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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 four 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

  4. IB Glocal Electives – Intensive study abroad programmes led by the Business School faculty to teach students how to explore contemporary global business problems with a local perspective

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

A sample list of electives is below. Please note, this is subject to change.

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Electives EMBA

Choose from our wide portfolio of electives

You will take five electives offered across the following subject areas: Analytics and Operations, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Finance, Leadership and Organisation, Marketing, and Strategy.

Analytics and Operations

The module prepares students to visualise and analyse data, and to use analytical and data-driven approaches to make sound management decisions. The module covers the fundamentals of data manipulation and visualisation, with an emphasis on how to ask insightful business questions and analyse data interactively.

Most managers are curious about how modern AI, big data and Machine Learning can affect their firms (and their jobs). The module 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 module is a non-technical introduction to these topics using real-world examples and data sets.

Managers are faced with a wealth of data. This module is about turning that data into actionable insights, leading to well-informed decisions for complex business problems. We show how to build a model of the business situation that recognises its essential features and takes account of uncertainty.

The module provides students with an understanding of project management and its role as one of the principal managerial tools and approaches by which organisations adapt, innovate and grow in a rapidly changing and uncertain environment.

The module prepares students to visualise and analyse data, and to use analytical and data-driven approaches to make sound management decisions.

The module introduces several tools for data manipulation and visualisation, including Excel, Tableau and SQL, on an advanced level, with an emphasis on how to ask insightful business questions and analyse data interactively.

The exploratory data analysis method will be discussed from a statistical point of view and with case studies in a management context. We also cover the computational aspect of the data analytics and briefly introduce online computing platforms. Our discussion will be complemented by real data sets from IT, supply chain, retail, finance, etc.

The operations part of the module will cover a mixture of video lectures, cases, and computer simulations. Students are encouraged to share their own work experience when relevant to the class material during online discussions. At the end of the module, you should understand the fundamentals of operations and how these contribute to competitive advantage.

Entrepreneurship and Innovation

In this project-based, team-oriented module, you will explore applications of artificial intelligence technologies that will improve or transform existing financial, health and other systems, markets and methods, by spending dedicated time building new business models, products or technical concepts.

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.

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. This elective 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.

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.

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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 module explores the brave new world of social innovation and how businesses can tackle social problems through social innovation. This module intends to introduce students to social innovation and equip them with tools for becoming social innovators by exploring core approaches to social entrepreneurship and social intrapreneurship.

The goal of the venture capital module is to understand what venture capital is from both an investor’s and entrepreneur’s perspective.  We will explore how it differs from other types of financing and seek to understand the screening and selecting of business proposals, negotiating and structuring of transactions, monitoring of investments, and completion.

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.

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 Singapore will be used as a 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.

Finance

This module covers corporate financial decision-making. we will examine corporate investment policy and company valuation, financing decisions and capital structure, corporate governance, and the process of raising funds from multiple investors in syndicated loans and in initial public offerings. In-class sessions will include a combination of lectures, case studies and guest speakers.

The goal of this elective is to explore investments strategies in different asset classes such as equities, bonds, commodities, and currencies. You will learn about active money management techniques followed by mutual funds, pension funds, hedge funds, and family offices. At the same time, you will reflect on the limitations of investing through behavioural finance.

This module aims to allow students to critically analyse the financial position and performance of a company using both internal and external financial information.

This module will cover the major types of activities and risks faced by intermediaries operating in credit markets. We will lay out 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. Lectures and cases will provide an introduction to key concepts in banking and online credit markets.

In this module, you will explore the fundamentals of clean technology investing. There are now countless opportunities in this space, but the challenge remains to make them viable within mainstream capital markets. Our approach in this class is highly practical, drawing on guest speakers, case discussions, and an applied group assignment to foster learning about the sector.

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. This elective 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.

The module is designed to introduce you to the issues raised by corporate mergers and acquisitions. You will examine M&A markets, the sources of gains and losses in M&As, the valuation and financing of M&As, as well as bidding and negotiation strategies in M&As. The module will include a combination of lectures, case studies, and guest speakers.

The pricing decision process depends upon economic, marketing, and behavioural phenomena. This elective 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 purpose of this module is to provide a strong theoretical framework, practical applications and tools relating to private equity finance. It covers the main topics of Raising Equity and Debt Finance, Growth Capital, LBO, and Distress. Through this module, you will learn about the PE markets and their latest developments, the financial instruments and structures, the valuation process, the applications of these tools in companies’ acquisitions, and the role of the parties involved.

The module will provide a rigorous and thorough overview of the business of asset management. You will learn about the most important investment strategies used by large asset managers, hedge funds, pension funds, and mutual funds.

The goal of the venture capital module is to understand what venture capital is from both an investor’s and entrepreneur’s perspective.  We will explore how it differs from other types of financing and seek to understand the screening and selecting of business proposals, negotiating and structuring of transactions, monitoring of investments, and completion.

