Build your foundation in business

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 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.

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.

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FTMBA pre study modules

Pre-study modules

Pre-study modules ensure that all students have the basic knowledge and skills required for the start of the programme.

Compulsory pre-study modules covering mathematics, accounting and careers and professional development will be available to you from three months prior to the start of the programme.

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.

Plagiarism Awareness

How would you define plagiarism? Do you know what plagiarism is? Do you know there are different types of plagiarism? We’ve asked lots of students what they think plagiarism is, and most of them say plagiarism is when you ‘cut and paste’ or copy other people’s work.

This is only one half of a definition of plagiarism. You need to have a full understanding of what plagiarism is, and why it is an academic offence.

Study Skills

These optional interactive courses provide practical advice on working in groups, delivering presentations, and time management. They contain videos of recent students describing their experiences of studying at the Business School, some of the challenges they faced, and suggestions on how to overcome these.

An English Language Development section is also available for non-native speakers of English who wish to practice their skills and develop subject-specific vocabulary. You can upload your writing for detailed feedback from a language tutor.

Accounting Primer

This 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.

Note: the Accounting Primer module is assessed by a quiz in early September. The marks will not count towards your final grade but it is a programme requirement that you complete the quiz.

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 programs 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 maths 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

The 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 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.

Business Economics

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.

Design Thinking and Innovative Problem Solving

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.

Organisational Behaviour

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.

Core 2

Corporate Finance

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

Decision Analytics

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.

Innovation and Entrepreneurship

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.

Investments and Risk Management

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.

Additional modules

Ethics and Values

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.

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 Shaba
Full-Time MBA 2017-18
Fiona Shaba