Masters of Business Administration (MBA)

Year of entry


Start date

September 2018


Central London


Fully Approved
For further information on making an application see How to apply.


18 months part-time


Taught at Birkbeck and Central Saint Martins

What happens when you mix an arts school with a business school? The Central Saint Martins Birkbeck MBA is a different kind of MBA that places creative approaches and social engagement at the heart of future management and leadership. The programme challenges the orthodox business school approach to education, and instead focuses on cross-disciplinary collaboration. You will become a new type of business graduate: one who can combine genuinely creative thinking and innovation with core financial and strategic management skills.

The aim of the programme is to develop professional networks and to work collaboratively to make positive change happen. We will devise projects and offer live opportunities with external partners to do this.


  • Our MBA's radical approach lies in its philosophy: deep research and analysis leading to real, root-and-branch, change.
 This programme places tools and concepts in context, combining design thinking and creative problem solving with rigorous academic content.
  • You will benefit from the combined strengths of two highly regarded institutions, in the central London locations of King’s Cross and Bloomsbury, offering access to an expansive and supportive international network.
  • The cross-disciplinary approach will prepare you for complex and ever-changing business environments allowing you to develop critical thinking, decision-making, emotional intelligence, negotiation and creative cognitive flexibility.
  • The MBA embraces the different perspectives of your cohort comprising students from a variety of professional industries and international cultures. Your colleagues will reframe problems and challenge the status quo.

Course structure

You take four modules:

  • Provocation and Enquiry (60 credits at Level 7)
  • Entrepreneurship in Action (20 credits at Level 7)
  • Effecting Change: Collaboration in Practice (40 credits at Level 7)
  • Live Project or Dissertation (individual) (60 credits at Level 7).

You can read more about the content and structure of these modules on the Central Saint Martins website.

      Module groups

      • Entry Requirements

        Entry requirements

        Central Saint Martins Birkbeck MBA applicants must have an Honours degree and usually at least three years of relevant work and/or professional experience, but we will look at exceptional candidates with less.

        Applicants without a first degree but with a substantial number of years' work experience will also be considered.

        English language requirements

        All classes are conducted in English. If English is not your first language you will be asked to provide evidence of your English language ability in order to apply for a visa, enrol and start your course. The English language requirement for entry for this course is IELTS 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in any one paper, or equivalent.

        For further information visit the English Language requirements page.

        Selection criteria

        Candidates who meet the basic entry requirements will be invited to interview either in person or over the phone/Skype. A key element of the process involves consideration of how an applicant’s prior experience and track record will equip them to make a meaningful contribution to classroom activity and discussion and to determine whether the course is right for the applicant’s aims and expectations. Candidates are expected to:

        • have the ability to think in abstract terms about planning, management and resources
        • have excellent communication skills
        • be numerate, and display some experience and understanding of logistics and strategic thinking
        • be team players and builders, not competitive individualists
        • demonstrate a collaborative mind-set and an ability to negotiate roles within multidisciplinary and cross-cultural teams
        • have a strong level of standard computer literacy.

        Credits and Accredited Prior Learning (APL)

        If you have studied at university previously, you may have accumulated credits through the modules you studied. It may be possible to transfer these credits from your previous study to Birkbeck or another institution. You should discuss this with the Programme Director when you are making your application.

        Find out more about credits and Accredited Prior Learning (APL).

      • Fees

        Full-time home/EU students: £27,000 pa 
        Full-time overseas students: £27,000 pa 

      • Teaching and assessment


        At Birkbeck, almost all of our courses are taught in the evening and our teaching is designed to support students who are juggling evening study with work and other daytime commitments. We actively encourage innovative and engaging ways of teaching, to ensure our students have the best learning experience. In the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), the government’s system for rating university teaching, Birkbeck was allocated a Silver award.

        Teaching may include formal lectures, seminars, and practical classes and tutorials. Formal lectures are used in most degree programmes to give an overview of a particular field of study. They aim to provide the stimulus and the starting point for deeper exploration of the subject during your own personal reading.

        Seminars give you the chance to explore a specific aspect of your subject in depth and to discuss and exchange ideas with fellow students. They typically require preparatory study.

        In addition, you will have timetabled meetings with your Personal Tutor.

