Management is about breaking out of boxes,
not ticking them.
The Stirling MBA is unique in the way it focuses detailed attention on the practices, processes and outcomes of managing in a range of contexts: from large multinational to small enterprise, from local to global. An emphasis on Responsible Leadership, Sustainable Strategy, Creativity and Change helps inform contemporary debates about how to effectively manage limited resources with maximum impact. Classes are founded on cutting edge research and will challenge how you think about the world and how you can make a positive difference in a range of organisational settings.
Established in 1985, the Stirling MBA combines academic theory with real-life business case study analysis which will equip students with the awareness, knowledge, tools and techniques that are essential for dealing with business challenges in their parts of the world. The course offers a critical coverage of functional areas of business and management (finance, marketing, economics and human resource management) that are essential for effective management. This forms the basis upon which advanced modules are introduced that provide a strategic analysis of key concerns that are pertinent in business today.
The Stirling MBA is designed to transform capable managers into successful, significant business leaders. Its focus on combining clear strategic thinking with the ability to recognise and respond to the important details, will equip you for success in today’s dynamic global market where sustainable, responsible growth has to be achieved against a background of constant change. Constant change requires individuals to cope with ambiguity and complexity in everyday organisational situations requiring novel and often counter intuitive responses.
Delivered by academics of the highest calibre, many of them internationally respected authorities in their field, the Stirling MBA will give you the resilience to respond to continually developing circumstances, the skills to build and lead a team, and the theoretical and practical knowledge to successfully manage through the pressures and challenges of the modern business environment.
The major functions of organisations – marketing, operations, people and talent management, finance and economics are integrated through our strategic orientation, which aims to develop group and team management, organisational analysis and communications and influencing skills.
Understanding business in terms of inclusion, environmental, cultural, social and economic sustainability is central to the Stirling MBA. These concerns and perspectives are explored in particular in the context of emerging economies with the explicit intent of providing a different business education. Throughout the world, such issues are taken increasingly seriously as a response to the current financial crisis and the Stirling MBA is the first MBA course in Scotland that is specifically designed to cater to this important agenda.
Academic Qualifications & Work Experience: A good honours or equivalent degree in any discipline, or an equivalent professional qualification. While at least two years’ work experience is normally required, candidates with less but who have an outstanding academic record may be considered for admission on a case-by-case basis.
English language requirements
If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence of your proficiency such as a minimum IELTS score of 6 (minimum 5.5 in each skill), or TOEFL: Listening 21, Reading 22, Speaking 23, Writing 21.
Stirling Master of Business Administration (MBA) Scholarship
Two scholarships of £7,700 each will be awarded to students joining The Stirling MBA in September 2013. These scholarships are funded by the Stirling Management School and meet 50% of the overseas fee rate. This means that the successful candidates will pay a course fee reduced by £7,700 in September 2013.
Santander MBA Scholarship
Applicants who are permanently resident in the following countries may apply: Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Germany, Mexico, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Spain, Russia, UK, Uruguay, USA. Applicants must hold, or expect to obtain an offer or an unconditional offer of a place to study the Stirling MBA. Learn more
Steve Wong Memorial Fund
Steve Wong was an MBA student in the academic year 2000/01. Steve submitted his dissertation early, eager to return to his family and job as soon as possible. Steve was killed in the Twin Towers on 11 September 2001. A cash prize of £1,000 will be awarded to the most outstanding MBA student who, in the opinion of the examiners, has fully engaged in the MBA student experience. The prize has been donated by family and classmates from the MBA class 2000-2001
Modes of study
Full-time: MBA: one year
Course start date
Structure and content
The full-time Stirling MBA combines academic theory with real-life business case study analysis. Successful completion of the following taught modules leads to the award of the Postgraduate Diploma. Students then progress to the Master's element of the course where you will be required to complete a significant piece of research which relates to an area of personal interest (Dissertation) or else on behalf of an external client organisation (otherwise known as a Student Consultancy Project).