Leadership and Organisation

Defining Moments is a practice-focused class where you will be pushed to share and examine your views and work toward staying respectful, fully engaged with others, and able to act competently amidst challenge and critique. Being willing to honestly examine and challenge your beliefs and actions – both inside and outside class time – and practice difficult skills while feeling uncomfortable in class is a requirement, not an option, in Defining Moments.

This module deals with the major issues faced by companies when addressing digital transformation. Digital transformation is about much more than understanding the role of data and information – it is about managing new forms of strategic alliances – enacted and enabled by technologies. This module provides real-world examples and the chance to hear first-hand from global business leaders about the challenges and opportunities of digital transformation.

This module is designed to help current and emerging leaders and owners of family businesses 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 series of lectures, case studies, activities, interactive presentations and discussions with a number of visiting family business owners sharing their experiences, students will have a rich experience in understanding the “how to” and the “how not to” of Family Enterprise.  

The study of leadership is about how to better manage the challenges we face motivating and inspiring people. This module will introduce you to new skills useful in dealing with common leadership challenges and dilemmas. It will also help you become more aware of your personality and other traits in order to become more effective through diagnosis, insight and self-development. You are expected to contribute constructively to each class discussion, ask questions, express opinions, draw linkages among cases and theories, and develop new ideas.

This module offers the opportunity to reflect and act on fundamental questions related to the development of individual, organisational and societal flourishing, defined as the realisation 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.

The purpose of this module is to provide a comprehensive understanding of different aspects of executing strategic change in organisations. You will gain familiarity with different change frameworks that illuminate how organisations make transitions from one set of structures, systems and values to another to align with their strategy, the different processes by which that transformation unfolds, the critical leadership challenges and the role that middle managers can play in the process. You will develop a deeper understanding of these issues when they understand their own strategy implementation experiences and the case scenarios we analyse in class applying these frameworks.

This module explores the brave new world of social innovation and how businesses can tackle social problems through social innovation. This module intends to introduce students to social innovation and equip them with tools for becoming social innovators by exploring core approaches to social entrepreneurship and social intrapreneurship.

The module aims to help students develop self-discovery and self-mastery. They will become aware of their cognitive and emotional state and will learn to positively influence their psycho-physical wellbeing. Moreover, the module will stimulate the application of newly acquired capacities to improve the quality of personal interactions in all spheres of life and in particular at work.

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

This module will focus on strategy and leadership in digital environments, combining cutting-edge research with deep field experience. A significant element will be the engagement with senior leaders across different industries, who will share and discuss their perspectives and experiences.

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 Singapore will be used as a 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.

Marketing

This elective is concerned with building, measuring and managing brands over time, and with how to leverage advertising and the other elements of the marketing communications mix to build and strengthen brand equity. The module is based on a combination of lectures, guest talks, class discussion, presentations and case study analysis.

Today, business needs to engage its stakeholders. This module focuses on helping participants apply consumer psychology theories and current research findings to the design of effective marketing strategies that grab consumers’ attention, make an emotional connection, and help build and grow a business.

The business world is evolving rapidly through the use of digital marketing, mobile and social media to reach target audiences. Emerging technologies such as Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things offer businesses the unique opportunity to differentiate in a highly competitive brand market by creating immersive experiences for their customers and becoming influencers in their industry. This module will give an overview of the current trends and technologies that are likely to affect the marketing world and delve into tools and techniques that can be used to utilise them within the core development of strategic marketing of the business.

Taking a very hands-on approach with real-world datasets, this course aims to expose students to a range of marketing problems dealt with using various analytical tools. The goal is not to turn students into experts in statistics or econometrics, rather 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 module's practical orientation will help students learn how to identify and model various marketing phenomena with a focus on deriving useful and actionable managerial insights. 

This module is shared with MSc Management and MSc International Management.

The pricing decision process depends upon economic, marketing, and behavioural phenomena. This elective 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.

This module will teach you the skills required to understand shareholder interests and the levers available to deliver both growth and profit. The emphasis of the module will be on practical, applied techniques used by strategy and marketing consultants and industry professionals alike. Contemporary examples drawn from recent B2C, B2B and multi-layered industries will be used to illustrate the outcomes achieved and the skills and capabilities required to deliver them.

The module intends to provide students with a thorough understanding of digital marketing strategies and tools and with an overview of the major issues facing marketers in the rapidly growing area of online marketing communications. Additionally, the module aims at enabling students to understand how to integrate Digital Marketing into a Communication and Marketing Plan.

This module will help participants acquire skills in market research (MR) in order to execute MR projects and use MR findings in strategic decisions. The module examines problem formulation, research design, data collection, data analysis, and interpretation of MR results. Participants will also develop an appreciation of how MR can contribute to managerial decision-making, as well as the limitations and flaws of prevailing MR methods.

