Cranfield School of Management and Grant Thornton are delighted to offer this Executive MBA (Human Capital) programme which is the result of their close collaboration.  Working closely with APSCo we have developed a curriculum that responds to the needs of modern, dynamic organisations. The programme ensures you will be exposed to industry-leading education, incorporating teaching from current practitioners, business simulations and one-to-one leadership coaching. Furthermore, Cranfield, Grant Thornton and APSCo are actively engaged in international research and consultancy, from advising multi-sector clients through to international governments. We bring this real-world experience back to the lecture theatres, ensuring you benefit from the very latest management thinking and trends in human capital.

This Executive MBA (Human Capital) programme will allow you to join a community of skilled individuals 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.

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 date29 April 2020
  • DurationTwo-year part-time
  • DeliveryYou will be assessed through a mixture of exams, written projects and presentations.
  • QualificationMBA
  • Study typeExecutive
  • CampusCranfield campus, London, High Wycombe

Who is it for?

Our Executive MBA (Human Capital)  is designed for middle managers wanting to move into a senior management role and those on a fast-track career path within their organisations. It is aimed at professionals who already have significant expertise in Human Resources Management or staffing, the programme helps students develop skills in areas such as leadership, strategic management, finance, data analytics, and organizational transformation and the ability to apply these in the development and facilitation of people strategies.

Why this course?

The Executive MBA (Human Capital) will develop your employees' leadership and business skills, with a specific focus on applying these skills into human resource management, staffing and talent strategies.   They will cover core modules in strategic management, data analytics, leadership and finance before specialising through a number of specific modules in the areas of human capital.

At the end of the programme, they will obtain a Cranfield Executive MBA (Human Capital).  This will provide them with the skills and toolkit to lead your organisation to the next level through:

  • a deep understanding of the core elements of managing and leading a complex organisation allowing them to see the business as a whole and to become a more effective member of the senior team.
  • the ability to define and set strategic direction, particular in relation to people, and to embed operational plans.
  • the ability to develop data-driven people strategies and to make use of technological advancements in managing people
  • the ability to drive enhanced performance of self and others, to deliver sustainable, measurable impact and value to your organisation.

The Cranfield Executive MBA (Human Capital) has been designed for experienced professionals with significant expertise in Human Resources Management or staffing, the programme helps participants develop skills in areas such as leadership, strategic management, finance, data analytics, and organisational transformation and gives them the opportunity to apply these in the development and facilitation of people strategies.

Today’s leaders in the areas of Human Resource Management, Staffing and Talent, not only need subject expertise but also broader leadership and business skills as well as the ability to draw on data and technology to support a people strategy.

Too often we see excellent people professionals failing to make the step up to Senior Management or Board level because they lack the broader understanding of their organisations or the analytical skills, that would allow them to contribute to the development and implementation of organisational strategy.

The fact that there will, at last, be a high-level business qualification for those working in recruitment is a real game-changer and we’re incredibly proud to be part of it. This programme embraces the whole human capital workforce ecosystem.

Whether you are working in a recruitment firm – or within a corporate internal resourcing or HR department, this is for you. Any profession working together to get the right people into the right roles deserves a robust and internationally recognised business qualification. The Executive MBA (Human Capital) is that qualification!

Your Executive MBA

Our two-year part-time Executive MBA (Human Capital) programme is offered in a modular format. Classes will be 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.

April 2020 intake study dates:

Part 1: Unless otherwise stated, locations to be confirmed

· Wednesday 29 April to Saturday 2 May 2020 (mandatory)
· Thursday 28 to Saturday 30 May 2020
· Thursday 25 to Saturday 27 June 2020
· Thursday 23 to Saturday 25 July 2020 
· Thursday 17 to Saturday 19 September 2020    
· Thursday 15 to Saturday 17 October 2020   
· Thursday 12 to Saturday 14 November 2020
· Thursday 10 to Saturday 12 December 2020
· Thursday 21 to Saturday 23 January 2021
· Thursday 18 to Saturday 20 February 2021
· Thursday 18 to Saturday 20 March 2021

Course details

The programme covers all the core management subjects in a series of 14 modules, but is also highly flexible. You will choose 8 electives* and tailor projects to suit your organisation's needs, your interests and your professional aspirations. The programme is structured in two main parts. Year 1 comprises 11 core management modules. In year 2, you will take a further 3 core modules, you will then choose 8 elective modules, and have the option to complete an International Business Assignment or company-based project. Leadership development and career development activities run throughout the programme.

* Masterships students will complete a total of 18 Core Modules and 4 Electives. Please see module descriptions below to find out more.

Course delivery

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

Group project

The programme includes an optional consultancy project. Working in small groups, you will apply what you have learnt in your core and elective modules to the project. You will help an organisation to tackle a contemporary challenge, researching the problem, analysing data and making recommendations for action.

Individual project

The programme includes an independent work-based project. Working in small groups, you will apply what you have learnt in your core and elective modules to your project. You will help your organisation to tackle a contemporary challenge, researching the problem, and making impactful recommendations for action.

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

Module Leader
  • Dr Marek Szwejczewski

    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
  • Professor Emma Macdonald

    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
  • Professor Clare Kelliher

    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.

Developing Contemporary People Strategies

Module Leader
  • Professor Frank Horwitz

    To develop an appreciation of strategic approaches to managing people and an awareness and key issues which have strategic significance for line/general managers and the Human Resource Management (HRM) function. This module aims to develop theoretical and practical understanding, the ability to apply in a global context and a base of relevant skills in strategic human resource management. The module explores the key concepts, tools and techniques of strategic HRM used by organisations and leaders.