Semester 1: you will study five compulsory modules during this semester, plus your Personal and Professional Development module, which will provide you with a foundation for the remainder of the MBA course:
- Strategy & the International Environment
- Accounting & Finance
- Marketing Management
- Economics for Sustainable Business
- Managing the Human Resource
- Personal and Professional Development (Part 1)
Semester 2: builds upon what has previously been covered in Semester 1 and introduces some of the key elements which make the Stirling MBA stand out from other similar courses. Students will undertake two core modules, four elective* modules, as well as complete the second part of Personal and Professional Development module.
- Strategy for Sustainable Success
- Research Project Methods
- Personal & Professional Development (Part 2)
4 electives* from:
- Management of Change*
- Corporate Governance*
- Operations Management*
- Project Management*
- Responsible Agency*
Summer: students are required to carry out a significant piece of academic work on their own (MBA Project), utilising the skills and knowledge attained throughout the taught elements of the course.
View full module descriptions
Make a difference with a Stirling MBA
We believe that everyone has the capacity to be remarkable, and it is the role of the Stirling MBA to facilitate that transformation. The Stirling MBA focuses on the development of the whole person. It enables each individual to become aware of their untapped capabilities. Our MBA is unusual in its holistic approach – it is not only focused on sustainable strategy, but also on sustainable selves. Consequently, participants will develop an understanding of both functional and operational demands as well as their personal role as an inspiring leader.
Running throughout the academic year, and contributing 20-credits towards your overall MBA, the Personal & Professional Development (PPD) module offers a unique space for MBA students to focus on their own personal skills development, career plans and aspirations. Key components of the course include:
- Self-awareness and personal capability - the PPD module will help you identify, develop and practice key skills that contribute to a successful managerial career including handling conflict in groups, managing group dynamics, assertiveness, facilitation, critical reasoning and argument building. These skills are fundamental to the instinctive and resilient manager to cope with all situations that you may meet in the future.
- Education means business - bringing together local businesses, students and business support agencies, to solve real problems that businesses are faced with today. This is a key element of the theory-practice-theory relationship.
- Masterclasses– delivered by world-renowned academics and industry leaders who are responsible for shaping management thinking today. This year’s Masterclasses include insights from two of Stirling’s eminent professors:
- Boardroom Action and Economic Institutions – Professor David (Danny) Blanchflower, who is also a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, a visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and was a former member of the Bank of England monetary policy committee. Danny is currently an economic columnist for both the New Statesman magazine and the Independent Newspaper, as well as a contributing editor of Bloomberg Television.
- Personal Resilience in Context – Professor Alex Wood, whose research into well-being is internationally recognised and regularly featured in prestigious media publications including Time Magazine and the Financial Times. His research is being applied in diverse settings such as schools, businesses, and health care providers.
- Organised field trips - gain an insight into the workings of specially selected Scottish companies. Visits will include an overview on the company's history and culture, as well as understanding their approach to strategy development.
- Network with senior executives - engage and network with senior executives through the range of guest lectures where they will share their expert knowledge and insight into current issues affecting business leaders today.
- Consultancy Projects - these projects are an alternative to a traditional MBA dissertation where you will undertake a real life business issue on behalf of an external organisation, providing you with a tangible example of how you may for example have helped a business grow. Such rich experiences are likely to help you 'stand-out-from-the-crowd-' during any future interviews that you may have.
- Helicopter skills - the ability to understand the detail and the big picture at the same time. The MBA will help you develop greater understanding of the functions within any organisation, for example, marketing, operations, finance etc. as well as how these integrate to create success.
Delivery and assessment
You have an active role in your learning experience. Delivery includes lectures, group work, case studies, role-play simulations, workshops, guest speakers, master classes and presentations, followed by a three-month dissertation period. Assessment is by a mixture of examination and coursework (both individual and group-based), including written assignments, class tests and presentations. Successful completion of the taught element of the course leads to the award of the Diploma or allows you to continue for the award of the MBA by completing a 15,000-word dissertation based on an original research question agreed by yourself and your supervisor. The project should reflect your own understanding and knowledge of selected topics learnt during taught modules.
