Upskilling Scotland Scholarship

Apply now for your Upskilling Scotland Scholarship

Grow your professional business skills! 

The demand for professional business skills has never been higher, and organisations are looking not only to hire in new talent, but to upskill and reskill their own workforce to meet challenges. Companies surveyed for the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report 2023 identified cognitive skills as the most important, with core skills in analytical thinking, creativity, and technology literacy topping the list. Leadership, social influence, and the ability to work with others were also critical to success. Giving employees the chance to upgrade and gain flexible, focused, business skills will give your business the opportunity to develop the strength and agility required to respond to changing demands of transformation and growth. 

Heriot-Watt Online is committed to helping people and businesses prepare for the future. Our degree programmes are shaped by industry, informed by experts and designed to deliver the key skills your staff needs. Upskilling provides a clear advantage, and according to Deloitte Insights, employees rate the ‘opportunity to learn’ as among their top reasons for taking a job, with 94% saying they would stay in a company if it helped them to develop. 

Upskill and reskill your staff through Heriot-Watt Online

Heriot-Watt Online is offering free MBA and MSc business courses through the Upskilling Scotland Scholarship, (funded by the Scottish Funding Council), to eligible individuals and organisations in Scotland to get started on their professional development journey. Free courses are available to people who are in employment, new to jobs, transitioning roles or those in between jobs or returning to the labour market. Courses are delivered fully online and can be worked through at each learner’s own pace, giving them flexibility to study and work to suit their lifestyle. 

Special offer to previous Upskilling Scotland students!

If you, or your staff have already completed one of the MBA Essentials courses through the Upskilling Scotland Fund, and would like to gain the full qualification, we are offering a 20% discount to individuals, and a 25% discount to employers sponsoring five or more staff, on the second and third courses. Please contact us to learn more about how to apply at:

Our B2B team is here to help organisations to get staff started on courses that will enhance their skills, knowledge and expertise. Contact us today on to discuss how our we can help your organisation to succeed.

Master of Business Administration (MBA) Course

MBA Essentials Courses
People, Work and Organisations
Delivering Successful Projects
Leadership, Theory and Practice

MBA Core Courses
Developing and Executing Strategy
Financial Decision Making
Strategic Marketing
Economics for Business

MSc Supply Chain Management and Logistics Courses
Operations Management
Strategies for Managing Successful Supply Chains
Global Purchasing and Supply
Logistics Operations: Freight Transport and Warehouse Management

Delivery of our MBA and MSc Online Courses

These courses are delivered through the Edinburgh Business School and run by national and international leaders in their field. Students will have full access to our state-of-the-art online learning platform. Each course takes approximately 150 - 200 study hours to complete. The courses will not only provide students with the theoretical framework of the subject area but will arm them with the practical tools, confidence, and knowledge to flourish in their businesses and careers. Successful completion will give students university credits at SCQF (Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework) Level 11 that can be applied towards achieving a Post-Grad Certificate (or MBA Essentials), Post-Grad Diploma or a full MBA or MSc programme. 

MBA Essentials Courses

Our MBA Essentials empowers you with the skills fundamental to business and management. The programme is made up of three courses designed to help you: create efficient, high-performing teams and organisations; practice influential leadership; and successfully plan and deliver projects. Courses have been designed and developed by our team of expert academics and will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of core business principles and strategy to help you make more informed decisions as a manager, leader or entrepreneur. 

People, Work and Organisations

The aim of this course is for you 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. You will gain 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 and change

The course concludes with a detailed case study where you will draw on your knowledge of organisational behaviour and recommend interventions to improve performance. Throughout the course, you will be encouraged to think critically about your role as managers and reflect on your practice in light of relevant theory. 

This course forms one third of the MBA Essentials qualification. Successful completion of course assessment gives 20 credits at SCQF level 11 that can be used towards Heriot-Watt Online’s MBA Essentials and MBA. 

Delivering Successful Projects

This course aims to equip you with the necessary skills to conceive of, plan and deliver projects, enabling successful realisation of business objectives while managing multiple trade-offs. This course will enable you to understand, analyse and learn to apply project management skills to address issues and conflicts, enable change and drive innovation. 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 teamwork  
  • 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 in the project management profession, such as the project management office function, ethics, sustainability and agile project management. Become empowered to lead projects and teams with the key skills to manage multidisciplinary stakeholders and complex scenarios under conditions of risk, uncertainty and change.

