Master of Business Administration

The course

Delivery type
Weekends (full-time) / (part-time)
1 year (full-time) / 2 years (part-time)
Intake date
September, January

Students choose Edinburgh Business School’s MBA programme at Heriot-Watt University Dubai for its engaging course structure, guided study, and its proven ability to greatly enhance student career prospects.


  • Contact

    Heriot-Watt University Dubai Campus

  • Telephone

    +971 4 571 7000

  • Email


The School has been offering its MBA programme in Dubai for 15 years now. Fully licensed by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), the MBA programme can be completed through a full-time or part-time pathway at Heriot-Watt University’s campus in Dubai.

Why study with Edinburgh Business School?

We are a globally recognised institution with an international perspective – and that’s reflected throughout the School. Students will share a classroom with like-minded individuals and join our growing network of global business professionals.

Our seminar structure gives students the opportunity to share their experiences, exchange knowledge and learn from fellow students, creating a rich learning environment - taught with a student’s career in mind, Edinburgh Business School's MBA programme is led by experts in finance, strategy, marketing and business. Every programme at the School has been created and written by a leading faculty or an external expert. Our faculty teach regularly across campuses in Dubai, Edinburgh and Malaysia.

The programme consists of seven core courses and two electives. For electives, students can choose from an extensive range of self-study courses. Please refer to the course content section below for more details.

Students will be provided with all the relevant study materials, plus access to the student portal.

Tutored interaction for each course will take place over weekends (Saturdays and Sundays), and a large amount of each student’s time will be spent studying independently, with approximately 200 hours per course.

How the programme is delivered

Full-time MBA programme

The full-time MBA programme starts in September and January of each year. The programme runs over one year, and each year is split into three semesters. Each semester you will do a minimum of two core courses.

You will typically attend: 

  • Four 2-day seminars (Saturday and Sunday) led by an Edinburgh Business School faculty member. The seminars include simulations, case studies and class discussions 
  • Two 2-day revision sessions (Saturday and Sunday) to prepare you for your exam.

    These seminars allow a dynamic combination of students with diverse experiences, backgrounds and cultures to share and exchange knowledge in a rich learning environment.

The programme rekindled my intellectual curiosity and my sense of ‘giving back’ was reawakened – I now regularly volunteer my time with local charities

Bernadette Ngwanguong

Part-time MBA programme

You can start your part-time MBA journey in January or September. The programme runs over two years, and each year is split into three semesters. Each semester you will do a minimum of one core course.

You will typically attend:

  • Two 2-day seminars (Saturday and Sunday) led by an Edinburgh Business School faculty member that includes simulations, case studies and involves class discussions 
  • One 2-day revision session (Saturday and Sunday) to prepare you for your exam.

These seminars allow a dynamic combination of students with diverse experiences, backgrounds and cultures to share and exchange knowledge in a rich learning environment.

The first thing that attracted me to the Edinburgh Business School was that the programme is very, very flexible. It helps people to develop while concentrating on their business life

Ahmed Essam

MBA with Specialism

MBA with Specialism in Finance
MBA with Specialism in Strategy

MBA with Specialism encompasses the same seven core courses of the standard MBA, but instead of the two elective courses, you take four specialist courses in your specialist subject. Students have the option to study the seven core courses on our campuses, and complete the specialism by studying the four specialist electives by distance learning.

For further information on our Dubai campus MBA programmes please contact our MBA Programme Advisors at or +971 (0) 4 571 7005, +971 (0) 4 571 7004.


The Dubai Campus is accredited by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) and fully licensed to teach its degrees in Dubai. All graduates receive a British degree that is accredited by Royal Charter in the UK.

Student profile

It is appreciative to see Heriot-Watt's effort in providing UAE students access to a high quality UK degree in Dubai.

Ishu Miglani, Master of Business Adminstration

Course content

Throughout your MBA studies, you will have unlimited access to all study materials needed, including interactive course websites. To complete the programme, you must pass seven core courses and two electives. 

MBA core courses

The MBA’s core courses, whether completed part-time or full-time, are:

Delivering Successful Projects 

Delivering Successful Projects equips managers and business professionals with knowledge, understanding and skills to manage projects using integrative concepts, tools and techniques.

The course opens by setting the mind-set for project decision-making and covers the fundamental concepts of the project management discipline and how it assists organisations in materialising their strategic and change objectives.

