On the MSc Business Management course you will study the compulsory modules listed below, and then choose between completing a dissertation or synoptic research project.
Please see the course structure chart for September entry.
Please see the course structure chart for January entry.
Research Methods: This module will prepare you to undertake effective research drawing upon a range of secondary and primary data sources in preparation for your coursework. You will be introduced to a range of tools required for research including methodological issues, data collection techniques and study skills. This module prepares you for completing high quality, systematic business and management research.
Operations and Process Management: In this module you will develop your understanding of an organisation’s ability to deliver goods and services of the quality, quantity and cost that will satisfy customers’ needs, while making efficient use of resources. The key principles introduced in this module can be applied to any business sector and function. You will explore the complex relationships between functional areas and the real world of business. Your studies will develop your understanding about how business operations can be most effectively managed. This includes issues of ethics, environmental sustainability, global business, complexity and uncertainty, and continuing professional development.
Introduction to the Principles of Marketing: In this module you will be introduced to the key principles of marketing. You will explore the roles of buyers, the marketing environment, and the ways marketers plan, manage, and monitor marketing programmes in an international environment.
Finance and Accounting for Business: In this module you will develop your critical assessment of corporate financial information from the users' perspective. You will study both financial and management accounting covering three areas: basics (terminology, purposes, users), rules and regulations, and business entities.
Financial accounting - key financial statements, published accounts and analysis and interpretation through ratios.
Management accounting - costing, budgeting and forecasting, budget management and pricing..
Global Strategic Management: Strategic management is the process by which managers formulate and implement strategies to generate high performance. In this module you will develop your understanding of the managerial strategic challenge; how to deliver sustainable competitive advantage. You will engage in critical evaluation of the key strategic issues. You will consider the wider economic environment and explore why strategy is important, how organisations make strategic decisions through the processes of analysis, choice and responsible and ethical management and leadership.
Developing Skills for Business Leadership: Successful leaders have different approaches to their work, sharing a range of diverse personality traits. They are central to a manager's effectiveness and are developed over time and with an awareness of the differing cultural contexts. A key purpose of this module is to encourage you to develop a strong sense of self-awareness of your own strengths and weaknesses as a manager and colleague. In addition, you will develop a range of definable skills which are pivotal to successful management practice. These include decision-making skills, team-working and interpersonal skills and others associated with developing personal effectiveness. You will develop your skills of reflexivity to explore the implications for professional practice. This module helps you develop the confidence to articulate your skills necessary for career development.
Managing the Contemporary Organisation: This module aims to develop your understanding of the principles of leading and managing international contemporary organisations. Although the focus is on contemporary organisations, a historical perspective is a thread that runs through the module to provide a context for current issues and practices in leading and managing organisations. You will explore long term patterns and the extent to which the past can shape the present.
You can take two of a range of optional modules that we offer throughout the year. These are available during different semesters – for more information please refer to the course structure diagram. Some optional modules may be dependent on student numbers.
Understanding Customer Behaviour: You will critically appraise the behaviours of customers and their interactions with marketing. Informed by behavioural science, you will analyse why customers behave as they do and how marketing activity influences their behaviours. This analysis informs your critical understanding and implementation of both strategic and responsible marketing practice. An innovative dimension of this course is the investigation of change agents that will significantly influence the behaviours of customers in the future, for example neuroscience, climate change and technology innovation. This is an analytical module that utilises research evidence to inform evaluation, behavioural and communications research.
Global Marketing Strategy: In this module you will apply concepts you studied earlier with an emphasis on the global environment of marketing. You will develop your understanding of creating sustainable competitive advantage in a global context, implementing strategies to take into account both the convergence and divergence of consumer preferences, creating global products and brands that have near-universal application and appeal, and the importance of ethical and social issues in the global marketplace.
International Trade and Globalisation: Increasingly, businesses have to operate in an environment where commodity and capital markets are highly integrated. Awareness of the issues surrounding globalisation allows you to make informed decisions in a business context. You will explore the theoretical and empirical framework, which will enhance your awareness of the issues of globalisation. You will study international trade theory and recent patterns in international trade.
