MSc Economics & Strategy for Business: Core modules

Imperial College London
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Master's programs

Core modules

Online pre-study modules

Before the programme begins you will be expected to complete some online pre-study modules which are delivered through The Hub, Imperial College Business School’s virtual learning environment. 

These modules will be available to students who have accepted an offer of admission from July onwards, and are designed to give you a basic knowledge of areas which will be covered by the programme throughout the academic year.

Data Tools and Evidence Primer

Strategy and Economics, in particular, rely on the analysis of data and this introductory online module develops the quantitative methods that underpin the testing of theories and the forecasting of the future. The module is designed to provide the essential statistics and mathematics background for the quantitative aspects of the various modules. This is a compulsory, assessed module.

Foundations for Career Success

Complete the first stage of your career journey whilst at the Business School: the careers pre-course work. This online module will take you through the process of identifying what career might be right for you and ensure you are best placed to start working with the careers team as soon as you start the programme.

Note: you will not be able to access Imperial College Business School Careers until you have completed this course.

Maths Primer

Most decisions in economics, as well as general business, often rely on various quantitative analyses. Such analyses are also heavily used across various modules of the programme. This introductory online module complements the DTE and Strategy primer modules, by helping students to refresh and expand key math skills that they have normally encountered in their earlier studies – in particular calculus, linear algebra, graphical analysis (typically used in economics) and the basics of optimization techniques.

Plagiarism Awareness

In this short module, we will explain the key academic issues relating to deliberate and accidental plagiarism including what it is, the different types of plagiarism and the notion of academic integrity, as well as providing advice on how to avoid plagiarism in your work. You are required to complete and pass the online plagiarism awareness test before the start of the autumn term.

Strategy Primer

Strategic Management is the process of setting long-term direction for the organisation. It is concerned with how an organisation prepares for the future, its overall strategy and how the strategy is formulated and deployed. In this online module, we will develop a basic understanding of the strategy process and explore the fundamentals of strategic analysis. This is a compulsory module but will not be assessed.

Study Skills

These optional interactive courses provide practical advice on working in groups, delivering presentations, and time management. They contain videos of recent students describing their experiences of studying at the Business School, some of the challenges they faced, and suggestions on how to overcome these.

An English Language Development section is also available for non-native speakers of English who wish to practice their skills and develop subject-specific vocabulary. You can upload your writing for detailed feedback from a language tutor.

Preparing you for a dynamic career in business

Split into three distinct phases, the MSc Economics & Strategy for Business will teach you to combine the rigour of analytical thinking with a strategic focus.

The ESB core provides a broad understanding of the tools of economics and strategy. The ESB advantage builds on the Core to deepen students’ understanding of business economics and strategy. Finally, ESB applications bring the theory together to focus on practical application enabling graduates to really hit the ground running in their post-graduation careers.

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Autumn term: ESB core


Accounting comprises various techniques for the calculation of cost and performance, and also includes organisation wide control systems such as budgets and balanced scorecards. This course will address the technical and calculative aspects of these management accounting practices such that they directly support the effective definition and delivery of strategic objectives.

Analytics for Applied Economics and Business

This module discusses key empirical issues and methods used for data analysis in applied economics and business. The module will not only discuss the use of these methods and their applications in business, but ensure that you properly understand the interpretation of the results and their implications for business decisions. You will also have the opportunity to obtain basic programming skills in widely used statistical software.

Business Economics

This module explores the way in which businesses respond to market incentives and the consequences for market behaviour, the nature and role of competition, and the role of innovation. It shows how firms can create and overcome barriers to entry, how advertising can expand the size of their market and how firms at different stages of the value chain interact. Techniques for increasing revenues are also discussed.

Corporate Strategy

Corporate strategy is concerned with a firm’s scope, determining which businesses and activities to include within the boundaries of the firm. Our focus is on the challenge of managing and co-ordinating these different businesses and activities to achieve the overall goals of the firm.

Data, Tools and Evidence (Online)

Strategy and economics rely on the analysis of data and this introductory online module develops the quantitative methods that underpin the testing of theories and the forecasting of the future. The module is designed to provide the essential statistics and mathematics background. It will also include coverage of the tools required to conduct a financial assessment as part of strategic analysis.

Economics and Strategy for Innovation

Careful strategic planning is needed in order to ensure that firms successfully negotiate the shifting technological landscapes in which they operate. At the same time, they must drive change themselves through the effective management of innovation. In this module, the strategic management of technological change and of innovation will be considered. A range of strategic and economic tools and frameworks for managing these critical issues will be presented.

Spring term: ESB advantage

Corporate Finance

This module develops the theory of finance and the theory of regulation, and further explores how managers can utilise both financial markets and financial instruments to mitigate the risks that they face and the management of the regulatory regimes in which they may find themselves operating.

Global Strategy

This module explores strategy within a global context. It explores the differences between international strategy and global strategy with an examination of the macro and micro drivers of globalisation. Our focus is on the impact of globalisation, taking account of the strategic implications for organisations as well as the economic consequences at national level for governments.

Information, Incentives and Contracts

Firms, workers and consumers have to act in situations where they are dealing with a party that knows more than they do, such as the insurance applicant who may be a poor driver or the manager who knows more about the markets her firm is operating in than its shareholders. We discuss the tools that economists have developed to analyse these problems and recommend solutions that encourage people to act in ways that don’t take too much advantage of their superior information.

Macroeconomics for Business

Business planning requires a proper understanding of macroeconomic forces. These forces include not only domestic developments and government policies but also the impact of international forces in an increasingly interconnected world. The aim of this module is to develop the framework and tools of analysis needed to explain how the level of macroeconomic activity is determined and why macroeconomic conditions change over time.

Risk Management

This module explores how organisations are run and how their financing decisions affect their governance and profitability. When managers are not the owners of a business, they may have incentives to act in ways which are unhelpful for shareholders. Corporate governance describes the systems used to limit these kinds of behaviours. The module also examines the ways in which companies are financed, and show how this can not only affect profitability but also create incentives to engage in activities such as mergers and acquisitions.

Summer term: ESB applications

Business Simulation

A week long simulation exercise designed to draw together the various aspects of the programme and to test your capacity to integrate the material and to apply it to a realistic situation.

Digital Economics and Digital Strategy

The digital revolution, including the internet, is transforming business and consumer behaviour. This module will consider the economics of digitisation including industry dynamics, the impact on market structure, and network effects. From a strategic perspective, the module will focus on how digital technologies can be harnessed for competitive advantage.

Energy Economics and Strategy

The modern world, and its economic development, has relied on plentiful supplies of cheap energy, primarily from oil. Meeting our demand for oil requires the development of ever more inaccessible oilfields. Heavy investment in cleaner – and largely more expensive – resources is needed to mitigate climate change. This module applies economic and strategic tools to the analysis of energy choices, and to the government policies designed to influence these decisions. The module will recognise the technological factors that influence economic outcomes and how market factors must take these into account.

Strategy Implementation

Strategy implementation involves balancing the strategic and operational goals of the organisation, appreciating the interconnectedness of strategy, structure and systems. It involves gaining the commitment of organisational members to a new strategy as well as managing processes of organisational change, both of which deal with the complex dynamics of power and politics.

Imperial College Business School reserves the right to alter modules whenever they need to be amended or improved. Faculty may also change as and when required.

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