Topics include:

  • Projects in the organisational context
  • Leadership and behavioural aspects of human resources
  • How the project manager and the project team work
  • Project success criteria 
  • Qualitative and quantitative planning and control processes 
  • Project conclusions, strategic intent, final evaluation and reporting.

The course concludes with a closer look at current topics trending the project management profession, such as the project management office function, ethics, sustainability and agile project management.

Explores the nature of a firm’s response to the challenges of internationalisation by examining the strategic basis, method and direction of international strategies. Examines both multi- and micro-nationals and utilises conventional strategic tools to study international strategies.

Read the full Delivering Successful Projects course syllabus and get an overview of the course content.

Economics for Business

Economics for Business examines how companies compete by developing and understanding the interactions and relationships between theoretical concepts; examining the individual components of strategic management models; and considering how companies may achieve and sustain competitive advantage.

The course starts by outlining fundamental economic concepts and examining the workings of the market system. Different market structures and their impact on organisations are reviewed and the role of government in the economy is examined.

Relevant aspects of the macro-economy are introduced with a focus on business impact and decision-making. This is followed by an exposition of international economic issues.

Topics include:

  • The Role of Economics in Business 
  • The Market Mechanism 
  • Demand 
  • Supply
  • Market Structure
  • Factor Markets 
  • The Role of Government
  • The Macroeconomic Environment
  • Macroeconomic Policy
  • International Trade and Globalisation
  • Research Activity.

The course ends with a research activity that will pull all the strands of the course together, and prepare students fully for the assessment.

Read the full Economics for Business course syllabus and get an overview of the course content.

Financial Decision Making 

Financial decision making aims to provide students with a set of accounting and financial tools that enables them to interpret and critique financial information from a variety of sources, and to make informed and effective financial decisions that directly impact company operations.

The course begins with a closer look at the current financial landscape. It then examines the application of financial and management accounting tools relevant to critical financial decisions, including key performance indicators, breakeven analysis, working capital management techniques and the budgeting process.

This is followed by a consideration of financial management and the decisions faced by organisations on investment (what projects), finance (what type of finance) and dividend (pay or retain) and how an organisation analyses takes action on each of those decisions.

Topics include:

  • The financial landscape  
  • Financial accounting 
  • Working capital management  
  • Management accounting  
  • Budgeting  
  • Financial tools 
  • Capital budgeting and investment appraisal 
  • Financing, payout policy and management.

The course concludes with an introduction to exchange rate and interest rate risk management.

Read the full Financial Decision Making course syllabus and get an overview of the course content.

Leadership Theory and Practice

The course critically examines the concept of leadership in organisations, explores major theoretical developments in how leadership is understood and provides opportunities for managers to reflect on real-life leadership issues. 

The course is divided into eight modules. Having explored what we mean by ‘leadership’ in the first module, the course then considers key developments in leadership theories and how they apply to modern organisations.

Leadership is enacted differently depending on the context, and the course hones in on some example settings for practice, including creative industries and projects, to explore alternative approaches to leading.

The role of leadership in setting and shaping organisational strategy is also explored, and contemporary issues of gender, culture and ethics are discussed. 

Topics include:

  • Introduction to leadership 
  • Traditional and contingency leadership approaches 
  • Modern theories of leadership 
  • Post-heroic leadership 
  • Leadership in contexts 
  • Leadership, gender and culture 
  • Leadership and ethics 
  • Developing leadership 

The course ends by considering how leaders and leadership can be developed and provides insights into current trends and future directions. 

Read the full Leadership Theory and Practice course syllabus and get an overview of the course content.

People, Work and Organisations

Our People, Work and Organisations course aims for students to develop a detailed appreciation of factors influencing how people behave at work and how these link to performance. 

The course focuses on understanding individual differences, how these differences affect group dynamics and how organisational factors affect individual behaviour. At its core, the course aims to equip students with the skills and knowledge to positively impact on individual, team and organisational performance in a variety of dynamic organisational contexts.

Topics include:

  • Understanding behaviour in organisations 
  • Individual differences
  • Motivation and engagement
  • Work group dynamics 
  • Power, politics and conflicts 
  • Designing effective organisations
  • Organisational culture
  • Organisational change.

The course concludes with a detailed case study that allows students to draw on their knowledge of organisational behaviour and recommend interventions to improve performance. Throughout the course, students are encouraged to think critically about their role as managers and to reflect on their practice in light of relevant theory.  

