Business and Management MSc - January 2021

Become a business leader of the future and get set for a rewarding career with our MSc Business and Management degree. Develop your management skills and techniques and gain an extensive understanding of how companies operate.

Location: Aston University, Birmingham

 

Course type

Full-time

Course format

Duration

1 year

UCAS code(s)

N/A

Start date

Overview
Explore Business and Management at Aston University
Ajmere Panasar

“I met with a diverse group of individuals from all around the world. I felt at home at Aston University and miss the experience to this day.”

Ajmere Panasar

Pricing Associate, Merck Serono

Ajmere Panasar

“I met with a diverse group of individuals from all around the world. I felt at home at Aston University and miss the experience to this day.”

Ajmere Panasar

Pricing Associate, Merck Serono

Course outline and modules

Suitable for graduates of all disciplines, this dynamic programme is a fantastic platform to launch your career at a top business school. Aston Business School is part of an elite group of business schools thanks to our triple accreditation from AACSB, EQUIS and AMBA.

You’ll benefit from a detailed insight into many areas of business, from strategy to operations and from marketing to people management. You’ll also gain key leadership and management skills. By the end of the course, you’ll be equipped to go into a variety of roles for a range of organisations, including international companies and those operating in the voluntary and community sectors.

We use a variety of teaching methods to enable you to get the most from the course. There are practical activities, including simulation exercises, reflective case studies, collaborative group work, thought-provoking class discussions as well as inspiring lectures and tutorials. This allows you to explore, test and apply what you’ve learnt and gives you a deeper understanding of your subject.

How will my skills develop?

The course will provide you with a clear understanding of modern business practices. It will develop your analytical and critical-thinking skills, allowing you to solve complex commercial problems and identify and deliver successful business strategies. This will enable you to hit the ground running in graduate roles.

You’ll learn to interpret financial statements, develop marketing and pricing strategies and understand innovation processes. In addition, you will develop an understanding of strategy processes and techniques to improve business performance.

As well as enhancing your knowledge of theory, our emphasis on applied learning will help you to develop your leadership skills in practise. You’ll improve your soft skills, enabling you to effectively interact with other people in professional situations. These are key competences that employers will look for when recruiting talented graduates.

You’ll study The Aston Global Advantage module which focuses on professional development and employability, helping you to apply the key skills that you will gain throughout the year.

You’ll also have the opportunity to study abroad with one of our international partners, undertake an internship placement in the UK or overseas or get involved in a global business challenge simulation.

How will this course help my career?

With a wide selection of optional modules, this course provides you with opportunity to tailor your studies to suit your interests or professional ambitions. You will be able to gain advanced level understanding of different subject areas, including finance, marketing, human resource and entrepreneurship. Whatever career path you are looking to take, we can help you get on the right track.

This course is designed to enhance your employability. As well as being developed with industry experts through our advisory board, we also ensure you will gain exposure to opportunities throughout your studies. In your third term you will have the choice of studying abroad or pursuing an internship.

Our courses offer a range of opportunities to gain practical experience such as, through consultancy projects or entrepreneurial opportunities. Find out more here. 

The course concludes with a Business Project or Dissertation, giving you the opportunity to analyse a business problem and practically apply the knowledge and skills developed during the course to outline your recommendations. This will also help you to show prospective employers how you are able to impact their business.

This course offers an opportunity to study a second degree at one of our international partner institutions once you have completed your year at Aston. Find out more here.

This course can also be studied online

Modules

Core modules

Accounting for Non-Financial Managers 

This module will give you a good grasp of key finance and accounting concepts. You’ll be competent interpreting financial information such as company accounts and you will be able to communicate effectively using the terminology of finance and accounting. It will also enable you to use accounting to make informed management decisions.

Applied Research Methods

This module provides the knowledge on the tools and techniques needed to effectively produce valid research studies from the analysis and exploration of contemporary academic and practical issues/problems in the world of modern business. You will learn various research techniques around relevant research topics in business management.

Marketing Management 

In this module you will gain a comprehensive understanding and critical evaluation of marketing management practices, underpinned by relevant theories and conceptual frameworks. These frameworks are applied to contemporary issues and organisational strategies within national and international contexts and culminating with the creation and the proposal of a professional marketing plan.

Strategic Management

This module provides you with the knowledge on the tools and techniques needed to effectively analyse the external and internal environments of businesses in today’s world. Various contemporary frameworks will be taught around relevant business problems and the module will be assessed by one item of group work, an individual coursework and an oral exam. 

