Wananga landing Wananga landing

UC MBA structure

14 November 2023

Our mission is to produce leaders who can grow and organisations with purpose and impact. With our MBA you will learn how to drive digital transformation, innovate to enhance customer value, engage meaningfully in society, and deal with complex global environments. Find out about the structure of an MBA at UC.

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. You can join our programme and study with us from anywhere in Aotearoa New Zealand. Most courses 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 MBAM610 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.

UC MBA Structure diagram

MBAM610 Agile and Innovation-driven Leadership (15 points)
Contemporary leaders need new capabilities and mindsets for creating work-groups that can seize opportunities, overcome challenges, and create new value. These leaders build engaged, high performing teams that are characterised by rapid learning, resilience and innovation.

This course provides leadership development through a blend of personal assessments, practice-related activities, reflection, discussion, and input from practising leaders. The goal is to promote leadership skills and self-awareness that equip participants for an ongoing journey of growth and development as future leaders.

MBAM604 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 identify what data is needed to answer those questions and how to transform data into meaningful insights in order to support decision-making.

MBAM603 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.


MBAM601 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.

MBAM615 Managerial Finance, Accounting and Governance (15 points)
This course explores how the analysis of a range of financial information is used to enhance managerial decision-making. It will look at how organisations raise capital and assess the performance of projects and investments. The course will provide students with a framework necessary to understand how important financial decisions are determined within a corporation. It will explore how a range of financial information is used to gain insights and enhance managerial decision-making. The course will also examine how value is created for shareholders and other stakeholders in a firm through investment and financing decisions.

It will look at the ways organisations raise capital and assess the performance of projects and investments. The course will also emphasise cases for good corporate governance practice. The course blends theoretical aspects of managerial finance with industry practice, case studies, discussions, and financial modelling. The emphasis of the course will be on applying the financial concepts, tools, and techniques to solve real-world problems. Some working knowledge of Microsoft Excel will be useful for this course.

MBAM605 Creating Impact-led Enterprises (15 points)
This course integrates sustainability and business practice. It underscores the importance of integrating Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) considerations into business results, while also highlighting the risks of overlooking them. Leveraging insights from socio-economic, political, environmental, and business domains, this interdisciplinary course delves into key sustainability issues influencing today's business operations.

Students will examine questions such as: How can businesses reduce their environmental impact and become more sustainable in their operations? How can they integrate sustainability considerations into strategic planning and decision-making processes? How can businesses track and report on their sustainability performance, and use this data to drive continuous improvement? Through case studies and engagement with industry experts, students will gain first-hand insight into how sustainable businesses generate value and inspire loyalty.

MBAM623 Business Sustainability and Economic Decision-Making (15 points)
This course will introduce you to a range of economic and sustainability principles. We discuss how economic principles shape the behaviour of individuals and organizations, and how these principles can help meet policy objectives effectively and efficiently particularly in resource and environmental management. We examine how thinking like an economist can provide a lens through which we can think about and improve the world. Understanding key economic principles like incentives, trade-offs, markets and costs and benefits, means making better organisational decisions, including sustainability ones.  The course will also cover the principles of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) criteria, and sustainability within a Māori and indigenous context.

MBAM622 Marketing and Strategic Intelligence (15 points)
Marketing and Strategic Intelligence is designed to equip students with a comprehensive understanding of marketing principles and the strategic application of business insights. Throughout the course, you will delve into the world of marketing principles, market research, and explore various data collection and analysis techniques, with a focus on quantitative methods. You will gain insights into consumer behaviour, competitive intelligence, and the development of effective marketing strategies, encompassing segmentation, targeting, positioning, biases, and the marketing mix. Students are expected to leverage business, consumer, and market insights to make well-informed, data-driven business decisions. This course develops marketing expertise and cultivates the ability to synthesise data into meaningful information that can inform business decision-making. As part of preparing students for working in a treaty partnership and equity context, and aligning with the UC Pasifika Strategy, the course facilitates applying marketing principles to ensure the lens and values of the community we’re reaching are recognised.


MBAM620 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.


MBAM614 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.

MBAM680 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):

MBAM624 Global Business: Advocacy, Influencing and Negotiation (10 points)
This course explores the framework for influencing and negotiation in international business and organisational development. The content incorporates business strategy, management psychology, legal, intellectual property, marketing, and supply chain perspectives. The course activities include seminars and discussions, accompanied by practical experience in preparing for, and participating in a range of face-to-face negotiations.

MBAM625 Entrepreneurship (10 points)
The decision to start a business is made hundreds of time each week in New Zealand. In terms of frequency, it is followed by the decision to close a small business. Internationally, New Zealand has a relatively high rate of business start-up, but relatively few of these grow into significant companies. The aim of this course is to develop some practical understanding of the opportunities and problems associated with the start-up and subsequent development of small businesses. This includes considering the unique Aotearoa NZ cultural, community, and business landscape for risks and opportunities in the start-up sector. 

MBAM626 International Study Tour (10 points)
This study-tour course focuses on business and strategy in an international context. The study tour incorporates industry visits and cultural experiences that assist in building awareness of the unique environment of international business. Drawing upon international best practice and established international business frameworks, students will deliver a report addressing an international business client’s need.

MBAM627 Marketing in a Digital World - Term One (10 points)
Marketing strategies create great products and services by communicating and delivering their value to prospective customers; however, digital technologies are disrupting nearly every aspect of business including marketing, so what does the future hold for marketing as know it? Future marketing leaders will be required to both quickly scope the potential application of new digital technologies, and also pivot existing organisational practices to accommodate these technologies’ applications without endangering relationships with fundamental stakeholders. In this course, we will explore many new technologies brought on by the dramatic increase in the abilities of artificial intelligence (AI) in recent years, including AI analytics (e.g., automatic efficiency, lead generation, inventory systems social listening), generative AI (e.g., ChatGPT, Dal-E), AI-generated content (e.g., Deepfakes, GANs), AI mediated customer experiences (e.g., self-checkouts, smart mirrors, customer service bots), and immersive technologies (e.g., VR, AR, Metaverse). While there exists much promise in these digital technologies applied to various aspects of marketing strategies, these technologies also bring additional challenges that we will debate and discuss in class to prepare you to critically reason what prospective opportunities and potential risks may arise if you were to implement a technological solution in your or your client’s organisation.

MBAM628 Business Decisions using Simulations - Term Two (10 points)
This course introduces business decision-making frameworks through the use of simulations. A computer-simulated game is used to immerse students in real-world scenarios. This dynamic learning environment enables students to practice making well-informed decisions across various business levels, aligning with both the company's overarching objectives and its sustainability commitments. Covering a broad spectrum of critical business decisions, such as market selection and product innovation to optimizing production, procurement, and distribution strategies, a distinctive feature of this course is the continuous feedback loop; students receive regular updates on the repercussions of their decisions, fostering an environment of iterative learning.

Privacy Preferences

By clicking "Accept All Cookies", you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyse site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts.