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Shape your own programme

The Imperial Executive MBA electives allow you to specialise in areas of particular interest, developing your expertise with your future career objectives in mind. Our elective options also feature many modules that are offered online, ideal if you have a less flexible work schedule or commute long distances.

Supported by our own experienced faculty, many of the electives include guest lecturers from industry and other academic institutions who impart their insights and real-world experience to the class. Elective classes are also shared across all of our MBA programmes, giving you the opportunity to increase your network beyond your Executive MBA cohort.

You can choose five electives. Electives run in the spring and summer terms of your second year.

Electives are offered in three formats to fit into your schedule:

  1. Online modules – perfect if you want to minimise your visits to campus, our award-winning highly interactive online modules allow you to study at your convenience.

  2. Two-week – Monday and Tuesday (week 1), Thursday and Friday (week 2)

  3. Weekend – Thursday afternoon, Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning

You can also apply to sit in on an additional two electives for which you will not be assessed.

The list of electives below gives a sample of the kinds of electives run in a given year.

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Electives EMBA

Choose from our wide portfolio of electives

You will take five electives offered across the following subject areas Finance, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Strategic Management and Analytics and Digital Marketing.

Finance

Advanced Corporate Finance (Online)

This module covers corporate financial decision-making. It provides an overview of corporate financial policy, and address financial forecasting, financing decisions, corporate investment decisions and valuation, and mergers and acquisitions. You will learn to apply the concepts and methods learnt to make financial decisions in real-life cases.

Mergers and Acquisitions (Online)

The module is designed to introduce you to the issues raised by corporate mergers and acquisitions. It draws on knowledge gained earlier in the programme in areas such as accounting and finance, strategic management and organisational behaviour.

Private Equity (Online)

The purpose of this module is to provide a strong theoretical framework, practical applications and tools relating to private equity finance. The elective looks into areas such as raising equity and debt finance, growth capital finance, leveraged buyout finance, distress, and project and infrastructure finance.

Advanced Company Valuation (On-campus)

It is a fundamental precept of this module that any corporation can be valued, albeit imprecisely in some cases. The module starts addressing the value creation process and examines the validity and limits of value creation in the context of corporate restructuring. It continues with the analysis and practical examination of the traditional valuation models, then extends to relative valuation models, and finally, combines different pricing frameworks in valuing a number of entities with different investment and financing characteristics. The module is highly participative and the extensive use of real-world cases guides you through the theory and application of valuation models highlighting their strengths and weaknesses.

Alternative Investments (On-campus)

Real Estate is often considered as one of the major asset classes, next to equities and bonds. It also has a prominent role on the balance sheet of many companies. This module introduces real estate investment analysis from the perspective of an investor.

The module emphasises both the teaching of the theory of real estate investment and real estate markets as well as the practical methods and their implementation as used in a professional investment context. The module will take students through a number of examples of how to assess real world real estate investment opportunities (e.g. the acquisition or development of an office building or supermarket) within a professional fund management environment. This is linked to how to finance such transactions and the practical and structuring points that arise, as well as looking at several of these examples from a distress point of view. The module also introduces several topics in real estate economics and portfolio theory in relation to real estate. The module concludes by discussing the type of arbitrage opportunities that real estate private equity aims to exploit through, for example, the acquisition of non-performing loans.  

Banking and FinTech: Strategies and Challenges (On-campus)

This module will cover the major types of activities and risks faced by intermediaries operating in credit markets. We will layout the important functions performed by banks and risks involved in banking. Subsequently, we will discuss how new financial technologies are disrupting the traditional banking markets and the challenges ahead.

Entrepreneurial Finance (On-campus)

Entrepreneurial Finance is designed primarily for students who plan to get involved with a new venture at some point in their career - as a founder, early employee, advisor or investor. The course is also appropriate for students interested in gaining a broader view of the financing landscape for young firms, going beyond the basics of venture capital and angel financing.