People and World Organisations

In this module we examine several fascinating topics in the area of organisational behaviour including; employee motivation and the various approaches organisations take to try to understand and enhance relationships and performance levels within the work place. You’ll learn how to best work in teams, lead and influence people and how to adapt leadership behaviours in different contexts.

Operations Management

In this module you will gain a detailed understanding of how operations management contributes to business competitiveness. We examine the theories and approaches to effective planning and the organising of production and manufacturing processes, as well as those associated with the provision of services. With case studies and an innovative simulation challenge you’ll benefit from a highly-applied learning experience.

Ethics in Academic Practice

This module provides an introduction to the Academic Offence framework. By completing the resources you will understand the key principles underpinning the submission of academic assignments. These principles can then be applied to the rest of the modules studied at the university.

The Aston Global Advantage

The Aston Global Advantage is our professional development programme that runs throughout all MSc programmes at Aston Business School. Focusing on professional development and employability, this integrated module gives you the opportunity to identify, develop and apply the key transferrable skills you will gain throughout the year. 

Business Project or Dissertation 

The Business Project/Dissertation is a chance for you to carry out an original piece of work applying material that you have learnt in the taught element of your degree. Specific requirements will be explained relating to different degree programmes but in summary you must demonstrate both theoretical and practical knowledge of your chosen area of specialism.

Optional modules

Tailor the course to suit you. You can select two modules from one of the following groups:

Group A

Economic Environment of Business

We focus on key economic concepts and principles that are most useful for businesses and managers. Throughout this module we stress their application in an international context, drawing on their real-world significance and the importance of communicating economic ideas in a clear and precise manner. Through this module you will understand the significance of economics in a globalised world.

Entrepreneurial Strategies

“Entrepreneurship is an ongoing practice of creating opportunities taking smart action learning and iterating and using a portfolio of skills to navigate an ever changing world” (Neck 2018).

International Business Strategy

This module aims to broaden and deepen your knowledge of the key issues and activities involved in international business strategy. In addition this module aims to develop skills related to interpreting and analysing complex real-world issues using theoretical perspectives concepts and models. The emphasis will be on using theory to inform practice and addressing real-world complex problems.

Management of Innovation

This module introduces you to key concepts and models of innovation management and guides you through their critical evaluation. Using recent real-world cases the module develops your ability to analyse innovation management of business organisations in practice and to formulate and communicate innovation-based strategies for both short- and long-term successes.

 

Group B

International Finance (Only offered to students starting in September)

In this module you’ll explore the role of international financial markets, the financial problems faced by firms when undertaking international trade and investments and the financial strategies used by multinational firms to alleviate financial and political risks. We use theory and practical examples to give you an understanding of these financial issues facing firms and investors when firms operate internationally.

Business Finance (Only offered to students starting in September)

In this module you will learn the key principles and challenges of financial management decisions, develop an understanding of the characteristics influencing factors and the advantages and disadvantages of different forms of financing. You'll also apply mathematical techniques to support a range of business decisions such as the valuation of shares and the evaluation of investment opportunities.

Group C

Marketing Channels and Strategic Sales Force Management

This module addresses theoretic and contemporary practitioner issues surrounding the fields of channels of distribution and sales force management.  These areas are highly important to the marketing selling and distribution of goods in both domestic and international markets.

Digital Marketing

You will produce a strategic understanding of the opportunities provided by digital marketing and the challenges of preparing and formulating successful digital strategies. This module evaluates the role of digital media in marketing strategy and how new technologies can be embraced for marketing purposes. It evaluates the impact of web based innovations on marketing and consumer behaviour.

International Marketing Management

This module evaluates how organisations operate in the global marketing environment. The module critically explores theories/concepts relating to the global marketing environment international marketing activities and decisions. Implications for international marketing strategies and actions are also considered through a number of relevant case-studies and practical materials.

Group D

International Operations

Managing Multi-Organisational Enterprises and Enterprise Systems


This module focuses on operations and supply chain management aspects, concerning organisations involved in the provision of complex and innovative product-service solutions that require multi-organisational collaborations. In this context organisations seek to develop joint activities where partners engage in the systematic delivery of processes with common enterprise goals for one-stop product-service offers.

Quality Management

Strategic Global Outsourcing and Offshoring


This module offers a broad perspective on contemporary issues related to outsourcing and offshoring of strategic IT and business service functions. During the module we examine the major theories guiding outsourcing decisions and governance. We also evaluate the role of emerging technologies (e.g. artificial intelligence and robotic process automation) and industry trends (e.g. servitisation) on global outsourcing.

