sustain business effectiveness in a competitive global market place then the Executive MBA is for you.
Our programme is designed to provide you with the knowledge and tools to enhance your professional performance and help you to realise your career potential and aspirations. It is a challenging programme but you will gain the breadth of knowledge and confidence needed to work right across any organisation, to have a strategic influence and to effect change.
The programme offers you the opportunity to apply your managerial experiences and academic theory to practical situations. The programme provides:
- Interaction with researchers and business scholars, many of whom produce world-leading research.
- The flexibility to manage a full-time career and study a widely recognised business qualification.
- The opportunity to share experiences with members of your cohort.
- The development of practical skills for management.
- The opportunity to network with members of the Cardiff Business School Alumni Association and to attend talks given by high-profile speakers.
Students from the UK
|Tuition fee (2021/22)||Deposit|
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|
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.
Will I need any specific equipment to study this course/programme?
We’re based in one of the UK’s most affordable cities. Find out more about living costs in Cardiff.
At Cardiff Business School, you’ll receive a career-changing 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.
We’re focused on your future. As an Executive MBA student, you’ll access a dedicated Executive Coach to help you shape a programme of personalised professional development so that you can realise your career potential.
We’ve developed relationships that range from the largest multinationals to the smallest micro-businesses including 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.
This wide ranging and varied learning experience will help enhance your career and demonstrate how you can make a difference along the way.
You'll be part of a group of approximately 20 managers from a broad range of organisations.
Over the last few years, the cohort has included professionals from Admiral Insurance, Scottish and Southern Electricity, Deloitte, Cardiff Council, NHS, Amazon, General Electric, the Fire and Rescue Service, and many other successful public and private organisations.