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MBA with a Specialism in Strategy

Key information

Mode of delivery
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Our flexible, online MBA with a Specialism in Strategy from Edinburgh Business School is designed to develop your strategic business skills and equip you with the necessary tools you need to advance in your career.

During your studies, you’ll build advanced knowledge of strategic frameworks and develop your skills in strategic management. By learning to apply strategic concepts to solve real-world business issues, you’ll be empowered to lead individuals and organisations through change, navigate complex organisational challenges, and drive long-term success.  

You will study nine courses, providing you with a comprehensive understanding of strategic principles and their application in diverse business scenarios. Throughout your studies, you’ll explore strategic frameworks, analyse case studies, and learn to navigate complex business environments, immersing yourself in the strategic challenges faced by businesses globally.

Guided by experienced faculty, you will gain insights into the best practices in strategic management. This programme is not just about obtaining a degree; it's about empowering yourself with the tools to drive impactful, strategic business decisions.

Degree duration

Our MBA programmes are available to study on-demand, at your own pace, from wherever you are in the world. You can enrol at any time, begin your studies when you are ready, and pick up courses as you go – meaning you can structure your studies in a way that fits around your life. Each individual course requires approximately 200 hours of study, which also includes time to complete course activities and practice assignments. On average, it takes approximately two years to complete a full MBA with a specialism, but it can be completed faster or over a longer period - you can choose your own pace. Throughout the programme, regardless of your schedule, you will be able to learn alongside a diverse and global community of students and professionals and interact with peers and tutors in forums.

How you'll learn

You will have access to a virtual learning environment (VLE) that houses all your course content and acts as your online campus. Tools to track your progress through the course materials will help keep you on track with your learning. Other online resources such as quizzes and assessment practice are available in the VLE. Wherever you’re studying from, you’ll have access to collaborative discussion forums where you can engage with your fellow students around the world. With guidance from your experienced tutors, you will critically engage with your course materials and discuss how they apply to real-world business challenges.

The university provides a range of valuable resources to support you in your academic journey. This includes our study skills support, which aims to enhance your learning strategies and techniques. Whether it's time management, note-taking, or exam preparation, we offer workshops, tutorials, and online materials to help you develop effective study habits. You can also connect with fellow students and receive additional support through our very popular Facebook community.

Live online tuition

You can choose to supplement your independent learning by enrolling in live online sessions led by experienced tutors. These sessions help you further contextualise your learning, prepare for your final assessment, and ensure your success on the programme.

Meet our students

When you study online with Edinburgh Business School, you join a diverse and global community of over 50,000 motivated individuals making an impact in the world and workplace.

Your personalised MBA

The MBA is part of a portfolio of flexible MBA programmes that are tailored for working professionals. Learn more about this unique programme from Edinburgh Business School, which allows you to stack courses together in a way that works around your life, matches your career goals and allows you to build credit towards your qualification, course by course.


Meet our students

Meet Asif Gul, an online MBA graduate from Oman

Course content

Year 1

Our online MBA with a Specialism in Strategy offers unparalleled flexibility, allowing you to study at your own pace and stack courses together to seamlessly build credit towards your qualification. Select from courses that interest you, position you to have an impact, and align with your career path. 

During this programme you’ll progress through nine courses: 6 MBA core courses, 2 specialist core courses, and 1 optional specialist course (totalling 190 credits). You are required to successfully complete and pass all nine courses to be awarded your MBA with a Specialism in Strategy.

Degree structure

MBA core courses
  • People, Work and Organisations
  • Leadership Theory and Practice
  • Delivering Successful Projects
  • Developing and Executing Strategy
  • Financial Decision Making
  • Strategic Marketing
Specialism core courses
  • Mergers, Acquisitions and Restructuring
  • Strategic Change Management
Optional courses (select one)
  • Business Negotiation
  • Global Strategy Analysis

Detailed degree guide

Understanding, Knowledge and Cognitive Skills

Participants will achieve the following learning outcomes at programme level:

  • Develop a detailed and critical awareness of relevant concepts, theories and principles in subjects fundamental to management
  • Demonstrate leadership in professional situations with the ability to conceptualise, analyse and resolve complex problems and issues in business and management
  • Gain professional level insights into dynamic international business environments and propose appropriate courses of action for organisations to deal with and take advantage of rapid external change
  • Through synthesis of ideas across diverse management disciplines, critically evaluate complex situations and propose innovative and sustainable solutions to the strategic and operational challenges that organisations face

Scholarship, Enquiry and Research (Research Informed Learning)

The learning model and curriculum actively encourages students to develop and apply their learning to their own professional experience and to wider developments in business and management.

Approaches to Teaching and Learning

The MBA with a Specialism in Strategy is an applied programme aimed at working professionals, providing them the opportunity to reflect on their own practice using contemporary theory in the management field. The programme is designed at the intersection of theory and practice and courses are oriented towards exploration of real-life examples and case studies.

The programme is entirely modular and delivery is flexible, operating a learning rather than a teaching model and each course is designed for self-study. All courses are designed around a comprehensive online offering that contains all necessary learning materials and guidance for students to successfully complete their studies. A key part of this is the opportunity for students to engage with each other as part of a global multicultural learning community.

In addition to the online offering the programme is available via Approved Learning Partners.

Assessment Policies

With the exception of the project and the Entrepreneurship courses, all courses are examined by written examination. Assessment includes objective questions (where appropriate), case studies and essays.  All courses are examined three times per year aligned to Heriot-Watt University's two semesters and the summer period.

The pass mark for all courses is 50%. A candidate must pass all required course units to be eligible for an award. Failing candidates are allowed a single resit in each course.