Group E

Employee Relations in Context

Relationships matter within organizations. You will often find the main reasons for people leaving a role is down to poor relationships with manager or peers. Here we look at the way organizations can improve working relationships reduce employee turnover and enhance employee satisfaction.

Learning and Talent Development

For most organisations their biggest expense comes from their people. During this module you will learn differing views on how to best develop people and ensure they add value to an organisation. We also look at talent management and succession planning approaches for getting capable people into more senior positions.

Group F   

Global Ethics Human Rights Responsibilities in Business

Strategic Business Sustainability


This module looks at how sustainable development as a process can lead to a certain level of sustainability within an organisational context. It places sustainability within the strategic orientation of an organisation and as such as it takes a view of sustainability both in the short-term as well as in the long-term.

CSR, Sustainable Development and Public Policy

Topics of this module are complex and this complexity make this module unique. With growing awareness on issues such as modern slavery and climate change almost everyone has now heard of these topics and hold views and opinions. At the core these are applied topics with implications for individual’s businesses societies and economies. Your learning will be very relevant.

Group G

Corporate Governance Regulation and Compliance

Intellectual Property Strategy and Management  
 
 
This module will look at intellectual property strategy and management exploring intellectual property rights relevant to an innovative business. This will allow you to practice your understanding of the strategy and strategic management and valuation in commercialising these valuable rights.

 

Entry requirements

UK/EU students

One of the following:

  • A good UK honours degree (minimum lower second class)
  • Equivalent overseas degree recognised by Aston University

As well as:

  • Two professional references – at least one must be from an academic referee
  • An official academic transcript of your university grades to date
  • A completed application form.

 

International students
  • An official academic transcript, with an official English translation, of your university grades to date.
  • Students whose native language is not English will also need to satisfy our English language requirements. Pre-sessional English language programmes are available for good applicants whose English qualification falls just short of these requirements.
  • Postgraduate masters students enrolling to Aston Business School with a 5.5 in one of the four IELTS sections will be required to engage with English language tuition as part of our professional development programme, The Aston Global Advantage. There will be no extra cost to the student.
  • For students who do not meet our minimum academic and English language requirements for this course, we offer an alternative pathway to an Aston Master’s with Kaplan International College, London.
  • For more information about qualifications, view our Aston in your country webpage.
Extensive work experience

We recognise the value of extensive professional experience. If you do not have the academic qualifications, but have extensive and relevant professional experience and a proven ability to succeed, we would welcome your application.

The information contained on this website details the typical entry requirements for this course for the most commonly offered qualifications. Applicants with alternative qualifications may wish to enquire with the relevant admissions teams prior to application whether or not their qualifications are deemed acceptable. For less commonly encountered qualifications this will be judged on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the academic admissions tutor.

 

 

Learning, teaching and assessment

We are recognised for the quality of our teaching and research, with 100% of our business research achieving the highest rankings in the last Research Excellence Framework (REF).

Learning and teaching

As well as learning key theories and concepts, you’ll learn in a practical way to enhance your understanding of this subject area. There is a variety of hands-on activities where you can apply what you have learnt to solve commercial problems, including case studies, business simulations and skills workshops. We also draw on technology to help us to engage with students through gamification and augmented reality. This applied approach will help to improve your understanding and enhance your employability.

Our online learning platform will support you with your studies. It has all the digital resources you need when revising, including lecture slides, access to e-books and online journals, as well as video recordings of teaching sessions. Your lecturers will also be on hand to offer one-to-one support with any topics you have difficulty with.

Operations management simulation game – This exciting and challenging computer simulation game puts you in the role of an operations manager for a clothing manufacturing company. In stages, you will take control of various parts of the business, including managing the production process, ordering stock, handling shipping, hiring and allocation of staff and bidding for contracts. In the final phase of the game, you will have control over all areas of operations to compete against other students to maximise the profitability of your company. Do you have what it takes your run a successful business?

Accounting for non-financial managers business simulation – This team-based competitive business simulation allows you to practice the application of accounting concepts. You will also gain experience of interpreting and analysing financial information. The exercise includes tasks such as, assessing financial statements, preparing budgets and applying financial concepts to support management decision-making. The winning team will be the one who has created the most value for their business.

People in world organisations video pitch - As part of your assessment, you will work with a small group of fellow students to deliver a short video presentation. You’ll be pitching a plan to the director of a company with the aim of improving employee motivation. You will need to identify the causes of this lack of engagement and enthusiasm in the workplace. Then building on different motivational frameworks you are taught, you will develop an intervention plan to help the organisation.