EF introduces students to the myriad complexities of evaluating and financing young, high potential ventures, with specific introduction of frameworks, tools, deal terms, and varying sources of capital. Through a combination of lectures, case studies, and mock negotiations, this course will help demystify the fund-raising process by addressing key questions facing all entrepreneurs: When should I raise money?  How much?  From whom?  Under what terms? And what are the longer-term implications of my chosen financing strategy?

Topics in Asset Management (On-campus)

This module is an advanced elective in investments and portfolio management. We will discuss the key trading strategies used by hedge funds and demystify the secret world of active investing. The module combines the latest research with real-world examples to show how certain trading strategies make money–and why they sometimes don’t. We will look at how market price of stocks and bonds can differ from the model prices, leading to new perspectives on the relationship between trading results and finance theory. We will explore several different strategies in depth, including fundamental tools for investment management, dynamic portfolio choice, equity strategies, macro strategies, yield curve logic and arbitrage strategies.

Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Digital Business (Online)

The Internet, together with other information and communication technologies (ICTs), continues to revolutionise industries. E-commerce is now a given in many industries, but many incumbent firms rooted in traditional business models struggle to figure out the new terms of competition. By examining the experience of earlier industry transformations we attempt to shed light on what may lie ahead for industries currently undergoing upheaval (software, telecommunications, music, and other forms of digital content and services).

Digital Business Model Design (On-campus)

This module focuses on practical application of relevant tools and frameworks such as the business model canvas, value proposition canvas, network value mapping canvas, triple bottom line canvas, and ecosystem orchestration template. The module approaches business models as value co-discovering and value co-creating interaction systems composed of multiple stakeholders, where stakeholders engage in mutual interactions to co-create benefits for one another.

Design Management (On-campus)

This module will introduce participants to design thinking and practice. It will provide you with concepts and tools to improve your capacity to manage the collaboration with designers in the development of new products and services.

Energy Business (On-campus)

This module provides students with an understanding of the principal challenges facing energy businesses in the modern world, and how they should respond to them. It aims to ask whether, and how, business can provide secure supplies of energy at a reasonable cost to consumers with minimal damage to the environment while still making a profit.

The module will cover the following topics:

  • The supply of energy and the demand for energy services
  • The opportunities and constraints arising from technology
  • Strategy for energy businesses
  • Financing projects and trading energy
  • Corporate social responsibility for energy businesses
  • Climate change and climate policy-making
  • Energy policies and their impact on businesses

The module will build on case studies from the oil and gas sector and from the energy utilities (gas distribution and electricity) to show where they face common issues and where different problems require different approaches. Technology and government policy create both opportunities and constraints for energy businesses – this module will explicitly consider these.

The Entrepreneurial Journey

The Entrepreneurial Journey is a live entrepreneurial experience that provides insights into the challenges of introducing products and services to market.

Operating as part of a multidisciplinary team, you will explore the latest developments in science, technology and business, and collaborate with key researchers and practitioners. You can investigate the commercial potential of your own idea or work on a project being developed by one of our partners, including Imperial Innovations and the Royal College of Art.

The Entrepreneurial Journey offers a unique opportunity to build your knowledge, skills and experience in innovation, entrepreneurship and design, while also enhancing your ability to build a strong client-consultant relationship. It includes workshops that are facilitated by academic coaches. You will work in groups on a project, which you will then present in a final workshop along with a 5000 word report.

By the end of the module, you will have enhanced your ability to adopt a structured approach to market research and industry analysis, explored the process of preparing a start-up, and will be able to exploit the power of design and innovation to transform ideas into a new product or service. The module also provides the opportunity for you to practice your new skills in innovation, finance and the other core business disciplines.

Family Business (On-campus)

This one-week block module is designed to help current and emerging leaders and owners of family business understand the special challenges of Family Enterprises and manage the strategic and personal challenges that are ever present in this form of business entity. Through a serious of lectures, case studies, activities, interactive presentations and discussions with a number of visiting family business owners sharing their experiences, you will have a rich experience in understanding the “how to” and the “how not to” of Family Enterprise.