The following are the core texts for each module:
Strategy & the International Environment
- Van der Heijden K, Bradfield R, Burt G, Cairns G and Wright G. (2002). The Sixth Sense: Accelerating Organizational Learning with Scenarios. West Sussex: John Wiley and Sons Ltd.
Accounting & Finance
For the accounting lectures, material will be based on the following text:
- Aerts W and Walton P (2013). Global Financial Accounting and Reporting: Principles and Analysis (3rd revised edition). Cengage Learning EMEA.
For the finance lectures, material will be based on the following text:
- Corporate Financial Management (5th edition). Prentice Hall.
- Kotler P, Lane Keller K, Brady M, Goodman M and Hansen T (2012). Marketing Management (2nd edition). Harlow, Essex: Pearson.
Economics for Sustainable Business
- Begg D and Ward D (2009). Economics for Business (3rd edition). McGraw-Hill, (BW).
Managing a Diverse Workforce
- Beardwell and Holden (2012). Human Resource Management. Palgrave.
- Bolton S and Houlihan M (2007). Searching for the H in Human Resource Management. Palgrave.
Personal and Professional Development
Strategy for Sustainable Success
- Johnson G, Scholes K and Whittington R (2011). Fundamentals of Strategy (2nd edition). Financial Times/Prentice Hall.
Research Project Methods
- Easterby-Smith, Thorpe and Jackson. Management Research (4th edition). Sage Publications.
Management of Change
- Antcliff L (2008). Ten Quick Steps to Improving Your Self Esteem. http//:www.lyndonantcliff.com
- Slack et al. Operations Management (6th edition).
- Field M and Keller L. Project Management.
- Bandura A (2002). Selective disengagement in the exercise of moral agency. Journal of Moral Education, 31(2): 101-119.
- Lawrence JT and Beamish PW (2013). Globally Responsible Leadership: Managing According to the UN Global Compact (The Ivey Casebook Series). Sage.
Please do not buy your text books prior to arrival, as these are subject to change.
The timetable below is a typical example, but your own timetable may be different.
A detailed timetable of activities, covering lectures, student led group work and personal and professional development workshops will be provided at the outset of the course, the example timetable below may be subject to change.
Welcome to SMS – A new Beginning (PPD)
||Becoming a Reflective Practitioner (PPD)
|Weeks 3 - 4
Strategy & The International Environment - Professor George Burt
||2-day Masterclass – presented by Professor David Blanchflower (PPD)
|(students take all 4 modules during weeks 5-12)
|Weeks 5 - 12
Accounting & Finance - Dr Ioannis Tsalavoutas, Dr Dimos Kambouroudis
Managing the Human Resource - Prof Sharon Bolton
Marketing Management - Prof Julie Tinson
Economics for Sustainable Business - Dr Maria Grydaki
Semester Total 50 credits + PPD (Part 1)
Examinations - December
3-day Effective Intervention through Consultancy (PPD)
2-day Introduction to Research Project Methods
|(students select 4 from the following 6 options during weeks 1-8)
|Weeks 1 - 8
Managing Change, Prof Bernard Burnes
Responsible Agency, Dr Cecile Rozuel
Operations Management, Dr Gerry Edgar
Leadership, Dr Brian Howieson
Project Management, Prof John Bowers
Corporate Governance, Prof Graeme Acheson
||2-day Research Project Methods contd.
2-day Masterclass - Personal Resilience in Context – Professor Alex Wood (PPD)
3-day Career Support Workshops (PPD)
1-day Research Project Methods contd. Dr Swapnesh Masrani
|Weeks 11 - 12
Strategy for Sustainable Success, Professor George Burt
|Semester Total 60 credits + PPD
Examinations - May
- Personal & Professional Development (PPD)
- Part 1 – BUAP30, Part 2 – BUAP43
- Continual aspects of the PPD are taught throughout the course.
- This includes both stand-alone sessions as well as those that are included within the rest of the teaching framework.