This course forms one third of the MBA Essentials qualification. Successful completion of course assessment gives 20 credits at SCQF level 11 that can be used towards Heriot-Watt Online’s MBA Essentials and MBA, or the MSc in Business Analytics

Leadership Theory and Practice

This course aims to develop a critical appreciation of the role of leadership theory, styles, context and practice in a range of organisational, social and cultural contexts. Within this course you will explore key developments in leadership theories and how they apply to modern organisations. Grow your awareness of alternative approaches to leading in a variety of contexts, and better understand the role of leadership in setting and shaping organisational strategy. You will also discuss contemporary issues of gender, culture and ethics in the context of leadership.  

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 concludes by considering how leaders and leadership can be developed and provides insights into current trends and future directions. You will walk away with the knowledge and tools you need to develop yourself as an effective leader in a variety of contexts. 

This course forms one third of the MBA Essentials qualification. Successful completion of course assessment gives 20 credits at SCQF level 11 that can be used towards Heriot-Watt Online’s MBA Essentials and MBA

MBA Core Courses

Our MBA covers key management disciplines, including economics, financial decision making, leadership, marketing, people skills, project management and strategy – the skills and knowledge you need to progress in your career. The courses listed below form the core of our MBA programme, so if you have completed the three MBA Essentials courses, choose one of these to gain skills directly applicable to your work and take your next step towards a full MBA qualification. 

Financial Decision Making

Develop a set of accounting and financial tools to enable interpretation and critique of financial data from a variety of sources. Learn how to make data-driven financial decisions that directly impact organisational operations. You will learn how to engage effectively in management discussions on finance and accounting issues, and make informed, reasoned and sustainable decisions on capital investment programmes. You will also learn how to critically analyse and propose reasoned solutions to questions of capital allocation, retention and distribution.  

Topics include:

  • The Financial Landscape   
  • Financial Accounting   
  • Working Capital Management  
  • Management Accounting   
  • Budgeting   
  • Financial Tools   
  • Capital Budgeting and Investment Appraisal   
  • Financing, Payout Policy and Risk Management 

Successful completion of course assessment gives 20 credits at SCQF level 11 that can be used towards our online MBA

Developing and Executing Strategy

Develop the knowledge and skills to think and operate at a strategic level to inform and execute business transformation. Gain critical awareness of contemporary theory in the strategic management field, and relate this to current organisational practice.

Topics include:

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

Successful completion of course assessment gives 20 credits at SCQF level 11 that can be used towards our online MBA. 

Strategic Marketing

Gain the necessary knowledge, tools and frameworks to enable delivery of an effective marketing strategy that is aligned to dynamic internal and external business environments. You will develop the ability to undertake structured, critical analysis of marketing problems and opportunities and develop appropriate marketing strategies in a variety of contexts and the skills to help you propose, plan and integrate creative marketing programmes. You will also learn how to use a range of verbal, numerical and graphical data to formulate, implement and measure the success of marketing strategies.

Topics include:

  • Marketing Management for a turbulent era   
  • The Marketing Fit with Corporate and Business Strategies   
  • Capturing Key Environmental Marketing Insights   
  • Customer Insights and Customer Connections   
  • Capturing Marketing Insights for Demand Measurement   
  • Market Segmentation and Target Marketing  
  • Branding and Positioning   
  • The Integrated Marketing Mix   
  • Winning Strategic Marketing for Market and Competitive Scenarios   
  • Organising, Planning, Delivering and Measuring Market Performance

Successful completion of course assessment gives 20 credits at SCQF level 11 that can be used toward our online MBA. 

Economics for Business

Develop a systematic approach to data-driven decision making and the ability to recognise, use and interpret economic information from both within the organisation and the wider environment. Be able to propose relevant pricing and market strategies for a variety of market structures and in the presence of market failures. Gain the knowledge to recommend appropriate courses of action to deal with economic uncertainty, through evaluation of changes in macroeconomic variables and policy-making. You will also learn about diverse forms of economic information available from both the environment and the organisation to evaluate and propose solutions to business problems.

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

Successful completion of course assessment gives 20 credits at SCQF level 11 that can be used toward our online MBA. 