        Methods of teaching on this course

        Seminars taught by staff from both Birkbeck and Central Saint Martins, with small-group work.


        Timetables are usually available from September onwards and you can access your personalised timetable via your My Birkbeck Profile online (if you have been invited to enrol).

        Indicative class size

        Class sizes vary, depending on your course, the module you are undertaking, and the method of teaching. For example, lectures are presented to large groups, with 30 to 100+ students in attendance, whereas seminars usually consist of small, interactive groups of 10 to 30 students, led by an academic.

        Academic support

        Birkbeck offers study and learning support to undergraduate and postgraduate students to help them succeed. Our Learning Development Service can help you in the following areas:

        • academic skills (including planning your workload, research, writing, exam preparation and writing a dissertation)
        • written English (including structure, punctuation and grammar)
        • numerical skills (basic mathematics and statistics).

        Our Disability and Dyslexia Service can support you if you have additional learning needs resulting from a disability or from dyslexia.

        Our Counselling Service can support you if you are struggling with emotional or psychological difficulties during your studies.

        Our Mental Health Advisory Service can support you if you are experiencing short– or long-term mental health difficulties during your studies.


        Assessment is an integral part of your university studies and usually consists of a combination of coursework and examinations. You will be given time to complete coursework and prepare for exams.

        Unseen written examinations are usually taken in the Summer term, during May to June, and, in most cases, are held during the day on a weekday – if you have daytime commitments, you will need to make arrangements for daytime attendance. Exam timetables are published online in March each year.

        Find out more about assessment at Birkbeck, including guidance on assessment, feedback and our assessment offences policy.

        Methods of assessment on this course

        Presentations (both individual and group), a group project, individual report, case study, case analysis, multiple choice test, essays, reflective writing, and either a live practical project or a dissertation.


        As well as a mark for your coursework and exams, you will also receive feedback from your marker(s) to help you learn, improve and succeed. We encourage you to discuss feedback with your module tutor.

        Feedback can come in different forms: notes via Moodle (our online learning environment); a paper copy of a completed feedback form; or in-class or face-to-face feedback. The College Policy on Feedback on Assessment sets out what you can expect from your feedback.

        Your department will usually provide you with your marked coursework within four weeks of submission. Your initial mark is provisional until the relevant Board of Examiners has confirmed it.

        Your official coursework and exam results will be made available to you via your My Birkbeck Profile online.

      • Careers and employability

        Careers and employability

        The World Economic Forum consulted business leaders from major global organisations for its The Future of Jobs Report (2016). It concluded that the 10 skills that an employee will need by 2020 are:

        • Complex problem solving
        • Critical thinking
        • Creativity
        • People management
        • Coordinating with others
        • Emotional intelligence
        • Judgement and decision making
        • Service orientation
        • Negotiation
        • Cognitive flexibility.

        The MBA embeds these in its curriculum.

        The programme aims to prepare graduates for the next step in their career, whether it be a transformational senior management role within their current industry, or a new role in a completely new field of work. Entrepreneurial students are encouraged to set up their own businesses.

        The emphasis on positive transformation, and a socially motivated desire to change the world, coupled with a solid understanding of business and management, will create graduates who are keen to bring about fundamental innovation and systemic change.

        With this MBA, students will be able to transfer their skills within their current industry, or across industries. With developed managerial competences and innovation practice, graduates will be able to seek employment or further their career opportunities in positions that apply design thinking to complex problems, and take a holistic view of business issues. With developed leadership capacities, they will be able to combine 'thinking' and 'doing' with robust knowledge and application in organisations.

        For details of the wide range of careers support provided for students, please visit:

      • How to apply

        How to apply

        This course is jointly run by Birkbeck and Central Saint Martins, but you apply to Central Saint Martins using their online application form. Applications for 2018-19, via Central Saint Martins, will open in January 2018

        You will find detailed instructions on their website for how to apply for this course, including the information you need to provide in your application.

          Application deadlines and interviews

          We strongly recommend you apply before 30 June 2017. After that point we cannot guarantee your application will be considered.

          Subject to your meeting the entry requirements and consideration of your application form, preliminary selection is based on your documentation of work and supporting information. You may then be invited to interview (either in person or by Skype).