Oxford Brookes Business School

Short courses and masterclasses

  • studying

    At Oxford Brookes Business School we offer training and CPD programmes focused on topical and practical challenges faced by organisations and individuals. These highly participative and engaging courses and events use elements of our leading research to provide you with up-to-date professional development relevant to the workplace.

    In response to recent events and current working conditions, we are offering a new range of support to individuals and companies…free and online.

    Business School Bitesize webinars are a chance to hear and learn from leading experts and practitioners on subjects such as leading and managing in times of extreme change and coping with disruption.

    Longer programmes such as our Happiness Through Goal Setting course provide a structured learning opportunity that you can engage with at your own pace.

    If you would like to express an interest in any of these courses and find out more, please email commercialservices@brookes.ac.uk or, where dates are included – click through to apply for a place.


    Social Distancing in the Hospitality Sector

    Wednesday, 10 June 2020, 13:30 to 14:15

    Against a background of great uncertainty regarding the timing and nature of re-opening of the sector, Dr. Kate Mingjie Ji, will review the EU’s “Guidance for the Progressive Resumption of Tourism Service and For Health Protocols in Hospitality Establishments”.

    Book now »

    SME internationalisation - Born Global?

    Tuesday, 16 June 2020, 13:30 to 14:30

    This webinar, presented by Dr Joanna Karmowska, will explore the challenges and opportunities for small and medium sized enterprises undertaking international expansion.

    Book now »

  • Happiness Through Goal Setting

    This new, online, moderated, 8-week course is based on research conducted within Oxford Brookes Business School by Dr Christian Ehrlich. It focuses on participants' four most important goals in life – either professional or personal. It helps participants examine why they strive for those four most important goals. It contains insights into how to increase the amount of fun that people can have during their goal-pursuit and the importance of helping others as a major driver of happiness. It also centres on the notion that the degree to which we pursue our goals to prove our self-worth leads to a decrease in our happiness. Finally, the training course aims to identify ways of being less driven by 'necessity' which has been shown to be happiness reducing.

  • Our environment may not allow us to pursue our goals in the way we want to. We need to assert ourselves so we can make changes to our goals and make them fit with our individual preferences. At times, this may face resistance from others.
    This section introduces the very powerful idea that we cannot and should not try to prove our self-worth to ourselves. It covers concepts such as secure self-esteem or self-compassion. Based on these ideas, participants are encouraged to let go of happiness-decreasing concepts.
    We all need to learn how to put as much fun as possible into our goals. Pleasure is an essential part of why we do things – and all too often this important goal-ingredient is missing or not a strong enough driver of our goals.
    Helping others is an important way to increase our own happiness. Helping others or being able to help others is a very rewarding thing and has consistently been shown to increase our own happiness. We show how to build acts of kindness into our goals.
    This section considers the impact on our psychological well-being if we would consider having just enough to have a good life rather the pursuit of materialistic wealth. It also introduces the notion of social comparison and how damaging it can be to overly compare yourself with others.
  • The course content and materials are supplemented by online forums where participants can post questions and ideas – either anonymously or to share with the wider happiness community. This enables everyone to get further guidance on individual questions including how to apply the content of the training to individual situations. Participants can also complete an online questionnaire before the training if they want to receive a personalised report to help determine which topics are most suitable to pursue.

    The course is open to all adults but is particularly suitable to those people in work (including self-employed, volunteers, students, and part-time staff).

    New dates to be announced….register your interest by emailing us at: commercialservices@brookes.ac.uk

    Some of the other workshops we run include:


    Disrupt or be Disrupted!

    The business landscape has not only become global - but also digital. No business is immune to the disruptions engendered by the dismantling of trade barriers and digitisation of commercial processes. This Masterclass has been specifically tailored to address the challenges facing SMEs and will show how businesses can develop strategies to adapt and thrive. Based on teaching from the highly rated Oxford Brookes Global MBA Programme, delegates will be equipped with an understanding of the drivers of disruption, its effect on consumer behaviour and how this can be countered, leveraged and exploited to gain and maintain competitive advantage.

