Skip to main content

Master 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

        Our standard postgraduate entry requirement is a second-class honours degree (2:2 or above) from a UK university, or an equivalent international qualification.

        We will review every postgraduate application to Birkbeck on its individual merits and your professional qualifications and/or relevant work experience will be taken into consideration positively. We actively support and encourage applications from mature learners.

        On your application form, please list all your relevant qualifications and experience, including those you expect to achieve.

        Apply now to secure your place and allow enough time for the application and enrolment process. You do not need to have completed your current qualification to start your application.

        Course specific entry requirements

        Central Saint Martins Birkbeck MBA applicants must have a second-class honours degree and usually at least three years' relevant work and/or professional experience, but we will look at exceptional candidates with less.

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

        International applicants

        If you are an International student who needs a Tier 4 General Student Visa to study in the UK, please note that this is a part-time course and conditions applied to Tier 4 visas for part-time study are different from those applied to visas for full-time study. 

        English language entry requirements (IELTS score)

        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.

        International Entry Requirements

        Our standard postgraduate entry requirement for international students is a second-class honours degree (2:2 or above) from a UK university or an equivalent international qualification.

        Find details of entry requirements and equivalencies for over 120 countries worldwide.

        If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests. Some courses may require higher scores, particularly in the following subject areas:

        • arts management
        • cultural studies
        • development studies
        • English literature
        • film and media
        • geography
        • history
        • history of art
        • law
        • organizational psychology
        • psychology.

        Please carefully check the Course-Specific Entry Requirements on your chosen programme for details of higher English language entry requirements.

        If you don't meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses, foundation programmes and language support services to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.

        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 full-time courses (with the exception of modular enrolment certificates of higher education and graduate certificates), as these qualify for Tier 4 sponsorship. 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 courses (with the exception of some modules).

        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

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

        For detailed information on how payments can be scheduled please see the Central St Martins Website.

      • 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

        You apply directly to Birkbeck for this course, using the online application link. Please note that online application will open in September 2018.

        You will need to prove your identity when you apply - read more about suitable forms of identification.

        When to apply

        You are strongly advised to apply now, to ensure there are still places on your chosen course and to give you enough time to complete the admissions process, to arrange funding and to enrol.

        You don't need to complete your current programme of study before you apply - Birkbeck can offer you a place that is conditional on your results.

        Birkbeck Orientation is on Saturday 28 September 2019 and is a great way to start your studies - find out more about what's happening during Orientation. You will also receive information about subject-specific induction sessions over the summer.

        Help and advice with your application

        Get all the information you need about the application, admission and enrolment process at Birkbeck.

        Our online personal statement tool will guide you through every step of writing the personal statement part of your application.