Full-time MBA: programme overview

  • Stage 1: Foundations of business (all elements mandatory)
    Sep - Dec
    Jan - Mar
    Apr - Jun
    Introductory lectures:
    - Accounting
    - Business Research Skills
    - Careers
    - Case Cracking
    - Cultural Awareness in Britain
    - Living and Working in the UK
    - Student Services
    Accounting: Financial and Management
    Corporate Finance
    Economics for Business
    People, Management and Organisations
    Applied learning
    Team Building in Brathay,
    the Lake District (4 days)
    Introductory lectures:
    - Consulting Skills
    - Leadership
    - Negotiation Skills
    Not-for-Profit Project
    Negotiation Skills
    MBA+ Guest Speaker Series
    Applied learning
    UK Consultancy Project
    Mergers and Acquisitions Project
    Welcome party
    Cultural nights
    MBA Ball
    MBAT - International Sports Event
    Society and Club Elections
    Manchester Business
    International Football Challenge
    MBA Cricket League Tournament
    Click on a course to read the course description
  • Stage 2: Customise your MBA (choose a selection)
    Jul - Aug
    Sep - Dec
    Global Electives*
    Global Electives*
    Study Tours*
    Manchester Electives
    Manchester Electives
    International Exchange
    Applied learning
    Assessed Internship
    or Personal Project
    or Personal Project
    MBA Alumni Sports Day
    Manchester Business Summit
    Society and Club Elections

    Examples of electives offered*


    • Advanced Corporate Finance
    • Corporate Recovery and Turnaround
    • Global Banking and Financial Innovation after the Crisis
    • Venture Capital and Private Equity
    • Financial Analysis
    • Derivative Securities
    • Real Options in Practice


    • Business to Business Marketing
    • Consumer Market Trends and Business Strategy
    • Internet Marketing Strategy
    • Marketing Communications and Branding

    People, Management and Organisations

    • Advanced Project Management
    • Leadership and Change in Organisations
    • The Reflective Manager


    • Corporate Strategy and Development
    • Innovation, Strategy and Leadership
    • Strategic Retail Management
    • Strategy in the Global Environment

    Global Electives

    You can also choose to take an elective offered on our Global (Part-time) MBA. Examples include:

    • Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management
    • International Business Strategy
    • Investment and Portfolio Management
    • Commercial and Contract Management

    This is a typical MBA structure and is subject to change. Some elements attract additional costs.
    *At our global centres.

  • Final project (compulsory)
    Dec - Apr
    Applied learning
    International Business Project
    MBA Ball
    MBA Council Elections and Handover

Seven core courses, delivered by internationally renowned staff, focus on key business disciplines and help you develop rigorous analytical skills. The concept of applied learning is introduced through project work with live clients. You will undertake professional skills training and start to build your future networks with your peer group, alumni and global business leaders.

Customise your learning to meet your individual needs and focus on the subjects that interest you - you choose a unique blend from the options listed on this page.

During the final stages of your MBA journey you bring together everything you've learned for the highlight of the programme - the International Business Project. This goes beyond any academic project; it's a real piece of international professional consultancy

Your MBA journey begins as soon as you arrive in Manchester.

Our intensive four-week introductory course gives you the skills and techniques to start your MBA with confidence. We will introduce you to the theory and practice that underpin our MBA programme, develop your interpersonal and team-working skills, and ensure you get to know your fellow students, both in and out of the classroom. These classmates will be an amazing source of knowledge and support over the next 18 months.

Get involved in competitions to boost your CV and build your contact base. Key competitions include The Venture Capital Investment Competition, The Rotterdam Private Equity Competition and The European Business Plan of the Year. You can also select other competitions to coincide with your career interests.

Find out more

We believe networking with, and learning from, working business practitioners is a vital part of the MBA experience. That's why we incorporate a series of guest lectures into our curriculum, not as an ad hoc optional activity, but as a structured, mandatory, assessed part of your learning. The course consists of a series of highly interactive lectures by guest speakers followed, in the majority of cases, by a networking event. Each lecture is timed to align with taught material, so you get valuable professional insights about subjects as you study them.

Gain analytical and practical skills that will allow you to assess the macro-economic risks faced by firms across the world, taking current debates on economic theories and policies into consideration. You will learn to analyse both national and global economic trends, and how these trends are likely to impact businesses.

