You can tailor your EMBA by choosing any elective from the following list.
You can select up to six electives, three of which are credited.
List of electives is only an indication of the range of subjects on offer and is subject to change.
Note that international electives are subject to a specific allocation process, which will be explained during the programme. Given the popularity of international electives, places cannot be guaranteed.
Once you have graduated, you can take one elective per year free of charge, allowing you to continue developing your portfolio of skills.
Strategy and technology electives
Advanced corporate strategy in a globalizing world
Understanding Corporate Strategy requires both understanding what organisations can do strategically and what you as individuals need to do to be effective in making strategy happen. You will look at these four key issues:
- Cognitive processes and the mind of the chief executive
- The logic of business models and the fit between business models and strategic thinking
- Social networks and corporate strategy
- Managerial action, politics and strategy implementation
- Understand different cognitive models and ways of thinking about the role of the chief executive
- Understand the key concept of business models, what they are, what they do, and their relevance to corporate strategy
- Understand key ideas in social networks as it relates to corporate strategy.
Advanced strategy analysis
To make intelligent strategic decisions, executives need to understand a wide range of factors and access knowledge that is often difficult to find. This course provides you with the models that will help you to formulate and execute strategy in industries that are rapidly transforming.
The course also focuses on the interface between strategy and finance and their interplay in strategic decision making.
- Understand the most advanced models that can help in formulating and executing strategy in industries that are rapidly transforming
- Be introduced to the interface between strategy and finance and their interplay in strategic decision making.
The aim of this course is to give you a working understanding of the main quantitative and judgmental methods used to guide business and marketing decisions in general and financial decisions in particular.
In addition to conventional business forecasting techniques, the course introduces in an accessible way some specialist techniques in vogue in financial markets (volatility forecasting, technical analysis), and the new techniques of data mining that are increasingly applied in “big data” environments (neural networks, genetic algorithms).
A background in statistics is not necessary to enjoy the course. Methods are explained at an intuitive level, and you will get hands-on experience using industry-standard forecasting packages such as EVIEWS and Metastock.
- Understand main techniques of business and financial forecasting
- Understand widely-used forecasting software
- Analyse time series business and economic data
- Make forecasts with this data
- Contribute to planning and forecasting meetings within companies
- Make an informed and critical judgement about commentary and forecasts written by professional forecasters and management consultants.
Leading digital transformation
On this course you will have the opportunity to study strategy and technology entrepreneurship in the context of digital transformation. This is compulsory for all students interested in attending the Digital Strategy in Action international elective in Silicon Valley.
- Understand the links between strategy, organisation, capabilities and digital transformations
- Develop convictions and scenarios on the psychological, sociological, economic and business impact of the on-going digital transformations;
- Critically evaluate strengths and weaknesses of the traditional strategy and entrepreneurship tools;
- Understand transformational patterns and best practices.
Managing value creation
The aim of this module is to provide a greater understanding of how senior executives can manage to create value for their companies and shareholders.
The emphasis of this module is on measuring and managing value creation. A unique feature of this module is that it links together theory, tools and techniques from the disciplines of strategy and finance. Students who take up this elective module will gain greater clarity on the core financial principles of valuation and will also gain skills in how to apply these principles to guide effective strategic decision making.
Undertaking this module will help current and future senior executives to understand value in greater depth from both a strategic management perspective and a finance perspective. This module explores how key finance concepts, tools & techniques can be applied to common strategic issues and scenarios to help measure and manage value creation.
The scope of this module centres on how corporate executives can maximise the value of the companies they manage drawing on new insights into business strategy, finance and investor behaviour.
- Gain an advanced understanding of what value means from a strategy and finance perspective
- Understand the principles underlying the assessment of the intrinsic value of a company
- Learn about concepts and application of value based management.
Digital innovation in action - Silicon Valley
This elective will allow you to sharpen your knowledge and skills at the intersection of strategy, digital technology and innovation.
The elective will take place in Silicon Valley, the alma mater of digital entrepreneurship, new corporate ventures and innovation. Silicon Valley is one of the engines of growth for the US economy (the largest economy by output in the world) and is often described as the innovation hub of the world.
- Have a deep knowledge of the mechanisms at the intersection of digital transformation, strategy and innovation
- Know how businesses succeed within Silicon Valley within a variety of sectors and use this knowledge to inform decision-making within the students own organisations
- Reflect upon the extent to which Silicon Valley’s practice can be exported outside the Valley.
Strategy in the face of uncertainty
Leaders often make strategic decisions based on their past or current experience without thinking more imaginatively or broadly about an environment that is constantly changing. As levels of uncertainty and volatility reach new heights, it is critically important to create strategies that are flexible and robust. Scenario planning, the focal point of this module, encourages leaders and organisations to consider more than one future when formulating strategy. This is an approach that crucially necessitates the exploration of areas where little is known, as opposed to basing thinking upon only what is known and certain.
- Understand how to make better strategic decisions
- Understand the complexity of global interactions
- Understand who will be affected by decisions made in new environments.
