Continual Professional Development
In addition to excellent academic teaching, Durham provides you with additional activities that add value to the experience and to your MBA.
According to recent research by TopMBA, MBA graduates may not always meet recruiters' expectations in terms of soft skills such as interpersonal, strategic thinking, and leadership (QS Research 2007). Durham's Continual Professional Development programme is specifically designed to complement your academic programme to ensure you acquire the key skills sought by employers.
The Executive MBA programme begins in late January with an intensive one-week induction designed to introduce you to the Business School, the MBA team and your fellow students. You will revise your research and study skills and start some of the integral components of the programme, including Continual Professional Development (CPD) that runs throughout the year. These will help you analyse your approach to learning and identify those areas where you will most benefit from improving your existing skills and developing new ones.
During induction you will be allocated to a tutor group; working within this group will help you get off to a good start. Our experience is that these groups, and indeed the wider cohort, act as self-supporting networks within which ideas and experience can be exchanged. Development tools are also used in the group to evaluate strengths and weaknesses in team-working, team building and leadership. With an emphasis on collaborative learning, you will find that you will benefit from the richness of your fellow students' experiences.
The induction programme involves a residential weekend. You might be interested to watch our video. Whilst this was filmed during the full-time residential, the part-time residential involves similar activities. Watch the video>>
Our unique and exciting boardroom activity integrates learning from the core modules into a live boardroom situation. This unique activity is designed to replicate the tensions of a real leadership challenge in order to develop the life skills required in a business environment.
In small teams, you simulate the behaviour of the executive team of a real-world organisation. Your group follows the organisation throughout the term, monitoring its operations (e.g. regularly checking its website, collecting data from electronic sources, the financial press, annual reports, etc). The activity culminates in a role-play of a boardroom meeting, where experienced company executives chair the session and provide guidance, direction and feedback.
You will take part in a schedule of skills development sessions, including for example:
- presentation skills
- team dynamics
- personal effectiveness
Included in the cost of your programme is an international study experience of around a week. Destinations vary from year to year depending on global business and economic interest, but usually include a mixture of European and non-European experiences. Destinations on offer vary from year to year. In 2011 they were China, Germany, Brazil and Sri Lanka. With a mixture of company and organisation visits, lectures and cultural events, you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in and understand the business environment of another country.
Note: You are expected to pay for travel to and from the destination country, some meals and incidental expenses.
To balance theory and practice, Durham University Business School offers an extensive schedule of guest speakers and guest seminars. These events combine thought leadership with the opportunity to network amongst leading thinkers, senior business leaders, staff, students and alumni.
In recent years, we have played host to a wide variety of speakers, all pre-eminent in their fields, including senior executives from regional, national and international businesses:
- Professor Kevan Scholes
- Henry Englehardt, Chief Exec of Admiral Group
- Ray Rist, Senior Evaluation Officer, World Bank, Washington DC
- Gyorgy Mohai, Deputy CEO of the Budapest Stock Exchange
- Professor George Constantinedes from the University of Chicago