City scape

Business Administration


The Ulster University Executive MBA is a broad-based masters' degree designed to meet the needs of experienced or aspiring managers and business owners. The course helps its participants to relate their work experience to business theory, deepening and widening their understanding of the organisation and the environment in which they operate. An MBA is also an internationally recognised passport to a successful business career.

By joining the Ulster University Executive MBA you will be joining a group of diverse professionals, gaining exposure to different organisations and sectors while developing your network. Our participants are invited to exclusive business events which help to expand their knowledge and offer further networking opportunities. We offer participants excellent support throughout the course, both in their academic study and also to develop as a manager and business leader.

The quality of our Executive MBA is recognised by a number of professional bodies and chartered institutes who have provided exemptions from their own qualifications. For example, the requirements to become a Chartered Manager with the CMI are embedded into our programme should you wish to also gain this recognition at graduation.


The overall aim of the MBA is to educate and develop individuals as managers, leaders and specialists, adding value through an integrated, applied and critical understanding of management and organisations. In parallel the students develop the transferable and intellectual skills that are essential for successful general and strategic management in both private and public sector organisations.

What separates the Ulster University MBA?

This balance of commercial and academic experience is key to what separates the Ulster University MBA from other programmes on offer in Northern Ireland.

Northern Ireland's leading business school for research (Research Excellence Framework 2014) – The world leading economic and societal impact of our research places us 7th in the UK, out of 101 business schools.

Employer engagement - Our programme has been designed through engagement with over forty local and international employers to ensure its design and delivery is in line with their needs.

A practical and applied MBA – Our programme is practical, everything we cover has to be readily applicable to real organisations. Supporting this is our teaching staff who, while academically qualified subject experts, have on average 10 years' full-time work experience within leading organisations ensuring that the learning is relevant to practicing leaders and managers.

Professional skills development – Complementing our taught modules are a professional development residential (the price for which is included in the course fees).

Chartered manager – We have embedded the Chartered Management Institute's (CMI) Level 7 Diploma in Strategic Leadership and Management into our programme. Participants can opt to gain this qualification automatically at graduation meaning they can become a Chartered Manager through the exemption route (an additional fee to CMI will apply). We are the only MBA in NI to offer this professional accreditation.

Learning with like-minded people -The part-time MBA at Magee is designed to inspire and transform the careers of managers/aspiring managers from across the region. Our participants come from a wide range of industries and sectors including large multinational companies, financial, food, engineering, healthcare, public sector companies and not for profit organisations to progressive and growing SMEs. This diversity of sectoral backgrounds leads to a rich learning environment where knowledge and ideas are exchanged. All of our participants are committed to advancing their development from a business, career and personal perspective and we fully support them to reach this goal.

Tailor your study - There is the opportunity to tailor your MBA via the applied management project and choice of an elective module.

Linked with the Harvard Business School – In 2013, the Ulster University Business School became the first University School in the UK to join a global network of affiliated universities with Harvard. A number of our lecturers undertook intensive training in Boston and bring specialist knowledge in Harvard case study methods and access to online resources.

Mini-MBA – We understand that undertaking an MBA is a significant commitment, consequently, we offer participants the opportunity to trial the MBA through our 'Mini-MBA' graduating with a Postgraduate Certificate in Business Administration. This is a commitment of 2 semesters (or 9 months), successful participants can also progress on to complete the full MBA should they wish.

Teaching and learning assessment

The Executive MBA is delivered on a part-time basis at the Magee campus.

The part-time Executive MBA is taught over 2 academic years, with intakes in September and January each year. The Executive MBA (September) begins with an induction residential, where participants spend 2 days familiarising themselves with the course, with their peers and the academic team. Participants will attend lectures on a block learning basis, usually 3 x 2 day blocks, (Thursday and Friday) in semesters 1 and 2 (September to December and January to May). In semester 3, participants complete modules on a 3 day "block" basis. This means studying a subject intensely for 3 days which allows participants to immerse themselves in the subject area. Modules are examined using a combination of coursework (which may include individual assignments, groupwork and presentations) and exam based assessment. The majority of the modules are assessed using 100% coursework. Examinations are held after each semester in January, May and September. A sample teaching timetable is outlined below:

Year 1

Semester 1(Attendance Required 9.00 – 5.00 Thursday & Friday in weeks 1, 5 & 8)

Marketing (15 credits)

Accounting And Finance (15 credits)

Semester 2(Attendance Required 9.00 – 5.00 Thursday and Friday in weeks 1, 5 & 8)

Operations Management (15 credits)

Managing People in the Organisation (15 credits)

Semester 3(Attendance 9.00-5.00 over 3 day block)

Digital Transformation (15 credits)

International Competitiveness (15 credits)

Year 2

Semester 1(Attendance 9.00 – 5.00 Thursday and Friday in weeks 1, 5 & 8)

Innovation & Entrepreneurship (15 credits)

Management Project Part 1 (10 credits)

Semester 2(Attendance 9.00 – 5.00 Thursday & Friday in weeks 1, 5 & 8)

Leadership and Change (15 credits)

Economics(15 credits)

Semester 3(Attendance 9.00-5.00 over 3 day block)

Strategy (15 credits) taught on a 3 day block

Management Project 2 (20 credits)

Please note that this is only a sample timetable and running order of module may vary slightly.

Entry requirements

Entry Requirements

Applicants should normally have a good honours degree or an equivalent professional qualification, together with a minimum of three years' relevant post-graduate work experience.

Applications will however be considered from experienced practicing managers and technical or other specialists who do not have a honours degree but who have more significant work experience and demonstrate the ability and commitment to complete the programme.

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for international applicants

The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.

Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.

