MSc Strategic Business Management (CIMA)

Complement your CIMA qualifications with a masters and take your next step towards securing a senior role.

Attend an open day How to apply
Attend a course fair How to apply


The changing environment businesses operate in means you need to keep learning and improving. The best way to stay current is to focus on the latest research and take your skills to the next level. 

Accredited by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), we’ve designed this one-year course to top up your CIMA management or strategic level qualifications to masters level.

At the same time, you’ll develop key research and problem-solving skills. 

Our Department of Accounting, Finance and Banking is the largest provider of accountancy training in the North West of England.

Learn at your own pace

We deliver this course via our online learning platform. You’ll have online access to our extensive library and research materials, as well as one-to-one online support via email and Skype.

With a focus on research, you’ll develop commercial insight into your area of interest and feel confident applying the findings to your current workplace.

Your dissertation gives you the chance to conduct research into an accountancy area, make practical recommendations and deepen the understanding of the issue among the professional community.

Features and Benefits

  • Top up your CIMA qualification – our global partnership with CIMA gives you the opportunity to achieve a masters qualification and explore the latest thinking in your profession.
  • Flexible around you – this course has October and February start dates. Because it’s part time you’ll be able to fit your study around your existing commitments.
  • Triple crown - study with a Business School that has prestigious triple accreditation from EQUIS, AACSB and AMBA.
  • 1-2-1 support - your academic supervisor will support you throughout the course and share their expertise. Their feedback and guidance helps you reach your potential.
  • Study your own way – we deliver teaching through an interactive online portal.  There are no set lecture times so you can work through the units at your own pace.
  • Online community – you’ll learn with people across the globe and share best practice on our forums.
  • Academic and Professional Development – this unit is designed to help you identify and investigate accounting issues to find ways to improve strategies and practice.
  • Solve real business issues – apply your learning immediately to your workplace and explore a live problem through your research dissertation.
“Both the facilities and the support are fantastic, creating a great platform to become committed and focussed in study. I could not recommend this course enough.” Gemma Pullen, MSc Strategic Business Management graduate.

Accreditations, Awards and Endorsements

"I would encourage people to continue to learn; to top-up your degree and professional qualifications on a continuing basis. I think Manchester Met is absolutely poised to provide this for the future."

Steve Swientozielskyj, CIMA President 2018, Manchester Met Business School alumnus

Career Prospects

As a CIMA member, our masters course gives you an exciting opportunity to achieve an advanced qualification that helps prepare your next career move – whether that’s a step up on the professional ladder or a change of direction.
An average basic salary for students studying for a professional qualification with the CIMA is c.£33,000.  Once qualified, regardless the level of experience or role, the average rockets to c.£64,000 including bonuses.
We’ll teach you how to use different strategies to improve practice and help you become an expert in your area and to boost your employability.
By completing your research dissertation, you’ll have developed research and critical thinking skills that you can apply to a range of roles.

Learn more about graduate careers

Entry requirements

18 month course (120 credits):

You must be an active CIMA member and have completed all levels of CIMA examination, or have transferred to CIMA qualification via the CIMA Management Gateway.

12 month course (90 credits):

You must be an active CIMA member and have completed the CIMA qualification. Three years professional experience is also required for this route.

Overseas applicants will require IELTS with an overall score of 6.5 with no less than 5.5 in any category, or an equivalent accepted English qualification. Accepted English qualifications can be viewed here.

Course details

Tuition is delivered through an interactive student portal with sophisticated online learning materials, dedicated one-to-one online support from academic supervisors and access to the University's digital business library. There are also plenty of opportunities for you to communicate online with fellow students.

There are no set lecture times and you can work through the units at your own pace.

Dedicated academic support

Your dedicated academic supervisor will also support you throughout the course. This one-to-one relationship between student and supervisor supports students to maximise their potential and progress towards the submission of their assignments.

Meet the supervisors

Teaching expertise on the MSc Strategic Business Management includes a rich mix of research-active and professionally qualified academics.

Contact our academic course leaders:

Joanne Bambrick | Programme Leader

MSc Strategic Business Management - 120 credits, 18 months

  • Strategy and Leadership
  • Financial Technologies
  • Academic and Professional Development
  • Dissertation

MSc Strategic Business Management (Top-up) - 90 credits, 12 months

  • Academic and Professional Development
  • Dissertation

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Academic and Professional Development

Students taking this course will often come from a professional background having had no prior experience with a third level academic qualification. As such, we feel that it is essential to support you as you build the skills needed to successfully complete this course.  
The aim of this unit is to develop your research skills to help you attain your professional objectives and to prepare you for a successful dissertation process. The key research skills developed are those of critical reading, reflective writing and good academic practices.  
To achieve this, you will be aligned with a personal academic tutor when you start the course. This tutor will work with you throughout both units to ensure that you understand the requirements of each unit and have the ability to successfully engage with the assessments set. As we are a professional department, the majority of tutors within the department have had a similar experience to you, trying to balance a full-time position with further study. As such, we try to be as flexible as possible when working with you.

