Course overview

Designed with flexibility in mind, our part-time Executive MBA programme allows you to learn over a longer period while juggling a full-time career. It encourages discussions on current business issues and enables you to apply your new skills and knowledge directly in your professional practice.

Our Master of Business Administration (MBA) programmes provide a dynamic, hands-on experience designed to instil an entrepreneurial leadership mindset. Going beyond conventional learning, our programmes challenge you with real-world business problems, fostering the ability to think strategically and lead effectively.

Delivered by the triple-accredited Aston Business School, the curriculum covers a diverse spectrum of business topics, providing a holistic understanding of the global commercial landscape. Guided by a distinguished team of educators and industry experts, our teaching style emphasises practical application, ensuring you acquire skills relevant to contemporary business challenges.

You can tailor your MBA to align with your interests and career goals, culminating in a final project that reflects your aspirations, whether in consulting, research or entrepreneurship. Guided by principles of participant development, innovative teaching, strategic focus and inclusive learning, the Aston University MBA equips you to emerge as a confident, entrepreneurial leader poised for success in the modern business arena.

Nick Hickman

"Aston Business School has an exceptional reputation, with a focus on practical learning. I've seen almost every aspect we studied as useful, whether they were elements relating directly to my role or new skills and knowledge on the wider aspects of an organisation.  "

Discover Nick’s journey

Nick Hickman
Executive MBA
Head of Marketing and Fundraising, ExtraCare

Course description

Master of Business Administration

Our part-time Executive MBA programme at Aston University aims to cultivate strategic leaders. Through our dynamic curriculum, experiential learning, global perspectives and outstanding student experience, we equip our students for success in diverse business environments.

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What we will provide
An innovative and applied learning experience, emphasising holistic business challenges, active task-based learning and authentic assessments. With a focus on teamwork, leadership and real-world problem-solving, the programme provides a broad understanding of business topics and develops an entrepreneurial mindset, critical analysis and strategic thinking.

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What you will provide
As an MBA student, adopting a growth mindset is crucial. Success hinges on applying yourself, embracing a passion for learning and cultivating the drive to excel. Adaptability, ambition and a commitment to continuous improvement are foundational traits for navigating the dynamic challenges of the business environment.

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What skills we teach
Through hands-on activities, real consultancy projects and collaborative group work, you will develop competencies in strategic planning, effective teamwork, business simulation, project management, presentation, pitching for funding, performance evaluation and critical self-reflection. Our focus on practical, applied skills will prepare you effectively for the workplace.

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Career prospects
As an Aston University MBA graduate, you will be equipped with the personal and professional skills, knowledge and confidence to establish a rewarding and successful career path - whether you aspire to lead your own start-up, excel in your current organisation, or propel your career in a new direction.

How you will learn

The Aston University MBA immerses you in a transformative learning experience, encouraging an entrepreneurial mindset and honing critical analysis from the start. Our hands-on approach will have you grappling with real-world business challenges, fostering an in-depth understanding of how diverse functions intersect in today's competitive global landscape.

Led by experienced academics and practitioners, you'll explore cutting-edge leadership concepts and frameworks, applying them through exercises and real-life projects. Team coaching and the Aston Edge module will guide you in identifying and enhancing your skills, preparing you to lead positive change within organisations.

The programme emphasises participant development, innovative learning experiences and a strategically focused curriculum, ensuring you're well-prepared for the challenges of modern business. This dynamic learning environment, tailored to industry needs, equips you with the skills and mindset to navigate the complexities of leadership and global enterprise.

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Get the Aston Edge

Running throughout your MBA programme, the Aston Edge is a powerful and personalised tool to supercharge your career progression.

What you will learn

In our Executive MBA programme at Aston University, you will explore a comprehensive curriculum designed to enhance your leadership capabilities and strategic acumen. Throughout the taught phase, you will delve into critical aspects of business management, including assessing financial performance, creating customer value, optimising operations and crafting organisational strategy. Engaging in dynamic simulations and real-world case studies, you will sharpen your analytical skills and develop innovative solutions to complex organisational challenges.

During the taught phase, you will have the opportunity to select from a range of optional modules such as International Business, Entrepreneurial Strategies and Digital Transformation, allowing you to tailor your learning experience to align with your career aspirations and interests. Moreover, the Aston Edge module will equip you with invaluable leadership and personal development skills essential for success in today's dynamic business landscape.

In the dissertation phase, you will embark on an MBA project tailored to your specific interests, whether in research, consultancy or business planning, serving as a catalyst for your professional advancement and providing tangible contributions to the field of management. Throughout the programme, you will cultivate an entrepreneurial mindset, critical thinking abilities and a global perspective, preparing you to excel as a responsible and innovative leader in diverse organisational contexts.

