MSc Strategic Organisational Learning

Delivered in partnership with Al-Maktoum College of Higher Education.

Course detail

Start Date



1 year (full-time)

Award Title



Apply Direct

Programme Overview

This one-year programme, delivered in partnership with Al-Maktoum College of Higher Education, will teach you the fundamental concepts of organisational learning, learning organisations, individual, team and machine learning.

The programme builds on diversified bodies of knowledge, including:

  • Total quality management

  • Open innovation

  • Organisational development

  • Workplace learning

It focuses on applying these concepts in the organisation. It includes driving a culture of continuous improvement and managing change to achieve and sustain business excellence.

How the Course Works

What you'll learn

You will study units such as Organisational Learning Foundations, Group & Team Learning, Organisation-wide Learning, Individual Learning, Research Skills and Project Report, Sustainability & Ethics, Civic Institutions & Sustainable Development and Management. This qualification will enable you to work in learning and development departments, in quality management, customer service or business development. You may also wish to continue your studies at PhD level.

The programme and assessments will provide you with opportunities to develop your ability to critically analyse data/information/literature, prepare reports and plans, give presentations, work as part of a team and enhance your IT skills. Students will prepare for the world of work through engagement with real-life situations and problems in assessments. Further, working to deadlines will improve your time management, prioritising and planning skills. In addition, experts from the field will be invited to share their experiences of real-world issues as part of in-class learning.

Teaching and Assessment

Teaching will take place at Al-Maktoum College and Abertay University through lectures, seminars, workshops and digital learning methods.

A range of appropriate assessment methods will be used including coursework and examinations requiring critical analysis and reflections, and individual/group presentations. Each 20-credit unit compromises 200 hours of learning; this is made up of 40 hours of teaching and 160 hours of independent study.

How to Apply

You should apply directly using Al-Maktoum's online application system and your application will usually be assessed within three working days. Al-Maktoum may contact you to provide further information or to invite you to a short informal interview.

Please make sure you have the following information before starting your application:

  • Academic transcripts and qualification certificates

  • Proof of English language proficiency (if required)

  • Passport details

  • Referee details

Al-Maktoum consider all aspects of the application: academic qualifications, personal statement and references.

All correspondence will be sent from after an application of study has been submitted and you should direct any questions there.

Tuition Fees

  • UK: £7,500

  • Overseas: £15,000

Please see the Al-Maktoum website for more details.


Qualified applicants are entitled to receive a scholarship of up to £4,000 provided by Al-Maktoum College and Abertay University for the year 2023/24. The scholarship amount will be automatically deducted from your final tuition fees. 

Entry requirements

  • A good (at least a lower second class Honours degree or equivalent) first degree

English Language requirements 

Teaching takes place solely in English and you must demonstrate that your English language proficiency is at a level that will allow you to follow your intended programme successfully.

If English is not your first language you must hold a qualification as evidence of your English language skills. Full details of the qualifications Al-Maktoum accept can be found in the English language requirements part of their website.

Student Visa requirements for study in the UK

The UK Government approves certain English language qualifications as being Secure English Language Tests (SELT). These meet the government’s requirements for visa applications.

Al-Maktoum College will accept the following:

  • IELTS – 6.0 (Minimum of 5.5 in each component and 6.0 in writing) or equivalent

  • LanguageCert – B2 or equivalent

Please note: Al-Maktoum process all admissions queries. Full entry requirement information can be found on the Al-Maktoum website.


Managing People Learning (ALM)

This unit develops a critical understanding of individual learning theories and practices. The unit covers several Individual Learning Mechanisms such as coaching, mentoring, reflection, cross-training and self-directed learning. The unit constructs a critical review of the group and team learning theories, methods and techniques. It helps set up the ethos and pillars of learning at the team and group levels in the workplace context. The unit explains how team/group learning can be optimised as a vehicle for organisational development, and it enables the candidates to assess selected mechanisms and techniques such as after-action reviews, action learning sets, and problem-solving teams. Besides, the unit examines teamwork and team spirit dynamics and proposes a Belbin approach for team roles and supports candidates to self-assess and learn the three roles they can best fit in while working in teams.

Business Transformation Through Learning (ALM)

The unit develops a critical understanding of organisation-wide learning concepts and practices. It examines how learning occurs at the organisation level using overarching mechanisms such as benchmarking, feedback loops, suggestions systems and mystery shopping. The unit develops the links between organisation-wide learning and other levels such as individual, team/group to propose a holistic organisational learning system. Finally, it establishes the relationships between business excellence and organisational learning.

Workplace and Lifelong Learning (ALM)

The unit develops a critical understanding of the origin and evolution, concepts and aims of Learning, lifelong learning and workplace learning. It also examines the domains, types, and theories of Learning. The unit is essential for students to understand Learning and its axioms, which define the frame, methodology, and anatomy of Learning. The units cover a number of themes, including an overview of the foundation of learning theories, classification of Learning, culture and measurement of learning in all sectors and size of organisations.

Research Methods (5) (ABY)

This unit provides an opportunity for students to develop further as independent learners through the completion of a supervised study, which can include some elements of research carried out in a fieldwork context. The first part of the unit covers the research approaches in business studies. It aims to prepare students to produce a project proposal. This part of the unit examines strategies, design, ethics, and methodologies with particular reference to both qualitative and quantitative methods. The unit explores various methods appropriate to a range of disciplines, including organisational learning, business excellence, future foresight, innovation management, and sustainable development. It aims to develop students’ analytic skills, essential for conducting an independent research project that leads to a dissertation or consultancy report.

