Business Administration MBA

Location Stoke-on-Trent Campus
Duration 1 Year

2018/19 New Entrants, Full Time

  • Home and EU students: £11,000 per course
  • International students: £14,250 per course
Course start January, September
LocationModeStart dateApply
Stoke-on-Trent CampusFull-time2017/18 Academic YearApply Direct
Stoke-on-Trent CampusFull-time2018/19 Academic YearApply Direct

Course outline

Are you ambitious and do you have an entrepreneurial flair with the appetite to both learn and contribute? Our MBA is aimed at those from all backgrounds and disciplines seeking career advancement into management and leadership.

The Staffordshire MBA is designed for ambitious individuals who want to excel and fulfil their true potential in private, public or the third sector. The programme is built on a unique design based on the core competencies which organisational leaders, senior managers and entrepreneurs depend upon:

  • Strategic Agility
  • Organisational Agility
  • Customer Focus
  • Drive for Results
  • Career Ambition

Our MBA is delivered by an excellent team of academics and practitioners who have been selected because of their relevant industry experience and research expertise in order to add direct value to the delivery of their modules. This team will facilitate the MBA candidates’ journey through our problem and practice-based approach, where theory will directly inform practice.

The MBA is flexible and allows you to tailor your course of study, where you can choose up to three option modules from a wide variety of business related topics. The choice will be yours - to suit your individual career path. A placement opportunity will also be available.

Course content

Based around core management and leadership topics, the MBA is flexible and allows you to tailor your course of study, where you can choose up to three option modules from a wide variety of business-related topics. 

Core modules

  • Managing People and Organisations
    Explore traditional and contemporary approaches to the strategic management of people both individually and in teams with emphasis on the achievement and development of an effective, efficient and sustainable workforce capable of delivering high levels of organisational performance.  Consideration will be given to the managerial challenges of different organisational contexts, managing employees, and managerial ideologies and processes.  The module will also seek to evaluate the implementation, application and various implications of managerial action while also taking account of internal and external business environments. The core competencies addressed within this module are: Strategic Agility and Organisational Agility.  
    Assessment format: Case study
  • Leadership and Strategic Management
    Focused on Strategic Management from a Leadership perspective, this module involves understanding leadership as a process and the implementation of strategic decisions and its organisational and individual implications. Case study discussions assist in an overall development towards furthering student career. The core competencies addressed within this module are: Strategic Agility and Customer Focus. 
    Assessment format: Academic essay.
  • Risk Management
    An innovative module that covers the core principles of risk and uncertainty in a business context.  These concepts are applied to the main ways to manage risk such as insurance and hedging within financial markets.  The aim of the module is to provide clear strategies for decision-makers to deal with risk and uncertainty despite a rapidly changing and unpredictable economic environment.  Also, the module explores other areas of analysis such as Game Theory and Prospect Theory in relation to the role of managing risk.  
    Assessment format: two-hour exam.
  • Performing in Organisations
    The Performing in Organisations module uses theory, with examples from practice, of how people and organisations can work more productively while maintaining individual and group wellbeing. The core competencies addressed within this module are: Drive for Results and Career Ambition. 
    Assessment format: A viva voce examination of the proposed action plan and a case study.
  • Strategic Marketing Management
    This module is designed to give you an overview of the relationship between marketing strategy and corporate strategy and how strategic marketing decisions are made within an organisation. You will learn about the strategic marketing plan, the elements of a marketing audit and how to create a marketing strategy to meet the needs of your target customers. Elements of the marketing mix will be studied along with an introduction to branding and the influence of digital marketing. We shall also cover corporate reputation and how this can be managed. Core competencies addressed within this module are: Strategic Agility and Customer Focus. 
    Assessment format: Group Presentation and Individual Marketing Plan.
  • Project
    The final project represents an opportunity for all MBA students to select a suitable topic and demonstrate the full suite of all five MBA management and leadership competencies derived from the taught modules. Topics will be wide-ranging drawing on different aspects of business but all aiming to address a specific business challenge or problem.  Ideally, they should involve external sponsorship to facilitate and support independent study and hence aim to generate robust conclusions and recommendations with real benefit and added value.  Following a 'dragons den' style project proposal presentation and allocation of a project supervisor, the assessment requires a 15,000 word project submission.  
    A final 'vivre' examination completes this final element of MBA study.

