MBA Master of Business Administration


98% of our postgraduate leavers are in employment or further study within six months of graduating (Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey 2015/16).


The Stirling MBA is unique in the way it focuses on the practices, processes and outcomes of managing in a range of contexts: from large multinationals to small enterprises. There’s an emphasis on responsible leadership, sustainable strategy, creativity and change that helps inform contemporary debates about how to effectively manage limited resources with maximum impact.

The Stirling MBA covers the functional areas of business and management, including accounting and finance, marketing, economics, operations management, and human resource management. It is designed to transform capable managers into successful, significant business leaders. We underpin this approach by a significant investment in personal and professional development throughout the course.

This course 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.

Our close links with external organisations mean we can offer our MBA students regular site visits with senior executives and industry experts, many of whom are also involved in guest lectures and workshops. Students will also have the opportunity to undertake a three-month consultancy project with an external company.


AMBA logo

The Stirling MBA is accredited by the Association of MBAs (AMBA), the international impartial authority on postgraduate business education. Established in 1967, AMBA aims to raise the profile of business education and the MBA qualification in the UK, Europe and the rest of the world.


Our MBA students have automatic student/affiliate membership of the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) and may also be awarded the Level 7 Strategic Management and Leadership Diploma (dependant on modules studied) upon completion of the programme, which will give you guaranteed full membership of the Institute upon graduation.

Key information

EU Applicants
EU students enrolling for a postgraduate taught degree in the 2017/18 and 2018/19 academic year will be admitted as Scottish/EU fee status students and will be eligible for the same tuition support as Scottish domiciled students.

  • Qualification: MBA
  • Study methods: Full-time, Campus based
  • Duration: 12 months
  • Start date:


  • Course Director: Professor George Burt
Download course leaflet
Download postgraduate prospectus

Course Director

Professor George Burt

Centre for Advanced Management Education
Stirling Management School
University of Stirling

  1. Focus on developing the skills to support leaders of the future
  2. AMBA accreditation - our course is accredited by the Association of MBAs - the international impartial authority on postgraduate business education
  3. 5-star ranking - in the QS World University Rankings 2014
  4. Industry connections - senior executives from all sectors regularly engage with our students, providing a practical perspective on contemporary business topics through guest lectures,  workshops and access to consultancy projects
  5. Expert teaching team - you'll learn from academic staff who are known worldwide, respected in their fields and have extensive business and consultancy experience
  6. Stirling's global research rating - we're among the top 25 in the UK according to REF 2014

Course objectives

Understanding the practices and processes of business in terms of inclusion, environmental, cultural, social and economic sustainability is central to the course. These concerns and perspectives are explored in the context of a wide range of industries and economies. Throughout the world, such issues are taken increasingly seriously as a response to the current financial crisis. This course is the first MBA in Scotland specifically designed to cater to this important agenda.

What makes us different?

Advance your career with work experience

On this course you will have the opportunity to enhance your career opportunities by participating in work-based multi-disciplinary projects designed to prepare you for the next step on the career ladder.

We work with companies across different sectors in presenting a range of opportunities for our students.

Day in the life of an MBA student

Giving you a flavour of the dynamic and vibrant experience of studying at the University of Stirling Management School.

View timeline

Future proof your career

We have valuable links with local, national and international organisations giving our students the opportunity to see how theory works in practice. Our MBA is accredited by CMI ensuring that you will graduate with two qualifications: the MBA and a CMI Diploma.

Students studying around a table, upon which paper, pens and a calculator can be seen.

Business Engagement

The University of Stirling Management School equips students to flourish as effective managers in the workplace through enhanced self-awareness, critical thinking, leadership and team-working skills.

Find out more about business engagement

Business Engagement


At the University of Stirling Management School, we are committed to ensuring that every single one of our students realise their potential.

The graduate job market has never been more competitive, and greater focus is now being placed on finding graduates who can demonstrate a wide array of skills, competences and experiences.

Find out more about employability

Employability video

World-class library and teaching facilities

Studying for a degree means learning in different ways; managing your own time; conducting research; mastering new computer skills. We have the facilities and advice on hand to help you do all this - and do it well.