The Strategy course will provide you with frameworks and ideas to reduce the risks involved in managing a company in the longer term. It includes an equal emphasis on strategy frameworks and case study examples. You will develop skills, knowledge, and experience that can be applied to understand, formulate and implement corporate and business unit strategies.

Develop the skills you need to progress to leadership positions and build a successful career as a global leader.

Marketing typically concerns the processes involved in managing exchanges, interactions and relationships between organisations and their marketplace. On this course, you will develop a basic understanding of the concept of marketing and the marketing environment.

You will study the interrelationships between marketing strategy and objectives, market segmentation, market positioning, marketing mix management, marketing organisation and budgeting. You will learn how to analyse a variety of business situations and construct a coherent marketing plan, and you will develop an understanding of how the marketing concept and analytical tools can help managers achieve business objectives.

An operations manager is responsible for ensuring that an organization satisfies consumer needs efficiently and effectively. It is a broad field of study that brings together a number of topics and this course is designed to give you an understanding of some key areas. You will examine the management of the assets, processes and human resources that are used to produce goods and/or services.

This course is made up of two parts: Financial Accounting and Management Accounting. The Financial Accounting part will advance your knowledge of financial reporting, while the Management Accounting element will advance your knowledge of management accounting concepts, techniques and practices.

This course will help you understand the range of organisational forms and human resource management practices observed in contemporary organisations. You will examine why they are adopted and their effects on people's behaviour, while considering leading-edge thinking and research in the fields of organisational behaviour and human resource management.

Corporate Finance covers the techniques and concepts that are essential to making sound investment and financing decisions in firms. You will examine how these decisions relate to the value of the firm in an economic environment where capital markets play a key role.

Since all investment decisions require an analysis of risk and return, you will also study the definition and measurement of risk in the context of finance theory. You will explore how the cost of capital can be calculated and used in corporate investment decisions, and how a firm's capital structure affects its value. The course also focuses on financing quoted and unquoted businesses, and firms' pay out policies.

A long weekend at the beautiful Brathay Trust in the Lake District National Park is your final preparation for life as a Manchester MBA student. A series of challenges will test you both physically and mentally. You will also begin to focus on the management skills that lie at the heart of the MBA programme and are fundamental to business success.

During term one you will start working on your first practical task - a live consultancy project with a local, not-for-profit organisation, or with a larger company on corporate social responsibility or sustainability projects. This is your first opportunity to work in a team with your fellow students, giving you a good introduction to the local business environment.

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This course focuses on the theory and practical application of negotiation skills through a combination of case studies, expert video presentations and role-play workshops with seasoned practitioners.

Starting from day one, Skills for Successful Management continues throughout your studies. It focuses on developing the practical interpersonal and management skills that are key to a successful career, and that underpin all of your MBA projects.

UK Consultancy Project

You will be stretched more than at any other stage of your MBA so far - and you will learn more than you thought possible. The project builds on your learning from the Not-for-Profit Project and involves working with an external client to solve a real-life business issue. Although the companies are based in the UK, many of the consultancy projects have an international dimension, which will not only challenge you but prepare you for the International Business Project and your future career.

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Mergers & Acquisitions Project

This project gives you the perfect opportunity to take risks in a safe environment with support and guidance from our experts. Your team will act as the acquisitions function of a major corporation such as Associated British Foods. You will analyse the company and formulate an acquisition strategy. Although the project is simulated, it includes interactive and real-life role-play situations that will test your negotiation skills to the limit.

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Your four-week induction culminates with a Welcome Party at an upmarket venue in Manchester - a chance to unwind, have fun with fellow classmates and meet students from the Class of 2014.

Take advantage of a wide range of student-led societies, clubs and interest groups - providing you with an opportunity to boost your CV and build your contacts.

Find out more

Join the class of 2014 as they celebrate the end of their MBA in style with a night of fine dining, dancing, celebratory speeches and awards.

The MBAT is a sporting tournament held every year held in the French countryside outside Paris. Teams from the top business schools in Europe and further afield compete in events ranging from rugby and billiards to poker and karting, mixed with plenty of social activities. The weekend is a highlight for many students.

This student-organised event is organised each year around a specific theme. It brings together over 400 current and future business leaders, MBAs, students and academics, providing individuals with the ideal opportunity to network and mix and mingle with senior managers, directors and executives from a number of leading UK and global corporations.

