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Postgraduate

Master of Business Administration (MBA)

A room full of people looking at each other

College
Central Saint Martins
Start date
September 2022
Course length
18 months (60 weeks)
Low-residency mode

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 leadership. At Central Saint Martins, this course is part of the Culture and Enterprise programme, and at Birkbeck it is part of the Department of Management.

Why choose this course at Central Saint Martins

  • A different kind of MBA: This joint degree is unique in many ways ­– in pedagogy, delivery mode and stakeholder network.
  • Joint networks: You will benefit from the combined strengths of two highly regarded institutions, giving you access to an expansive and supportive international network.
  • Flexible learning: This course enables you to pursue your studies part-time while continuing in your full-time career.
  • Cross-disciplinary approach: This will prepare you for complex and ever-changing business environments. You will develop critical thinking, decision-making, emotional intelligence, negotiation and creative cognitive flexibility.

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

An introduction to Master of Business Administration (MBA)

Meet the Course Leader, Pamela Yeow

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

Testimonials

Charles Nas-Omogiafo reflects on his time on the MBA

Alumni speaking about their MBA journey

Our students

MBA stories

Central Saint Martins Birkbeck MBA podcast

MBA on Twitter

Follow MBA on Twitter

Student work

  • 54944.jpg
    , Women in Leadership panel discussion with business leaders Diana The, Nancy Johnston, Caroline Hargrove and Harveen Cough. Chaired by course leader Pamela Yeow. Photo: Marcus Tate
  • 54958-v2b.jpg
    , Women in Leadership panel discussion with business leaders Diana The, Nancy Johnston, Caroline Hargrove and Harveen Cough. Chaired by course leader Pamela Yeow. Photo: Marcus Tate
  • 54985.jpg
    , Women in Leadership panel discussion with business leaders Diana The, Nancy Johnston, Caroline Hargrove and Harveen Cough. Chaired by course leader Pamela Yeow. Photo: Marcus Tate
  • 54959-1.jpg
    , Women in Leadership panel discussion with business leaders Diana The, Nancy Johnston, Caroline Hargrove and Harveen Cough. Chaired by course leader Pamela Yeow. Photo: Marcus Tate
  • 54945-1.jpg
    , Women in Leadership panel discussion with business leaders Diana The, Nancy Johnston, Caroline Hargrove and Harveen Cough. Chaired by course leader Pamela Yeow. Photo: Marcus Tate
  • 54904.jpg
    , Drama workshop to unlock, discover and cultivate students' leadership capabilities within a period of growing economic, societal and technological change. Part of the Leadership and Change sprint. Photo: Marcus Tate

Course overview

The course challenges the orthodox business school approach to education. Instead, it focuses on cross-disciplinary collaboration. You will become a new type of business graduate: one who can combine creative thinking and innovation with core financial and strategic management skills. We train future leaders with compassion, resilience and the ability to adapt to an increasingly complex world. 

For this MBA, Central Saint Martins has entered into a high-level collaborative partnership with Birkbeck, University of London. Birkbeck is ranked amongst the top universities in the world. Over 90% of academics are research-active and many are renowned experts in their fields. It offers over 200 full-time undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.  

The MBA recognises the crucial role that the cultural economy will play in wealth creation in the coming decades. The course aims to create a new network of practitioners and leaders. You will emerge with hybrid skills and approaches suited to the social and political challenges of a digital and data-driven world. That is, a world in which innovation and creativity are central to the development of new industries, products and services. 

In 2016, the World Economic Forum consulted business leaders from major global organisations for its The Future of Jobs Report. It concluded that the ten skills and qualities 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 Central Saint Martins Birkbeck MBA embeds these in its curriculum. You will develop key management and leadership skills through a progression of assessments, activities and education sessions. You will cover expected MBA disciplines such as strategy, marketing, finance, human resources, management, operations, planning, innovation and problem-solving. You will be exposed to these throughout your studies, starting from the induction and orientation weekend. As part of this, you will be expected to negotiate, make decisions, manage and lead teams in activities and solve problems.  

Contact us

For queries relating to the Coronavirus outbreak, read our Coronavirus guidance for prospective students.

To register your interest and receive information and updates about studying at UAL, please complete this form.

If you can’t find the information you’re looking for or to ask a question, please contact us.

Course dates

Please note that teaching will regularly take place over long weekends, in evenings and outside UAL term dates, including during standard student Easter and summer breaks.

