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Online study

MSc Business Transformations

Please note: The below is for 2022 entries. Click here for 2021 entries.
UCAS code 1234
Duration 2 - 5 years
Entry year January, May, September 2022


Discipline MSc Business Transformations

Web: Enquire online

Programme Director: Prof. Lisa  Harris

Typical offer

View full entry requirements

A 2:2 with honours in any discipline from a recognised university

Contextual offers


Change is a constant factor in business and the ability of organisations to adapt has long been recognised as key for long-term success. Today, businesses are going through a period of unprecedented disruption.

The MSc Business Transformations examines the drivers for change and helps you to develop the skills that modern leaders need to succeed in a digital world. Our leading researchers and educators have developed this online programme using the latest insights from research and business collaborations.

What’s more, the programme is delivered in a flexible format to suit your life. The modular approach means you can choose to study just a single unit that is most relevant to your needs and career aspirations, or build up to a full MSc by combining units at a pace to suit you. It means your newly acquired expertise can be applied immediately in your workplace without you being tied in to a lengthy programme.

Why choose this programme?

  • Develops a ‘toolkit’ knowledge base for change leaders covering digital transformation, sustainable finance and supply chain management.
  • Embeds the skills needed by modern leaders to drive change including entrepreneurship, intrapreneurship and responsible leadership.
  • Delivers an understanding of the drivers of contemporary change by looking beyond business at how the digital economy impacts the environment, society, government, institutions and careers.

The core values of the University of Exeter Business School are embedded in this programme. We believe in leadership for a better world, and we reflect on how investors, consumers and employees expect and demand ethical business practice. This programme examines how organisations must balance multiple objectives – caring for people and the planet as well as profits. The programme will give you the knowledge and skills to transform organisations in a responsible, sustainable and ethical way whilst achieving business success.

View 2021 Entry

Apply for Jan 2022 entry

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Find out more about studying standalone modules

Fully online programme

Our Business School is 'triple crown' accredited (EQUIS, AACSB, AMBA).

Study at a top 15 uk university

15th in the Guardian University Guide 2022 and 13th in the Complete University Guide 2022

Learn at your own pace

Entry requirements

A 2:2 with honours in any discipline from a recognised university, or relevant professional qualifications, or significant work experience.

We do consider all applications where there is evidence of exceptional performance in modules relevant to the programme of study, significant relevant work experience or professional qualifications.

English language requirements

IELTS – an overall score of 7.0, with no less than 6.0 in any section.

Course content


You need a total of 180 credits to gain the MSc Business Transformations and each module is worth 30 credits. There is one compulsory modules (Making Change Happen) and all others are optional.

You can choose from these two optional modules for January 2022 start:

Environmental Economics (30 credits)

Environmental Economics recognises the vital interplay between the economy and the natural environment, and the urgent need for sustainable development for the benefit of current and future generations. Achieving sustainability requires the alignment of business models with Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) metrics. These measurements track how business impacts the wider world and are increasingly important in an organisation's performance management. 

Given the increased focus on sustainability within business and public bodies, there are opportunities for those with a passion to solve the most pressing environmental challenges facing society. This module will equip you with the knowledge and skills to define or influence ESG policy and practice in organisations and public bodies.

The module makes special reference to climate change, pollution, waste, resource depletion, deforestation and biodiversity, and how addressing these should be incorporated into ESG-conscious business practice. This ensures development is sustainable and organisations take a balanced approach, not just focusing on profit, but also people and our planet.

Digital Transformation (30 credits)

This module will introduce you to the fundamentals of digital transformation. To be sustainable, any organisation must position itself for success in the digital era. For new organisations this means creating a set of structures and practices appropriate to the fast-paced dynamic environment in which they will operate. For large existing organisations (LEOs) this means transforming existing ways of working to meet current and future needs. As a result, digital transformation activities now form an integral part of strategy and decision-making in both the public and private sectors.

The module delves into the practical implications for driving change across =business while continuing to meet the expectations of existing clients, stakeholders, and employees. You will develop an understanding of how digital transformation considerations form the basis for digital strategies as organisations evolve to survive and thrive in domains undergoing significant digital disruption. This exploration will be informed through a range of examples and illustrations of practical real-world digital transformation.

