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Central Saint Martins Birkbeck MBA

College
CSM
Start date
September 2018
Course length
18 months

Course summary

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.

This course is part of the Culture and Enterprise programme.

Great 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.

We are honoured to have been shortlisted for the “Reimagine Education” award for innovative business education:

Open days

22 November 2018, 4-7.30pm - Open Evening at Birkbeck
Tuesday, 4 December at 5pm - CSM
Tuesday, 19 March at 5:30pm - CSM
Wednesday, 31 July at 5pm - CSM

Apply now

Apply using our online form. Please read our How to apply section below first.

Have a question?

Use our short form and we'll respond as quickly as possible.

Learn more about the course in our short introductory film

Meet the Course Leader, Pamela Yeow

What are the ten skills you need to succeed in business?

Gallery

Central Saint Martins Birkbeck MBA Podcast

Current students

Photograph of Eubert Malcolm
Eubert Malcolm
Photography of Simona Pietropaolo
Simona Pietropaolo
Photograph of Sydney Turnbull
Sydney Turnbull
 Photograph of Valeria Pratto
Valeria Pratto

Course details

The Central Saint Martins Birkbeck MBA takes a unique and radical approach, placing ethics, creative thinking and social engagement at the heart of modern business education.

This course develops future leaders with compassion, resilience and the ability to adapt to an increasingly complex world.

Students benefit from the combined strengths of two specialist institutions in central London, as well as their expansive and supportive international networks.

Combining rigorous academic standards and the core elements of a traditional MBA with applied projects for innovative organisations, our students advance their critical thinking, emotional intelligence, decision making and creative cognitive flexibility.

The course has been specifically designed to allow students to continue with their careers alongside studying.

Consisting of four Units, the MBA is delivered via a blended Part-Time/Distance Learning pathway, online and through 12 intensive study weekend “Sprints” at alternating Central Saint Martins and  Birkbeck campuses.

Each Sprint runs all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday, at regular five week intervals and is accompanied by three online sessions (a pre-Sprint Webinar, a post-Sprint Wrap up and a Segue to link the outgoing and incoming topics) of 1.5 hours each.

Students are also expected to engage in self-study (including assignments and reading) of between two and three hours per day.

Course units

Unit One: Provocation and enquiry (60 credits)

Dates: September 2018 – February 2019

Sprint One: 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 Two: 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 Three: Business models and strategy

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

Sprint Four: 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 Five: 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 Two: Entrepreneurship in action (20 credits)

Dates: March – July, 2019

  • 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 Three: Effecting change: Collaboration in practice (40 credits)

Dates: April – September 2019

Sprint One: Leadership and change

  • Organisational behaviour
  • Leadership
  • Change Management
  • Team Working
  • Human resource development.

Sprint Two: 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 behaviour, digital channels, social media and marketing metrics.

Sprint Three: 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 Four: Extended live project or dissertation (60 credits)

Dates: October 2019 – March 2020

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:

  • 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
  • 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.

Staff

Pamela  Yeow

Pamela Yeow

Central Saint Martins Birkbeck MBA, Course Leader

Jeremy  Till

Jeremy Till

Head of Central Saint Martins and Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University of the Arts

Lorna Jean  Dallas-Conte

Lorna Jean Dallas-Conte

Associate Lecturer, MA Innovation Management and MA Applied Imagination in the Creative Industries

Paul  Sturrock

Paul Sturrock

MA Innovation Management, Associate Lecturer

Director of the Innovations Insights Hub: Lucy Kimbell
Programme Director, Culture and Enterprise: Dominic Stone
Lecturer/Associate Professor: Julian Sims
Lecturer/Associate Professor: Daniel Nunan

How to apply

Opportunities for all

We are committed to making university education an achievable option for a wider range of people and to supporting all of our students in achieving their potential both during and after their courses.

We welcome applications from people with disabilities. If you have a disability (e.g. mobility difficulties, sensory impairments, medical or mental health conditions or Asperger’s syndrome) we strongly encourage you to contact us on disability@arts.ac.uk or +44 (0)20 7514 6156 so that we can plan the right support for you. All enquiries are treated confidentially. To find out more, visit our Disability & Dyslexia webpages.

