Our unique Executive MBA Defence Export programme, delivered in partnership with Grant Thornton combines the best of academic insight and commercial application. The programme has been developed based on the insights and expertise of the Defence Growth Partnership's partner firms, we’ll use this to help you develop your leadership and management skills with a specific focus on business growth and innovation in the defence export sector.

This Executive MBA programme will allow you to join a community of skilled individuals in developing the necessary know-how and confidence to stand out from the crowd. 

We encourage you to come and experience a world-class university programme delivered by a university famous for innovation, career-enhancing services and world-renowned faculty and a company reputed for the quality of its service and advice, with a passion for shaping a vibrant economy.

This part-time course meets the requirements of the Level 7 Senior Leaders Master’s Degree Apprenticeship Standard. Eligible organisations can use £18,000 of their Apprenticeship Levy to cover the course tuition fees. View Fees and Funding information or find out more about Master's Apprenticeships


  • Start date07 December 2020
  • DurationTwo-year part-time
  • DeliveryYou will be assessed through a mixture of exams, written projects and presentations.
  • QualificationMBA
  • Study typeExecutive
  • CampusCranfield campus, London

Who is it for?

This Executive MBA is designed to fit into the busy schedules of defence export specialists or those who may have responsibility for international programmes now or in the future, and who are looking to move into senior management and leadership roles, as well as those on a fast track career path within their organisation.

Businesses increasingly seek strategic thinkers with sound leadership capabilities, strong financial skills, an intrapreneurial mindset, global understanding and excellent people skills. The Cranfield Executive MBA Defence Export, delivered in partnership with Grant Thornton, will take you out of your comfort zone and transform you to reflect, question and find solutions to complex business challenges.


I was looking for a highly regarded MBA programme that would help springboard my career-growth and help me achieve it while I worked. Having spoken to alumni from various business schools, I found Cranfield to be the best option.

Narahari Grama Srinivas, Executive MBA student

Why this course?

Developed by Cranfield and the Defence Growth Partnership (DGP), the Executive MBA Defence Export has been created to enhance the leadership and management skills of defence export specialists, while strengthening their existing sector knowledge.

You will study with a cohort of experienced professionals drawn from a range of industries and countries, building your network and giving you insights into best practice internationally. In addition, you will be able to apply the knowledge and skills you develop during the programme immediately in the workplace.

You will carry out projects and assignments and participate in competitions and business simulations, designed to help you apply the theories, tools and techniques you learn. The programme is designed to support your career progression, preparing you to carry out senior strategic roles successfully or to build your own business.

You will attain a qualification from a world-class institution and join an exclusive network of alumni in over 160 countries around the world.

The course meets the requirements of the Level 7 Senior Leader Master's Degree Apprenticeship. Subject to eligibility, your organisation may be able to use their apprenticeship levy to cover the costs of you attending this course. Please see our funding section for further details.

Your Executive MBA

Our two-year part-time Executive MBA Defence Export programme is offered in a modular format. Classes will delivered at Cranfield, with some off-site learning in London. The programme is delivered Thursday to Saturday – 11 blocks a year over two years. Throughout the learning, we’ll develop your people skills, know-how and confidence to excel through your ability to do things differently.

December 2020 intake

Part 1: Cranfield University

  • Monday 7 December and Tuesday 8 December 2020 (mandatory)
  • Wednesday 20 to Saturday 23 January 2021 (mandatory)
  • Thursday 18 to Saturday 20 February 2021
  • Thursday 18 to Saturday 20 March 2021
  • Thursday 22 to Saturday 24 April 2021
  • Thursday 27 to Saturday 29 May 2021
  • Thursday 17 to Saturday 19 June 2021
  • Thursday 22 to Saturday 24 July 2021
  • Thursday 9 to Saturday 11 September 2021
  • Thursday 7 to Saturday 9 October 2021
  • Thursday 4 to Saturday 7 November 2021
  • Thursday 2 to Saturday 4 December 2021

Part 2: Locations to be confirmed

  • Thursday 20 to Saturday 22 January 2022
  • Thursday 17 to Saturday 19 February 2022
  • Thursday 17 to Saturday 19 March 2022
  • Thursday 21 to Saturday 23 April 2022
  • Thursday 19 to Saturday 21 May 2022
  • Thursday 23 to Saturday 25 June 2022
  • Thursday 21 to Saturday 23 July 2022
  • Thursday 1 to Saturday 3 September 2022
  • Thursday 13 to Saturday 15 October 2022
  • Thursday 10 to Saturday 12 November 2022
  • Thursday 8 to Saturday 10 December 2022

Course details

The programme is structured in two main parts. Year 1 comprises 14 core management modules. In year two, you will take the further five core defence export modules including an independent research project to suit your organisation's needs, your interests and professional aspirations. Leadership development and career development activities run throughout the programme.

Course delivery

You will be assessed through a mixture of exams, written projects and presentations.

Individual project

During part two you will have the opportunity to undertake a company-based project if you wish, as an assessed part of your course; giving you the flexibility to build on your Executive MBA learning through a consultancy experience linked to your career objectives.