Idea SMARTCamp (On-campus)

Idea SMARTCamp focuses on teaching practical methods and skills that help aspiring intrapreneurs to build business cases that challenge the companies they work for and inspire them to extend their current businesses to adjacent markets and technologies.

We focus on how to develop compelling business cases, i.e. rationales why a business should be built, and on how to marshal sufficient resources for building robust venture structures that allow pursuing that business case but also adjust the start-up activities if necessary.

This SMARTCamp is primarily aimed at growth-oriented and ambitious future intrapreneurs. You may come with an idea for an innovative product or service (for your company or even for starting your own company) or you can team up with idea owners to then further develop that idea. The SMARTCamp is also suitable for students who intend to take the Entrepreneurial Journey as it can serve to develop an initial idea that they can then use for developing a business plan. The SMARTCamp emphasises aspiration, willingness to learn and dedication to process.

Leading Social Innovation (On-campus)

This module explores the brave new world of social innovation and how businesses can tackle social problems through social innovation. While achieving business success and creating social welfare have often been seen as oppositional, a new generation is challenging this by trying to use business as a force for good. These social innovators tackle social problems in two main ways: by becoming social entrepreneurs who lead social enterprises (businesses that seek to fulfill a social mission), or by becoming social intrapreneurs who seek to achieve social change within the for-profit firms that employ them. Through this module you will be equipped with the tools to become a social innovator.

Digital Opportunities: Insights from the Startup Nation (IB Glocal elective)

This elective considers the characteristics of the digital economy and digital technologies, and how these create both global and local opportunities for entrepreneurs, in the start-up nation of Tel Aviv. As well as considering those industries such as software, telecommunications, music, and other forms of digital content and services that have already seen significant entrepreneurial activity, we also investigate the entrepreneurial opportunities provided by emerging digital technologies such as Internet of Things, blockchain and artificial intelligence.

The goals of the module are for the student to understand, critically evaluate, and apply:

  • Impacts of digitization on industry structure and competitive dynamics
  • The special nature of digital artefacts and infrastructures as economic goods
  • Characteristics of emerging digital technologies such as blockchain and AI
  • Entrepreneurial opportunities arising from the changing digital landscape

The Future of Cities (IB Glocal elective)

This module will address the topic of the future of cities by focusing on forecasts, experts’ opinions, case studies and industry insights.

This module is designed to:

  • Develop your understanding of strategic challenges faced by society and cities
  • Develop your ability to analyse global problems from a local perspective
  • Develop your ability to analyse complex problems, apply theoretical frameworks and MBA knowledge

Since this module is a Glocal Elective, the topics will be discussed from a global perspective and the transformation going on in New York City will be used as central case study for the contextualisation of the problems analysed. The module will also leverage local guest speakers from industry and government, as well as site visits.

Strategic Management

Advanced Strategy (Online)

This module will help you develop a more complex and nuanced view of strategy. It will look into critical concepts in competitive strategy, strategy frameworks for internal and external analysis and the key issues in competitive strategy formation and implementation in various contexts.

Leading YourSelf (Online)

The prerequisite of organisational leadership and managerial effectiveness is the capacity to lead and manage oneself. To this end, the module will take students on an enriching inner journey through which they will learn to unveil and develop their qualities thanks to the empowering experience of deep meditation. The module will integrate notions of holistic wellbeing with positive psychology and eastern philosophy to provide a balanced learning experience connecting knowledge development with practical wisdom.

Managing Negotiations (Online)

This module will develop your understanding of the principles, strategies, and tactics of effective negotiation and professional relationship management.

Mergers and Acquisitions (Online)

The module is designed to introduce you to the issues raised by corporate mergers and acquisitions. It draws on knowledge gained earlier in the programme in areas such as accounting and finance, strategic management and organisational behaviour.

Pricing Strategy (Online)

This course will provide you with a systematic presentation of the factors that need to be considered when setting prices, and will show you how pricing alternatives can be developed. The course will constantly integrate the pricing decision back into the marketing mix, and evaluate its effectiveness in achieving broader managerial objectives.

