Online course details

Study options

Part-time: 2-3 years

UK fee

£9,090 (2022/23)

International fee

£9,090 (2022/23)

Course level




Start dates

January, May, September



Online course description

The highlights

  • This is an online MSc Strategic Management that’s relevant to people working in all sectors: private, public and third
  • It’s accredited by ILM. This enables you to gain an extra professional qualification in addition to the MSc for no extra work or cost, and gives you access to ILM member benefits, including professional events, resources, research and insights
  • We’ve won acclaim in the higher education world for our innovative approach to entrepreneurship and ‘intrapreneurship’
  • You will be encouraged to think creatively and test out your ideas and strategies by running a virtual business. This is known as business simulation
  • This is a very flexible online MSc, which is delivered all year round, has a choice of start dates, and gives you the ability to adjust the pace of your study
100%agree that overall, they are satisfied with the quality of the course**Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey 2022
100%agree that the support for using IT and accessing resources meets their needs**Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey 2022
100%agree that the course is well organised and is running smoothly**Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey 2022

Become a strategic thinker and leader

A robust strategy, implemented well and managed effectively, enables organisations to operate competitively and to thrive in an ever-changing business landscape. The success of a strategy’s execution depends largely on the talent and capability of its leadership - even a great strategy can fail if it’s not well-executed. So this MSc Strategic Management aims to transform you into a modern strategic thinker and leader, who can bring about change in the organisations you work for. These could be organisations in the private, public or third sectors.

You will gain a fundamental understanding of how to plan, formulate and execute strategy through innovative and entrepreneurial approaches. The programme has three central themes, which are important to all organisations today, wherever they are based in the world:

  1. Entrepreneurship / Intrapreneurship - We’ve been praised for our innovative approach to entrepreneurship. Although many courses teach entrepreneurship in the context of new start-ups, our MSc focuses on embedding entrepreneurial practices within more established companies (known as ‘intrapreneurship’)

    We encourage you to innovate and come up with new ideas, products, services and processes, that can help organisations achieve their targets or objectives. These objectives might be to create growth, find a competitive edge, or respond to specific challenges.
  2. Sustainability - Any organisation that wants a long-term future, needs to make sustainability integral to its strategy. On this MSc, we’re aiming to create strategic leaders who can align business models with sustainable economies and can re-invent products for a more sustainable future. We also offer a separate pathway for students who want to focus more on this: the online MSc Strategic Sustainability Management.
  3. Internationalisation - We live in a global economy, accelerated by the rise of e-commerce, which means that internationalisation affects all types of organisation - small, medium and large; public, private and non-profit. But there are many challenges and barriers between countries - institutional, cultural, geographical, environmental - and it’s vital that strategic leaders understand these so they can make good decisions

    Through our core module, International Business Strategies, you will explore this topic in more detail and learn how to prepare organisations for inevitable challenges, such as changing political ideologies, wars and conflicts, supply chain issues and commodity price rises.

One-year Postgraduate Certificate option

If you would like a postgraduate qualification for your CPD but don’t feel ready to commit to a full masters, opt for the online Postgraduate Certificate in Strategic Management. It’s the first stage of this MSc and can be completed in 12 months.

ILM accreditation and an extra professional qualification

This MSc Strategic Management is accredited by ILM, a prestigious UK leadership and management professional body, which is part of the City & Guilds Group. We offer a dual award, which means you can achieve the ILM Level 7 Diploma in Leadership and Management alongside the MSc, for no extra work or cost. This is subject to you passing the following three modules:

  • Strategic Execution, Management and Leadership
  • Strategy Formulation, Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  • Independent Study

The ILM L7 Diploma is an internationally recognised professional qualification, valued by employers.

ilm Dual-accreditation logo

This ILM accreditation also means you will be entitled to three years of ILM student membership for free, which brings a host of benefits, including access to professional events and training, resources, research and insights. Visit ILM’s website to find out more about the benefits of student membership, or watch the following video:

the benefits of studying the online Strategic Management MSc dual award programme

View the benefits of the Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM) Accreditation video transcript

Manage a virtual company - take risks, make mistakes, learn

An exciting feature of this course is the ability to run a virtual company in a simulated business environment and manage all the key aspects of the business such as finance, marketing, strategy and operations. This enables you to practice start-up or scale up business strategy in a risk-free environment.

You can compete against the markets or choose to go head-to-head with other virtual companies. As you practice entrepreneurial leadership, you can play forward and rewind decisions whilst simulating time, money, stress, staff morale and efficiency. It provides more meaningful and deeper learning than more traditional static case studies.

A talk from our academic

Our academic for strategic managment programs, Dr Salman Ahmad, talks about our online Strategic Management courses.

Our course academic talks about the online Strategic Management courses

View the online Strategic Management courses video transcript

If you have any further questions you can contact-us.