The new strategic landscape
- Understand a breadth of strategic theories and concepts, those that are beyond economics and where the locus of attention is people, behaviours, emotions, humanness and meaningful work places.
- Understand the reality of managing with uncertainty, ambiguity and complexity and how different strategic models deal with these aspects of everyday practice
- Understand how to balance different stakeholder views, question underlying assumptions and institutional dynamics within strategic ‘wicked problems’
Strategy as a management practice worthy of study has a history of fifty years. Over the years many frames through which to view the practice have been explored, but one - economics - has dominated and remained popular especially with especially with Western management. But organisations, and the organisational world, are perceived, almost daily as more complex. The western crisis of 2007/8 and the apparent failure of economists to find agreement on solutions and forward directions, even to be able to predict and avert the crisis, have opened minds.
This module seeks to substantially expand your strategic tools (mindset and practices) by challenging the rational model of strategic decision making. Much of the ‘accepted’ approach to strategic management relies on approaches based in formal logic and rational decision making. Often termed a consultancy or contingency approach, these problem-solving methods offer valued strategic tools but in isolation over-rationalise and over-simplify reality. In contrast, the ‘New Strategic Landscape’ is fraught with unprecedented levels of complexity, change, pressure and uncertainty. We propose that this is the new normal. As such, leaders must question and expand their approach.
In this vein, the module will unpack the messiness of strategy in practice. Specifically, we will examine why (often in hindsight) strategic decision making underplays risk, fails to fully explore contextual constraints and possibilities, and even leads to counterproductive practices. To do so, we will dive into roles of cognition (bias, mindset), emotions (anxiety, defensiveness) and social interactions (networks, politics). Through readings, living case studies and group analysis of failed strategic decision making, we will deconstruct forces impinging on strategic decision making.
Competitive Edge with Digital Technologies
Competitive Edge with Digital Technologies provides additional content on the MBA about big data and artificial intelligence for decision making purposes, which is becoming increasingly demanded by students.
Entrepreneurship and Innovation electives
At the core of entrepreneurship – Silicon Valley
This 5-day immersive tour aims to expose students to the most famous entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem in the world – Silicon Valley. This is where the “innovation – venture capital – startup” engine that created powerhouses like Apple, Cisco, Facebook, Google, and Intel began. Every day, groundbreaking companies such as PayPal, Netflix, Uber, Tesla, and Airbnb are challenging the status quo, transforming age-old industries, and changing our lives in profound ways.
You will observe first-hand the Silicon Valley high tech industry and learn how entrepreneurs generate new ideas, assemble teams, start their ventures, raise funding, and scale up. Through a combination of company visits, hands-on workshops, lectures by faculty, founders, investors and business leaders, and field research, you will acquire a deep and critical understanding of the opportunities and challenges that an entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem offers to established companies as well as startups.
Capturing value from technological innovation
In today’s business environment technological innovation by itself is not sufficient to guarantee success in the market. Many companies who pioneered great innovations eventually failed commercially because they were not able to translate those innovations into profits. To innovate successfully and profitably, technological innovation needs to be combined with a fully-fledged technology strategy.
In this module you will learn how to bridge this gap by integrating knowledge at the crossroad between technology management and business and corporate strategy, offering a guide on how to capture value from technological innovation.
This module complements the repertoire of innovation courses taught in the program – which focus on the innovation development process - by focusing instead on the complementary steps that allow companies to integrate technological innovation in a more comprehensive strategic plan.
- Understand the core sources of competitive advantage in technology-based contexts
- Understand how to navigate technology-based environments
- Understand ecosystems
- Understand competitive strategies in technology-based environments
- Understand technology leveraging strategies (vertical, horizontal, geographical)
- Understand technology-based M&As.
Cass Entrepreneurship Fund Project
This module will build on your knowledge and teach you to apply it to specific, real-life business problems. The challenge, that will be your consulting project, will come from Cass Entrepreneurship Fund (CEF) or from its portfolio companies. If it is a portfolio company, the firm you work with may be a high growth start-up. Your client may be looking to you to add value by developing important market research around sourcing new revenues, developing business structures for start-ups, marketing products and services or identifying future investment opportunities. You will need to consider how to apply many of the business and management models and techniques that you have learned in earlier modules.
Having completed the consulting project you will have a greater understanding of the kinds of problems that businesses face, and how consultants try to identify potential solutions to these challenges. You will be able to draw upon your knowledge of having completed this process with potential future employees.
- Apply your MBA learning to real business development issues of a venture capital fund or its portfolio companies
- You will need to observe and reflect on your knowledge, experience, and the data and knowledge you gain from your project company in order to respond to question(s) or tasks as set by the company.
- Demonstrate how to scope a consulting project and clearly identify what can and can’t be done within the time-frame and other constraints.
- Apply theories and methodologies learned in the first term of the MBA in a practical way.
- Analyse the business problem using appropriate research methodologies from different disciplines.
- Source and collect data about market trends, potential competitors, alternative solutions, and other information relevant to your consulting project.
