A robust strategy, implemented well and managed effectively, enables organisations to operate competitively and to thrive in an ever-changing, increasingly challenging business landscape. The success of a strategy’s execution depends largely on the talent and capability of its leadership. Without these, even the sharpest of strategies won't yield the desired outcomes.
Accredited by ILM, this contemporary Strategic Management Masters programme, with an optional specialist Strategic Sustainability Management pathway, is suited to those with strategic responsibility or who are becoming involved with organisational strategy. It is relevant to any profession and all sectors around the world.
The MSc Strategic Management programme has been designed with input from successful business professionals to address strategic needs of global organisations through to small and medium enterprises. It aims to prepare you to be a key player in your organisation’s success.
The programme will provide an advanced understanding of key strategic business disciplines through practical application and leading-edge theory. Learning will be enriched with real-life case studies and guest speakers from industry.
You will gain a fundamental understanding of how to plan, formulate and execute strategy through innovative and entrepreneurial approaches. Core and optional modules will cover areas such as internationalisation, corporate sustainability, human capital and talent management, accounting and finance, marketing and risk management. All highly applicable to the global business environment, today and tomorrow.
ILM Accreditation featuring Dual Award
The MSc Strategic Management programme is accredited by ILM, the UKs leading Leadership and Management Awarding Organisation (part of the City & Guilds Group). It offers a dual award giving you the opportunity to achieve the ILM Level 7 Diploma in Leadership and Management alongside your Masters qualification.
You must complete the following three modules to receive your ILM Level 7 Diploma in Leadership and Management:
- Strategic Execution, Management and Leadership
- Strategy Formulation, Innovation and Entrepreneurship
- Independent Study
As student on this course, you will benefit from:
- A globally recognised ILM Profession Qualification, demonstrating the application of Leadership and Management skills. This is achieved through the completion of the University programme with no additional work required
- Further recognition through an innovative and shareable Digital Credential - a dual branded (University of Derby and ILM ) digital badge which tags your skills achievement and links out to career opportunities and employers
- Three-years free Student membership to the Institute of Leadership and Management giving you access to a host of high-quality resources to enhance your studies, your personal development and your professional career
Listen to the benefits of the Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM) Accreditation
A cutting-edge, globally oriented curriculum based on real-world learning
Throughout this course, you will gain a holistic view of strategic management, exploring the subject in a global context and across professional disciplines. Your learning will be enriched by an international and multi-disciplinary student cohort, all sharing experiences, local practices and cultures. Throughout the course, you'll develop the ability to develop, implement and lead innovative strategy, an attractive and valuable skill set sought by employers worldwide.
Gain a Postgraduate Certificate in one year for your CPD
If you are seeking a postgraduate qualification and do not feel ready to commit to a full Master’s award, then the Postgraduate Certificate in Strategic Management means that you will be able to complete a shorter level 7 qualification in 12 months, for your continuing professional development requirements.
Choose from an Independent study or an Academic Paper
The Masters programme incorporates an independent study which is an in-depth research project that you can undertake around a work-based project suited to your workplace and professional interests. Alternatively, if you are keen to pursue a passion for academic research, then you can option to undertake an academic paper to be put forward for publication in a peer review journal or equivalent.
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.
Teaching and learning
Modules within this course will be delivered by expert academics who are practising professionals too. This ensures that module content remains up-to-date and highly relevant and brings through pertinent examples from the business world which are current and topical.
Delivered entirely online through our user-friendly student portal dashboard and intuitive digital learning environment, you will interact with your tutors and fellow students and through a mix of virtual live classrooms, tutorials and guest lectures. Group discussions and debate are held through forums and community spaces and the use of collaborative tools such as wikis for group projects and assignments. Digital texts, ebooks, journals, databases and more are available electronically via our library.
Manage a virtual company through an advanced business simulation platform
An exciting feature of this course is the ability to run a virtual simulated company and manage all the key aspects of the business such as finance, marketing, strategy and operations.
Using an advanced business simulation game, you can manage a virtual company and practice start-up or scale up business strategy. In this virtual business simulation, 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.
This offers a revolutionary learning experience through a multi-dimensional case study environment that enables meaningful and deeper learning than more traditional static case studies.
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 Library, Health and Wellbeing Centre, Careers and Employability Service, IT Support and the Union of Students. All these services, and more, are available to you as an online student at the University of Derby.
Many of our students are mature learners and have not studied academically for many years. To help you to become an effective student, able to study at postgraduate level, there are a number of advanced study skill resources available to you covering areas such as research skills, critical evaluation in academic context, literature search, referencing, plagiarism and so on.
Pace of study
The academic year is made up of three 10-week terms, known as trimesters. We recommend around 20 hours of study per week to complete one 20-credit module over a 10-week trimester for the standard study plan.
If you opt to undertake the accelerated study plan whereby you will study two modules in one trimester, we recommend 40 hours of study per week.
This course is assessed entirely through coursework. You will undertake formative and summative assessments to demonstrate that you have met the module and programme learning outcomes.
Formative assessment opportunities will be available throughout your modules to provide structured learning and feedback. This may be gained through feedback such as self-assessment, peer review, or feedback directly from your tutor.
More formal summative assessments which count towards your grades, such as computer-aided tests, research projects, business reports, case study analysis, collaborative group work and reflective reports will develop your skills and knowledge at masters level. They will tend to be directly related to your personal development or your application of learning to either your own or a case study organisation.
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 the 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
- 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.
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.
‡2021/22 Fees for new entrants
Starting between September 2021 and August 2022.
| ||Per 20 credits||Modules||Cost|
||7 (six 20-credit modules and one 60-credit module)
2022/23 Fees for new entrants
Starting between September 2022 and August 2023.
| ||Per 20 credits||Modules||Cost|
||7 (six 20-credit modules and one 60-credit module)
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.
Students should apply directly to the University.
For support with completing your application, view our guide to the application process.
Documents to support your application
You'll need to provide:
- 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.
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 course will develop your ability to formulate, manage and execute business strategy, helping you to become an effective strategic leader and manager. From mid-managers, team leaders, or first line managers, this programme will develop your strategic leadership and management skills helping you to forge a successful career in strategic management roles of small or large organisations, or within your own business.
Throughout the course, you will be able to apply knowledge learnt on the programme directly into your workplace, helping you to make a positive impact quickly, which will be rewarding on a personal level and will be of great value to your employer or to your own business.
If you wish to further your studies, you may choose to progress onto a PhD, DBA or other research degree in the area of business management and leadership.