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N1K017 Master of Business Administration MBA Postgraduate Taught 2015


UCAS code N1K017
Degree MBA
Mode of study Full Time
Duration 1 year (full-time)
Start Date 28-09-2015
Location Durham City
Department(s) Website
Telephone +44 (0)191 334 5533

Course Content


The Durham MBA: at a glance

The Durham MBA equips you with a unique mix of skills, perfectly suited to today’s dynamic commercial world. As well as a grounding in essential academic theories, you will focus on innovation, decision making and independent thinking.

Through our stimulating boardroom activity and strategic business projects, you will get closer to the sharp end of business – our students work with brands such as Santander, KPMG and Accenture. These challenges, combined with our diverse student community, give our MBA a truly international flavour, ideal for a global marketplace. 

Wherever your MBA takes you, you will have support every step of the way from our dedicated careers consultants, excellent facilities and world-class alumni network.

The Durham MBA: in detail

We have created our MBA to connect you with both the essential theories and realities of global business through dynamic thinking, creativity and international awareness. At the heart of the course are eight core modules: the essential competencies every leader needs. Beyond this, you are free to build a programme around your interests, choosing the elective modules that inspire and interest you.

Your MBA begins with a 10-day induction designed to help you find your feet and get to know the School and Durham. One of the most important elements is the residential training and development weekend. It is a great opportunity to meet your peers in a fun, informal setting.

Of course, we understand that your MBA is a big investment. So, throughout your studies – and after you graduate – you’ll benefit from our career development programme including excellent careers facilities and a dedicated support team. This helps transform an incredible MBA year into a life-changing experience.

Course structure

  • Eight core modules
  • Four elective modules
  • Strategic business project
  • Optional international study week
  • Language opportunities

Eight core modules

These are the foundation of your programme, establishing the management knowledge, understanding and research skills every leader needs. These include: 

Strategic Management

Explores how companies use different strategies to achieve or maintain a competitive advantage.

Managing Finance

Covers the main foundations of managing finance for value creation including the key concepts behind financial systems and markets.

Managing People

Gives you an insight into how modern organisations function and the contribution of Human Resources Management (HRM) to business.

Managing in the Competitive Environment

Looks at the environmental pressures that influence organisations – and how management responds to these issues.

Managing in the Global Environment

Examines the impact of changes in the global business environment on management in a national and international context.

Models for Decision

Covers the key concepts in data description and statistical modelling; monitoring and hypothesis testing; and linear models – and how to apply these in business.

Sustainability, Ethics and Change

Provides an insight into Corporate Social Responsibility and Corporate Governance, including how organisations respond to external challenges such as commercial and sustainability imperatives.

The Boardroom Activity

Develops core practical skills in a corporate boardroom setting – an invaluable opportunity to draw together and test them in a ‘live’ context.

Assessment is by examination, assignments and reports.

Four elective modules

You also select four elective modules in areas that interest you and which are relevant to your future career. Choices may change year on year, but currently include:

Change Management

Develops the ability to critically analyse theoretical and practical approaches to change management, and learn how to manage and sustain change in organisations.

Corporate Finance

Covers the main financial decisions faced by corporations, including those relating to capital budgets, finance, capital structure, dividends, mergers and restructuring.

Corporate Reporting and Control

Develops an understanding of the financial tools of business management and their systems context.

Entrepreneurship and Business Start-up

Covers the need for an entrepreneurial mindset; what entrepreneurship is; and identifies issues involved in the design of the entrepreneurial organisation.

Global Marketing

Builds knowledge and critical understanding of the global competitive marketplace, and international business activity within it, from a marketing perspective. 

Globalising Strategic Management

Explores globalisation and its impact on strategic management, enabling you to develop a critical understanding of its dynamics.

International Enterprise Project

The opportunity to engage as a group with a project in an international development context. Enables participants to apply relevant knowledge in a complex situation; to experience collaborative research and apply relevant analytical tools/frameworks; to recognise and understand the economic, social and environmental factors/impacts relevant to their field of study; and to reflect on the relationship between theory and practice and how ideas, forms, practices and processes may be developed to improve human and environmental well-being. (In 2013, fieldwork was in Sri Lanka.)


Develops your knowledge and understanding, from multiple perspectives, of the key issues in the conceptualisation and practice of leadership.

Management Consultancy

Develops a broad understanding of the role of consultancy in modern business, including that of external and internal consultants, as well as the consultancy process and the key skills of a successful management consultant.

