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MSc/PgDip/PgCert Business Analysis & Consulting (Online)

Key facts

  • Start date: October
  • Accreditation: triple-accredited business school AACSB, EQUIS & AMBA
  • Application deadline: 1 September
  • Study mode and duration: part-time online distance learning
    PgCert: minimum 12 months
    PgDip minimum 12 months
    MSc: maximum 6 months

Study with us

  • gain practical, evaluative and analytical skills
  • learn how to use business models to develop strategy for organisations
  • work on a project for a leading organisation


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Why this course?

This distance learning course focuses on applying advanced analytical methods to business problems to help managers make better decisions. 

You'll develop an understanding of key quantitative business analysis methods, and learn the key consulting skills to effectively support management. 

You'll be introduced to business models used to support the development of strategy for organisations and to help them to monitor and measure strategic processes. 

Knowing how to use business analysis to make better decisions and deliver business performance and improvement will make you attractive to prospective employers. By the end of the programme, you'll have the knowledge to apply sophisticated quantitative techniques to help with decisions, particularly at the strategic levels.

Course video

Hear about studying Business Analysis & Consulting from our students:


THE Awards 2019: UK University of the Year Winner

What you'll study

The programme contains three stages. Successful progression will lead towards completion of the MSc.

  • Postgraduate Certificate (stage 1)
  • Postgraduate Diploma (stage 2) 
  • MSc – project (stage 3)

Start dates

The Certificate starts in October. The Diploma usually runs between September and May, though there is some flexibility with this. It's followed by the project which has a flexible timetable. You should be able to complete the MSc programme in around two and a half years. Please contact us if you need advice about the best start date for you.

Strathclyde Business School

Strathclyde Business School was founded in 1948 and is a pioneering, internationally renowned academic organisation with a reputation for research excellence. One of four faculties forming the University of Strathclyde, SBS is a triple-accredited business school (AMBA, EQUIS and AACSB) and was the first business school in Scotland to achieve this accolade in 2004. The Business School is home to seven subject departments and a number of specialist centres, all of which collaborate to provide a dynamic, fully-rounded and varied programme of specialist and cross-disciplinary courses.

Triple-accredited business school

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Course content

Core classes

Foundations of Operational Research & Business Analysis

This class will explore the generic problem solving process which underpins the provision of decision support. In particular, it'll consider the role of modelling in that process. The activities of problem structuring, data collection and analysis, identification and evaluation of options, communication and implementation of learning, findings and recommendations will each be discussed along with the issues pertaining to each of them.

Managing Business Operations

This class teaches essential principles, tools and techniques of Operations Management – both in general and as applied to specific manufacturing or service businesses. A section of the class focuses on service operations, where specific subjects and operational issues surrounding services will be discussed.

Quantitative Business Analysis

Quantitative Business Analysis runs over one semester but in two parts. The first part provides an introduction to the basic theory and application of statistical modelling. Topics covered included data analysis, probability theory, distributions and moments, estimation and hypothesis testing.

The second part focuses mainly on two areas - regression modelling and multivariate analysis. While key background theory will be presented, the emphasis is on the generation and interpretation of output from commercially available software.

Background reading for Quantitative Business Analysis

Spreadsheet Modelling & Demand Forecasting

This module will demonstrate how spreadsheets can be used to support the analytical techniques whose theory is taught on other modules. For example, forecasting, simulation, optimisation, data analysis, as well as being used to support technical report writing.

Most prominence is given to demand forecasting and you'll be introduced to different types of forecasting technique for short term smoothing through to decompositional analysis. These methods will be implemented using spreadsheet models.

Strategy Modelling & Management

This module builds on a number of earlier taught skills, in particular the problem structuring element covered in Foundations of Operational Research and Business Analysis as this provides a basis to qualitative modelling for managing uncertainty and multiple perspectives along with becoming an effective business analyst. This class aims to specific subjects and operational issues surrounding services will be discussed.

Elective classes – choose one

Business Simulation Methods

The module will focus on the main two forms of business simulation; discrete-event simulation (DES) and system dynamics (a continuous simulation technique). For DES, the class will start with an introduction, aiming to familiarise students with the concept and its use.

