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Pharmaceutical Management MBA

Learn about the course below
September 2021
27 months part-time
Option to complete in 24 months
Part-time via online distance learning
£16,500 (UK) *
£16,500 (EU/INT) *
Course leader
Dr David Kernohan

The MBA Pharmaceutical Management is designed for experienced professionals already working in the pharmaceutical industry or related sectors. It has been designed to equip you with essential management skills and theory with a specialist pharma focus on the key industries and challenges. The course will give you, as an industry specialist, the opportunity to apply management theory and concepts to your sector across a range of different subject areas. You will develop your knowledge and competences to set yourself apart in this dynamic and competitive sector.

Why study the MBA Pharmaceutical Management at Middlesex University?

This programme provides all the advantages of a traditional MBA for those looking to leverage their knowledge and experience of the pharmaceutical industry. The programme is a joint operation between Informa (Knect 365 Learning) and Middlesex University Business School.

Through our collaboration, we have created a programme which brings together academic knowledge and practice in a unique way, drawing on our faculty as well as the experience of those engaged in practice. Your learning experience is enhanced with many of our tutors experienced practitioners and consultants in the sector themselves.

Further information

You can view full course details for this course on the Knect 365 website or request more information by emailing the Knect 365 team.

Knect 365 is our partner in delivering this course, combining the academic expertise and reputation of the Middlesex University Business School with the industry conference and training expertise of Knect 365, part of Informa Plc. Knect 365 manages course enrolment on behalf of the University.

Find out more

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What will you study on MBA Pharmaceutical Management?

The programme will equip both established and future industry leaders with the skills and knowledge they need to manage themselves as well as their operation successfully. The course consists of six modules plus a Business Transformation Project
of 60 credits, delivered over two years. Topics covered include:

  • Pharmaceutical sales and marketing
  • Commercial development
  • Strategy in the pharmaceutical and life sciences industry
  • Pharmaceuticals in the wider healthcare market
  • Risk management
  • Formulating business strategy
  • Human resource management
  • Financial investment and analysis

What will you gain?

Upon successful completion of this programme, you will have enhanced and extended your previous experience in business and management and be able to apply existing and newly-acquired knowledge and experience to complex business issues. You will be prepared for leadership and transformational roles in business and have improved your strategic thinking and innovation skills. You will have developed an advanced knowledge of your organisation, its management and the environment in which it operates and apply this to the global pharmaceutical industry and related fields. You will have also gained higher levels of self-confidence and
awareness of your unique strengths and abilities.


  • Year 1

    • Global Pharmaceutical Industry (20 credits) - Compulsory

      This module will examine the current structure of the pharmaceutical and broader life sciences industry by looking at the factors that are shaping the industry. You will also consider new and emerging business models.

    • Finance and Risk Management (20 credits) - Compulsory

      This highly topical module looks at the critical issues of finance and risk. It is designed to help you develop an enhanced knowledge of sector financing and the management of the major risks in the pharma sector. In particular, you will understand the full range of different sources and methods for financing and raising funds for investment within the pharmaceutical industry. You will also explore key concepts in investment appraisal, funding in the life sciences industry and risk management theory.

    • Business Strategy (20 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to equip you with a detailed understanding of the key developments in, and thinking derived from, the study of strategy. You will explore models and theories of strategy and their application in the business environment as well as critically appraise where and when such models are useful and how to utilise them. You will explore fascinating and relevant examples and exercises that illustrate these concepts with the intent of building your strategic thinking capability.

  • Year 2

    • Executive Leadership (20 credits) - Compulsory

      This module will focus upon the critical issue of people and their performance in the particular context of the maritime industry. It will illustrate how the processes of contemporary human resource management supports organisational performance and will explore the key elements of the HR cycle including resourcing, managing performance and developing and rewarding staff. You will identify areas of overlap between management and leadership, and investigate competences and behaviours associated with management and leadership. You will be encouraged to develop leadership behaviours that will enable you to manage performance as well as lead change to improve overall organisational performance.