Optional modules

  • Change Leadership
    This module explores a multitude of theories and approaches to organisational change. Going all the way back to the original work of Kurt Lewin, it facilitates a critical understanding of this crucial aspect of organisational life, management and leadership. The core competencies addressed within this module are: Organisational Agility and Drive for Results. 
    Assessment format: Academic essay.
  • Entrepreneurship 
    An exciting opportunity to act as consultants to a real-life start-up business. This module will challenge you to synthesise your understanding of entrepreneurship theories and empirical research and the knowledge you will have gained from previous studies, other modules on the MBA programme and your previous work experience to develop a business plan which a local enterprise will use to guide them on their start-up journey. The innovative module delivery together with the assessment will equip you with the strategic agility and competencies to support your career advancement and help you develop the skills and confidence to advise other businesses and thus explore other career paths. The core competencies addressed within this module are: Strategic Agility and Career Ambition. 
    Assessment format: Business plan (including presentation and reflection).

  • Financial Concepts and Practice:
    Explores techniques and tools to gain insight into an organisation in order to develop strategic agility to improve results in positions of management and leadership. The core competencies addressed within this module are: Strategic Agility and Drive for Results. 
    Assessment format: Examination.

Entry requirements

  • A good first degree or equivalent professional qualification.
  • Relevant work experience to be discussed as part of your interview.
  • IELTS 6.5 with a minimum 6.0 in all categories eg Speaking, Writing, Reading and Listening.

Teaching and learning

You can study full time over 1 year or part time over 3 years but either way be prepared for a challenge - the pace will be fast. Our MBA is based on problem, practice based learning where real and live business issues are discussed and evaluated. Whilst some of these issues form part of the core teaching, many will be drawn from your own experiences in business and those of your fellow colleagues. In this way we seek to prepare you for more onerous management and leadership challenges in whatever comes next in your career.

You will be guided and supported by academics and practitioners who are engaged in leading edge research or who have significant industrial experience in management and leadership roles.


You will experience a wide range of assessment techniques. There are not only the more conventional individual written assignments and examinations but also individual and group presentations using a variety of different media. Your ability to undertake business planning, group work and more challenging viva-voce aural evaluations where you experience the pressure of fast response and decision making will also be form part of the assessment.

Another form of assessment is a final project where you can independently look to draw on and demonstrate your management and leadership competencies on a real and contemporary business challenge in order to draw meaningful conclusions and make constructive recommendations.

Employment opportunities

In academic learning we often refer to knowledge or understanding something new. Whilst this is a key part of the MBA, it is not the entirety. We refer to skills which, when applied in context, become valuable competencies. It is a combination of what you know - the knowledge, and what you can do - the competencies, that are ultimately key in determining your employability.

For example, can you:

  • take an aerial view of business operations and assess the strategic rather than tactical implications of market dynamics and leadership decisions as they impact business performance?
  • understand the subtlety that exists within business organisations, and not just the structure but also how networks, both formal and informal, operate?
  • understand how organisation cultures impact, evolve and, critically, sometimes resist?
  • operate under pressure without all the information to hand and in situations where you have to make decisions which might have far reaching consequences?
  • take a customer perspective, so that you provide the customer (both internal and external) with what is required, even when you have to manage unrealistic expectations?


  • do you have a career plan?  Having ambition and the ability to plan achievement of your ambition is a key management and leadership competency.

Graduate destinations

After completing the Staffordshire MBA, graduates take up on a wide range of opportunities, including promoted management and leadership positions in a range of sectors. Destinations our past graduates have gone on to include Harley-Davidson, Airbus, Corus Hotels, British Telecoms Global Service, IBM, Expedia, Adelphi Research and the ACH Group.