- Use the time efficiently to meet as a group, and coordinate a plan for undertaking research and reporting back.
Design thinking is a human-centred innovation process that combines creative and design activities to deliver more innovative solutions, from objects and products to services and business reorganisations. Organisations are increasingly turning to it to solve problems in more sophisticated, design-oriented ways. The UK’s Design Council defines design as the process that shapes creative ideas to become practical and attractive propositions for users – creativity deployed to a specific end. Design represents a critical intersection between creativity and innovation – that without design, creative ideas be shaped to become the practical and attractive propositions that users need and want. In this module, students will learn about and experience different design thinking activities, understand how design thinking processes can be used to channel creative outcomes, and learn about how to initiate and support creative design thinking in organisations.
This elective is suitable for all students of management who are willing to explore softer aspects of problem solving, from emotions to aesthetics. All will be active co-producers of original knowledge, rather than recipients of pre-packaged knowledge.
- Understand the core principles and models of design thinking
- Understand the intersection between creative thinking and design
- Acquire relevant knowledge of the processes and techniques used for design thinking.
Innovation and entrepreneurship
The module aims to provide knowledge and practical tools for the management of innovation. This is a complex organisational process in which new products, services and technology are brought to the market from an idea or a lab.
- Understand the new product development process. How do organisations introduce new products? How is the idea developed and processed? Who talks to whom inside the company? How do we manage successful product development projects?
- Be introduced to technology management. How can we organise and fund R&D? What is the role and practice of patenting and licensing? How can we sell and/or buy technology?
- Understand the distinguishing characteristics of innovative organisations (regarding external communications, leadership, strategy, creativity and structure)
- Be introduced to issues regarding the launch and the post‐launch marketing campaign supporting new products and services.
Intrapreneurship involves acting like an entrepreneur within an organisation to bring about change/innovation in products and capabilities. Intrapreneurs bring about change, are important value creators for the business, and have been key to the competitive success of major organisations such as Google, 3M, and Virgin. To change the organisation from within, they need to develop skills in mobilising top management support, and the ability to tap into wider social networks for ideas and advice. A distinctive feature of intrapreneurs is that they drive change without authority. They are therefore crucial in bringing about innovation and change from the bottom or middle of the organisation.
- Understand the need for intrapreneurship in responding to major organisational challenges
- Demonstrate knowledge of the different dimensions of effective intrapreneurial behaviour
- Show awareness of the organisational barriers to intrapreneurship and how they can be overcome, including by the effective use of novel ideas
- Understand the role of social networks in supporting intrapreneurial change and innovation
New venture creation
Many EMBA and MBA students elect to create their own business after finishing their degree course. The process of developing a new venture involves testing the commercialisation of a business idea and choosing the best options for developing the business, including: assembling resources; protecting intellectual property; developing the business model; identifying and targeting the market and attracting funding.
This module equips you with the knowledge you require to develop and refine your business creation strategy and provides an academic underpinning to the process.
The aim of this module is to provide you with the broad knowledge and understanding of the entrepreneurial and innovation agenda, the need for innovation and all aspects of the new venture creation process including feasibility testing, marketing financial forecasting and securing finance. You will be expected to come to this practical programme with a business idea which you intend to develop. Your business concept plan will be reviewed prior to the start of the formal teaching of the module to ensure its suitability. At the end of this module you will be able to produce a comprehensive business plan so you can then launch a business.
- The entrepreneurial environment
- The innovation process
- The appropriate business models for commercialisation of business idea
- Financial forecasting
- The sources of funding and the investment process
- IP protection
- The business planning process.
Strategies of fast track venturing
At some point in their careers most MBA graduates will be involved in managing in a fast growth situation. This course is designed to help you explore the decisions you will face during your involvement and on successful completion of the module you will be better prepared to contribute to new venture success.
Your exposure to this type of situation could happen because of a venturing process either within an existing business (intrapreneurship) or through a start-up (entrepreneurship). Good examples include Easy Jet (a start-up by Cass Business School graduate Stelios Hajinanidos in the fast moving low cost airline market), Egg Bank (an internal venture founded by fellow MBA students in the Prudential in the fast moving internet banking business), Mondex (the cash card started up by NatWest bank and now owned by Master Card).
- Understand the important methods by which high-velocity firms are formed, valued and financed
- Appreciate the important different business models for running a high technology business
- Understand some of the key factors needed to start and scale one's own business in a high velocity environment
- Integrate venturing ideas with theories relating to business strategy.
Accounting and Finance electives
Advanced corporate finance
The course equips you with the skills needed to recognise financial and strategy-related situations you might come across as an advisor or senior manager.
- Gain a detailed knowledge of valuation skills
- Understand deal mechanics and structuring issues
- Understand the impact of financial decisions on corporate strategy
- Learn to apply these tools under real life conditions.
Applied corporate finance
You will explore topics beyond the theories learned in the core finance module. You will acquire the skills to apply theoretical tools and methodologies to real life situations by placing particular emphasis on outlining the problems and difficulties inherent in the tools and methodologies and ways to get around them.
