Online course details

Study options

Part-time: 1 year

UK fee

£3,030 (2021/22)

International fee

£3,030 (2021/22)/EU

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.

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.

Listen to the benefits of the Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM) Accreditation

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

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.

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.

Student wearing headphones at a laptop participating in an online webinar

Discovering Online Learning Webinar: November 2021

Wednesday, 24 November 2021 15.00 - 16.00

During this hour long webinar, we'll take you through the basic principles of how online learning works and what you can expect as an online learner with the University of Derby Online Learning.

Book your webinarBook your webinar

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

Dr Salman Ahmad

Dr Salman Ahmad
Programme leader

Lecturer in Business and Management, Dr Salman Ahmad, has been involved in research and delivering educational programs since 2011. The driving force behind his research is the desire to gain, comprehend and generate new knowledge and communicate it to a wider audience.

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 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.

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

2021/22 Fees for new entrants

Starting between September 2021 and August 2022.

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

2022/23 Fees for new entrants

Starting between September 2022 and August 2023.

 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

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

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:

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