Meet the experts

Dr Peter Beszter forms part of the Managing People and Organisations module team. He is a senior lecturer and teaches across a number of undergraduate, postgraduate and professional programmes, focusing on: Human Resource Management; Employment Relations and Employment Law. Peter is a visiting researcher at Loughborough University’s School of Business and Economics and is a member of the History and Policy Trade Union Forum at King’s College, London. Prior to becoming an academic, Peter was a senior officer in local government.

Professor Rune Todnem By is the MBA Course Leader and forms part of the Leadership and Strategic Management and Change Leadership module teams. Apart from being Professor of Organisational Behaviour at Staffordshire University Business School he is also serving as Professor II Change Leadership at Stavanger University Business School (Norway), is co-founder and Chair of the Public Leadership Foundation (The Netherlands), and Editor-in-chief of Routledge’s Journal of Change Management. He has worked at the University of Wolverhampton and Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, and before joining academia he worked in His Majesty the King’s Royal Guard (Norway) and as a NATO paramedic in Bosnia-Herzegovina. You can follow Rune on @Prof_RuneTBy

Paul Dobson forms part of the Strategic Marketing Management module. He is a Senior Lecturer in Strategic and Digital Marketing, and as a professional marketer, Paul is actively involved with business in the UK and abroad, helping to develop their Digital Marketing Strategies.   He is a founding member of Marketing for Marketers, the local marketers networking group, and has presented Digital Marketing and other subjects to the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), Association of Business School, HEA conferences, and other universities in the UK and abroad. Paul is research active working towards achieving a PhD in Marketing Strategies for Social Enterprises. Prior to lecturing Paul was a Principle Consultant working with major consultancies around the world focusing on strategic marketing and business turn-around and growth.

Dr Jana Fiserova is the Module Leader of our Entrepreneurship module. Jana is an applied economist with rich experience in quantitative research and a passion for business and enterprise. Her research interests lie particularly in family business, micro/small rural enterprise, start-ups and the use of social media by those kinds of businesses. She’s known for her passion for innovation in teaching and learning, which is directly reflected in the kind of student classroom experience she creates. Jana is proud to be using teaching and research to solve real-life business problems and thus make a difference to the business community and the local economy.

Dr Andy Hirst is the Project Module Leader and forms part of the Risk Management module. He has over 30 years industrial experience in a wide variety of technical, marketing, commercial, management & leadership roles in large FTSE100 organisations. He brings significant experience of international business – from marketing & sales to development of international partnerships & supply chain management.  He has first-hand experience of leading organisation change & restructure within dynamic & challenging business environments.  Andy is the final 'Project' Module Leader in which all students look to conduct an investigation into an approved individual problem/practice based topic.  The aim is to draw on all five underpinning MBA competencies to reach robust conclusions & recommendations and so demonstrate MBA learning outcomes.  In addition to a proposal presentation, assessment requires submission of a 15,000 word Project submission followed by final vivre.  Andy also teaches on the Risk Management module.

Dr John Hudson is a member of the Change Leadership module team.  He is a lecturer in Human Resource Management and Organisational Behaviour with a background in psychology. John’s PhD research focused on preventative approaches to stress-management in organisations.  Psychology has many applications and implications in the workplace, and particularly for anyone interested in how to get the best out of people.  John’s main interests lie in trying to make work a better place to be and particularly understanding why efforts to improve things might not always turn out the way they were intended.  He also has an interest in ‘mindset’: how the simple beliefs we hold about ourselves can affect how we perceive and respond to learning situations. 

Dr Ian Jackson is the Module Leader for Risk Management on the MBA and in addition, he teaches on several other modules at the undergraduate and postgraduate level as well as on the corporate programmes.  Ian is an applied economist by training having worked previously in the UK aerospace industry.  His role in the Business School is Enterprise Reader with a specific interest in innovation and entrepreneurship.  He has managed several Tempus programmes with partners across Europe and the Middle East including in Jordan and Lebanon and he has taught at universities in China, Hong Kong and Malaysia.  Ian’s current research interests are wide-ranging covering industrial clusters in the ceramics industry and the economics of professional team sports.

