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The Aston Global Advantage

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The Aston Global Advantage is our professional development programme and an integrated module that runs throughout your MSc course at Aston Business School. The programme will equip you with transferable skills and relevant experiences for the workplace, giving you a competitive edge in the job market, or for when starting a business. Flexible and personalised, this programme can be tailored to your career aspirations, development needs, or existing professional experience. Whatever career path you wish to follow, this programme lets you take control of your future. Here from our graduates about the programme.

Matthew Groom

Matthew Groom

"I identified the job after working with the careers team on campus."

Ruth Kanu

Ruth Kanu

"I’m not sure that I would be where I am today if it wasn’t for this professional development programme."

Programme Outline

The Aston Global Advantage programme is an integrated module which runs throughout your course. It involves classroom-based workshops, group tasks, and applied learning experiences, as well as a range of assessment methods, including practical activities, reflective essays, and a portfolio showing evidence of professional business skills.

There’s support available to help you find work placements and for students on a Tier 4 visa, the University will sponsor your application to enable you to gain valuable work experience in the UK.

The programme will build your confidence, enhance your self-awareness and effectively prepare you for the world of work and the academic requirements of your course. Given the diversity of our students and teaching staff, you’ll also learn how to work effectively in a multicultural context.

Skills Development – Terms 1 & 2

In the first two terms, you’ll take part in various practical workshops and develop a wide range of academic, professional and transferable ‘soft’ skills, all of which are highly sought-after by employers and essential to aspiring entrepreneurs. These include:

Soft skills
Presentation, teamwork, leadership and intercultural communication, self-leadership and reflective practice.

Academic skills
Critical reasoning and analytical thinking, reflective writing and case study analysis.

Professional skills
Career and enterprise planning, CV and job application best practice, interview and assessment centre techniques and networking.

Experiential Learning - Term 3

In the third semester, you’ll select a development route to suit your professional ambitions. You can even extend your experiential learning experience for up to 12 months – see ‘The Extended Aston Global Advantage Route’ below for more details.

There are four rewarding experiential learning streams to choose from:

Stream One: Integrated Study Abroad

Study abroad

Take advantage of this amazing opportunity to live and study aboard with one of our international partner institutions. Experience a new culture, gain a deeper understanding of your subject area and build an international network of contacts.

Our extensive network of partners means you can study almost anywhere in the world, from USA to Australia, as well as at some of the highest ranked business schools in Europe.

Opportunities range from a four-week summer school to a full semester exchange.

There's even a chance to spend an entire year overseas with one of our partner institutions and gain an additional qualification, thanks to our Exchange Partnership Second Degree pathway. Find out more about Exchange Partnership Second Degree pathway opportunities

Stream Two: Work-based experience

Work Experience

Gain valuable real-life professional experience, enhance your CV and increase your commercial knowledge and understanding, thanks to our exciting range of hands-on work-based opportunities:

  • Spend from one month to 12 months on work placement with a company of your choice, in the UK or overseas.
  • Support start-up businesses and a local SMEs with live consultancy projects through our Aston Business Clinic
  • There’s also the chance to take part in an entrepreneurial fundraising challenge and in the process support The Prince’s Trust, a charity that supports disadvantaged young people in the UK.

N.B. Students on a Tier 4 visa will be sponsored by the University if they undertake a work placement in the UK.

Stream Three: Business Simulations

Business Simulations

Develop your teamwork, problem solving and commercial decision-making capabilities through an innovative team-based business simulation challenge.

Compete with other teams to run the most successful virtual business and gain practical experience of tackling complex commercial decisions in a dynamic environment.

There are three separate simulation challenges available depending on your course:

  • Accounting and Finance in Action – open to MSc Accounting & Finance and MSc International Accounting & Finance students
  • Portfolio Trader – open to MSc Finance and MSc Investment Analysis students
  • Global Challenge – open to all other MSc students

You will find out more about these business simulations during the first and second terms.

Stream Four: Product Intellectual Property and Entrepreneurship (PIPE)

Intellectual Property

Develop your entrepreneurial mindset, learn to effectively bring a new product to market and discover how to protect your intellectual property.

If you’re looking to start your own business this could be the steam for you. Working as part of team, you’ll develop a business idea and create a business plan to demonstrate your venture’s commercial potential.

You will find out more about PIPE during the first and second terms.

The Extended Aston Global Advantage Route

For students choosing to study abroad (stream one) or undertake a work placement (stream two), you have the option to extend your programme by up to 12 months:

  • Undertake a work placement of up to 12 months in the UK or overseas. (Students on a Tier 4 Visa will be sponsored by the University while they undertake their work placement in the UK.)
  • Study abroad with one of our partner institutions across the world.  (Places are limited.  Terms and conditions apply.)

You will find out more about PIPE during the first and second terms.

Please contact our International Student Advice Team at [email protected] if you have any questions about how these placements affect your Tier 4 visa application.