Entry requirements

The standard entry requirements for this course are as follows:

  • An Honours degree OR
  • An equivalent EU / international qualification

AND normally at least three years of relevant professional experience.

APEL - Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) Learning

Exceptionally applicants who do not meet these course entry requirements may still be considered. The course team will consider each application that demonstrates additional strengths and alternative evidence. This might, for example, be demonstrated by:

*          Related academic or work experience

*          The quality of the personal statement

*          A strong academic or other professional reference

*          OR a combination of these factors.

Each application will be considered on its own merit but we cannot guarantee an offer in each case.

English Language Requirements

IELTS level 7.0 or above, with at least 6.0 in reading, writing, listening and speaking (please check our main English Language requirements webpage).

Selection criteria

We select applicants according to potential and current ability in the following areas:

  • Have the ability to think in abstract terms about planning, management, and resources
  • Have excellent communication skills
  • Be numerate, and display some experience and understanding of logistics and strategic thinking
  • Be team players and builders, not competitive individualists
  • Demonstrate a collaborative mindset and an ability to negotiate roles within multidisciplinary and cross-cultural teams
  • Have a strong level of standard computer literacy.

What we are looking for

We actively seek applicant whose prior experience and track record will equip them to make a meaningful contribution to classroom activity and discussion.

Making your application

For EU applicants concerned about Brexit, please see our dedicated page: Brexit Information for Students.

You should apply by clicking on the link to the direct form below. The application form can be saved as you fill it out, so you do not need to complete it all at once. You will also have the chance to review all the information and make any necessary amendments before you submit the application form.

For further advice on how to apply please visit the UAL International Application page.

Start your application now

Central Saint Martins does not accept applications for deferred entry. You should therefore apply in the year you wish to study.

Before you apply, please take time to read the guidance below. You will be asked to provide the following information when completing the online application form:

General information

Personal details (including legal full name, date of birth, nationality, addresses)

Current English language level

Current and/or previous education and qualification details

Employment history

Personal Statement

Your personal statement should be approximately 300 words in length, and outline the following:

  • Why do you want to study on the MBA course at CSM?
  • How you see the MBA impacting on your future career?
  • The reasons you wish to be considered for the MBA course at CSM.

References

This course requires two professional references, one of which must be from a current employer. All references must be received from a verifiable source or on headed company paper. The reference should address the following points:

  • Professional and intellectual ability
  • Capacity for original thinking
  • Motivation for further study
  • Written and oral communication skills, including willingness to contribute valuably to discussion/debate where appropriate
  • Leadership potential.

Please get in touch with the admissions team if the submission of your reference is delaying the completion of your application.

CV

You should provide a full and detailed CV or résumé which demonstrates career progression. Applicants must have a minimum of three years full time post-graduate work experience, preferably with some managerial responsibility.

We cannot consider your application if you do not provide all of the information above.

Application deadline

We recommend you apply by the end of July at the very latest to avoid disappointment.  We reserve the right to close applications earlier than the deadline above subject to spaces available.

There are two ways international students can apply:

  • One of our official representatives in your country
  • A direct application.

If you are applying directly you click on the link to the direct form below. The application form can be saved as you fill it out, so you do not need to complete it all at once. You will also have the chance to review all the information and make any necessary amendments before you submit the application form.

If you are not from the European Economic Area (EEA) and/or Switzerland and do not already have an immigration status that permits you to study this course, you will need to apply for a Tier 4 General Student Visa.  (Please note that this is a part-time course and conditions applied to Tier 4 visas for part-time study are different from those applied to visas for full-time study.)

Start your application now

Central Saint Martins does not accept applications for deferred entry. You should therefore apply in the year you wish to study.

Before you apply, please take time to read the guidance below. You will be asked to provide the following information when completing the online application form:

General information

Personal details (including legal full name, date of birth, nationality, addresses)

Current English language level

Current and/or previous education and qualification details

Employment history

Personal Statement

Your personal statement should be approximately 300 words in length, and outline the following:

  • Why do you want to study on the MBA course at CSM?
  • How you see the MBA impacting on your future career?
  • The reasons you wish to be considered for the MBA course at CSM.

