GMBA - Core modules

Build your foundation in business

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.

There are eight core modules carefully designed for online learning. Each module provides you with a solid grounding in business theory and practice. The emphasis is on applied learning, giving you a chance to test your understanding through case studies and simulations. Students are placed in diverse syndicate teams. These groups consist of students from a variety of cultural and industry backgrounds to ensure that you gain the widest possible perspective from the MBA experience and enhance your people skills.

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Pre study module

Pre-Study Modules

The online pre-study modules will ensure you have the basic knowledge and skills required for the start of the programme. You will complete these modules before commencing the programme.

Accounting primer

This primer module will introduce the basics of financial accounting, including how to interpret financial statements such as balance sheets, profit and loss, as well as cash flow. It will enable you to appreciate the usefulness and limitations of the information provided by these statements for evaluating the performance of a company.

Finance Primer

This module introduces you to the most frequently used quantitative methods for analysing data and making business decisions.

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.

Mathematics primer

The objective of this module is to ensure that you have a grasp of the mathematics you will encounter on your MBA programme, particularly for the more quantitative courses.

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 people's 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 – follow academic regulations.

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Core Modules GMBA

Core modules one

Marketing Management

Lecturers: Dr Andreas Eisingerich and Dr Omar Merlo

Among business disciplines, marketing is the primary contact point between a business and its customers. Nearly everybody will, at some point in their career, wear a marketing hat. Understanding marketing will help you whether you are an accountant, a consultant, a programmer, a banker, or a museum curator. Appreciating customer needs and how to marshal the resources of an organisation to meet those needs are crucial skills in today’s business world.

This module develops a general management viewpoint in planning and evaluating marketing decisions, from both strategic (e.g. market selection, firm objective, etc.) and tactical (e.g. promotion, pricing, etc.) perspectives. The module will also help you to understand how marketing decisions are affected by organisational and environmental influences.

Managerial Economics

Lecturers: Professor David Miles

This module introduces economic concepts of practical value in business life, providing a conceptual framework for assessing the interaction between firms and markets, and identifying the ways in which profit opportunities arise in markets and can be effectively exploited.

It will provide a framework for modelling the interaction between consumers and producers, allow you to explore alternative market structures ranging from monopoly to perfect competition, and enable you to identify and analyse strategic interaction between market participants.

Core modules two

Financial and Management Accounting

Lecturer: Jolande Bot-Vos

This module contributes to your managerial potential by explaining the techniques of financial management accounting and examining the relevance to broader issues of decision-making and organisational control.

During the module, you’ll develop the ability to:

  • Appreciate the different uses of financial and management accounting information for a wide range of decisions relating to financial performance, corporate social responsibility and governance, and business sustainability
  • Evaluate the uses and shortcomings of published financial accounts, having a command of the basic accounting concepts and principles of underlying accounting information systems
  • Appreciate the contribution of different forms of cost analysis to the analysis of short-run and long-run management decisions
  • Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of management accounting information and systems in supporting management control of organisational effectiveness, responsibility and sustainability.

Organisational Behaviour

Lecturers: Professor Nelson Phillips

This module provides a framework for understanding organisations and managing some of their key processes. It will also provide an opportunity to think about yourself as a leader and how you can develop your leadership skills.

This module will allow you to:

  • Analyse motivation problems in an organisational context
  • Manage basic team dynamics
  • Design effective organisations
  • Manage the intricacies of power and influence in organisational life
  • Analyse and manage organisational culture
  • Think critically about your own leadership skills and how to develop yourself as a leader.

Core modules three

Corporate Finance

Lecturer: Professor James Sefton

This module provides a framework for analysing financial markets and showing how they interact with the key decisions of firms. It will enable you to understand the role of assets, pricing, and the interaction between the economy and financial variables.

The module:

  • Provides information regarding the two key financial instruments (stocks and bonds)
  • Introduces the key derivatives markets (futures and options)
  • Examines Portfolio Analysis and the risk return trade-off
  • Introduces the concepts of risk and return in financial markets and the relevance of diversification
  • Explores how return is related to risk through the Capital Asset Pricing Model.

Corporate Finance will extend your understanding of company valuation and investment appraisal, introducing the concept of the cost of capital and how it can be calculated. It shows how companies are financed and how to decide between different types of finance.


Lecturers: Professor Nelson Phillips

The most common understanding of strategy is that it 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. Strategy is shaped by external market conditions as well as the resources available to management internally (including the firm’s internal structure, systems and culture). This integration of the external and internal perspectives provides the basic framework for strategic thinking.

The strategy module gives you a holistic view of the firm, helps to develop your ability to think beyond day-to-day business activities and challenges you to ask the right questions about a firm’s future. These skills are essential to being an effective general manager.

Core modules four

Corporate Innovation

Lecturers: Dr Paola CriscuoloDr Markus Perkmann and Dr Anu Wadhwa

In this module we focus on the theory and best practices associated with the process of converting new ideas to new products, technologies and businesses, within the boundaries of a large, established corporation. This module is meant to provide students with a rich understanding of the complexities of innovation in established companies. It is designed to ensure your understanding of the key concepts, frameworks, and processes, underlying strategic management of innovation. You’ll learn about the importance of fostering an entrepreneurial mind-set in large firms and recommend approaches to encourage such behaviour, as well as appreciate the key challenges to innovation in large firms.

By the end of this module you’ll be able to

  • Evaluate how to complement internal venturing initiatives with appropriate open innovation practices to drive growth and renewal
  • Understand the nuances of evaluating the commercial potential of an idea preparing a business case within an established firm
  • Identify, evaluate, and offer recommendations to resolve issues relating to poor innovative performance in large firms.


Lecturers: Bart Clarysse

This module introduces you to the themes which are relevant if you want to clearly define problems in the marketplace, develop unique solutions to address these problems, understand how to introduce these solutions into the marketplace and analyse the financial feasibility of the overall business case. Specific attention is paid to the role which design thinking plays in our current understanding of how to commercialise ideas.

I find the most rewarding part of the programme is the opportunity to explore and learn business-related topics in a safe and structured environment. By linking theories to real-life examples and case studies, one can reflect, understand and realise why businesses adopt certain strategies and their effectiveness.
Global Online MBA 2019-21
Supatra Lee, Global Online MBA