MBA curriculum


The future is not optional.

A unique time in history calls for a curriculum to match. Sustainable innovation underpins all courses. UVic's MBA courses include the business foundations from a traditional MBA while engaging students with the complexities of the modern world.

The UVic MBA in Sustainable Innovation places as much importance on teaching methods as on the course content. Classes are small. The focus is on:

Connecting practical theory to useful real-world applications yields great results. Our courses emphasize problem solving and student-centred learning, rather than lectures.

We teach courses in six integrated blocks. Working closely with students results in an outstanding learning experience. All this gives future leaders the skillsets they need.

Block One

MBA 520 - Accounting and Financial Responsibility

Unit count: 1.5

Develops the capacity to make informed, ethical and sustainability-focused decisions through the use of accounting principles. Focuses on two broad areas: 1) Financial Reporting including examination of corporate financial reports, International Financial Accounting Standards, sustainability reporting standards and evolving practices, fiduciary duty and governance; and 2) Managerial Accounting including the nature, analysis of costs, product costs, and control systems.

Faculty: Mia Maki, Kimball Ketsa

MBA 514 - Foundations of Sustainability

Unit count: 1.5

Shows how business can be sustainable, profitable and a force for social change. Explores opportunities and challenges for developing more sustainable business strategies and practices, and the changing role of business in relation to society and the environment. Introduces the business case for sustainability, sustainability reporting, socially responsible investing, First Nations/Indigenous approaches to economic development, ethics, gender equity and human rights.

Faculty: Matt Murphy

MBA 515 - Business Economics

Unit count: 1.5

Explores both the benefits and limitations of traditional economic models. Shows how individual and organizational factors affect economic decisions. Topics include product, pricing, risk and business opportunity analysis, behavioural decision theory, sustainable economic models, sustainable value creation under different market structures, international trade, game theory and moral hazard.

Faculty: Jen Baggs

Block Two

MBA 540 - Applied Data and Decision Analysis

Unit count: 1.5

Develops an understanding of the basic concepts, techniques, uses and limitations of data driven decision-making, in a sustainable business setting. Provides an introduction to methods of statistical analysis, including descriptive statistics, data visualization, experimental design, statistical inference, hypothesis testing, regression analysis and predictive modelling in an applied setting. Emphasizes the application of data analysis, concepts and techniques, rather than theoretical foundations.

Faculty: Zhi Lu

MBA 553 - Designing Innovative Organizations

Unit count: 1.5

Examines the complexities and ambiguities relevant to the design, development and management of sustainable organizations in a changing world. Focuses on the changing nature of work (e.g. gig economy, automation, knowledge work), innovations centred on improving the practice of work (e.g. workplace democracy, sociocracy, holocracy). Includes topics such as ethics and governance, organizational forms (e.g. worker co-operatives, L3Cs, social movements), environment structure and growth; organizational culture, power, politics and change management for sustainable innovation.

Faculty: Simon Pek

MBA 530 - Finance for Impact

Unit count: 1.5

Explores how the world of finance is changing to meet global challenges such as climate change and provides approaches to analyzing financial decisions with sustainability and social responsibility lenses. Focuses on impact investing, ethical issues in financial decision-making, and issues related to sustainability in project valuation and portfolio investments. Topics include ESG factors, socially responsible financial instruments, discounted cash flow techniques and how to integrate sustainability in asset valuation and capital budgeting decisions, risk and return trade-offs, portfolio diversification and climate risk, and the cost of capital to the firm.

Faculty: Basma Majerbi

Block Three

MBA 570 - Global Sustainable Business

Unit count: 1.5

Overview of international business and management, emphasizing sustainability, globalization and their implications for individuals, organizations and nations. Explores global and regional economic integration, sources of national competitive advantage and international trade and investment in international contexts, strategy and organization in multinational enterprises, emerging markets, and current issues related to the international business environment. Students develop a world-view of today's dynamic global marketplace and analytical skills for addressing complex global issues.

Faculty: Wade Danis, Sudhir Nair, Aloysius Newenham-Kahindi

MBA 555 - People and the Future of Work

Unit count - 1.5

Examines the contemporary workplace and its implications for people. Topics include decision making, motivation, and trust; talent development, teams, employee engagement, HR practices (e.g. recruitment and retention, performance and compensation, layoffs, legislation).

Faculty: Vivien Corwin, Rick Cotton

MBA 510 - Marketing in a Connected World

Unit count: 1.5

Considers marketers' responsibilities to shareholders, society and the planet. Topics include factors affecting consumer demand and methods of satisfying it, market structure, product selection, distribution, promotion, pricing and market research. Explores the special considerations involved in sustainable marketing, e.g. brand trust, absorption of full lifecycle costs, product traceability and consumer resistance. Considers the impact of digital and social media, popups and buycotts, and the effective use of these channels.

