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The Manchester Method

We don’t just give you the theory; we show you how to use it to get the results you want.

Developed by Alliance Manchester Business School, the Manchester Method focuses on group work, practice-based learning and reflection.

Learning by doing

Our practical approach produces highly employable MBAs who challenge the status quo in a complex and rapidly changing world.

Through the Manchester Method, you will learn to:

  • Take structured and data-informed approaches to decision making
  • Lead and work effectively with multinational groups
  • Reflect critically and analytically

Examples of The Manchester Method on the Full-time MBA:

  • Four days of team building activities in the Lake District
  • Group work with a diverse multinational class
  • Three increasingly complex live client consultancy projects, equivalent to at least 900 hours
  • Simulated Mergers & Acquisitions Project
  • Real-life case studies
  • 10-12 week internship (optional)
  • Business competitions
  • MBA+ personal and professional development activities

Manchester Method

The world's most practical MBA

Live client consultancy is an integral part of our MBA.

We believe there is no better way to prepare for a career in senior management. As a Manchester MBA, you will work complete three live consultancy projects, as well as a simulated Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) Project to gain practical and academic knowledge of M&A. You won’t get this amount of hands-on experience from any other MBA programme.

MBA consultancy projects are a great opportunity to learn about new sectors, make contacts and gain solid experience for your CV. As you progress through the MBA, the projects will become more complex to widen your knowledge, challenge you and help you develop. You will tackle each project in small, multinational teams, helping you build valuable cross-cultural understanding and knowledge.

MBA students with cients

An MBA project group celebrating with clients

Mike Arundale

"The live consultancy projects sit at the heart of our MBA and give our students constant exposure to strategic decision-making in real companies and organisations. By the second week of induction, teams are already face-to-face with an external client from the Not-for-Profit sector scoping out their first project. Then comes a simulated Mergers and Acquisitions project, followed by the live Commerical Business Consultancy Project, this time involving a competitive bidding stage. The programme finishes with three months’ full-time consultancy for a global business, involving international travel. The projects bring the lecture and textbook material to life and give our students discernment about what is relevant and ‘real’ for business decisionmakers across a range of sectors." - Dr Mike Arundale, Associate Director, MBA Consulting Projects


900 hours of live client experience

  • Local clients from third sector
  • 1.5 days a week for 12 weeks
  • Example clients:
    • Action for Sustainable Living
    • After Adoption
    • Age Concern
    • Air Ambulance
    • Big Life Group
    • Foundation for Peace
    • Henshaws Society for Blind People
    • Intensive Care Society
    • National Football Museum
    • National Trust
    • People's History Museum
    • Prison Advice and Care Trust
    • Royal Commonwealth Society
    • Victim Support
    • YMCA
  • Local and global clients from any sector
  • Equivalent to two days a week for 10 weeks + bidding phase
  • Example clients:
    • American Express
    • Bibby Ship Management
    • BMW
    • Cisco
    • Delamere Dairy
    • First Group
    • Graham & Brown
    • Jaguar Land Rover
    • Marks & Spencer
    • North Edge Capital
    • Rightmove
    • Selfridges
    • Sky Bet
    • Telefonica
  • International field work
  • Full-time for three months + bidding phase
  • Example clients:
    • Audi
    • Balfour Beatty
    • BASF
    • Brandmovers
    • Brother
    • CIPLA
    • DRL Group
    • GSK
    • Heinemann
    • Janssen
    • Lycatel
    • Nichols
    • Pearson
    • Tesco
    • TNT

Students on the 12-month programme may complete a two-month research-based project focusing on international business, rather than a live client consultancy project.

Original thinking. Applied themes.

At Alliance MBS, applying original thinking is at the heart of everything we do. That’s why we structure the Manchester MBA around four practical themes, rather than traditional subject areas. This real-world focus ensures we develop reflective leaders who can navigate the most challenging global trends and tensions.  

How can we understand today’s complex, uncertain business environment and overcome the challenges of leading and managing in a rapidly changing world?

Core to this theme:

Our course ‘Managing & Leading in a Global Business Environment’ examines current business environments using the practice-based Manchester Method. It also encourages you to reflect and engage with the historical, cultural and ethical considerations that should underpin any commercial decision.

How do contemporary businesses create value? We explore this question from both an academic and commercial perspective. Our holistic approach transcends traditional disciplinary boundaries, and harnesses real and simulated business scenarios. This emphasises the interdependencies – and interrelationships – between the operational, tactical and strategic functional areas of an organisation.

Core to this theme:

  • Marketing & Operations: Operationalising and Communicating Value
  • Accounting & Finance: Measurement of Business Value
  • Strategy & Competition: The Practice of the Contemporary Firm
  • Not-for-Profit Consultancy Project
  • Commercial Business Consultancy Project
  • Mergers & Acquisitions Project

Customise your MBA experience with options ranging from elective courses and internships to study tours and live client-facing projects. Our network of global centres, strong relationships with multinational companies and partnerships with overseas institutions provide the opportunity to build a truly international CV.

Options to tailor your journey:

  • Elective courses in Manchester or our global centres in Dubai, Hong Kong, São Paulo, Shanghai and Singapore
  • Study tour to our Dubai or Shanghai centre
  • Three-month international exchange: top-ranked partners across five continents
  • 10-12 week internship in any industry
  • International Business Consultancy Project
  • Business Simulation Project

Which professional and personal competencies do successful leaders require? Throughout our programme you will identify and develop these qualities by engaging in a range of planned and structured activities, including lectures, workshops and individual guidance sessions. You will also gain access to business practitioners, careers support and our alumni network. This reflective, experiential learning will support you as you plan and execute your post-MBA strategy.

Core to this theme:

  • Skills for Leaders
  • Guest Speaker Series
  • MBA+ Careers
  • MBA+ Competitions
  • MBA+ Social
  • MBA+ Alumni Events and Activities
Male student talking

“I have met amazing people and secured my dream internship. The MBA includes 900 hours of live client projects, so you apply everything you study in class and learn how to get along with peers from around the world. This is not something you get from every MBA programme, and it’s an unforgettable experience.”

Francisco Ponce de León, Class of 2017, Pathways Operations Manager, Amazon