Breakout Strategy (On-campus)

Breakout strategy is a state of mind and a managerial framework for proactively pursuing growth-oriented strategic objectives. This elective introduces the concept and technique of this type of strategy and explores the essential strategy practices and types of breakout.

Building and Managing Reputations During Good Times and Bad (On-campus)

Organisations increasingly care about managing and protecting their reputations, since it acts to set expectations for their stakeholders and acts as a perceptual filter through which the organisation’s actions and outcomes are interpreted. This module will use the research on reputations and related social evaluations to help students understand how to manage the reputations of their organisations, both during normal times and in times of crises.

Design for Business Transformation (On-campus)

Companies around the world are realizing that good design is good business. The increasing awareness of how design can help create value for companies is definitely leading more and more firms, in industries ranging from home appliances to transportation, from food and beverage to consumer electronics, to attempt to use design as a source of competitive advantage. Clever design often makes the difference between the success and failure of innovative entrepreneurial ideas, as it can help firms make not only better products and services, but also better business decisions. However, one-time investments or occasional contracting of design superstars to revamp a product line may produce only ephemeral results. Good design stems from a systematic approach to design.

Many entrepreneurs, product developers, marketers, and service managers, though, still lack the preparation to fully take advantage of the benefits of design and designers. Research shows that this lack of preparation is among the most common causes for failures in design-business collaborations. This module, therefore, will introduce participants to design thinking and practice, and will provide them with concepts and tools to improve their capacity to manage the collaboration with designers in the development of new products and services.

Leadership for Sustainable Organisations (On-campus)

The course offers the opportunity to reflect and act on fundamental questions related to the development of individual, organizational and societal flourishing, defined as the realization of the highest potential in the quality of being. It will draw upon the latest thinking in self and positive leadership as well as corporate sustainability and will leverage meditation practice as a deep form of personal development process.  

Project Management (On-campus)

This module covers modern project management techniques that are relevant to practicing professionals.

Strategy in Volatile and Uncertain Environments (On-campus)

Today’s leaders face the challenge of having to cope with uncertain and dynamic environments when managing their businesses. Unpredictable shifts in customer preferences, technologies, regulations, competitive landscapes, social environments and political environments often threaten key organisational goals. While such conditions force some firms to switch to survival mode, others seem to persistently turn the odds to their favour and outperform their peers. In this module, we explore how to capitalise on opportunities in uncertain environments and mitigate challenges. Specifically, we disentangle different dimensions in today’s dynamic environments and look at how volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity (VUCA) shape effective strategies and determine business outcomes.

Strategic Problem Solving (On-campus)

The goal of this module is to teach you the fundamental skills of strategic problem solving. You will learn how to approach a business problem in a structured and efficient way that is based on the problem-solving techniques of the top tier consulting firms.

Sustainability and Competitive Advantage (On-campus)

This module will address the topic of sustainability from a strategic perspective, with a particular emphasis on decision-making and trade-offs. The class will be involved in an engaging debate that will cover different perspectives on the topics discussed, including the economic, environmental and social perspectives. At the end, you will have a comprehensive understanding of sustainability issues, the relevance for policy makers, the role of corporations and the implications for decision-making.

Sector-specific

Clean Technology Investment (On-campus)

We take an in-depth look at rapidly evolving global energy markets with a specific focus on low-carbon and renewable energy technologies.

Climate Change and Business Strategy (On-campus)

Given the importance that climate change is going to have in shaping both the policy and business environment for the decades to come, this elective has been designed to give students the tools to analyse different situations, understand the links between different issues, and have a perspective from a variety of sectors. You will develop a scientific knowledge of climate change and the technologies and policies it relates to, hear from corporates to understand the risks and opportunities it presents for business, and explore the importance of entrepreneurship and innovation in climate change solutions and adaptation.

Analytics and Digital Marketing

Brand Management (Online)

This course is concerned with building, measuring and managing brands over time. It looks into how to leverage advertising and the other elements of the marketing communications mix to build and strengthen brand equity.

