Elective courses

The electives, which take place in Lent term, follow and may build upon the material covered in the core courses. There are 6 electives, from which you choose 2:

Emerging digital technologies – such as robotics, quantum computing, digital platforms and sophisticated learning algorithms that exploit massive trace data – are enabling innovation in new and different ways. Digital innovation has not only transformed products and services but has also upended business models, ways of working, forms of organising and the ability to access ideas and expertise. Yet, innovating with digital tech is challenging because organisations may need to shift away from the very capabilities that underpinned their past successes.

In the digital era, managers and professionals need to think differently about fundamental aspects of their business such as its strategy, business model, organisational structure and culture. In this elective, you examine the key opportunities and challenges that firms face in leveraging digital technology for innovation.

The course examines how the sustainable development debate is seen through the lens of a range of different disciplines, and introduces the need to address complex problems at the systems level. Guiding principles are examined, including polluter pays, natural step, precautionary principles, etc. Ecosystem services concepts are introduced and a range of valuation methodologies explained. Practical examples of implementing sustainable design concepts into urban communities are examined and the legal and regulatory framework for protecting sensitive environmental components is discussed. The later part of the course focuses on key sectors of food, water and energy and the critical issues governing their service delivery.

How will new technologies change the nature of work?

In this elective you learn about technologies, work, and organisations. We begin with the fundamentals: What is work? What is technology? How have past predictions about the future of work held up to the historical record of technological change? We then use these core concepts to learn some of the important theories about work and technological change: technological determinism, the social construction of technology, deskilling, the sociology of automation, and visions for a post work society. We then learn about and interrogate ideas about the future of work as it concerns new technologies, including artificial intelligence, machine learning, algorithms, and digital transformation. The theories and concepts taught in this course enable you to think critically about technological change in diverse industries and the future of work more broadly.

Macroeconomics studies the behaviour of the aggregate economy. This elective focuses mostly on analysis of the macroeconomy in the long run but also gives an introduction to the short run discussing economic fluctuations and macroeconomic policy debates.
Please note that you cannot take this elective if you’ve previously taken any part of the Economics Tripos or Land Economy Tripos.

The course sharpens your abilities to “think strategically” and to analyse and evaluate issues from the perspective of the total enterprise. You gain an appreciation for the importance of building a sustainable competitive advantage along with the tools to use in analysing real life management issues and an understanding of the theoretical debates from which these tools have emerged.

Topics covered include:

  • Strategy process
  • Schools of strategic thought
  • Corporate diversification
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • International diversification

Corporate finance is an essential part in the management of corporations. This course provides a solid understanding of questions and practices in corporate finance, and focuses on a limited number of topics such as capital structure decisions, investment decisions with debt financing, and corporate valuations and its applications in various context in finance such as mergers and acquisitions and leverage buy-outs. We study basic theoretical foundations of corporate finance theory and link it to real business decisions and the latest practice in the field. By the end of the course you are able to understand the importance of capital structure decisions on firms, make corporate investment decisions with debt financing, and value a firm or a financial asset in general.


Electives may be assessed by written assignment, individual and/or group presentations and class participation in any combination. Elective assignments are normally due at the end of Lent Term.