Assessment for H11PJ, H11EN and H11EV is by 100% coursework. One re-assessment opportunity is permitted (coursework re-submission).

Professor Heather McGregor
"When joining Edinburgh Business School, you join a network of industry professionals, top academics and people driven to succeed. We are here to prepare you to enter competitive job markets, excel professionally or even start a new business."
Professor Heather McGregor,
Provost and Vice Principal, Heriot-Watt University Dubai

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

Additional fee information

The MBA with a Specialism in Strategy degree comprises of nine courses. You can study on a course-by-course basis and pay as you learn, or enrol in multiple courses at once.

All course fees include one assessment attempt. Each attempt after this point will be charged at £160.

If you want to enrol in live tuition for any or all of course courses, you can opt to at an additional charge. For more information, download the programme prospectus.

Additional information is available within our Frequently Asked Questions.

Edinburgh Business School is committed to ensuring our courses and programmes remain accessible to students no matter where they live. Therefore, we offer an Emerging Economies Scholarship in certain areas.

Check if you are eligible for an Emerging Fees Scholarship.

Scholarships and bursaries

Each year Edinburgh Business School at Heriot-Watt University makes available a number of scholarships and discounts to help students to achieve one of our awards.

20% Fee Reduction

Students on our online Edinburgh Business School programmes benefit from a 20% fee reduction when purchasing all courses upfront for their programme of choice.

Take advantage and enrol today.

Alumni Discount

If you are a Heriot-Watt alumnus, you qualify for 20% off your programme fees. For more information on how to claim for your alumni discount contact hwonlineapps@hw.ac.uk

Entry requirements

Typically you will hold a recognised first or second class honours degree, or equivalent professional qualification. Students whose native language is not English and who have not been educated previously in the English language must provide evidence of their English language proficiency.

However, at EBS we are proud to make transformative education accessible to diverse communities and individuals across the world, therefore, we offer a performance-based admissions pathway onto our MSc and MBA programmes. This means that we provide a pathway to entry into our MSc and MBA programmes, even if you don’t meet the suggested entry requirements above. You will simply be required to enrol in and successfully pass three courses on your desired MSc or MBA programme (of which one must be a core course) before progressing to complete the full qualification.

What does this mean? No matter your pathway to entry (direct or through performance-based admission), there is no need to complete an application form before enrolling. To begin your journey with us, simply click on 'Enrol Now’, follow the instructions to enter your personal details, select your desired courses, and make your initial payment.

Find more information in the FAQs.

English language requirements

If English is not the applicant’s first language a minimum of IELTS 6.5 or equivalent is required with all elements passed at 6.0 or above.

Applicants who have previously successfully completed courses delivered in the medium of English language may be considered and will be required to provide documentary evidence of this. Examples would be secondary school education or undergraduate degree course. A minimum of at least one year of full time study (or equivalent) in the medium of English language will be required.

We offer a range of English language courses to help you meet the English language requirement prior to starting your master’s course:

  • 20 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.0 with no skill lower than 4.5)
  • 14 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.0 with minimum of 5.0 in writing and no skill lower than 4.5)
  • 10 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.5 with no skill lower than 5.0)
  • 6 weeks English (for IELTS 5.5 with no skill lower than 5.5)

Additional information

Rewarding previous study

Edinburgh Business School recognises that some students entering our online MBA or MSc programmes will have completed prior academic study in subjects that align closely to certain EBS courses. Therefore, you may be eligible to be granted exemption for a maximum of 20 credits. Find more information in the FAQs.

Assessment and award

All courses are assessed by a Final Online Assessment. Your final course assessment is designed to help you to critically apply what you’ve learnt.

You are given a 24-hour window to complete the assessment. You are able to sit your assessment in the comfort of your own space, from wherever you are in the world and will be allowed to access to your course materials during the assessment.
Assessments are conducted at three points in the year: April-May, August, December.

Upon successful completion of all three courses and the final online assessments, you will be eligible to receive a Postgraduate Certificate in Business Administration


Heriot-Watt University has been named as first in the United Kingdom for producing CEO’S*, we have a reputation for  producing high calibre, employable students. Whether you're an early career professional looking to stand out in the job market or an established professional aiming for leadership roles, this MBA programme offers you the opportunity to lead and make an impact in a variety of roles, across sectors.

Additionally, the online, flexible format of the programme allows you to learn while you work. This means that you can apply your learning immediately in your current job, providing real-time value to your organisation. If you’re just starting your career, it means you can build your work experience while you study. You will also get access to The Careers and Graduate Futures Service to support your career planning.

*Novuna Business Cash Flow 2023

"As a significant leader in employability, Heriot-Watt produces high-calibre students who are fully equipped for future success."
Tom Kneen,
CTO Office, Cisco UKI

Why Heriot-Watt?

Flexibility and affordability

Study at a time and pace that suits you, and even while you work. HW Online offers pay-as-you-study courses and fees inclusive of exams and study materials, meaning you can focus on success, not extra costs.

Online tutoring and revision

We offer live tutoring and revision sessions with highly experienced tutors from our global network of teaching partners. You can choose the session which best suits your needs, such as time of day, duration and structure.

Your career

Employers around the world actively seek out our graduates because they are work-ready. All our degrees are career-focused and relevant to the needs of industry. Around 95% of our students are in employment or further study within six months of graduating.

Online events

We host online events throughout the year, giving you the opportunity to speak to our academic teaching staff, meet students, find out what it is like to study using our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) and discover how to enrol.

Lifelong connections

Upon completing your studies you will automatically join the UK's oldest alumni association The Watt Club, with 147k members worldwide.

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