About this course
This full-time Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree at the University of Southampton will give you the confidence to stand out in the fast-moving business world. You'll learn to think strategically and gain essential management skills. You'll graduate with the knowledge to lead people and organisations to face the challenges of sustainability, innovation and change in today’s volatile business environment.
You'll learn from experts whose research directly informs the course content. Our academics will show you how to apply the latest thinking to real business problems through:
- business research
- ‘live’ client consultancy
- company visits
- international study trips
- exposure to senior business leaders
Highlights of the course include:
- a study trip to the Netherlands and Belgium
- a 'live' consultancy project in Brazil
- a business project with industry clients
- a leadership development programme (learn more in the careers section)
The programme includes 2 international trips: a study trip to Netherlands and Belgium, and a consultancy project in Brazil. These are another chance to apply your learning to practical business situations.
You’ll graduate with a wide range of business skills, the confidence to tackle problems and lead organisational change, and experience of working in an international, cross-cultural team. Our students come from a variety of professional backgrounds and many return to their sector with a view to taking on roles with greater managerial, strategic or leadership responsibilities.
Your course leader is Professor Peter Rodgers, Professor of Strategy and International Management and MBA Director within Southampton Business School. His research focuses on informality within state-business relations, non-market strategies and entrepreneurship. Read Professor Rodgers’ staff profile to find out more about his work.
You'll choose 1 of 3 pathways on this course:
- Generalist: Choose this pathway if you want to gain a broad overview of modern business and management, with skills you'll be able to apply to many different business situations.
- Entrepreneurship: Choose this pathway if you want to develop your own business or focus on new product development. You'll gain key management skills and explore entrepreneurship in established organisations.
- Maritime: Choose this pathway if you work, or want to work, in the maritime sector. This is ideal if you're a maritime industry consultant, if you're moving into the maritime sector from another industry, or if you're a sea-based professional moving to a shore-based role.
MBA Taster Lecture
This course is based at Highfield.
This qualification is awarded by the University of Southampton.
Download the programme specification
The programme specification sets out the learning outcomes of this course and details how the course is taught and assessed.
- a 2:2 degree
- 3 years' professional experience of supervising or managing people
Some analytical experience will strengthen your application.
Find the equivalent international qualifications for your country.
English language requirements
If English isn't your first language, you'll need to complete an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) to demonstrate your competence in English. You'll need all of the following scores as a minimum:
IELTS score requirements
- overall score
We accept other English language tests. Find out which English language tests we accept.
Recognition of professional experience
We'll consider your application if you don't have a first degree but have professional qualifications or 8 years' experience in management. You'll also need to show evidence of ability.
Got a question?
Please contact us if you're not sure you have the right experience or qualifications to get onto this course.
Tel: +44(0)23 8059 5000
This is a full-time master’s course. You’ll study for 12 months, from September to the following September.
The course takes place in 3 stages:
- Mastering fundamentals (semester 1): You’ll develop expertise in key business and management skills through core modules.
- Mastering complexity (semester 2): You’ll build on your learning and develop more complex skills through core modules. You’ll also choose your optional modules.
- Mastering business (over the summer): You’ll work independently to research and write a business project about a sector and organisation of your choice. You’ll have the chance to work with a real business client for this research project. You’ll have one-to-one meetings with your supervisor to discuss progress.
Semester 1 overview
This is the ‘mastering fundamentals’ stage.
You’ll learn about people management, accounting, marketing, operations, corporate finance and the global business environment.
At the end of semester 1, as part of the Global Business Environment module, you’ll go on a study trip to the Netherlands and Belgium. This will help you learn about the realities of operating global businesses in Europe and how trade is conducted with the rest of the world.
Businesses we have visited include:
- DAF Trucks
- the Wijn Kasteel Genoels Elderen
Semester 2 overview
This is the ‘mastering complexity’ stage.
You’ll learn about strategy and decision-making, business analytics and risk, leadership, sustainability, innovation and change.
At the end of semester 2, as part of the Leading Sustainability, Innovation and Change module, you’ll take part in a ‘live’ international consultancy project with a client company.
Our clients are innovative companies who want to grow their businesses internationally. They come from various sectors, including:
- oil and gas
- financial services
We’ll assign you to an MBA project team and you’ll work on a strategic issue for a local client company in Brazil.
Want more detail? See all the modules in the course.
You'll study 12 modules on this course. Two of these will be unique to the pathway you choose.
- Entrepreneurship pathway: Your 2 unique pathway modules are Entrepreneurship and New Venture Creation, and Business Planning.
- Maritime pathway: Your 2 unique pathway modules are Maritime Operations, and Risk and Maritime Law.