Course objectives

  1. Develops your knowledge of the key business functions and processes and your ability to apply these, together with previous experience, to complex organisational and leadership challenges, opportunities and issues.
  2. Develops the individual and collaborative skills required to become an effective, confident and responsible leader of diverse, global organisations.
  3. Enables you to evaluate and reflect upon your own strengths and career development requirements and use these to facilitate proactive, lifelong learning.
  4. Nurtures an entrepreneurial mindset that enables you to be creative and use your initiative to find practical and innovative responses to organisational challenges and to evaluate the risks inherent in these endeavours.

Modules

Modules and learning outcomes

Taught stage modules

In the taught stage you will study the following core modules:

Module TitleCredits
Measuring and Enhancing Financial Performance
This module will improve your understanding of assessing the financial health of a business. Through a state-of-the-art business simulation, you’ll work in teams making financial decisions for your shared business while competing against your peers. This simulation is an engaging way to put theory into practice.
15
Creating and Delivering Customer Value
You’ll learn and put into practice the key concepts and theories in marketing strategy and management, including how to research and understand customer behaviour, innovate for global markets and interpret data to develop marketing strategies.
15
Designing and Managing Operations, Systems and Processes
This module aims to provide an understanding of the role of operations management and how it contributes to the development and implementation of business competitiveness and efficiency.
15
Crafting Organisational Strategy
You will learn to link strategy theory and practice to develop your skills as a strategic, innovative and entrepreneurial thinker and doer. You’ll also develop your understanding of how to use financial analysis for strategic decision-making.
15
The Aston Edge 
Acting as a common thread running throughout the entire MBA course, this module focuses on the development of key leadership and personal skills highly sought after by employers. Whether you are looking to enhance your career, or to excel in a leadership role, the Aston Edge can help you take that next step.
30
Total90

You will choose two of the following optional modules:*

Module TitleCredits
International Business15
Business Finance15
Entrepreneurial Strategies15
International Operations15
Strategic Management Accounting15
Legal Challenges: Starting an Innovative Business15
Digital Transformation15
Effective Management Consultancy15
Risk Management in a Digital Economy15

*Availability of any optional modules will be subject to staff availability and a minimum number of students who express an interest in studying the optional modules. 

Dissertation stage modules

In the dissertation stage you will study the following core modules:

Module TitleCredits

Executive MBA Project
The course concludes with a major business project* that gives you the opportunity to design your own learning experience to fit your own area of interest. This project acts as a springboard for your future career and as such, you can complete it in a number of ways:

•    Consultancy project on behalf of a client or your organisation
•    Business plan for your own business
•    Industry/themed research project

*Project type is subject to availability.

60

Award of Executive MBA with specialism

Providing your Executive MBA Project and optional module are in the same subject area, you may choose to have the specialism, as approved by the University, recorded on your degree certificate.

The following MBA specialisms are available to students studying the Executive MBA:

MBA specialismOptional module
StrategyBSK511 Entrepreneurial Strategies
International BusinessBSK521 International Business
FinanceBFK501 Business Finance

*Availability of any optional modules will be subject to staff availability and a minimum number of students who express an interest in studying the optional modules.  

Programme outcomes

On successful completion of both the taught and dissertation stage, you will be able to:

  • Discuss critically current theoretical and practical management literatures and concepts that underpin management thinking and practice in a global context.
  • Demonstrate a systematic knowledge of the range of management disciplines and competencies.
  • Demonstrate critical awareness of how the management disciplines integrate and feed into strategic decision-making at a corporate level.
  • Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of how strategic decisions are made and implemented.
  • Demonstrate competence in critical reasoning, creative thinking and the development of visionary ideas.
  • Analyse critically, interpret and evaluate relevant data, including financial and other managerial reports.
  • Identify, analyse, diagnose, propose and evaluate solutions to complex managerial issues and problems.
  • Offer informed and considered opinion when presented with managerial issues and problems.
  • Engage intelligently in debates about what constitutes “best practice”.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the theories you have engaged with to make a wide range of management and strategic decisions.
  • Demonstrate a range of transferable skills necessary to lead effectively in a responsible, dynamic, multicultural organisation.

Entry requirements

One of the following:

  • 2:2 (lower second-class honours) degree or equivalent
  • Equivalent overseas degree recognised by Aston University (see international students tab below for more information)
  • A degree-level professional qualification

Subject specific requirements

Applicants must also provide evidence of English and mathematics – grade C/4 or above at GCSE (or equivalent) 

You will also need to provide:

  • At least three years' relevant post-graduation work experience by the time you start your programme.
  • An official academic transcript of your grades (in English)
  • Two references - preferably one from an academic referee, the other from your current or previous employer; two professional references may be accepted from applicants with substantial work experience.

