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Online course details

Study options

Part-time: 1 year

UK fee

£3,030 (2020/21)

International fee

£3,030 (2020/21)

Course level



PG Cert

Start dates

January, September, May



Online course description

Organisations depend on effective and robust business strategy in order to thrive in an ever-changing and increasingly challenging business landscape. The successful implementation and execution of strategy depends on the skills and ability of its leadership. Without the right talent and capability of those driving the strategy, the desired outcomes are unlikely to be achieved.

Goldstandard teaching**Teaching Excellence Framework

Accredited by ILM, this Strategic Management Postgraduate Certificate (PG Cert) is ideally suited to anyone looking to gain a level 7 postgraduate qualification in the area of strategic management whilst building their continuing professional development.

This one-year course covers the fundamentals of strategic management in a global context, with a focus on the formulation and implementation of strategy including strategies for international business. It looks at the leadership and management capabilities required for strategies to be successful and at innovation and entrepreneurship as crucial characteristics for success in a competitive landscape.

The PG Cert Strategic Management provides 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.

ILM accreditation featuring Dual Award

The Postgraduate Certificate in Strategic Management course 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 PG Cert qualification.

You must complete the following two modules to receive your ILM Level 7 Certificate in Leadership and Management:

You will benefit from:

  1. A globally recognised ILM professional qualification, demonstrating the application of leadership and management skills. This is achieved through the completion of the University programme with no additional work required
  2. 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
  3. One-year 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 careerilm Dual-accreditation logo

A stepping-stone to a Masters award

This Postgraduate Certificate in Strategic Management is the first stage of our Strategic Management MSc, giving you 60 credits at level 7. Upon completing the PG Cert, you may wish to continue your studies by completing a further 120 credits including the Independent Study, a major research project or academic paper, to achieve the full Masters award in either Strategic Management or Strategic Sustainability Management.

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 Postgraduate Certificate (PG Cert) in Strategic Management can be obtained by passing three core 20 credit modules, totalling 60 credits.  This course is the first part of the MSc Strategic Management and the MSc Strategic Sustainability Management, meaning you will study alongside the rest of the Strategic Management student cohort.

Postgraduate certificatePostgraduate certificate

Code: 7BM504

Strategic Execution, Management and Leadership 

A brilliant strategy can put you on the competitive map, but only solid execution can keep you there. This module will help you to understand how managers deal with issues involved in strategic execution and management. In a competitive global environment, understanding strategic principles, tools for analysis and techniques for implementation are of great importance to managers, to assist them in enhancing firm performance.

The module covers ways in which business strategies and leadership competencies interact in the firm. Organisations succeed or fail to execute their strategy successfully often based on the talents and capabilities of their leadership.  Without effective leadership driving organisational performance, even the sharpest strategies won’t yield the desired outcomes. 

It is an integrated module, building on concepts from strategy, general management and leadership. You will be challenged to analyse and think critically as well as apply various theoretical concepts and tools. It will help you to develop skills in diagnosing, designing, and executing complex actions in organisations. It challenges you to consider the managerial trade-offs and constraints you will likely face when tasked with achieving results. 

You will learn about potential barriers which may arise when executing strategy and will consider your own strategic aspirations and challenges.  You will develop contemporary skills to develop a more realistic, actionable strategic plan.    

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to: 

  1. Critically evaluate the contemporary research and debates on the relationship between management and leadership skills, and their impact on organisational strategic implementation plan   
  2. Critically evaluate and benchmark performance against organisational Key Performance indicators (KPIs) and identify risks and challenges strategic implementation.  
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of organisational culture and diversity and their effectiveness for strategy execution and performance. 
More information
20 Credits

Code: 7BM505

Strategy Formulation, Innovation and Entrepreneurship

This module will provide a broad, basic understanding of strategy and introduce contemporary issues associated with the formulation of strategies at different levels of the organisation. It introduces basic concepts, principles and major analytical approaches that are utilised in strategic formulation, building dynamic capabilities and managing innovation and entrepreneurship.

The global business environment is becoming more dynamic and complex, requiring managers to formulate and implement strategies based on consistent congruence between the firm and its environment. The module will introduce frameworks for analysing the external and internal stakeholders and will look at the identification of strategic issues, the development of strategic options to address them and making recommendations for when change is needed.

You will develop the ability to behave entrepreneurially in a highly complex and competitive business environment. Innovation and entrepreneurship are not only part of new ventures but also exist in organisations in the private, public, and social sectors. Hence this module recognises the need to embed innovation and entrepreneurship in terms of the creation of new combinations, new ways of doing things, new products and services, and the formation of new ventures in the process of strategic formulation. The module combines both theoretical and practical approaches, drawing on academic research and theories of innovation and entrepreneurship to support the practical development of skills required to form a new business strategy.