It continues with discussing a rational approach to simulation using a number of examples from manufacturing and service operations. For system dynamics the class will provide a background to system dynamics including its links to other modelling techniques being taught on the course, in particular, its links to problem structuring methods.

Risk Analysis & Management

This module will explore the entire process of structuring a risk problem, from modelling it to communicating recommendations, both theoretically and in practice.

Risk management is linked with decision analysis in so far as we explore decision making under uncertainty and it has links with quantitative business analysis as we explore the use of statistics in understanding risk. However, the topic has some unique attributes such as risk communication and the role that experts play in risk assessment.

Business Information Systems

The class adopts a process-based approach, ie all discussion follows the logic of the business processes. You'll be introduced to Business and Information Systems (BIS) as well as the various types of IS, including the databases, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, knowledge-based systems, corporate portals and collaboration support systems.

Lectures will provide you with the conceptual knowledge, and in tutorials you'll gain hands-on experience of using packages of the various IS categories.

Performance Measurement & Management

The class focuses at the strategic, organisational level of PMM while providing the essential knowledge and skills at the technical level.

The module starts with presenting the background to performance measurement to provide you with an understanding of the roots of some of the common problems in measuring and managing performance in organisations. This will follow with discussing PMM from five different but highly inter-related perspectives, namely stakeholder, customer, comparative, operations and integrative perspectives.

If you wish to proceed to the Postgraduate Diploma you need to be in appropriate employment, which should cover the following: solving problems owned by someone else, ill-defined problems, working in teams, the opportunity to use a variety of business analysis techniques, your work has an influence on the operation of your organisations. Your employment should require some analysis of business situations, in the private or public sector. Samples of your work will form the basis of reflection and learning projects, guided by a personal mentor.

Core class

Becoming an Effective Business Analyst

The class will consist of three key elements:

1. A series of semi- or unstructured business problems, typically introduced by a manager from an outside organisation. The business problems will typically relate to a topic/technique recently covered in one of the other modules.

2. Experience is augmented, and integrated with, the rest of the course by a series of workshops on directly related topics that will provide guidance on key skills development.

Elective classes

Choose an additional two from the list in Postgraduate Certificate (stage 1)

Once you complete the Diploma and gain sufficient marks to proceed to the MSc, you will be expected to undertake a project. The project will be integrated with your employment. You'll have individual personal mentoring to guide you in reflection and learning.


The MSc project is the most substantial and independent piece of work you'll carry out during the course. You will contact your client and your supervisors and manage the whole relationship with them. The projects vary but they typically involve understanding the real-life problem through problem structuring, identifying the data requirements, review of the relevant domain literature, making methodological choices based on arguments from the methodology literature, data collection, appropriate data analysis and modelling, developing and presentation of findings and recommendations.

Learning & teaching

All classes are taught using material presented via the internet. Classes are supported by faculty members who also teach on our range of full-time courses. They will guide and support discussion via forums. You will have full access to our user-friendly VLE. Benefits of using the VLE include:

  • Anytime, anywhere learning
  • Access to tutors throughout your course
  • Continuously updated, dynamic, interactive online materials
  • Online group discussions
  • Live question & answer sessions
  • Live conferencing. 


Each module includes two pieces of assessment. Around half of these will be assignments and the other half will be by examination at local centres.

Chat to a student ambassador

Want to know more about what it’s like to be a Strathclyde Business School student at the University of Strathclyde? A selection of our current students are here to help!

Our Unibuddy ambassadors can answer all the questions you may have about their course experiences and studying at Strathclyde, along with offering insight into life in Glasgow and Scotland.

Chat now!

International students

We've a thriving international community with students coming here to study from over 140 countries across the world. Find out all you need to know about studying in Glasgow at Strathclyde and hear from students about their experiences.

Visit our international students' section

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Entry requirements


Minimum Pass degree or non-UK equivalent, in business, economics, engineering or social sciences. We also encourage applications from other degrees. Admittance is to the PgCert (stage 1) only.

English language requirements

Students whose first language is not English must have a minimum of 6.5 IELTS score, with no individual score lower than 5.5. Get more information about the English language requirements for studying at Strathclyde.