You can either work on a project individually, with a project partner or in small project team of no more than three people. Projects can be sourced by you using your own networks or by the School.

Course modules

Compulsory modules
All the modules in the following list need to be taken as part of this course.

Organisational Behaviour: Personal and Professional Foundations of Leadership and Change

Module Leader
  • Professor Richard Kwiatkowski
    Developing Leadership” is one of the key themes of the Cranfield MBA and this is the first of four linked modules on the topic.

    This module will explore current conceptions of leadership;

    - The leader’s awareness of self and others, their responses and the development of insight as a requirement for further development
    - New practices and innovations in Leadership 

    The module orients itself around the development of the necessary capabilities for effective leadership with self-awareness highlighted as a critical initial prerequisite.  This first module therefore aims to develop an awareness of self and other – and one way of examining this is in relation to the individual and team contexts.  Individual leadership development includes personal aspects such as self-awareness, emotional intelligence, ability to motivate others, maturity, integrity, and personal impact.

    This module is founded on well developed areas that link to the Leadership agenda including personality, learning, individual differences, diversity, motivation, decision making, power and influence, politics, intelligence, and interpersonal and group dynamics; since a leader, by definition, has to lead something or more often some people.  The module is explicitly not atheoretical; it introduces various sound organizational and behavioural theories, models and empirical data going back many years, and currently being developed.

    Additionally, this module will contain important elements of professional development such as resilience, teamwork, decision making, open mindedness, synthesis and analysis, and critically in senior managers and leaders, the tolerance of ambiguity and complexity.

    The module covers:

    - An Introduction to Leadership and Management; history, current views, future developments.

    - Introduction to self-awareness as a key foundation of leadership identity.

    - Practical and theoretical input on a variety of Individual Differences and their impact; including Learning; Personality; Intelligence; Diversity and inclusion, Critical Thinking, Resilience, evolutionary and neurological perspectives.

    - Giving and receiving feedback and practical implications for performance.

    - Theoretical and Practical aspects of the leader’s role both in self-motivation and motivating a team.

    - Emotional Intelligence development through awareness of self and other.

    - Personal Constructs as a way of understanding the interpersonal context within and between organizations.

    - Introduction to Organizational Culture; the importance of ‘fit’.

    - Personal Values and Ethics; leading with integrity.

    - Practical aspects of self in relation to social context; Team behaviour & Team dynamics; leading and collaborating in real time with others.

    - An introduction to Persuasion and Influencing.

    - Organizational Politics.

    - Leading teams effectively; transformational and transactional behaviour.

    - Receiving feedback and planning next steps in the Leading and Learning process.

Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of this module you should be able to:

1. Understand and evaluate a range of relevant theoretical models relating to management and leadership, including psychological approaches, and particularly related to leadership development.
2. Apply knowledge of important individual differences to interpersonal interactions.
3. Outline and evaluate key aspects of team membership which impact effective group working, including strengths and weaknesses.
4. Contrast the rhetorical approach of organizations to diversity and inclusion with the reality of structures and processes affecting minority groups.


Module Leader
  • Professor Ruth Bender

    The module looks at both financial and management accounting. You will be provided with a thorough understanding of company accounts, how they are construed and how to interpret them. Further to this, you will look at and understand the key issues in management accounting from the point of view of business leaders needing to make practical decisions in their organisation.



    The module covers:

    • The fundamental accounting documents: income statement, statement of financial position and cash flow statement.
    • Consolidation of the accounts of companies with subsidiaries.
    • Interpretation of accounts through ratio analysis.
    • Cost/volume/profit analysis and breakeven.
    • Allocation of overhead costs.
    • Budgeting and variance analysis.
    • Divisional performance.
    • Transfer pricing.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module you should be able to:

  • Demonstrate a systematic understanding of the fundamental principles of financial accounting.
  • Describe how subsidiary accounts are consolidated.
  • Prepare key financial statements from basic information.
  • Analyse and interpret company accounts.
  • Classify different types of costs and conduct break even analysis.
  • Prepare budgets and interpret variances from budget.
  • Evaluate divisional performance and different transfer pricing methods.

Strategic Operations Management


    This module will help you to develop a theoretical and practical skill base of strategic operations management including its key concepts, as well as the main tools and techniques used by a variety of organisations in different sectors of activity.


    The module covers:

    • The strategic role and contribution of operations.
    • The process and content of operations strategy.
    • Process design and layout.
    • Managing the process experience.
    • Tools and techniques of process improvement.
    • Capacity management.
    • Inventory management; lean and agile operations.
    • Quality management and improvement.
    • People in operations.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module you should be able to:

  • Develop an operations strategy for organisations, identifying key operational performance criteria for each area of its activities.
  • Evaluate the operations contribution to the development and implementation of successful business strategy.
  • Appraise the critical issues faced by different organisations; demonstrate how to select the priorities for operational performance improvement and plan the means to bring about that improvement.
  • Identify key issues in the management of change in operations through understanding the critical transitions of both processes and people.