This module will help you to develop the knowledge and skills to understand and apply key concepts of digital transformation in a range of different public and private sector contexts. You will learn about digital technology trends, design thinking, servitization, platform business models, and data-driven innovation. We will base our learning process on a combination of substantial real-world case studies and recent research insights. This will ensure a balance between practical techniques underpinned with a sound theoretical foundation. We will look at best practices from leading practitioners to provide you with a substantial toolset that allows you to apply key concepts of digital transformation to realistic practical scenarios. While you will learn to appreciate the opportunities and competitive advantages linked to digital transformation, you will also understand some of the challenges digital transformation brings to strategic planning and business operations.

The following modules will also be available during your programme*

Responsible Leadership

Anyone who currently leads or manages organisations, people or movements knows that there are many complex, interconnected challenges that demand investment, collaboration, action and change on a global scale. These challenges affect not only the survival of businesses, but the wellbeing of their workforces and the natural world. Within our organisations, economies and communities, we need a model of leadership that embraces the interrelated nature of these challenges and envisions systemic solutions. This course will question the mission and purpose of our organisations, and explore whether long-term commitment to planet, people and profit can unlock sustainable growth. Together we will critically analyse the interrelated nature of the problems faced by our global societies and examine how leaders can act as a catalyst to shape a more sustainable and equitable future.

Sustainable Finance

This course will introduce you to the fundamentals of sustainable finance. Environmental, Social and Governance issues have become a major risk factor for investments, with ESG data now forming an integral part of decision-making by companies and investors alike. This module will introduce you to key aspects of ESG, focusing on how to apply it in business and investment practice. You will develop an understanding of how ESG considerations form the basis of sustainable and responsible decision-making in finance. You will get introduced to a variety of ESG issues such as human rights, diversity, biodiversity, carbon emissions and climate change.


This module focuses on exploring the development of an entrepreneurial mindset and entrepreneurial skills at an individual level. You will explore practical tools and frameworks for entrepreneurial ideation and practice and gain a solid grounding in relevant entrepreneurial literature. The aim of the module is to prepare and enable you to pursue impactful entrepreneurial and entrepreneurial action in a wide range of contexts, including venture creation, business development, market disruption and organisational intrapreneurship and innovation. There is a strong focus on complete sustainable value creation, which will ensure that you are well equipped to be an agent of change and produce social, environmental and economic value and impact in your chosen path.

Supply Chain Analytics

The dynamic and economic performance of supply chains is driven by their lead-times, forecasting and production (planning and execution) activities. Poorly managed supply chains result in an expensive dynamic effect called the bullwhip effect, which causes inefficiencies in terms of increased inventory holding and costs, poor customer service levels and the inefficient use of production capacity. Based on case work with Tesco, HP, Yeo Valley and Lexmark, this module also aligns with ideas and concepts from the Lean Production philosophy. You will cover a wide range of topics, such as:

  • Dynamic value stream mapping and time series analysis.
  • Understanding the strategic objective of your supply chain in terms of inventory, service levels, and capacity costs.
  • Forecasting for production and distribution in supply chains.
  • Setting the cadence of your production pacemaker.
  • Communicating the plan to the shop factory and releasing the desired plan
  • Communicating with your suppliers.

Making Change Happen (Compulsory module)

This module explores the role of the individual in producing impact within organisations. As global economies increase in volatility, there is an increasing need for change agents and leaders with the knowledge, resilience and creativity to develop new forms of value and lead organisations through challenging times. You will collaborate with fellow learners to identify and build the skills necessary for your personal and career development. Working closely with a mentor, you will conclude the module by applying the principles of design thinking to create a plan for the progression of a capstone project within your own professional setting.

*Please note that programme structures may be subject to change. The modules listed here are indicative. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on your point of entry, staff availability and research interests, new topics of study and student demand.

Fees and funding

January, May or September 2022 entry:

£2500 per module (£15,000 in total for whole degree completed in 2 years)


The fee shows the total amount it will cost if you complete the degree if you take the minimum time of two years. If you take longer than two years, for example, because you take one or more breaks between modules, the total fee you pay may increase slightly due to inflation.

Pay as you study

To make it easier to budget, you don’t need to pay the total fee upfront. Instead, you can pay for each module as you are about to start studying it. You can pay for the whole year if you prefer, but the minimum payment is at least the cost of the module(s) you are taking that term. Please note that if your payment has not reached us by the end of week one of a module, you will have to wait until the next term to start.