What you will study

We will advise you of your study plan - the running order and availability of the modules - when you are invited to enrol.

The Masters (MSc) award is achieved by completing six 20 credit modules and the two 0 credit modules. In addition there is the final research project which is a triple module, worth 60 credits, during which you will undertake an in-depth independent study.

    Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.

    2 people looking at a tablet

    Online MSc Strategic Management Q&A: November 2022

    Tuesday, 22 November 2022 14.45 - 15.15

    If you're interested in joining the online Strategic Management programme and wish to find out more, join the live Q&A to hear from Dr Salman Ahmed, Programme Leader, and get your questions answered.

    Book your webinarBook your webinar

    How you will learn

    This MSc is delivered entirely online through our user-friendly digital learning environment. You will interact with your tutors and fellow students through a mix of virtual live classrooms, tutorials and guest lectures. You will also have a go at managing a virtual company through our advanced business simulation platform.

    You will use forums and community spaces for group discussions, and there are other collaborative tools for group projects and assignments, such as wikis. Digital texts, ebooks, journals, databases and more are available electronically via our library.

    You will be taught by expert academics who are practising professionals too. They bring examples from the business world into their teaching, so the content is always current and topical.

    Supporting you to succeed

    If you are nervous about studying online or haven’t studied for a long time, don’t worry. Many of our students are the same at the beginning of their course, so we have put in place support to enable everyone to succeed.

    Firstly, our IT Service Centre provides technical support 24 hours a day, so whichever time zone you're in, there will be help on hand. Then there’s our team of online learner advisors who can answer your non-academic questions, such as those about study plans, submitting assessments, deadlines, payments, loans or fees.

    Finally, if you need support with your study skills, there are lots of resources available, including guides, audio-visual tutorials and webinars. These cover topics like: research skills, critical evaluation in an academic context, literature searches, referencing, plagiarism and more.

    Pace of study

    The academic year is made up of three, ten-week terms, known as trimesters. We recommend doing about 20 hours of study each week to complete one 20-credit module over a trimester.

    If you want to complete the course faster, you can choose to take our accelerated study plan. For this, you will need to study two modules in one trimester, which would mean about 40 hours of study each week.

    Think carefully before you choose the accelerated rate - it’s important that you have enough time to fully engage with your studies and produce the best work that you can. We often advise that you study one module at the standard rate before deciding whether to then increase to the accelerated rate.


    This course is assessed entirely through coursework. There will be ongoing assessment (known as ‘formative assessment’) through things like self-assessment, peer review, or feedback directly from your tutor. Then there will be assessments for each module that count towards your grades (‘summative assessments’), such as:

    • computer-aided tests
    • research projects
    • business reports
    • case study analyses
    • collaborative group work, and
    • reflective reports

    These assessments will usually be about applying your learning to your own organisation or a case study organisation, or they may relate to your personal development.

    The final assessment on the MSc is the independent study, a triple module worth 60 credits. This is a major research project applied to a workplace, or you may choose to produce an academic paper for publication. You will be supported by an academic supervisor who will guide you through this process towards your final submission.

    Personal Development Planning (PDP) and employability

    Personal development planning (PDP) is embedded throughout this course. During your studies, you will be encouraged to reflect on your personal brand and consider areas for personal or professional development. You will have access to reflective self-assessment and personal diagnostic tools and a wealth of resources to help you reflect on your current competencies. In addition, personal tutoring, coaching and career development workshops, delivered by the University or ILM, will all help you to create your individualised leadership and personal development plan.

    To further enhance your employability, we have embedded two support modules into the programme:

    • Transforming Personal Skills, and
    • Career Coaching and Mentoring

    These modules are designed to help you to reflect on your personal skills, strengths and weaknesses while aiding your long-term career planning and professional development. You will also be able to take advantage of the services offered by the University’s Careers and Employment Service.

    Student support and guidance

    Whilst we encourage our students to become independent, life-long learners, we also recognise that offering the right support and guidance will help you to achieve your goals. There is a wealth of support available to you at the University, from your dedicated Personal Tutor and Online Learner Advisor, through to our:

    All these services, and more, are available to you as an online student at the University of Derby.

    Who will teach you

    Yukari Iguchi leaning on a hand rail

    Yukari Iguchi
    Programme leader

    Academic Lead for Hospitality and Business, Yukari Iguchi, is responsible for a range of online hospitality and business programmes. She has professional experience in the international hospitality industry and since she joined academia she performed a range of roles to support international and distance learning students and institutional partners.

    View full staff profileView full staff profile

    Entry requirements

    You should normally have a UK undergraduate degree (at least a 2:2) with honours in any business-related subject, or an equivalent international qualification. Equivalent professional qualifications will also be considered for entry.

    If you do not have the above required academic or professional qualifications but do have significant management experience and a substantial record of achievement, then we will also consider your application.

    Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

    RPL may be available for you based upon past study and experience.

    English language qualifications

    If English is not your first language or you have not completed your undergraduate degree at a UK University, you will need an English language qualification. For this course you will need at least one of the following:

    • IELTS 6.0 (minimum of 5.5 in each module)*
    • TOEFL 550 (paper based), 213 (computer based) or 80 (internet based)
    • Pearson Test of Academic English: 51
    • Cambridge Advanced Certificate: Pass
    • London Tests of English: we accept level 4 for postgraduate courses
    • International GCE O Level English Language: Grade C
    • International GCSE English/English as a Second Language: Grade C
    • ASE Proficiency: Pass

    *If you have a minimum of IELTS level 4.5, you can study our Certificate of Credit in English for Academic Purposes, which we will accept as evidence that you are able to perform at a suitable level of IELTS 6.0. We will also accept the Certificate of Credit as evidence that you can perform at GCSE level.

    If you are unable to take an English Language Test locally, you may wish to consider our Derby English Language Test (DELT), which is an online test in two parts: reading and writing, and listening and speaking. Take a look at our Derby English Language test (DELT) page for full course details, online exam dates and how to book.

    Fees and funding

    2022/23 Fees for new entrants

    Starting between September 2022 and August 2023.

     Per 20 creditsModulesCost
    UK/EU/International £1,010 7 (six 20-credit modules and one 60-credit module) £9,090

    2023/24 Fees for new entrants

    Starting between September 2023 and August 2024.

     Per 20 creditsModulesCost
    UK/EU/International £1,055 7 (six 20-credit modules and one 60-credit module) £9,495

    About your fees

    This figure would be the total cost of this course in the current academic year. However, please note that fees normally increase in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees, which is reviewed on an annual basis. The total fee you pay may therefore increase if your course lasts longer than one year.

    However, please also note that you can receive a 5% discount if you either:

    • Pay your full course fees upfront, or
    • When enrolling in September, pay for all of your modules to be studied in that academic year upfront

    Flexible payment plans available

    Choose from three payment plan options:

    • Pay monthly and only for the modules you are studying

    • Pay your full course fees upfront, receive 5% discount and avoid annual increases

    • Pay for all modules studied in the year and receive a 5% discount (September enrolment only)

    Masters funding options

    Depending on where you are from in the UK or EU, and on your pace of study, you may be eligible for a postgraduate student loan. Accessible through Student Finance, this is a non-income based loan to help with living costs and tuition fees whilst studying your masters programme.

    Alumni discount for Derby graduates

    We offer a discount on postgraduate course fees for all Derby alumni.

    Find out more about the Alumni discount

    How to apply

    Please look at our application deadlines before you apply.

    Students should apply directly to the University.

    Apply now

    For support with completing your application, view our guide to the application process.

    Documents to support your application

    In order for your application to be assessed, you will need to provide the following documents when you apply:

    • Photo ID – this could be your passport or driving licence
    • Current CV
    • Written reference supplied on headed paper from either a manager, supervisor, tutor or teacher
    • Copies of certificates and transcripts or a letter of testimony for previous qualifications*

    *Documents not in English or Welsh must be accompanied by a certified translation by a professional translator/translation company. Each translation must contain:

    • Confirmation from the translator that it is an accurate translation of the original document
    • The date of the translation
    • The full name and signature of the translator, or an authorised official of the company
    • The translator’s contact details

    A list of approved translators can be found on the UK Government website.

    Please note: failure to submit any documentation when requested, may result in your application being withdrawn.

    Application deadlines

    All of our online courses have set start dates throughout the year. We require time to review your application and get back to you with a response before your course starts. Take a look at information regarding applying for an online course to see full details of deadlines and term dates.


    This MSc in Strategic Management will help transform you into a skilled and thoroughly modern strategic leader and manager. You will be able to formulate, manage and execute business strategy in innovative and creative ways. The course is relevant to strategic management roles in any size of organisation and within any sector.

    It can also help you to diversify in your career, since optional modules enable you to learn more about a range of business functions, including human capital and talent management, accounting and finance, marketing, and risk management.

    You will become particularly skilled in areas related to the programme’s core themes, which are also some of the most important challenges and opportunities facing organisations today: entrepreneurship or intrapreneurship, sustainability, and internationalisation. You will find that your knowledge of these areas makes you highly employable.

    If you are already in work, you will be able to apply knowledge learned on the programme directly into your workplace throughout the course, helping you to make a positive impact quickly. This will be rewarding on a personal level and will be of great value to your employer or to your own business.

    If you want to continue studying after this MSc, you could progress onto a PhD, DBA or other research degree in the area of business management and leadership.

    Contact us

    Contact the University of Derby Online Learning:

    Contact usContact usFrequently asked questionsFrequently asked questions

    Other courses you might like