Strategic Marketing

Module Leader
  • Dr Carmine Basile
  • Dr Dennis Esch
  • Dr Ahmed Shaalan

    This module will prepare you for general management responsibilities by focussing on the input of the marketing perspective across all functions. You will be presented with a strategic perspective of marketing, understanding the needs and wants of customers as a guide to direct the organisation.


    The module will cover:

    • Marketing from a value-driven perspective, considering how the assets of the organisation can be used to create and deliver value to customers and shareholders.
    • The role of strategic marketing and the means whereby high level strategy can be implemented by way of a marketing plan.
    • The nature of markets as the basis for the creation and delivery of value to customers and shareholders.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module you should be able to:

  • Evaluate the organisation-wide implications of being a market-oriented and customer-led organisation and its impact on management and business performance.
  • Apply marketing theories, tools and frameworks to business opportunities and problems.
  • Understand the key elements of the marketing mix and customer management.
  • Write and defend a strategic marketing plan.

Entrepreneurial Finance for Early Stage Businesses

Module Leader
  • Dr Stephanie Hussels

    The module aims to provide the students with a detailed understanding of the venture capital funding process. Thereby students will not only gain an insight on how the sector works, from both a venture capitalist as well as entrepreneur’s point of view, but will be required to assess real business plans, conduct due diligence and negotiate a deal. The module requires developing both hard and soft skills.


    The module covers:

    - Outline of the sources of funding available to early stage businesses
    - The venture capital industry: Players, expected returns and cost of capital
    - Venture capital due diligence: Process and content
    - Company valuations: Intrinsic and relative
    - Fundamentals of term sheets: Theory and practice
    - Negotiating a deal: An entrepreneurs and investors perspective.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

1. Understand the real world processes involved in raising venture capital including how the industry is structured.
2. Be aware of the various sources of funding for early stage businesses such as business angels, crowdfunding, government courses, debt and customer finance.
3. Conduct due diligence on early stage ventures.
4. Prepare and evaluate terms sheets.
5. Valuate early stage companies.
6. Negotiate an investment deal with early stage entrepreneurs.

Economics and Business Strategy

Module Leader
  • Professor Catarina Figueira

    What is it that business students need to learn from a course in economics? Few if any intend to become professional economists, instead the vast majority seek a career in management and here at Cranfield many MBA students are focused on senior management positions. Yet, to operate as a successful manager requires an economic way of thinking, in particular a clear understanding of efficiency and the working of markets. The more senior a manager the more important are two overriding concerns if they are to perform well: the ability to successfully formulate and implement strategy; and the skills to coordinate and motivate those they manage. Organisational behaviour, personal development and strategy are backbone subjects of a good MBA programme but these three subjects, indeed practically all subjects you will study on the programme, draw to a greater or lesser extent on microeconomic theories in order to gain insights into how people are motivated and markets work.  Thus, the role of economics as part of an MBA Programme is to provide the depth and rigor necessary to properly understand and analyse real world business situations.


    The course is divided into three parts:
    Part I: The Basics.  
    • This serves as an introduction to the core microeconomic concepts of demand, revenue, costs and profits. 

    Part II: The Firm and the Creation of Value.   
    • This section turns the focus on the firm itself, its role in dealing with uncertainty and the contribution its internal structure makes to strategic opportunities and competitive advantage.   
    • Alternative explanations of firms are explored as well as the issues that determine vertical (supply chain) relationships and horizontal boundaries.   
    • The sessions also explore the ways in which owners seek to ensure their interests are paramount, the ways in which internal control and reward systems deliver efficiency and the ways in which the focus on economic sustainability has increasingly had to take account of the demands for social and environmental sustainability.   
    • The purpose is to integrate organisational and economic theory in order to explain why the rate at which firms grow and profitability vary.

    Part III: Capturing Value from the Market.   
    • This examines the strategic behaviour of firms which to a significant extent is influenced by alternative market structures.  
    • Market structures and market power are related concepts and this section of the module largely focuses on oligopolistic markets and the behaviours such firms engage in to achieve competitive advantage. 
    • Throughout the module traditional microeconomic models are combined with game theory and reality is further enhanced by an emphasis on uncertainty and the role of governments.   
    • In keeping with the School’s policy to embed corporate social responsibility in the curriculum, the economic perspective on sustainability and associated micro policy is also discussed.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

1. Appraise how the behaviour and performance of economic organisations are influenced by their external and internal environments;
2. Evaluate the key economic theories and relevant research regarding the nature and distinctiveness of individual organisations;
3. Critically assess and comment coherently on economic explanations of the management of organisations and their competitive behaviour;
4. Demonstrate  practical skills in using economic models to measure and analyse the economic performance of organisations and individuals;
- Assess the contribution economics makes to showing business how to create sustainable economic, social and environmental value.