Read the full People, Work and Organisations course syllabus and get an overview about the course content.

Strategic Marketing

Our strategic marketing course aims to provide students with the necessary tools and frameworks to enable them to make proactive marketing decisions. The philosophy underlying this course is that marketing-oriented companies put customers first, are geared for long-term success and that this orientation must be championed by top management and infused throughout the whole organisation.

Strategic marketing requires knowledge, skills and competencies in a range of techniques such as strategic analysis and planning, implementation – via a number of integrated and synergistic marketing functions and activities – and marketing control, aided by an array of marketing metrics and digital developments. 

Topics include:

  • Marketing management for a turbulent era 
  • Marketing fit with corporate and business strategies 
  • Marketing environmental insights 
  • Customer insights and customer connections 
  • Marketing insights for demand measurement  
  • Segmentation and target marketing  
  • Branding and positioning 
  • Marketing strategies for competitive and market scenarios 
  • The integrated marketing mix 
  • Organising, planning, delivering and measuring market performance.

This course aims to provide students with a strong grasp of both the strategic elements of establishing a long-term customer orientation and the operational techniques that are required of marketing managers to implement a strategic marketing orientation successfully. 

Read the full Strategic Marketing course syllabus and get an overview of the course content.

Developing and Executing Strategy

Successful business planning needs objectives to be set and strategies to be created, implemented and measured. This course covers the core areas of strategic management and uses the general management setting to integrate ideas across the core disciplines covered in other MBA core courses. Developing and Executing Strategy begins by examining the evolution of management and academic thinking around strategy and strategic management over the past 50 years, reviews the diversity of contemporary strategy theory and practice and examines the role of strategy in the management of different types of organisations.

The course then examines a variety of aspects of strategy, such as strategic intent, analysis, strategic options and implementation. At each stage the links with other management disciplines, such as leadership, organisational behaviour, economics, marketing and finance are considered. Finally an integrative framework for strategic decision-making is presented, which facilitates a holistic approach to complex business and management issues.

Topics include:

  • Introduction to Strategy and Strategists
  • Strategic Intent
  • Strategic Issue Diagnosis 
  • Interpreting and Analysing the Environment
  • Analysing the Organisation
  • Generating, Selecting and Evaluating Strategic Options
  • Strategy Implementation and Practice

The course encourages students to think and operate at the strategic level in a range of dynamic settings through integration of ideas across core business disciplines.

Read the full Developing and Executing Strategy course syllabus and get an overview of the course content.

MBA elective courses

Advanced Financial Decision Making

The Advanced Financial Decision Making course aims to enable students to analyse complex financial choices, both external and internal, facing a company and propose courses of action that are consistent with the organisation’s goals.  
The course begins with a refresher of key topics covered on Financial Decision Making before moving on to financial reporting. Here, the course covers the consolidation process for a group of companies, examines the information available in annual corporate reports and looks at current reporting trends.
Management accounting then looks at tools to solve problems of resource allocation and moves on to other key tools currently used in practice including target and lifecycle costing, total quality management, six sigma and kaizen costing.
Planning and budgeting are the next topics where there is extensive coverage of compiling budgets, divisional performance management, transfer pricing issues and non-financial performance metrics.
We then move into the major area of financial management and the course covers tools to manage elements of working capital, complex capital investment appraisal, corporate valuations, and M&A (mergers and acquisition). Risk management is then examined, concentrating on exchange rate and interest rate risk exposures and how these are managed by companies.
The penultimate topics are corporate failure and business reconstruction. The course concludes with a discussion on current trends in finance and accounting.

Detailed topics include:

  • International accounting and basic group accounting (consolidation)
  • Annual corporate reports and interpreting information  
  • Earnings management and accounting scandals
  • Corporate reporting and disclosure trends
  • Alternative management accounting tools and techniques
  • Planning and performance evaluation
  • Working capital management
  • Advanced capital investment appraisal
  • Corporate share and bond valuation
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Exchange rate risk management
  • Interest rate risk management
  • Corporate failure and business restructuring
  • Current issues in finance and accounting
Corporate Governance

Corporate Governance will help establish a clear skillset for company directors, allowing them to reconcile external and internal controls, risk management, competitive behaviour and adherence to corporate law.

