EMBA lecture

Build your foundation in business

As part of your Executive MBA programme, you will complete core modules that cover the general functions of management, explore essential business topics and equip you with the skills to be an effective and inspiring leader in your field.

As an Executive MBA participant, you will work through around 16 hours of material for each module online, split into one-hour cells, using our highly interactive online learning tools before each of your in-class sessions. The interactive integrated preparation cells are online and available for you to take when it suits you in the run up to each in-class visit. In the online preparation periods, you will cover key concepts and theories supported by our teaching assistants. You will then attend lectures at our campus in South Kensington, London, once a month, all day on Friday and Saturday, for 10 of the 12 months in your first year. In August and January, an additional two days will be added for core module exams.

You can apply the knowledge and skills gained from this programme immediately back in the workplace, fast-tracking the learning process.

Administrative label
Pre study module EMBA

Pre-study modules

Modules covering mathematics, accounting and data analysis methods will be available to you prior to the start of the programme, ensuring that all students have the required knowledge and skills.

These interactive modules focus on key concepts and their application to real-world problems. Delivered through The Hub, Imperial College Business School’s online learning platform, each module will take approximately 10 hours to complete.

A teaching assistant will work in tandem with programme faculty to support you, providing guidance and monitoring progress and performance.

Accounting is divided into two areas, financial accounting which involves preparing financial information for users external to the organisation and management accounting which involves preparing financial information for the users within the organisation. This module will look at both areas.

This module is designed to serve as preparation for the data analysis topics you will typically encounter on your degree programme.

You will learn key financial topics such as present value, Internal Rate of Return (IRR), capital budgeting, equity, bonds, diversification, portfolio choice and the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM), all of which are often discussed and explored in great detail in business and management programmes across the globe as well as everyday business operations.

This module focuses on sustainability from three key perspectives; corporate sustainability, business ethics and social innovation. It will equip you with a comprehensive understanding of sustainability issues, the relevance for policymakers, the role of corporations and the implications for decision-making on sustainability issues in business operations.

In the mathematics module, you will learn the fundamental business math skills needed to succeed in your studies. These math skills will also give you an edge in the workplace enabling you to apply greater analytical skill to your decision making.

You will learn how to evaluate and manipulate the types of formulae that appear in an accounting syllabus, how to perform the calculus required to solve optimisation problems in economics and how to apply the concept of geometric series to solving finance‐related problems such as calculating compound interest payments.

This module assumes no prior knowledge of business maths, concepts are explained clearly and regular exercises give you the opportunity to practice your skills and improve your confidence.

Plagiarism is the presentation of another person’s words, ideas, judgement or data as though they were your own. Many think plagiarism is just copying other people's work, but this is only just one aspect. To succeed during your MBA you will need to understand how to ensure your work – whether individual or group assignments – follow academic regulations.

Administrative label
Core module EMBA

Core 1 modules

Critical skills for business leaders include understanding the language of accounting and mastering financial analysis in day-to-day and strategic decision-making. This module will focus on the use of accounting for financial management and reporting, explaining the techniques of financial and management accounting, and examining their relevance to the broader issues of decision-making and management control in organisations. The module will give you insights into the way that business performance is measured, and how business decisions can be structured and analysed.

The aim of this module is to enable you to recognise and work with the tools and concepts that economists use to explain how market conditions are determined and how the economic environment influences business performance. The objective is to develop an understanding of economic forces and the ability to apply economic analysis to problems related to business strategy and managerial decision-making.

Among business disciplines, marketing is the primary contact point between a business and its customers. Appreciating customer needs and how to marshal the resources of an organisation to meet those needs are crucial skills in today’s business world. This module develops a general management approach to making, planning and evaluating marketing decisions, from both strategic and tactical perspectives. You will learn how marketing decisions contribute to overall business performance and how they are affected by organisational and environmental influences. We will define and explore fundamental marketing terms, concepts, principles, ideas and theories. We will discuss the role of marketing in an organisation, explore the link between marketing and customer value creation. You will learn how to think critically about marketing, how to use the marketing toolkit to gain competitive advantage, learn about the product life cycle and how to build customer relationships, as well as retain their loyalty. We will talk about branding, channels and promotions, and explore the opportunities presented by traditional and digital marketing communications.