Entrepreneurship and New Venture Creation

Module Leader
  • Dr Shailendra Vyakarnam

    The module will promote productive and self-sustaining entrepreneurship. It provides you with a rigorous grounding in business analysis of entrepreneurship in order to prepare for the risky, uncertain, and challenging environment for new business ventures. It also requires you to immerse yourself in the real life experience of launching new ventures. Therefore, you will be required to either start your own business or contribute to the development of another venture while on the course.


    The module will include:

    • Entrepreneurial risk, performance and environment.
    • Business planning techniques and their application in entrepreneurial ventures.
    • Venture strategy in dynamic markets.
    • Protecting and securing intellectual capital: intellectual property rights and antitrust law.
    • Start-ups and resources to exploit a profit opportunity.
    • The evolution of the venture and managing growth.
    • Financial management for new ventures: financing a start-up.
    • The entrepreneurial financing process: buying and selling a venture.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module you should be able to:

  • Understand the key stages and challenges involved in identifying opportunities and strategies for business start ups.
  • Manage and finance the early stages of new venture development and growth.
  • Evaluate, research, write, and present business plans using their knowledge of the entrepreneurial process.

Financial Management

Module Leader
  • Professor Ruth Bender

    This course explores financial management from the point of view of the corporate manager.  It will equip students to make business decisions using standard financial tools, linking theoretical issues with real life management and practice, and integrating with other modules on the MBA.


    The module covers:

    • Cash flow forecasting and working capital management
    • Appraising capital investment projects
    • Financing a business
    • Corporate finance, including the cost of capital, sources of finance, capital structure and dividend policy 
    • Company Valuation.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module you should be able to:

1. Prepare a simple cash flow forecast, and understand the role of working capital management in finance.
2. Compare and contrast alternative capital budgeting techniques and the underlying factors that determine their usage in practice by various types of organisation.
3. Examine key concepts in finance including the time value of money, risk and return and the opportunity cost of capital.
4. Analyse the factors that need to be considered in making financing decisions including those related to borrowing and dividend policy.
5. Organise data for capital investment project appraisals and evaluate the results, including the preparation and interpretation of multi-year forecasts.
6. Deal with complications in capital budgeting that arise due to factors such as inflation, taxation or capital rationing.
7. Estimate the cost of equity, cost of debt and the weighted average cost of capital.
8. Construct simple valuations of shares, bonds and whole companies.

Strategic Management

Module Leader
  • Professor Mark Jenkins

    The module is concerned with the future direction of the organisation; determining its scope, establishing objectives and formulating strategies to achieve them. This course will build on your confidence in undertaking these activities, so that as leaders you can form and communicate a credible and believable view of their organisation’s future direction and scope.  


     The module will cover:

    • Strategic management at the business level, introducing the notions of industry analysis, resources and sustainable competitive advantage.
    • Corporate level strategy, dealing with issues such as parenting advantage and modes of corporate development.
    • Strategy implementation.
    • Tools and techniques for strategic analysis and choice.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module you should be able to:

  • Describe the key issues and concepts involved in formulating both competitive and corporate strategies.
  • Appraise and differentiate between corporate, business unit and functional strategies.
  • Evaluate the different strategic challenges facing profit seeking organisations and not-for-profit organisations.
  • Think strategically and confidently in making strategic decisions.
  • Critically apply practical skills and use various strategic management concepts and techniques.

Programme and Project Management

Module Leader
  • Stephen Carver

    This is an introduction to the subject. However, it is our contention that projects are the building blocks of strategy. Also, the module provides a logical and simple process by which you may approach their own modules and objectives, and may well be a valuable source of confidence for taking on major elective projects later in the year. 

    Project Management Introduction (PMI) demonstrates how management respects no boundaries (either in terms of functional silos – departments, etc. or theoretical disciplines). PMI provides additional opportunities to practice personal communication skills, and generally the module provides a basis for personal development and increased confidence and self-awareness.


    The central aims of this module are to develop an introductory understanding of: 

    • The fundamental principles of project management applied in the contemporary environment of enterprise projects.
    • The application of the main techniques and processes of project management in a team-based application of the planning/execution/control cycle.
    • On completing this module, you should be able to:
      • Develop an Executive Summary (a concise one page overview of the project) linking the project to higher level organisational objectives.
      • Scope the project by creating a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS).
      • Identify key task sequences and the critical path using network (logic) diagramming.
      • Set up a graphical representation of the schedule using the bar chart (Gantt), and track progress against the baseline schedule.
      • Use knowledge of resource availability to adjust schedules (resource levelling) and establish realistic milestones, lead times and deadlines.
      • Recognise appropriate levels of detail for the scoping and scheduling process, the change management, the progress reporting requirements and the delivery.
      • Develop and manage budgets and cash flow for a project.
      • Have used Earned Value techniques to assess achievement and produce forecasts.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module you should be able to:

  1. Apply the key tools and techniques in project management.
  2. Identify, define, scope, schedule, track and bring to completion a project.
  3. Apply financial management process in a project management context.
  4. Brief and manage consultant project staff on behalf of your organisation.

