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Subjects & Modules

Course of the programme

The overall duration of the programme is 24 months, comprising lectures in semesters 1 to 3 and the management dissertation in semester 4. In the first to third semester MBA students will participate in lectures held in Cologne (at the RFH), typically delivered on one evening per week and Saturdays while university is in session (16 weeks from mid-March to the beginning of July, and mid-September to the beginning of January). Lectures delivered in London are blocked to one week per module.

The MBA International in cooperation with the University of East London provides comprehensive and contemporary knowledge and skills, based on the following modules:

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Lecture Period
In Cologne: weekly Saturdays and one evening per week (while university is in session)
In London: one week per module each

In order to achieve the learning objectives, the lectures are topped off with case studies, projects, and presentations, to be finalized by the master thesis.

 

Content of study

Accounting and Finance for Managers
The aim of this module is to provide students with a critical appreciation of the financial tools of business management, in particular, the techniques of financial statement analysis and making financial decisions. In addition, it provides a critical evaluation of the factors affecting the financing mix of a firm and of the financial markets in which firms operate and gives insight into topical issues in the area.

Managing and Leading People
This module aims to introduce students to core theoretical perspectives in the field of people management and to the most influential contemporary research on HRM, effective leadership and positive organisational outcomes. Students will be encouraged to reflect critically on what approaches are the most effective as far as people management is concerned, leading to enhancement of managerial ability.

Operations, Networks and Partnerships
This module focuses on business logic and effective management of manufacturing, and of products, processes and services provision. This module gives insight into contemporary perspectives of operations, that is, beyond production and beyond global manufacturing networks. We look at managing multilateral value chains, ecosystems of suppliers, business networks, society in operations context, and public private partnerships.

Corporate Social Responsibility
This module considers the different theories on the role of the corporation in society. It analyses the international instruments which are relevant to and are a potential source of business’ social responsibilities. It also considers the issue of corporate accountability for the infringement of its human rights obligations and the related legislative and judicial remedies. It develops an understanding of the relationship between law-abiding and morally reflective behaviours in the corporate environment.

Marketing in the Digital Age
This module aims to develop an advanced understanding of the strategic role of marketing in contemporary business and an advanced appreciation of the importance of marketing in general - and digital marketing in particular - in facilitating business success and sustainability. Students will develop a critical understanding of contemporary marketing theory and practice and be able to apply this understanding to practical challenges in contemporary marketing in developing marketing strategies and tactics.

Professional Development
The module is designed to develop the personal and professional skills that enhance employability and career opportunities available to MBA International graduates. Apart from developing the skills directly relevant to employability and career development, such as interview skills and planning career progression, the module is also intended to work in conjunction with the other taught modules constituting the programme so as to enable the students to develop the skills and capabilities associated with the learning outcomes of particular modules and the whole programme. In particular, the module enhances learning by enabling students to develop and hone the skills necessary to apply subject-specific theory in practice.

Strategic Leadership
This module aims to enable students to develop a critical awareness of different approaches to business strategy and their respective assumptions about the nature of organizations and their leadership. It provides students with an advanced appreciation of the concept and practice of strategy and develops critical awareness of the range of forces that influence the formulation and implementation strategies. It provides students with the knowledge, analytical skills, and techniques necessary to evaluate and propose strategies as well as developing an awareness of the strategic role of the leader and a critical understanding of the associated challenges and opportunities.

Elective Modules
Students will be able to choose one (i.e. 15 M-credits, 7.5 ECTS-credits) out of elective modules offered. The elective modules on offer have an international business focus and so the students will be able to follow their specific international business interests. Elective modules will only run if subscribed to by at least 6 students. In case an elective module is undersubscribed and thus does not run, students will be able to take another elective module in its place. For this reason, students will be asked to indicate their order of preference for the elective modules rather than just choosing one option.

The elective modules are:
• Managing across Cultures (venue London)
• Corporate Governance and Globalisation (venue Cologne)
• Information Systems (subject to validation, venue Cologne)

Managing across Cultures
Together with related themes in core modules including Managing and Leading People, Strategic Leadership and Corporate Social Responsibility this elective module aims to develop an advanced understanding of culture in the contemporary business landscape and an advanced appreciation of cultural diversity and its implications for contemporary business practice. The module develops a critical awareness of cross-cultural issues pertaining to management, leadership and work in international contexts and multicultural environments and provides students with an advanced appreciation of the concept and practice of cross-cultural management and leadership.

Corporate Governance and Globalisation
The module Corporate Governance and Globalisation considers the effects on the business community and the wider society of the debate on corporate governance. It investigates the origins of modern corporations and examines the most relevant legal, economic, and sociological theories of corporation and the firm. The module investigates the issue of unethical corporate governance and its disastrous consequences for the entire society. The module builds on the content of core modules including in particular Corporate Social Responsibility and Strategic Leadership.

Information Systems (subject to validation)
In this module concepts of the company's system infrastructure are presented against the background of digitalization, big data and cloud computing and analyzed and evaluated with regard to the effectiveness and efficiency of company organisations.

Management Dissertation (Master Thesis)
This module is designed to consolidate the learning from across the programme in an applied format so as to enable students to demonstrate in-depth understanding of theories, frameworks, models and concepts relevant to a specific business issue.

The Dissertation is a major supervised research project, whereby students conduct original research in an area of their choice under the guidance of an academic supervisor. Students conduct a literature review to identify a set of research questions, develop an appropriate research design, carry out the empirical study by collecting primary and secondary data, analyse the findings and derive conclusions and recommendations for further research and practice.

As MBA students are experienced professionals and most of them will be in employment whilst studying for their degree it is envisaged that many will choose a dissertation topic relevant to their organisation and carry out their research project with support from that organisation, e.g. with regard to data collection access. Typically, students will choose topics relevant to the international business orientation of the programme but other topics will also be allowed in order to facilitate the career aspirations of particular students.

Thus, the module will help students develop an advanced mastery of analysis and synthesis of data in a business context. Through supervised research they will demonstrate the ability to identify relevant business or organisational issues through a review of academic literature, collect and critically evaluate evidence in an academically rigorous manner, and present conclusions and recommendations. This being a major research project, it is envisaged that it will particularly benefit those students intending to transition onto an academic career pathway, e.g. by moving on to do a PhD or DBA (Doctorate of Business Administration).

 

Curriculum MBA International

 

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