Central Saint Martins Birkbeck MBA

What happens when you mix an arts school with a business school? The Central Saint Martins Birkbeck MBA is a different kind of MBA that places creative approaches and social engagement at the heart of future management and leadership. The course challenges the orthodox business school approach to education, and instead focuses on cross-disciplinary collaboration. You will become a new type of business graduate: one who can combine genuinely creative thinking and innovation with core financial and strategic management skills.

The MBA is open for enquiries. If you have any questions please email the Course Leader, Pamela Yeow, p.yeow@csm.arts.ac.uk.

This course is part of the Culture and Enterprise programme.


Reasons to Apply

  • Our MBA’s radical approach lies in its philosophy: deep research and analysis leading to real, root-and-branch, change.
 This course places tools and concepts in context, combining design thinking and creative problem solving with rigorous academic content.
  • Benefit from the combined strengths of two highly regarded institutions, in the central London locations of King’s Cross and Bloomsbury, offering graduates access to an expansive and supportive international network.
  • A cross-disciplinary approach to prepare you for complex and ever-changing business environments allowing you to develop critical thinking, decision-making, emotional intelligence, negotiation and creative cognitive flexibility.
  • Embracing the different perspectives of your cohort comprising students from a variety of professional industries and international cultures. Your colleagues will reframe problems and challenge the status quo.
  • Enabling you to pursue your studies part-time while continuing in your full-time career.


Course Leader

Dr Pamela Yeow PhD (Sheffield)

Course Location

King’s Cross, London. Tel: +44 (0)20 7514 7023

Study LevelPostgraduate
Study ModePart time
Course Length18 months
Home/EU Fee

Tuition fees for 2017/18: £27,000.

International Fee

Tuition fees for 2017/18: £27,000.

Start DateSeptember 2017
Autumn Term DatesMonday 25 September 2017 – Friday 8 December 2017
Spring Term DatesMonday 8 January 2018 – Friday 16 March 2018
Summer Term DatesMonday 9 April 2018 – Friday 22 June 2018
Application Route

Direct application

Content and structure

Course and Modular content

Unit 1: Provocation and Enquiry (60 credits)

Sprint 1: Team working

  • Collaborative teams: identifying their value, cultural capital and experience
  • Tackles complex, multi-themed problems involving points of provocation
  • Communications, problem definition, stakeholder analysis and action plan formulation

Sprint 2: Systems, complexity and networks

  • Practical systematic and holistic approaches to composite problem solving
  • Basic systems concepts
  • Principles of systems thinking, stakeholders, pluralism, critical systems, complexity, complex adaptive systems, agile working networks and network analysis

Sprint 3: Business models and strategy

  • Business model innovation and development
  • Strategising networks of stakeholders, sustainability and ethical considerations
  • Practice and process of strategic management

Sprint 4: Finance and governance

  • Resource management: governance; accounting; financing decisions; sustainability; ethics; alternative value systems; law and regulation
  • Resource and planning
  • Finance and management accounting techniques

Sprint 5: Project

Working from both tutor- and student-led themes, contexts or questions, you will be tasked with self-organising and proposing an approach and/or set of responses which puts into practice the knowledge and skills developed in the earlier sprints.

Unit 2: Entrepreneurship in action (20 credits)

  • Entrepreneurship: creativity, innovation and problem solving
  • Value systems beyond economics
  • Emergent approaches to venture design: Lean Startup, Design Thinking and Effectual Entrepreneurship
  • Enterprise and entrepreneurship over the past three decades
  • Practical experience applying these tools by iteratively designing a new start-up project

Unit 3: Effecting change: Collaboration in practice (40 credits)

Sprint 1: Leadership and Change

Organisational behavior, leadership, change management, team working, and human resource development.

Sprint 2: Marketing, social media and analytics

  • Marketing decision making in contemporary business
  • Marketing strategies within the context of corporate objectives
  • Technology, consumer decision making and marketing practice
  • Exploring analytics and ‘big data’ strategies
  • Strategic marketing, consumer behavior, digital channels, social media and marketing metrics

Sprint 3: Operations and technology

  • Business processes, quality systems, risk management, production, ICT, and supply chain management
  • Customer orientation and competitive advantage
  • Strategic role of operations and operations strategy
  • Design of processes and the implications for layout and flow
  • Design and management of supply networks
  • Resource planning and management
  • Lean systems
  • Quality planning and managing improvement

Sprint 4: Project

Working in small groups and choosing a self-selected theme, context or question, you will tasked with self-organising and proposing an approach which draws on and puts into practice the knowledge and skills developed in earlier sprints.

Unit 4: Extended Live Project or Dissertation (60)

This final unit acts as a culmination of your learning, and requires critical reflection on previously encountered theories, discourses, tools and process, while developing new approaches to social challenges and business/organisational opportunities.

You will test some of the ideas and knowledge by electing one of the two following options:

  1.  Live Project: develop an individual practical project which revolves around the creation of an intervention, based on the theoretical approaches and practical tools and processes encountered earlier in the course. The project chosen can either be a real-world intervention, or can take the form of a detailed hypothetical proposal.
  2.  Dissertation: create a critical academic study based on in-depth, critical analysis of the theoretical principles and discourses of contemporary social challenges and business/organisational opportunities. These may encompass sociology and ethnography, economic and political theory, management and organisation theory, and other relevant fields of academic analysis and critique. You are encouraged to explore the boundaries of the disciplines concerned, and to identify new areas of research within a potentially expanded field of practice within business and organisations.

Entry requirements

Students applying for the Central Saint Martins Birkbeck MBA must submit a fully completed application form online ensuring that all required documentation to demonstrate that they have or will fulfil the admissions requirements by the commencement of their course of study. The relatively small class sizes will enable us to operate a student recruitment process which involves significant interaction with prospective applicants before the formal application stage, to help establish whether or not there is a good fit between the MBA and the prospective applicant. 

Central Saint Martins Birkbeck MBA applicants must have an Honours Degree, and normally at least three years of relevant working and/or professional experience, but we will look at exceptional candidates with less. Applicants without a first degree but with substantial number of years working experience will also be considered. The relevant disciplines and professional fields are:

  • Business Studies
  • Management
  • Social Sciences
  • Humanities
  • Physical Sciences
  • Marketing
  • Design

English Language Requirements

All classes are conducted in English. If English is not your first language, we strongly recommend you send us an English language test score together with your application to prove your level of proficiency. If you have booked a test or are awaiting your results, please clearly indicate this on your application form. When you have received your test score, please send it to us immediately. The standard English language requirement for entry is IELTS 7.0 with a minimum of 6.0 in any one paper, or equivalent. For further information visit the Language Centre website.