MBA Master of Business Administration

Study an MBA at Stirling - Where Management Matters... The University of Stirling has been ranked in the QS World Rankings, placing the University in the top 2.5% of global Universities (2013).


Apply Now Make Enquiry Course leaflet
MBA Master of Business Administration
  • Type Full-time
  • Duration 12 months
  • Start date September

Liz Carroll Centre for Advanced Management Education
Stirling Management School
University of Stirling
Stirling, FK9 4LA
Scotland, UK
+44 (0) 1786 467414

Transform your ambitions. Advance your career.

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 a large multinational to a 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 (accounting and finance, marketing, economics, operations management and human resource management) that are essential for effective management. This forms the basis upon which advanced modules are introduced that provide a strategic understanding 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, which 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 confidence and 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 – accounting and finance, marketing, economics, operations management and human resource management are integrated through our strategic orientation, which aims to develop group and team management, organisational analysis and communications and influencing skills.

Course objectives

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.

Entrance requirements

A minimum of a second class Honours degree or equivalent. Applicants without these formal qualifications but with significant appropriate/relevant work/life experience are encouraged to apply.

While at least three 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 6.0 (5.5 in all bands).

If you don’t meet the required score you may be able to register for one of our pre-sessional English courses. To register you must hold a conditional offer for your course and have an IELTS score 0.5 or 1.0 below the required standard.

Our range of pre-sessional courses.

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, underpinned by significant personal and professional development support. Successful completion of the first six taught modules leads to the award of Certificate, and the second six taught modules, including electives, leads to the award of 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). 

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.

Make a difference with a Stirling MBA

We believe that everyone has the capacity to be outstanding, 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.

At Stirling Management School we understand the importance of your postgraduate degree to help you with your career choices. We understand the skills and personal qualities that recruiters look for in an individual. With such an understanding we have carefully embedded opportunities to identify, practice and develop those skills during your time with us, which is reflected in the personal and professional development modules. We think that the development of these skills is complementary with a world-class management education. 

From day one our 'Flying Start Leadership' programme is designed to help you make clear your learning and development aims and objectives, which will evolve during the year. Our programme provides opportunities for personal and professional skill development that will be the foundation of your successful management career.

In addition, the range of our classes ensures that all of our students gain an insight into each important management function, such as, accounting and finance, marketing, human resource management, operations management so that students encounter the rare opportunity to understand all aspects of business and management. We also help you to understand how these functions are integrated through our strategy classes, enabling you to develop helicopter skills – the ability to see the wood and the trees – the big picture and the detail and work comfortably with both at the same time. 

As one current postgraduate student recently commented: “At Stirling you educate us, whilst back home they teach us” – a clear understanding of the approach we take to our teaching, how it empowers the individual to develop the capability for independent thinking.

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.

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.

Recommended reading

Please view the School web pages for the MBA reading list by clicking on the button below.

MBA reading list

Example timetable

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.

Personal & Professional Development (PPD)

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.

Part 1 – BUAP001, Part 2 – BUAP014

Semester 1
Week Content
1-2 Welcome to SMS & Flying Start Leadership Programme
3-4 Strategy & the International Environment - Professor George Burt
  (students take all four modules during weeks 5-6 and 8-12)



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
7 Mid Semester Reading Week
Semester Total 60 credits including PPD (Part 1)

Examinations - December

Semester 2
Week Content
1 Personal & Professional Development (PPD) Activities
 Two-day Introduction to Research Project Methods
(students select four from the following six options during weeks 2-12)

Managing Change, Prof Bernard Burnes


Leadership & Responsible Business, Dr Cecile Rozuel

Managing in Emerging Economies, Dr Swapnesh Masrani

New Venture Creation, Dr Suzanne Mawson

Project Management, Prof John Bowers


Corporate Governance, Prof Graeme Acheson

2-3 Elective 1
4-5 Operations Management, Dr Gerry Edgar
6-7 Mid Semester Reading Week plus resit examination period
8-9 Elective 2
9-10 Elective 3
11-12 Elective 4
12-13 One-day Research Project Methods contd. Dr Swapnesh Masrani
13-14 Strategy for Sustainable Success, Professor George Burt
A series of additional Personal & Professional Development Activities will run throughout the semester
Semester Total 80 credits including PPD 