Global Macroeconomics and Business Environment

Module Leader
  • Professor Joe Nellis

    The module will assist future business leaders in developing a deeper understanding of the impact of developments in the wider macroeconomic environment at both the national and international levels on strategic planning and management. The course also provides an opportunity to discuss the causes and consequences of macroeconomic developments and policies in order to deepen understanding of the consequences for governments, society and the corporate world.


    The module is based on a number of core models and empirical research. Throughout, the emphasis is on the “real world.” Theory is included only as an aid to developing a deeper understanding of the practical problems and policy challenges in the context of strategy formulation and analysis of the forces driving change in the external business and economic environment.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module you should be able to:

  • Critique the importance and implications of national and international macroeconomic trends and forecasts as a basis for strategic decision making by business leaders.
  • Describe the drivers of economic activity at the national and international macroeconomic levels and the implications for economic growth.
  • Evaluate the goals (and conflicts) of macroeconomic management including sustainability of growth, low and stable inflation, a stable currency coupled with a sustainable international trade position and full employment.
  • Critique the policy tools used by governments and central banks in their efforts to manage the economy including: fiscal policy, monetary policy, supply-side policies, trade and exchange rate policies.
  • Demonstrate practical skills and confidence in preparing an economic situational report for a country as an essential input into the strategic planning process by business leaders.

Challenges for Leaders: Managing People and Change

Module Leader
  • Dr Debora Gottardello

    This module aims to provide students with an introduction to the challenges faced by leaders in developing and sustaining organisations. The two main challenges the module will examine are managing people and managing change. The module will examine challenges presented by both factors in the external environment and internal management processes.


    The content of this module is designed to provide students with knowledge and understanding of issues and activities associated with managing people and change. This will enable them to make well-informed decisions and display appropriate behaviours.

    • Managing People to Yield Value
    • The Changing Context of Work and Organisations in a Globalised World
    • Critical Success Factors in Organisation Design and Restructuring
    • Global Talent and Careers
    • Performance Management
    • Reward Management
    • Employment Relations
    • Employee Voice and Engagement
    • Leading and Managing Organisational Change
    • Global Forces for Change and Challenges for Organisations
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, you should be able to:

  1. Identify and appraise the key challenges presented by an organisation’s internal and external environments and assess potential strategies to respond to them.
  2. Discuss and assess how approaches to the management of people can contribute to organisational outcomes and how the various aspects can be integrated in a coherent way.
  3. Recognise and evaluate approaches to leading and managing successful change.

Data Analytics and Decision Making

Module Leader
  • Dr Andrew Angus

    The module equips you with the ability to critically examine existing literature that underpins the decision-making process and also provides the skills to collect, process, analyse and present relevant data that will support your decisions. In addition, the module will also provide a platform which will help you engage with internal or external clients, undertake a consulting project and, consequently, be able to make coherent and compelling recommendations to senior managers.


    The module covers:

    The principles of management research:

    • Strategies.
    • Research designs.
    • Planning a management project and formulating management questions.
    • Using literature to inform the research process.

    The nature of quantitative analysis:

    • Sampling.
    • Structured interviews and questionnaires.
    • Statistical analysis of data and probability theory.
    • Correlation and regression analysis.
    • Cluster analysis.

    The nature of qualitative analysis:

    • Ethnography and participant observation.
    • Semi-structured interviews and focus groups.
    • Mixed methods project: breaking down the quantitative/qualitative divide.

    The analysis of business processes in the context of:

    • Business analysis tools which enable the identification of specific opportunities aligned to strategic goals.
    • A stakeholder-centred model of organisational processes.
    • Frameworks to assist students in identifying areas in which IT can be employed to improve performance.

    Consulting skills as pivotal in the success of a consulting project:

    • Principles of building strong relationships with clients and the benefits of earning trust.
    • Key components on how to give advice.
    • Attitude of an effective consultant.
    • Framing the issues.
    • Envisioning an alternate reality.
    • Process versus expert consultant roles.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module you should be able to:

  • Select and make use of appropriate quantitative and/or qualitative techniques for the analysis of business issues.
  • Use frameworks and analytical tools to structure analysis and recommendations which are supported by data in a consultancy engagement.
  • Understand how to build effective internal and external client relationships.
  • Present key findings from a consulting project effectively to senior managers; ensuring that substantive recommendations are developed as a result of competent data collection and analysis.

Leading with Impact


    Leadership is a central concept and practice in organisations. Yet what leadership is and what leaders do is subject to intense debate. This module explores how leadership with impact can be developed through practice. It does so by using a blend of research-based insights and experiential teaching methods. Learners are developed as resourceful stewards of leadership.

    Module content will include the following:

    • Leadership Transitions  
    • Crisis Management
    • Press Conference
    • Resilience & Leadership
    • Strategic Mindfulness
    • Leadership Moments

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

1. Define different approaches to leadership in contemporary organisations through having engaged with the leadership literature and through having experienced different leadership approaches.
2. Critically evaluate different leadership practices in theory and in application to generate a personally meaningful perspective of leadership.
3. Develop leadership capabilities at multiple levels in organisations by drawing on practical experiences gained.