MSc Business Analytics Courses

Business Consultancy

Gain a comprehensive, critical overview of the theoretical and practical dimensions of managing organisational transformation. Improve skills and knowledge in relation to current role or prepare for a career progression. Learn how to analyse organisations within a business context. Deliver credible and feasible conclusions and recommendations to colleagues.  

Topics include:

  • Types of change in organisations   
  • The role of the management consultant (change agent)  
  • Cultural implications for behavioural and attitudinal change  
  • Step-approach or phases in change programmes   
  • Quality-led and business process reengineering approaches  
  • The roles of the internal and external change agents/consultants in the organisation   
  • Legal and moral issues influencing change events/consultant  

Successful completion of course assessment gives 20 credits at SCQF level 11 that can be used towards our online MSc Business Analytics and Consultancy.

Business Analytics

Be able to select the most suitable analytical methods, tools and techniques to evaluate a business process or problem. Demonstrate the application of a range of big data analysis techniques using real organisational data. Be able to analyse and evaluate the most suitable analytical methods to address a business process or problem. Understand the practical limitations of various tools and techniques, Demonstrate the application of a range of analytical techniques using real company data.

Topics include:

  • Descriptive Analytics: Measure what is happening using Data Visualisation; Descriptive Statistics and Probability   
  • Diagnostic Analytics: Understand why it is happening by applying root cause analysis; 5Whys; SPIN; Correlation; Regression analysis and Hypothesis tests   
  • Predictive Analytics: Understand what is likely to happen in the future by applying time series analysis; Trend analysis; Projective forecasting; Simulation modelling   
  • Prescriptive Analytics: What should we do/change in the future? Explore decision analysis methods and criteria, Optimisation methods, Simulation modelling   
  • Introduction to Big Data  

Successful completion of course assessment gives 20 credits at SCQF level 11 that can be used towards our online MSc Business Analytics and Consultancy. 

Big Data Analytics for Business

Develop in-depth knowledge and understanding of relevant methods, tools and techniques used to solve big data problems in business context. Be able to select the most suitable analytical method to evaluate big data problems in the business context. Understand the practical limitations of various tools and techniques. Demonstrate the application of data analytics for different industry sectors. Understand the implications of distributed intelligence on organisations.

Topics include:

  • Introduction to big data and internet of things  
  • Big data trends and strategies   
  • Frameworks for big data analytics  
  • Data mining architecture and techniques   
  • Neural and Bayesian networks   
  • Optimisation techniques  
  • Innovation and trends in internet of things   
  • Distributed intelligence  

Successful completion of course assessment gives 20 credits at SCQF level 11 that can be used towards our online MSc Business Analytics and Consultancy. 

MSc Supply Chain Management & Logistics Courses

This degree lets you develop expertise across key areas of Logistics and Supply Chain Strategies, Operations Management and Planning, Global Purchasing and Supply and Freight Transport and Warehousing.  It will equip you with the ability to think critically, identify problems, evaluate options and communicate solutions. These crucial, transferable skills will allow you to effectively implement your specialist knowledge and adapt to any logistical problem you may face in your career. 

Strategies for Managing Supply Chains

Explore how logistics and supply chain management (SCM) can be leveraged to gain competitive advantage. Understand how to design and optimise a sustainable supply chain strategy considering process selection and physical logistics network. Explore collaborative strategies and be able to recognise sources of risk in a supply chain. 

Topics include:

  • Logistics, SCM and competitive advantage   
  • Designing a differentiated SC strategy   
  • Collaborative strategies for a synchronous integrated supply chain   
  • Time-based strategies and managing the lead-time gap   
  • Logistical cost trade-offs and network design   
  • Designing a resilient supply chain   
  • Measuring supply chain cost and performance 
  • The connected digital supply chain of the future  

Successful completion of course assessment gives 20 credits at SCQF level 11 that can be used towards our online MSc Logistics and Supply Chain Management. 

Logistics Operations: Freight Transport and Warehouse Management

Examine the activities, resources and processes used in sustainable freight transportation and warehousing including the foundations of multi-modal (road, rail, airfreight, sea-freight, pipeline); the handling requirements from warehouse (storage) to a distribution centre. Explore warehouse management systems (storage, handling, order-picking) equipment choices and freight and distribution centre interface and implications.  

