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Core courses

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.

Please note that the content of the programme is subject to change.


This course provides the basic foundation for accounting, and introduces and develops the understanding of the basic tools you need to make good financial decisions requiring accounting information. It is important that businesses establish an efficient system of reporting and analysing financial performance, that they achieve cost management and control that can primarily reduce their overall costs, and that they increase the availability of liquidity in order to meet their business objectives. This module introduces the use of accounting information for both external and internal planning, decision-making and performance evaluation. The part that relates to establishing financial statements and reporting relates to the external aspect, while the internal operational aspect overlaps with the concept of cost accounting. Financial management requires the use of accounting data inside the organisation for the purpose of determining and controlling costs. Particular emphasis will be placed on how cost data contributes to integrated decision-making processes aligned with achieving optimal organisational outcomes.

Business Economics

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.

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 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

Organisational analysis 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

Quantitative Techniques for 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

Closing dates

Deadline for applications: 28 Feb 2019
However we recommend you apply before December.

Cambridge Trusts funding deadlines are 11 October for Gates US applicants, 5 December for applicants from all other countries.

Cambridge MPhil in Management alumnus François Vanherck explains what drew him to the programme.

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

Find out more about scholarships

Alumna Li Xin Wong talks about Cambridge and the business school.

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