The key issues in corporate finance are financing (How should we finance the investment projects we choose to undertake?) and valuation (How do we distinguish between good investment projects and bad ones?). These will be the main themes of the course.
- Understand and value the cost of financing strategies available to a company
- Understand and develop models for cash flow forecasts and conduct sensitivity analysis and to understand the key drivers of such models
- Understand key business questions, such as what form of investments a firm should take and how to finance these investments
- Engage in finance discussions to answer the needs of their companies
- Understand the different types of financing instruments (debt/equity/hybrids).
Applied financial analysis for managers and investors
This module aims to help you develop hands-on expertise in applied financial analysis; developing both general skills as well as skills specific to certain sectors in finance. It also helps to integrate and extend learning gathered in previous modules (such as financial reporting, financial statement analysis and corporate valuation) without however posing any strict pre-requisites to take this elective.
You will benefit from taking this elective if you are expecting to work directly with financial information in Excel, or to supervise those doing this kind of work.
- Understanding how practitioners utilise Excel for financial analysis
- Learn how financial techniques for project and investment appraisal are applied in practice
- Link your knowledge of accounting / financial reporting to the practice of building a budget and a corporate forecast model
- Understand the limitations of applied financial analysis in Excel and the most common pitfalls.
Behavioural Finance is a hot topic among academics as well as practitioners. The main paradigm in Finance is that the financial markets are efficient. Thus the main assumption behind the valuation models we teach is that the financial decision makers are rational. Behavioural finance introduces work in the psychology of decision making in finance and argues that human nature is prone to bias and this can be extended to financial decision making. Once we move away from the idea that market participants are rational and are able to process knowledge logically then the efficient market hypothesis cannot hold true in its purest form.
- Recognise and understand the major issues in behavioural finance. These include biases, which frequently occur in financial decision-making such as optimism, mental framing, over-reaction, trend-chasing, conservatism and anchoring of expectations
- Appreciate the practical understanding of cognitive psychology in a financial domain
- Appreciate modern theory of finance on asset valuation
- Appreciate the experience of practitioners on the use of modern finance theory and related problems/possible solutions.
Global Real Estate Markets
Real estate (land and structures upon it) is the biggest global store of wealth, worth more than equity and bond markets combined. It is typically the largest asset owned by a household, and on the balance sheet of a company, and the most common form of collateral for loans. In the context of the Dubai EMBA real estate has special significance. It has been a lead sector in the (non-oil) development of Gulf state economies. It has been the main engine of the recent massive cyclical upswing and downturn in Dubai. For the cash-rich sovereign wealth funds across the Gulf, real estate is a major target for their outward investment.
It is therefore very difficult to pursue a career in business or finance without having to deal with real estate whether that is through the true value of real estate on the balance sheet value of a target company in a merger, the credit risk of a bank with a large exposure to property loans, or the impact of property cycles on an emerging economy.
- A basic working knowledge of the most important aspects of real estate as an investment asset.
- For those who intend to work in general business and finance, it provides the basis to understand the real estate issues they are likely to encounter.
- For those who intend to specialise in real estate as investors, fund managers or lenders, the elective will serve as the foundation for further development.
International Financial Management
International Financial Management enhances the online options available to students, giving them greater flexibility.
This module provides you with an understanding of the international financial environment in which businesses operate and looks at the way business source manage and invest funds.
- The objectives of international financial management.
- The architecture of the international financial system
- The nature of exchange rates and exchange rate regimes
- Corporate foreign exchange risk
- Corporate foreign exchange risk management
- Sourcing funds internationally
- Financing working capital and foreign subsidiaries
- Intra-company financial dealings
- The relationship between international finance and other disciplines
- Understand the development and shape of the international financial infrastructure
- Have knowledge of international sources of corporate funding and their characteristics
- Understand the nature of the management & investment of corporate funds internationally
- Understand financial management in the context of international business generally.
Investment strategy and practice
Practice and theory rarely mirror each other. Whilst students learn a lot in the classroom during core courses about theory, there is always a need to develop good practice and rehearse the theory as it is applied in reality.
This module aims to bring investment management and strategic level asset allocation into real life, encouraging you to rehearse skills that will be important in your future careers
The course aims to bring financial theory and investment practice together. It aims to engage you in discussion about the fundamental concepts of traditional finance and challenge this against the observed behaviour of investors.
It will explore and educate you in both how and why, in practice, different investment funds and approaches are put together and illustrate why investors should critically analyse and understand their own needs before setting their investment strategy.
Islamic banking, finance and insurance
This module aims to introduce you to the fundamentals of Islamic banking, finance and insurance industry. It focuses on making a case for Islamic finance industry and its development as a viable alternative financial system.
- The theoretical basis and underlying concepts of Islamic banking, finance and Insurance
- The origin, history, and current status of Islamic banking and finance industry
- Key Islamic financial principles and the core contracts
- Islamic Capital Market Products
- Islamic Insurance(Takaful)
- Issues in regulation and governance of Islamic financial institutions
- Show appreciation for the potential and future growth of Islamic Financial institutions.