Sales is a key function for any organisation operating within a competitive market. This module will cover the fundamentals of both personal selling and sales management including how to organise sales, personal selling techniques, leadership in sales and recent trends in the digital transformation of sales. The module will be carried out in collaboration with the Sales Excellence Institute at the University of Houston - the world's leading institution for sales research and education. Students will leave the module with a profound understanding of the concepts and frameworks needed to succeed in sales functions and to become leaders in sales.

This module takes place in Houston, Texas, USA. The module is to be confirmed for 2022/23 entry.

Strategy

In this elective, you will learn by doing how to design and deliver strategy that works for you and your organisation. In so doing, we will address key questions including: What does growth look like moving forward? How can you proactively engage to create competitive advantage in these turbulent and uncertain times?

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.

The Business Problem Solving module aims to equip you with a range of frameworks, tools and techniques, many of which have been developed by the management consulting industry. The focus of the module will be those problems that are amenable to the collection and analysis of information/data.

Given the importance that climate change is going to have in shaping both the policy and business environment for the decades to come, this module 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.

This module will provide students with the knowledge, frameworks, concepts and tools to lead a profound design-driven business transformation, thus gaining or reclaiming leading positions in their industries. It will build on the core Innovation & Entrepreneurship module of the MBA, of which it represents a deeper and more elaborate version. It aims at providing a deep understanding of how firms can leverage upon design and designers to stimulate innovation and to build competitive advantage, as well as of the managerial challenges they encounter as they do so.

Information, especially digital information, is different in many ways from other goods and services. Yet information is still subject to the laws of economics, and can be protected as intellectual property. The purpose of this module is to explore some of the economics of information and the different intellectual property approaches to protecting information.

We examine a variety of topics, including the pricing of information goods, network effects, multi-sided markets, standards, trademarks, patents, copyright and trade secrets. As such this module teaches students how to think strategically about two of the fundamental underpinnings of the digital economy. The module will be centred on case discussions.

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

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. After this module, you should be able to formulate and implement international strategies in different types of countries. 

 

 

Healthcare consumes at least 10% of the developed world’s resources and is growing fast. Many developing countries are beginning to experience similar pressures as the more established health systems. In this module, we focus on the emerging challenges that public and private healthcare providers face as a result. We consider the underlying causes, ways in which organisations are responding and what further changes are likely in the near term for which we should plan.

Based on the latest research into networks, this module is designed to help you to turn your network into a strategic asset. Through a broad range of case study discussions, network simulations, and in-class exercises, you will gain insight into how the structure and composition of networks matters for a broad range of outcomes and obtain practical guidance on how you can develop the networking skills and practices you need to develop rich and varied social capital.

This module will focus on strategy and leadership in digital environments, combining cutting-edge research with deep field experience. A significant element will be the engagement with senior leaders across different industries, who will share and discuss their perspectives and experiences.

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.

This module takes place on our campus in London.

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. You will develop the skills to apply concepts and theoretical frameworks to real-life business cases, analyse and identify the sources of a firm’s competitive advantage, understand how to achieve sustainable growth and understand newly emerging business models and their challenges.

You will develop an understanding of analytic frameworks for developing digital business models. After this module, you will be able to assess the effects of technological and societal change on digital business models, and understand how to apply the strategic mechanisms for capturing the economic benefits from new technological opportunities, as well as identify and address the strategic and organisational challenges involved in managing rapid change.

Sustainability is one of the key issues of today’s society as confirmed by increasing attention of governments, media, academics, and industry. In the context of sustainable development, businesses that are often referred as part of the problem, can be part of the solution. The need for a system in which corporations are oriented to serve the interests of all their stakeholders, and not just shareholders is clear.

In this context, this module allows students to expand their learning of corporate sustainability by understanding how leading Italian organisations have developed sustainable practices, innovated their businesses, and engaged with successful initiatives of sustainable transformation. The module, hosted by SDA Bocconi in Italy and taught by a team of expert scholars from Imperial and SDA Bocconi, leverages the case method and includes company visits and guest speakers (very often the protagonists of the cases) in addition to traditional Italian setting, as well as providing a global perspective.

This module takes place in Milan, Italy. The module is to be confirmed for 2022/23 entry.

Further electives

The optional Global Exchanges programme allows you to increase your international exposure and build your network by taking advantage of specialised electives at one of our partner schools.

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The Global Experience Week is a unique hands-on learning experience, which is optional for Executive MBA students looking to further broaden their horizons.

Joining the Global Experience Week with the wider MBA cohort, you can travel to another country for an intensive week-long trip to explore a new culture and business in an international context. The Global Experience Week counts as one elective module option if taken for credit.

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Electives available and module outlines are subject to change. Imperial College Business School reserves the right to alter modules 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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