Examinations - May

Summer Semester

Module titles

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)
  • Operations Management

Four electives* from:

  • Managing of Change*
  • Corporate Governance*
  • Managing in Emerging Economies*
  • Project Management*
  • New Venture Creation*
  • Leadership & Responsible Business*

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

Why study MBA Master of Business Administration at Stirling?

Course Director

Professor George Burt


In REF2014 Stirling was placed 6th in Scotland and 45th in the UK with almost three quarters of research activity rated either world-leading or internationally excellent.

More information

The reputation of our research at Stirling Management School was recognised in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), where the School was placed in the UK’s top 25 institutions for Business and Management, out of 101 business schools.  In Scotland, the School was ranked in the top five.  64% of our research outputs were classified as world-leading and internationally excellent in terms of their originality, significance and rigour and we were ranked 14th in the UK in terms of research impact with over 60% of our research impact judged to have outstanding reach and wide-ranging impact on the policies of public, private and governmental organisations.

Our students

Making his mark in business,
Ajay Augustine, MBA Alumni (2011)‌
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.


More student viewpoints

Our staff

Students on the MBA have the benefit of learning from academic staff who are known worldwide, are respected in their fields and have extensive business and consultancy experience. They are publishing cutting-edge research and that new knowledge is integral to our teaching.

To find out more about them please visit the School web pages by clicking on the button below.

MBA academic staff

Leading Economist delivers masterclass to Stirling students

Expert Economics Professor David Blanchflower delivered a two-day masterclass to Master of Business Administration (MBA) students at the University of Stirling.

Find out more

Career opportunities

Where are our graduates now?

Stirling MBA alumni are currently working in countries across the globe, including the UK, Germany, India, USA, Japan, China, Canada, Uganda, Chile, Australia and the United Arab Emirates to name but a few.

Employers of our graduates span the private, public and voluntary sectors. These include: Citibank International, HSBC, KPMG, ExxonMobil, the Bank of China, L’Oreal, Barclays Bank, Adidas, Royal Bank of Canada, Vodaphone as well as various governmental agencies.

Positions secured in the last two years by MBA graduates include:

  • Research Analyst (India)
  • Relationship Manager (Japan)
  • Salesforce Developer (UK)
  • Strategic Planning Manager (South Korea)
  • Commercial Account Manager (Canada)

MBA students, who had graduated from Stirling between five to ten years ago, now hold the following positions:

  • Marketing Manager (Germany)
  • Business Analyst (India)
  • Investment Operations Specialist (UK)
  • Section Manager (Japan)
  • Vice President (Business Development) (Canada)

In terms of longer term career progression, students from the Stirling MBA are now in positions such as:

  • Director (Hong Kong)
  • Senior Vice President (Malaysia)
  • Strategic Consultant (Germany)
  • Managing Director (UK)
  • Chief Financial Officer (East Europe)
  • Chief Administrative Officer (Tanzania)


Our students learn great transferable skills through doing, for example, masterclasses and simulated games. Throughout the year students will learn and will have the opportunity to improve their presentational skills, their ability to research and analyse complex data.

Industry connections

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.


2015/16 Overseas £15900
2015/16 Home/EU £12950
2014/15 Overseas £15900
2014/15 Home/EU £12950

You should expect to pay fees for every year you are in attendance and be aware fees are subject to revision and may increase annually. Students on programmes of study of more than one year should take this into account when applying.


There are a wide range of scholarships available to you to help fund your studies. Visit the School web pages and view more information.

Scholarships for MBA students