Terms and conditions

MBA Enrolment Terms and Conditions 2021–22 [PDF 200kb]

Course units

The Central Saint Martins Birkbeck MBA curriculum has four units. Across all units, business and management-related theories are integrated into a real-world problem-solving approach to learning and teaching. This ensures a genuine convergence of theory and practice. 

Unit 1: Provocation and Enquiry

This unit starts by setting aspirations and unpacking the potential of the MBA. We begin with a series of questions: Why are you here? What are you trying to achieve? This activity will introduce you to the notion of co-production as pedagogical practice, in which you will create teaching and learning content and act as co-producer. This unit is predicated on learning to build new networks. Content, skill and knowledge are experienced through a series of “sprints” (short projects and topic areas). 

Unit 2: Entrepreneurship in Action

How does a perceived need become a product or service? This unit explores the ways creativity, innovation, problem-solving and entrepreneurship intersect. You will explore the development of enterprise, entrepreneurs as individuals and teams and to identify and formalise opportunities. You will then apply these tools to a practical project.

Unit 3: Effecting Change: Collaboration in Practice

This unit asks you to consider what it is to bring about positive change. How do we identify the need for change and how do we evaluate and reflect upon change? For whom is the change beneficial and how? What is the role of leadership and how do change agents interact with complex stakeholder networks? 

Unit 4: Extended Live Project or Dissertation

This final unit acts as a culmination to your learning. It will require you to critically reflect on previously encountered theories, discourses, tools and process. You will also develop new approaches to social challenges and organisational opportunities. This will take the form of either a self-directed live project or a self-directed final dissertation. 

Mode of study

The Central Saint Martins Birkbeck MBA is offered in low-residency mode which runs for 60 weeks over 18 months. You will be expected to commit 30 hours per week to study, which includes teaching time and independent study.  

This course is delivered via a blended part-time/distance learning pathway, online and through 12 intensive study weekend sprints.

Each sprint runs Friday, Saturday and Sunday, at regular five-week intervals and is accompanied by two online sessions of 1.5 hours each. 

Credit and award requirements

The course is credit-rated at 180 credits. 

On successfully completing the course, you will gain a Master of Business Administration (MBA degree).  Under the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications, an MBA is Level 7. All units must be passed in order to achieve the MBA and the classification of the award is derived from the achievement in all units. 

If you are unable to continue on the course, a Postgraduate Certificate (PG Cert) will normally be offered following the successful completion of 60 credits, or a Postgraduate Diploma (PG Dip) following the successful completion of 120 credits.

Learning and teaching methods

During your course you will engage with learning and teaching that includes both online and face-to-face modes. Typically, this will include:

  • Online webinars
  • Workshops 
  • Team work 
  • Student presentations to tutors and facilitators  
  • Interactions with relevant businesses and project hosts  
  • Peer and external feedback  
  • Tutorial facilitation and evaluation related to team, individual and cohort 

Assessment methods

  • Actively participate in each of the sprints 
  • Identify and perform a range of team roles 
  • Online interactions in the digital classroom 
  • Team-led and individual writing tasks and reports 
  • Individual evaluative report 
  • Group presentations 
  • Entrepreneurial team pitch 
  • Live project or dissertation 

Co-Acting Course Leader: Fred Yamoah
Co-Acting Course Leader: Julian Sims

Programme Director, Culture and Enterprise: Charlotte Bonham-Carter
Professors: Andrew Pettigrew (Birkbeck), Richard Vidgen (Birkbeck)
Senior Lecturer: 
Amy R Hackley (Birkbeck)
Lecturer: Sorin Piperca (Birkbeck)
Associate Lecturers: Chris Cornell (Birkbeck), Dominic Stone (CSM), Catherine Keane (CSM), Jean-Jacques Lescure (CSM), Jocelyn Bailey (CSM), Julian Sims (Birkbeck).

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.

AP(E)L – 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 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

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.

Deferred entry

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

Transfers

If you are currently studying at another institution and if you have successfully completed 60 credits in the equivalent units and modules on your current postgraduate course and wish to continue your studies at Central Saint Martins, you can apply to transfer. The Admissions Tutor will consider applications on a case by case basis, subject to places being available. You must apply directly to the course via the course webpage as early as possible.

Please check our Student Transfer Policy for more important information and be ready to provide us with your current course handbook and unit transcripts.

