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 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.
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.
Entrepreneurial Theory and Practice: 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.
Corporate Finance Concepts: You will study how businesses manage their finances within a company in line with their corporate strategy. This includes understanding the different methods used for valuing a businesses. You will also understand how key business decisions are made from a financial perspective, such as the investment in major projects, managing working capital and evaluating risk.
Financial Markets and Institutions: You will study how businesses interact in an external financial context by understanding how funds are provided through markets and institutions. This module looks at how financial markets operate, including stock markets, markets for fixed income assets and derivative markets and focuses on issues of asset pricing and market efficiency. With regard to institutions we examine the transformation of the financial sector as a result of globalisation, technical innovation and regulatory change.
Procurement & Supply Chain Management: In an increasingly globalised business environment, the ability of organisations to identify, and then to manage, supply networks and individual chains of supply has grown in its significance. It is of vital importance that both the upstream and downstream relationships with suppliers and customers are managed effectively to ensure value is added whilst controlling costs and ultimately satisfying the customer. In this module you will learn about the key elements and activities within procurement and supply chain management, how this function supports the wider organisation and its objectives, and how these activities can be managed to ensure the optimal outcome.
Strategic & Sustainable Logistics: Physical logistics is concerned with managing and controlling the activities and processes along a chain of supply, from procuring materials to moving, distributing and delivering finished goods that satisfy customer orders. Customers have become ever more demanding, wanting more for less and greater added value. This often involves customised products and services, quick response deliveries, and state-of-the-art information systems. This new era of customer ‘pull’ as well as the globalised business environment, alongside with the emphasis on sustainability, has led to the concept of ‘Strategic and Sustainable Logistics’. Students will evaluate how effective logistics and distribution systems can become key business enablers, and the importance of managing of international logistics systems.
Digital Business Strategy: It is no overstatement to say that digital technologies are having pervasive and disruptive effects on organisational life. Few industries and areas of work have been untouched by their ever-deeper penetration into products, services and business processes. The 21st century has seen the rise of new industries and business models unthinkable without the availability of fast, affordable and flexible digital devices – together with their associated networked infrastructures. This module aims to help students appreciate and address the organisational challenges and opportunities bound up with digital innovation and transformation. It looks in particular at the strategic and leadership issues managers are likely to confront, and the concepts, theories and frameworks they need to understand and apply in response to these.
Information Systems in Organisations: Digital technologies, as diverse as accounting and sales software, internet and mobile technology, artificial intelligence and robotics, have wide-ranging roles and impacts in organisations that need to be understood and managed. This module aims to equip students with knowledge and skills for understanding, analysing and evaluating the use of digital technologies in organisations, taking an information perspective. This will be grounded in systems theory, and focus on the role of data and information in management decision making and business processes.
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 a 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.
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.
Oxford Brookes Business School has now moved to its new home at our
Headington Campus. The university’s Headington Campus have
undergone a £30m refurbishment to provide a new home for the
Business School, which consists of a lecture theatre, teaching rooms,
social learning space and a café. There is a new modern hall for
teaching and special events like graduation.
This new home will help us to collaborate even more closely with
university colleagues in other departments. It also provides a new Main
Hall and a vibrant gateway into the Headington Campus. With these
innovative spaces, students and staff can interact and collaborate in
The Headington Campus is also home to the new John Henry Brookes
Building, being 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.
The John Henry Brookes Building brings together the library and
essential support services that offer academic, careers and
international student advice. Find out more about the John
Henry Brookes Building.
The majority of our student halls are close to the Headington Campus.
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.
Whilst the destination and therefore precise costs vary from year to year, as an example, the programme fee of the study trip to Boston USA in July 2019 was £1580, which included 7 nights’ accommodation in the Boston area, insurance, the company visits (e.g. Facebook, Dunkin Brands, Trip Advisor, Microsoft, Bank of America), group transportation for all activities and some of the meals, but excluded for example International airfare, Visa application fee (if relevant), dinners and activities during your free time.
We also run a study trip to Chengdu, China.
If you choose the study trip, you will be provided with additional details regarding the trip (which runs in July) by March, in order to inform decision making, ahead of the trip in July.
On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published
on the website. For more information, please visit our
Changes to programmes