Dr Vish Maheshwari is Head of Department (Business, Management and Marketing). Vish has extensive experience of managing and developing postgraduate curriculum including MBA at a number of UK HE institutions and has taught and worked on academic programme development in more than 10 countries. Vish is a member of the editorial board for two academic journals and is also co-founding Chair of the Place Marketing and Branding special interest research group at the Academy of Marketing. He is published in the area of Marketing and Brand Management and has successively supervised 5 PhD candidates to completion so far. He has active global research collaborations with educational institutions in Brazil, Mauritius and Greece. You can follow Vish on @DrVish_M .

Professor Marc Jones is the Module Leader of Performing in Organisations. Marc is a Professor of Stress and Emotion at Staffordshire University. His work is focused on understanding the impact of stress on health, wellbeing and performance, effective leader-follower interactions, and behaviour change in individuals and organisations. The protocols, and approach, that Marc, and colleagues, have developed for the assessment, and training of stress responses and enhancing performance, have been utilised by businesses, professional athletes, sports teams, education and the military. You can follow Marc on @ProfMarcJones.

David May is the Postgraduate Award Administrator responsible for the MBA. He ensures that you are enrolled onto the correct modules, that the official record of your studies is correct, and is responsible for publishing your profile once marks have been confirmed by an Award Board.  He will also ensure that your final certificate and profile are produced.

Dr Tolu Olarewaju is an award-winning Banker, Entrepreneur and Educator, and forms part of the Entrepreneurship module. He currently lectures on a range of topics primarily focused around the areas of economics, business strategy, entrepreneurship and international business. Tolu’s present research interests centre on entrepreneurship, self-employment, international business, business economics and areas encompassing social, developmental, labour and general economics. He is particularly interested in research that might have policy implications as well as areas incorporating poverty reduction.

Vicky Roberts is the Module Leader for Strategic Marketing Management. As a professional marketer and an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Bankers, she started her career in banking and corporate finance and sales management. Moving into education she has undertaken several roles in the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), winning prizes for her examinations and contributing towards the development of the CIM curriculum. She was instrumental in the launch of the CIM Foundation award, which is now delivered globally. Working with the London Institute of Banking and Finance, based in the City, Vicky has been involved in numerous initiatives including granting of Taught Degree Awarding Powers, Curriculum Reviews and authoring textbooks. Currently she is focussing on her research and working towards her PhD with Professor Stuart Roper in the area of luxury branding. She has delivered conference papers in Finland, Geneva and the UK and has also launched several new awards including the MSc Digital Marketing Management and the BA (Hons) Business Management  (two-year accelerated) degree.

Bharati Singh is the Module Leader for Leadership and Strategic Management. She has 16 years of post-qualification experience in the diverse areas of Corporate, Investment & Global Banking with global MNC banks and Corporate Finance functions with a leading Indian company. She followed this up with a teaching assignment as an Assistant Professor at a post-graduate management institute in India. Before joining Staffordshire University Business School, she was pursuing a PhD at the University of York while teaching as a Graduate Teaching Assistant at The York Management School. She has submitted her thesis and is awaiting her viva.

Dr Matthew Slater is a Senior Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Psychology and forms part of the Performing in Organisations module. Primarily, his expertise lay in the psychology of leadership and team functioning in performance contexts, together with the application of psychological skills to enhance psychological preparation and performance across a variety of settings. These areas of expertise inform his teaching (undergraduate and postgraduate), research, and consultancy responsibilities.

Mark Wordley is the Module Leader for Financial Concepts and Practice.  As a Chartered Management Accountant, he occupied many commercial positions before taking up the role as Finance Director for a national retailer and was part of the Executive team responsible for successfully expanding the company throughout the UK and Ireland.  His areas of responsibility within finance, IT and HR provided him with significant experience in strategy, corporate finance, team and operational management which he later used in his management accounting consultancy practice specialising in the growth and change of SME’s. In recent years, he has provided strategic and specialist support for a number of global service organisations undertaking complex transformational programmes. Mark has worked at the University of Derby and University of Derby Online delivering professional programmes for the accountancy profession.

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