International Business (Online)

This module deals with the major issues faced by companies in international business. It will help you understand the differences between doing business in emerging markets and in developed markets and deal with issues in an increasingly globalised world.

Big Data, AI & Machine Learning (On-campus)

Most managers are curious about how modern AI, big data and Machine Learning can affect their firms (and their jobs). The course will concentrate on:

  • Big data introduces you to situations that give rise to Big Data such as streaming data and social media, e-commerce and web data, and the resulting distributed databases that can handle such types of data.  

  • Machine Learning is a collection of algorithms to learn from data and there are two many types: supervised and unsupervised learning. We see examples of both with emphasis on business examples, such as classification, identification, security and segmentation.

  • Finally, AI techniques like deep learning based on neural networks have become wildly popular at many technological companies.  We introduce you to how they work and what they are capable of doing (and not doing).

This course is a non-technical introduction to these topics using real-world examples and data sets.

Consumer Behaviour (On-campus)

This elective explores consumer psychology and how consumer behaviour can be shaped. It examines consumer psychology theories and current findings to learn how to apply these to develop marketing techniques that cut through the noise, shape or alter consumer behaviour, and help build and sustain consumer loyalty.

Design for Business Transformation (On-campus)

Companies around the world are realizing that good design is good business. The increasing awareness of how design can help create value for companies is definitely leading more and more firms, in industries ranging from home appliances to transportation, from food and beverage to consumer electronics, to attempt to use design as a source of competitive advantage. Clever design often makes the difference between the success and failure of innovative entrepreneurial ideas, as it can help firms make not only better products and services, but also better business decisions. However, one-time investments or occasional contracting of design superstars to revamp a product line may produce only ephemeral results. Good design stems from a systematic approach to design.

Many entrepreneurs, product developers, marketers, and service managers, though, still lack the preparation to fully take advantage of the benefits of design and designers. Research shows that this lack of preparation is among the most common causes for failures in design-business collaborations. This module, therefore, will introduce participants to design thinking and practice, and will provide them with concepts and tools to improve their capacity to manage the collaboration with designers in the development of new products and services.

Marketing Analytics (On-campus)

Today’s marketing is not just an art; it requires the use of data and quantitative approaches to support marketing strategies in rapidly changing offline and online environments. Only a few large international firms use marketing analytics. In emerging markets, even fewer companies adopt analytical practices.

As data has become one of the most important forces shaping all the business fields now, firms are increasingly seeking managers and analysts with sufficient technical background to make effective data-driven marketing decisions.

Taking a very hands-on approach with real datasets and cases, this course aims to expose students to a range of marketing problems dealt with various analytical tools. The goal is not to turn students into experts in statistics or econometrics, rather to equip them with analytical thinking and a set of applied quantitative marketing skills so that they are best-prepared to succeed in the workplace. The course’s practical orientation along with the extensive use of case studies will help students concentrate on the big-picture of marketing analytics.

Some of the questions/topics addressed analytically in this course include:  

  • How to segment your customers?
  • How to calculate the value of your customers?
  • How to predict future sales performance?
  • Which promotional strategies are most effective?
  • What is the return on marketing investment (ROMI) for advertising and other marketing instruments?
  • What drives web traffic?
  • How to allocate marketing budget across online and traditional channels?
  • How much to bid for online sponsored ads?
  • Social media listening: how to squeeze out social media data (e.g. Twitter) to better understand customers’ sentiments?
  • How to improve engagement with current and potential customers using social media data?

Electives available and course outlines are subject to change. Imperial College Business School reserves the right to alter courses whenever they need to be amended or improved. Faculty may also change as and when required.

The Executive MBA is not just one weekend a month, it’s a full-time commitment for two years that you have to account for in your life. Really look at what you want to get out of the Executive MBA. Look at the programme holistically including what electives are on offer and see what’s going to be beneficial to you.
Executive MBA 2018-19
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