Dissertation in Strategic Business Management

The purpose of this unit is to help you develop your academic research skills, which can be applied within your professional environment, by testing your ability to produce a substantial, original, and independent piece of scholarly work. The dissertation unit follows on naturally from Academic and Professional Development. By learning and applying academic research skills in your organisation, you should be able to more effectively and efficiently further your own professional learning and enhance your career progression  
We often encourage students to engage with this unit by picking a topic of interest to them, for example an area of your organisational activity that is under-researched, or a topic related to your career progression plans and to develop a dissertation in this area. This is to ensure your interest is maintained and the extensive study you do will be of benefit to you going forward.  

Strategy and Leadership

Top-Up Qualification Only

Whether you are working as a team member in a finance role, or progressing toward a senior management position, developing your understanding of strategic decision making is essential to making valued contributions within an organisation.  
The aim of this unit is to develop your strategic decision making skills. This is achieved through identification and critical review of strategic models available for decision making in the context of the organisational environment.  

Financial Technologies

Top-Up Qualification Only

While we are all familiar with the term Financial Technologies, it continues to be an abstract concept for many of us. In fact, some of the most exciting advances in recent years related to development in financial technologies. These advances have meant that data analysis and computer-processing power are no longer prohibitively expensive to implement in a small business. As a result, many large financial institutions are finding their traditional business models under threat by the disruptive application of technology led by smaller competitors.  
The unit is intended to give students a foundation in financial technologies and their most promising applications within the financial sector. Students will critically examine the disruptive impact of these technologies as well as the potential risks they entail.

Assessment weightings and contact hours

10 credits equates to 100 hours of study, which is a combination of lectures, seminars and practical sessions, and independent study. A masters qualification typically comprises of 180 credits, a PGDip 120 credits, a PGCert 60 credits and an MFA 300 credits. The exact composition of your study time and assessments for the course will vary according to your option choices and style of learning, but it could be:


Department of Accounting, Finance and Banking

Our Accounting, Finance and Banking Department is the largest provider of accountancy training in the North West of England.

The department offers extensive industry experience through active experts in their profession, with excellent relations across industry bodies and a collaborative approach to promoting critical thinking, employability, flexibility and professionalism.

More about the department

Taught by experts

Your studies are supported by a team of committed and enthusiastic teachers and researchers, experts in their chosen field. We also work with external professionals, many of whom are Manchester Met alumni, to enhance your learning and appreciation of the wider subject.

Meet our expert staff


UK and EU students

UK and EU students: Part-time fee: £1542 per 30 credits studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

UK and EU students: Distance learning fee: £1542 per 30 credits studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Non-EU and Channel Island students

Non-EU international and Channel Island students: Part-time fee: £2750 per 30 credits studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Non-EU international and Channel Island students: Distance learning fee: £1542 per 30 credits studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional Information

A Masters qualification typically comprises 180 credits, a PGDip 120 credits, a PGCert 60 credits, and an MFA 300 credits. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of study provided the course is completed in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional costs

All of the books required for the course are available from the library. The University also has PC labs and a laptop loan service. However, many students choose to buy some of the core textbooks for the course and/or a laptop. Students may also need to print their assignments and other documents. Campus printing costs start from 5p per page. Estimated costs are £300 for a laptop up to £100 for books and printing. Total optional cost: £400

Postgraduate Loan Scheme

Loans of up to £10,906 for many Postgraduate Courses

Find out more

Alumni Loyalty Discount

Rewarding our graduates

Learn more

Want to know more?

How to apply

The quickest and most efficient way to apply for this course is to apply online. This way, you can also track your application at each stage of the process.

Apply online now

If you are unable to apply online, you can apply for postgraduate taught courses by completing the postgraduate application form. There are exceptions for some professional courses – the course information on our on-line prospectus will give you more information in these cases.

Please note: to apply for this course, you only need to provide one reference.

You can review our current Terms and Conditions before you make your application. If you are successful with your application, we will send you up to date information alongside your offer letter.


Programme Review
Our programmes undergo an annual review and major review (normally at 6 year intervals) to ensure an up-to-date curriculum supported by the latest online learning technology. For further information on when we may make changes to our programmes, please see the changes section of our Terms and Conditions.

Important Notice
This online prospectus provides an overview of our programmes of study and the University. We regularly update our online prospectus so that our published course information is accurate. Please check back to the online prospectus before making an application to us to access the most up to date information for your chosen course of study.

Confirmation of Regulator
The Manchester Metropolitan University is regulated by the Office for Students (OfS). The OfS is the independent regulator of higher education in England. More information on the role of the OfS and its regulatory framework can be found at

All higher education providers registered with the OfS must have a student protection plan in place. The student protection plan sets out what students can expect to happen should a course, campus, or institution close. Access our current Student Protection Plan.