Principles of International Business Economics: This module introduces you to the key concepts of economics. Subsequently you will focus on the topics of economics that are essential in understanding how businesses function internationally and how they interact with the external environment. You will examine the strategic pricing-output decisions of a firm in different market structures as well as the characteristics and the institutions of international markets.
Resourcing, Talent and Performance Management: A major objective of the human resources (HR) function is the mobilisation of a workforce. Organisations can only function if they are able to assemble teams of people with the necessary skills to meet their goals and retain effective performers. In this module you will focus on the practical aspects of recruitment, selection, employee retention and exiting. You develop the knowledge and skills required for resourcing and talent management within a global context. You will gain an understanding of how performance management can support the strategic objectives of an organisation, how the performance of people can be enhanced and inspired by leadership, and how it contributes to high-performance work organisations.
Managing Employment Relations: This will develop your understanding of managing employment relations within a global business. Employment relations is a changing subject which is influenced by external factors (political and economic) and internal factors (management and management style). You will explore the impact of different national environments on employment and the roles of different stakeholders in employment relation systems. You will also critically review employment relations in an organisation and make suggestions to drive improvements to human resource management. This module includes a practical skills workshop.
Entrepreneurship: This module enhances your understanding of enterprise and entrepreneurship, and helps you develop vital entrepreneurial skills. These skills include idea generation and evaluation, communication, networking and the evaluation of risk. In addition, you will develop an understanding of the social and economic impact of entrepreneurialism. The module focuses on developing an understanding of factors relating to the development of the entrepreneur, the entrepreneurial idea and the entrepreneurial organisation. By studying these topics the module is bridges the gap between theory and practice.
Planning for New Business Ventures: This module develops your business planning skills and is essential for those students who intend to start and run their own businesses. At the heart of the module is an evaluation of a firm's business model. You will prepare a business plan in groups for a new or existing venture, which will be assessed by a panel. You will be evaluated on its economic logic, value to customer and return on investment for its owners.
Strategic Business Simulation: This module teaches you about group decision making. It involves a live new business development scenario, through which you apply your understanding of business and entrepreneurship principles to a computer simulation. The simulation will challenge your business, entrepreneurial and responsible management decisions when running an international business and will consider a range of business functions. You will develop management skills such as team management, budgeting, strategising, implementing a communications strategy and coping with unexpected competitor activity.
Corporate Governance and Social Responsibility: In this module you will learn about alternative perspectives on strategic management and corporate governance. This will encompass stakeholder issues including ethics, sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR). You will develop your understanding of approaches to solving problems when governing in the corporate sector. Your studies will consider current issues and consider the social implications of governance. You will also focus on the impact of globalisation on international management practices. You will be equipped with the knowledge to enhance management decisions involving ethical choices. Finally, you will consider your assumptions about the role of managers and organisations in a complex and challenging context through the exploration of contemporary issues in CSR.
Strategic Business Simulation (CSR focus): This module teaches you about group decision making. It involves a live new business development scenario, through which you apply your understanding of business principles to a computer simulation. The simulation will challenge your ethical, environmental and sustainability decisions when running an international business and will consider a range of business functions. You will develop management skills such as team management, budgeting, implementing a communications strategy and coping with unexpected competitor activity.
Capstone Module Choice
You will choose one of the following capstone modules that best suits your academic interests or professional development requirements.
Dissertation: This is an opportunity for you to carry out an in depth investigation into a topic of Business Management which is of particular interest to you. It should have an appropriately clear focus and be an investigation based on primary and/or secondary data, justified and supported by detailed reference to relevant theories and concepts from literature.
Synoptic Research Project: In this module you are expected to integrate, apply and extend the knowledge and skills gained within the core modules of the field. It is conceptualised as a retrospective and integrative academic experience. This module will provide you with a structured opportunity to demonstrate and learn more about the complexity of business and management knowledge by emphasising your capability for synthesis, and applying and connecting the learning gained in core modules of the programme. The module includes the analysis of a substantial case study and an oral viva at the end of the programme.
