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Robert Gordon University

Aberdeen Business School
The Robert Gordon University

Aberdeen Business School and to the MBA programme


Our Masters in Business Administration (MBA) programme is designed to meet the needs of senior managers, executives and employers. The content, structure and flexible delivery of the programme will provide you with the range of knowledge and skills which you will require to develop a successful career. Whether you are employed by a multi-national, a SME, running your own business, thinking of setting up your own business or working in the public sector, you will find that the programme addresses all your needs.

As one of the few UK AMBA accredited MBA programmes, across ALL modes of study, you can be confident that the Aberdeen Business School MBA meets all of your requirements in terms of quality. The teaching staff combine real business experience with an academic perspective on leading edge international best practice. All of this is delivered in the impressive Norman Foster building on the RGU campus by the banks of the River Dee.

In addition to the valuable knowledge which you will acquire, the MBA programme will also develop you as an individual. The interactive nature of the teaching gives you the opportunity to develop your analytical and creative thinking plus presentation skills. The school has extensive contacts with businesses based in the region which are used to provide opportunities for work-based projects.

Aberdeen Business School has established an excellent reputation as a provider of management education nationally and internationally. This reputation is widely recognised by employers and is a very good reason for you to take the Aberdeen Business School MBA.

The MBA Experience

Our Masters in Business Administration (MBA) programme is supported by staff with academic expertise and credibility gained from current business, professional and consultancy activities.

The MBA is a Learning and Leadership experience
  • The learning experience for on-campus students takes place in our state-of-the-art facilities based in the Norman Foster building at the university's Garthdee campus in Aberdeen. The online students work on a virtual learning platform that allows for high levels of student and tutor interaction.
  • The leadership experience is a facilitated by interaction with the content and people on the course and sustained through our alumni community. There is a leadership week run each year for all MBA programmes.
  • There is a project placement experience available for students on the full-time course
  • We have an active research team and the MBA programme is also strengthened by the activities of the School Centres such as those in Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Transport Policy and Public Policy and Management.


The Full Time Learning Environment

The Full Time taught mode uses a relatively traditional delivery of lectures, workshops, simulations and tutorials supported by team and individual study. The Virtual Campus also supports on-campus teaching by providing equivalent material to both distance and full-time students. The key difference between the two modes is the level of interaction and support expected in the distance learning delivery mode. Resources for on-campus students include PowerPoint slides to support lectures, case studies, links to relevant websites, video footage, ebooks and the online Library resources. There is also group email, threaded discussion fora, shared documents folder and notice board facilities. These facilities are used to encourage communication and collaborative learning outwith scheduled class time.

The Distance Learning Environment

The Distance Learning mode has all of the above facilities on the Virtual Campus, plus some additional resources. The first of these is the study guide for the module that explains the resources available, the learning approach and any special requirements or deadlines. The module is divided into learning topics that directly reflect the taught syllabus. Each of these topics has a number of additional resources for the distance learner: [1] topic notes providing a commentary on the topic that replicates the lecture material; [2] annotated PowerPoint slides of the on-campus lectures; [3] where appropriate, an audio or talking head PowerPoint summary of key learning points (usually about 10−15 minutes) or complete video of the lecture (this may be broadcast live on some occasions); [4] where available, an eBook chapter or digitised reading or hyperlink to such a resource; [5] individual and group activities that are facilitated by asynchronous and synchronous communication technologies and [6] an online support module.

In addition, the online tutor engages with teams and individuals through the asynchronous discussion forum, group email and individual confidential email, which are the key resources to support online interaction. The online chat facility, webcam conferencing software (ePop) and Skype can be used to promote real time social interchange and can also be used for group tutorials. Due to worldwide time differences, the latter is seen as complementary rather than core to the online learning methodology. Although the Distance Learning mode provides flexibility as to where and when students study, the delivery model does not permit total flexibility. Controlling pace has benefit in enabling membership of a student cohort and enhancing student success. Online learning is learner centred, enabling students to assume responsibility for their own learning. As far as possible in respect to appropriate pedagogy the approach that is adopted in this course is the learning team centred model. This simulates the on-campus learning experience in a virtual classroom in which learners interact with each other to expand their ideas via electronic forums and communications tools. The model assumes that learning is a social activity and the student can receive feedback from the learning network by verbalising their thoughts. Online learning is never static, but reflects the dynamism of learning communities. This facilitates greater cognitive development, critical thinking and the discovery of new knowledge compared to learning alone.