References

This course requires two professional references, one of which must be from a current employer. All references must be received from a verifiable source or on headed company paper. The reference should address the following points:

  • Professional and intellectual ability
  • Capacity for original thinking
  • Motivation for further study
  • Written and oral communication skills, including willingness to contribute valuably to discussion/debate where appropriate
  • Leadership potential.

Please get in touch with the admissions team if the submission of your reference is delaying the completion of your application.

CV

You should provide a full and detailed CV or résumé which demonstrates career progression. Applicants must have a minimum of three years full time post-graduate work experience, preferably with some managerial responsibility.

Immigration history check

Whether you are applying online or through a UAL representative you will need to complete an immigration history check to establish whether you are eligible to study at UAL.  If you do not complete the check we will not be able to proceed with your application.

We cannot consider your application if you do not provide all of the information above.

Application deadline

We recommend you apply by the end of July at the very latest to avoid disappointment.  We reserve the right to close applications earlier than the deadline above subject to spaces available.


After you apply

Communicating with you

After you have successfully submitted your application, you will receive an email confirming we have successfully received your application and providing you with your login details for the UAL Portal.  We will request any additional information from you, including inviting you to upload documents or book an audition, through the portal.  You should check your UAL Portal regularly for any important updates and requests.

What happens next

Initial application check

We check your application to see if you meet the standard entry requirements for the course.  Following a review of the application documents, successful applicants will be invited to an interview, either in person or by skype.

Interview

A key element of the interview involves consideration of how your prior experience and track record will equip you to make a meaningful contribution to classroom activity and discussion and to determine whether the course is right for your aims and expectations.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

You will receive the outcome of your application through the UAL Portal.

Fees & Funding

Home/EU fee

£27,000 (2018/19)

You can pay course tuition fees in instalments for this course.

International fee

£27,000 (2018/19)

Additional costs

In addition to tuition fees you are very likely to incur additional costs such as travel expenses and the cost of materials. Please read the information on our additional costs page.

You can pay course tuition fees in instalments for this course.

Payment Plan

To accept the offer you will need to pay an initial deposit of £450. The MBA tuition fees of £27,000 can be paid over three instalments as follows:

  • 50% of total tuition fee less deposit of £450 to be paid at or before Enrolment (net payment of £13,050 for students beginning the Course in September 2018);
  • 30% of total tuition fee to be paid on or before the first day of the summer term (instalment payment of £8,100 on or before 15th April 2019 for students beginning the Course in Sept 2018);
  • The remaining 20% of total tuition fee to be paid on or before the first day of the autumn term (instalment payment of £5,400 on or before 1st October 2019 for students beginning the Course in September 2018).

Sponsors

Read our terms regarding Sponsors payment options.

Accommodation

Find out about the accommodation options available and how much they will cost.

Scholarship search

Careers and alumni

The World Economic Forum consulted business leaders from major global organisations for its The Future of Jobs Report (2016). It concluded that the ten skills that an employee will need by 2020 are:

  • Complex problem solving
  • Critical thinking
  • Creativity
  • People management
  • Coordinating with others
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Judgement and decision making
  • Service orientation
  • Negotiation
  • Cognitive flexibility.

The MBA embeds these in its curriculum.

The course aims to prepare graduates for the next step in their careers, whether it be a transformational senior management role within their current industry, or a new role in a completely new field of work. Entrepreneurial students are encouraged to set up their own businesses.

The emphasis on positive transformation, and a socially-motivated desire to change the world, coupled with a solid understanding of business and management will create graduates who are keen to bring about fundamental innovation and systemic change.

With this MBA, students will be able to transfer their skills within their current industry, or across industries. With developed managerial competences and innovation practice, graduates will be able to seek employment or further their career opportunities in positions that apply design thinking to complex problems, and take a holistic view of business issues. With developed leadership capacities, they will be able to combine ‘thinking’ and ‘doing’ with robust knowledge and application in organisations.

For details of the wide range of careers support provided for students, please visit:

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