The University of Southampton
Southampton Business SchoolPostgraduate study

MSc Business Strategy and Innovation Management (1 year)

This masters degree covers the latest concepts in strategy and innovation, with a focus on business growth and sustainability issues. It will equip you with the knowledge and skills needed to develop and manage new products, services and business models in a range of sectors.

Introducing your degree

Innovation is crucial if businesses are to survive and thrive, and graduates with the skills to generate and implement new ideas are increasingly in demand in the private and public sectors. On this masters course you will explore different aspects of strategy and innovation and how they can be used to help companies become more competitive, to drive change in industries and to create new business opportunities. You’ll also look at how innovation impacts on the economy and society. The programme includes a forward-looking module, Trends in Strategy and Innovation, which will ensure you are up to date with the latest ideas and approaches. You will also learn about the strategic and management challenges of developing, implementing and marketing new products and services. The course content is underpinned by the extensive research expertise of our academics in the areas of business growth and sustainability – themes that are integrated throughout the programme.

Overview

Innovation is the fuel of companies’ competitive strategies; radical innovations can challenge established ways of working and revolutionise the business models of entire industries. 

This course examines strategy and innovation in the context of growth, including the growth of established companies through the introduction of new products, services and business models, as well as new business growth. It covers contemporary topics such as the sharing economy, disruptive technologies and service innovation concepts. There is also an emphasis on sustainability, including social, environmental and economic sustainability, reflecting current global trends. These themes also reflect the considerable research expertise of our staff, some of whom are world-leaders in their field.

We welcome applicants who have just completed their undergraduate studies as well as those with substantial professional experience who are looking to advance their current career or move into a new sector. The diversity of our student community adds another dimension to the learning experience, offering the opportunity to develop a global network.

Programme Structure

This is a one-year, full-time course. During the year you’ll study compulsory and optional modules and complete a dissertation.

The compulsory modules will introduce you to core strategy and innovation concepts and approaches. They cover topics including global strategies for growth, innovation and technology transfer and service innovation management. You’ll gain a sound understanding of the concept of business strategy, how it is developed and executed, and how this links to business growth via an innovation strategy. You’ll learn about the challenges of executing a growth strategy that includes the development, implementation and marketing of new products and services. You’ll also explore how strategy and innovation impact on the economy and wider society

Distinctive modules that are found on few other UK masters courses include:

  •  Current Trends in Strategy and Innovation, which will introduce you to the very latest research in the subject area of strategy and innovation. It explores contemporary topics such as current ideas around cities as centres of innovation.
  • Sustainable and Responsible Innovation, which emphasises the social and environmental aspects of innovation as well as economic sustainability

The course will also enhance your knowledge of key business functions, providing a foundation for your innovation skills. Compulsory modules cover specialist areas of marketing, for example, which is essential for business growth, while optional modules will enable you to understand more about areas such as HR and finance. You can also specialise by choosing modules on marketing, retailing in the digital age or entrepreneurship and new business venturing, which is particularly useful if you want to start your own business in the future.

You can tailor your learning further by choosing a dissertation topic that is industry-relevant and reflects your interests and career goals. A module on research methods will ensure you have the necessary skills to investigate your chosen topic, and you’ll receive support from an academic supervisor throughout the process. Previous projects have looked into the factors behind the success of innovative businesses spun out from the University, and how innovation affects the productivity of small businesses in Vietnam. You could also use the dissertation to develop your own business idea

Research-led learning

Our academics are active researchers who are involved in a range of projects within the Business School and the affiliated Centre for Inclusive and Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Their areas of expertise include a number of themes that directly relate to strategy and innovation.

  • One of the UK’s leading experts in the digital and sharing economy, Dr Vadim Grinevich has led projects on upscaling in the sharing economy and business-to-business sharing economy models. His research expertise and professional networks enable him to bring real-world case studies and the latest practice to his teaching. He leads the Service Innovation Module.
  • Dr Katia Pina’s research on knowledge-intensive business services offers opportunities for students with an interest in working for service firms such as large consulting firms such as Accenture, Deloitte and PwC. Her consulting and project management experience at Deloitte Consulting enhances our teaching through insights into business innovations in the service sector.
  • Dr David Baxter has a number of research interests relating to the way innovative products are brought to market. He has a particular interest in university-driven innovations, for example how research breakthroughs can be developed to form the basis of successful companies.
  • Programme leader Dr Pelin Demirel is an expert in digital entrepreneurship and small high-tech companies. She also conducts research into environmental sustainability and enterprise.
  • Professor Mine Karatas-Ozkan’s research focuses on the social and diversity aspects of entrepreneurship; she brings her insights into the Social Enterprise and Entrepreneurship module.
  • Professor Laura Costanzo’s research interests in social and sustainable entrepreneurship and strategy inform the Global Entrepreneurship module.

Industry links

Our academics are in close contact with businesses through their research, which often involves working with companies’ datasets and interviewing professionals. For example they have strong links with large retailers such as Amazon and Sainsbury’s and global players such as Rolls-Royce, 3M and Tom Cridland.

During the modules you’ll use case studies to explore innovative practice in contemporary businesses. You’ll also visit some of these businesses to see for yourself how they operate and talk to senior staff. For example, students recently visited a London branch of a Japanese restaurant chain that uses innovative ways to engage with and entertain its customers.

In addition, we invite guest lecturers from business to share their perspectives on innovation. One example is a talk from a representative of Arup, a large engineering and technical consultancy, about its innovative practices. You’ll also be able to attend relevant industry talks run by the department. 

The University’s own business incubation centre is another valuable resource; many students have collaborated with the start-ups and small high-tech businesses based at the centre to inform their dissertation projects.