Interviews: successful applicants will be required to attend an online interview as part of the application process.

How to prepare for an MBA interview

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

Qualifications in your country

For details of equivalent qualifications in your country, use our area pages below:

English language requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an English language qualification.

English language requirements

How to apply

Aston University provides a range of opportunities for international students to join our community and study on our campus. A key part of our strategy is our relationships with teaching partners, providing multiple pathways to Aston.

Aston’s professional work placements can improve your chance of securing a graduate job. Placements give you experience, confidence and opportunities and, as an Aston student, you’ll be better prepared for your future career. One of the great things about Aston is our focus on employability. Our close links with businesses, industries and professions make this possible.

Find out more about applying

Post-study work visa

Aston University welcomed the creation of a new Graduate Immigration Route which enables international students to remain in the UK for two years after you complete your studies to find work. This new post-study work visa applies to international students completing full-time undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

Graduate Immigration Route

Pathway programmes

If you don’t meet our entry requirements, we have a range of pathway programmes offered by our partner, ONCAMPUS Aston, which you can complete to progress onto one of our degrees.

We accept applications from candidates with extensive work experience who have not completed a graduate qualification.

We take a holistic approach in evaluating applications. If you would like to get a better idea before applying, you are welcome to contact one of our MBA advisers for an informal discussion. 

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.

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Speak to our Admissions Team

If you have any questions about the application process please get in touch with our postgraduate admissions team:

Email: pgadmissions@aston.ac.uk

Call: 0121 204 3200 (Please note this line is open Monday-Friday between 09:30-16:30)

Ian Cornelius Executive MBA programme director

Meet your programme director

Ian Cornelius
Programme Director, Executive MBA

If you have any questions about the course or modules you will be studying, you can get in touch via email and I will be happy to answer your queries.

Hear from Ian and Jack Miller, Executive MBA graduate, in this episode of the Aston means business podcast:

Fees and scholarships

Course fees

UK students
(2024/25)

Annual tuition fees:£18,600

International students
(2024/25)

Annual tuition fees:£20,000

More information on fees

Payment of tuition fees

You can pay your fees in full at the beginning of the programme or choose to pay in three termly instalments of 50% (term 1), 25% (term 2), and 25% (term 3). Please note your fees will vary depending on which scholarships you have been awarded.

MBA deposit payment

When you accept your place onto the Aston University MBA you will be required to pay a £3,000 deposit. This sum will be deducted from your total tuition fee amount upon enrolment.

The United Kingdom government has confirmed that European Union (EU), other European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss nationals commencing academic courses in England from August 2021 will no longer be charged the same tuition rates as UK students.

Tuition fees for students are reviewed annually and may increase in subsequent years in line with inflation linked to the Retail Price Index (RPI) to take account of the University’s increased costs of delivering the Programme. Any such increase shall always be in accordance with the law. When undertaking a placement year, a placement year fee applies.

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.

Assessment

You will be assessed through a variety of authentic methods designed to prepare you for tasks commonly encountered in the workplace. This includes engaging in business activities such as simulation exercises, creating project plans, delivering recommendations for consulting projects, seeking funding from investors, and evaluating the performance and positioning of organisations.

Additionally, your final assessment will involve undertaking a practical and in-depth business project. The Aston Edge module will require you to engage in personal, critical reflection exercises, providing a rewarding experience that contributes to the development of your self-awareness.

Career prospects

Whilst investment banking and management consultancy have long been regarded as typical MBA careers, the list of companies who now hire MBA graduates is extensive.

Roles that our recent MBA Graduates have gone into include:

  • International marketing manager with a manufacturing company
  • Product manager with a healthcare manufacturer
  • Senior consultant in strategic finance with a consultancy
  • Financial accountant with a bank
  • Head of strategy and planning with an electronics manufacturer
  • Business process consultant with an IT company
  • Chief financial officer with a steel manufacturer
Daniella Genas MBA graduate

Empowering Female Entrepreneurs

What started as an MBA project at Aston Business School turned into Daniella’s company, She’s The Boss International.

Our MBA graduates go on to excel in a range of roles and sectors - whether it's thriving in the world of business and academia or taking the leap from university into the life of an entrepreneur.

Hear from our graduates

Alumni

Be part of our community

Once you have joined us at Aston University, you’ll always be part of our community, even beyond graduation.

Frequently asked questions

Why study the Executive MBA programme at Aston University?

