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Key information

  • Duration: 4 weeks (8 weeks with optional modules).
  • Commitment: 4-5 hours per module.*
  • Study mode: Online, guided by tutors.
  • Price: 1950GBP / 2250USD / 2250EUR / 2900CAD / 3300AUS

Course dates

  • 10 July-7 August 2023 (Core modules only)
  • 10 July-4 September 2023 (Core and elective modules)

*Learning times are estimated and may be influenced by individual learner circumstances.

Would you like to understand how business works? Do you want to learn how to succeed in business?

  • Join professors from Cambridge Judge Business School as they guide you through what makes a business tick, mixing academic study with real-world examples so you understand how businesses really work.
  • You will learn how strategies are designed, how companies hire and manage people, how lots of complex activities come together to make a business a success.
  • Learn alongside your school or work commitments with our easy-to-use online platform, including weekly live sessions with University of Cambridge professors to build on your own study.
  • Receive a Certificate of Achievement from the University of Cambridge Online, an asset when applying to college or university, or when applying for jobs after study.

On this course you will learn the fundamentals of how business works. We will show you how companies research the market and their customers, how they secure the resources, the funding and talent they need. You will also learn how they make decisions, develop strategy and succeed in competitive markets.

Professors from the University of Cambridge will guide you through the practical skills you need to succeed in business, or to create your own company. You will understand the basics of business strategy, operations, talent management, marketing, and finance

Complete all 4 core modules to receive a Certificate of Achievement from the University of Cambridge Online . Complete 2 additional elective modules and you will be rewarded with a Certificate of Achievement with Distinction.

Book a place

Registrations for July 2023 are now open.

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Talk to an enrolment advisor

If you have any questions about the First Certificate in Business, we have a team of enrolment advisors ready to support you. Book a conversation at a time which suits you.

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  • High proficiency in written English Language is required.
  • No qualifications in Business are required.

Materials and equipment

  • Sufficient internet speed and stability for video streaming will be required (2 Mbps upload/download).
  • Suitable browser (see our recommendations on web browsers)
  • No specialist software or equipment is required.

Find out more

Pre-university students

Getting ready for university study? Join University of Cambridge professors for an interactive programme designed to develop your business knowledge and skills in preparation for higher education.

Learn more


Looking to shine in the next stage of your life? Learn more about how this online short course from Cambridge Judge Business School can enhance your career prospects alongside your work or study commitments.

Learn more

Schools and institutions

Interested in offering this course to your students? The First Certificate combines intuitive online study with live sessions led by Cambridge academics to propel your students’ learning beyond the curriculum.

View the information for schools

Download our course brochure

Explore the programme structure in-depth, meet the professors, and look through our core and elective module choices in more detail.

Download the First Certificate in Business course brochure

What will you learn?

By the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • Describe how businesses start, grow, and compete.
  • Define fundamental business concepts.
  • Apply standard analytical business tools to examples.
  • Summarise key relationships that a business establishes to get things done.
  • Explain how businesses create jobs and wealth.
  • Discuss how business can contribute to society.
  • Discover different career ideas and education opportunities related to the business world.


Below you can find the core and elective modules alongside the likely professors**.

Core (essential modules)

  • What is Business? How Does it Work? What Do Managers Do? – Mauro F. Guillén
  • The Financial Value of Anything – Pedro Saffi
  • People Skills and Management in Business – Patrizia Vecchi
  • Marketing: Value Exchange with Customers – Shasha Lu

Electives (optional modules: select two)

  • Strategies for Market Competition – Allègre Hadida
  • Prices, Costs and Profits: The Economics of Business – Michael Kitson and Mo Tanweer
  • Leadership and Social Responsibility – Thomas Roulet
  • Managing Sustainability – Jennifer Howard-Grenville
  • Becoming an Entrepreneur – Paul Tracey

**Subject to change in unforeseen circumstances.