Organised by members of the MBA sports committee, the International Football Challenge brings together MBA students from major UK business schools for a weekend of sporting action and entertainment.

The MBA Cricket League brings together students from top UK Business Schools for a weekend of cricket, plus dinner, drinks and the chance to socialise and build networks with students from other schools.

A series of themed evenings to celebrate the diverse cultures within the class.

Global study tours are hosted by our international centres. They combine an academic course with visits to companies and institutions, as well as an opportunity to experience local culture.

Join our Global Part-time MBA students studying around the world at one of our six global centres in Dubai, Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai and São Paulo. You can choose to take one or more Global electives - modules from our Global MBA programme that complement the UK-based MBA.

This not only gives you the chance to sample life, business and culture in a different country but also gives you access to an even greater network of international contacts and potential employers. Most global electives are six months of self-study which includes participatory workshops and a final assessment.

Specialist elective courses allow you to tailor the MBA to meet your own needs and gain in-depth knowledge of the things that really interest you and will help you most in your career. You can take electives instead of an assessed internship or international exchange, or combine them with a Personal Project or Entrepreneurship Project.

Your chance to custom-design a project that will help you reach your goals. Working with your faculty supervisor you choose a business and management area that excites you and define the project's objectives, methods and evaluation. Assessment is through a 15,000 word report for the dissertation.

Our international exchange programme is one of the strongest and largest in the world with links to more than 35 institutions.

You will complete a 12-15 week term at a major overseas business school, giving you an outstanding opportunity to immerse yourself in another culture, learn about international business practices, make beneficial global contacts, take courses that complement those offered at Alliance MBS and improve your language skills.

Places are limited and highly competitive; successful candidates must pass a rigorous application/interview process and must also have passed MBA Stage 1 at the first sitting.

Some of our current international exchange partners:

  • CEIBS, Shanghai
  • Sasin Graduate Institute of Business Administration, Bangkok
  • Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell University, New York
  • UC Davis Graduate School of Management, San Francisco
  • ESADE, Barcelona
  • HKUST, Hong Kong
  • Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad
  • Melbourne Business School
  • Rotman School of Management
  • University of Toronto, Toronto
  • Wits Business School, Johannesburg

Whether you are 100% clear about your future plans or intend to change your career direction, a ten-week internship will give you the opportunity to test-drive a new job function, industry or organisation.

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Your chance to custom-design a project that will help you reach your goals. Working with your faculty supervisor you choose a business and management area that excites you and define the project's objectives, methods and evaluation. Assessment is through a 7,500-word report.

The personal project and dissertation allow you to explore a current business problem and apply the concepts, theories and techniques acquired during the MBA. The entrepreneurship project includes an intensive lecture course followed by a practical team exercise.

Get together with MBA Alumni and make new connections while taking part in a number of sports competitions at the annual sports day.

Your final live project brings together everything you've learned in the past 15 months in one high-pressure, challenging, demanding - but extremely rewarding - experience.

You have to use your knowledge of your fellow students to choose the best team, prepare a winning pitch and bid against your classmates to secure the best project.

Working for a global client, you will travel internationally and have unprecedented access to senior executives - allowing you to build vital international business contacts and impress the people that matter. Some clients have been known to make job offers to team-members.

The International Business Project gives you:

  • CV boosting, practical global business experience
  • Unparalleled networking and contact-building opportunities
  • The chance to test yourself in the real world
  • A showcase for your talent
  • Excellent preparation for a career in international business

Find out more

You will have the chance to attend networking events with alumni throughout the programme. The sessions are a great opportunity to build your network, learn about careers in diverse sectors and gain valuable advice.

Celebrate the end of your MBA and say goodbye to classmates in style. Join your class and Alliance MBS staff for a night of fine dining, celebratory speeches and awards, and dancing.

During the completion phase, members of the MBA Council hand over the baton to the next generation of newly elected MBA Council VPs.

After the International Business Project (IBP), you will return to Manchester for a week of structured activities. Share your learnings and reflections on the IBP, and attend sessions with the careers team and alumni to ensure you are fully prepared for life after the MBA. There's also time to squeeze in a few drinks receptions to celebrate with classmates, alumni and Alliance MBS staff.

The end of your MBA journey. Join classmates for a memorable graduation ceremony held at the University of Manchester's Old Quadrangle building - a spectacular example of Gothic architecture.