The course

Full-time, Part-time, Per course
Course type
Entry date



In the modern world performance measures are a fact of life. Wherever you work, live and play, Critical Success Factors, Key Performance Indicators, League Tables and Performance Measures and their various derivatives are commonplace. But how do we design effective performance measurement systems, and, more importantly, how do we use them for sustainable results?

There is a growing demand for graduates who have the skills and knowledge to develop and implement business performance measurement and management systems across different socio-technical settings.

This programme will build knowledge in the field of business performance management and develop expertise in the frameworks, methods, tools and techniques that are commonly used in practice. It will cover both the technical and social aspects of managing the performance of organisations from across the industrial, commercial and public sectors.

Students will develop a critical understanding of the traditional and emerging organisational models and social trends, and develop an understanding of leadership and communication for effective business performance management.

Students also have the opportunity to take part in team-building and leadership events during the first few weeks of the programme. View our Team Building 2015 photo gallery.

Programme duration

Mode of Study MSc PG Diploma
Full-time 12 months 9 months
Part-time 24 months 21 months

Professional recognition

The MSc Managing Business Performance is accredited by the Chartered Management Institute.

Course content

   Detailed course guide
Semester 1 (Sept - Dec) Semester 2 (Jan - April)
Fundamentals of Lean Six Sigma System Thinking and Analysis
Leadership Project Management
Measuring and Managing Performance Research Philosophy and Practice
One from:
  • Competitive Strategy
  • Financial Analysis
  • Marketing
  • Strategic Change
  • Strategic Project Management
  • Work, Culture and Organisation
One from:
  • Communications and Branding
  • Demand and Inventory Planning
  • HRM
  • International Marketing

The MSc dissertation is undertaken between May - August.

Fundamentals of Lean Six Sigma

Semester 1 (mandatory)

Introduces the principles of Lean Six Sigma thinking, tools and techniques of Lean Six Sigma and looks at wider implications of the broader strategic issues of organisation management and how they impact on continuous improvement programme. Also covers Lean Six Sigma methodology, use of statistics to support business and management decisions, and importance of data collection and analysis for process improvements in the context of manufacturing, service and public sector organisations.


Semester 1 (mandatory)

Understand the role of leadership in business, and specifically in commercial projects. Examines the linkages between effective and appropriate leadership and organisational strategy.

Measuring and Managing Performance

Semester 1 (mandatory)

Theories and principles behind performance measurement and management from both technical and social perspectives. Introduces methods, tools and techniques for measuring and managing performance as well as analysing and troubleshooting existing performance measurement and management systems in the context of industrial, commercial and public sector organisations.

Systems Thinking and Analysis

Semester 2 (mandatory)

Examines theories and principles behind systems thinking, modelling and analysis. Also introduces the methods, tools and techniques for modelling, analysing, improving and designing technical and social systems in a variety of organisations, including industrial, commercial and public sector.

Project Management

Semester 2 (mandatory)

Examines monitoring and controlling projects. Develops competence in use of quantitative and qualitative project planning and control tools and techniques.

Research Philosophy and Practice

Semester 2 (mandatory)

Provides an understanding of the social science research process, as well as theory and approaches to research. Develops practical skills (i.e. quantitative and qualitative techniques) in data analysis to transform the raw data into information that guides marketing management valuations.

Programme leader

Professor Umit Bititci is Professor of Business Performance in the School of Social Sciences at Heriot Watt University.

Prof Bititci's career has focused on understanding what makes high-performing companies different. He has worked with an international portfolio of companies and public sector organisations.

He was previously Director of Strathclyde Institute for Operations Management and Professor of Technology and Enterprise Management at the University of Strathclyde. He is also member of the Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Board.

Prof Bititci has also led several international research and development projects with a research portfolio circa £20m. He has published over 200 papers and he regularly appears at international conferences and workshops as guest/keynote speaker.

Entry requirements

A good Honours degree (first or second class) or its non-UK equivalent in a relevant subject from a recognised British or overseas university.

English language requirements

If your first language is not English, or your first degree was not taught in English, we’ll need to see evidence of your English language ability.

The minimum English language requirement for entry to this programme is IELTS 6.5 (or equivalent) with no component lower than 6.0.

If you do not have IELTS 6.5, we offer a range of English language courses to help you meet the English language requirement for this programme prior to commencing your studies:

  • 14 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.5 with minimum of 5.0 in all skills)
  • 10 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.5 with minimum of 5.5 in reading & writing and minimum of 5.0 in speaking & listening)
  • 6 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.5 with minimum 5.5 in all skills)

Fees and funding

Tuition fees for 2017 entry (by residency status)
Status* Full-time Part-time Per course
Scotland / Non-UK EU £6770 £3385 £850
England / Northern Ireland / Wales £6770 £3385 £850
Overseas £14690 £7345 £1836.25

* If you are unsure which category you fall in to, you should complete a fee status enquiry form, which allows us to assess your fees.

** Fee per course

Scholarships and bursaries

We aim to encourage well-qualified, ambitious students to study with us and we offer a wide variety of scholarships and bursaries to achieve this. Over £6 million worth of opportunities are available in fee and stipend scholarships, and more than 400 students benefit from this support.

View our full range of postgraduate taught scholarships.