FTMBA Electives

Shape your learning journey

Electives are your opportunity to truly shape the programme to your own ambitions. Whether your objective is to accelerate your current career by developing your toolkit or explore new interests and embark on a different path - electives allow you to be in the driver’s seat of your learning journey.  

We offer a wide range of elective modules, including on-campus and online options, many of which are shared across our Executive, Weekend and Global Online MBAs and specialised Masters’. Taught by the experts in their field, each elective gives you a chance to learn from our world-class faculty in their areas of specialisation, and to network with discerning students from across the Business School.

Many of the electives also include guest lecturers from industry and other academic institutions who impart their unique insights and real-world experience to the class. We are also pleased to introduce AI Ventures, an elective shared with Imperial College’s Faculty of Engineering, facilitating a unique networking opportunity. 

Your choice of electives will be shaped by whether or not you’ve opted to pursue a specialism*, and the flexcore modules taken earlier in the yearBuilding on the skills you develop during the core modules, you will choose between five and seven electives.
 
Please note, Imperial reserves the right to change the elective offering at any time. Electives are subject to change depending on factors including student interest.
 

*Subject to College approval

Administrative label
FTMBA electives

Elective options

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.

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.  

This module takes place on our campus in London.

Analysis of Financial Statements and Management Information

In this module you will learn to critically analyse the financial position and performance of a company using both internal and external financial information. By the end of the module, you will be able to judge the extent to which financial statements reflect the underlying economic financial position and financial performance of an entity. You’ll also be able to effectively analyse the different business segments with organisation looking at their performance as an individual entity, and their contribution to the organisation as a whole.

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 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.

This module takes place on our campus in London.

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.

This module takes place on our campus in London.

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 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 takes place on our campus in London.

Corporate Finance for Practitioners (international elective)

This international elective allows you to experience finance in a different economy. It is taught in two parts with the first part delivered online and the second part is an international study trip. Traditional lectures will be complemented by guest speakers, company visits and experiential learning activities. Previous cohorts have travelled to Dubai for an intensive study experience in the capital of an emerging economy.

There will be an additional cost for taking this elective, which is reviewed on an annual basis.

*Subject to Covid-19 travel restrictions

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.

This module takes place on our campus in London.

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.

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.

This module takes place on our campus in London.

Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Design for Business Transformation (On-campus)

Companies around the world are realising 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.

This module takes place on our campus in London.

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.

This module takes place on our campus in London.

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 digitisation 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

This module takes place in Tel Aviv.

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.

This module takes place on our campus in London.

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. 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.

Entrepreneurial Finance 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?

This module takes place on our campus in London.

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 series 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.

This module takes place on our campus in London.

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.

This module takes place on our campus in London.

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.

This module takes place on our campus in London.

Leadership and Organisation

Leadership (Online)

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.

Leading and Executing Strategic Change (On-campus)

Organisations need to be increasingly proactive and nimble in today’s fast-paced, intensely competitive environment. Executing strategic change, however, continues to be a complex and difficult process. One of the biggest challenges is for leadership teams to recognize and understand that implementing a strategic transformation entails attention to both the rational and emotional aspects of the process. The bottom line is that change is hard, it is overwhelming, and fraught with uncertainly for people in the organisation.

In this module, we solve the puzzle surrounding the strategic change process by systematically examining the following issues:

  • What is the typical organisational mindset toward change?
  • What are the different types of strategic change?
  • What about the timing, scope and pace of executing change?
  • What are the common pitfalls as the process of strategy implementation unfolds and how can leadership teams avoid those?
  • How can they mitigate their frustration by adopting a nuanced understanding of why people resist change?
  • How can recipients of change avoid feeling like victims but empowered in a strategic change process?

We draw upon different frameworks and models from existing empirical research in strategic change and we apply them through in-depth case analyses, role plays and simulations to understand practically how a process can be constructively managed.

This module takes place on our campus in London.

Sustainability and Competitive Advantage: Rethinking Value Creation

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.

Business Problem Solving

Through this module, 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.

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.

Managing Negotiations (Online)

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

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 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.

This module takes place in New York.

Marketing and Analytics

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 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.

Brand Management (Online)

This module 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. Firms are increasingly becoming aware that one of their most valuable assets is the brand associated with their products and services. Creating strong brands that deliver customer value, and maintaining and enhancing the strengths of those brands over time, are management imperatives. Given that marketing acts as the boundary spanning activity between the firm and the external environment, nearly everybody will, at some point in their career, wear a marketing hat. So, understanding key marketing topics such as branding is beneficial regardless of one’s professional background and career direction.

Business Analytics (On-campus)

This module introduces students to Business Analytics, which is the study of advanced analytical and computational methods to support effective and informed managerial decision-making based on data. The principal idea in Business Analytics is to formulate managerial decision problems as mathematical problems, which can subsequently be solved with analytical or numerical techniques. Typical applications include revenue management (e.g. revenue-maximal pricing of train and airline tickets), logistics (cost-effective transport of products in a supply chain), financial portfolio management (construction of asset portfolios with a good return/risk tradeoff) and production planning (e.g. reduction of late deliveries or inventory holding costs).

The module will explore various mathematical techniques to formalise and solve managerial decision problems. The use of these methods will be illustrated with applications in diverse disciplines, including supply chain design and production planning, supplier selection, revenue management and finance.

This module takes place on our campus in London.

Consumer Behaviour (On-campus)

This module 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.

This module takes place on our campus in London.

Data Analytics and Management (Online)

This 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. 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 data analytics and briefly introduce online computing platforms. You will learn basic Python and other languages, how data is organized, manipulated and analysed and how to use algorithmic and statistical thinking. Concepts will be illustrated with real data sets from IT, supply chain, retail and finance.

Emerging Technologies in Marketing (On-campus)

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 influencer 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.

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 module 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 module'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 module 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?

Pricing Strategy (Online)

This module 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 module will constantly integrate the pricing decision back into the marketing mix, and evaluate its effectiveness in achieving broader managerial objectives.

Service Analytics (On-campus)

Automation and globalisation have profoundly changed manufacturing industries, displacing many jobs and creating turmoil. Until now, service operations were considered relatively safe, but this is soon set to change. We are seeing the beginnings of profound changes in the design and operation of service industries.

This module will concentrate on the management of services for efficiency and quality using big data and analytics. We will cover modern service design and include topics such as the use of automation and sensors to achieve efficiency and total quality. Data on customer reviews, complaints provide valuable information on improving service. Such data can be analysed using modern machine learning tools and procedures.

This module takes place on our campus in London.

Strategy

AI Ventures

This is a new elective shared with the Faculty of Engineering.

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. Over a series of 5 weeks, you will be exposed to key ideas, principles and frameworks from CEOs of startups, corporate leaders and Imperial instructors who are leading research in the future of artificial intelligence. 

Breakout Strategy (On-campus)

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

This module takes place on our campus in London.

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.

This module takes place on our campus in London.

Management Challenges in Healthcare (On-campus)

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.

This module takes place on our campus in London.

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.

One of the great aspects of the Imperial MBA is the variety of electives on offer. After completing my core modules with only the full-time MBA cohort, it was also great to learn alongside students from the other MBA and MSc programmes.

One of my favourite electives was 'managing negotiations' with Michael Yeomans. I'd done a negotiations course whilst in my previous job, but I think it's something you can always improve upon and learn new tricks and approaches. This elective was really interactive with great input from the whole class to make it an encouraging learning environment. I've already utilised what I learned in this class in my daily life.
Full-Time MBA 2020-21
Aoife Considine, 2020 Forte Fellow