How to pay

You can pay online using a credit or debit card. We are unable to give you access to your study materials before your payment reaches us so it’s important to have your finances in place and pay when prompted to ensure you can access your studies at the start of each term.

Other costs to consider

As well as your fees, there are some potential additional costs to be aware of to ensure that you give yourself the best chance of success. These include a suitable computer or device to study and work from, an adequate internet connection to access your learning materials and connect with others, and a comfortable place to study.

While our online programmes do not require any attendance on campus, as a student of the University of Exeter you are always welcome to visit. You may also be offered the chance to attend a graduation ceremony in person, for which travel costs and gown hire will apply.

Help with paying for your studies

If you are struggling to afford your chosen programme of study, some help may be available from either the government or the university. This includes:

  • Postgraduate student loans. If you live in the UK, you may be able to access a loan to help pay for your online degree fees and living costs while you study. To be eligible, you must not already have a Masters degree (or above). For information on how to apply and your student finance entitlement, please visit the following links depending on whether you live in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland.

  • Disabled Student Allowance (DSA).
    Most UK students with a physical disability or mental health difficulty, long term health condition or specific learning difficulty will be able to apply for Disabled Students’ Allowance which can help towards the cost of specialist equipment, one-to-one support and other costs associated with your condition. If you feel this applies to you, you are encouraged to apply as early as possible as the whole process can take up to 12 weeks. If you complete an application and are not eligible for DSA, please make an appointment with the AccessAbility Team to discuss alternative funding and support. This step-by-step guide to applying for DSA will give you all the information you need on applying.

  • Success for All fund. Some financial support may be possible through our Success for All fund as assessed on a case-by-case basis providing eligibility criteria are met. Fully online students are not automatically eligible for an IT bursary, but exceptions may be made in some circumstances. However, please note the University would expect students to have made reasonable provision to support themselves during their studies prior to enrolling on a module.

  • Employer sponsorship. Your employer or another organisation you are associated with may be happy to pay all or part of your fee. If you are getting financial support in this way, we can invoice them directly for the value that they have agreed to support before you start your studies. You will have to pay any balance so that the module you are studying is paid in full before you start. 

  • Student discounts. Our online students are fully registered students of the university, and therefore can ask for an Exeter Unicard, which can be used to access a wide range of student discounts on everyday items including food and clothing. You can also apply for student discounts on products and services through the UniDays card.

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Teaching and learning

At Exeter, we use a 30-credit-per-term, three-term-per-year structure. This means you’ll study one 30 credit module per term.

Terms start in January, May and September, with each lasting 17 weeks. The last fortnight of each term is time for you to recharge, reflect on how your module and assessments went, decide on your next module and pay for it before getting started again. The rest of the term is divided into learning time, preparation of assessments and your tutors marking your work and getting feedback to you. The exact mix of these activities will vary depending on the module.

This structure means you should expect to study around 10-15 hours per week on average. Some of this will be structured teaching and learning activities, the rest will be self-directed learning, such as reading or preparing for assessments. For more detailed information on what studying online with the University of Exeter looks like, visit our ‘Why study online’ pages.

We understand that balancing study with other commitments in your life may be tricky at times. Our modules are designed to stand alone rather than progress in a certain order, meaning that if life gets in the way, you can take a break and join your next module the following term. We have resources to help you manage your time, and our Study Zone staff can help you with the academic and planning skills you need to make your time with us as successful as it can be.

Each module has an academic lead, and often a team of colleagues, to direct your learning.

All our online students also have a dedicated Student Support Officer, there to guide you throughout your journey with us. In addition, we have teams of professionals around the university ready to help you – from library to wellbeing services.

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Modern business leaders need the ability to be agile, imaginative and entrepreneurial in their approach, with the personal skillsets to drive change through technological innovation.

Our Business Transformations programme covers a range of diverse topics, all highly relevant to modern organisations and contemporary policy, meaning students develop skills and knowledge relevant to the modern business landscape.

With a variety of research centres and departments involved in this multi-disciplinary programme, you will learn from, and engage with academics at the cutting edge of business practice. This will put you in a strong position for a career at the heart of organisations, ready to make a real impact through defining and implementing strategy and driving technological change.