Client Project:You have the opportunity to link theory to practice by analysing a real organisational issue. Having identified a project (with the approval of both the client company and the Module Leader) you investigate a particular issue, one that can be supported through the relevant literature and by conducting primary research with the client. This module is not an internship but can be taken in conjunction with an internship you have identified and are participating in. The ‘issue’ in question may be current management problem for the client organisation or related to future strategic choices. The Client Project provides you with a significant learning and personal development experience.
As courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the list of modules you choose from may vary from that shown here.
Chartered Management Institute (CMI) Accreditation: This course is dual accredited by CMI – a CMI accreditation means you have the option to graduate with your degree and gain a professional CMI qualification (Level 7 in Strategic Management and Leadership) and there’s no extra study involved. This accreditation is not only a hallmark of excellence, but also provides you with benefits. For example, student members can access online content, networking events, company visits, online seminars and mentoring.
A CMI Induction event will be held so you can find out about the CMI qualification and membership and choose whether you would like to qualify and join. If you do choose to gain the CMI qualification you will need to pay a non-refundable fee for the CMI level 7 qualification in Strategic Management & Leadership, which is currently £265 and includes one-year membership of the CMI.
Teaching and learning
Much of the teaching on the course takes the form of interactive workshops, but there are also lectures from staff and visiting speakers. Lectures, discussions, role-play exercises and seminars are linked with selected case studies and assessments to strengthen your practical analysis and decision-making skills. You will have the opportunity to develop your skills in working as part of a team through structured group assignments.
Teaching staff at the Business School are researchers and/or from an industry background with an in-depth practical experience of business and management issues. Visiting speakers from business, industry, consultancies and research bodies provide further input.
Approach to assessment
Each module is assessed individually, generally on the quality of written or visual presentation work, and to some extent on verbal presentations. Assessment methods may include reports, seminar papers, formal written examinations, in-class tests, project work, visual and verbal presentations, workshops, simulations, oral exams (viva) and practical exercises. The majority of assessments are based on individual assignments, but there is some assessed group work.
At Headington we have developed outstanding facilities. Our John Henry Brookes Building is the most significant project in the history of Oxford Brookes University. Set at the heart of our Headington campus, it has been designed for the future of higher education and has transformed the experiences of our students and the entire University community. Find out more about the John Henry Brookes Building.
We're investing over £30m to create modern teaching and learning facilities and creating a new home at Headington for the Business School.
Set to be complete in 2017, you'll see:
• The Business School brought together in a modern, professional environment
• 30 teaching rooms and a collaborative lecture theatre
• A new Main Hall with soundproof wall, perfect for teaching and events like graduations
• Social learning spaces and a cafe
• A new gateway into the Headington Campus.
Our library provides specialist business resources (both hard copy and via online access) to UK and overseas companies' annual reports, statistics on all aspects of business and management, a wide range of constantly updated key texts, and postgraduate MA, MBA, MSc and PhD theses.
By listening to our students and recognising the need for practice-oriented business and management education, we have introduced new ways to engage with companies from the public and the non-profit sector. You will have the opportunity to visit various company sites organised through our extensive network of corporate contacts and the Chartered Management Institute. We also host a number of guest speakers throughout the year who bring their business and management experience and expertise to the classroom.
We offer an International Business in Practice Study Trip module. The purpose of this study trip is to give postgraduate students a hands-on, intensive experience with the ideas and practices of global business. The programme will include presentations from local management executives and experts. Students will have direct interaction with management executives and practices through site visits to major corporations and agencies.
This study trip is voluntary and all costs associated with the trip will need to be funded by you. It is not linked to university assessments in any way. If you successfully complete this module you will have the following non-credit bearing module recorded on your transcript: P58335 International Business in Practice: Study Trip.
Field trips are optional and incur a cost.