Negotiation Management

Explores iterative methodology and processes for effective negotiation, conflict reduction, compromise development and co-operation strategies.

Project Management

Covers the complexities of managing projects in the widest context of business activity and enables critical examination of the issues and current techniques for successful project planning and control, including the selection and motivation of project teams.

Strategic Supply Chain Management

Explores the contribution that purchasing and supply chain management can make to competitive advantage. 

Coursework is a mix of lectures, case study analysis, individual writing assignments and group presentations. In most cases assessment is by individual assignment.

Strategic Business Project

The programme culminates in a Strategic Business Project which you can undertake via two routes. This can be through a Consultancy Project or an Internship. Both will involve a 15,000-word dissertation on a business topic. This is a great opportunity to apply your MBA skills in a practical context, helping an organisation tackle a current issue while developing your own experience, building your network and, in many instances, extending your international experience. 

In recent years we have offered projects with a range of regional, national and international organisations including Vodafone, Google, Heineken and Santander. Topics spanned everything from marketing to supply chain management.

International study week

The business world is more closely connected than ever before. To prepare you for this global market, we offer an optional international study week included in the cost of your programme. You are only asked to pay for travel to and from the destination, some meals and incidental expenses.

During this week, you will have the opportunity to visit companies, attend lectures and cultural events, and immerse yourself in the country’s business environment. Destinations vary from year to year, but usually include both European and non-European options.

Language opportunities

We have developed our MBA to cross borders and markets, preparing you for a rewarding international career. So, as part of the programme, you will study a new language. Beginner’s classes are offered in: French, German, Spanish, Mandarin (Chinese), Japanese and Arabic. After successful attendance you will gain the European Language Portfolio – an internationally recognised award.

International students will also have the opportunity to attend English language classes.

As well as our full-time MBA, we offer an online MBA, which can either be studied online or using a combination of online learning and block-taught residences; and an Executive MBA: Durham and EBS, delivered in partnership with the renowned European Business School in Germany.

Learning and Teaching

The Full-time MBA Programme is delivered through a mixture of sessions including lectures, case studies, individual and group presentations. Some sessions are delivered by guest speakers who are practitioners in the field.

Students study 7 core modules, and select 5 elective modules which enables them to undertake more in-depth study of particular topics. This is followed by a 15,000 word dissertation or Business Project to allow students to carry out independent research and develop their skills in analysis and scholarly expression, using an appropriate theoretical framework. They are supported in writing their dissertation through the study of research methods, and attending individual meetings with an allocated supervisor, who monitors their progress and provides advice. Where students choose to complete a Business Project rather than a Dissertation, this can be self-sourced or arranged by Durham Business School. The Business Project allows an opportunity to put new skills into practice in the real world, working on a live project with a regional, national or international company.

Students will typically attend 20 hours per week of core teaching in Term 1. In Terms 2 and 3 students would, on average (and dependent on elective choices), attend 12.5 hours per week of core and elective teaching. In addition, students have the following opportunities:

(1) A Boardroom Simulation Activity in Term 2, integrating academic learning from core modules into a live boardroom situation (compulsory)

(2) An International Study Week at an overseas location in Term 2, giving students the opportunity to learn about the business, economy and culture of another country, gain an ‘insider perspective’ on international businesses and network with key business staff.

(3) A Charity Consultancy Project in Term 3

Our MBA “Leading Edge Programme” incorporates skills development, career management and the Durham Speaker Series and runs throughout the academic year. Students have the opportunity of unrestricted individual meetings with a Career Consultant throughout the year and during induction they attend a three-day Personal and Team Development residential activity and additional workshops over three days. In Term 1, students can attend 19 hours of various workshops; 29 hours in Term 2 and 21 hours in Term 3 to enhance their interpersonal skills and career management. Students also have the opportunity to participate in the London City tour, the monthly Durham Speaker Series events and the Annual Durham Convention.

Outside of timetabled contact hours, students are expected to undertake their own independent study in preparation for teaching sessions, assignments and other forms of assessment including exams, and general background reading to broaden their subject knowledge. All members of teaching staff are also available to provide additional support on a one-to-one basis via weekly consultation hours.

Admissions Process

Subjects required, level and grade

What do I need to apply?

