University of Northampton MBA programme modules:


Compulsory modules covered on the programme include:

Business Research Project

* Information correct at time of publishing this page, but may be subject to change by the university.

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Description of compulsory modules


Competitive Strategy and Innovation

Successful organisations need to be flexible and adaptable to rapidly changing circumstances. For managers, this means being able to reconcile a diversity of strategic issues, no matter what their professional background. All managers need the capability to develop and interpret strategies for their organisations, both at corporate and business levels in order to seek competitive advantage in a fast‐changing world where innovation and adaptability are key strategic weapons.


Critical Issues in Business

This module is designed to provide participants with an introduction to study on the MBA programme by making explicit the pervasive issues in business to which they will return throughout their MBA and will examine in detail in the Business Research Project. The module takes a critical perspective throughout, and sets the standards expected and required for students as they progress.


Financial Decision Making

The module is designed to provide business leaders with strategic knowledge and capability in the concepts and applications of accounting, quantitative methods and management information, including the use of IT applications. The module will equip participants with skills which will enable their critical interpretation and interrogation of accounting and financial information in corporate decision making contexts.


Leadership in a changing context

The search for competitive advantage has highlighted an increased emphasis on effective leadership skills as a major contributor to the success of an organisation. Allied to this is the need for these leadership skills to be anchored in a global perspective. This module seeks to develop an understanding of different business cultures across the world and the impact this may have on effective leadership. It will assess the relevance of classical theory and explore modern research and perspectives to establish how organisations can balance leadership and a global perspective. There is a strong emphasis on developing personal adaptability in cross cultural work environments, synthesised with a rigorous understanding of what is required for global leadership aspirations.


Managing Operations and the Supply Chain

This module is designed to provide business leaders with strategic knowledge and capability in the concepts and applications of operations, supply chain management and project management. The module will equip participants with skills which will enable their critical interpretation and interrogation of the operation of organisations globally, providing them with the knowledge, understanding and skills necessary to operate effectively beyond the bounds of their own organizations in an era of increasing outsourcing activity and off-shoring of manufacturing and service provision. It enables participants to critically consider the workings of the whole supply chain, to coordinate and manage strategic decisions within their own organizations, and to manage relations effectively with internal and external stakeholders.

Operations and supply chain decisions often require numerical analysis and the application of quantitative techniques; hence the module will include appropriate numerical analysis and interpretation.


Managing Organisational Behaviour

This module equips managers with a thorough grounding in organisation theory, behaviour and HRM so as to develop their awareness of the processes and problems of general management at an operational and strategic level. Every organisation is made up of individuals whose behaviour, individually or collectively will impact on its ability to succeed. This module considers a range of theories, tools and techniques which will help participants to understand organisational environments and the impact on organisational behaviour.


Strategic Marketing

Strategic Marketing is an essential management & leadership competence to guide senior management in today's increasingly dynamic & complex environment. The strategic marketing module will equip senior and aspiring senior managers with the skills to help shape organisational success. A cornerstone of this is the value of the leadership and planning of marketing activity.

To reflect the increasing business emphasis on practitioner perspectives. A key benefit of this MBA component is the embedding of a Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) professional qualification. The CIM Introductory Certificate will be an additional aspect of this module which will be made available to participants.

To reflect the increasing financial pressures on all elements of business to 'pay their way' there will be an increased emphasis on the justification of marketing strategy and related expenditure. ROI & other metrics will be considered as legitimate tools for benchmarking marketing success.

Strategic Marketing is a critical organisational mechanism for creating and sustaining superior performance in the marketplace. Significant focus will address the 2 central tenets of marketing strategy formulation:

  • The identification of target markets.
  • The creation of competitive advantage.

Moreover, the module will give participants a strategic perspective of marketing management with respect to the analysis, planning, implementation and control of marketing activities.


Business Research Project


In the current international economic environment managers are frequently required to undertake project work in addition to their core responsibilities. Frequently these projects are focused upon investigating new opportunities or potential strategic changes in order to retain and extend competitive position within a turbulent business environment.

This module aims to equip managers and aspiring managers with the necessary skills to undertake independent project work within a business environment. It will achieve this via asking participants to conduct an independent piece of research based upon an actual business case situation which may be industry or specific corporate focused. Specifically, participants are invited to pursue one of two possible approaches:

  • An inductive study whereby participants are required to carry out a research project within a particular corporate or industry setting and derive some general management principles or theories.
  • A deductive approach whereby participants are required to examine or test the validity of an existing management theory to a particular management context.

*Information correct at time of publishing this page, but may be subject to change by the university.