Core classes

Build your foundation in business

Your core modules begin when you join us on campus in September. All students follow the same programme for these initial months. This ensures everyone establishes a common foundation across the key concepts in business and gives you the chance to bond as a cohort from the beginning.

The core modules build rapidly on your previous experience, while introducing new and challenging disciplines. You will cover the general functions of management, explore essential business topics and acquire the skills to be an effective and inspiring leader in whatever career you choose.

Your journey throughout the core modules will encourage you to consider how the skills you’re gaining in the classroom can be implemented in the business world.

If you are interested in jobs in consulting or finance after your MBA you will need to meet the early autumn deadlines for recruiters. To help you with this process, modules covering the essential skills for consulting careers are right at the start of the programme in September and your world-class finance teaching starts in November.

Find out more about the Design Thinking module – a core class on the programme – from 2018-19 student Lucie Branczik:
Matt Casey

I’ve enjoyed Professor Jonathan Haskel’s core class on Business Economics the most. It’s fascinating to hear how economic principles invisibly drive everything we know – you can’t help but look at the world differently afterwards.

Matthew CaseyFull-Time MBA 2017-18Hear more from Matthew Casey

Core 1

This module looks at the fundamentals of accounting and their application to real business situations. It also addresses financial accounting and the complex challenges of determining value in a firm.

This module will take you through the logic of markets and business opportunities. You will gain an understanding of how firms interact as small players in large markets and how they might interact as larger players. You will also learn about supply, demand, welfare, games and strategic behaviour.

Particularly helpful for those thinking about an entrepreneurial route, this module will walk you through a journey of imaginative innovation and start you thinking about the entrepreneurial process. Different tools and methods exist to foster creative confidence and enable innovative thinking. This module will examine them in addition to providing the Imperial College point-of-view on Design Thinking. Guest speakers from industry outline the processes and frameworks used in their companies to enable innovation.

This module will give you a practical yet theoretically grounded collection of tools you can use to be an effective leader and manager of people. You will learn how modern organisations work and how they fail. The module will show how your success as a leader, manager and professional depends on how well you work in organisations with and through people to deliver good results.

Particularly useful if you are thinking of moving into a consultancy role after your MBA, this module will provide you with the key techniques you need to complete the programme successfully, including problem framing and case study analysis. It examines the process that you go through as a consultant and equips you with a number of practical and analytical toolkits commonly used by top consultancy firms. Scheduled within September, this class will prepare you for the consulting recruitment deadlines.

Core 2

By undertaking this module, you will gain a market-oriented framework for analysing the major types of financial decisions made by corporations. It will provide an introduction to the objective function of the firm, present value techniques, asset valuation, capital budgeting principles and problems, the capital asset pricing model, the operation and efficiency of financial markets and the financial decisions of firms.

Effective marketing management requires a clear understanding of consumers and the market in general. This module will help you to understand how marketing contributes to a business’ competitiveness and survival and provides you with critical marketing insights, tools, and techniques. It will cover concepts associated with brand management, promotion and services marketing.

Strategy is about how an organisation achieves an advantage in a competitive, fast paced environment by harnessing its resources and competencies over relatively long periods of time, in pursuit of specific goals. The module will give a holistic view of the firm, developing your ability to think beyond day-to-day business activities and challenging you to ask the right questions about its future.

Core 3

This module explores the basic analytical principles that can guide a manager in making complex decisions. You will learn how to identify the underlying analytical structure in a seemingly complex and vague decision problem and the role of uncertainty and risk in the decision-making process. You will learn to analyse data to understand relationships and predict future outcomes, while building models, decision trees and simulations to help understand problems with more clarity.

In this module, you will engage in the entrepreneurial journey. Market analytics, consumer behaviour, market segmentation, service and product design, pricing and entrepreneurship are combined to provide a framework to understand how ideas are turned into profitable products and services.

This module develops an understanding of the main financial securities and markets, focusing on how fund managers build portfolios and manage the risk inherent in investing in various securities. The module also looks at the design of an efficient investment strategy. The risk management section of the module recognises that the analysis of risk is often underdeveloped in organisations, but is of ever increasing relevance. The module exposes students to state-of-the-art techniques in risk analysis and management.

This module analyses the macroeconomic backdrop against which businesses and government operate. We will analyse how the decisions of firms and consumers interact to generate the aggregate outcomes that macroeconomists focus on: total output (GDP), employment, inflation and the balance of payments. We will analyse the recent financial crisis and the ways in which it has affected economies and prompted responses of governments and central banks.

A firm can create competitive advantage through efficient and effective management of its operations. We focus on the strategic role that the operations function can play, and offer tools and techniques that firms can use for execution. We cover key concepts of operations management including the analysis of process flows and bottlenecks, capacity planning, inventory and supply chain management and quality management.

Additional Modules

Public confidence in the integrity of big businesses has plummeted in recent years, aided by events such as the financial crash of 2008, BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill and VW’s recent cheating on emissions tests. This module explores the ethical dimensions of modern corporate life and how they relate to your aspirations in business. With business leaders facing an increasing amount of complex situations that involve ethical decision-making, this module will encourage you to consider what you want from your professional career and strengthen your set of tools for dealing with morally challenging situations.

As part of our commitment to diversity, students are expected to enrich their experience and gain new cultural insights by studying a language such as Spanish, French, German, Mandarin, Japanese, Russian or Arabic, using a technology-driven approach. All students will have access to language classes on campus and premium access to an innovative app which will allow you to learn a new language during your MBA.

Fiona Shaba

The core modules were a fantastic way to gain knowledge on a diverse set of topics. It was intense since we covered a lot of material in a very short time, but that pressure really pushed us to buckle up and make the most of the time we were given. My personal favourite among all the classes was Marketing. All of the modules required us to complete at least one group project which has been the best part so far, since I learned a lot from my teammates. We not only worked on the projects, but also revised for exams and quizzes together.

Fiona ShabaFull-Time MBA 2017-18