UC MBA Structure

Our mission is to produce leaders capable of growing organisations with purpose and impact which will future-proof organisations; drive digital transformation; innovate to enhance customer value; engage meaningfully in society; and deal with complex global environments.

When can you start?

There are three intakes into the MBA programme (February, May and August), each with a compulsory 2-day orientation, typically the Friday and Saturday before the term starts.

Full-time students take between 14 and 18 months to complete their MBA. The majority of our students do the MBA part-time, which means that you will do the three ”core” courses plus one additional course (from the “expand” group of courses) in the first year of study. You will complete the remainder of the “expand” courses in the second year and “ignite” with your Creative Challenge.

In the third year of study, completing the “master” section of the degree typically takes between 6 months to a year. However, full-time and part-time students have five years to complete their MBA, and we can help you design a flexible programme of study that suits your busy life and personal needs.

Structure of classes and timetable

Our flexible learning format balances the needs of busy individuals while maximizing networking and cohort building in the MBA programme. We, therefore, have an increasing number of students joining us from across Aotearoa New Zealand. Most courses (excluding Agile and Innovation-driven Leadership and the Creative Challenge) follow the following format:

  • Twelve weeks of class with a one-week break during the term.
  • Weekly 3-hour (5 pm – 8 pm) lectures. You can attend these lectures in person or via Zoom.
  • Plus one compulsory intensive weekend consisting of a full Friday and Saturday on the UC Campus. For Agile and Innovation-driven Leadership, 11 classes (available on Zoom or in person), as well as two intensive days on campus, are spread across the year. Your Creative Challenge course has six classes spread across five months.


Data Informed Strategy (15 points)
Strategy is about making purposeful, explicit choices on how to build a sustainable competitive advantage and sustainable long-term profitability or impact. In this course, we will discuss various ways of thinking about organizational strategies, what tools are available to guide your thinking,  and the importance of data and analytics for both the selection and implementation of such strategies. This course will prepare participants to think strategically, to ask the right questions, to identifying what data is needed to answer those questions and how to transform data into meaningful insights in order to support decision-making.

Innovation by Design (15 points)
The human-centred design thinking approach is a people centric, collaborative, and experimental way of driving innovation to create customer value. It is a pragmatic approach that aims to nurture deep curiosity about an issue, unleash creativity in how to approach it, and ensure clarity when it comes to implementing solutions.

Agile and Innovation-driven Leadership (15 points)
A rapidly changing world requires a new type of leader who can create agile teams to overcome challenges and seize opportunities. You will build your leadership confidence by using your strengths to shape your personal style of leading. You will also develop resilience and ongoing learning, with the ability to coach and motivate others.


Digital Transformation and Technology Preparedness (15 points)
Organisations find themselves in a storm of new technologies and competitors. In collaboration with industry, this course provides hands-on opportunities to engage with the latest technologies such as blockchain, IoT and AI. It will enable you to make decisions on the adoption of the best technologies to support your organisation’s digital strategy delivering a breadth of functions for a superior user/customer experience.

Economic Uncertainty and Organisational Agility (15 points) 
Economics is a social science.  It is “the study of mankind in the ordinary business of life” (Alfred Marshall, 1842 – 1924).  This course will introduce you to using the lens of economics - concepts, ideas and principles that will help you gain insights into the everyday behaviour of people, organisations, governments and nations. At the end of this course, you will find that economics is all around you – not just in the world of business but in the whole world.  The emphasis is on using economic thinking to understand our complex and uncertain world and become better thinkers and decision makers as a result. You will not have all the answers by the end of this course but you will be equipped with a better set of questions to ask. The course will include a case study in a bi-cultural context.

Managerial Finance (15 points)
This course explores how the analysis of a range of financial information is used to enhance managerial decision-making. You will look at the ways organisations raise capital and assess the performance of projects and investments. The emphasis of the course will be on applying the financial concepts, tools and techniques to solve real-world problems.

Creating Impact-led Enterprises (15 points)
Organisations are increasingly being viewed through the lens of social and environmental impacts. This interdisciplinary course enables you to gain comprehensive insights on the conceptual and empirical issues linking sustainability with business practice and deliberate on the challenges of managing sustainability trade-offs.


Creative Challenge (15 points)
This courses focuses on ‘you’ as the project. You will be provided with an opportunity to push your own boundaries and challenge your status quo by establishing a stretch goal, planning an intervention to address the challenge and working to execute it. You will have the support of a coach throughout your challenge.


Business Research Methods (5 points)
This course prepares you to undertake a business research consulting project. You will be guided in identifying the scope of a research project based on information required to address a specific business problem.

Consulting Project (45 points)
On completion of the core courses you will apply this knowledge to your MBA Consulting Project. The project involves working with an organisation to address a practical issue of strategic importance and creating informed solutions. You will be required to implement at least one of the proposed recommendations from your project, in consultation with the organisation.

Elective (10 points)

Every year, we offer multiple electives that allow students to master key areas of management and understand emerging trends, including (but not limited to):

  • Negotiating Business Development Across Cultures (10 points)
    This course explores the larger framework that sits over contract negotiation: business strategy, management psychology, legal, intellectual property, marketing, supply chain, etc. Understanding and dealing with ‘cultural differentiation’ is integrated throughout the course at conceptual and operational levels. Participants learn to negotiate with greater confidence, superior tactical finesse, and cultural sensitivity under considerable stress.
  • Societies in Smart Cities (10 points)
    This course explores and critiques the evolving nature of smart industries globally, benchmarking practices of leading organisations and governments in smart cities, and developing strategies that support the UN Sustainable Development Goals. **Courses are subject to change. Complete course details will be provided at enrolment or on request.
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