We have a world-leading business school and highly rated research output. Our industry links shape both our MBA programmes and your student experience throughout. You will encounter real business challenges, attend guest lectures, explore networking opportunities, and develop a skillset that is relevant and in demand across sectors.

The Aston University MBA is unique because it teaches you through innovative and practical methods that truly develop your entrepreneurial mindset, leadership qualities, and skills in working as part of, and leading, a team.

But don’t just take our word for it – hear from some of our MBA graduates.

MBA graduate profiles

What is the ‘Aston Edge’?

The Aston Edge personal development programme is a unique, differentiating feature of the Aston MBA. Acting as a common thread running throughout the entire MBA course, this module focuses on the development of key leadership and personal skills highly sought after by employers. Whether you are looking to enhance your career, or to excel in a leadership role, the Aston Edge can help you take that next step.

The Aston Edge comprises a series of dynamic, engaging workshops delivered by key academic members of the university and high-profile external speakers. This will engage you in a powerful combination of cutting-edge leadership research and expert practitioner advice and experience. The new business world is global, dynamic, complex and fast moving. The Aston Edge workshop topics are carefully chosen to equip you with the skills to excel in this world at any level of business.

Our highly experienced career consultants will work with you in parallel with the MBA programme, to support your personal brand and career development plan, ensuring that the Aston Edge becomes a powerful and personalised tool to supercharge your career progression.

What kind of career will I develop with an MBA?

Whether you want to lead your own start-up, excel in your current organisation, or propel your career in a new direction, the Aston MBA will equip you with the personal and professional skills, knowledge and confidence to establish a rewarding and successful career path.

Our MBA is tailored to what you need, both personally and professionally. As well as optional modules to choose from, you can also tailor your final project to best suit your goals. We also work with you to develop your own personal development and career plan and you will gain a breadth of experiences including team coaching principles. This will really help you to progress over the duration of the MBA.

All this combined means that you will shape our MBA to best suit your personal and professional plans and we will help you to achieve your goals whilst you develop on the course.

Why should I study my postgraduate degree at Aston University?

There are lots of benefits of studying a postgraduate degree at Aston University.

Watch this video from MBA student, Monique, who talks about just a few of them:

Is Birmingham a good place to study?

Our campus is based in the centre of Birmingham, the youngest major city in Europe and a great place to live, work and study.

  • Great music and entertainment with a vibrant nightlife. Bars, clubs, pubs, live music, festivals, concerts. Whatever your tastes, there's something here for everyone.
  • Fantastic food. Birmingham's diverse community means you can try anything from the famous Balti triangle, the Chinese Quarter, high street chains, halal and vegan food, and Michelin-star dining.
  • World-class shopping. The Bullring and Grand Central is a shopper's paradise. From the world's biggest Primark to luxury brands at the Mailbox.
  • Arts and culture. Museums, galleries, theatres, concerts and Birmingham's art collection is as wide as it is impressive - not to be missed.
  • Green, open spaces. One of the greenest cities in Europe, Birmingham has hundreds of publicly accessible parks and green spaces across the city.
  • Sporting action. Birmingham has some of the most exciting venues for watching or participating in sport in the UK.

Discover Birmingham

What will my timetable look like?

We understand how important it is to know your timetable in advance for planning around work, childcare, or other responsibilities. Here's some basic guidance on what to expect regarding your student timetable.

Full-time programmes
As a rough estimate, full-time postgraduate students in the College of Business and Social Sciences should expect to spend about 12-15 hours per week in lectures and on-campus seminars. This is in addition to independent study, and there may be additional guided learning activities during certain weeks. The exact distribution of these hours will vary depending on your course and module choices.
Part-time programmes
Part-time students will have fewer weekly on-campus hours compared to full-time students. This reduction is proportional to the number of modules you're enrolled in.
Timetable availability
Complete timetables are usually released shortly before the start of your programme. This timing is necessary to ensure that we accommodate all course requirements and that rooms are allocated based on the number of students likely to enrol on each programme. We aim to provide these timetables as early as possible, to assist you in your planning.

As your induction week approaches, you will be sent more information about your timetable via email, and you will be able to access your timetable by logging into MyAstonPortal. For any further queries or information regarding your timetable, you can reach out to your programme director or the Student Support team.

Online/distance learning programmes
The above information also applies to students enrolled in online/distance learning programmes. Please note that both full-time and part-time distance learning students are still required to attend scheduled synchronous learning sessions.

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Hello! We are a team of current Aston University students from various parts of the world, studying a wide range of postgraduate subjects.

Feel free to ask us anything about studying at Aston University.

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