To impart a thorough understanding of how private equity functions as an asset class, what are the different sub‐classes which it contains, how its returns are earned, and how these may be measured and analysed.
- Be able to model and analyse buyout returns
- Be able to model and analyse venture returns
- Have a thorough understanding of the drivers of returns in the different private equity categories
- Be able to segment PE funds by size, sector, stage and geography
- Know how to plan and implement a PE fund programme
- Be familiar with the main documentation used in the PE industry.
Mergers and acquisitions
This course focuses on the topics you need to know for a world where M&A is an integral part of the strategic and financial business landscape. It takes a global perspective, not focussed on any one market or industry although the course spends more time discussing the financial services industry.
The aim of the course is to familiarise you with various aspects of M&A in order to be able to:
- Understand the role of M&A in the life of a corporation
- Understand how to apply valuation techniques learned elsewhere
- Be familiar with the various techniques used in the different stages of a merger or an acquisition (including post-merger issues)
- Understand the alternatives to M&A
This is a multidisciplinary course that takes a general management and strategic approach to M&A, but necessarily incorporates the financial, organisational / individual behaviour and legal / regulatory aspects of M&A as well.
- Become comfortable, if not fluent, in the topic of Mergers & Acquisitions.
- Have an understanding of the blend of strategic and financial concepts applied to M&A.
- Full recognition of the impact on organisations and people of corporate restructurings.
The wealth management industry
In this module, you will explore in detail the concepts that underlie private client and institutional wealth management as well as the governance framework that practitioners follow. The module places emphasis on active management, where the investment manager seeks to render higher performance than the markets, as against passive management where the objective is to replicate market performance.
- Have a good understanding of the variety of firms that provide wealth management services to private individuals and institutions and of their internal structure and governance;
- You should be able to analyse why and how different firms are structured depending on the characteristics of their wealth management offer;
- Have a grasp of the various concepts behind active investment management;
- Based on the characteristics, investment goals and risk profile of both retail and institutional clients, you should be able to argue in favour of suitable investment portfolios and create appropriate models;
- Obtain an understanding of the need for sound internal governance procedures and learn how regulation seeks to promote corporate and individual practitioner behaviour so as to safeguard the interests of clients;
- You should be able to articulate why certain behaviours that run counter to sound governance may result in detriment to the client, the firm, or even the sound functioning of the industry as a whole.
Topics on Derivatives
Topics on Derivatives has been created to enhance the online options available to students, giving them greater flexibility.
The aim of the course is to help students understand the sources of risk in corporations and financial institutions, and to provide a clear understanding of the nature and practical use of modern derivative instruments, both exchange traded and over the counter, in managing these risks.
The course is not a course in how to price derivatives, but basic quantitative and arithmetical skills are expected. The course is predicated on the view that the modern business manager should understand the nature and use of derivatives but is unlikely to implement such strategies without expert advice from banks or specialist firms. It is that dialogue which this course is intended to facilitate, along with an understanding of where derivatives use may be dangerous and even potentially destructive to the corporation.
- Understand sources of risk for corporate and financial institutions: credit risk and market risk
- Understand the nature and design of modern derivative instruments and markets
- Understand the principles of hedging interest rate, foreign exchange, equity and credit risk with options, futures, swaps, and forwards
- Understand the rationale for of credit default swaps and their role in the global financial crisis
- Understand the limitations and dangers of using derivatives.
- Avoid pitfalls in the use of derivatives.
Supply Chain, Finance and Risk
The module covers various aspects of supply chain finance, including trade credit, working capital management, cash conversion cycle and risk management. The module aims to provide you with a profound understanding of the role of finance and risk management in supply chains, including the specific techniques that are used by industry, banks and investors.
- Conceptualise and evaluate the current problems and/or new insights in supply chain finance and risk management
- Define supply chain finance problems from different perspectives, including suppliers and retailers
- Assess the different types of structure that can be used to finance trade over short, medium or long-term periods
- Evaluate the solutions available for financing specific goods and/or products as they move from origin to destination along the supply chain
- Identify key supply chain risks and assess risk mitigation strategies.
Branding and advertising
This modules aims to help you to understand the economic contribution that advertising can make to an organisation and the extent to which advertising can provide companies with a substantive source of differentiation.
It will demonstrate what advertising communications can achieve for a company and its offerings both in the short and long term. This entails analysing the specific financial contribution can make and more generally how advertising can influence customer choice. In particular, the course looks at the influence of branding and how advertising can contribute to building brands.
- Make a significant analytic contribution to a subject that for many organisations makes a critical contribution to their competitive performance.
Digital marketing and social media
This module, provides clarity on the definition of digital marketing. It describes the structural properties across which digital and electronic resources can differ and reviews some wider considerations in the development of digital marketing strategy.
An important part of digital marketing is social media, both in terms of interaction avenues for customers as well as new and evolving native advertising platforms. We discuss how the approach to digital marketing has evolved from accumulating to selecting traffic.