Learn more

Library shelves

Life at Stirling

Of the many reasons students come to Stirling, such as academic reputation and research standards, one factor is always cited: the outstanding beauty of the University's Stirling campus. View our online films to get a picture of what it's like to live and study on our beautiful campus.

Watch our videos now

Live Life

Entry requirements

Academic requirements

You’ll need a minimum of a second-class honours degree or an equivalent professional qualification. In addition, you must have a minimum of three years’ postgraduate managerial work experience. Applicants without formal qualifications are encouraged to apply if they can demonstrate significant managerial experience — normally a minimum of five years.


English language requirements

If English isn’t your first language, you must have one of these qualifications:

  • IELTS: 6.5 with 5.5 minimum in each skill
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade C or above
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade B or above
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic): 60 with 51 in each component
  • IBT TOEFL: 90 with no subtest less than 17

More information on English language requirements

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. View our range of pre-sessional courses.

Flexible Learning

If you are interested in studying a module from this course, the Postgraduate Certificate or the Postgraduate Diploma then please email to discuss your course of study.

Fees and costs

2018/19 Overseas £18,500
2018/19 Home/EU £14,800

Please note that the cost of core module text books are included in the fees and are provided at the start of semester to students.

Fees for all new applicants to postgraduate taught courses are held at the level set upon entry.

Please note there is an additional charge should you choose to attend a graduation ceremony. View more information

Cost of Living

Find out about the cost of living for students at Stirling

Payment options

Find information on paying fees by instalments

Scholarships & funding

SAAS Postgraduate Loans

The Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) is now offering a generous loan scheme to assist eligible Scottish and EU-domiciled students pursuing a Masters at the University of Stirling during 2018/19. Find out more about SAAS Postgraduate Loans

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

Scholarship finder

Structure and teaching

Structure and content

The course combines academic theory with real-life business analysis, underpinned by significant personal and professional development support. Assessment is by a mixture of coursework (individual and group-based), including written assignments, class tests and presentations.

When you successfully complete the first six modules you’ll be awarded a Certificate. Completing the second six modules, including electives, leads to a Postgraduate Diploma. You’ll then progress to the Masters element of the course, where you’ll complete a dissertation, or carry out a consultancy project for an external client organisation.

Key features include:

  • Self-awareness and personal capability - will help you identify, develop and practice key skills that contribute to a successful managerial career. It includes handling conflict in groups, managing group dynamics, assertiveness, facilitation, critical reasoning and argument building.
  • Education means business - brings together local and global businesses, business support agencies and students to solve real problems that businesses are faced with today.
  • Masterclasses – delivered by world-renowned academics and industry leaders and practitioners who are responsible for shaping management thinking today.
  • Field trips and industry visits - gain an insight into the workings of specially selected successful Scottish companies. Visits will include an overview of 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. 

Begin your Stirling MBA in the best possible way, with our unique Flying Start Leadership programme.

It’s exclusively for new students about to start one of our postgraduate courses. You’ll take part in a wide range of group and individual activities, workshops and information sessions to help you prepare for the year ahead, and make the most of your time at the University of Stirling Management School.

Attend the Flying Start Leadership programme and you will:

  • Discover more about the exciting period of learning ahead
  • Understand what is expected of you in your course
  • Get to know the teaching and support staff
  • Learn more about a diverse range of approaches to learning
  • Work as part of a successful team
  • Develop your personal goals for the year ahead 

Activities range from practical skills – like effective public speaking – to developing ways to work under pressure in difficult situations and manage conflict. It’s also a chance to discover all that the University and the vibrant city of Stirling have to offer and to make new friends. 

Find out more about Flying Start.

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.

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 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 10,000-word dissertation based on an original research question agreed by yourself and your supervisor or a consultancy project on behalf of an external client organisation. The dissertation should reflect your own understanding and knowledge of selected topics learnt during taught modules.


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 three core modules, four elective* modules, as well as complete the second part of Personal and Professional Development module.  