Topics include:

  • Introduction to freight types and transport mode selection   
  • Foundations of multi-modal freight: Road, Rail, Airfreight, Sea-freight, Pipeline   
  • Introduction: The change from warehouse (storage) to a distribution centre and value adding activities  
  • Foundations of warehouse management: Storage systems; Handling systems; Order picking systems; Equipment choices and selection   
  • Freight and distribution centre interface and implications  

Successful completion of course assessment gives 20 credits at SCQF level 11 that can be used towards our online MSc Supply Chain Management and Logistics. 

Global Purchasing and Supply

Understand the impact of Purchasing and Supply within external resource management in a global supply context. Recognise how key strategic decision areas are presented in the selection of suppliers and develop awareness of the importance of managing business relationships over the full range of power balance situations. Learn how different tools and methodologies of strategic procurement can be developed to maximise the contribution to business competitiveness. Understand the involvement of suppliers in value engineering, innovation and product and service development. Develop awareness of the issues of corporate social responsibility and ethical trading across a global context. 

Topics include:

  • Purchasing roles and processes 
  • Supplier appraisal including financial stability 
  • Supplier development 
  • Supply management including e-commerce 
  • Organisational context  
  • Outsourcing services and products 
  • Global purchasing including international trade 
  • Negotiation 
  • Measuring purchasing performance  

Successful completion of course assessment gives 20 credits at SCQF level 11 that can be used towards our online MSc Supply Chain Management and Logistics. 

Operations Management

Understand the scope and importance of managing sustainable operations and appreciate the interaction and impact of best practice operations on the organisation, employees, and customers. Examine the links between process and operations design, business strategy and be able to critically assess techniques in product, service design and improvement. Learn how to analyse an operational environment and assess against main quality management frameworks.  

Topics include:

  • Operations Strategy including strategic perspectives and conceptualising operations   
  • Operational Activities including product and service design; process; supply chain;   
  • Regulatory Activities - Resource planning; capacity management; quality management;   
  • The trade-offs inherent in Managing Operations   
  • Internationalisation/Global perspectives on operations   
  • Future Perspectives: Mapping developments and exploring future directions  

Successful completion of course assessment gives 20 credits at SCQF level 11 that can be used toward our online MSc Supply Chain Management and Logistics. 

MSc Business and Organisational Psychology

Our MSc Business and Organisational Psychology degree, designed by experts within our department of psychology, has been created to provide you with an in-depth and detailed understanding of various aspects of psychology that drives positive performance in the workplace. This degree equips graduates with the knowledge and understanding of psychological theory, evidence, and methods relevant to business practice. This degree will equip you with the necessary skills and personal qualities to apply your knowledge successfully in your business career.  

Culture In Organisations

Examine key issues in organisational culture from the perspective of psychology and management theory. Develop an understanding of the major driving forces in determining organisational culture, how these impact upon a range of activities within the organisation, and the major psychological theories of organisational culture. 

Topics include:

The relationship between organisational culture and:

  • organisational change 
  • control 
  • organisational design  
  • job design   
  • motivation  
  • group behaviour  
  • leadership and management  
  • strategic decision making 

Successful completion of course assessment gives 20 credits at SCQF level 11 that can be used toward our online MSc Business and Organisational Psychology.

Leadership & Leadership Development

Understand the range of psychological approaches to the phenomenon of leadership in organisations, and learn how to devise and evaluate leadership development activities based on psychological theory and research.  

Topics include:

  • Central theories of leadership in organisational settings  
  • Key social psychological approaches to leadership  
  • Practical considerations concerning leadership 

Successful completion of course assessment gives 20 credits at SCQF level 11 that can be used toward our online MSc Business and Organisational Psychology.

From CPD to Master's degree

Contact us at  to learn more about our free Upskilling courses and how our MSc and MBA programmes can deliver professional skills and expertise to your workforce.

How to apply

As part of the application process, candidates will need to attach evidence of living and/or working in Scotland. This can be a photo or screenshot of a Council Tax bill, a utilities bill, driver’s license or redacted payslip that shows place of work. 

Applicants should also meet the below criteria:

  • 18+ years of age.
  • Reside or have the legal right to work in Scotland.

Apply now for upskilling scholarship

View our full Terms and conditions to find out more.

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