- The overall assessment accumulated from these aspects within the PPD totals 20 credits.
Professor George Burt
The reputation of our research at Stirling Management School was recognised in the most recent Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), where 85% of our research activity was rated as being of ‘International Signiﬁcance’.
Stirling Management School has excellent links with local, national and international organisations. Senior executives from across the private, public and third sectors regularly engage with our MBA students, providing a practical perspective on contemporary business topics through a series of guest lectures and workshops.
Students have recently learned from representatives from IBM, The Social Enterprise Academy, Morgan Stanley, The Co-operative Group, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, The Chartered Management Institute, Skyscanner, International Co-operative Alliance and Dell.
Stirling MBA students have also benefitted from recent site visits to external organisations such as Bloomberg, The Scottish Parliament, Scott & Fyfe Ltd, Baxters Food Group, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, The Bank of England, and New Lanark Visitor Centre.
Steve Wong Memorial Fund
Steve Wong was an MBA student in the academic year 2000/01. Steve submitted his dissertation early, eager to return to his family and job as soon as possible. Steve was killed in the Twin Towers on 11 September 2001. A cash prize of £1,000 will be awarded to the most outstanding MBA student who, in the opinion of the examiners, has fully engaged in the MBA student experience. The prize has been donated by family and classmates from the MBA class 2000-2001.
Since my graduation from the MBA course I have been working, first in banking, and then in the consultancy field. I moved to the latter to broaden my professional view and experience as well as to utilise my knowledge gained from my MBA time. Organizations I have worked with include World Bank in Mongolia, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, International Fund for Agricultural Development, German Development Cooperation, KfW Bankengruppe, and companies from leading sectors of economy in Mongolia including mining and cashmere processing. I associate all those developments and achievements on my consultancy career with knowledge, insights, and skills gained during my MBA study time in Stirling University.
Tungalag Sukhbat, Stirling MBA Graduate (2004)
As a student looking for international experience, picking Stirling was the best decision I could have made. It provided a rare blend of an engaging curriculum, personable and approachable staff, and a diverse, spirited student body – all of this, at Europe’s doorstep, the beauty and charm of Central Scotland. Returning home to Canada in a truly difficult job market, this international experience and exposure to diversity was a tremendous differentiator. I was able to quickly find employment in my field of choice as a Commercial Account Manager with the Royal Bank of Canada. I owe this success largely to my experience at Stirling.
Geoff Reeser, Stirling MBA Graduate (2009)
As I prepared to come to Stirling I hoped that the course would meet my expectations and now I can honestly say that I made the right choice because the programme has helped me develop a deeper understanding of 21st-century business management. Apart from the well structured management modules which have exposed me to contemporary business issues, I’ve also picked up research and public speaking skills as a result of taking part in several seminar presentations. On the whole, the Stirling MBA has helped me develop the confidence to take my place as a well rounded manager in any sphere of business endeavour.
Onyesogbusie Gwam, Stirling MBA Graduate (2009)
A group of MBA students adopted the role of external consultant to explore approaches to business modelling and volunteering recruitment/retention strategies for Creative Stirling, a not for profit community interest company. Such was the interest in the student’s work that representatives from both Creative Scotland and Stirling Council also attended the final presentations. Creative Stirling have subsequently adopted a number of the students’ recommendations and were so impressed that they have continued to offer a range of other opportunities for students to directly engage in their activities. Joe Hall, Director of Creative Stirling comments on her experience:
'The student’s involvement has helped us to create a more complete and relevant picture of what we need to do in order to develop and improve our business model to achieve our commercial and social aims. It has also provided exciting opportunity for students and staff to work together and gain insight and practical experience to complement their studies.'
Stirling MBA participants benefit from the expertise of the following world-renowned academics whose insights are critical in bringing academic theory alive and offer a rich history of engagement with practice.