Strategizing in Challenging Contexts**


    Strategizing – to devise a strategy - is a key task for any organisational leader. In the core strategic management module the fundamentals of both competitive and corporate strategy were introduced, together with a set of well established generic concepts and techniques available to assist the leader in the development of a credible and believable strategy. However, these traditional strategy approaches can reach the limits of their applicability in a number of extreme, but increasingly encountered, environments, where they may need to be complemented with more context specific approaches. For example, how should strategy be devised in highly dynamic environments where strategic assets face almost immediate redundancy; or in market sectors where business model innovations make incremental improvements in customer value of little relevance; or in social networking contexts where exploiting the primary strategic asset (the membership base) is constrained by both privacy concerns and regulation?

    1. Strategizing  in dynamic environments 
    2. Strategizing in crisis environments 
    3. Strategizing in  a social networking context 
    4. Strategizing in politicized environments 
    5. Strategizing in contexts characterised by business model innovation

    The module covers:

    The module will be delivered in five four-hour blocks, each block devoted to strategy development in a specific context.  The exact contexts examined and example case-studies may vary slightly from year to year dependant on topicality and relevance, but initially the following are planned:

    1. Strategizing  in dynamic environments

    - What dimensions make environments dynamic?
    - What are the implications for strategy development?
    - Case-Study: Formula 1

    2. Strategizing in crisis environments

    - How do firms make sustained recoveries following a period of sharp decline?
    - Lessons available from the business turnaround literature
    - Building an ambidextrous organisation.
    - Case-Study: Harley-Davidson Motorcycles

    3. Strategizing in  a social networking context 

    - How do firms build social networking strategies to enhance their performance?
    - Lessons on aligning business strategy with social networking goals and key performance indicators. 
    - Case-Study: Starbucks

    4. Strategizing in Politicized environments

    - How should an organization defend their interests with public institutions and private interest groups, including governments, regulatory bodies, judiciary, trade unions and pressure groups?
    - Lobbying and other corporate political strategies
    - Case-study: JP Morgan

    5. Strategizing in contexts characterised by business model innovation.

    - What is business model innovation?
    - Building an innovative business model
    - Responding to business model innovation
    - Case-study:  Cirque du Soleil

Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of this module you should be able to:

1. Appraise and evaluate the need for approaches to strategy development which are sensitive to different environments.
2. Evaluate the strategic and organisational challenges created by increasingly dynamic environments.
3. Appraise the strategic and organisation challenges faced in crisis situations and appropriate business recovery strategies.
4. Assess the importance of an organisation’s non-market strategy and how it can influence legislation, regulation and public opinion.
5. Appraise the notion of business model innovation and the approaches available to design and respond to strategic innovations. 
6. Develop the ability to think strategically and to build confidence in making strategic decisions in challenging contexts.
7. Develop and apply practical skills in critically using various strategic management concepts and techniques.

Negotiating in Business and Organisations**

Module Leader
  • Dr Javier Marcos Cuevas

    The module will address different types of negotiation in various contexts. The emphasis will be on integrative approaches to negotiation, where parties aim to reach mutually satisfactory agreements. This will often depend on the negotiator’s ability to identify and create sources of mutual value, and to establish fair standards to distribute this value. You will be provided with an approach to negotiation that blends strong analytical and planning techniques with interpersonal and individual skills.  


    The module covers:

    Negotiation Planning I

    • Negotiation preparation.
    • Stating proposals.
    • Exchanging and bargaining.
    • Reaching agreement.

    Negotiation Planning II

    • Different contexts both micro and macro.
    • Setting the parameters.
    • Using preparation tools.
    • One to one negotiation.

    Price Negotiation

    • Expected negotiation outcomes.
    • Identifying each party’s interests and priorities in potential agreements.
    • Behaviors adopted when negotiating.

    Intra-organisational Negotiation and Decision Making

    • The special circumstances of upper echelon negotiations.
    • Selection of appropriate approaches.
    • Achieving goals in group processes.

    Employment Terms and Conditions

    • Stages when negotiating employment.
    • Defining key personal priorities.
    • Addressing the Salary question.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module you should be able to:

  • Define the expected negotiation outcomes.
  • Identify each party’s interests and priorities in a potential agreement.
  • Calculate the importance and cost of concessions for each party.
  • Critically evaluate the achievements of outcomes and why these were/were not achieved.
  • Understand how states of mind such as level of self-confidence, focus and motivation affect the negotiation process.
  • Adopt tactics for influencing and persuading others.
  • Manage pressure and self-control more effectively.
  • Understand the behaviours you adopt when negotiating and the likely emotional and cognitive underpinnings of these behaviours.

Managing Strategic Innovation**

Module Leader
  • Professor Mark Jenkins

    The module will demonstrate the importance of innovation to organisations in the private and public sectors, and in manufacturing and service. You will understand the key dimensions of innovation, including new products, services and new business model innovation. Further to this, you will recognise how innovation can be managed using leading-edge tools and techniques and will be provided with experience of the key challenges that teams face in developing new products.