    Introduction to Coaching

    Coaching is now widely recognised as best practice in HR development. This workshop helps delegates understand basic coaching skills and practice, using a mix of teaching and practical activities. It introduces the use of a formal Coaching Model, how to become a coach (and/or mentor) and examines how to coach in a range of contexts, from executive level through to life coaching across several disciplines. The workshop is excellent preparation for anyone considering undertaking a course of study leading to an academic qualification such as the MA in Coaching and Mentoring Practice.

    Developing your Coaching, Mentoring and Supervision Practice through Systemic and Embodied Learning

    This workshop provides delegates with an opportunity to reflect on the key challenges and opportunities they face in developing their coaching practice and overall portfolio of work. It is designed around a systemic coaching approach and embodied coaching practices. Using an innovative 3D mapping technique, participants are helped to achieve clarity on their current situation and underlying issues – leading to the identification of solutions and resources needed. The workshop combines individual and group work.

    “It helped me identify that the approach I had been taking was flawed and that there were other ways of achieving a much more successful outcome which was better aligned to my values and strengths.”

    Leading and Managing in Times of Uncertainty

    The role of leaders and managers is changing – and has arguably never been so challenging. There is no longer such thing as a steady state and the skills required for managing uncertainty are quite different. This workshop will help you to have a well-developed understanding of your own leadership and management strengths and your personal development priorities, applying recent thinking and knowledge from research and our experience in the field.

    Digital Marketing Basics

    According to the McKinsey report, Brand success in an era of Digital Darwinism “Companies with greater digital capabilities were able to convert sales at a rate 2.5 times greater than companies at the lower level did.” Digital campaigns can offer marketers more creative, flexible and responsive opportunities to vary their product or service offering to customers. This Masterclass will discuss how digital technologies have accelerated changes in the marketing environment, presenting both challenges and opportunities. You will learn how to combine digital and traditional marketing to optimum effect, plan and implement effective digital campaigns and understand what social media can achieve.

    Understanding Diversity in the Workplace

    Embracing diversity in the workplace can bring many benefits to SMEs – for example helping to broaden capabilities, get closer to customers and develop competitive advantage. This introductory course will show you how workforces are changing and likely to continue to change. It will help you understand your obligations and legal requirements so that you can update the equality policies and practices in your organisation. You will also develop your own skills in managing and benefiting from diversity – helping make your organisation more fit for the future.

    Innovation and Intrapreneurship

    How do you cultivate a sustainable, innovative culture in your company whilst at the same time keeping your teams’ minds on the job in hand? Do you have budding entrepreneurs in your organisation but are concerned about retaining them? This workshop will examine the concept and practice of developing an entrepreneurial mind-set and show that by helping people be more innovative, they can solve problems and follow up opportunities for the benefit of themselves and the organisation.

    Strategy and Design Thinking

    Strategic thinking and vision require practice and space to be developed. These workshops offer new and senior managers a safe environment to move from the operational level to a strategic focus. We offer a series of linked courses which you can choose to access individually or as a group. These cover topics including:

    • Strategy thinking, analysis and generation.
    • Change Management Toolkit. Impact, mapping, and intervention strategies.
    • Implementing Strategy Successfully – why strategic change fails and what to do about it.

    From PA to EA

    In today’s dynamic workplace – traditional jobs are being replaced by new kinds of roles- particularly in fast changing sectors such as finance and start-ups. Experienced Executive Assistants are increasingly becoming an important part of the management team and being rewarded accordingly. If you already have some experience as a PA or other support role, this workshop will look at the widespread responsibilities of senior EAs – and the competencies required. It will help you develop the understanding and skills needed to better position yourself to take up these demanding but exciting positions. (This is likely to be a weekend course - details and pricing available on request).

    Building a High-Performance Team

    This workshop examines the features and characteristics of high performing teams. As well as classroom sessions it will include a participatory team building exercise. Highly interactive and fun – this exercise has proven highly effective in challenging pre-conceptions and demonstrating what it takes to build an effective team. The workshop thus combines cutting-edge theory with hands-on practice – and is suitable for individuals and existing teams… as long as you are prepared to join in! (Details and pricing available on request as the workshop design will depend on the mix of people wishing to attend).