  • At least three years’ continuous post-graduation work experience in positions demonstrating a high degree of responsibility.
  • Upper Second Class Bachelor Degree, or international equivalent
  • Lack of formal qualifications is not necessarily a barrier to admission; managerial experience is also a key consideration for entry to our Full-time MBA programme. In such cases, we may ask you to submit a portfolio of evidence demonstrating capability in areas such as your management experience, including critical thinking skills and communication skills. Alternatively you may be required to provide a well-balanced GMAT score of a minimum of 600 (Durham GMAT code: BBB-W0-80).
  • IELTS of 7.0 or above in IELTS with no element below 6.0, or 102 or above in TOEFL IBT with no element below 23. Please note TOEFL is not accepted for those who require a student visa.

How do I apply?

You will need to complete an online application form. Please read these notes before you begin your application: Guidance Notes (PDF

>>Complete the online application form

You should upload any supporting documents you wish to accompany your online application form or send them to the Postgraduate Admissions Office. 

>>Download the reference form


If you are successful at the initial review stage, we will invite you to attend an interview. This gives you the opportunity to discuss your choice, and visit the School and Durham City. We hold several MBA open events throughout the year where we arrange interviews.

>> Book a place on an open event

If you are an overseas applicant and are unable to attend an interview in person, we can arrange an interview for you via Skype or telephone.

For more information, contact

Postgraduate Admissions Office, Durham University Business School, Mill Hill Lane, Durham DH1 3LB, UK
Tel: +44 (0)191 334 5533

English Language requirements


Requirements and Admissions

The University accepts the following alternative English language tests and scores.

Fees and Funding

Fees shown are for one year. Total fee will depend on the length of your programme. All fees are subject to annual increases. For more information please visit the Tuition Fees page

EU student fees


Home student fees


International non-EU student fees


Scholarships and funding


An early bird discount of £1,000 applies to offers made before 30 April and where the deposit is paid within six weeks of the offer date.

Your fees include: Leading Edge Programme, international exchange experience, language classes, £500 textbook allowance, and £50 study materials allowance.

Financing your studies


Options you may wish to explore include:

Durham alumni scholarships

Part-fund your programme with a £5,000 scholarship available to all Durham alumni joining the full-time MBA in January 2014. Please note, this will replace any other Business School scholarship or Early Bird discount. Email to find out more

Business School scholarships

Apply for a number of dedicated scholarships available for self-funded, highly motivated candidates.
Find out which may be open to you.

Other scholarship opportunities

Search the University's funding database for further options.

Career Opportunities

Business School

For information on career options and employability, including the results of the Destination of Leavers survey, student and employer testimonials and details of work experience and study abroad opportunities, please click here.

Open days and visits

Campus tours

Overseas Visit Schedule

Postgraduate Visits

Department Information

Business School


Durham University Business School is one of a small elite group of academic institutions worldwide who are accredited by all three major quality assurance bodies - AACSB, AMBA and EQUIS. This achievement is a testament to the quality of all our programmes, and gives you the extra assurance that they, and the School, have been rigorously tested and proven to be of high quality. 

Connecting with business

Over the years we've built strong links with many leading global organisations. Companies such as KPMG, Deloitte and RBS give our students access to 'live' issues and practical challenges. At the same time, business partners gain a fresh perspective from us and benefit from our research and insights. 

Bringing great minds together across the globe

We are a truly international business school with over 100 nationalities in our student and faculty bodies. Diverse perspectives and experiences feed into our learning, providing a unique insight into cultural nuances around the world. What's more, through our partnerships with other international universities, we're able to tap into a huge pool of global knowledge.

Thinking further

Creativity and critical thinking are two of the most valuable -and often overlooked - business skills. That's why we focus our teaching on developing agile, independent minds. Equipped with these vital skills, our graduates can tackle whatever business brings, however unpredictable. Employers tell us this is what sets Durham graduates apart. 

Looking to the future

We may be inspired by our past, but we are firmly focused on the future. We're currently investing in new world-class facilities to match our reputation including the expansion of the Mill Hill Lane site and the development of improved teaching, office and events spaces.


Teaching Staff

Academic excellence

The Business School is a hub for business thinking, with a faculty assembled from a range of international backgrounds. Each of our team brings their own diverse expertise and experience, and all have a common drive to share their knowledge and prepare you for success at the highest level.

NB: Information contained on the website or in the literature with respect to the fee is correct at the time of publication but the University reserves the right to change the course information or fee at a later date.

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