    The module will cover:

    • Understanding innovation: What it is and the role it plays within an organisation.
    • The dimensions of innovation: product innovation; service innovation; process innovation; innovation in organisations and business processes.
    • The degrees of innovation: radical, disruptive, and incremental.
    • How innovation can be managed - models of innovation and innovation management.
    • The innovation pentathlon as a framework for innovation management.
    • Creating customer-focused ideas: understanding customers’ hidden needs through enhanced methods for market research. Creativity techniques to stimulate original approaches to solve the customer’s problems.
    • Prioritisation: selecting and managing the portfolio. Methods for assessing the technical, market and financial risks of innovation projects. 
    • Creating novel processes to maximise the effectiveness of management decision-making.
    • Implementation and new product development: how to define and quickly implement concepts for new products, services and processes.
    • People and organisation: building a culture of innovation. Hiring, developing and motivating individuals, teams, and networks to bolster innovation output.
    • Recognising cultural, political and cognitive barriers to innovation. Supporting organisational learning. Creating innovation networks.
    • Developing an innovation strategy: technology management and disruptive innovation. Understanding innovation and determining suitable performance measures. Sources of innovation: internal and external.
    • Auditing innovation performance: determining how innovative an organisation is, both in terms of its output of new products and services and its internal processes.
    • Boosting innovation performance: designing and launching programmes to improve an organisation’s capability to innovate.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module you should be able to:

  • Describe key concepts and issues in innovation and will be able to identify the potential for product service, process, and business model innovation within an organisation and/or network.
  • Compare and contrast strengths and weaknesses of an organisation in terms of its innovation management and performance.
  • Evaluate and apply key tools, techniques and approaches to managing innovation and the ability to critically select and apply these in actual business situations.
  • Judge the challenges in managing new product development.

Defence and Security Marketing

Module Leader
  • Professor Daniel Prior

    The module is designed to introduce the student to marketing applications in the defence and security sectors. In particular, the students will become familiar with the concepts of strategic marketing management and key account planning as a specialist form of client-focused strategic marketing planning and to the specialist nature of marketing communications in the defence sector (including how to maximise trade fair sales and lobbying activities). Also, students will come to understand how marketing communications are used by terrorist groups and those seeking to counter them. The module also seeks to provide participants with a critical understanding of organisational buying behaviour in defence and security markets and of how new product development projects are undertaken given the increasingly co-operative focus of supply chain relationships in the defence sector.


    The course will cover the following topics:

    • The strategic marketing planning process
    • Key account management: concepts, barriers, tactics and best practice
    • Organizational buying behaviour and b2b marketing
    • Marketing communications and managing trade fair sales
    • Specialist communications: defence lobbying
    • New product development case: the Boeing 787 Dreamliner
    • Special applications: (Counter) terrorist uses of marketing
    • Coursework workshop
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

  • Analyse the strategic marketing planning process to the defence and security sectors
  • Analyse the key account planning process and apply best practice methods.
  • Evaluate the theory of how organisations behave when buying/procuring goods/services to real-life cases
  • Critique of conceptual understandings of marketing communications and new product development in defence settings
  • Evaluate and evaluate marketing communications, including lobbying, techniques in defence and security settings

Defence and Security Offset

Module Leader
  • Professor Ron Matthews

    To provide the theoretical frameworks and practical skills to appreciate the purpose, process and performance of offset within a defence and security marketing context, and from the perspective of both the offshore vendor and recipient nations.


    The module covers:

    • Definitional scope and purposes of offset
    • Market and technology drivers
    • Offset theory and typology
    • Offset policy mechanisms
    • Comparative policy performance across states
    • Offset policies and practice
    • Evolvement of civil procurement – civil offset policies
    • European Procurement Directive
    • Offset success factors
    • Examining the impact of offset
    • Managing offsets
    • Evaluating offset performance
    • Offset and corruption
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

  • Apply and analyse offset  in the global markets
  • Evaluate strategies to negotiate offset proposals
  • Apply the skills to evaluate the concepts, tools and processes of offset in business 
  • Critically analyse and compare the various offset policies 
  • Analyse offset strategies to act as a marketing tool to secure exports
  • Determine and evaluate offset proposals
  • Critically examine country-specific offset projects  

Legal, Ethical and Political Defence & Security Frameworks

Module Leader
  • Professor Ann Fitz-Gerald

    To provide a comprehensive understanding of the legal and political frameworks in which defence institutions function. Within this module, a critical awareness of the regulatory regimes affecting defence exports will be covered, as well as the political pressures, which underpin them.