Topics covered:

  • Corporate governance issues, concepts and domain
  • External governance – law and regulation
  • Codes of 'best practice' and norms of behaviour
  • Boards of directors: the lynchpin
  • Internal controls and accountability
  • Risk management
  • Financial market supervision and control
  • Governance and financial market economics
  • External reporting need vs. delivery
  • Definition inconsistency and system improvement
  • Reality in the face of prescription
Leading and Credit Risk Analysis

The Lending and Credit Risk Analysis course aims to develop students’ understanding and application of lending and credit risk management for different credit context globally.

The course will focus on current developments within the global financial landscape and allow learners to identify credit risk events associated with different types of borrowers for different types of lenders. The course has practical skills and application in its core, bringing the theory to life through its application to case studies with a focus on developing the students lending and credit risk analytical skills.

Topics covered:

  • Introduction to credit risk management
  • Understanding financial statements
  • Ratio analysis
  • Expert and ratio systems
  • Credit scoring and modelling default
  • Market-based credit models
  • Market default models
  • Managing credit risk in a corporate environment
  • Financial distress
  • Bankruptcy
Financial Derivatives

In order to transfer and mitigate risk, a company will often turn to financial instruments such as derivatives, including forward contracts, futures, options and swaps. This course will give financial executives an understanding of what derivatives can achieve and how they are priced.

Topics covered:

  • The derivatives building blocks
  • Terminal instruments
  • Forward contracts
  • Futures
  • Swaps
  • The basics of options
  • Option pricing
  • The Black–Scholes option-pricing model
  • 'The Greeks of option pricing'
  • Extensions to the basic option-pricing model
  • Using derivatives and hedging
  • Hedging and insurance
  • Using the derivatives product set
Entrepreneurial Venturing

The course consolidates and builds on the work undertaken in the preceding course Entrepreneurship and Creativity. Students are guided to use this knowledge to produce a business plan or similar document as appropriate to the financial or other requirements of the business. The work to be undertaken may be in the context of a start-up firm, or a new project or product within an existing organisation.

The course is divided into eight modules. The first module of the course explains the business planning process and what is required in a business plan. The second module revisits and reviews the feasibility study undertaken in Entrepreneurship and Creativity. The remaining modules in the course consolidate knowledge and understanding of the entrepreneurial process and further develop and apply through practice core entrepreneurial skills.

Topics include:

  • Introduction to business planning 
  • Review, revisit and revise external environment and introduction to SWOT analysis
  • Mission, Vision, structure and scalability
  • Market segments and value propositions
  • Marketing strategy and plans (including marketing, mix, channels of distribution and communication)
  • Operational strategy and plans (including resourcing requirements)
  • Financial planning and analysis
  • Executive summary and business plan presentation
Entrepreneurship and Creativity

This course critically examines entrepreneurship by providing background understanding of the nature and value of entrepreneurship in economies, and to encourage thinking about ideas, considerations of the commercial world, creativity and innovation.

The course is divided into nine modules. The first two modules of the course explore theories of entrepreneurship and the role of business in the economy and society. The remaining modules in the course consolidate knowledge and understanding of the entrepreneurial process and develop core skills applicable to entrepreneurship, such as team working, communication, initiative, creativity, analysis, problem identification and solving.

A key focus of the course is for students to generate and develop their own business ideas, critically analyse these and investigate feasibility further developing business skills applicable to entrepreneurship, such as opportunity recognition, marketing research and presenting.

Topics include:

  • Introduction to Entrepreneurship theories and concepts
  • Where is entrepreneurship and what is it for
  • Creativity and idea generation
  • The external environment
  • Industry, markets and competitor analysis 
  • Intellectual property and business structure
  • Operational considerations and resourcing
  • Sources of finance and analysis
  • Pitching your feasibility study

The Entrepreneurship and Creativity course aims are two-fold: first, it will develop a baseline understanding of the enterprise environment and its value in an economy; second, it will develop skills in creativity, ideas development and refinement and commercial application.

Managing Financial Risk

The rationale for this course is straightforward: to provide executives with the tools they need to analyse, control and reduce business risk in volatile financial and commodity markets.

Topics covered:

  • Risk and the management of the firm
  • The markets
  • Market mechanisms and efficiency
  • Interest-rate risk
  • Currency risk
  • Equity and commodity price risk
  • The behaviour of asset prices
  • Risk assessment
  • Controlling risk
  • Quantifying financial risks
  • Financial methods for measuring risk
  • Qualitative approaches to risk assessment
Making Strategies Work

Making Strategies Work examines all the issues that both help and hinder a good business plan and shows how a series of complex monitoring and control tools can keep the strategy on course. It introduces a practical and rigorous process to help convert plans into actions that deliver results.

