MBA - The Durham EBS Executive Master of Business Administration


Course Description

You will study at two UNESCO World Heritage Sites - Durham in the UK and the Upper Middle Rhine region in Germany. As the Durham-EBS Executive MBA is delivered entirely in English in a classroom setting, you can continue to work full-time whilst studying as most teaching is delivered once each month in three-day blocks (Thursday through to Saturday).

The programme’s strong international focus is also reflected in the core and elective modules, with the International Business in Context elective module delivered at a top business destination. The business and alumni connections you gain will also support you in furthering your career. 

This dual award draws on both UK-specific and European experience giving you an insight into leadership in today’s international business world.

Throughout the programme you will explore the operations of global markets, understand how to lead transnational business relations and further build your international network of contacts. You will also be working alongside a diverse group of experienced business professionals and academics from the UK, Germany and around the world.

The Durham-EBS Executive MBA programme commences each September with a seven-day residential stay in Durham, England. During the 18 month programme you will complete:

  1. Nine core modules; seven modules are delivered in Germany and two modules are delivered in Durham
  2. Three elective modules delivered in Germany, Durham or another international location
  3. A Strategic Business Project

Note: Module instruction in Germany is held once a month from Thursday to Saturday. The cost of accommodation and some meals for each one-week residential stay in Durham is included in the programme fee.

Covid-19: As the health and well-being of our students is our main priority opportunities to travel to international locations may not be able to happen. If further or continued government restrictions necessitate, we will deliver these important global learning experiences virtually.

Core Modules

The nine core modules of the programme will establish your foundational knowledge, understanding and research skills:

  • Accounting
  • Economics for Global Business
  • Finance
  • Managing People
  • Marketing
  • Operations and Technology
  • Strategic Management
  • Sustainability and Ethics
  • The Boardroom Exercise

Elective Modules

You will then choose the three elective modules most aligned to your personal career aspirations and goals from the following list to complete:

  • Advanced Finance for Business
  • Business Analytics
  • International Business in Context
  • Leading Change
  • Negotiation
  • Project Management
  • Technology and Innovation

Note: Elective module choices may change year on year, depending on current faculty and relevance to business.

Strategic Business Project

Following the completion of your elective modules, you will undertake a research-based Strategic Business Project. You may choose to pursue the project in two ways, either by working with your own company or a host organisation, or through an issue-led investigation which is not focused on a particular organisation but instead examines a specific management issue.

You will receive training in academic writing, as well as qualitative and quantitative business research methods throughout the programme as part of this module.

This is a great opportunity for you to apply your MBA skills and knowledge to address a practical question and help your own or another organisation tackle a current issue or challenge. Whilst undertaking the project you will further develop your research and management skills, building your network and, and in many instances, extending your international experience.

Past projects have been undertaken across a wide variety of organisations, such as multinational corporations in the manufacturing, service and finance sectors, family-owned businesses, the public sector and non-profit organisations.

Two Residential Weeks

Your first residential is a seven-day induction in the UK at the start of your Durham-EBS Executive MBA journey, which will launch you into the programme. It’s a great way to introduce you to the EMBA and enhance your key capabilities including team building, group work, reading and academic writing skills (supporting those who may have been away from academic education for some time).

Not only will you spend time at Durham University Business School and have the chance to explore the city of Durham, you will go on to discover another area in the UK. In previous years this has been the Lake District, a charming region in the Northwest of England.

Your induction will Your induction in Durham provides an opportunity for you to meet your fellow students and members of the EMBA Programme Management Team. You will receive personal introductions, be provided with information to navigate your way through the programme, and learn out about support and administrative services. 

You will familiarise yourself with Durham University and then on Tuesday you will receive academic writing training and attend your first module.

You will travel to another UK destination where you will engage in a variety of indoor and outdoor team-building experiences and develop various additional personal and team skills. This is a particularly memorable aspect of the EMBA and the relationships built here will last throughout the programme and beyond.

Your second residential week will take place the following year, probably in September. During this week you will complete another core module in Durham, UK.

International Business in Context

The Durham-EBS Executive MBA is shaped by today's connected business world. This elective module takes this unique global dimension further, offering you the opportunity to immerse yourself in another country's businesses and culture whilst studying a particular business topic. You will be joined by Durham’s Online MBA students, enabling you to make new contacts and broaden your network.

In 2017 students travelled with Durham’s Online MBA students to San Francisco for study focused on entrepreneurship and innovation in the centre of America’s start-up culture in Silicon Valley. During this week they attended lectures, workshops, coaching sessions, company visits, tutorial sessions, interactive group work and a certificate awards ceremony.

Lectures were delivered by initial investors of Google, PayPal, and OpenTable; one of the key developers of the Kindle; and the founder of The North Face. The week culminated in students presenting a business pitch to leading academics and corporate experts.


Visit the MBA - The Durham EBS Executive Master of Business Administration page on the Durham University web site for more details!

Entry Requirements

We recommend an early application.

Normally an Upper Second Class Honours Degree or equivalent international or professional qualification.

Applicants holding a Bachelor degree or equivalent should normally have a minimum of five years’ relevant work experience. Applicants who hold a Masters degree or equivalent should have a minimum of three years’ professional work experience.

For applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS score of 7.0 (no element under 6.0) or IBT TOEFL score of 102 (no element under 23) or an equivalent English language qualification may be required.

Please see course website for further details.

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