Professor Graeme Acheson
Graeme joined the School as a Professor of Finance in 2013. His research applies contemporary econometric techniques to historical settings. Much of his work examines how the evolving legal environment in Great Britain impacted on investor behaviour and governance structures in early British companies. His current work focuses on establishing the level of corporate diffusion in nineteenth century Britain in an attempt to better understand whether the structure and nature of corporate ownership ultimately affects corporate performance.
Professor Danny Blanchfower CBE
Eminent Economist Professor David (Danny) Blanchflower is also a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and a visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and was a former member of the Bank of England monetary policy committee. Danny is currently an economic columnist for both the New Statesman magazine the Independent Newspaper. He is also a contributing editor of Bloomberg Television.
Professor Sharon Bolton, Head of Stirling Management School
Professor Bolton joined the University of Stirling in December 2012 from the University of Strathclyde Business School. Prior to joining Strathclyde Business School she spent seven years at Lancaster University Management School. Sharon has also worked as a Senior Administrator in the public and private sectors. She developed an Anglo-Hellenic Doctoral Community in partnership with the Athens Institute of Education and Research (ATINER), where she is currently Head of the Management Research Unit.
She is best known for her research concerning the management of emotion in organisations and, most recently, her conceptualisation of different dimensions of dignity at work and how this translates into managerial practice. Her ideas are disseminated widely via speaking engagements and publication in leading academic and practitioner journals and edited collections, including several papers concerned with conceptualising workplace emotionality, dignity at work, the human in human resource management, public sector management and nursing, and gender and the professions.
The origins of her interests lie in some perennial questions concerning how we can better understand the relationship between people, work and society, and what the fundamental conception of humanity embedded in the political economy are.
Professor John Bowers
After studying at the Universities of Cambridge and Lancaster, John worked in the coal industry and then for an engineering consultancy. During his career in industry he specialised in project risk management, developing analytical tools and implementing them in major projects for a variety of clients, primarily in the defence and energy sectors. John then moved to the University of Stirling where he is Professor of Management Science. He has been responsible for a number of major research projects, using modelling to help manage uncertainty and complexity in various management systems with applications ranging from offshore oil to the health care.
Professor Bernard Burnes
Bernard Burnes is Professor of Organisational Change and one of the leading international authorities on organisational change. He is the author of over 20 books, including the best-selling Managing Change (5th edition). His article ‘Kurt Lewin and the Planned Approach to Change: A Re-appraisal’ (Journal of Management Studies, 41 (6), 977–1002), received a Citation of Excellence as one of the top 50 management articles in the world in 2004 and has been reprinted twice. Bernard is the Editor of the Routledge book series Understanding Organisational Change, Joint Editor of the Routledge Companion to Organizational Change, and Associate Editor of the Journal of Change Management.
Professor George Burt
Professor George Burt brings practical experience and theoretical knowledge to his teaching having been involved in designing and facilitating many private and public sector scenario and futures projects, both in an educational and a consultant capacity. These international projects include organisations such as World Bank, Shell, ProRail Holland, PETRONAS, de Beers, PayPal, DoosanBabcock, Lloyds Registry Quality Assurance, Caledonian Paper plc, the Edrington Group, Stirling Council, Dumfries & Galloway Council, and City of Glasgow Council. George is currently Chair of Strategy track at the British Academy of Management, and co-authored the best-selling book, The Sixth Sense: Accelerating Organizational Learning with Scenarios.
Dr Gerry Edgar
Dr Gerry Edgar obtained his PhD in experimental physics from the University of Aberdeen and Stanford University. Gerry’s industry experience includes a period of time as a Nuclear Systems Designer at the UK Atomic Energy Authority/NIREX, as well as an Analyst at GEC Precision Instruments. His specialist Subjects include Technology and Innovation Management, Scenario and Systems development methodologies, Technology Forecasting, Operations Strategy and Management.
Dr Maria Grydaki
Dr Maria Grydaki is a new addition to the Division of Economics. Her research interests cover International Finance, Applied Econometrics, International Macroeconomics, International Trade, Growth & Development Economics.