  • Strategy for Sustainable Success
  • Research Methods
  • Personal & Professional Development (Part 2)
  • Operations Management

Four electives* from:

  • Managing Change*
  • Managing in Emerging Economies*
  • Project Management*
  • New Venture Creation*
  • Leadership & Responsible Business*
  • Innovation Management*
  • Business Improvement*
  • Business Analytics*
  • Organisational (mis)Behaviour*
  • Business Consulting*
  • Corporate Finance*
  • Mastering STEPs of Strategy*

Please note that we may not offer all electives if there is not enough student demand

Summer: students are required to carry out a significant piece of academic work on their own (Dissertation or Project), utilising the skills and knowledge attained throughout the taught elements of the course. 

Learn more about these modules.

Recommended reading

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

MBA Reading List 2017-18

Modes of study

Full-time: MBA: one year

Study method


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 8-13)



Accounting & Finance - Mr Chris Coles Managing the Human Resource - Staff Marketing  Management - Prof Paul Freathy Economics for Sustainable Business - Staff
7 Mid Semester Reading Week
Semester Total 60 credits including PPD (Part 1)


Semester 2
Week Content



Personal & Professional Development (PPD) Activities

Introduction to Research Methods

4-5 Operations Management, Dr Gerry Edgar
(students select four from the following ten options during weeks 7-14)

Managing Change, Prof Bernard Burnes


Leadership & Responsible Business, Prof Bernard Burnes

Innovation Management, Dr Kepa Mendibil

Business Improvement, Dr Gerry Edgar

Managing in Emerging Economies, Dr Swapnesh Masrani

New Venture Creation, Dr Suzanne Mawson

Organisational (mis)Behaviour, Staff


Mastering STEPs of Strategy, Professor David Mackay

Project Management, Prof John Bowers


Corporate Finance, Staff

Business Analytics, Dr Gerry Edgar

Business Consulting, Staff

7-8 Mid Semester Reading Week
7-8 Elective 1
9-10 Elective 2
11-12 Elective 3
13-14 Elective 4
15 Research Methods contd, Dr Swapnesh Masrani
16-17 Strategy for Sustainable Success, Prof George Burt
A series of additional Personal & Professional Development Activities will run throughout the semester
Semester Total 80 credits including PPD 


Summer Semester
Dissertation or Consultancy Project

Why Stirling?



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.

Top 25 in the UK for Business and Management Research: Top 15 for Real World Impact of Research

The reputation of our research at Stirling Management School was recognised in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), an examination conducted by the UK government, which confirmed our place in the UK's top 25 institutions for Business and Management, out of over 100 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 rigor 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.

International Students

The University of Stirling welcomes students from around the world. Find out what studying here could be like for you .


Our global reputation: research rating  The University of Stirling Management School was ranked among the Top 25 in the UK for business and management in the Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014). 

Wide-ranging expertise  Our lecturers are known worldwide, are respected in their fields and have extensive business and consultancy experience. They are publishing cutting-edge research — new knowledge is integral to our teaching.


Our students

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

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.

Our staff

‌Our lecturers are known worldwide, are respected in their fields and have extensive business and consultancy experience. They are publishing cutting-edge research — new knowledge is integral to our teaching.

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

Careers and employability

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.

Employability video

employability video promotion

Business engagement video

industry promotional video


98% of our postgraduate leavers are in employment or further study withing six months of graduating - Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey 2015/16

You’ll learn great transferable skills through, for example, masterclasses and simulated games. Throughout the year you’ll learn to improve your presentation skills, and your ability to research and analyse complex data. We understand the skills and personal qualities that recruiters look for in their future managers. With this understanding, we have carefully embedded opportunities to identify, practice and develop those skills during your time with us.

  • Stirling is ranked 7th in the UK for graduate employability, with 96% of our graduates in employment, or further study, within six months of graduating. (Telegraph/HESA, 2015)
  • The University has achieved a 5-star excellence award for Employability. (QS Stars, 2014)

Developing real-world expertise Our modules ensure you gain an insight into each important management function, such as accounting and finance, marketing, economics, operations management, and human resource management. This gives you 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.


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.

More about industry connections

© University of Stirling FK9 4LA Scotland UK • Telephone +44 1786 473171 • Scottish Charity No SC011159
Portal Logon