Assessment

We use a mix of assessment methods, including exams, coursework, presentations and group work. For our assessments, we use real or fictitious business scenarios. The practical assessments help you to develop the skills and competencies required for future job roles.

 

Student experience and employability

Overseas opportunities

We benefit from an extensive network of partner institutions, including some of the highest ranked business schools in Europe, such as Kedge Business School in France. We also have partnerships with universities worldwide, from Australia to China and USA to Singapore.

Placements

You can go on a work placement for as little as one month or as long as a year. You’ll spend your time with a company of your choice, either in the UK or overseas. A work placement is really beneficial to your future career prospects, it can enhance your CV and help you stand out from the competition when applying for graduate roles. It’s also a fantastic opportunity to develop your understanding of your subject area by applying what you’ve learnt in the classroom to a professional context.

Our students have been successful in gaining work placements in a wide variety of organisations, both in the UK and internationally. They’ve worked for accountancy, financial institutions in the UK and overseas, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) as well as small businesses.

You’ll also be given the opportunity to support start-up businesses and SMEs with business projects through our Aston Business Clinic. Working with other students, you’ll collaborate to solve a strategic problem and make a real difference for a growing business.

Our careers team will be on hand to support you finding work placements and graduate positions.

Trips and visits

Your lecturers will arrange for guest speakers to visit, giving you the chance to learn from experienced professionals.  You'll gain an insight into how different companies operate and the challenges faced in this area of business.

We also have a large number of graduate employers visit the campus during the year.  There's careers fairs, networking events and much more.  You'll have the chance to discover a wide range of graduate opportunities and speak with companies to see where is the best place for you to start your career.

Fees and scholarships

UK/EU students (2020/21): £10,550

International students (2020/21): £18,850

Scholarships

At Aston University we are committed to supporting the most talented and hardworking students to achieve their potential by providing a range of scholarships to help lower tuition and living costs. Find out more about our scholarships here.

Career prospects

This course prepares you for a wide range of professional and management careers across business functions and sectors including accountancy, marketing, operations, HR and strategic management.

You’ll develop a wide range of business and transferable skills and knowledge demanded by graduate employers.

Recent graduates

Our strong links with industry have enabled us to tailor the course to meet the needs of employers looking for highly skilled graduates. Recent graduates have gone on to work for companies such as:

  • McKinsey
  • Deloitte
  • Citibank
  • Lloyds TSB
  • PwC
  • HM Customs and Excise
  • Cisco
  • E.ON
  • Tesco
  • Unilever.

Our graduates have secured a breadth of job roles such as Communications Officer, Brand Manager, Marketing Manager, Personal Finance Adviser, Associate Business Development Manager, Financial Analyst, Business Analyst and Banker.

International students

Aston University is a diverse, close community and welcomes international students on many of our postgraduate programmes. Students from over 120 different countries chose to study with us every year and Aston is not only a great place to study, based in the centre of Birmingham it’s also a great place to live.

Post-study work visa

Aston University welcomed the creation of a new immigration route which will enable international students to remain in the UK for two years after they have completed their studies to find work. The new post-study work visa will apply to international students starting undergraduate and postgraduate courses from 2020. Click here for more information on post-work visas.

Frequently asked questions

Why study Business and Management at Aston Business School?

As well as an active group of researchers in this field, our course has been designed with industry input to ensure we equip you with the right knowledge and applied experiences to excel in whatever specialism you are interested in.

We also provide you with a breadth of exposure to employers, providing you with the opportunity to undertake an internship or to study abroad in your third term. You can also choose to study the Business Project module at the end of your degree which will not only bring your learning to life but will help you to secure a job once you complete the course.

Why choose to study with Aston Business School?

Aston Business School is part of an elite group of business schools thanks to our triple accreditation from AACSB, EQUIS and AMBA. We can help to enhance your career prospects, boost your earning potential and set you on the path to a successful, and rewarding career.  

Aston University is renowned for its excellence in teaching and research and the employability of our graduates. At Aston Business School we are committed to innovative approaches to teaching and education. We are dedicated to providing students with a competitive advantage in the jobs market by delivering the knowledge students need to pursue the many career tracks available to them with a background in international business. Teaching on the course is informed by our world-class scholars and provides you with a deep understanding and skills for conducting business on a global scale. At Aston University, we aim to prepare students for the real world challenges. There are plenty of opportunities for students to gain hands-on experience and apply their knowledge in real-life situations by engaging in live projects and internships. 

 

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