The course

Course type
Entry date

Our Executive MBA is an intellectually rigorous programme taught by globally experienced faculty. Self-development masterclasses sit alongside weekend courses to build vital understanding of modern business, shaping your learning to match your ambitions.


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Taught with your career in mind, Edinburgh Business School's Executive MBA is led by experts in finance, strategy, accounting, marketing and business here at our Edinburgh campus. As part of your studies, we organise guest lectures and workshops from leaders in various industries, taking place on campus. Get inspired, hear their stories, and take away invaluable advice from their first-hand experience as they showcase real-world examples of the challenges businesses face.

Professional skills workshops

Develop your business acumen with our professional skills workshops, taking place every term during your Executive MBA. We also conclude every term with a social event for you and your fellow students, to get a break from the classroom after your hard work for those exams.

An executive programme of study 

The Executive MBA is part of our executive postgraduate qualifications taught and led by academics at Edinburgh Business School. This programme of study is suitable for those with a number of years work experience who wish to explore advanced principals of business and management. 

How the programme is delivered

This two-year, part-time MBA programme is structured around 6 semesters and 8 core modules –seven distant learning courses and one company capstone project. Each core course will offer class discussions, simulations and case studies. Our seminar structure gives you the opportunity to share your experiences, exchange knowledge and learn from your fellow students, creating a rich learning environment. Each course is delivered online and supported by workshops delivered on our Edinburgh campus from Friday to Sunday.

September 2022 entry

The deadline for applications from Scottish and RUK students is 31 August 2022. For EU and overseas applicants, we guarantee to consider applications submitted by the 8 August 2022.


Institute of Leadership and Management

Students completing the MBA programme will be grated Membership - becoming Members, and can utilise the post-nominals (MInstLM) alongside a fast track option to Fellow for students with industry experience.  You will also be able to access to all ILM content, learning materials through your study period.

Course content

Specialist mandatory courses

  • People, Work and Organisations
  • Delivering Successful Projects
  • Economics for Business
  • Financial Decision Making
  • Leadership, Theory and Practice
  • Strategic Marketing
  • Developing and Executing Strategy

Year 1:

Semester 1

Semester 1 consists of an On Campus Induction, a personal development plan and a personal tutor meeting. Semester 1 runs from September to December and introduces you to Module 1: People, Work and Organisations.

Module 1: People, Work and Organisations  

The aim of this course is for students to develop a detailed appreciation of factors influencing how individuals behave at work and how these link to performance. The course focuses on understanding individual’s 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.

The module will include:

  • A 3-day on campus workshop supporting Module 1.
  • 1 day on campus examination preparation.
  •  ½ day seminars linked to personal development plans.

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.  

Semester 2

Semester 2 will include a review and development plan and will run from January until April. It will also include a personal tutor meeting. It includes Module 2: Economics for Business and Module 3: Leadership, Theory and Practice.

Module 2: Economics for Business 

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 as well as the role of government and economy being examined.

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

The module will include:

  • A 3-day on campus workshop supporting Module 2.
  • 1 day on campus examination preparation.

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.

Module 3: 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 theory and how these 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 leadership.

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

The module will include:

  • A 3-day on campus workshop supporting Module 1.
  • 1 day on campus examination preparation.
  •  ½ day seminars linked to personal development plans.

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. 

Semester 3

Semester 3 will include a review and development plan and will run from May until August. It will also include a personal tutor meeting. Semester 3 introduces you to the Module 4: Financial Decision Making module.

Module 4: Financial Decision Making  

The course begins with a closer look at the current ‘financial landscape’. The course 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).

The module will include:

  • A 3-day on campus workshop supporting module 4.
  • 1 day on campus examination preparation.

Topics include:

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

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

Year 2:

Semester 4

Semester 4 will include a review and development plan and will run from September until December. It will also include a personal tutor meeting. This semester will include Module 5: Delivering Successful Projects and Module 6: Strategic Marketing.

Module 5: 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.

The module will include:

  • A 3-day on campus workshop supporting Module 5.
  • 1 day on campus examination preparation.
  •  ½ day seminars linked to personal development plans.

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 the project management profession, such as the project management office function, ethics, sustainability and agile project management.

Module 6: Strategic Marketing

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.

In addition to this overall culture, 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. 

The module will include:

  • A 3-day on campus workshop supporting Module 6.
  • 1 day on campus examination preparation.
  •  ½ day seminars linked to personal development plans.

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.   

Edinburgh Business School is a CIM university and students who complete this Strategic Marketing courses can apply for an exemption from the CIM Strategic Marketing Diploma level 6 exam. 

Semester 5

Semester 5 will include a review and development plan and will run from January until April. It will also include a personal tutor meeting. Semester 5 will include module 7: Developing and Executing Strategy.

Module 7: Developing and Executing Strategy

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, developed over the past 50 years. It reviews the diversity of contemporary strategy theory and practice and examines the role of strategy in the management of different types of organisations.

This course 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.

The module will include:

  • A 3-day on campus workshop supporting Module 7.                                                       
  • 1 day on campus examination preparation.

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.

Semester 6

Semester 6 will include a review and development plan and will run from May until August. It will also include a personal tutor meeting and includes the final company capstone project.

Module 8: Company capstone project

During the final semester and upon successful completion of your prior courses you will write a dissertation which will help you develop a range of research skills and demonstrate specialist business knowledge.

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.

A minimum of three years’ post-qualifying full-time professional work experience. Alternatively, applicants who don’t have formal qualifications, but who can demonstrate managerial experience of a minimum of five years are also encouraged to apply.

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. Evidence of English language proficiency in the form of Academic IELTS 6.5 or other HWU recognised qualification.


Additional fees information

Full fee for two-year, part-time Executive MBA - £22,000

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 scholarships.