You will need to provide an official document (translated into English) from your current university, explaining the learning outcomes of the units you have completed.

Start your application now

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, preferred 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 the information above.

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 / portfolio / book an interview, through the portal.  You should check your UAL Portal regularly for any important updates and requests.

Please add csm.ukeu@arts.ac.uk to your contacts to ensure that you do not miss any important updates re: your application to UAL. Also consider altering your spam or junk mail filter to ensure that emails from @arts.ac.uk get through to you.

Application deadline

12 January 2022 or 13 April 2022

For all postgraduate courses at UAL there are 2 rounds of applications. This is to ensure equal consideration and fairness for all of our applicants. You must apply by 12 January 2022 for Round 1 or by 13 April 2022 for Round 2. We recommend you submit your application as early as possible before these deadlines, to allow the Admissions team to resolve any queries and progress your application as quickly as possible.

When you'll hear from us

Once you’ve sent in your application, this will be sent through to our course teams for review. Find out more about what happens after you apply.

There are two ways international students can apply:

You can only apply to the same course once per year.

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.

Transfers

If you are currently studying at another institution and if you have successfully completed 60 credits in the equivalent units and modules on your current postgraduate course and wish to continue your studies at Central Saint Martins, you can apply to transfer. The Admissions Tutor will consider applications on a case by case basis, subject to places being available. You must apply directly to the course via the course webpage as early as possible.

Please check our Student Transfer Policy for more important information and be ready to provide us with your current course handbook and unit transcripts.

You will need to provide an official document (translated into English) from your current university, explaining the learning outcomes of the units you have completed.

Deferred entry

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

Visas

Read our visit our immigration and visa advice page to find out whether you need a visa to study.

Start your application now

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, preferred 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 the information above.

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 / portfolio / book an interview, through the portal.  You should check your UAL Portal regularly for any important updates and requests.

Please add csm.international@arts.ac.uk to your contacts to ensure that you do not miss any important updates re: your application to UAL. Also consider altering your spam or junk mail filter to ensure that emails from @arts.ac.uk get through to you.

Application deadline

12 January 2022 or 13 April 2022

For all postgraduate courses at UAL there are 2 rounds of applications. This is to ensure equal consideration and fairness for all of our applicants. You must apply by 12 January 2022 for Round 1 or by 13 April 2022 for Round 2. We recommend you submit your application as early as possible before these deadlines, to allow the Admissions team to resolve any queries and progress your application as quickly as possible.

When you'll hear from us

Once you’ve sent in your application, this will be sent through to our course teams for review. Find out more about what happens after you apply.

After you apply

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 online interview.

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.  Interviews are online and last 15 to 20 minutes.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

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

Fees and funding

Home fee

£27,000

This fee is correct for 2021/22 entry and is subject to change for 2022/23 entry. For this course, you can pay tuition fees in instalments.

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

  • First instalment – 50% less the pre-payment to be paid at or before enrolment, on 11 October 2021 (net payment of £13,050.00)
  • Second instalment – 30% of tuition fee to be paid on or before 20 April 2022 – £8,100.00
  • Third instalment – 20% of tuition fee to be paid on or before 5 October 2022 – £5,400.00

Home fees are currently charged to UK resident nationals. However, the rules are complex and you can find out more on our tuition fees pages.

From 2021/22 entry, most EU students will be charged the International tuition fee rate, although this may depend on your individual circumstances. If you started your course in October 2020  or earlier, you’ll continue to pay Home (UK) fees for the duration of your course. Read more advice for EU students on our Brexit information webpage

International fee

£27,000

This fee is correct for 2021/22 entry and is subject to change for 2022/23 entry. For this course, you can pay tuition fees in instalments.

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

  • First instalment – 50% less the pre-payment to be paid at or before enrolment, on 11 October 2021 (net payment of £13,050.00)
  • Second instalment – 30% of tuition fee to be paid on or before 20 April 2022 – £8,100.00
  • Third instalment – 20% of tuition fee to be paid on or before 5 October 2022 – £5,400.00

International fees are currently charged to students from countries outside of the UK. However, the rules are complex and more information can be found on our tuition fees pages.

From 2021/22 entry, most EU students will be charged the International tuition fee rate, although this may depend on your individual circumstances. If you started your course in October 2020 or earlier, you’ll continue to pay Home (UK) fees for the duration of your course. Read more advice for EU students on our Brexit information webpage

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: