Knowledge for the future of work

Business leaders need the critical thinking skills to guide their organisations through a multitude of modern-day disruptors, along with the managerial, financial, strategic, analytical, and operational expertise to ensure the bottom line is met. No small feat in a world with constantly evolving challenges and priorities.

Our learning approach teaches you the general functions of management essential for success and vital not just to corporations, but to their workforce and customers.

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FTMBA pre study modules

Prepare with pre-study modules

Some students may not have been in a classroom environment in some time. These refresher modules are delivered through The Hub, Imperial College’s online learning platform. Once you have accepted your offer, you will be given access and instructions on how to use the system.

An online tutor works in tandem with programme faculty to support you, providing guidance and monitoring progress and performance in quizzes.

Others may require a refresher in topics not utilised in their everyday job. Pre-study primer modules will help you get back into study mode and ensure that everyone in your class has the basic knowledge and skills required for the start of the programme.

The primers will introduce you to The Hub, our online learning platform. While the modules are all online, we understand the value of a blended approach to learning. An online tutor works in tandem with programme faculty to support you, providing guidance and monitoring progress. The modules will also introduce you to your incoming class as The Hub offers an online chat function to communicate with your classmates and to help one another with the module material.

Plagiarism Awareness

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’s people 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 – follows academic regulations.

Study Skills

While your pre-study technical modules will help prepare you for your foundational business modules, equally important are the soft skills that will help you succeed in your studies. As part of Global Skills Development, before you begin your studies you’ll have the option to join Study Skills. These interactive courses provide practical advice on working in groups, delivering presentations, and time management. You’ll be able to hear valuable advice from past students who have created videos describing their experiences of studying at the Business School, some of the challenges they faced, and suggestions on how to overcome these.

Accounting Primer

This key online module assumes no prior knowledge and covers key accounting concepts, such as financial statements and the relationships between them. You will be introduced to standard financial reporting, including balance sheets, income statements and cash flow statements. The basic pro-forma of these statements, how they are prepared and their limitations will be explained.

Data Analysis Primer

This module is designed to serve as preparation for the data analysis topics you will typically encounter on your degree programme. You should complete this module before joining the programme in September.

Finance Primer

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.

Maths Primer

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

Introduction to Corporate Sustainability, Social Innovation and Ethics

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.

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FTMBA core modules

Core modules: develop your foundation in business

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

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 your class the chance to bond from the beginning.

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.

Core 1

Accounting

Accounting is the language used to measure and communicate a firm’s economic events to its external stakeholders. Regardless of whether or not you work in the field, if you understand the language of accounting, you will understand one of the building blocks of business. This module will take you beyond the numbers and teach you how a company’s financial reporting can help you understand a company’s health and story.

Business Economics

Whatever industry you’re in, in order to ensure your business stays buoyant in a competitive market, you need to understand how individual markets operate, and how to use economic tools to analyse your position. During Business Economics, you will develop the framework and analytical tools needed to explain how market conditions are determined and how they differ between sectors and change over time. By the end of the module you will know how to apply basic principles of economics to real-world questions, such as how markets do or do not work and the choice of pricing by firms.

Organisational Behaviour

To be a respected leader and to ensure your organisation achieves success, you must understand those you work with. You need to have the skills to develop your workforce and the ability to motivate, persuade, and inspire. 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 understand how to manage yourself and your own career, how to lead and motivate others, and how to work well and effectively in teams to deliver good results.

Strategic Problem Solving (On-campus)

Through this blended module, which is delivered online and in-person, you will learn the fundamental skills of strategic problem solving, including how to approach a business problem in a structured and efficient way utilising techniques from the top-tier consulting firms. Relevant for consultants and non-consultants alike, you will be taught how to apply the skills of strategy consulting to business problems that you may encounter in any field. At the end of this module, you will understand how to define and structure a problem, conduct analysis, and synthesise and communicate recommendations.

Core 2

Corporate Finance

Corporate finance matters, both to the success of organisations, and to economies. The business world is affected, and at times, influenced, by the financial decisions made by corporations. It is thus important you understand the major types of financial decisions made by corporations, and how these decisions affect your work. You will develop a market-oriented framework for analysing a corporation’s investment decisions and understand how these decisions impact your business.