    The module covers:

    • Developing a people strategy
    • Aligning business & HR strategies
    • Linking people & business outcomes
    • Analysing labour markets
    • The agile workforce & total talent management
    • Designing the HR operating model
    • Use of data & analytics in people management and recruitment
    • Employment legislation
    • HR technology (including emerging technologies & social media)
    • Influencing at Board level
Intended learning outcomes
  • Develop a people strategy that is aligned with the business strategy, and the changing external context and links people with business outcomes
  • Analyse internal and external labour markets to design a total talent management strategy that considers organisational agility
  • Consider different approaches for HR implementation, including the use of digital approaches to HRM and emerging technologies
  • Apply data & analytics in people management and/or recruitment
  • Consider the broad legislative framework for people management/recruitment
  • Understand approaches for being influential at Board level

Strategizing in Challenging Contexts**

Module Leader
  • Dr Richard Schoenberg

    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**


    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
  • Dr Clive Savory

    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.

Elective modules
A selection of modules from the following list need to be taken as part of this course

International People Management

Module Leader
  • Professor Michael Dickmann

    In a highly globalised world, this module strives to enable students to understand the international HRM decisions of the organisation, to critically assess these and to be able to develop evidence-based, refined ideas. Some key challenges that organisations face are the link of their business strategies and structures to those of HRM as well as the global mobility department. Also, there are ever-shifting national context factors that organisations need to analyse, that create conditions that organisations need to comply to and that may present opportunities to exploit. Students will have developed critical insights into the many challenges and opportunities that international HRM can present and will be able to contribute ideas to strengthen an organisation’s worldwide competitive advantage.


    The module covers:

    • HRM configuration & the global context
    • Regional HRM patterns: the impact of national context on HRM (including national culture & institutional aspects)
    • International labour markets and talent supply
    • Managing the global workforce
    • Global mobility and international assignments
    • Offshoring and outsourcing
Intended learning outcomes
  • Examine the global context and its influence on HRM configurations
  • Analyse the impact of national context on HRM, including international talent supply
  • Design a strategy for managing a global workforce
  • Develop a global mobility strategy
  • Evaluate the potential for offshoring and outsourcing

Acquiring Talent and Developing an Employer Brand

Module Leader
  • Professor Emma Parry

    A key role of senior HRM and staffing professionals is to develop a strategy for acquiring the talent that the organisation needs. This module provides students with the ability to develop such a strategy based on sound labour market analysis and a strong employer brand.


    The module covers:

    • Talent & workforce planning
    • Contingent workforce planning
    • Selection & assessment
    • Fairness, diversity & inclusion in talent acquisition & selection
    • Employer brand and employee value proposition
    • Digital recruitment & assessment tools (including AI)
    • Recruitment legislation
Intended learning outcomes
  • Undertake talent and workforce planning
  • Consider the role of flexible working and contingent working in acquiring and maintaining human capital
  • Develop an approach for attracting and selecting talent, including the use of digital recruitment & assessment tools (including AI) as appropriate
  • Develop an employer brand and employee value proposition for an organisation
  • Demonstrate the importance of fairness, diversity & inclusion in talent acquisition & selection

Leading a Recruitment or Staffing Business

Module Leader
  • Professor Emma Parry

    To provide students with an understanding of how to apply business and entrepreneurial concepts learned in the first year of the Executive MBA to a recruitment or staffing business. In particular, students will develop the ability to grow and develop an existing recruitment or staffing business effectively so that they can apply this knowledge to their organisations.


    The module covers:

    • The nature of the recruitment/staffing industry
    • The legislative context
    • Business models for recruitment and staffing
    • Recruitment process outsourcing and offshoring
    • Growing your recruitment /staffing business
    • Risk management and financial management in human capital
    • Technology for recruitment and staffing businesses
    • Bidding for large scale human capital projects
Intended learning outcomes
  • Develop an appropriate business model for a recruitment/staffing business
  • Identify strategies for growing a recruitment business into new markets
  • Manage risk and compliance within a recruitment or staffing business
  • Capitalise on appropriate technological advancements to improve your business
  • Develop high quality bids for large recruitment/staffing projects

Managing and Sustaining the Employment Relationship

Module Leader
  • Professor Clare Kelliher

    Managing and sustaining good quality employment relationships plays an important role in an organisation’s ability to deliver its purpose. This module will consider how employment relations are sustained and the factors that influence its quality. Specifically, it examines how employee well-being can be supported; employee engagement maintained and how employees can be developed and recognised for performance.


    The module covers:

    • Developing and sustaining quality employment relations
    • Building employee engagement, motivation and retention
    • Supporting employee well-being through work design and organisational interventions
    • Employment Regulation and HR Strategy
    • Rewarding and recognising employee performance, behaviours and attitudes
    • Human resource development, learning and career management
Intended learning outcomes
  • Understand the significance of and consider ways to sustain high quality employment relations.
  • Analyse approaches to work and organisational engagement to motivate and retain employees.
  • Examine ways of supporting employee well-being including work design and organisational systems and structures
  • Appreciate the role of and be able to argue for consideration of employment regulations in an HR strategy.
  • Design a strategy for learning & development and career management


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 (Human Capital) 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.

This MBA 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.

Please note the application deadline for January 2020 start is 2 December 2019.

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.