Masters in Business Administration (MBA) International Development

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Blending the latest research with knowledge from the forefront of international development practice, this unique MBA is the first of its kind in the UK.

The MBA (International Development) develops global leaders by combining technical management knowledge with a critical understanding of international development issues.

The course responds to a double gap in current UK HE provision – firstly the need for students from least developed countries to study for an MBA tailored to their context and secondly the need for business professionals to understand and be able to respond to current and emerging international development challenges.

Alongside developing the key skills required to manage projects, programmes and businesses in least developed countries, students will gain discover how their work can contribute towards:

  • achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals and poverty reduction;
  • enhancing the economic development of low income countries.

Key information

Start date(s): 
25th Sep 2017
15th Jan 2018

Course length:
Full-time (12 months)
Part-Time (2 years)

If you have any questions about this course or your eligibility to apply please contact

Undergraduate degree and 2 years management work experience, other qualifications and non-graduates considered on individual merit; IELTS 6.0.

For further information please visit the University applications page.

2017/8 fees for this course have not yet been agreed. Please contact 01902 321150 for further information.

For information about Postgraduate Loans, Professional and Career Development Loans, Charitable Funding or University Postgraduate Loyalty Discount please visit the University applications page.

Why Wolverhampton?

Launched for September 2017 by the Centre for International Development and Training at the University of Wolverhampton, this postgraduate degree is the first of its kind to be offered in the UK.It follows in the long tradition of courses at Wolverhampton to give a practical slant to technical issues, to bring the concept of social justice to them and to benefit for the forty years and more of CIDT’s excellent international development record. . The MBA will engage students with core and topical issues in the fast-changing landscape of international aid and equip them with key skills to design and manage successful projects and businesses within a developing country context.

Teaching on this course is highly interactive and led by subject experts from across the University with strong consultancy and real world experience.

The course will be taught by staff from the Centre for International Development and Training (CIDT) and the Wolverhampton Business School. CIDT is actively engaged in delivering consultancy and managing development grants globally, bringing in cutting edge experience into teaching and research. The Wolverhampton Business School has an array of well-established courses at undergraduate and postgraduate level including a portfolio of MBAs.

Who is this course for?

This programme is an ideal choice for anyone seeking to develop a career in international development management; management in the public or private sector in the developing world, or managing private sector-society relationships. The content is suitable for a range of learners including:

  • International development practitioners;
  • Graduates working in (or aspiring to work in) a context of international development;
  • Business leaders from the corporate world seeking to gain an understanding of social, political and environmental issues that shape international business;
  • Managers in charge of corporate social responsibility;
  • People with limited work experience, or seeking to change professions, that have an interest in the Sustainable Development Goals.

Employability and career potential

Connecting key management and business skills with international development issues opens up a wide range of exciting career options for graduates.

Successful completion of the MBA (ID) provides a much sought after academic qualification which will enhance your career prospects in a number of managerial and specialist roles such as:

  • international development project or programme management,
  • staff or boards of directors in the international private sector or trusts/charities;
  • fundraising manager;
  • grant manager;
  • management consultant;
  • corporate social responsibility manager;
  • researcher in international development and the development of the private sector.

The MBA (ID) may provide the basis for further study in a range of professional subject areas such as accounting, marketing and human resources as well as further academic study such as a PhD.

Content and modules

Students will gain theoretical and practical knowledge in Marketing Management, Managing Financial Performance, Human Resources and Leadership, Strategic Management and Independent Business Analysis. View a full breakdown of modules and the structure of the course on the University application portal.

Those on the International Development route will take Sustainable Development in Practice and International Development Project and Programme Management. These modules are designed to expose students to the contemporary issues facing the developing world, and equip them with the practical skills to design, implement, monitor and evaluate international development projects and programmes, whether these be led by government, civil society, private sector or development aid (donor) institutions.

Sustainable Development in Practice

This module will introduce students to key current issues in international development. The module will engage students with key debates in the delivery of international development, as well as expose them to current thinking and policy on priorities for the achievement of global development goals. The purpose of the module is to challenge students to think critically on the practice, policy and theory of international development, and be able to relate these issues to management of their work environment and experiences.

Module Content

The module will cover a range of issues, including the following indicative topics:

  • Introduction and the relevance of development and business
  • Sustainable Development Goals and Theories of Development
  • Poverty and Aid
  • Approaches to Development
  • Gender, social inclusion and social justice
  • Globalisation and Trade
  • Corruption, Resource Grabs and Good Governance
  • Geopolitics, Humanitarianism and human development
  • Promoting Quality and Inclusive Education
  • Climate change and development
  • Green Growth and Low Carbon Resilient Economies
  • Social Enterprises, SME Financing and Promotion

Project/Programme Management for International Development

This module is designed to equip students with core skills and techniques for developing and managing projects and programmes in an international development context. Students are taken around the project management cycle, from planning and inception to evaluation and closure, and introduced to tools and concepts of Results-Based Management (RBM). Students will have the opportunity to work on live ‘consultancy’ projects to hone their understanding. The module will appeal to development professionals, students from developing country backgrounds, as well as business managers intending to engage in developing countries; however the tools and techniques taught are equally practical and desirable in a UK context.  Case studies will be drawn from real-life consultancy projects, including those delivered by the module leaders and lecturers of this course.

Module Content

  • Projects, programmes and the Project/Programme Cycle
  • Managing for International Development Results
  • Logical Framework Approach- planning for project design
  • Problem and Objectives Analysis
  • Stakeholder Analysis
  • Planning for Project Implementation (Project Scheduling, Work planning and Critical Path Analysis)
  • Project Budgets, Financing and Resource Allocation
  • The Project Environment, Risk Identification and Management
  • Project Monitoring and Evaluation
  • Project Success Factors and Why Projects Fail (including
  • The use (and abuse) of the logical framework)
  • Public Policy Analysis and Management