- Generalist pathway: You'll choose 2 unique pathway modules from the following options: Blockchain Technology and Cryptocurrency Investment; Deeper Analytics and Big Data; International Banking; Project Management; Responsible Leadership; Strategic Brand Management; Supply Management.
For entry in Academic Year 2021-22
Year 1 modules
You must study the following modules:
Accounting based reporting systems can provide powerful inputs into corporate decision making processes. The overall aim of this module is to provide an understanding of the processes and assumptions underlying the generation of accounting data and an app...
In today's era of "big data", business analytics has become a key part of management decision making. Modern managers must now routinely understand the use and value of both qualitative and quantitative data in order to manage risk more effectively. This...
Corporate Finance is essential to the successful running of any corporation and includes maximising shareholders' wealth, assessing investments, determining the costs of capital and making financing decisions. Most organisations make decisions pertaining ...
The focus of this module is on the nature of marketing in the context of today's rapidly changing business environment, which primarily means digital and data-driven marketing. The module will provide you with a broad overview of marketing theory and prac...
This module is unusual in the MBA programme as it invites students to focus their research and analysis on the global environment rather than internally on their firm. With this external focus in mind the module examines the impact of globalisation and t...
This module acts as a key vehicle for the completion of the taught part of the MBA programme and comprises of teaching based in Southampton and an international study trip which includes a 'live' group consulting project for a local organisation. It compr...
This module will examine the strategic importance of operations management in manufacturing and service settings in both private and public sectors. In the past, where organisations tended to be more hierarchical than today, the words, "strategy" and "ope...
The module is designed to introduce the main elements of individual and organisational behaviour and human resource (HR) practices in organisations, and therefore focuses on people management. In particular, the module provides a context for you to apprec...
The module aims to provide an overview of the relevant theories, tools and techniques in corporate, competitive and international business strategy focusing on strategic analyses, strategy formulation, strategic decision-making and choices and strategy im...
You must also choose from the following modules:
This course will explore the architecture of Blockchain technology that is rapidly changing the landscape of the financial industry and beyond. Countless applications are being explored in payments, insurance, lending, fund raising, settlement of securiti...
This module has a very practical focus on the development of effective business plans. The taught content will address what is required in a business plan, including variations that occur across sectors or industries. At the end of the course, learners wi...
In today’s era of “big data”, business analytics has become a key part of management decision making. Modern managers must now develop a deeper understanding of the use and value of big data and of the various analytical tools which are available to make...
This module will look at processes supporting the design of new entrepreneurial ventures and offerings. In teams, students will follow a number of experimental and participative models to develop and test prototype ideas. The academic discipline of entrep...
This module is focused on banking, as opposed to financial market or accounting and finance-related courses otherwise on offer in the MBA. Students will learn about the 'micro' side of banking, including financial institutions, instruments and techniques,...
The module aims to explore the regulation of the shipping industry, with a view to developing management potential in the sector. Students will learn about the main sources of contract law, including commonly occurring contracts in the shipping industry, ...
The UK is a world leader in many areas of maritime business services, education and research and provides many of the essential services that keep world shipping in operation. While no longer a major centre for large scale commercial shipbuilding, the UK ...
This module will investigate the nature of projects and project management in practice, sources of uncertainty and complexity, and consider issues for managers in the effective use of project management techniques.
This module covers the principles and practices of responsible leadership. It looks at the philosophical foundations of ethics and applies principles to real-life cases and hypothetical dilemmas. Techniques of ethical management are presented. Causes and ...
Learning and assessment
We teach through a mixture of:
- lectures with group discussions
- practical exercises
- case studies
- ‘live’ business projects
We emphasise the importance of collaboration between students, as this is critical for developing your management and leadership skills. We’ll teach you in small groups, using a round-table classroom layout, to encourage discussion and develop your teamwork skills.
Through case studies, simulation exercises and games, you’ll learn how to apply your knowledge to real-world settings.
Depending on the modules you take, we’ll assess your progress through a combination of:
- coursework assignments
- reflective reports
- group projects and presentations
- a 12,000-word business project
We'll support you as a mature student with personalised sessions on study skills such as:
- academic writing and referencing
- group work
You'll meet with your personal academic tutor throughout the year for help and advice. You can also speak to members of the MBA staff team for guidance.
Whether you want to improve your promotion prospects, bring new skills to your current role or show you're ready to take on more responsibility, an MBA will help you achieve your ambitions.
Working closely within a diverse, international group will enrich your experience and give you a valuable insight into different business cultures.
To help you plan your next career steps, the Southampton MBA includes a non-credit bearing Leadership Development Programme (LDP), which runs throughout the year.