Pre-Masters preparation course

The Pre-Masters Programme is a preparation course held at the University of Strathclyde International Study Centre, for international students (non EU/UK) who do not meet the academic entry requirements for a Masters degree at University of Strathclyde. The Pre-Masters programme provides progression to a number of degree options.

Upon successful completion, you'll be able to progress to this degree course at the University of Strathclyde.

Glasgow is Scotland's biggest & most cosmopolitan city

Our campus is based right in the very heart of Glasgow. We're in the city centre, next to the Merchant City, both of which are great locations for sightseeing, shopping and socialising alongside your studies.

Life in Glasgow

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Fees & funding

All fees quoted are for full-time courses and per academic year unless stated otherwise.

Fees may be subject to updates to maintain accuracy. Tuition fees will be notified in your offer letter.

All fees are in £ sterling, unless otherwise stated, and may be subject to revision.

Annual revision of fees

Students on programmes of study of more than one year should be aware that tuition fees are revised annually and may increase in subsequent years of study. Annual increases will generally reflect UK inflation rates and increases to programme delivery costs.

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  • Stage 1: £4,083 (Postgraduate Certificate)
  • Stage 2: £4,083 (Postgraduate Diploma)
  • Stage 3: £4,083 (MSc)

Individual modules may also be taken on a stand-alone basis at a rate of £962 per 10 credits.

England, Wales & Northern Ireland
  • Stage 1: £4,083 (Postgraduate Certificate)
  • Stage 2: £4,083 (Postgraduate Diploma)
  • Stage 3: £4,083 (MSc)

Individual modules may also be taken on a stand-alone basis at a rate of £1,283 per 10 credits.

  • Stage 1: £4,083 (Postgraduate Certificate)
  • Stage 2: £4,083 (Postgraduate Diploma)
  • Stage 3: £4,083 (MSc)

Individual modules may also be taken on a stand-alone basis at a rate of £1,283 per 10 credits.

Additional costs
Course materials

Class materials comprise textbooks and course handbooks.  All of the compulsory handbooks are available to students free on the VLE.  Some classes may have a recommended core textbook which you may wish to purchase but copies will be available in the University Library.

Placements & field trips

May incur travel costs depending on clients and project placement. Will be confirmed with students before commencement of the placement.

Other costs

Students are required to submit two hard copy dissertations. An average cost will be £10-15 including delivery to the department.

Available scholarships

Take a look at our scholarships search for funding opportunities.

Please note: the fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.

How can I fund my course?

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Scottish postgraduate students

Scottish postgraduate students may be able to apply for support from the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS). The support is in the form of a tuition fee loan and for eligible students, a living cost loan. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

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Students coming from England

Students ordinarily resident in England may be to apply for postgraduate support from Student Finance England. The support is a loan of up to £10,280 which can be used for both tuition fees and living costs. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

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Students coming from Wales

Students ordinarily resident in Wales may be to apply for postgraduate support from Student Finance Wales. The support is a loan of up to £10,280 which can be used for both tuition fees and living costs. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

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Students coming from Northern Ireland

Postgraduate students who are ordinarily resident in Northern Ireland may be able to apply for support from Student Finance Northern Ireland. The support is a tuition fee loan of up to £5,500. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

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International students

We've a large range of scholarships available to help you fund your studies. Check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

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The combination of the quantitative and qualitative skills learned, along with the real experience of working with various clients problems throughout the course, will make you attractive to employers. By the end of the programme, you'll be well placed for a client focussed career by providing model-based decision support to management at a strategic and operational level. For the last decade our graduates have been able to find jobs across different sectors from oil and gas industry, hospitality to junior and senior consultancy roles.

Examples of graduate employers include:

  • HS
  • PWC
  • Scottish Enterprise
  • British Petroleum
  • Hilton Worldwide
  • Mabbett
  • Valentia Partners.
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For information and guidance on the application process, take a look at our How to Apply web page.

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Contact us

SBS Postgraduate Admissions

Telephone: +44 (0)141 553 6105 / +44 (0)141 553 4590


Strathclyde Business School, University of Strathclyde
199 Cathedral Street
G4 0QU

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