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Executive Master of Business Administration (MBA)

  • Duration: 28 months
  • Mode: Part time

Start date

Open day

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

Why study this course

Build the knowledge, leadership skills and networks to realise your career potential and make an impact in your organisation.


Personal and professional outcomes

Investigate a significant challenge facing your organisation and produce practical recommendations for improvement.


Exceptional faculty

Learn from internationally recognised academics, industry experts and business practitioners.


Outstanding facilities

Dedicated Executive Education lecture, boardroom and break out facilities based in our multi-million-pound Postgraduate Teaching Centre.


Designed for professionals

Study alongside your work and home commitments with teaching delivered in three-day blocks across 28 months.


AACSB accredited

Awarded to less than 5% of the world’s business schools, AACSB accreditation is a hallmark of business school excellence.

AACSB logo on a white background

AMBA accredited

Our MBA is accredited by the Association of MBAs, one of the world’s leading authorities on postgraduate business education.

Association of MBAs logo on white background

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.


Sian Ballard
“I had reached a point in my career where strategic planning, leadership and the management of change were all important parts of my role. I wanted to increase my confidence in these areas, improve my knowledge and skills and challenge myself academically. The face-to-face teaching blocks were a fantastic opportunity to learn about other organisations and sectors, both as part of the course curriculum, but also from interacting with the other students and finding out about their roles and organisations.”
Siân Ballard Executive MBA

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

Academic requirements:

Typically, you will need to have either:

  • a 2:1 honours degree, or an equivalent international degree
  • a university-recognised equivalent academic qualification
  • or relevant professional experience evidenced by a reference.

English Language requirements:

IELTS with an overall score of 7.0 with 6.5 in all subskills, or an accepted equivalent.

Other essential requirements:

You will need to provide evidence of at least 3 years of relevant work experience.

Application deadline:

We allocate places on a first-come, first-served basis, so we recommend you apply as early as possible.

Selection process:

We will review your application and if you meet the entry requirements, we will invite you to an interview, either in person or by Skype, to establish your level of work experience, your aptitude for the programme, and your motivation.

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

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.

Part one

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

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 2022/23 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2022.

Year one

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.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Corporate FinanceBST60310 credits
Operations ManagementBST60410 credits
MarketingBST60510 credits
Strategic ManagementBST60610 credits
Organisational BehaviourBST61210 credits
Leadership and Professional DevelopmentBST62010 credits

Year two

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.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Dissertation (MBA Part Time)BST61960 credits
Human Resource ManagementBST60710 credits
International BusinessBST60910 credits
Sustainable Business ManagementBST61110 credits
Entrepreneurship and InnovationBST62110 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?

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.

Tuition fees for 2022 entry

Students from the UK

Year Tuition fee Deposit
Year one £10,000 None

Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland

If you are an EU/EEA/Swiss national, unless you qualify for UK fee status, tuition fees 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)

Year Tuition fee Deposit
Year one £10,000 £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

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


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 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.

Portrait of man outdoors
“The course gave me a chance to refocus on my skills and enabled me to tap into the immense knowledge of the teaching staff who really stretch your thinking. The group sessions also gave me the chance to work with some friendly, fun loving Type-A personalities and to practice getting these high achievers to work as a team.”
Stuart Pace Executive MBA


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 Cardiff University graduates who are planning to start an eligible master's programme in 2022/23.

Next steps


Open Day visits

Register for information about our 2021 dates.

Make an enquiry

Contact us for more information about this course.


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HESA data: Copyright Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited 2020. The Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited cannot accept responsibility for any inferences or conclusions derived by third parties from its data. Data is from the latest Graduate Outcomes Survey 2017/18, published by HESA in June 2020.