    The course will cover the following topics:

    • The module is an amalgam of lectures, syndicated discussions and directed research seeking to establish the relevance of applying diagnostic frameworks for international defence engagements to the context in which such parties operate.
    • The module covers the following topics:
    • Defence in a national security context
    • Defence reform as part of the national security agenda
    • The role of Governance
    • Understanding overseas governments
    • The arms trade and ethical issues
    • Defence reform (institutional development) and defence trade
    • Governance of the Defence export trade
    • The UK Government’s approach to overseas defence engagements
    • How export controls are established and implemented in major defence trading blocs and nations
    • International legal frameworks, export controls and the donor community
    • Compliance and non-compliance
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, a student should be able to:

  • Critically evaluate the political pressures in certain regions and the difficulties, which arise with weak state/regional governance structures
  • Examine a country’s overall security sector and assess the challenges this poses to the wider national security and development agenda
  • Analyse the role of international donors, financial institutions and the global development agenda and how the defence trade often introduce conflicting forces that run counter to objectives of other agenda
  • Critically evaluate the key ethical considerations for organisations undertaking business in the arms trade
  • Analyse the legal environment in which defence trading takes place, and give reasons for export controls in the UK, US and major trading nations
  • Contrast and evaluate export controls of a number of countries or regions

Strategic Trade Controls and Compliance


    To equip the student with a contextual understanding of strategic trade controls and their complexities. Providing practical understanding and knowledge of the purpose, process and pitfalls of strategic trade controls, together with an appreciation of good compliance principles and practice. Students will critically consider key issues related to trade and export controls.

    • Definitions and terms - strategic trade controls, export controls and other technical terms used within strategic trade and compliance
    • Historical context and landscape of strategic trade controls
    • National and International context, key legislation and agencies
    • Compliance – Who/What/Why/When/How
    • Implications of non-compliance, licensing considerations and practices
    • Strategies and best practice for compliance
    • Due diligence, how to understand your customers. Fraud and anti-corruption aspects
    • Sanctions and embargoes, freight forwarding, logistics and shipping
    • Recent developments and changes across strategic trade controls and compliance
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

  • Analyse the complex nature of the trade controls environment and
  • Evaluate national and international controls and their implications, together with the nature of their regulatory powers and identify those that are extra-territorial
  • Apply the acquired skills from the module to interpret the legal issues and components of export control licensing
  • Evaluate the definition of controls, the various activities and functions involved and how strategic trade controls and compliance and can benefit industry and government policy.
  • Synthesise, evaluate and apply the required components to ensure trade control compliance and the implementation effectiveness of the resulting compliance system

Independent Project


    This module aims to allow students to synthesise relevant concepts and methods learned on the MBA and apply their research and consulting skills to get an in-depth understanding of a particular topic/industry.


    The project will involve regular agreed meetings with the faculty member (supervisor) and partnering organisation if applicable.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

1. Analyse and synthesise relevant concepts and methods learned on the MBA and apply these to a particular problem.

2. Make independent analyses and judgments of complex situations in a business context.

3. Recognise the challenges involved in designing, researching and delivering a consulting/research project.


Keeping our courses up-to-date and current requires constant innovation and change. The modules we offer reflect the needs of business and industry and the research interests of our staff. As a result, they may change or be withdrawn due to research developments, legislation changes or for a variety of other reasons. Changes may also be designed to improve the student learning experience or to respond to feedback from students, external examiners, accreditation bodies and industrial advisory panels.

To give you a taster, we have listed above the compulsory and elective (where applicable) modules which are currently affiliated with this course. All modules are indicative only, and may be subject to change for your year of entry.

Please note: faculty review the choice of modules on a regular basis in line with developments in management practice and business intelligence. Modules marked with ** are compulsory for Masterships® students.

Teaching team

Our faculty are passionately committed to improving the practice of management. As leaders in their field with hands-on business experience, they understand the challenges of putting theory into practice. Their experience is reinforced by close links with organisations through consultancy projects, teaching on executive development programmes and sponsored research. This ensures that what you learn at Cranfield is always current and cutting edge.


Cranfield School of Management is one of an elite group of business schools worldwide to hold triple accreditations from:

Triple Accreditation

Member of the EMBA Consortium for Global Business Innovation.

EMBA Consortium

Cranfield School of Management is a proud member of GMAC.


Your career

The Cranfield Executive MBA Defence Export will enable you to develop your knowledge, skills and abilities while applying what you learn directly in your workplace. The programme will support your career progression, preparing you to carry out senior strategic roles successfully or to build your own business.

The programme has a strong focus on leadership development. You will work with accredited coaches, members of faculty and careers advisers to create and implement a personalised development plan. Leadership development continues throughout the year and will enable you to:

  • Discover and develop your leadership and team-working style
  • Identify how to enhance your personal effectiveness
  • Work out where you want to go professionally
  • Learn the techniques of effective team leadership
  • Become more sensitive to situations, cultures and contexts
  • Prepare to lead change and face future challenges.

In certain circumstances, our Career Development Service can offer bespoke consultations for Executive MBA’s requiring assistance.

How to apply

To apply you will need to register to use our online system. Once you have set up an account you will be able to create, save and amend your application form before submitting it. 

Once your online application has been submitted together with your supporting documentation, it will be processed by our admissions team. You will then be advised by email if you are successful, unsuccessful, or whether the course director would like to interview you before a decision is made.  Applicants based outside of the UK may be interviewed either by telephone or video conference.