The LDP includes a series of workshops on key leadership and management skills, and 'soft' skills such as business communication and negotiation.
The LDP also offers careers coaching and employability workshops delivered by the University’s Careers and Employability Service. In addition, you’ll have access to worldwide MBA-level employment opportunities and recruiter fairs.
During your time on the MBA course you’ll become a member of the Association of MBAs (AMBA) and the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), giving you access to a range of business management career and e-learning resources.
We invite industry guest speakers from companies such as:
- Cap Gemini
- J.P. Morgan
You can also attend industry presentations and seminars hosted by the Business School.
Careers services at Southampton
We're a top 20 UK university for employability (QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2020). Our Careers and Employability Service will support you throughout your time as a student and for up to 5 years after graduation. This support includes:
- work experience schemes
- CV/resume and interview skills workshops
- networking events
- careers fairs attended by top employers
- a wealth of volunteering opportunities
- study abroad and summer school opportunities
We have a thriving entrepreneurship culture. You'll be able to take advantage of:
Fees, costs and funding
Fees for a year's study:
- UK students pay £26,500.
- EU and international students pay £26,500.
When you accept your offer to study on this course you’ll be asked to pay a deposit. This is non-refundable. The deposit amount is:
- UK students: £250
- EU and international students: £1,000
Full terms and conditions and details of how to pay this deposit will be sent to you in your offer letter.
What your fees pay for
It also includes the cost of two international trips:
- European study trip to Netherlands and Belgium
- 'Live' international consultancy project in Brazil
This does not include the international travel cost, which you’ll need to pay.
Accommodation and living costs, such as travel and food, are not included in your tuition fees. Explore:
10% alumni discount
If you’re a graduate of the University of Southampton you get a 10% discount on your postgraduate tuition fees.
Postgraduate Master’s Loans (UK nationals only)
This can help with course fees and living costs while you study a postgraduate master's course. Find out if you're eligible.
Business Excellence Scholarship
We offer scholarships up to £9,000 for candidates who can display a combination of the following business excellence criteria:
a high degree of relevant professional experience in management and/or leadership role
evidence of rapid career progression
clear ability to contribute to the quality of the MBA cohort
strong academic ability / performance
excellent performance at interview
If we offer you a place on the course, we'll automatically consider you for the Business Excellence Scholarship. There is no need to complete a separate application. The scholarship award is made at the discretion of the Business School.
The deadline to submit your application so it is considered for a scholarship is 31 July.
Other postgraduate funding options
A variety of additional scholarships, grants and bursaries may be available to help you fund your master’s study, both from the University and from other organisations.
Funding for EU and international students
Find out about funding you could get as an international student.
How to apply
- Use the 'apply for this course' button on this page to take you to our online application form.
- Search for the course you want to apply for.
- Complete the application form and upload any supporting documents.
- Submit your application.
Applications must be received no later than 4 weeks before the start of the course. You must supply all supporting documentation at least 2 weeks before starting your course.
We recommend you apply at least 6 weeks before the start of the course to ensure you're able to meet our requirements and apply for a visa in time.
We cannot guarantee students who do not meet these deadlines will be able to begin their course.
Application assessment fee
We’ll ask you to pay a £50 application assessment fee if you’re applying for any postgraduate taught course that starts in or after September 2021.
This is an extra one-off charge which is separate to your tuition fees. It covers the work and time it takes us to assess your application. You’ll be prompted to pay when you submit your application which won’t progress until you've paid.
If you're a current or former University of Southampton student, or if you're applying for a Master of Research (MRes) degree, you will not need to pay the fee. Find out if you’re exempt on our terms and conditions page.
When you apply you’ll need to submit a personal statement explaining why you want to take the course.
You’ll need to include information about:
- your knowledge of the subject area
- why you want to study an MBA
- your career plans and ambitions after the MBA
You'll also need to send 1 employer reference from your most recent employer and 1 academic reference
Please include the required paperwork showing your first degree and your IELTS English language test score, if you are a non-native English speaker. Without these your application may be delayed.
What happens after you apply
You'll be able to track your application through our online Applicant Record System.
We'll assess your application on the strength of your:
- academic achievements
- relevant professional experience
- personal statement
- academic references
We'll get back to you within 6 weeks with a decision about your application.
We may invite you to an interview, which will take place by phone if you live abroad. You'll get an email from the admissions tutor if we'd like to talk to you before offering you a place.
Equality and diversity
We treat and select everyone in line with our Equality and Diversity Statement.
Got a question?
Please contact us if you're not sure you have the right experience or qualifications to get onto this course.
Tel: +44(0)23 8059 5000
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