Department of Business & Management


The Business Management department is one of the largest in the school and has four areas of interest - Business Strategy, E-Business, Entrepreneurship and Operations Management. The Business Strategy group is the biggest numerically with 50% of the academic staff being located here. The group teaches a number of strategic management modules throughout the University and to a number of corporate clients. The areas of speciality within the group are Corporate Social Responsibility, Business Ethics, Business Strategy, Psychological Contracts and Environmental Management and Policy. The Charles P. Skene Centre for Entrepreneurship is an expanding area of expertise within Aberdeen Business School with a particular interest in small business enterprise. One of their remits is to provide entrepreneurial education to as wide a group of students as possible within the University.

Research Overview

The group has a number of different research areas in the field of general management, and it also has a specific focus on entrepreneurship research within Charles P. Skene Centre for Entrepreneurship. The following subject fields in the area of business management indicate the research interests of the academic staff and research students:
  • Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Business Ethics
  • Business Strategy
  • Environmental Management and Policy
  • Psychological Contracts
  • Operations and logistics management
  • Quality Management
In relation to entrepreneurship research, The Charles P. Skene Centre for Entrepreneurship has an enthusiastic research active group with a variety of interests and expertise in the topic of entrepreneurship. They undertake both qualitative and quantitative approaches to entrepreneurship and have research interests in two broad areas.

First the entrepreneurial process, trying to understand the big questions of how and why entrepreneurship arises and works. Other areas of interest include, for example, entrepreneurship in China, or rural entrepreneurship. They are also interested in more general issues, such as the role of gender and the role of social capital, for example. At present we have research students working in the areas of comparing criminality and entrepreneurship; the entrepreneurial narrative; the role of morality; the use of relationship marketing in SMEs and Chinese entrepreneurship.

The second area of specialisation is that of Small Business. Particular aspects of small business might include such topics as training, knowledge management, governance or innovation. The focus here is on the smaller business, which is viewed as being different from larger businesses, but nonetheless playing a key role.

The Department as a whole aspires to offer an intellectually challenging but supportive collegiate atmosphere where students will realise their full potential, in terms of scholarship, publication and personal development.



The School


Aberdeen Business School is one of the leading providers of management and professional education in Scotland. Over 3,500 students are studying a comprehensive range of courses. In the School we have over 1,700 postgraduate students from over 80 countries and offer a truly international experience. Founded in 1965, the business school has just celebrated its fortieth year and continues to build on its firm foundation.

The Business School is part of The Robert Gordon University, which has been regularly acclaimed as the Best New University in the UK based on a formidable reputation for its pragmatic approach to higher education.

The Aberdeen Business School is one of the largest Business Schools in the United Kingdom. Currently it is structured in 8 departments: Accounting, Finance and Economics, Business and Management, Public Policy, Law, Information Management, Communication and Languages, Marketing and Human Resource Management. Associated with the departments, there are a number of satellite applied research centres in the field of Entrepreneurship, Knowledge Management, Tourism, Public Policy, and Transport Policy.

Aberdeen Business School have had AMBA accreditation for since 1999. The Business School is one of the largest providers of management education in the UK and have delivered online courses since 1999. We are rated excellent by the UK quality assurance agency for higher education and have a very strong portfolio of courses. The School offers 29 postgraduate courses with accreditation from CIPD, CIPS, AMBA, CIArb, CIMA, CIM, CMI, APM, IQA, Institute of Exporters, and CILIP to name a few. We have an extensive range of publications in our online library with approximately 3,500 academic journals.

Our Focus on Informed Learning

Aberdeen Business School is recognised nationally and internationally for responding to the needs of both students and employers. Our strong links with industry, commerce and the public sector enable us to ensure that our courses are practical and innovative and offer students the very best learning experience.

As a mark of the quality of our undergraduate and postgraduate level programmes many of our courses are recognised, or are accredited by, the professional organisations. This relationship between professional practice and academic rigour has meant that we continually appear in the top 5 for graduate and postgraduate employment in the Sunday Times University Guide. In 2006 RGU was ranked first for graduate employment in the UK. We enjoy the lowest unemployment of our graduates at 1.9% combined with the best rates of employment in graduate-level jobs of 86.4%.

