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INSEAD MBA Curriculum Gets an Update

INSEAD has updated its MBA curriculum

INSEAD has formally announced a range of changes to its flagship MBA curriculum that will take effect for students beginning the program in September 2017.


Among the changes to the INSEAD MBA will be the introduction of a personal development program and new electives. Many of these new course options are tech-orientated, such as those covering fintech and big data. Preparatory online learning tools will also be made available to ensure incoming students hit the ground running when they enter the school’s 10-month program.   

“While our ultimate goal remains the same, we trust the new curriculum integrated with timely content will better prepare them [the school’s MBA students] to build, grow and lead businesses that are a force for good,” says INSEAD’s dean, Ilian Mihov.

Business’ role in society enters INSEAD core

Business as ‘a force for good’ is the underlying theme behind one particularly noteworthy change. This change will see a cluster of courses on the role of business in society take its place in the core (required element) of the INSEAD MBA curriculum. Looking at aspects of the political environment, public policy and ethics, the school’s dean of degree programs, Urs Peyer, describes the new core cluster as an, “innovative ‘big picture’ course.”

The need for business leaders to gain an appreciation of the interactions between business and society has certainly grown in currency in recent years and, for example, is also the subject of a blog run by a group of academics attached to Copenhagen Business School’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) center.

Culmination of MBA curriculum will see students’ progress and development tested

Another significant change to the curriculum is the introduction of a capstone project designed to test the sum of a student’s development over the full length of their INSEAD MBA. In it, students will grapple with a simulated business crisis in teams and will have to present analyses and plans to alumni of the school, who will take on various roles as the project progresses. A similar idea, albeit one which stages a crisis over a 24-hour period, has been offered annually at Michigan Ross School of Business over the past decade.   


The approval of all these new updates to the INSEAD MBA curriculum was initially detailed in the school’s alumni magazine and, indeed, is said to be the product of a two-year review in which alumni as well as current students, faculty, staff and recruiters have all participated.

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Written by Tim Dhoul

Tim is a writer with a background in consumer journalism and charity communications. He trained as a journalist in the UK and holds degrees in history (BA) and Latin American studies (MA).

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