Start your professional development from day one of your course

Running throughout your masters degree this flexible and personalised module can be tailored to your career aspirations, development needs or existing professional experience. It offers you the opportunity to take control of your future, whatever career path you wish to follow.

All activities included in the module are based on a “learning by doing” approach which seeks to replicate situations encountered in a professional setting with an emphasis on responsible management and developing a sustainability mindset.

Teaching methods include workshops, simulations, live laboratory settings, industry training, a business clinic and virtual internships, as well as a business challenge set by an external organisation.

Please note: the Aston Global Advantage module is not offered on masters programmes starting in April.


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426 of our postgraduate students secured work experience/placements in 2021/22 as part of the AGA with many being full-time roles

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81 students benefited from our Virtual Internships Scholarships Programme

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Tailor your programme by choosing from four experiential learning streams

Work experience for international students

We offer you the opportunity to start a professional level placement six months into your 12-month course. As this is an integral and assessed part of your course, international students can work full-time hours during the approved period of the placement, and once the taught programme is over, as long as it does not exceed 50% of the length of your course. This gives you a head start into your career journey in the UK.

Module outline

The AGA is built upon the following pillars:

Employability (career management and skills development)

Global citizenship (cross-cultural competencies and internationalisation)

Experiential learning (study abroad, work-based experience, business simulations and entrepreneurship)

Reflective practice


We have a dedicated AGA day where all related activities take place during the taught programme. In addition to the teaching staff you will also be supported by a team of support tutors who act as coaches and academic advisors.

Every activity undertaken as part of the module whether classroom-based workshops, presentations or research has been identified as a potential source of learning and transferable skills development.

The module will build your confidence, enhance your self-awareness and effectively prepare you for the world of work and the academic requirements of your course. 

Given the diversity of our students and teaching staff, you’ll also learn how to work effectively in a multicultural context.

Embedding employability

The AGA comprises three compulsory elements and assessments:

Business challenge (Term 1)

Working in collaborative teams as consultants, you will complete 8 weekly compulsory workshops on effective team working.  You will work on a brief provided by an external organisation and submit a 10-minute video group presentation.

There will be an emphasis on communication skills, team-working skills, leadership, cross-cultural competencies, problem solving and presentation skills.

Programme-specific skills (Term 2)

Your programme directors together with colleagues and external organisations/guest speakers will deliver workshops and training specifically designed to help the specific competencies linked to the specialised focus of the masters degree you are studying and the careers linked to those subjects.

Experiential learning streams (Term 3)

These usually take place after the completion of the taught programme; you must undertake and successfully complete one of them.

Listen: How Aston Global Advantage creates competitive edge in job market

Dr Jude Preston, a lecturer in the Work and Organisation Department at Aston Business School, explains how the Aston Global Advantage module gives masters students a unique head start in landing their dream jobs.

Read more

Careers Programme

In addition, the AGA incudes an extensive Careers Programme that runs throughout the whole of the academic year and comprises both compulsory and optional sessions as well as meetings with employers. It offers a series of guest lectures and workshops providing insights from industry and academic members of staff on innovations and development affecting the world of work.

A dedicated team is here to support you

Three dedicated teams support the programme: 

Student Development Team

The Student Development team, in collaboration with the Careers and Placements team, source and manage opportunities for the work-based experience stream and the study abroad stream. You will have the option to either find your own placement,apply for opportunities sourced by Aston University or apply to take part in one of our funded initiatives: the Virtual Internship Scholarships, our Aston Business Clinic Consultancy Programme, our Impact Consulting Projects or our exclusive paid placement opportunities with profit and non-profit organisations.

The Student Development team manage the Study Abroad Stream and Work Experience Stream for compliance in terms of visa and health and safety. If you wish to work full-time hours during the course you can only do so if the placement is officially approved by the University.

Careers and Placements Team

Postgraduate business students benefit from the support of a dedicated business careers consultant. The AGA compulsory careers programme assumes no prior exposure to careers education given the international makeup of the cohort and will take you through the stages of career planning, accommodating career starters, changers and developers.

Many of our work opportunities are sourced by the Postgraduate Employer Engagement team who liaise with employers to bring students the best possible work options in the UK and internationally.

In addition, international students are supported by a dedicated international careers consultant delivering workshops in conjunction with the visa team and languages department. Key topics include the UK labour market and navigating visa conversations with employers. We have also created a suite of support around ‘life after graduation’.

Our Careers team will help you to decide which are the best options to take based on your personal development and career aspirations.

Academic members of staff

The AGA module leader delivers our “Joy of Teams” workshops which support the delivery of the Business Challenge in the first term. They co-lead the delivery of the Business Simulation stream and facilitate a range of guest lectures from thought leaders from academia and industry throughout the duration of the module. Together with your support tutors, the module leader also assesses your outputs and is responsible for overseeing the assignments you will have to undertake as part of the module.