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The University of Southampton
Southampton Business SchoolPostgraduate study

MSc Digital Business (1 year)

Learn from industry leaders at the cutting edge of the digital economy sector on this innovative Master’s degree. Informed by our academics’ unrivalled research strengths in the field, it will prepare you to start your own digital business or implement digitally enabled innovative practices within existing organisations.

Due to high demand, this course is now closed to international applicants. We have a range of other related postgraduate courses that you may want to consider. The course remains open for UK and EU applicants.

Not sure if you classify as an international applicant? Check our fee status page.

Introducing your degree

New technologies have changed the way we do business, with digital platforms such as Uber and Airbnb becoming household names. This cutting-edge MSc will equip you for a career in the fast-growing digital and sharing economy sector. It draws on Southampton’s world-leading expertise in business studies and web science. Through modules from these disciplines you’ll gain the theoretical knowledge and practical skills you will need to launch your own digital business, work in a dynamic start-up environment or apply new digital business models within an established organisation. In addition, you’ll have an unrivalled opportunity to engage with the latest digital business trends and developments through talks and masterclasses, delivered by business leaders.

There has been a huge growth in the use of digital economy business models, with companies such Uber, Airbnb, BlaBlaCar and flourishing in recent years. Whether your aim is to launch your own digital start-up or help established businesses take advantage of new technological platforms, the MSc in Digital Business will provide you with the latest insights into this expanding and rapidly changing sector.

No technical expertise is required to join the course – we welcome applicants from a range of academic and professional backgrounds.


The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

Programme Structure

This one-year, full-time course takes an interdisciplinary approach, drawing together taught modules from Business and Web Science. Later in the course you’ll also do a dissertation.

The compulsory modules will give you grounding in new digital businesses creation, growth and strategic organisation. They include the exciting Digital Entrepreneurship modules, which include talks and masterclasses given by the founders and leaders of successful digital businesses and start-ups, keeping you up to date with the latest concepts and business models. This module is especially useful for those wishing to launch a start-up or work for an emerging digital business.

You'll learn how to learn a digital business, and also how digital business models and platforms can be integrated into established organisations, helping them to take advantage of the possibilities offered by new technologies.

Other compulsory modules will expose you to current industry thinking, teach you practical skills and bring fresh perspectives on digital issues. For example:

  • The Web Architecture and Web Applications modules include hands-on experience of Web application design and basic programming skills.
  • A module on Interdisciplinary Thinking will encourage you to think in unconventional ways about digital and Web issues by considering them from the perspective of different disciplines. Past students have explored topics such as the potential use of internet memes for social benefit and barriers to the adoption of the semantic Web across different industries.

In the second semester you’ll choose from a range of optional modules. These will enable you to enhance your business knowledge and/or specialise further in Web science by exploring topics such as open data innovation or semantic web technologies.

With guidance from our experienced academic team, you’ll have the freedom to choose a dissertation topic that will help you to achieve your career goals. For example, you could use your project to progress your own digital enterprise business idea.

Research-led learning

A critical mass of digital and sharing economy expertise within Southampton Business School means that our research output in this field is unmatched in most other UK universities. For example, programme leader Dr Vadim Grinevich specialises in the digital platform economy and has led projects on upscaling in the sharing economy and business-to-business sharing economy models. His studies enable him to bring emerging concepts and real-world examples to his teaching.

You’ll also benefit from the University’s world-leading strengths in computer and Web science.

Industry links

This degree offers a high level of engagement with industry thanks to academics’ connections with digital entrepreneurs and businesses. For example, links with digital platform economy business initiatives, such as UKShareCo and ShareNL in the Netherlands, enable us to run joint projects with the digital economy sector and tap into a network of practitioners who contribute to the programme.

Exposure to leading practitioners will also offer you the opportunity to find out more about possible careers and develop your professional networks.

View the programme specification for this course for 2019/20 entrants

View the programme specification for this course for 2020/21 entrants

Key Facts

Combines specialist knowledge in Business with the University’s world-class expertise in Web science.

Innovative modules include masterclasses with leading digital business leaders.

Covers the latest digital business developments, including the sharing economy and peer-to-peer marketplace.

Designed to develop essential professional skills and cross-disciplinary skills, including proposal writing, pitching and programming.

Programme Leader

Typical entry requirements

English Language Proficiency (IELTS)
Overall Listening Reading Writing Speaking
6.5 6.0 6.5 6.5 6.0

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

Bachelor’s degree

2.1 Degree No specific subject requirements.

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. The University’s Recognition of Prior Learning Policy can be accessed via the link below:

Selection process

The University’s Admissions Policy applies equally to all programmes of study. The following are the typical entry criteria to be used for selecting candidates for admission. The University’s approved equivalencies for the requirements listed below will also be acceptable. The entry criteria for our programmes are reviewed annually by the Faculty.

Pre-sessional courses

Our pre-sessional English language courses are the best way to prepare for study at the University of Southampton. The courses will improve your capability and confidence in using English language in your studies.

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

Typical course content

The selection of compulsory and optional modules are listed below.

Year 1

Semester One
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Semester Two
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).

One option per block

Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).

One option per block

Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Core [?]
A core module is a module which must be taken and passed.
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).

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).

Tuition fees

List of tuition fees for this course and it's variations
Course TitleAwardYear of entryMode of studyUK/EUInternational
Digital BusinessMSc2020Full-time£11,950£20,728
View the full list of course fees


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:

OtherApproved Calculators Candidates 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.
StationeryYou will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationary items, e.g. pens, pencils, notebooks, etc). Any specialist stationery items will be specified under the Additional Costs tab of the relevant module profile.
OtherTextbooks Where 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.
OtherComputer Discs Software Licenses Hardware Students are free to use computer lab facilities on Campus; Outside campus students are expected to use their own PCs, laptops, etc; The university provides free access to licenced software packages.
Printing and copyingIn most cases, written coursework such as essays; projects; 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.
FieldworkOptional Visits Some 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.

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

Our academics use a range of interactive teaching and learning methods. You’ll learn through lectures, masterclasses, group work, presentations and computer lab sessions, as well as written work and individual study.

To develop your professional skills as well as your subject knowledge, the modules include team exercises and practical assignments such as writing business proposals and pitching.

Assessment methods include written work, group assignments, computer-based exercises and exams.

Career and business development opportunities

You’ll have access to opportunities for career development and support within the Business School and in the wider University.

  • You could apply for a place on the University’s Business Innovation Programme, which offers the chance to work with a local company or charity on a real digital business issue, supported by a mentor from IBM.
  • If your aim is to set up your own digital enterprise, you can access advice and support through the Small Business Clinic. The Clinic is run by staff and students from the schools of business and law, including programme leader Dr Vadim Grinevich, and is supported by a local accountancy firm. It offers free initial advice, for example on legal, tax and compliance matters.

Student support

We want you to thrive academically and enjoy your student experience. There is plenty of support on offer should you need it, including Business School and University-wide services. You’ll learn in an informal and friendly environment and your personal academic tutor will be available to help with any course-related queries you may have.

Study locations

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