Additional enterprise opportunities

There are opportunities for further development outside the course that will enable you to broaden your experience, further develop your skills and enhance your CV. These include UK and overseas summer workshops where students have the opportunity to work with expert staff and students from other universities

We also run competitions in collaboration with industry, such as a recent programme with Boeing that challenged students to come up with innovative ways to run aspects of its business. 

If you are interested in starting your own business, you can take advantage of services such as the Business School’s Small Business Clinic. Run by staff from the Business School and Southampton Law School, with input from local businesses, the Small Business Clinic offers training and the opportunity to work with a mentor from industry to test out your ideas and receive expert feedback.

View the programme specification document

Key Facts

Gain knowledge of strategy and innovation and develop essential management skills that can be applied in a range of industries and organisations.

Learn to develop and manage innovations that can be critical to the launch of start-ups or to the survival of established companies.

Includes a forward-looking module, Trends in Strategy and Innovation, that covers the latest developments in both fields.

Modules include guest speakers from industry and visits to innovative businesses to give you insights into real-world practice.

The course is informed by our leading expertise in areas such as digital innovation, new business models and sustainability.

You’ll receive personal tutoring throughout the whole academic year and beyond from academics who are experts in the field of strategy and innovation management.

Smalll Business Clinic

The small Business Clinic is run throughout the academic year by a voluntary group of Business and Law academics and students.

Programme Leader

Thumbnail photo of Damilola Teidi, Business School alumnus

“I went to the University looking to learn and gain great work experience in one year. I was able to achieve all of that and more.”

Damilola Teidi, Business School alumnus

Entry Requirements

Typical entry requirements

Bachelors degree

2:1 classification UK bachelors degree or equivalent

Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.

Acceptable subjects: A wide range of subjects accepted in Business, Economics, Science, Engineering, IT, Management and Marketing, Communication, Education, Political Science, and Sociology

Required module areas: Evidence of essay based study

Excluded subjects: English translation, Art/Performing Art, Vocational Studies

Work experience in a related field can compensate for degree subject/grades.

Pre-masters course

You are able to progress to this MSc programme via the University's Pre-masters programme.

Selection process

The University’s Admissions Policy, available at www.southampton.ac.uk/admissions_policy, applies equally to all programmes of study. These are the typical entry criteria to be used for selecting candidates for admission. The University’s approved equivalencies for the requirements listed will also be acceptable. The entry criteria for our programmes are reviewed annually by the Faculty. Those stated were correct as of July 2015. Applicants should refer to their specific offer conditions on their offer letter.

International applicants

If English is not your first language, you will need to demonstrate that you have reached a satisfactory standard in an approved English language test.

The following scores are accepted for direct entry:

•  IELTS 6.5 overall with 6.5 in reading and writing, 6.0 in listening and speaking

All tests must be no more than two years old at the time of enrolment.

For more information visit a list of equivalent English language tests that are also accepted.

If you do not quite meet our English language requirements for direct entry, you may be eligible to apply for one of our pre-sessional English language courses. Please visit the Centre for Language Studies website for further information.

Visit our International Office website or the NARIC website for further information on qualifications.

Recognition of prior learning (RPL)

If you have professional experience, or credit through prior learning at another institution, you may be eligible to use this experience against some of the programme requirements for period of study. You will need to present evidence that you have met the learning outcomes of the programme. Read the University’s Recognition of Prior Learning Policy.

This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.

Modules

Typical course content

All Core and Compulsory modules must be taken.

You must choose Option modules totalling 30 CATS/15 ECTS. 15 CATS/7.5 ECTS in Semester 1 and 15 CATS/7.5 ECTS in Semester 2. All Option modules are offered subject to availability and timetabling constraints.

MANG6095 Dissertation supervision starts in Semester 2 and should be submitted in September.

 

Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide or website).

Fees & funding

Tuition fees

Fees for postgraduate taught courses vary across the University. All fees are listed for UK, EU and international full-time and part-time students alphabetically by course name.

View the full list of course fees

Funding

Scholarships, bursaries, sponsorships or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

Explore funding opportunities

Costs associated with this course

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

There will also be further costs for the following, not purchasable from the University:

TypeDescription
StationeryYou will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationery items (eg pens, pencils, notebooks, etc). Any specialist stationery items will be specified under the Additional Costs tab of the relevant module profile.
BooksWhere a module specifies core texts these should generally be available on the reserve list in the library. However, due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source. Some modules suggest reading texts as optional background reading. The library may hold copies of such texts, or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module.
Printing and copyingIn most cases, written coursework such as essays, projects and dissertations are submitted online and by hard copy. The costs of printing a hard copy for submission of such coursework will be the responsibility of the student. The cost of photocopying will also be the responsibility of the student. For more information about University printing costs, visit www.southampton.ac.uk/isolutions/students/printing
TravelSome modules may include optional visits. You will normally be expected to cover the cost of travel and admission, unless otherwise specified in the module profile.
OtherCandidates may use calculators in the examination room only as specified by the University and as permitted by the rubric of individual examination papers. The University approved models are Casio FX-570 and Casio FX-85GT Plus. These may be purchased from any source and no longer need to carry the University logo.

In some cases you'll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at www.calendar.soton.ac.uk.

Career Opportunities

Your knowledge of strategic thinking and the innovation process, alongside your management capabilities, will mean you are well placed to go into any organisation that is interested in developing new products or business models. These could be small start-ups or large companies – one recent graduate has gone to work for Procter and Gamble in Vietnam, for example. 

This course is also excellent preparation if you are interested in starting your own business. One of our graduates started her own successful ride sharing business in Nigeria (GoMyWay.com) in Nigeria.

Learning & Assessment

Study locations

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