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Core courses

The core courses ensure you understand the different business disciplines you need to run your organisation, and encompass the full range of subjects generally taught as part of an MBA programme.

Below is a selection of some of the courses taught as part of the programme:

Corporate finance

The role of the corporate finance function in an organisation is to make practical, effective financial and investment decisions. You will learn about financial concepts, models and techniques used by organisations. Basic insights of corporate finance theory are presented and linked to real business decisions. We also address the present valuation of future cash flows, the treatment of risk, and the impact of agency costs and asymmetric information on a firm's choice of financing. The course is aimed at the non-specialist with a strong overview of theoretical and practical financial issues.


An understanding of accounting is a prerequisite for understanding the financial success and financial stability of an organisation. At the heart of accounting is a model for recording and presenting economic information, which is summarised in a balance sheet, income statement and cash flow statement. The starting point in understanding accounting is grasping how this model works. In addition, cost accounting is concerned with the use of accounting data inside the organisation in order to ascertain and control costs. The focus here is how to determine the cost of an organisation's operations so as to allow mangers to make management decisions about current and future operations such as pricing, sourcing of inputs, product mix and planning.

Operations management

All organisations provide goods and services of one form or another through the transformation of inputs into outputs. The business function which manages this delivery is known as 'operations'. Operations management is concerned with the creation and improvement of manufacturing and service processes that are not only efficient, but also contribute effectively to the wider business strategy. This course explores the key trade-offs faced by operations managers, introduces the major tools and techniques of production, planning and control, and provides experience of process improvement methodologies such as lean thinking and six sigma in the context of the relationship of operations with other areas of the business including supply chain management, marketing, strategy and financial accounting.

Management practice

The focus of the Management Practice course is on the conduct and impact, both intended and unintended, that an individual has on others and on his or her own effectiveness. We will not be teaching techniques of how to manage, but rather creating opportunities to learn and develop more skilful practice. Effectiveness as a manager depends not just on the individual's capacity for rational decision-making, but also on his/her ability to work effectively with and through others. Behaviour is inevitably bound up with personal beliefs, assumptions and needs. To deal with the demands of a management role, it’s first necessary to understand something of what an individual brings to the role by way of needs and prior assumptions. The transient culture of the Executive MBA class in many ways provides an ideal opportunity for learning at this level. Participants are at a distance from what is familiar; there are a host of new relationships, and numerous opportunities to learn through self-observation and from others about the habits of mind and action that have been acquired over the course of life experience, and which inevitably serve as the base for an individual’s effectiveness as a manager.


The marketing function is the primary contact point between a business and its customers. Appreciating customer needs and how to marshal the resources of an organisation to meet those needs are crucial in today's business world. This course develops a general management viewpoint in planning and evaluating marketing decisions, from both strategic and tactical perspectives. Practically, we consider how marketing plans are developed, implemented and evaluated over time. This course also helps students understand how marketing decisions are affected by organisational and environmental influences.

Cambridge has succeeded in creating a programme that offers the most rigorous academic approach in a format that allowed me to work full-time and fly in from Luxembourg to attend weekend sessions.
Maria Dominguez, Asset Manager SES, The Netherlands, EMBA 2010