- Demonstrate a critical understanding of a marketing model for the internet—digital marketing strategy.
- Evaluate the role of digital media and social media in the marketing mix and how it is challenging established marketing theories
- Demonstrate a conceptual understanding of the necessary steps for a successful internet campaign.
- Critically evaluate when and how digital and social media marketing can be best integrated into a marketing mix.
- Demonstrate an understanding of the differences between advertising, native advertising, and influencer marketing.
- Be equipped to keep an interaction going online.
Strategic marketing in action: exploring location brands - Las Vegas
This elective will allow participants on MBA programmes to apply their knowledge in several of the core MBA subjects to a number of strategic, financial, operational and marketing challenges. The elective will take place in an environment in which the operating models of organisations can be examined, compared and contrasted by students. Where several global resort operators compete for customers attracted by a location brand, businesses must use differentiated value propositions, strategies and segmentation. You will undertake the evaluation of brand identity, brand experience and brand equity in their assessment of strategic marketing effectiveness as different strategic, operational and marketing choices made by resort operators to deliver customer value and organisational performance.
Resorts or locations which allow at least 3 businesses to be actively compared may be considered as a suitable location for the Strategic Marketing elective. One sample location might be Las Vegas where several resort operators in Las Vegas offering strongly differentiated products under the location brand to a market of more than 37m visitors per annum.
The aims of the elective are to:
- Boost your strategic thinking about role of brands in a competitive landscape
- Gain insights into drivers of customer value, behaviour and choice, and how alignment of different stakeholders, such as employees and partners is necessary to deliver differentiated value propositions in branded customer experiences
- Become familiar with the application of world-class marketing metrics in customer experience management and organisational performance
- Understand the financial drivers and challenges in the hospitality industry
- Reflect on the issues of CSR and sustainability.
Strategic valuation and management of customer relationships
There is a current revolution in marketing, sales and customer service. Many would say that it is IT-led! To be competitive, organisations are needing systems that:
- Provide ever better information on markets and customers
- Enable the proactive and targeted use of the most cost-effective media (typically mail, the Internet, telephone and face-to-face)
- Support competitive sales, marketing and customer service processes across extended enterprises.
In business all marketing, sales and customer service managers are being called to explain how they plan to leverage the use of IT and many are becoming involved in projects. IT directors and managers are being tasked with developing and implementing CRM systems strategies. The major consultancies and systems houses are actively recruiting in this area and there is already a skills shortage.
This very lively and practical elective is essential for all MBAs planning a career in marketing, sales, consultancy or business systems.
- Understand the CRM systems landscape, the systems available now and the major current technological developments
- Have an informed and realistic expectation about the business impact of CRM technology investments.
General Management electives
China - international study tour
The aim of the Cass MBA international electives is to give you practical insights into how businesses operate within cultural, economic and regulatory environments that are very different from those in North America and Western Europe.
The Cass Business School MBA Study Tour to China will focus on the outlook for China with its burgeoning economy, the impact its growth will have on business and the ways in which companies, large and small, have made the most or can make the most, out of the huge market potential it has to offer. The key learning objective is to develop a better understanding of China and its business environment with the companies’ focus on excellence and to apply the learning outcomes of the core MBA courses and the electives to a specific international context.
The objectives of the programme are to:
- Learn about the institutional, political, socio-economic and business environment of China
- Gain real life exposure to a variety of Chinese companies from different sectors and functions to understand how they achieve excellence
- Apply MBA learning and skills to a real international business issue of excellence within the organization and across organizations.
- Understand the institutional, political, social and cultural dynamic of doing business in China
- Recognise the importance of China in global business terms
Consulting to management
This elective examines the methodology, processes and practice of organisational analysis and consulting. It includes an understanding of organisations and their role as the subject of a consultancy, as the client for a consultancy in a business discipline area and as a host to an internal consultant. It also investigates qualitative and quantitative consulting methodologies and their philosophies in the context of the scientific method. Consulting from different disciplinary perspectives is examined, as are implementation strategies and post-consultancy follow-up.
- Provide a general overview of the role of organisational consultancy in society and organisations
- Analyse and discuss skills and roles played by consultants and clients working through the various phases of the consulting cycle
- Demonstrate familiarity with a variety of different types and models of consulting
- Explain issues arising in managing a consultancy practice
- Undertake an investigation, involving data collection, drafting a report, communicating findings and conclusions in oral and written form
- Assimilate and critically appreciate relevant research and theory in the academic literature and 'best practice' in practitioner writings
- Apply knowledge to draw conclusions, present a reasoned argument, and derive appropriate recommendations.
Cuba – an economy in transition
This intensive tour is designed to immerse students in an area of the world facing radical changes. It will offer a rare opportunity to witness the rebirth of what was a flourishing economy before the 1959 Revolution and the subsequent embargo imposed by the USA and other countries in the world.
The program includes field trips, visits and lectures by Cuban and other Faculty economists, subject matter experts, industry leaders and political officials. Students will explore a number of topics including: Cuban current affairs; Cuban regulation of foreign investment and business activities; the Cuban economy and reforms; as well as the direct experience of what sustainability and social impact mean for that particular zone of the world.
