Masters of Business Administration (MBA)

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

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.

Highlights

  • 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.

        Visa requirements

        If you are not from the European Economic Area (EEA) and/or Switzerland and you are coming to study in the UK, you may need to apply for a visa.

        The visa you apply for varies according to the length of your course:

        • Courses of more than six months’ duration.
        • Courses of less than six months’ duration.
        • Pre-sessional English language courses.

        International students who require a Tier 4 visa should apply for our three-year evening study BA/BSc/LLB degrees, as these are classified as full-time study and qualify for student visa status. If you are living in the UK on a Tier 4 visa, you will not be eligible to enrol as a student on Birkbeck’s part-time evening study degrees.

        For full information, read our visa information for international students page.

        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

        Fees

        Full-time home/EU students: £27000 pa
        Full-time international students: £27000 pa

        Students are charged a tuition fee in each year of their programme. Tuition fees for students continuing on their programme in following years may be subject to annual inflationary increases. For more information, please see the College Fees Policy.

      • Teaching and assessment

        Teaching

        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.

        Our distance-learning and blended-learning courses and modules are self-directed and we will provide you with interactive learning opportunities and encourage you to collaborate and engage via various learning technologies. These courses involve limited or no face-to-face contact between students and module tutors.

        In addition, you will have access to pastoral support via a named Personal Tutor.

        Methods of teaching on this course

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

        Contact hours

        On our taught courses, you will have scheduled teaching and study sessions each year. Alongside this, you will also undertake assessment activities and independent learning outside of class. Depending on the modules you take, you may also have additional scheduled academic activities, such as tutorials, dissertation supervision, practical classes, visits and fieldtrips.

        On our taught courses, the actual amount of time you spend in the classroom and in contact with your lecturers will depend on your course, the option modules you select and when you undertake your final-year project.

        On our distance-learning and blended-learning courses, discussion, collaboration and interaction with your lecturers and fellow students are encouraged and enabled through various learning technologies, but you may have limited or no face-to-face contact with your module tutors.

        Timetables

        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 larger groups, whereas seminars usually consist of small, interactive groups led by a tutor.

        Independent learning

        On our taught courses, much of your time outside of class will be spent on self-directed, independent learning, including preparing for classes and following up afterwards. This will usually include, but is not limited to, reading books and journal articles, undertaking research, working on coursework and assignments, and preparing for presentations and assessments.

        Independent learning is absolutely vital to your success as a student. Everyone is different, and the study time required varies topic by topic, but, as a guide, expect to schedule up to five hours of self-study for each hour of teaching.

        On our distance-learning and blended-learning courses, the emphasis is very much on independent, self-directed learning and you will be expected to manage your own learning, with the support of your module tutors and various learning technologies.

        Study skills and additional 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

        Assessment is an integral part of your university studies and usually consists of a combination of coursework and examinations, although this will vary from course to course - on some of our courses, assessment is entirely by coursework. The methods of assessment on this course are specified below under 'Methods of assessment on this course'. You will need to allow time to complete coursework and prepare for exams.

        Where a course has unseen written examinations, these may be held termly, but, on the majority of our courses, exams are usually taken in the Summer term, during May to June. Exams may be held at other times of the year as well. In most cases, exams are held during the day on a weekday - if you have daytime commitments, you will need to make arrangements for daytime attendance - but some exams are held in the evening. Exam timetables are published online.

        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.

      • 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).