Topics covered

  • The strategy implementation age
  • The Making Strategies Work process for linking strategy to action
  • Organisational designs, processes and systems
  • Using causality for aligning activities with objectives
  • Competitive advantage and strategy implementation
Mergers and Acquisitions

Mergers and acquisitions rarely create shareholder value. Which begs the obvious question: why not? In examining real case studies, as well as innovative theoretical approaches, Mergers and Acquisitions will help executives to make better M&A decisions in the future.

Topics covered:

  • Strategic focus
  • Why mergers fail
  • Valuation
  • Bid tactics
  • Due diligence
  • The concept of implementation
  • Project management of implementation
  • Developing the implementation plan
  • Executing the implementation plan
Business Negotiation

This course provides a programme of study for managers who partake in negotiations of any size and complexity. It introduces the student to the context of negotiation and provides a structured approach to a successful negotiation.

The philosophy underlying this course is that negotiation is a core business skill, applicable to all aspects of management, both for results and relationships between contributors to a firm’s success and with suppliers and customers and government agencies. Specifically, the students will learn how to negotiate using both practical techniques and tools while also understanding the process through theories to develop themselves as competent negotiators in their workplace. 

Knowledge of the process, content and strategies of negotiation and competence in negotiating skills are essential attributes for corporate governance and are supportive of marketing, organisational behaviour and strategic management. Students will understand current issues in the wider context of global negotiations and be able to consider implications in diversity.

Quantitative Methods

The ability to interpret business data is vital for market success. Not only will this course help you organise and understand the all-important numbers, it will enable you to use those figures to make sound business decisions.

Topics covered:

  • Simple uses and misuses of statistics
  • School mathematics applied to management
  • Data communication
  • Summary measures
  • Sampling methods
  • Distributions
  • Statistical inference
  • More distributions
  • Analysis of variance
  • Regression and correlation
  • Advanced regression analysis
  • The context of forecasting
  • Time series techniques
  • Managing forecasts
Research Methods for Business

This course aims to introduce students to research methods and core research concepts.

Broadly speaking, the objective is to equip learners with a set of must-have research tools that enable them to understand and analyse research papers and the nuts and bolts of undertaking research and writing a project. At its core, the course aims to present an overview of the many of the areas that students need to be aware of when conducting research.

The course demystifies research and research methods and enables students to grasp the basics of what academic research is. It outlines the fundamentals of doing research and is aimed primarily at the postgraduate level. It places the student experience at the centre by engaging learners in a range of robust and challenging discussions and exercises.

The course will appeal to those who require an understanding of research approaches and skills, and importantly an ability to deploy them in their studies or in their professional lives. No prior knowledge or experience in research is required to take this course.

Strategic Risk Management

Strategic Risk Management helps managers to identify and manage risk in all its dynamic complexity. It's a potent tool kit with wide-ranging applications across both the private and public sectors.

Topics covered:

  • Background to risk
  • The concept of risk management
  • Strategic risk
  • Change risk and project management as a tool for managing change
  • Operational risk management
  • Unforeseeable risk
  • The risk interdependency field and the development of a process model

Entry requirements

Admission to the MBA programme is by application and acceptance. 

You're expected to have:

  • A recognised first- or second-class honours degree, or a qualification deemed to be equivalent by Heriot-Watt University
  • A minimum of two years' post-qualifying full-time professional work experience.

To find out more about the specific entry requirements for your country, please refer to our International Entry Requirements.

If you hold a degree from a different background and believe you may qualify for this programme or to find out more about the entry requirements for this programme, please send an email to

English language requirements

Where English was not the medium of instruction at Undergraduate studies, applicants must demonstrate English language proficiency equivalent to IELTS 6.5 (with all elements passed at 6.0 or above). Documentary evidence from the University where the candidate had studied their bachelor degree will be required to state that the medium of learning and teaching throughout their years of study was English.

Fees and funding

  • AED 109000*

* All tuition fees inclusive of VAT

For further information on our fees and payment options, please contact our MBA programme advisors at

Scholarships and bursaries

See our range of degree entry, undergraduate, postgraduate taught and PhD scholarships and discounts.