- Learn about the institutional, political, socio-economic and business environment in Cuba;
- Gain cross-cultural experience: you will experience ways of doing business from within an emerging market economy.
- Understand the challenges facing business within that geographic region.
- Apply MBA learning and skills to international business issues
- Critically evaluate strengths and weaknesses of the Cuban economy and identify threats and opportunities
- Understand the challenges and opportunities that arise from integrating sustainability into business strategies.
This module aims to give you an insight into the processes and practices that contribute to individuals becoming leaders and enacting their leadership roles. These include psychological characteristics, organisational procedures designed to identify and develop leadership talent, and factors that impact on leadership effectiveness and differential progression to leadership roles. A key aim is to encourage you to reflect on your own leadership journey so far and apply learning to identify and navigate your future leadership path.
- Understand the strengths and weaknesses of different leadership theories
- Understand the factors that influence leadership emergence and leader effectiveness at work
- Apply this understanding to your own leadership journeys
- Recognise the significance of power and politics in leadership roles.
Managerial Decision Making
The aim is to present the various models and tools that are available to practitioners and rehearse the organisational and managerial situations and contexts in which they are relevant and effective. The value of an interdisciplinary approach to decision-making will be stressed. The aim is to build capability in the appropriate use of these models based on a thorough understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the tools presented.
- Awareness of the value of the operations management approach to managerial decision-making
- Appreciation of the value of a systematic and inter-disciplinary approach to managerial decision-making
- Ability to recognise situations where particular problem-solving techniques can be applied effectively
- Ability to apply the following in order to improve the systematic manner in which problems are addressed and resulting decisions are made: decision theory, utility and risk analysis, heuristic and bias management, conflict models, project planning and control, inventory management, simulation
- Awareness of the relative strengths and weaknesses of the above approaches to decision-making
- Appreciation of the power of the operations management approach to decision-making when applied to real management problems and be able to effectively interpret the results of consequent analyses.
Managing strategic change
The purpose of this elective would be to extend the learning from the core strategy courses into the area of managing strategic change. Strategists need to have skills in both formulating and implementing strategies. For planned strategies to become a reality, rather than dusty reports on shelves, strategists need to be able to link strategic thinking through to action. The core courses focus primarily on analytical skills associated with formulation and less on strategic action. With its focus on managing strategic change, the purpose of this elective is to give you an overview of different theories on strategic change, but also to introduce you to some practical frameworks that can be applied in organisations to translate strategies into action and deliver strategic change.
This elective aims to give you both a theoretical and practical understanding of the issues involved in managing strategic change. In particular it emphasises the need for the use of context sensitive approaches to change in organisations. By the end of the elective you should be capable of putting your theoretical knowledge into practice within an organisation.
By the end of this module you should have:
- An appreciation of the different theories on strategic change
- An understanding of tools and frameworks that can help with the design of context sensitive change
- Knowledge of how to link strategic thinking through to strategic action to help deliver change
- An appreciation of the need for context sensitive approaches to strategic change
- An appreciation of the issues facing change agents when managing complex change
- An understanding of the issues involved in managing / leading transitions.
Leading change in a complex world - South Africa
The South Africa elective will focus on how organisations have managed change in this increasingly complex and highly diverse business and cultural environment. Key issues highlighted will include the challenges of managing political transformation, improving the quality of service delivery, internationalizing businesses, making positive contributions to job creation, and combating the pandemic of HIV/AIDS.
The elective has a very clear purpose to learn about leading change in a complex world. South Africa provides a fascinating and important context for exploring this subject, with complexity in all aspects of society, great examples of inspiring leadership and very live issues to resolve. The elective will immerse you in this multifaceted world with visits and speakers from all sizes of business, political leaders, workers' representatives and community projects. You will be supported in making sense of your experiences through conversations with each other, as well as the elective leaders. It will give you the opportunity to learn about leading change, but more critically about yourself as a leader and a citizen.
This elective will involve a five day trip to Johannesburg and Cape Town. You will be required to attend lectures, site visits and networking events.
- The Impact of Black Economic Empowerment
- Managing HIV/AIDS in the Workplace
- First World Technology from a Third World Continent
- Best Practice Strategies in Internationalisation
- Strategies in Inward Investments
- Political Risk and Economic Outlook.
Leading in Challenging Situations
Leading in Challenging Situations has been created to develop and improve the students’ leadership decision-making skills in challenging situations by increasing their self-awareness and self-reflective capabilities, enhancing their leadership and team effectiveness. This elective will link more efficiently the current expeditions to the credit structure of the programme, and will also provide a more solid academic framework to the Explorer’s Mindset as a characteristic theme of Cass Business School’s MBA programmes.
The module may include an additional expedition linked to the International Consultancy Weeks, but these expeditions are already offered to students not for credit.