Exemptions and transferability

Exemptions and transferability


Consideration will be given to applicants that transfer from other accredited MBA programmes.


Participants who have studied an equivalent qualification to level 7 covering the subject matter on the Executive MBA may, by application to the Course Committee, be granted exemption from specific modules.



Block Learning

The part-time Executive MBA at Magee is taught over two academic years in our newly opened modern teaching block. Participants on the programme can compete two modules each semester. Our block teaching approach facilitates greater focus and depth of study as well providing participants with dedicated time to step out from their working environment to focus on the strategic development of themselves, their careers and their business.

Block teaching is also beneficial for managers from the North West who are working overseas but wish to study their Executive MBA at Ulster, as it enables them plan study visits back home as well as providing opportunities to keep in touch with our growing MBA and wider business networks across the region.

Each module is delivered in block (3 full days) each semester. Normally two modules run over 2 day learning blocks (Thursday and Friday, usually in weeks 1, 5 & 8). In the summer semester the modules are delivered over 3 day blocks. Semesters run over 12 weeks as follows Semester 1 September to December, Semester 2 January to May and Semester 3 June to September).

Careers or further progression

Career options

An MBA is a passport to many careers and jobs and graduates from the course have forged successful careers all over the world and in a number of organisations. Students use the course to progress within their own organisation or to seek new opportunities. Graduates have also used the course as a springboard to launch their own businesses. The MBA will help you develop your career whether it is progressing within your current organisation, changing career into a different profession/sector or working internationally.

Further enquiries

Course Director: Edel Griffin

T: +44 (0)28 7167 5196 (NI)

T: +44 (0)48 7167 5196(ROI)


Subjects taught

Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.

Year one

Accounting and Finance

The overall aim of the module is to introduce students to the key areas of financial and management accounting. In order to achieve this, students will be exposed to some numerical calculations during the module. However, there will be significant emphasis passed on understanding the issues around the numbers and the context within which they are set. In particular, the assessment for the module will strike a balance between calculation, interpretation and discussion. In summary, whilst it is not intended to equip students with a detailed knowledge to enable them to pursue a career in accounting, the module aims to take students to a point where they are capable of engaging in intelligent discussion with financial experts and to be able to grasp the big picture rather than get lost in the detail.

Managing People in the Organisation

This module aims to enable students to develop knowledge and understanding of individual and group behaviour within organisations, and the core areas of Human Resource Management, and to be able to apply this knowledge and understanding in a range of organisational settings.

Operations Management

In the dynamic environment in which businesses operate the importance of business improvement cannot be ignored. Customer focus through streamlining of value chains is imperative. It presents challenges in terms of how we classify, relate to and manage the internal and external chain of customers. The ability to remove costs, optimise value creation, understand the competencies, and effectively reconfigure the organisation in the context of a continuous improvement philosophy is crucial.

Digital Transformation

This module aims to provide students with an understanding of digital transformation in a range of organisational contexts. On successful completion of the module, a student will be able to: assess how digital technologies can disrupt industries by transforming industry value chains, patterns of demand and competitive pressures; understand how digital technologies and frameworks can be applied in a digital transformation strategy; understand the organisational and people capabilities required to support and implement a digital transformation strategy; and critically evaluate current practice and theory on digital transformation.

International Competitiveness

This applied module focuses on the importance of understanding and analysing the key determinants for international competitiveness. Viewed from the strategic management process, the module will provide holistic view of the topic with applied experiential learning opportunities focusing on the importance of key stakeholder collaborations to drive and sustain competitiveness at a firm, industry, regional and national level.


This Marketing module focuses on the challenges management faces in developing and implementing both a marketing philosophy and successful marketing programmes. The critical importance of marketing arises from its role as the boundary function between the organisation and the marketplace. Changes in the market require changes from the company; changes made by the company create changes in the market. Marketing is concerned with managing this ever-changing relationship.

Year two

Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Innovation and entrepreneurship are important drivers for value creation in modern

economies. A central idea for both disciplines is the identification, evaluation and

exploitation of opportunities. This module presents a contemporary exploration of the nature

of innovation and entrepreneurship whilst also providing students with an opportunity to

examine emerging sources of innovation in either a sector or organisational context.

Leadership and Change

This module will give you the knowledge and skills to be an effective leader. You will consider the key theories of leadership and consider their application in the context of leading organisational change.


This module is designed to introduce students to the key concepts in business strategy. On successful completion of this module students will have an in-depth knowledge of strategy; be able to conduct a strategic analysis of an organisation, its environment, and its future strategic options; understand the fundamentals of formulating an international strategy; appreciate some of the key issues associated with strategy implementation; and critically evaluate current theory and practice on strategy.

Management Project

The Management Project enables students to apply the theoretical concepts encountered on the MBA to a live management issue. In doing so they choose appropriate research methodologies, gather data and make conclusions and recommendations to the host organisation.

Economics and the Business Environment

This module introduces managers to the principles of economics as they apply to the business environment and aims to enhance mangers' understanding of, and ability to adapt to, changes in the environments in which operate. The module is designed to first explain the problem of scarcity of resources and then analyzes the demand - supply - equilibrium model of economic analysis. This is followed by an examination of the internal and external environments within which firms must operate, focusing on production, cost, profits, market conditions and the objectives of the firm. In so doing, it illustrates a strategic approach to their business activity. A critical examination of the economic role of the government and a review of the macroeconomic environment complete the syllabus.

Work placement / study abroad

This is an executive level prorgamme and does not include work placement, internship or study abroad. An optional overseas trip may form part of the International Competitiveness module.

Application date

Application is through the University's online application system.

Enrolment and start dates

Start dates September 2019 & January 2020

Remember to mention gradireland when contacting institutions!