This module covers the major factors that shape organisational behaviour and effectiveness. We will analyse organisational behaviour at three levels - the micro (individual), the meso (team), and the macro (organisational) - and examine how activities at each of these three levels enable organisational performance and effectiveness. You will learn key concepts to improve organisational performance and acquire necessary tools to design organisations that function effectively in unpredictable environments. You will develop analytical, problem-solving and leaderships skills, and come to understand the dynamics that affect individuals in organisations, including culture, decision-making, group conflict, power structures, and wider social dynamics.

Core 2 modules

This module will provide you with a foundation in the theoretical tools to analyse modern financial markets and the decisions of corporate firms. The module covers a variety of topics in corporate finance, with a focus on how firms and individuals (investors) make financial decisions. We first want to understand the role that financial markets play in the economy; the role of financial intermediation. Then, the module is divided in two parts: valuation and capital structure. The first part, valuation, focuses on how to create value of the left-hand side of the balance sheet (assets), i.e. explains how companies should select the assets they want to invest in. In more detail, we will cover an introduction to present value techniques; the basics of financial statements and cash flow calculation; investment rules and project evaluation. We will also cover the valuation of the main securities: bonds and stocks, including portfolio theory and CAPM. The second part is about financing and risk management and investigates how companies finance their activities best. The aim is to understand what factors determine the “optimal” capital structure and how the interplay of those factors can affect financing decisions in a way that creates value on the right-hand side of the balance sheet.

The corporate innovation & intrapreneurship module offers you a unique opportunity to build your knowledge, skills and experience in understanding innovation at industry and company level and in setting up processes and procedures to foster corporate innovation. You will be guided through different strategies that are implemented by new ventures and in the live sessions we will discuss how corporates adopt ideas from the entrepreneurship community such as acceleration, incubation and venture capital as tools for corporate renewal. In addition, you will embark on a live experience through negotiating a term sheet, typically used in corporate entrepreneurship and venture capital environments.

The module will focus on a number of themes and will involve a blend of activities. We start the module studying individual aspects of leadership and as the module progresses, we will pay more attention to organisation-based aspects, finishing off with sessions for personal action planning. All through the module we will keep coming back to the question of ethical responsibilities and spend time thinking through the challenge of responsible leadership. By the end of our time together, you will not only have a more thorough awareness of the personal and social characteristics that shape you as a leader, but you will have a firm contract for moving forward with your personal leadership action plan. Thus, this module should be thought of as an initial assessment of your position at the beginning of what is going to be a stimulating personal, group and academic journey.

This module primarily focuses on ‘business strategy’: where and how a single business company or a business unit of a larger corporation competes in its business. The module will also, however, provide an introduction to ‘corporate strategy’ which is about how multi-business corporations should make decisions around the scope of the businesses in their portfolio and how they should manage them. The prime focus is on firms participating in competitive markets, though some of the ideas can also be applied to other kinds of organisations, for example in the not-for-profit sector. While the primary focus of the module is on developing the ability to assess if a strategy is likely to be successful, it will also devote some time to exploring how managers can come up with ideas for new or improved strategies. In addition it will look briefly at the organisational process of strategy development and strategy implementation. There are many different ways to approach an understanding of business (and corporate) strategy. This module is based on a framework which sees the role of a strategy in terms of (1) creating value and (2) capturing value. We will discuss how this core framework relates to other well-known frameworks such as Porter’s five forces and Blue/Red Oceans. We will also discuss why having an explicit strategy can be both a blessing and a curse – which explains why successful firms often subsequently fail.

"On the Executive MBA, you learn accounting skills and get a background in managerial economics and corporate finance. Alongside this, you develop soft skills as well, such as understanding how organisations work, how to lead, inspire and manage people and projects. For instance, in the Responsible Leadership and Corporate Success and Organisational Behaviour modules, we have explored topics such as negotiation and charisma. These soft skills are fantastically valuable for any aspect of one’s life."
Executive MBA 2018-19
James Laurie