This 4-day immersive module aims to expose you to practical tactics in order to scale your venture. This course is for start-up founders and senior managers who have achieved product-market fit and seek to lead the rapid growth and change in their organisations.
Through a combination of hands-on workshops, case studies, role playing, lectures by faculty and expert entrepreneurs, you will acquire a deep and critical understanding of the main areas that will deliver tangible results and ensure the future of your company.
- Understand why and how ventures scale up
- Gain exposure to scale up tactics
- Understand how to manage transitions
- Understand the innovation process while growing
- Apply MBA learning and skills to scale up issues.
Storytelling in business
Storytelling has been with us for as long as the existence of humans but it is only more recently that its practical merits have sparked interest from academics and practitioners around the globe. For some time psychologists and neuroscientists have been fascinated by the human fondness for storytelling. More recently, business academia has turned its attention to the subject, leading to published research by a number of business schools on the topic.
These research papers confirm the effectiveness of storytelling as a powerful tool in various business disciplines, including leadership, change management, marketing and corporate communications. Beyond published research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has developed a knowledge management tool based on storytelling techniques, and Lincoln Business School has run a storytelling conference.
- An appreciation of the different theories of storytelling in business
- Knowledge of pyramid thinking and other tools on how to create and structure stories to demonstrate that storytelling is not an art but can be applied as a modern business tool
- An understanding of tools and frameworks that can help with the design and implementation of storytelling
- Knowledge of the four stories each company has to have in their repertoire
- An understanding of the issues involved in building stories and using them in a corporate environment.
Succeeding in professional and financial services
This module is designed for any professional who works in, or who wants to work in, professional and financial services firms, in sectors such as consulting, investment banking, accounting, corporate finance, law, advertising, actuarial, insurance, risk advisory, architecture, and engineering.
This module will provide you with the insights you need to succeed in this environment and give you a competitive advantage over your colleagues who have not had the benefit of taking this unique module (Harvard is the only other MBA programme that offers a similar module). It will help you learn about yourself and your (potential) employer to help you find the right environment in which you can be successful.
- Critically examine the realities of day-to-day life inside these firms
- Make the transition from being an expert to being a manager of experts
- Lead autonomous professionals at all levels, how to motivate and influence them
- Understand how to become a trusted advisor to challenging clients
- Develop your own internal and external networks of influence
- Explore ethical conflicts between commercial and professional imperatives
- Navigate internal politics and keeping yourself safe and successful
- Grow a firm from start-up, managing subsequent growth and global expansion
- Exploit the benefits and address problems associated with different models of governance and ownership
- Manage mergers and large scale change management projects
- Evaluate the performance of fellow professionals, taking account of professional behaviours as well as billings
- Develop strategic insight and organisational understanding into current and future employers
- Understand how to succeed as a professional and as a person.
The Cass MBA London Symposium
The London Symposium is an elective looking at the economic drivers of London as a commercial hub and its influence in international business. The elective will use Cass' unique location and network to create insights into how business is conducted and impacts the UK, European and global economy.
Key themes will include:
- The influence and importance of London within international business context
- An overview of business opportunities in London and the challenges and opportunities of setting up a new business in London
- How London markets itself as a location for business
- Build knowledge and insight into key sectors influencing the London economy.
Company visits are also included.
International study tour - UAE
The International Symposium enables you to learn about the management, finance and cultural issues facing businesses within the Gulf Region, and Dubai in particular.
This elective pulls together the theoretical learning of the core and elective courses into the business environment, providing examples of how business operates within different cultures, the regulations and issues facing start-ups as well as the broader socio-economic issues. The module will explore different business sectors such as professional services, finance, manufacturing and property.
- Use the knowledge gained to influence your own organisations in decisions regarding the region
- Understand the issues facing business within the Gulf region
- Understand the underlying reasons for success and failure of company's within the region
- Understand the socio-economic issues facing regional economies
- Be able to investigate the importance of specific industries to the region and how they will perform in the future
- Understand the importance of the region to the economic wellbeing of the broader world economy
- Realise the extent and limitations of business potential within the region
- Understand the issues facing businesses setting up and operating within the region
- Contribute to your own organisation in setting up and operating elements of their business within the region report.
You must attend each session in order to pass this elective.
Tech for Social Good study tour - Kenya
Tech for Social Good study tour – Kenya has been created to provide an international elective option in Africa. It will allow students to:
- Learn about the fundamental role of technology. In particular, digital - to tackle social challenges in a variety of fields “like healthcare, education, employment, democratic participation, migration, and the environment” (Nesta, 2017)
- Understand the key similarities and differences between technology for social good in developed vs developing countries
- Experience real-live technological solutions in the booming sub-Saharan impact entrepreneurship scene.
This module includes a study tour to Kenya.
In addition to the above electives, Cass Business School now offers business executives in the region the opportunity to sample a module from the Executive MBA programme in Dubai. The modules are run in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and offer an ideal opportunity to network with current students and our world- class faculty. Participation will help you assess whether the Cass EMBA is the right programme for you.
For admission, please complete the sample module registration form [PDF] and return along with your updated CV.