There is a whole panoply of MBA specialisations that offer a deeper understanding of the inner workings of single industries. Some of them may strike you as quite unusual.
► Meet top MBA programmes from around the world.
From the MBA in Thoroughbred Horseracing in Liverpool to the Music MBA in New Hampshire, the growing trend of specialised MBAs enables candidates to choose from an ever expanding pool of specialisations.
Here is a rundown of some of the most unusual ones.
MBA in Thoroughbred Horseracing Industries - University of Liverpool (UK)
The two-year programme at the University of Liverpool (UK) was launched in 2015 with the aim of preparing future executives who want to take up a senior administrative or leadership role in the sport. Participants delve deeper into the study of marketing, sponsorship, the media, sports law, regulation, and horse welfare.
The programme also includes field trips with the opportunity to have a peek behind the scenes at races and a visit to the UK's National Stud in Newmarket, in the east of England, the country's centre of racehorse breeding.
MBA in Football Industries - University of Liverpool
The programme at the University of Liverpool is in fact one of the oldest specialised versions of the qualification, and is now in its 20th year. Students get to visit the headquarters of European football governing body UEFA, which is based in the Swiss town of Nyon.
The programme is offered in a one-year full-time format, but there is also a part-time option which takes two years to complete. If you want to work in the global football industry—with clubs, governing bodies or related marketing, media and sponsorship companies—this is the MBA programme for you.
Art School MBA - University of London’s Birkbeck college/CSM (UK)
Central Saint Martins (CSM) part of University of the Arts London, in partnership with the University of London’s Birkbeck college, launched the18-month part-time programme in 2017. The avowed goal is to “challenge some of the orthodoxies of traditional business school approaches, in order to create a new kind of business graduate: one who wants to break the mould, to be creatively disruptive and contribute with new ideas that are converted to actionable contributions – one who is concerned with people, and the planet as well as profit.”
The programme will combine the design ethos of studio teaching at Central Saint Martins with seminars and online learning led by Birkbeck.
Learn more about MBA programmes at University of London by taking a look at this handy School Profile.
Wine & Spirits MBA - INSEEC Business School (France)
INSEEC has not one but three MBA programmes dedicated to wine and spirits. The MBA Wine & Spirits programme is the first step in the wine and spirits sector, providing “the foundation for a h4 business culture.”After the MBA Wine & Spirits, students can enrol in the MBA Wine Marketing & Management or MBA Spirits Marketing & Management if they want to reach managerial positions in the wine and spirits sector.
The market for wine and spirits is going global, with wines from traditional producers such as France, Spain, and Italy competing against wines from new territories. To respond to new expectations and the current climate, the MBA programmes aim to provide young people with a solid, specialised education.
Executive MBA in Fashion - London College of Fashion (UK)
"[The fashion industry] is not a fluffy thing. It's a real business," says Andrew Hughes, Dean of Fashion Business School at the London College of Fashion, when asked about the economic reasons for the rise of fashion courses.
The Executive MBA (Fashion) is for fashion business executives, directors, managers, and growing entrepreneurs. Two study routes are available: an 18-month fast track option designed to complement full-time employment, and a flexible learning option, which is a unit-by-unit approach and allows candidates up to five years to complete.
Dual-degree MBA/MFA in Producing - NYU Stern School of Business (US) / Tisch School of Arts (US)
The dual-degree programme is a partnership between NYU Stern and the Kanbar Institute of Film & Television at the Tisch School of the Arts. The MBA/MFA in Producing graduate programme gives aspiring film producers and individuals who want to become leaders in the entertainment industry the knowledge to navigate the fast-changing landscape of filmmaking and business entertainment today.
The curriculum is rigorous and demanding. Students must be accepted by both schools and spend about half their time taking courses at each. The programme is designed to be completed over the course of three years. The first year of the programme is spent at NYU Stern, the second year is spent at Kanbar, and the third year is split between the two programmes.
MBA in Music Business – Berklee College of Music (US) / Southern New Hampshire University (US)
Created through a partnership between Berklee and Southern New Hampshire University, the online Master of Business Administration in music business is built around a traditional MBA curriculum complemented by business courses that are specific to the music industry.
The course is designed from the perspective of a music industry professional. This online MBA is the first and only one of its kind in the US. Students can complete the programme in just 15 months, with two courses per 10-week term. No GMAT or GRE is required for admission.
Read: MBA Recruitment Remains Strong in 2017.
MBA in American Indian Entrepreneurship - Gonzaga University (US)
The two-year programme was established in 2001 with the help of the Johnson Scholarship Foundation. The programme strives to prepare leaders to effectively manage and support sustainable business on American Indian reservations.
Since its inception, it has given over 58 alumni the skills necessary to make a positive impact on their tribes and reservations. Gonzaga is able to offer generous scholarships for applicants to this unique and transformative programme.
MBA in Aviation Management - Embry-Riddle Aeronautics University
Embry-Riddle offers an MBA in Aviation Management and an MBA in Aviation. Both degrees provide traditional business skills but focus on the aviation and aerospace industries.
The students have access to The Applied Aviation Simulation Lab, which is equipped with extensive simulation and transportation software and is used primarily by undergraduate and graduate business students to conduct business-oriented simulation and operation projects on aviation and intermodal transportation systems. Projects developed in this lab include aircraft boarding strategies, aircraft sequencing, manpower planning and more.
MBA in International Luxury Brand Management - ESSEC Business School (France)
The one-year programme was launched in 1995 by ESSEC Business School along with LVMH and L’Oréal as a response to the growing demand for individuals able to develop the luxury business in emerging markets and beyond. It is designed to enable participants to develop and enhance their ability to successfully manage a luxury brand or product.
The programme’s industry partner list reads like a high-end department store catalogue. The MBA in International Luxury Brand Management is structured to provide maximum exposure to the luxury and prestige goods industry. In addition to the studies and projects focusing on the sector, participants also gain practical experience and in-depth knowledge of the industry through boutique internships, international field trips, and global field projects.
The MBA has long been considered an essential requirement for ambitious professionals striving for a successful career in business. It’s up to the candidates, however, to decide if they want to enrol in a classic MBA programme focusing on general management, or if they want something more specific. The number of specialised MBAs is growing by the day and the choice is indeed immense. The most important prerequisite for making the right choice, however, is your self-awareness and a clear idea of what you want to do in the future.
Learn more about MBA programmes at ESSEC by taking a look at this handy School Profile.