Faculty Excellence

A teaching faculty that blends academic expertise with the credibility gained from current business, professional and consultancy activities supports the School’s programmes.

The staff also have an excellent record in attracting research funding from such bodies as the Arts and Humanities Research Board, Economic and Social Research Council, the European Commission and UNESCO.

Staff are also on the editorial boards of numerous international journals, including the Journal of Forensic Accounting, Journal of International Trade Law and Policy, Libri: International Journal of Libraries and Information Services, and the Journal of International Business and Economics Research.

Many of the School’s courses have a European and International focus and attract students from all parts of the UK, the EU and further a field. The resulting mix of students, cultures and customs creates a modern cosmopolitan study environment from which staff and students benefit.

Aberdeen is located in the North East of Scotland. It is known as the Oil capital of Europe and has a large number of Oil majors based in the city. The city has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the United Kingdom. Aberdeen has been voted the best place to study in the UK for the last 2 years. Students from International destinations would qualify for the fresh talent initiative on graduation.

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Address Information

Address Aberdeen Business School, Garthdee Road, Aberdeen, Scotland,
UK, AB10 7QE
Tel. No. +44 (0)1224 262000
Fax No. +44 (0)1224 263838
E-mail address ABS.postgrad@rgu.ac.uk
Course Master of Business Administration (MBA)
Master of Business Administration Agribusiness
Master of Business Administration Food Business Management
Type of Programme Full-time on-campus,
Part-time on-campus,
Online/Distance Learning
Length of Programme 12 months full-time,
30 months part-time and online
Date of commencement The online programme begins in September and January.
The Full-time and part-time on-campus programmes begin in late September.
Class size Full-time MBA: 35-50;
Part-time MBA: 25-30;
Online MBA: 25-50 (Students on the online course will work in small teams of 6-8);
Agribusiness/Food Business Management MBA: 10 (these students will work alongside the full-time and online cohorts for common modules)
Student accommodation Available
Fees Full-Time MBA fees UK/EU/Overseas Student: £13,450.
The Part-time MBA and online MBA fees UK/EU/Overseas Student: £9,850
Top recruiters of graduates Graduates from our MBA programme work for a wide range of sectors including the Oil and Gas Sector, Banking and Finance, Pharmaceutical, Manufacturing, Logistics and Government institutions. The specialist MBA in Agribusiness and Food Business management feed into the appropriate industries.
Exchange partner schools The school has an exchange arrangement with Aix en Provence for the MBA. Students can study in Provence for 1 week as part of the full-time elective Managing Change. The MBA also has visiting exchange partners in Norway, Ireland and Russia. The exchange programme to France is available to part-time and online students. Aberdeen Business School has formal exchange relationships with 20 European institutions and 5 non-European institutions.
Admission requirements The MBA is a challenging masters' level programme demanding a combination of intellectual abilities and business experience. To gain admission applicants will normally:
  • hold a first degree, at honours level at a top class banding
  • have at least three years relevant management experience
  • where appropriate be able to demonstrate competence in the English language. A requirement of IELTS 6.5
  • for those without a degree at least 5 years senior management experience or entry via our 8 month online access foundation degree
  • Student profile 1.Countries of origin: across all modes of the MBA we have students studying from 50 different countries at any one time. Students come from the following countries: Mexico, China, Germany, France, United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, Russia, Ukraine, India, United States of America, Canada, Caribbean Islands, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Australia, UAE, Saudia Arabia, South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania, Kenya, Egypt, Sudan, Cyprus, Syria, Qatar, Greece, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka and many more.
    2. Ratio Men: Women
    MBA Full-time: 55:45 MBA Part-time: 70:30 MBA Online: 70:30
    3. Age Range
    MBA Full-time: 25-45 MBA Part-time: 28-55 MBA Online: 28-55
    4. Average Age
    MBA Full-time: 30 MBA Part-time: 34 MBA Online: 39
    5. Average Work Experience
    MBA Full-time: 9 MBA Part-time: 11 MBA Online: 14
    MBA Course Director Andrew Turnbull;
    Course leader for Full-time MBA: Tom Mason;
    Course leader for DL e-MBA: Allan Scott;
    Course Leader for Part-time MBA: Heather Fulford;
    Course leader for MBA Agribusiness: Morag Mitchell


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