blog students

Shape your own programme

You will choose six electives on the Weekend MBA, developing your expertise with your future career objectives in mind.

Supported by our experienced faculty, many of the electives include guest lecturers from industry and other academic institutions who impart their unique insights and real-world experience to the class.

There is a wide range of elective options, from which approximately 20 are run each year depending on student interest. Many electives focus on the development of skills and cross-industry expertise, while others focus on the application of ideas to sector-specific opportunities.

Electives are shared across the MBA programme portfolio and include students from the Full-Time MBA, Executive MBA, Weekend MBA and Global Online MBA cohorts. This offers you the chance to expand your network and to specialise and work with new classmates that closely mirror the cross-cultural teams that are found in any modern business. Many of the electives are also available online.

Administrative label
Electives

Choose from our wide portfolio of electives

You will take six electives offered across the following subject areas Finance, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Strategic Management and Analytics and Digital Marketing.

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.

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 layout 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.

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. The course 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.

EF 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?

Financing the Blue Economy (IB Glocal elective)

There is a growing awareness that the world’s oceans, which in total cover > 70% of the earth's surface, are in a state of critical decline. Once seen as “environmental” problems, finding solutions to issues like plastics pollution, overfishing and ocean acidification are increasingly viewed as crucial global economic challenges. In this unique class, we will gain an insider’s view on the innovations taking shape for financing sustainable development of the world’s oceans.  

We will consider how blended finance, impact investing, and public/private partnerships are unlocking a more prosperous future in the blue economy.  Our aim is to understand both the promise, and the potential pitfalls, of financing new business models that protect the diversity, productivity, and diversity of the world’s marine economy.  The course is held on location in the Republic of Seychelles, a country well known not just for its outstanding beauty, but also for its path-breaking approaches to preserving natural capital.

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.

Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Design Management (On-campus)

This module will introduce participants to design thinking and practice. It will provide you with concepts and tools to improve your capacity to manage the collaboration with designers in the development of new products and services.

Design for Business Transformation (On-campus)

Companies around the world are realizing 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.

Digital Business (Online)

The Internet, together with other information and communication technologies (ICTs), continues to revolutionise industries. E-commerce is now a given in many industries, but many incumbent firms rooted in traditional business models struggle to figure out the new terms of competition. By examining the experience of earlier industry transformations we attempt to shed light on what may lie ahead for industries currently undergoing upheaval (software, telecommunications, music, and other forms of digital content and services).

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.

Entrepreneurial Journey

The Entrepreneurial Journey is an optional module that can be taken instead of two electives. It is a live entrepreneurial experience that provides insights into the challenges of introducing products and services to market.

 

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 digitization 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

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.

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 serious 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.

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.

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.

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 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.

Strategic Management

Breakout Strategy (On-campus)

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

Brand Management (Online)

This course is concerned with building, measuring and managing brands over time. It looks into how to leverage advertising and the other elements of the marketing communications mix to build and strengthen brand equity.

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.

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.

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 elective 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.

Digital Transformation: Leading Real-World Change (On-campus)

This module deals with the major issues faced by companies when addressing digital transformation. Digital transformation is about much more than understanding the role of data and information – it is about managing new forms of strategic alliances – enacted and enabled by technologies. This module provides real-world examples and the chance to hear first-hand from global business leaders about the challenges and opportunities of digital transformation.

Economics of Information and Intellectual Property (On-campus)

Information, especially digital information, is different in many ways from other goods and services. Yet information is still subject to the laws of economics, and can be protected as intellectual property. The purpose of this module is to explore some of the economics of information and the different intellectual property approaches to protecting information.

We examine a variety of topics including: the pricing of information goods, network effects, multi-sided markets, standards, trademarks, patents, copyright and trade secrets. As such this module teaches students how to think strategically about two of the fundamental underpinnings of the digital economy. The module will be centred on case discussions.

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.

Leadership (Online)

The study of leadership is about how to better manage the challenges we face motivating and inspiring people. This elective 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 & 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.

Leading Yourself (Online)

The prerequisite of organisational leadership and managerial effectiveness is the capacity to lead and manage oneself. To this end, the module will take students on an enriching inner journey through which they will learn to unveil and develop their qualities thanks to the empowering experience of deep meditation. The module will integrate notions of holistic wellbeing with positive psychology and eastern philosophy to provide a balanced learning experience connecting knowledge development with practical wisdom.

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. On this elective 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.

Managing Negotiations (Online)

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

Pricing Strategy (Online)

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

Project Management (On-campus)

This module covers modern project management techniques that are relevant to practicing professionals.

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.

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.

Strategic Networks for Innovation and Change (On-campus)

Received wisdom tells us that professional networks matter. In particular, networks are important as sources for information for developing new ideas or identifying pathways for change in organisations. Networks also play a crucial role in gaining support for innovative ideas and in leading change initiatives through to implementation.

Despite the importance of networks, it is much less self-evident how the potential of networks can best be leveraged and how the most effective networks are built. This course focuses on how networks may help individuals, entrepreneurs, and organisations to create value. More specifically, it aims to generate insights into the role of interpersonal and inter-organisational interaction in the achievement of creative outcomes, innovative performance and organisational change.

Sustainability and Competitive Advantage (On-campus)

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.

Sector-specific

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.

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 elective 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.

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 course 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 course is a non-technical introduction to these topics using real-world examples and data sets.

Brand Management (Online)

This course is concerned with building, measuring and managing brands over time. It looks into how to leverage advertising and the other elements of the marketing communications mix to build and strengthen brand equity.

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.

Consumer Behaviour (On-campus)

This elective 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.

International Business (Online)

This module deals with the major issues faced by companies in international business. In an increasingly globalised world, most managers will have to deal with issues of international business at some stage of their careers. This module aims to prepare you for this role and to help you understand the differences between doing business in emerging markets and in developed markets.

Final Project

Final Project

The final project elective is an independent report on a relevant theme, where you will demonstrate that you are able to address a specific theme in an autonomous way and bring together your learning across different subjects. This project will be your ‘business card’ with any company, investor or others to whom you are interested to show that you are able to provide a valuable and holistic view of a topical theme.

Electives available and course outlines are subject to change. Imperial College Business School reserves the right to alter courses whenever they need to be amended or improved. Faculty may also change as and when required.

I’m studying Brand Management, Consumer Behaviour and Digital Marketing for my electives. I’m able to implement a lot of what I’m learning on the MBA directly into my work and come up with fresh ideas because it’s something I’m currently studying. This practical experience will help when I finish the MBA.
Dee Ònásanwó
Weekend MBA 2016-17
Dee Ònásanwó