Marketing

In a world where consumers are indifferent about business offerings and ever more critical of how products are marketed to them, how do you develop your brand in a way that will capture your target’s attention and lead them to act on your appeal? Understanding customer needs and the markets in which you work are essential in any sector. In this module, you will develop a general management viewpoint in planning and evaluating marketing decisions, from strategic and tactical perspectives. It will help you understand how marketing decisions contribute to business performance and how such decisions are affected by organisational and environmental influences.

Strategy

In your work you may lead strategic projects that help achieve your department’s aims. Or, you may be responsible for setting your company’s long-term strategic objectives. Whatever your role is in working towards achieving strategic priorities, you must understand how your work will enhance the performance of your firm. Through the Strategy module, you will examine issues such as defining the firm’s purpose, understanding its competitors, and how to gain an edge (and keep it) over time. You will examine business-level and corporate strategy topics and develop your ability to think beyond day-to-day business activities.

Design Thinking and Innovative Problem Solving

Design Thinking represents a powerful way to unleash the creative potential of managers and leaders in organisations and is rapidly becoming a new management paradigm for value creation. Through this module you will develop the ability to gain deep insights about users, to define and reframe problems, and to effectively generate solutions or alternative approaches. You will learn how to clearly articulate ideas and concepts visually as well as verbally, and a mindset that embraces uncertainty and seeks new opportunities by exploration and experimentation.

Core 3

Decision Analytics

Technology not only drives business decisions; it provides the tools needed to make said decisions. But technology alone won’t give you the answers you need to solve vital business problems. In this module, you will be introduced to the art of modelling and will learn to analyse data to understand relationships, predict future outcomes, and solve complex problems. You will learn how analytical principles can guide you in making challenging decisions, and about the role of uncertainty and risk in the decision-making process.

Innovation and Entrepreneurship

This module provides you with a unique opportunity to build your knowledge, skills, and experience in starting up an innovative business, looking for critical funding, and structuring a deal to make your business viable. You will learn how to identify approaches to overcoming innovation problems, how to understand customer need and value proposal, evaluating commercial potential, tactics for securing buy-in, and best practices for scaling your business.

Investments and Risk Management

Some say risk is an inevitable part of investing. Risky investments can bring big rewards, but these risks can, and should, be managed. To prevent loss, you need to understand the main financial securities and markets and how to develop efficient investment strategies. To complement your studies in the classroom, you will have access the Connect learning platform’s state-of-the-art technology, which includes a fully interactive book with online exercises and assignments.

Macroeconomics

This module analyses the macroeconomic backdrop against which businesses and government operate. You 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. The module will examine the 2008 financial crisis and the ways in which it has affected economies and prompted responses of governments and central banks. And looking to a current and very local issue, you will also explore the economics of Brexit right in the city where the decisions are being made.

Operations

A firm can create competitive advantage through efficient and effective management of its operations. This module covers key concepts of operations management including the analysis of process flows and bottlenecks, capacity planning, inventory and supply chain management and quality management. You will understand how to apply these ideas to achieve operational excellence and total quality.

Additional modules

Ethics and Values

Public confidence in the integrity of big business has waned in recent years. And it’s not just businesses that are losing the trust of the public. It’s also the leaders who are guiding their organisations (some say, not well). As someone who aspires to be a future leader in business, how will you navigate your company through tricky waters that might cause you to question your moral compass? In this module, you will explore ethical dimensions of modern corporate life and consider why, and under what circumstances, good people do bad things. You will be challenged to deeply consider what you want from your professional career and to clarify your code of conduct. This is not a class just about corporate social responsibility, but about your responsibility to yourself.

Languages

As part of our commitment to diversity, you will enrich your 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.

I loved the Innovation and Entrepreneurship module with Professor Michelle Rogan. It’s a hard subject to teach in a concrete and tangible way, but she has shown us how we can apply strategic problem solving and critical thinking to business opportunities using structure and methodical approaches.
Full-Time MBA 2019-20
Elizabeth Petykowski