    • Marketing Management (20 credits) - Compulsory

      This module explores marketing theories and key concepts, explains the use of conceptual frameworks for understanding marketing phenomena and will equip you with the ability to analyse marketing environments and strategies. You will learn to apply appropriate techniques based on insights gained throughout.

    • Pharmaceutical Operations (20 credits) - Compulsory

      This module will allow you to understand the process of securing global intellectual property protection for pharmaceutical products and recognise the various steps and inputs required in the discovery, development and authorisation of pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical products. You will be able to develop an awareness of the various routes to commercialisation on a global basis and have a critical appreciation of the implications of patent expiry.

    • Business Transformation Project (60 credits) - Compulsory

      This module provides you with the means of further developing and integrating the skills and knowledge acquired on the MBA through application to a specific organisational issue or problem. You will be enabled to demonstrate proficiency in relation to scoping the issue(s)/problems, consideration of appropriate literature, collection and analysis of data, and assessing the financial implications, such as any cost/benefit analysis for justifying specific recommendations and consideration of implementation issues.

You can find more information about this course in the programme specification. Optional modules are not offered on every course. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, or there are staffing changes which affect the teaching, it may not be offered. If an optional module will not run, we will advise you after the module selection period when numbers are confirmed, or at the earliest time that the programme team make the decision not to run the module, and help you choose an alternative module.

How is the MBA Pharmaceutical Management taught?

The programme is structured using a tried and tested format of online learning. It is delivered completely online, via my UniHub, our 24-hour access online learning system. There are no requirements for physical attendance at any point in the course. You will engage with tutors and fellow students in both synchronous and non-synchronous communications. Online materials, audio visual content, and a variety of e-learning tools are all delivered via the UniHub. You will also be involved in online group discussions and group learning activities.


The assessments are varied but, in all modules, are based on coursework assignments and a contribution to online discussion. There are no examinations in the traditional sense.

  1. Standard entry requirements
  2. International (inc. EU)
  3. How to apply
  1. UK
  2. EU/International
  3. Additional costs
  4. Scholarships and bursaries

How can the MBA Pharmaceutical Management support your career?

An MBA is a “post experience” course and this programme is for industry professionals wishing to deepen their understanding of both the industry and of management disciplines, and to contextualise their experience using the knowledge, frameworks and theories presented for discussion.

This is why you are required to have relevant full-time professional experience before joining the course. Whatever your motivation, the rigorous academic approach, experienced faculty, internationally engaged peers and proven online learning environment of the MBA will help you realise your leadership potential and fast-track your career.

David Kernohan

David is an experienced and versatile applied economist who, during his varied career, has worked in EU affairs, management consultancy, commercial representation to Government and the electricity generation industry (Scottish Power). With skills in both micro and macro economics, as well as experimental economics, David has coordinated studies on crime, transport and national and international economic policy and lead teams involved in international economic assessments of the proposed deeper integration of the ASEAN group of countries; EU interests in South-East-Europe; and impact assessments of EU trade relations with the Gulf States.

David Scott
Pharmaceutical Operations

David is an experienced industry consultant who has closed a number of major deals for inward and outward licensing for pharmaceutical products and technologies. He also undertakes Licensing & Business Development training for multinational pharmaceutical companies and training organisations.

Brian Smith
Global Pharmaceutical Industry

Brian has worked in the pharmaceutical and medical technology sectors for many years, first as a research chemist then in an ascending series of marketing and strategy roles in large multinational firms. Since 1998, he has divided his time between research, writing and advising with a focus on advising pharma companies on strategy.

We’ll carefully manage any future changes to courses, or the support and other services available to you, if these are necessary because of things like changes to government health and safety advice, or any changes to the law.

Any decisions will be taken in line with both external advice and the University’s Regulations which include information on this.

Our priority will always be to maintain academic standards and quality so that your learning outcomes are not affected by any adjustments that we may have to make.

At all times we’ll aim to keep you well informed of how we may need to respond to changing circumstances, and about support that we’ll provide to you.

Other courses

Start: September 2019

Duration: 2 years part-time

Code: PGN12D

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