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Electives on the Tripos

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

In today’s dynamic business environment, innovation is increasingly being driven by digitisation, ubiquitious connectivity and globalisation. Across all kinds of industries, these developments are transforming how the firm creates value in its sector. To innovate, firms are collaborating in new ways and with customers and business partners across global networks. To successfully leverage these opportunities, however, leaders must deploy an effective strategy in institutionalising innovation. On this elective you examine the key opportunities and challenges that firms face in leveraging business 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.

This elective provides an understanding of the nature and extent of the globalisation of business, and examines the economic forces that give rise to global economic integration and the nature and behaviour of the key agent of global business, the multinational corporation.

Please note that you cannot take this elective if you’ve previously taken any part of the Economics 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.