The module looks at entrepreneurship as the ability to effectively deploy resources to devise business solutions to complex and multifaceted challenges.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  1. Develop and justify an attractive entrepreneurial or change business idea using strategic tools/ frameworks in the business environment
  2. Critically evaluate the challenges facing organisations moving from start-up to growth stage of organisational development
  3. Learn and use different tools, analytical approaches and frameworks utilised in generating strategic options, building dynamic capabilities and managing innovation and entrepreneurship.
  4. Critically analyse the contemporary issues and opportunities available in the internal and external environment to formulate a business strategy that suits the needs and visions of an organisation.
More information
20 Credits

Code: 7EC511

International Business Strategies

This module has been designed to build on, and complement, the Strategic Management module and has been structured specifically to explore the global changes that are impacting on multi- and international organizations/corporations and their industries. Additionally, it examines how these changes, and the opportunities and threats which they create, also lure domestic enterprises into the international business arena. It focuses on how various types of enterprise are expanding and relying more on their international operations, and how they develop strategies and establish objectives to either internationalize their domestic operations or expand their current international business operations as part of their overall organisational strategy.

The module encourages you to develop a wider global/international perspective; increase your awareness of organisational, industry and cultural diversity and develop your critical/analytical, problem-solving and strategic decision-making skills.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to: 

  1. Recognize and critically appraise the varied strategic approaches used by international corporations
  2. Critically analyse both quantitatively and qualitatively the key issues facing the successful formulation and implementation of international business strategies
  3. Critically examine and evaluate the global (competitive) environmental factors that influence different types of organisations in the formulation of international strategic and operational alternatives

Module content

  • The International Management Process and the Global Environment
  • Globalisation and Strategy: Defined and Demystified; Implications and strategic gains; the challenges of Global Efficiency, Local Responsiveness, and Global ‘Learning’
  • Competitive Analysis – A Global Perspective
  • The Global Firm and Corporate Governance, Social Responsibility and Ethics
  • The Impact of Foreign Direct Investment on Economies, Industries and Organisations
  • The International Planning Process and Types of International Strategy
  • International HRM, Marketing and Operations Management – Cultural Divergence or Convergence?
  • The Impact of Country Cultures on International Development
  • Financial Considerations in the Global Marketplace
  • New Economy Imperatives – The Role of Technology in International Business
  • International Management: A Future Perspective
More information
20 Credits

Code: 7HR529

Transforming Personal Skills

This module aims to equip you with the professional skills you will need as you develop your career and move into more senior leadership roles. Through an experiential approach, you will develop critical skills in business including communication, self-management and self-direction. This module also provides an oversight and appreciation of the challenges of professional working. The module develops your academic study skills, your ability to critically review information and your referencing skills. The development of a portfolio of academic and practical skills will underpin your study at postgraduate level, and support your journey through the programme and within your professional context.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  1. Identify, search for and critically review relevant academic and business information following academic conventions
  2. Acknowledge supporting material and evidence in written work and present in an effective manner for a range of audiences
  3. Undertake critical self-reflection of business skills and develop strategies for improvement

Module content

  • Orientation and induction to university
  • Self-Management, time management, prioritising, meeting deadlines
  • Effective communication skills for different audiences
  • Presentation skills
  • Team working
  • Learning and reflection
  • Enterprise and initiative
  • Personal organisation and planning
  • Problem solving
  • Academic practice – critical, professional and academic writing skills, avoiding plagiarism, Harvard Referencing
  • Using appropriate information resources (databases, Library resources)
  • Information collection, analysis and interpretation
  • Word-processing, PowerPoint presentations, Excel spreadsheets, SPSS statistical processing
  • Digital literacy and data privacy

This 0-credit module has been designed explicitly for you to reflect on your current personal competencies. By studying this module, you will be directed to a range of resources to help you to develop in the future, with a view to pursuing your CMI Chartered Manager application.

More information
0 Credits

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.

How you will learn

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 online 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.

Study skills

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.

Assessment method

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, work-based reports, case study analysis, collaborative group work and reflective reports will develop your skills and knowledge at postgraduate 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.

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:

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.

Who will teach you

Yukari Iguchi leaning on a hand rail

Yukari Iguchi
Programme leader

Academic Lead for Hospitality and Leisure, Yukari Iguchi, has performed a range of roles including Programme Leader for undergraduate hospitality programmes, International Student Coordinator, International Collaborative Project Manager, and Online and Distance Learning Coordinator.

View full staff profileView full staff profile
Student wearing headphones at a laptop participating in an online webinar

Study Strategic Management MSc Online at Derby Webinar

Tuesday, 1 December 2020 14.00 - 15.00

Join this webinar to discover more about studying our new revalidated Strategic Management MSc online at Derby. The webinar includes a 30 minute presentation from Yukari Iguchi, Academic Lead for Strategic Management.

Book your webinarBook your webinar

Entry requirements

You should normally have a UK undergraduate degree (at least a 2:2) with honours in any business-related subject discipline, 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.

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: 

*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.

Fees and funding

2020/21 Fees for new entrants

Starting between September 2020 and August 2021.

 Per 20 creditsModulesCost
UK/EU/International £1,010 3 £3,030

2021/22 Fees for new entrants

Starting between September 2021 and August 2022.

 Per 20 creditsModulesCost
UK/EU/International £1,010 3 £3,030

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:

Flexible payment plans available

Choose from three payment plan options:

How to apply

Students should apply directly to the University.

Apply now

Documents to support your application

You'll need to provide:

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

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

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 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 of great value to your employer or your own business.

If you wish to further your studies, you may choose to progress onto the MSc Strategic Management or the MSc Strategic Sustainability Management.

Contact us

Contact the University of Derby Online Learning:

Contact usContact usFrequently asked questionsFrequently asked questions

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