Group of business people

Strathclyde Business SchoolFlexible learning FAQs

How does flexible learning work?

The Strathclyde Flexible Learning MBA is delivered through a combination of open learning study and attendance at weekend intensive seminars. These seminars provide a valuable opportunity for intensive and in-depth study, to meet and work closely with fellow professionals, and also benefit from shared peer learning experiences.

On joining the programme, you will be provided with a recommended study timetable, which would allow you to complete the programme within 3 years. Being flexible, this timetable is not set in stone. Therefore, should you wish to fast-track and complete the Strathclyde MBA in less than three years, our SBS support team can suggest an alternative study schedule. However, if you need to take a bit longer to complete your MBA, we can accommodate your studies up to a maximum of six years. 

Prior to the induction weekend you will receive access to the online course materials and key text books required for your first year classes. Full details of our on-line and tutor support programme will also be provided at this time.

When can I join the programme?

There are two intakes per year (April and October) with the next induction session and weekend intensive seminar scheduled to take place 27 – 29 March 2020. 

How long do I have to take off work to attend weekend intensive seminars? 

We do our best to schedule inductions and weekend intensive seminars together throughout the year, to ensure that you have every opportunity to maximise your stay in Glasgow. Therefore, to attend a half day induction class, which runs into your first weekend seminar, “The Learning Manager” you will only have to attend Friday, Saturday and Sunday. A total of three days.

As exams will always take place on weekdays and weekend seminars run either on Friday to Sunday or Friday and Saturday, then students should expect to be away from the office for around 20 days throughout the three year programme.

Please note that attendance at weekend intensive seminars is compulsory and our flexible learning students will normally attend these seminars here in Glasgow.  However, we understand that it won’t always be possible for some of our students to do this for every session. With this in mind, we can offer the opportunity to attend seminars at one of our international centres instead (there may be an additional cost associated with this option). Please contact the Admissions Team for further information.

We also appreciate that there may be some occasions when work or family commitments will clash with weekend seminars, and therefore we schedule each class to run several times over the programme duration to enable our students to attend at the next available date. Your Programme Administrator can advise on an appropriate study plan to suit your schedule.

Not all seminar dates have been fully confirmed for the forthcoming April 2020 intake. However, as a guide we’ve listed the last intake’s dates below.

18 – 19 October 2019

Financial & Managerial Accounting 

18 – 19 October 2019

Operations Management 

1 – 2 November 2019

Strategy Analysis and Evaluation 

10 – 11 January 2020

Managing People in Organisations 

17 – 18 January 2020

Entrepreneurial Management & Leadership 

24 – 25 January 2020

Finance and Financial Management 

7 – 9 February 2020

Exploring the International Business Environment 

14 – 16 February 2020

Making Strategy 

27 – 29 March

April Induction and The Learning Manager

24 – 25 April 2020

Analytical Support for Decision Making 

24 – 25 April 2020

Marketing Management 

22 – 23 May 2020

Comparative Corporate Governance 

29 – 31 May 2020

Strategic Consulting in Practice

How long does it take to complete the Flexible Learning MBA?

It has been known for individuals to complete the course in 24 months although 36 months is far more usual. As mentioned, we do provide a three year timetable to follow. However, any change from the suggested timetable may obviously impact on the time it takes you to complete the programme.

A two year plan would look something like this: 


  • The Learning Manager
  • Management of Operations
  • Managing People in Organisations
  • ASDM
  • EIBE
  • Marketing Management
  • Management Accounting


  • Financial Management
  • Governance
  • SAE
  • Making Strategy
  • Managing
  • SCiP 
  • 2 electives - probably at summer school
  • Project

What are core learning materials?

The most important component of flexible learning study is the provision of core learning materials. These are extensive study guides for each subject, which provide both direct tuition and commentaries on the recommended text books.

SBS has invested heavily in developing these study materials. They are constantly revised by an in-house unit to keep them up to date, forming a living resource for students and tutors alike.

Unlike most other MBA providers, core text books are also included as part of the tuition fee.

These are the recommended books you require to complete your Strathclyde MBA, and the majority of them are written by Strathclyde academics. 

Many of these books are also recommended by other MBA programmes – so in fact, we write many of the books that other business schools use!

The recommended textbooks for each subject will be issued in digital form accessed easily using any device (PC, laptop, tablet, smartphone) via a cloud-based platform where intuitive functionality such as full-text search, notes, highlights and group share features are available. Books can be read online through any web browser or offline through free Kortext apps.

Support from the SBS MBA Unit

Margaret English and Julie Bakewell will be your main points of contact during your study at SBS, and can be easily contacted by e-mail or telephone.

Margaret and Julie will deal with your day to day issues, but will also provide advice on timetabling your studies, and how best to tackle flexible learning.

Every course member is also allocated a tutor for each subject studied. They can guide and support your work by telephone and email and they will be happy to provide detailed feedback on marked assignments.

Online support

SBS provides an online intranet service, which can easily be accessed via the internet.

The intranet allows you to remotely access SBS’s Knowledge Information Portal.

This unique service, allows you access to a wide range of electronic databases, so that all your research and desk-work can easily be carried out, at a distance.

In addition, the intranet allows us to update you with current news and relevant information about SBS, provide you with supplementary information about your study subjects, and allow you to contact study and group colleagues via bulletin boards.

What about exams?

Flexible learning has the exact same assessment criteria as our other study methods. This means that you will have to undertake assignments, and sit formal examinations.

Examination diets normally take place in Glasgow, during August, March and December.

However, international time zones permitting, we do allow our flexible learning course members to take their examinations out-with Glasgow. You may be able to take exams at one of our international centres or a local British Council office, British Consulate or a University. The venue will normally charge a room hire plus invigilation fee (this will vary) and you will also be asked to pay £40 per exam payable to the University of Strathclyde.

How much does it cost?

The Strathclyde Flexible learning MBA costs approximately £20,050. This fee includes core learning materials, key textbooks and weekend intensive seminars.

The above fee can be split between your three years of study and it is also possible if you are a self funded student to pay the annual fees by instalments. The University’s Finance Office administers instalment plans for tuition fee payments by self-funded students. See our payment of tuition fees page for further details.

Over and above this, additional costs will be for travel and accommodation expenses in Glasgow.

So is the flexible learning route right for me?

If you want a programme of study that allows you to vary the pace and place of study yet also allows you to attend interactive sessions, then the flexible learning programme is ideal. 

In terms of time commitment and planning your studies, you can expect to invest around a minimum of 15 hours a week in addition to weekend seminar attendance.

If you would like to discuss further with one of our admissions team, please contact

Contact details

 Undergraduate admissions
 +44 (0)141 548 4114 

 Postgraduate admissions
 +44(0)141 553 6116/6105/6117


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

Triple accredited

Accreditation Logos
PRME logo