Academic curriculum

Programme outline

The Oxford MBA is an intense, one-year programme designed to empower you to make an impact in your career. Commencing in September, following a pre-programme over the summer, you will experience an exciting launch period helping you to get to know your fellow classmates, assimilate into life at Oxford Saïd and begin learning fundamental leadership skills.

Following the wider University of Oxford’s three-term structure, the year is divided into modules, allowing you to focus on your core courses and chosen electives. Our curriculum has been developed to incorporate and prepare you for the world-scale challenges shaping today’s business environment.

Foundation learning

Core courses

The core courses will allow you to examine the foundation of business. The first term will immerse you in modern enterprise – from the economic theory of the firm, to the valuation of businesses and the choice of strategy and management skills.

The goal of these core courses is to provide a breadth and depth of knowledge that will allow you to approach any business situation with confidence and understanding.

Elective courses

We offer you the opportunity to choose from a wide range of subjects that will enhance your CV for certain career avenues or may just interest you intellectually. Courses are often taught by academics and industry practitioners working in partnership to ensure that cutting edge research is combined with relevant real-life application.

Electives on offer are subject to change from year to year depending on demand.

International electives

Doing business in Africa

The objective of this course is to learn about what the growth prospects in Africa are and what business opportunities Africa presents. The course will also explore the long-term drivers of change in Africa, including the physical, human, global, technological, and institutional and private sector influences. 

You will gain insights into which opportunities exist on the continent, what challenges may impact those opportunities and understand where future growth will come from.

Fintech: present and future

The objective of this course is to learn how Fintech is changing areas such as mobile payments, money transfers, loans, fundraising and even asset management. It looks into how the established financial firms are rethinking their strategies and how their structures fit within this new market environment.

 

Internship for credit

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As an MBA student, you have the option to undertake a summer internship for credit towards your MBA. As an intern, you can develop knowledge and competencies related directly to your career goal and potentially secure a full-time job offer. 

The Oxford MBA created a unique opportunity for me to become an intern (again) and test out something completely new. It’s been nice to get back into the workplace and to put my MBA into practice.

Valerie Aguiar

MBA 2018-19

Strategic Consulting Project

Working in teams of two to four, you can choose to undertake a seven-week project for a corporate sponsor. Projects take place all over the world and for all kinds of companies. Teams have worked with a wide range of companies, charities, non-profits, and start-ups. You might find your team assessing the business case for a new product, creating fully implementable sustainable energy solutions, or sizing up potential strategic acquisitions for a corporate sponsor. You might be on a mission to develop social entrepreneurship in East Africa or formulate a strategy for penetrating the Chinese market.

We ask you to bring your own contacts and networking skills into play to develop exciting projects. If there is a company you have always wanted to work for, undertaking a project for them is sure to get you noticed. We also source projects and build relationships with corporate sponsors. We aim to provide students with the greatest possible choice when it comes to choosing where they will work and what they will do. 

Course schedule

Pre-programme: August

Ease yourself back into academic work and get up to speed with core quantitative, leadership and business concepts so you can hit the ground running on your arrival in Oxford. Also, start thinking about your post-MBA career path through engaging with the online Oxford Saïd Careers Academy.

This virtual programme is self-paced, so you can move quickly through the areas where you are already skilled and take more time over the subjects where you might be weaker.

MBA Launch: September

This two-week residential programme is designed to introduce you to the world-class business school community at Saïd Business School and to college and University life at Oxford.

Through lectures, simulations, interactive group work and much more, you will lay the foundations for your year at Oxford and prepare for your academic course to begin.

Michaelmas term: October to December

During this term you will start to build the foundations of business by completing core courses. You will also have access to support classes and will begin working on your talent development plan.

Michaelmas courses:

  • Organisational Behaviour
  • Technology and Operations Management
  • Accounting
  • Analytics
  • Marketing
  • Business Finance

Hilary term: January to March

During Hilary you will continue to work on core courses as well as taking your first elective courses.

Hilary courses:

  • Firms and Markets
  • Strategy
  • Elective x4

Trinity term: April to June

Throughout Trinity you will work on further elective courses and co-curriculars.

Trinity courses:

  • Electives x 6

Co-curricular activities

  • Finance Lab
  • Consulting Development Programme
  • Impact Lab
  • Talent Development Programme

Summer term: July and August

During the summer there is a choice of options:

  • a seven-week strategic consulting project
  • summer electives
  • an Internship for credit of at least six weeks.

Ongoing

The talent development programme as well as co-curricular activities Finance Lab, Consulting development programme, and Impact lab will run alongside the main course schedule. 

Co-curricular activities

You will have the opportunity to participate in co-curricular activities alongside the core Oxford MBA programming.

Finance Lab

This offers you the opportunity to understand key concepts, processes, instruments and models that are required to be successful in financial services. It connects theory with practice, preparing you for investment banking, private equity and asset management analyst and associate roles. 

Consulting Development Programme

A focused training programme based around the hiring processes of global consulting recruiters, designed to provide students with skills and insights relevant to a career in the consulting industry. 

Social Impact Lab

Impact Lab is a year-long, flexible co-curricular pathway for MBA students interested in becoming an impact leader, regardless whether you want to start something or work for an organisation, upon graduation.

Changes to this course and your supervision

We aim to deliver this course in accordance with the description set out on these pages. The safety of students, staff and visitors is always paramount. There may be situations when it’s necessary for us to make changes in course provision, either before or after registration. Where possible, your academic supervisor will not change for the duration of your course but it may be necessary to assign a new academic supervisor during the course of study or before registration for reasons which might include illness, sabbatical leave, parental leave or change in employment.

For further information please see our page on changes to courses for those applying for the 2025-26 year of study and the provisions of the student contract.