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Core courses on the MPhil in Management

The nine MPhil in Management core courses cover the full breadth of business and management. Eight are taught throughout the programme, providing a solid grounding in the key areas of management. The ninth, the Management Consulting Project, takes place in the final term.

Knowledge of accounting is essential for understanding the financial performance of any organisation. This introductory, user-focused course helps you become familiar with and draw inferences from financial statements that may affect your decisions to invest in, or otherwise contract with, the reporting institution. The course focuses on building a foundation to help understand accounting measurement and reporting. Accounting is, in essence, a method to record and present economic information that is summarised in a balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement. This method has limitations and financial statement readers need to be aware that some information may be incomplete or mis-estimated. By the end of the course, you should be able to construct, understand, and interpret fundamental information from a set of financial statements.

This course takes those of you with little or no economics up to a level where you are comfortable with the tools of economic analysis, and makes economics accessible to those whose primary interest is in its application to business.

The syllabus covers:

  • Introduction to demand analysis
  • Analysis of costs
  • Markets and market failures
  • Distribution and pricing policy
  • Strategy and game theory
  • Transaction costs
  • Risk and uncertainty
  • Information and incentives

The Finance course provides a solid grounding in finance, and develops your understanding of the tools necessary to make good financial decisions. The course focuses on corporate investment and corporate financing decisions. The concept of risk and return, the cost of debt, the cost of equity, and the weighted average cost of capital (WACC), as well as the issue of capital structure are examined in detail from the viewpoint of a financial manager. A good knowledge of the topics in this course is important for future advanced finance elective courses or for a career in investment banking, consulting and corporate management.

At the end of this module you’ll have learned how to identify the financial cash flows generated by the firm, and value the firm’s stock and bonds, as well as about the impact of financing decisions on firm and shareholder value. You’ll be able to make capital budgeting decisions and to calculate the appropriate risk-adjusted rate of return.

Among business disciplines, marketing is the primary contact point between a business and its customers. Nearly everybody will, at some point in their career, wear a marketing hat. Understanding marketing will help you whether you want to be an accountant, a movie producer, an engineer, a programmer, a banker, or a museum curator. Understanding customer needs and how to marshal the resources of an organisation to meet those needs will enhance students’ chances of career success. This course develops a general management viewpoint in planning and evaluating marketing decisions, from both strategic and tactical perspectives. This course also helps you understand how marketing decisions are affected by organisational and environmental influences.

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 module explores the key trade-offs faced by operations managers, introduces the major tools and techniques of production, planning and control, provides experience of process improvement methodologies such as lean thinking and six sigma, while pointing out the wider links between operations, supply chain management and marketing, strategy and financial accounting.

Organisational analysis and behaviour is a very broad subject, concerned with the individual in the workplace, how work is structured and organised, and the experience of work and change within organisations.

To provide a framework to comprehend this breadth we investigate key themes in organisational analysis including the individual in the organisation, motivation, groups and teams, leadership, control and commitment, learning, culture, and change management.

Topics covered include:

  • Organisations, individuals and management
  • Motivation and performance
  • Managing groups and teams
  • Leadership
  • Conflict and cooperation
  • Control and commitment
  • Learning and knowledge management
  • Organisational culture
  • Change management

This course provides a working knowledge of many basic techniques for understanding and analysing data. The course covers:

  • Random variables, distributions of sample statistics, confidence intervals, estimating averages and percentages by sampling,  and hypothesis testing
  • Relationships, scatter plots, correlation, the line of best fit, and regression
  • Monte-Carlo simulation and its application in analysing risk
  • Decision trees, expected values, and risk
  • Resource allocation and linear programming
  • Portfolio analysis and efficient frontier

Strategy is the field of management that has been developed to help general managers (as opposed to functional managers whose responsibilities focus on one particular function such as finance, production, marketing, human resources, IT, etc.), make better decisions that will improve the competitive position of the organisation in the long run and create value for its key stakeholders. The field of strategy is made up of all theories, concepts, methods and tools that top managers can use to ensure the profitable and long-term growth of their organisations. It divides into works on content of strategy (what activities and sectors the organisation will compete in and how it will compete in those) and process of strategy (the mechanisms by which organisations choose to compete in certain ways, activities and sectors and how they implement these choices). Both process and content approaches address issues of business and corporate-level strategy.

Topics covered include:

  • Nature and context of strategic management
  • Theories, concepts and models of strategic analysis
  • Applications to strategic management practice