Dissertation (3) (ABY)

Students are expected to submit a dissertation of 15,000 words long. The dissertation carries 60 credits. This is usually submitted after all the modules have been completed. The dissertation could be research-based or industry-based. In the first route, students are expected to conduct a research project in one of the three areas of specialism, focused on Political/Moral Economy and sustainable development. In the second route, students are expected to carry out a consulting project at one of the organisations guided by the body of knowledge they mastered in the taught units.

Strategic Organisational Excellence (ALM)

Organisational performance excellence is critical for organisational competitiveness. In pursuing performance excellence, leaders and organisations must be particularly mindful of the resources, systems, processes and factors which contribute to, or hinder, excellent performance. This unit focuses on implementing business excellence in all business contexts, sectors and sizes. It caters for sustainable business results in a sustainable global environment. Students will develop a critical appreciation of the importance of sustainable organisational performance through three interrelated components; strategy, best, good and promising practice policies and tools; techniques and frameworks for self-assessment and performance management. Subject matter experts’ talks are contributing to this unit, and it will engage students with professional bodies such as European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM), British Quality Foundation (BQF) and Chartered Quality Institute (CQI).

Innovation Management Systems (ALM)

This unit provides a context and introduction to innovation, what it is and how it links to creativity and other business models such as business excellence and organisational learning. The unit introduces why organisations innovate and how innovation can be managed, especially in the service and public sectors. The course is taught through lectures, case studies and industry visits. The lectures cover a range of topics concerning the management of innovation, including motivations for innovating, how organisations can protect their innovations using intellectual property rights, the nature and organisation and management of “research and development” (R&D), the management of creative people, processes and teams, the management of product, service and experience innovations, the adoption and use of “open innovation”, and the adoption and use of frugal innovation (Jugaad). These discussions and industry visit closely complement the topics covered in the lectures to reinforce the ideas and give them a practical application.

Business and Management Consultancy (ALM)

This practice and the theory-led unit provide students with the technical knowledge required to understand the consultancy process and client-consulting relationships. Tutorials and group work will allow students to practise skills of analysis and evaluation concerning consulting interventions based on real-world examples. This unit aids reflection, evaluation of client context and critical skills for research, analysis and effective project delivery. As part of directed studies, students will be guided to appropriate primary and secondary sources to further enhance their knowledge of the consulting process. This will include research on specific issues as assigned in class and feedback on knowledge and understanding will be gained through presentations in class. In-class presentations will provide formative peer and tutor feedback against unit learning outcomes for group learning situations.

Managing Digital Transformation (ALM)

Digital Transformation is the currency in this era; we increasingly use smartphones and other devices to communicate with friends, do business, read the news or book a hotel or a meal s via apps. But what does this mean for our work life? Digital Transformation poses many challenges, but it also creates many new opportunities for your job and your company. This unit helps students to learn how to deal with change and take advantage of its benefits. In this module, students will receive an introduction to Digital Transformation. Subject matter experts will explain the key terms, concepts and technologies in simple and understandable terms. No previous knowledge of the topic is required. This unit will help develop an understanding of Digital Transformation and how students and their organisations can benefit from it. By the end of the module, you will have developed an understanding of key concepts of digital transformation, key digital transformation frameworks, new approaches to product and service development, internal collaboration and communication and key emerging technologies.

Sustainability and Ethics (ALM)

As social responsibility is a central value in every business and an important concept in sustainable development, this unit provides a critical understanding of the debates around sustainable development and social responsibility (and corporate social responsibility). In particular, the unit examines the implications of environmental, social and governance (ESG) dimensions of sustainability for responsible organisation/business, including responsible financial investment and accounting. It provides a conceptual foundation for exploring the role of responsible organisations/businesses in tackling the challenges of sustainability. This unit critically evaluates the influence of ESG issues on shaping responsible organisation/business operations (particularly SRF – socially responsible finance – and SRI – socially responsible investment). In addition, it examines how ESG issues can be employed with financial metrics to assess the risks and opportunities of responsible investment decisions.

Corporate Governance and Management (ALM)

The unit provides an overview in relation to the developments and changes that have taken place in management science and practice leading to the management models we have in the world now. By using the ontological sources and epistemological approach, religious principles in relation to management will be identified.

Careers and Employability

The programme targets learning leaders, looking to expand their impact on business performance and organizational results.

Through the programme content, and teaching, assessment and learning strategies, the programme will develop the employability skills expected of Master’s graduates, including critical analysis skills, critical self-reflection, critical evaluation of complex and potentially contradictory arguments, research skills, advanced communication skills, both oral and written, resiliency and self-advocacy, integrity, ethics and the ability to manage time effectively.

Graduates of this programme will typically find work in the private, public, and non-profit sectors in a broad range of positions and roles. The programme is of prime importance to professionals and directors in the following areas:

  • Training and learning and development

  • Talent management,

  • Human Resources Development (HRD)

  • Quality and Excellence Management

  • Organisational Development

  • Performance Management

  • Future Foresight

  • Innovation and Continuous Improvement

  • Change Management

  • Corporate Governance

Students will also have access to Abertay's Careers Service.

Careers Service

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Abertay University Graduate School

When you join us as a postgraduate student or researcher, you’ll join a community of creative like-minded scholars. You will be working in our dedicated study and social spaces – a forum in which you can meet, work and learn with other researchers and postgraduates from across the University.

You’ll benefit from training and professional development opportunities, as well as support with funding applications, placement opportunities, teaching support, public engagement and outreach activity.

Learn more about our Graduate School

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