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The MPhil in Management electives cover a wide range of topics, designed to allow students to tailor the course to their own needs. The specialist nature of electives will enable you to present prospective employers with a portfolio of both general management and specialised knowledge, to position yourself for the career to which you aspire.

Students on the MPhil in Management programme choose two electives during the year. Please note that the content of the programme is subject to change.

Business Innovation in a Digital Age

Information technology (IT) and associated computer-based information systems (IS) continue to have far-reaching effects on our organisations and societies. However, effective use of the potential of IT/IS requires an understanding of people, organisations and technology in combination, which is the focus of this course.

The syllabus covers:

  • Introduction: IS and organisations
  • Emerging trends
  • Reinventing strategy
  • Rethinking business processes
  • Cultural, structural and political issues
  • People and information systems
  • Organising IS activities
  • Managing and implementing projects

Financial Reporting & Capital Markets

The Financial Reporting & Capital Markets course looks at:

  • Financial markets and the decisions informed by accounting data: subscription of new capital; market for corporate control; markets for debt and for executives
  • The efficient markets hypothesis
  • The general allocation problem with just semi-strong efficiency
  • Insider trading as a means of information release
  • Consequences of information asymmetry: plunder of principals' funds; misinformed investment decisions; withdrawal of investors from the market
  • Responding to information asymmetry: search; signalling; incentive contracts; audit; regulation
  • Creative accounting in an efficient market
  • Analysis of a series of case studies (recent UK and US company reports) grouped according to whether, first, cash flows are affected and, second, whether the creative accounting device is transparent
  • Fundamental values vs. market prices; dividend discount and dividend yield valuation models; sources of dividend growth; rate of return spread; interpretation of the price-earnings (PE) ratio; fundamentals of financial statements - accruals and cash flows; clean surplus accounting; the price-book value ratio; economic and accounting concepts of income; reporting financial performance; internal rate of return vs. accounting rate of return; abnormal earnings valuation model; Ohlson's abnormal earnings model; economic value added; shareholder value and enterprise value models

Students taking this course should already have taken an introductory course in financial reporting – e.g. the Finance and Accounting course for those on the MPhil in Management programme.

Human Resources Management

The course asks: how can organisations harness the productive potential of employees in order to achieve superior performance? Its principal aims:

  1. to provide students with a broad and critical understanding of the key problems and concepts underpinning human resources management (HRM)
  2. to ensure that students have an understanding of the psychological bases of HRM
  3. to establish an understanding for the wide array of HRM practices and their specific configuration according to the organisation's strategic orientation
  4. to demonstrate the importance of HRM in competitive contexts and to understand the association between HRM and performance

Management of the Innovation Process

This seminar gives future researchers an overview of some of the topics that have acquired special attention within the areas of innovation and new product development (NPD). A dominant characteristic of these topics is their cross-functional nature, which is reflected in the highly interdisciplinary mix of papers presented throughout the seminar.

Strategic Valuation

This course introduces you to the real options paradigm as a project design and evaluation tool. This paradigm emphasises the value of flexibility in project design and appraisal.

Flexibility enables active risk and opportunity management as it allows engineers and managers to adapt the system in different ways, depending on how the future unfolds. Research and development (R&D) projects, for example, give companies the option of a future launch of a product, which they may or may not exercise, depending on the success of R&D and on market conditions. Similarly, building a small plant with an expansion option as opposed to building a big plant from the start gives the project manager the flexibility to expand if demand is high, without committing to high capacity a priori, thus avoiding "white elephants". Thus, flexibility has value.

Flexibility also, however, costs money: R&D expenditure, for example in the biotech industry, can be huge. By building small and allowing for expansion the company foregoes the economies of scale of building one large plant.

So how much flexibility shall we built into the system? System designers and project managers need tools that help them decide if added flexibility is worth the money. This course will provide you with a mindset and a suite of tools to tackle such problems. You are expected to be familiar with probability and statistics at the level of an introductory undergraduate course.

Supply Chain Management

With decreasing geographical barriers, emerging markets and lower labour costs that lure firms overseas, managers face the challenge of aligning and coordinating global manufacturing and supply networks. Supply chain management has become both a core management function, as well as a source for competitive advantage of companies across industry sectors. This elective provides an in-depth discussion on how companies use their supply chain strategies as competitive advantage. Based on the notion that in fact "entire value chains compete, rather than individual companies", this exploration of the subject includes some of the latest tools and techniques for analysing and improving supply chain processes.

Closing dates

Admissions for entry in 2015/16 have now closed.

Applications for entry in October 2016 will open on 1 September 2015.


Funding available to our MPhil in Management students includes University of Cambridge scholarships, Cambridge Judge Business School bursaries, ESRC funding and external scholarships.

Find out more about scholarships