Faculty: Steve Tax, Christian Van Buskirk

Block Four

MBA 544 - Technology and the Interconnected Organization

Unit count: 1.5

Develops the foundation for a critical understanding of the relationship between technology, information systems (IS) and sustainable organizational performance. Three themes focus on creating and protecting value using IS, developing, implementing and evaluating IS and managing IS. Topics include business model innovation, social computing, IT governance, cybersecurity, and artificial intelligence.

Faculty: Jan Kietzmann

MBA 546 - Innovation and Design

Unit count: 1.5

Considers both the ‘why’ (who benefits, who pays) and ‘how’ of innovation. Explores how design thinking can lend new perspectives on wicked problems in society and business. Students develop skills as creative problem solvers who combine rigorous research with narrative, visual data and other knowledge forms to generate sustainable strategies.

Faculty: David Dunne

MBA 535 - Sustainable Operations Management

Unit count: 1.5

Explores the management systems organizations use to deliver goods and services to provide sustainable value. Topics include operations strategy, lifecycle management, sustainable supply chains, eco-design, capacity and technology planning, workflow planning, service design and delivery, scheduling, and quality management and control.

Faculty: Adel Guitouni, Jie Zhang

Block Five

MBA 550 - Strategy for the Long Term

Unit count: 1.5

Explores the need for business transformation, rather than continuous improvement, as the global challenge of sustainability comes to dominate the competitive environment. Topics include 100-year viability, analyses of external and internal environments, reinventing the business model, opportunity evaluation, the role of innovation, value co-creation, corporate social responsibility (CSR).

Faculty: Raveendra Chittoor

MBA 552 - Strategic Collaboration and Partnerships

Unit count: 1.5

Explores when and how to lead and cultivate collaboration in both inter- and intra-organizational contexts. In today's complex environments, sustainable innovation will be achieved through working collaboratively with others. Topics include: costs and benefits of collaboration, levers and barriers to collaboration, characteristics of collaborative leadership, types of collaboration (alliances, networks, and public-private partnerships), evaluating collaboration, as well as developing relationships with stakeholders.

Faculty: Cheryl Mitchell

Block Six

MBA 564 - Social Entrepreneurship

Unit count: 1.5

Entrepreneurship is about new value creation for customers and society. Takes prospective entrepreneurs through the opportunity (value) identification and realization process with a focus on developing entrepreneurial expertise and an entrepreneurial/intrapreneurial mindset. Topics include business model design, new organization forms, marketing on a shoestring, merging and selling. Students will apply the learning towards their own entrepreneurial or intrapreneurial pursuit, with the aim of getting to the proof-of-concept stage of development with a lean business plan.

Faculty: Brent Mainprize

MBA 577 - Public Policy and Law

Unit count: 1.5

Explores how government policy affects industry in the context of sustainable innovation, and how organizations can work effectively with government. Examines legal issues that must be identified and effectively managed within organizations (including for-profit, non-profit, and governmental organizations). Considers public policy and risks associated with sustainable manufacturing, delivery and marketing, customer privacy, intellectual property, and employment and contractor relationships.

Responsible and Ethical Leadership

MBA 523 - Responsible and Ethical Leadership

Unit count: 1.5

Emphasizes the being, doing and knowing of responsible leadership. Focuses on individual self-awareness and self-responsibility for developing a purpose-focused leadership approach to create solutions, disrupt mindsets, and champion sustainable innovation. Explores the role of leaders as individuals, leaders embedded in organizations, and leaders facing the global opportunities and issues both today and in the future.

Faculty: Cheryl Mitchell

Capstone Consulting Project

MBA 596 – Capstone Integrative Project

Unit count: 3

Encourages an integrative, immersive experience where teams apply their learning in sustainable innovation to an actual challenge or opportunity faced by a real world client. Teams work with with the available resources to overcome obstacles and successfully navigate organizations and multiple perspectives, to develop recommendations for actionable high-impact solutions. Core learning includes: decision-making, critical thinking, application of concepts, teamwork, integrating multidisciplinary perspectives, project management and client relationships.

Faculty: Cheryl Mitchell

Professional Development

MBA 502 - Personal and Professional Development

Unit count: 3

Provides structure and support to build personal and professional success. Focuses on self-awareness, exploration, critical reflection and relationship-building.

Co-op Work Term

MBA 801 - Co-op Work term

Unit Count: 3  

The Co-op work term offers a unique approach to help students start building their career while they are still at university. It's designed to work between academic courses, to complement what students are learning in class with practical workplace experience.

Students entering the program with less than three years of full-time, professional work experience are required to complete a Co-op work term.

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