Dr Brian Howieson
Dr Brian Howieson is a Senior Foundation for Management Education Fellow at Stirling Management School, the University of Stirling. He took up this post in 2009 after a 22-year career with the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons and the Royal Air Force. His research interests lie in the fields of leadership and strategy. In addition to his Stirling teaching commitments, he lectures for a variety of institutions including the University of St Andrews, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, and the Scottish Football Association. Brian developed and implemented ― and is Programme Director of ― the NHS Scotland Management Training Scheme MSc programme in Leadership and Healthcare Management and the University of Stirling MBA in Finance with Foreign Trade University in Vietnam. He is a Council Member of the Foundation for Management Education, a Non-Executive (Lay) Member of the Medical Directorate within NHS Scotland, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and is Chairman of The Leading Well – a Scottish-based social enterprise that he established to advance leadership development in Scotland to promote innovation, enterprise, knowledge transfer, and exchange by the encouragement and development of social capital.
Dr Dimos Kambouroudis
Dimos joined the University of Stirling in September 2012 as a Lecturer in Finance, having previously worked for the University of Edinburgh Business School and Durham Business School. He obtained his PhD from the University of St. Andrews School of Management and holds an MSc in Finance and Investment, an MSc in Computer Based Information Systems and a BA (Hons) in Business Administration. He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Dimo’s research looks at modelling and forecasting the volatility of stock markets in both developed and emerging markets, and with applications to risk management. His teaching experience expands on a wide range of undergraduate, postgraduate and MBA Finance courses and has also experience in supervising undergraduate, postgraduate and MBA dissertations.
Dr Cécile Rozuel
Dr Cécile Rozuel is a Lecturer in ethics and organisations. Her research builds upon C.G. Jung’s analytical psychology, and focuses on understanding how the psyche affects ethical behaviour in the context of management and organisational life. She has published papers on ethics and self-knowledge, imagination, as well as on the meaning of CSR.
Professor Julie Tinson
Julie is Professor in Marketing at the University of Stirling. She routinely presents at top international academic and practitioner conferences in Europe and the US (ACR, EACR, EMAC, ANZMAC and AMS) enabling dissemination of conceptual and complex ideas to different audiences. In addition she has conducted independent research projects for a wide variety of organisations including Barclays, NFU, Tpoll, Associa and Channel 4 Television. Julie has also worked at Southampton Business School and Bristol Business School and principally teaches in the areas of Consumer Behaviour and Marketing Communications.
Dr Yannis Tsalavoutas
After completing his undergraduate studies at the Technological Educational Institute of Athens (BSc in Business Administration), Yannis undertook the MBA course at the University of Stirling with specialisation in Corporate Finance. In November 2009, he completed his PhD in Accounting at the University of Edinburgh. Yannis' work experience includes positions as an accounting assistant (in Greece) and as a financial accounting and reporting analyst at Company Reporting Ltd in Edinburgh. He has also conducted a series of accounting lectures at the Edinburgh based investment firm Walter Scott.
Lynn is Stirling Management School’s Employability Manager and co-ordinator for the Stirling MBA’s Personal & Professional Development Programme. She provides MBA students with one-to-one coaching and mentoring to support their personal development as they progress along their academic journey. Lynn also enables students to connect with employers through the delivery of guest lectures, skills workshops, information sessions, study visits to organisations and business simulation games.
Professor Alex Wood
Alex is Professor and Co-Director of the Behavioural Science Centre at Stirling Management School, University of Stirling. The centre brings together economics, psychology, medicine, and other behavioural sciences to conduct interdisciplinary research into understanding and fostering economic prosperity, health, industrial productivity, and population well-being. Alex’s research into well-being, including both dysfunction and positive functioning, is internationally recognised. In the last 5 years alone, he has published over 75 academic papers, attracted c. £700,000 in research funding, and presented 30+ seminars, skills classes, workshops, and keynote speeches to conferences, other university departments, and industry partners. He is regularly featured in prestigious media publications including Time Magazine and the Financial Times, and his research is being applied in diverse settings such as schools, businesses, and health care providers.